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The Emory Wheel

Arts Entertainment Wednesday, November 30, 2016 | A&E Editor: Brian Savino (



‘Bonito Generation’ is Ingeniously Quirky By Devin Bog Contributing Writer

Courtesy of Warner Bros. Pictures

Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) gazes wondrously at New York City.

‘Fantastic Beasts’ Ignites Inner Child By Brian Savino A&E Editor Grade: A-

The Harry Potter universe is a staple of many of our childhoods, integrating fantasy and wonder into our everyday lives. However, we have been restricted to the world of wizardry in 1990s United Kingdom — until now. Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them expands our understanding of J.K. Rowling’s creation, combining well-thought-out creatures and a new setting to thrill and amaze us. Directed by David Yates, Fantastic Beasts follows Newt Scamander (Eddie Redmayne) in 1920s New York, where he continues his observation of magical creatures after studying

in Hungary. When Scamander chases one of his creatures that escapes from the briefcase in which he stores them, he attracts the attention of Porpentina Goldstein (Katherine Waterston), a witch and demoted member of the Magical Congress of the United States of America (MCUSA), and Jacob Kowalski (Dan Fogler), a typical New York No-Maj (the American term for “Muggle”). After accidentally swapping briefcases with Kowalski, several of Scamander’s beasts are released into New York City. While searching for Scamander’s missing creatures, the unlikely trio must deal with MCUSA President Seraphina Picquery (Carmen Ejogo) and Percival Graves (Colin Farrell), one of MCUSA’s highest ranking members, who both seek to persecute the three protagonists


‘Gilmore Girls’ Leaves You Wanting Still More By Annie Cohen Staff Writer Grade: B-

Grab your coffee and some PopTarts because after nine long years, we can return to Stars Hollow and reunite with our favorite motherdaughter duo, Lorelai and Rory Gilmore (Lauren Graham and Alexis Bledel). That’s right, Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life reprises every beloved role of the captivating show in a new, wit- and quip-filled fourepisode revival. Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life follows the original characters’ lives 10 years after season seven of Gilmore Girls. A lot has changed, and this look into Stars Hollow brings with it joy, junk food and a surprising amount of sadness. Some of the sorrow is understandable. The passing of cherished character Richard Gilmore parallels the real-life passing of actor Edward Herrmann in 2014. Richard’s death, a point of worry for some fans, is dealt with respectfully and perfectly. Richard is a real presence in all four episodes, from the comically large portrait that Emily (Kelly Bishop)

has made for the house to Rory using Richard’s old desk, a symbol of his power and prosperity that Rory channels in her time of need. The death of such an important character brings with it enough joyful memories and sadness to honor his absence. The first noticeable difference in the show is the cinematography. The camera work is vaguely Netflix-esque and fancier than that of Stars Hollow originally, but the change is welcome, as it is just a higher-definition view of our beloved town and actors. The scene of the Life and Death brigade’s reunion uses a unique and beautiful style of camerawork before unused in the series that adds to its artistry and appeal. The darker tones, fog, sweeping shots, and homage to the Beatles made the scene stand out from the others as artistically memorable. Several new faces come into play as well. Sutton Foster, who starred in writer and creator Amy ShermanPalladino’s other show Bunheads, was a highly anticipated cameo. Several of our other Bunheads friends show up sprinkled throughout the episodes and offer fun Easter eggs for Sherman-Palladino fans, such as

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for illegally allowing creatures and a mysterious dark force, an Obscurus, to escape. Fantastic Beasts balances the Harry Potter universe that we know quite well with its setting, before unseen in the wizarding universe. The film feels wholly industrial New York — the MCUSA headquarters presents winding clocks and technological impossibilities, such as rows of typewriters writing letters on their own, and the outfits, pink gowns and navy peacoats, feel like attire straight out of The Great Gatsby. However, none of this feels out of place, and the changes in fact enhance our perceptions of the Harry Potter universe and satisfy our curiosities about what goes on out-

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Kero Kero Bonito Bonito Generation

Bubblegum pop, as it used to be, is largely dead. For years, massively hybridized electronic dance music group has been producing some (EDM) songs meant for instant deliv- incredibly sweet, fun and goofy pop ery to the club have dominated the air- for the past two years. They’ve pulled ways. The sugary synths and smooth their inspiration from diverse sources bass lines that were once ubiquitous such as Japanese city pop, hip-hop have disappeared, and the times when and ‘90s video game music to create a they flowed through our transistors unique style and image for their band, which sometimes feels as if it has been feel distant. Certainly, there have been cham- placed on a high-budget, slightly irrevpions of that lost sound, most nota- erent children’s show. But still, sweetness is not the same bly artists like Carly Rae Jepsen, who on Emotion tapped into a forgotten thing as superficiality, and fun is not innocence while wholly embracing the the same as thoughtlessness — keep that in mind when listen1980s’ influence ing to Bonito Generation. to produce one of Kero Kero Bonito the best albums of Kero Kero Bonito never seems to care 2015. But one has set out to produce about what others think. to be wary not to something truly The opening track on the throw about carealbum, “Waking Up,” is lessly the revivalist unique within the brimming with swagger, label when talking contours of pop, opening with percussive about a group like and their efforts horns that give way to Kero Kero Bonito, bouncing bass synths who is influenced have paid off. over which Perry raps by its pop predeceswith a cool and collected sors, but their focus isn’t about writing a love letter to the flow, alternating between English and Japanese at whim. past. The hip-hop groove of the song, Bonito Generation is Englandbased Kero Kero Bonito’s second however, smoothly breaks down after full-length album. Comprised of Perry questions if she’s dreaming, electronic producers (and childhood cueing a synth-wash crescendo which friends) Gus Lobban, Jamie Bulled resolves into a quiet reprisal of the and the half-Japanese singer and frontwoman Sarah Midori Perry, this See Album, Page 7


Courtesy of Broad Green Pictures

Thurman Merman, played by Brett Kelly (R ight) sleeps on the shoulder of Willie Soke, played by Billy Bob Thornton (Left).

‘Bad Santa 2’ Tries Hard to Be Naughty By Vikrant Nallaparaju Film Critic Grade: D

Generic Christmas movies are a dime a dozen, so one doesn’t have to look far to add something new to their annual rotation of Home Alone and National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation. One would hope that a stu-

dio would take a risk in such a market, like last year’s yuletide-themed horror flick, Krampus. Unfortunately, it looks like we’ve been deemed naughty this year and given coal in the form of Bad Santa 2, a completely unnecessary sequel trying but failing to recapture the audience’s nostalgia for the original Bad Santa. Taking place 13 years after the original film, former burglar and per-

petual alcoholic Willie Soke (Billy Bob Thornton) is back to working deadend jobs to make ends meet. When his previous partner in crime Marcus (Tony Cox) comes to him with a new score in Chicago, a Christmas charity for orphans, Willie reluctantly joins him. Things get even more complicated when Willie discovers that

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