fantastic beasts review

Why "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" Was The Movie Harry Potter Fans Needed This Year

Warning: Spoilers ahead, because as anyone who has seen the movie knows, there is A LOT to talk about.

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Growing up, as any Potterhead of the 21st century will admit, Hogwarts was my home. From pouring through the books in elementary school, to waiting at movie theaters for the release of the films, it's safe to say I was a full-on fanatic. Yes I was Ginny Weasley for Halloween one year, yes I had my own Gryffindor robe, and yes, I created a Pottermore account, because let's be real, we all wanted to know what our house and patronus was.

When the first "Fantastic Beasts" movie was released in 2016, I, like many others, couldn't wait to return to the Wizarding World, even if it was set in a different country this time. The sequel in what is said to be a series of five films was released November 16, 2018, and after seeing it, I can say it's what we've all been hoping for.

In the film, we find out the shocking identity of Credence, finally meet Leta Lestrange, and are introduced to a young Nagini, among many other surprises. Newt's adventures are no less entertaining than the last film, and I think we were all pleased to see the return of the bowtruckle and the nifflers. The sets were just as extravagant and magical, with more than a few scenes at the beloved School of Witchcraft and Wizardry itself. The return of treasured "Harry Potter" characters such as Dumbledore and Professor McGonagall, with an appearance by Nicolas Flamel, as well as a passing mention of McLaggen - most likely an ancestor of the striking young man who fancied Hermione in the sixth book of the "Harry Potter" series - make the second film in the five movie series seem evermore familiar.

Even though the movie evokes nostalgia of the "Harry Potter" series, it is still as much a developed story within itself. The plot keeps the audience on the edge of their seat, with a cliffhanger for the ending. We see witches and wizards decide to join Grindelwald after an intense rally and battle between the dark wizard himself and aurors. The very last scene includes Newt going to Dumbledore at Hogwarts and Grindelwald revealing to Credence his identity as a Dumbledore. This leads the audience to develop an excitement for the next upcoming films, where a battle between Grindelwald's followers and those opposed is bound to happen.

Overall, "Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald" was a film filled with action, humor, incredible sets, extraordinary characters, and of course, magic. As a "Harry Potter" fan, this series fulfills all my dreams of being able to go back to Hogwarts, and to see more of the beloved Wizarding World. All I can say is, hopefully, we won't have to wait too long for the next one.

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The Windowsills: Making The Glass Glimmer

By Karleigh Byrne

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Above the living room in my house, back in Louisville, there is a window. Countless times, I have seen birds fly straight into that window. The birds think there is nothing stopping them, so they keep flying forward and then out of nowhere the world hurts them. That window stopped the birds from being free. I️ believe that is how our lives go sometimes. I believe that we are all like birds - we think everything ahead of us is clear so, we keep moving forward. Then, out of the blue, we are struck by an obstacle. Instantly breaking our wings.

1. The impact from the glass

windows

The reflection in a window can toy with your mind.

Just like birds, I broke my wings when I️ hit my own window. The tricky thing about windows is that if a bird flies straight into it, they won't be knocked down. The glass of the window may be broken, but the window sills keep the window intact. But for me, this window was not made of glass. It was a window with a name - Anorexia Nervosa. When I started to fly, I was only 16-years-old. I was healthy, happy, and wildly in love. Everything in my world orbited around high spirits.

The scariest scary part of anorexia is the fact that I️ had no idea how it happened to me.

When you lose someone to death, you feel broken. After it happens, we as humans usually come to peace with thinking that the loved one is in a better place. For me, losing this person led to me losing myself. I found no peace, I felt that I could not grow. The people that I once loved spending time with I never wanted to be around. This was the first time in my life when my heart was quiet and my head was loud. Loud like a thousand trumpets blaring in my ears.

2. Collateral damage

Photo by Anna Wittkowski

When our wings break, it feels like we have nothing else to help us revive.

Some people may think that anorexia is defined by needing a feeding tube and hospital trips. That it is not a 'real' eating disorder until these criteria were met. I held the same misconceptions. I had this goal to drop weight from 145-pounds to 95-pounds, a goal that I made sure I met. On my break at work, I would eat a pinch of spinach with no dressing, three slices of tomato, and two slices of cucumber. Even while I took these extreme measures to achieve what I thought would make me feel better, I told myself that what I was doing was okay. I thought that it was sustainable and I truly believed that I was healthy. Looking back now, I realize how wrong I was. Now, I am able to recognize all the tricks that my mind played on me.

