Pieter Pohl, founder of Innovation Films and marketing manager of CMD Entertainment Africa, sheds some light on the latest movies.
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(Sunday January 2018: MNET 101 20:05)
FANTASTIC BEASTS AND WHERE TO FIND THEM
MOVIE TRAILER: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vso5o11LuGU
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is a fantasy adventure about a sorcerer caretaker of magical creatures from England who comes to New York in 1926 and creates havoc during an outbreak of dark magic. A prequel to the Harry Potter books and movies, Fantastic Beasts is an entertaining ride that’s beautifully photographed, scored and performed, but a witch hunter is a major villain, two people are murdered, and the movie’s redemptive hero actually fails in solving a major plot problem. So, Fantastic Beasts excessively promotes the occult and refutes the good.
MOVIEGUIDE REVIEW – “Marred by Some Strong Occult, Anti-Biblical Material”
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is highly entertaining. The production values seem even higher than the previous movies set in the world of Harry Potter, including the cinematography, special effects and the score by James Newton Howard. That said, some of the explanations of the magical world, including the names of the creatures and the explanations of their powers, get lost in the quirky performance of Eddie Redmayne as Newt and in the magical jargon that Harry Potter creator and Fantastic Beasts screenwriter J K Rowling uses.
In the story, Newt is like a magical animal rights activist. He believes the magical world should try to understand and protect the magical beasts, not kill them. Despite this environmentalist subtext, Newt’s motives are good. He also thinks the magical authority’s rules against involvement with non-magical humans are wrong headed. In fact, he thinks the magical humans can be friends with the “Non-Majes.” Thus, he happily becomes fast friends with Jacob, as do Tina and Queenie.
Movieguide®’s reviewer enjoyed the performances of Dan Fogler as Jacob and Alison Sudol as Queenie the best. They bring humour and light-hearted energy to the story, as well as a fun romantic angle. What most impressed Movieguide ® about Eddie Redmayne’s performance as Newt Scamander was the human compassion he brings to the role. In fact, his performance adds a redemptive note during the movie’s climax.
Like the other movies set in the Harry Potter world, Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them has a pagan worldview promoting witchcraft. As such, the new movie overtly portrays opposition to witchcraft and the occult, as symbolized by the Mary Lou character, as evil. This contradicts what the Bible says in Deuteronomy 18:10-12, which condemns all witchcraft, sorcery and other occult behaviour as morally abhorrent or loathsome.
Modern witches and occult practitioners love to mock this biblical command. They believe occult behaviour can be used for good or evil, depending on the motives of the person doing it. However, the Bible’s condemnation of such behaviour is not trying to be mean for no good reason.
The Bible condemns occult behaviour because it focuses people’s attention away from God, including prayer to God and worship of God. It also leaves people open to demonic influence. Indeed, many modern-day witches and occult practitioners actually worship other gods, including moon gods, so-called horned gods, sun gods, etc. Some of them even pray to such gods and offer oblations to them.
In fact, Movieguide ®’s reviewer actually had a few friends in a Chicago science fiction club he attended, who did such things during closed evening outdoor sessions before a full moon. Also, a Movieguide ® investigation of several official Harry Potter websites in 2003 found children as young as 11 writing prayers to other gods and to the sun and the moon to fulfil their wishes. See pages 63-65 of our book Frodo & Harry: Understanding Visual Media and Its Impact on Our Lives by Dr Ted Baehr and Dr Tom Snyder.
So, witchcraft and other occult practices are not “innocent” behaviour, after all. Books and movies that promote them are enticing impressionable people into godless, immoral lifestyles. As Jesus says in Matthew 6:33, “Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.”
Despite this, Movieguide ® found it interesting that, in this Harry Potter prequel, the witches and sorcerers are actually a different race than the regular humans populating Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them. The magical people are born with powers; their powers aren’t just learned. Thus, the “normal” people in this movie’s world can’t use witchcraft because they don’t have any magical powers. This is a slightly more benign, less insidious view of witchcraft, because in most views of occult witchcraft, everyone is encouraged to learn how to do it if they want to do it.
Fantastic Beasts has no foul language or other explicit objectionable content. Some of the action and physical destruction is intense and scary, but often on the lighter side. Finally, the magical creatures aren’t really scary despite some of the destructive power some of them can unleash. They’re more cute, funny or fun than frightening. Regrettably, however, Fantastic Beasts excessively promotes the occult and refutes the good. – www.movieguide.org
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