** One of the things that fascinated me about this film was the concept of hiding in plain sight, as that is precisely what the American wizarding community does to keep up with the Stature of Secrecy, going so far as to blend in with their No-Maj counterparts. They wear modern 1920s clothing instead of traditional wizarding robes, when we first meet Tina she is eating a standard New York hot dog among the No-Maj crowd, the Goldstein sisters appear to be living in a No-Maj rented apartment building, MACUSA itself is hidden within the Woolsworth Building, most wizards tend to be unperturbed by modern technology, and hell, a goblin knew what a Macy's store was. It's such an interesting contrast to what we've known from the Harry Potter series.
** The amount of wandless magic and nonverbal spells used, which coincides with the "hiding in plain sight" concept. On one hand this story is about adults who are already trained and highly skilled rather than students learning to use such magic for the first time, even though we do hear the occasional recognizable spell a few times throughout. At the same time, however, when you take into account the Stature of Secrecy especially in America, it makes sense that they would want to use their magic as silent as possible as so not draw any unwanted attention from No-Majes who may threaten to expose them, such as the Second Salemers.
** I was absolutely tickled during the part when Queenie was trying to get passed the highly magically secured lock of Graves' office, and all it took was for Jacob to just kick the door open. Like, hasn't that been an inside joke among fandom for years? That wizards tend to rely heavily on magic that they cannot see the simplest of non-magic related solutions to do something?
** A spell of using a wand to create a magical forcefield umbrella. I mean, that's kinda brilliant.
** In the beginning of the film with the wizarding newspapers, one of them says that wizards are baffled and curious about No-Maj sports, either one reporting about baseball or soccer, which I think is adorable. I can imagine them enjoying their Quidditch while paying somewhat attention to the No-Maj sports, wondering about how they play, etc.
** MACUSA has a black woman as their President. Just hearing the phrase "Madame President" not only made me flashback to Battlestar Galactica, but also it makes me hopeful for hearing that in our own reality in the very near future.
** However, MACUSA isn't without their faults, and goodness there are plenty. One of the biggest ones is the fact that Newt and Tina didn't even get a fair trial for the things they were falsely accused of which seemed absolutely unfair and unjust, since they were just sentenced to death rather immediately, not to mention that the method of an "honorable death" is basically an acidic Pensieve? Jesus fucking Christ. Granted it was Grindelwald pulling the strings and he obviously wanted to control the situation and get those two out of his way; although considering the incredibly strict laws that MACUSA operates on regarding the Stature of Secrecy, what had happened earlier with the Obscurus was something considered very dangerous and uncontrollable, this was a demonstration of how seriously they take things that threaten such exposure. Unfortunately, due to the very intentional and blatant method of the "shoot first, ask questions later" tactic of controlling the situation when confronting Credence/Obscurus, it shows that MACUSA, like all governments, is incredibly flawed and needs better procedures during such urgent matters. Also, as awesome as President Seraphina Picquery was, the fact that she didn't really listen to Tina the first time she tried to bring Newt in and then later accused her of not telling her about him was rather unfair. Tina may have made a mistake while out in the field which caused her demotion, but she isn't someone who would ever waste someone's time. Part of me is kind of disappointed we didn't really get to see what kind of professional relationship Tina had with Picquery before her demotion, considering she was the boss of her boss and was probably someone she looked up to and highly respected.
** No but seriously, I want to know and see more of MACUSA. We only got like a glimpse inside the place, and it is reportedly huge. I mentioned this in my review, but I would love to see everything that MACUSA has to offer, from the different departments to the offices. I want to see the other Aurors, I want to know their stories. Since Tina was/is an Auror, she must've been friends or known some of them through the investigative team.
** I may have issues with the way JKR handles American history and Native American culture, but just hearing how Ilvermorny is supposed to be pronounced and the whole "our magical school is better than yours" brief banter was interesting. Apparently there was a scene cut from the film where Queenie sings a bit from the Ilvermorny school song, which references the American witches and wizards uniting and standing strong against the Puritans.
** I'm going to continue to gush because he deserves it, but honestly Colin Farrell does such a spectacular job at balancing out the duality of his performance of portraying a character who is impersonating another character, so much that when you watch the film again you notice the little mannerisms and ticks that clue you into that. It's subtle, but powerful. While his scenes with Credence are the most obvious same with the end of the film where everything is spiraling out of control, it's the moments within MACUSA where you see a little Grindelwald coming through. In the beginning with the investigative team talking about the attacks around New York City, he has a small eye twitch when President Picquery is talking about No-Majes. During the massive emergency meeting midway through the film, when Picquery is addressing someone about allowing Grindelwald escape, we see him give a quick, small smirk in reaction. When interrogating Newt, aside from his comment about Dumbledore along with seeing the Deathly Hallows pendant in his pocket, he responded to the explanation of the Obscurus being in a dormant state without a host as "useless" rather of "harmless", even Tina gave him a strange look at such a word choice. Just, everything Colin did with his performance, the acting choices, was so utterly brilliant. He deserves all the praise and needs to return to this franchise. ♥ ♥ ♥
As a sidenote, I'm incredibly disappointed that there isn't enough Percival Graves merchandise available. While there is a Pop Figure, his wand, and his tie that you can buy (all which I have), that's pretty much it. There isn't even anything among the amazing Hot Topic exclusives of costume-inspired clothing. Basically, I just really want his fabulous jacket/overcoat, that's all.