Review: Beauty and the Beast (2017)

“My dear Belle, you’re so ahead of your time. This is a small village, and it’s small-minded, as well. But small also means safe.”
– Maurice

SYNOPSIS: An adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. – via IMDB

So I went to see this with Natasha when I did my fly by visit this past weekend. She has been waiting for this movie for the longest time, so I figured I may as well go with her, otherwise I will never get to it, despite it touting both Luke Evans and Dan Stevens in the cast (I am speaking from a totally scientific point of view here). Anyway, we tripped out for this in 3D (which I probably could have done without), and I had more fun than expected. I have not seen this since I was a child, so it definitely brought on a sense of nostalgia. There were some changes and additions, but it wasn’t bad.

First and foremost, I think that Luke Evans is the perfect pick to play Gaston. Seriously, he has immense amounts of fun with the role, and you can see it. My favourite part of the movie? Gaston’s song and dance in the pub. Oh my gosh, I laughed, it was so ridiculous and fantastic. He also perfectly captured how a person can be so hot and then open their mouth and ultimately that nasty ass ego and all will ruin the outside, too. Dan Stevens is a pretty damn good Beast, though it is such a pity you don’t get to see all his purdy throughout the film. However, he worked well and delivered quite a good Beast, and I appreciated that. Ian McKellan and Ewan McGregor had a blast as Cogsworth and Lumière , and I enjoyed them. I think, for the most part, the cast was very good. Except maybe Emma Watson. I really don’t like the girl and I don’t think she can act, so she grated on me a bit, but less than expected.

I had quite the issue with the rendition of Beauty and the Best Tale as Old as Time. Seriously – the song is iconic, everybody knows it, and yet it is such a cold, lacklustre, horrendous rendition in the movie. So bad I actually cringed. Sorry Emma Thompson, but that sucked completely. Meh. Also, some of the animation was substandard – so much of it was pretty good, meaning the few times (Mrs Potts and her son Chip especially) when you see the bits that weren’t so great, it is glaringly bad.

I understand that there was some controversy surrounding a gay character, which I just don’t get. I didn’t find it jarring in the very least. In fact, said character provided quite a bit of entertainment. Oh yes, while we are at it, let’s not forget to mention how this movie went out of its way in terms of inclusion – race, gender, sexuality, everything was pretty much covered here. At times came across as a bit forced. I don’t actually have too much else to say. There are issues, but it is also quite fun, so I think it might just be time to wrap up.

Beauty and the Beast is cheesy, amusing, nostalgic, and a touch messy at times, but it is carried by pretty good performances and is rather fun. Not something I can see myself watching again in a hurry, but I am pleased to say that it went better than expected, and is probably the best live action Disney rendition of an old classic I have yet seen (yeah, because I totally watch so many of them).

Review: The Girl On The Train (2016)

“My husband used to tell me I have an overactive imagination. I can’t help it. I mean, haven’t you ever been on a train and wondered about the lives of the people who live near the tracks? The lives you’ve never lived.”
– Rachel Watson

SYNOPSIS: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life. – via IMDB

As some of you may recall, I recently read the book and I was totally not a fan. At all. I decided to watch the movie just because I wanted to see if it could convey better to screen, because surely there would be a better way to tell the story than the way it was presented in that absolutely godawful book. Well… right and wrong.

The way the movie was presented and the story told was better than the book. It wasn’t the same frustrating back and forth jumping in time, leaving you lost and confused. You get the story told from the perspective and times of three different women, but it is so much easier to follow. So much of the excess crap and internal monologues of the book are cut away here, so things definitely flow better. That being said, that is probably the only good stuff to note from this disappointing outing.

I couldn’t stand any of the characters. Again. No shocker, I expected this, but still. I really didn’t want to compare this to Gone Girl, especially with all the comparisons that exist, but now I can see it. While reading the book, I didn’t necessarily see the parallels too much (make no mistake, they are there at times), but this movie just felt like a cheap, sad knockoff. Tate Taylor definitely tried to pull a David Fincher with a washed out palette, a dark story, and a solid cast. Instead of any of that working, it falls apart here, and the cast just fails to make the boring material any more acceptable. Their performances just feel hollow. The story is not smart and unpredictable and twisty – its just bland and average.