Anorexia is the fear of weight and the fear quite literally eats someone alive.

It took me a while to realize that I did not want to move to Wisconsin to join a group home full of people like me. A house full of people where everyone was still alone. It's not that I didn't want to eat, it was that I was afraid to eat. If you have ever dreamed about you were running yet it felt like slow motion or dreamed where you were felt like you endlessly falling, that is how my life felt. Except for me, it was not like living in a dream, but a nightmare - I can never forget the living nightmare. Not the ones that were filled with ghosts and zombies, but the ones that filled my reality. I had to "eat" alone in my nightmares. They consisted of the hellish times, such as looking at a box of Gigi's cupcakes that I received from my Grandma as a birthday gift, causing me to instantly break down and cry until someone got them out of my face. Nonetheless, we either let the nightmares come to an end by turning our backs to them, or we let them take over and dictate how we feel.

3. Taking flight once again

birds in flight

VSCO gallery by Nish Amin

What many people don't know is that some of the birds that break their wings after flying straight into the glass, fly again.

However, it all depends on the results of the impact. Sometimes glass breaks into pieces that are large enough to put back together. Other times, the glass shatters into a million tiny pieces. But, when you shine light through the shattered glass, it glimmers.

I consider myself to be one of these fortunate birds. But, this was not an easy feat. The wakeup call that I so desperately needed was when I lost connection with one that I truly loved. After this well-past-due call, I finally started to fight for myself. No longer did I have bruises down my knees and up my spine. I realized that growing hair on your arms, back, ears and feet was not cute. That charcoal-colored fingers were not the ideal hands that boys would think about when they hear Beyoncé sing "if you liked it then you should've put a ring on it."

I found my smile once again, and my wings were repaired and much stronger this time.

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You Know You're From Trumbull, CT When...

The best memories are made in this boring, little, Connecticut town.

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1. The majority of places you will consider to eat at are in Fairfield or Westport... Colony, Shake Shack, Country Cow, Playa Bowls, BarTaco

2. But if you find yourself too lazy to get on 95 for food, Panchero's is the go-to... never Chipotle. If it is past midnight, the choice always comes down to the McDonalds in Monroe, where you are almost guaranteed to see a group of people you know, or Merritt Canteen.

3. Once you got your license, your Friday night plans consisted of picking up friends, driving up and down Main Street, and, somehow, always finding yourself at the THS parking lot seeing who's car is there because there is nothing better to do.

4. In the Fall, you couldn't wait for Friday so that after school you and half of your grade could walk to Plasko's Farm for ice cream and apple cider donuts... and hope you could get them before the owners would yell at you to leave. (This one only applies to Hillcrest Middle School kids, AKA the inferior middle school in town).

5. You couldn't wait to be a senior so you could officially lead the BLACK HOLE at football games... if you were even willing to go in the cold.

6. You looked forward to the annual Senior Scav, the last week of summer before your senior year where a list of tasks is passed down by the recently graduated class... the official kickoff to senior year.

7. You pass by Country Club Rd. and get flashbacks from the worst Cross Country practices ever. Driving up Daniels Farm Rd. in the Fall and Spring, you are conditioned to yell "hi" out the window to your friends at practice.

8. You knew someone who worked at Gene's gas station... and found yourself spending more time there on the weekends than you would like to admit.

9. You are convinced Melon-heads are real after frequenting Velvet St. to see the abandoned insane asylum with your friends, IF you didn't want to drive all the way up to Fairfield Hills in Newtown.

10. You have had/have been to at least one middle school birthday party at the Trumbull Marriott.

11. You know that the 25mph speed limit on Whitney Ave. is way too slow... and can't help but hit a little air going down the huge hill at the top.

12. The guy at Towne likely knows your name.

13. You never find yourself turning right out of THS... that side of town is irrelevant for those who do not live there.

14. You know to avoid the Merrit Parkway from 4:00-7:00pm at all costs.

15. You know more than you would like to about people you aren't even friends with... in a town so small, things get around very quick.

16. Going shopping really means going to Target, or any store in the mall, for the millionth time that week.

17. The marching band was the best in the state and you would see them practicing, literally, every time you drove by THS.

19. Depending on the side of town you lived, you spent a lot of time at Five Pennies Park or Indian Ledge Park.

20. You would say you couldn't wait to leave, but when you got to college, you find yourself excited to come back to your hometown so you can reminisce on old traditions and make new memories.

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