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Today's WTF

Watching football, especially college level, so many players have Sr. II III and IV after their names on the back of the uniform. You can pretty well bet at the college level there isn't anyone else on the field with the same name, so the suffix is a needless affectation.

On rare occasions, a father and son are playing during the same season in baseball. Or maybe dad is a coach and Jr. is a player. But even then it's rare for them to have the same name. Barry Bonds/Bobby Bonds. The only exception I can think of is Ken Griffey Sr. and Ken Griffey Jr. who both were active in the MLB in 1989 and both wore Mariners uniforms in 1990-91. Ken Griffey III is playing college football. Since I and II are retired from sports, and he goes by "Trey", he probably doesn't need Griffey III on his uniform. And he doesn't.

Just in time I noticed that if I left right now, I could make the matinée of Fantastic Beasts, so I did. Forgetting to water the indoor plants.

I wrote a review on FB, leaving out a lot. On the whole I was disappointed. The cinematography was horrible, the plot was hard to follow and had too many dead ends, the humor was mostly slapstick, and for every brilliant bit of  David Yates' directing there were four awful bits. Way too much use of the same special effect which basically involved pushing paving stones up from below in a V. The action takes place in Manhattan in the 1920s, they did not have paving stones then/there. And there was an effect allegedly by the same critter which makes stone walls crumble from the middle. Somehow every building in Manhattan was made from the same grey cement-coated stone. 3D adds to the movie, though they do sometimes succumb to the temptation to childishly throw things at the audience.

The score by James Newton Howard fits well, is never annoying or overkill, and relatively tuneless. A few snippets from John Williams are noted in the liner notes, but I didn't recognize them.

IMDB's cast list is all effed up. It claims to be in credit order, but it's in order of appearance, so I had to hunt for some important characters.

Eddie Redmayne plays Newt, a young wizard from England who has a suitcase of magical creatures which keep trying to escape. The case is accidentally switched with an identical one owned by Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a muggle cannery worker who wants to open a bakery, and his pastry samples are in his case. They don't take that side of the switch anywhere near as far as they should have.

There's a US wizardry law against bringing magical critters into the country, and Tina (Katherine Waterston), a defrocked enforcer, arrests Eddie and tries to bring him in for justice, but she's defrocked so non compos mentis  persona non grata. She takes Eddie and Kowalski to her apartments, where her roommate Queenie (Alison Sudol) inexplicitly inexplicably falls for Kowalski. Queenie owns every scene she is in, totally outshining the rather dull Tina. And I have to say, it takes enormous acting skilz for any pretty woman to convince the audience she has fallen for Kowalski.

Collin Farrell plays  Graves, the Snape analog. Powerful wizard who is bound by the rules but doesn't like it, and is worming his way around them. The part is poorly written, even more poorly photographed and costumed. He's pretty dull.

There are three excellent performances in smaller roles. Carmen Ejogo as Seraphina Picquery: The President of the USA magicians congress. Elegant, haughty, commanding. Ezra Miller as Credence, a young man whose adoptive mother has beaten the personality out of him, and his youngest adopted sister Modesty (Faith Wood-Blagrove) who has to play disassociated personality while still being a credible source of a monstrous magical presence. Jenn Murray plays the older adopted daughter, but she is wasted as window dressing. She's a stunning Irish lass, capable of much finer stuff.

Also not up to snuff was Samantha Morton as Mary Lou, abusive mother of Credence & Modesty. In the opening scenes she was costumed much like Tina, and I had a hard time telling them apart.

Jon Voight makes a short appearance as the handsome Senate candidate and later senator. Johnny Depp has an even shorter cameo as Voldemort's lieutenant, Grindelwald. Blink and you'll miss him. Michael Gambon, who took over the role of Dumbledore in the latter Hogwarts films, didn't make the cut.

Rowling had the opportunity to build two romantic relationships, but instead wrote them for 12 year olds. It destroys Newt's exit scene, but Queenie's/Kowalski's final scene is perfect.

The closing credits were an eye opener. Out of the 7,342 names listed, only a handful are Asian, Indian or Middle Eastern. The closing credits were devoid of anything resembling art, and there is no "Easter egg" afterward.

Walmart grocery is in the same shopping center, I loaded up on frozen dinners and lactose-free milk. Home, discovered I already had 3 half gallons. Forgot that I'd been living on tea & soup all week.

Surfed between football games. Stanford was all over Rice. The Beavers trounced the Ducks in rain-drenched Corvallis. Many more.

Spook decided to try to climb the back of the recliner twice while I was trying to watch TV. First time she escaped under the coffee table, second time I grabbed her and held her tight while I sat back down. Endured her struggling and whining for a football quarter, then tossed her away. Pisses me off that after 2 years she still won't sit on my lap like a real cat. I was tempted yesterday at PetSmart to adopt an orange tabby kitten. The only thing that stopped me was the 1-pet rule.

Plans for tomorrow:
Water the plants (indoor only - it rained all day today)
Go somewhere there are people.

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