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There have been other stage plays, musicals and films that recall the
old fairytale of Beauty and the Beast and the message they all hold -
that beauty is in the eyes of the beholder - is a solid one. BEASTLY,
adapted from a 2007 novel by Alex Flinn, is 'a retelling of the
fairytale Beauty and the Beast set in modern-day New York City from the
view of the beast. Flinn researched many versions of the Beauty and the
Beast story to write her book. Many of these are playfully alluded to
in portions of the book, particularly the chat room transcripts in
which the character of Kyle talks to other teens who have been
transformed into creatures.' Not having read the book may be an
advantage or disadvantage depending of how well Miss Flinn placed words
in the mouths of her characters. But writer/director Daniel Barnz
adapted the story and the screenplay is an embarrassment.
Kyle (Alex Pettyfer from 'I am Number Four') is a cocky, conceited handsome rich son of a popular television personality who runs for high school office on the platform that looks and social standing and popularity and money are the only important values on which to elect a person to a position: he is a cad who steps on anyone to climb the ladder of accelerated ego. He snubs his opponent Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) and marches to victory. At a party Kyle encounters Kendra (Mary-Kate Olson) a ridiculous appearing strange girl who is a witch and puts a curse on Kyle: he will become ugly for a year and only be able to regain his handsome raison d'etre for living if he can find a girl to say she loves him before his year is up. Kyle faces his equally obnoxious superficial father (Peter Krause) who, in horror, finds an apartment for his now grotesquely ugly son and leaves his housekeeper Lola (Lisa Gay Hamilton) and home tutor, blind Will (Neil Patrick Harris), to care for him. Kyle attempts to hide himself from the world but with Lola's and Will's advice he returns to the streets at night where he observes a now beautiful Lindy attempting to protect her drug addict father (Roc La Fortune). He follows her, watching her from afar until they finally meet and Kyle allows Lindy to see his ugly beast face expecting Lindy to be repulsed (she is not) and thus begins Kyle's wooing of Lindy to extremes that lead to what we all knew would be the ending of the story.
Alex Pettyfer is a British actor who shows promise and has the looks to make him a teen idol (even with his silly 'beast' paste on makeup): he deserves better. Everyone in the cast seems uncomfortable with the oh-so-pop dialogue and the aspects of the film that could have left a worthy message are buried in the mess of the production. Back to the drawing board...
It's Beauty and the Beast, folks... come on. Did you expect Murder on
the Orient Express or something? There's zero mystery, there's zero
intrigue and let's face it... zero real character development. A
teenager looking at a song on their iPod passes for that 'AHA!' moment
That aside.... this wasn't that bad a film. It just wasn't that good, either. The only thing that is updated in this 'tale' is how the 'Beast' looks and how he gets his prey to the secluded castle (thank you crack-addicted dad).
I expected to completely hate this movie. I mean... deep within my gut, totally.... wretched, ugly, mean-spirited HATE. Turns out... it had some good, bright spots... all of them being in the supportive cast, however. Hamilton as Zola, the house maid/nurse and Harris as Will, the blind tutor. Krause did a fine job as well for the 10 minutes of screen time he had.... I only wish he had more. Olsen, as well, did a fine job as the witch who cast the evil spell upon the conceited one.
This movie is a classic 'what you see is what you get' type of movie. You know the story -- hell, I'm sure you've heard it since you were 5-years-old. There are no new elements or new twists at all. You can see the ending ten miles away before you even press the PLAY button. The movie is neither here nor there... it's just a re-telling for this generation. However, there is a cute scene that plays out just directly before the end credits.... More reviews at www.soveryterry.com Final Grade: C-
Based upon the novel by Alex Flinn, Daniel Barnz directs and writes the
screenplay for what is firmly a tale for the teenage demographic.
Pettyfer plays Kyle, the son of a wealthy news anchor named Rob
Kingston (Peter Krause). He's always been obsessed with looks and
himself like his father taught him 'beautiful people have it the best'.
After playing a prank on a fellow classmate (Mary-Kate Olson) and
humiliating her, for being unattractive, he's cursed by the student
into being 'as ugly as he is on the inside on the outside' until he can
find someone to love him and state it.
