“Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” takes place in the 1920’s with Eddie Redmayne just right as Newt the wizard from England arriving in America with a mysterious suitcase filled with creatures, some of them get loose, and wouldn’t you know it, that doesn’t sit well with those who are anti-wizard.
Colin Farrell plays, Percival Graves, an intimidating figure with a secret out to destroy Newt, but the centerpiece of this movie rests in the fact that wizards and creatures, although imperfect, have a lot to offer society and there is a wonderful sense of joy and whimsy when it works.
“Fantastic Beasts” is based on the 2001 novel by J.K. Rowling, this is her first screenplay based on her own material and everything seems to be in good hands with Potter director, David Yates. He weaves in and out of detail with a sense of both wonderment and dread, and technically his latest is as good as any of the Harry Potter films.
The more I think about, “Fantastic Beasts And Where To Find Them,” the better it gets, it’s an intense PG-13 movie filled with visual surprises and is magical in spirit. Wizards, witches, and muggles can get along, but it’s complicated and it’s going to take some time. This is a good start to a promising series.
The Wine: Sleight of Hand Cellars
I worry when I see very stylized or over done labeling on bottles, as it conjures up ideas of a winery owner investing more in his bottling than the actual wine inside. Thankfully, Jerry and Sandy Soloman and Winemaker Trey Bush figured out you can have a great product and a very fun label for their Sleight of Hand Cellars wines.
With wines like “The Illusionist” Cabernet Sauvignon, “The Enchantress” Chardonnay, “The Magician” Riesling and “The Sorceress” Grenache from premium Red Mountain and Walla Walla vineyards, Sleight of Hand was recently named one of Washington’s “Cult Wineries” by Seattle Magazine. And, for their quality, they are also quite affordable ranging from $18 – $52.
Where did the name come from? Sleight of Hand’s name is a nod to the band Pearl Jam. Busch ended up in Seattle from Atlanta in the 1990’s because of his love for the band, and their downtown Walla Walla tasting room contains an extensive record collection of the band’s albums. The song is a story of a guy not really living his life to it’s fullest potential. Bush sees a lot of himself in the song and his journey to get into the world of wine. Psychedelic Syrah from the Rocks is an incredible, earthy, mineral intense, wine with a slightly smoky and spicy note.