I also found that the movie pushed to put a lot of sex in this, but it comes across as really unsexy, not the dark, forbidden, screwed up sex it tries to be. It fails miserably there. Also, how do you manage that with Luke Evans on screen? Unacceptable. I was not engaged once throughout the course of this movie, and I was frustrated watching it because I was bored beyond belief. I thought we were nearing the end (and how sad is that, considering I have actually read the book) and say that we were only a hour and five minutes in. What the heck?

The Girl On The Train features deplorable characters, a dull story, absolutely zero tension and atmosphere, and will leave you feeling disappointed and robbed of your precious time. It’s an absolute snooze fest, one I would highly recommend you skip and stay away from.

Rapid Review: Dracula Untold (2014)

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“Men don’t fear swords. They fear monsters.”
– Vlad Tepes

SYNOPSIS: At the turn of the century, the young lord Vlad and his family live a peaceful life ruling over their small kingdom, but when a Turk warlord demands from Vlad a thousand boys and his son to create an army. Vlad seeks a terrible power that will allow him to protect his kingdom and family from the Turks at a terrible cost. – via IMDB

My cape fetish went into overdrive…

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dracula untold luke evans for science

CGI up the wazoo and all, it worked for this.

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I was such a fan of the flight style and look. So fresh and fancy!

dracula untold bat transformation

GRADE 7To be very honest, I don’t know why this movie was panned so much. Undeniably, the last fifteen minutes were a bit of a wreck, but everything before that was a boat-load of fun, and the way the movie itself wrapped up right by the end was also good. The movie also flaunts some impressive effects. I was totally taken in by the way Vlad was swooping around with bats pulling him forth. Very cool. I thought the costume design was great, too. Luke Evans waltzed around looking like a total badass and he was very well cast. I had a few serious cape fetish moments throughout here, because you all know how I am about them… That and dear goodness, even when he takes off his cape and his armour and his shirt he’s just… yummy. But I swear, that is not why I was watching. In actual fact, I didn’t even know I would get to see Evans strut his stuff. I really enjoyed his portrayal of Vlad. He was strong, he was fair, noble and loyal, he was dangerous, he was so in love with his wife, such a charmer and a tortured individual (bestie, maybe that’s what sold me). I think Dominic Cooper was a bit of a miss here, which breaks my heart seeing as I really enjoy him. He looked like he had a fight with a can of spray tan, and the spray tan won. Plus he had some weird accent going there. He was not scary, and did not look like he could invoke fear or lead armies. Not like Evans. Anyway, I had a lot of fun with this. It is certainly not a movie you can take too seriously, and there are plot holes and contrivances, but if you simply take this as a movie of Vlad desperately trying to save his people, then you will not be disappointed. Don’t concentrate on the mythology you know of Dracula. This is just a pretty cool interpretation about the man who he was before the changes. I enjoyed the way that everything looked, it was really awesome and it was shot very nicely. I liked how it was done, even with all the CGI (which I am usually not a fan of in abundance) and even with the few gimmicky specially-for-3D scenes that were in there, they still managed to look alright despite not seeing this in 3D. I really wish I had caught this in cinema. I was glad to see this return more to real vampires types, not these sparkly things we have been subjected to the last few years. I was totally a goner when there were these pretty big battles and castle sieges. I, personally, would have liked them to go on longer and feature more blood, guts, and gore because few things thrill me like a damn fine castle siege, but for what they were, yessssss. My other half saw Vlad march back into Castle Dracula, and the battle started, and his reaction? “Yes, you’re officially on board.” I know that there have been complaints, and they are valid ones at the very least because there is a lot wrong with it, but overall Dracula Untold is a lot of cheesy amusement, and definitely something I will check out again!