Now a 'scarred monster' he drops out of school and is home schooled by a blind private tooter (Neil Patrick Haris) his dad hires for him. He's shut away from society at a private condo where his dad initially agrees to stay with him until he eventually neglects him there permanently.
So now before the curse gets permanently set in 12 months time, Kyle has to seek out true love in order to be rid of it, and to get the person to say those 3 sacred words. With absolutely no social graces or skills to talk about since everything about the teenager is money and manipulation through his appearance, he finds it terribly hard to try and connect with others, obliterating his past smug life, until he hatches a plan to try and seduce Lindy, played by Vanessa Hudgens, to make that goody two shoes fall in love with him, or at least that's how director Daniel Barnz made it seem like. You know you'd come to expect true love that will eventually take over, but somehow that rang quite hokey and convenient, since Alex Pettyfer made it seem like he's really the master manipulator, scheming and planning for sparks to fly and chemistry to be exploited in order to work toward Kyle's selfish objectives.
So the redemption didn't actually feel sincere, and that's why this film failed in its wanting to tell a moral story that all that matters is the beauty in one's heart and intention. After all, the Beast here did quite the unthinkable, in blackmailing Lindy's dad to send Lindy into his abode in order to stay safe since she's wanted by some thug, and of course to fall into his plan of slowly romancing the lass in order to be rid of his hex.
I don't see Kyle getting much upset turning from such flawless face (as he thought) to a seriously scar-faced; and Lindy not being surprised when she saw Kyle's face as Hunter, a total stranger this just doesn't quite make sense. The acting plays an important role in terms of touching audience's emotions and connection to the movie, but the casts in Beastly fail in such area. The leading casts maybe good with simple teen love story, but the storyline in Beastly seems to be a heavy topic for them to handle, so now it just appears to be a shallow love movie with no sentiments triggered. The two characters that held on its own were of Neil Patrick Harris who did what he does best. Putting his Barney Stinson persona on the movie. whose comic timing is impeccable. And Mary Kate-Olsen who nailed her character which includes a crazy wardrobe. She was creepy & totally sold out the witch role.
The script didn't give their characters any depth which is ironic for a movie which tries to convey that the style is not nearly as important as substance. Even disregarding the clichés and the poor line delivery, the story itself veered too much from the original without being inventive or interesting enough to make it worthwhile. The story was so under- developed, the director missed some good opportunities for humour, excitement, drama, romance. It really lacked anything emotionally. The whole movie seemed too rushed, particularly at the end, and filled with filler that was either corny or didn't need to be there.
The only part that was interesting was the version of the "beast" in terms of appearance, which was perhaps a little too interesting to be "ugly" but worked fine for the film.
I rate it 4.5 out of 10.
BEASTLY TRASH IT ( C ) Beastly has totally butchered the concept of "The Beauty and the Beast". I've not read the novel" beastly" but what I have heard about it is that it's the modern retelling of the epic tale where The Beauty change the Beast's heart with her love & kindness. Though, in this movie the Beauty does nothing like it, first of all she is not a really a Beauty. You guys would agree that Vanessa Hudgens may be young & cute but not drop dead gorgeous as Beauty was supposed to be. The other thing is that the Beast was supposed to be angry and frustrated once he has become a Beast but in this movie Beast is more of a lame stalker, emo and eventually weird person. Beastly is pretty boring and mediocre. It doesn't show anywhere, where they actually spend the 17 million dollars on it? Seriously? It could have been easily a direct-to-DVD release. Now let's talk about the performances. Vanessa Hudgens was horrible; she was all cute and young but so artificial that it was hard for me to think that someone can actually fall in love with her. She is not pretty as I said above, then how can she be the beauty in the movie? Weird, weird casting. Alex Pettyfer on the other hand did pretty decent job as an actor. Though I felt at times he is completely flat like he is doing an action role. Even for action roles these days you've to show more than action skills. Alex is young, gorgeous and manly, he knows that about himself but he has to break the ice to work in Hollywood. In both "I'm Number Four & "Beastly" he was great at times and at time completely out of character & flat. He needs to study his role and then defiantly he can be Next Big thing to watch out with talent. Dakota Johnson and Erik Knudsen were okay but wasted. Last but not the least somehow I liked the one of the Olsen sister (Mary-Kate Olsen) as witch. She was creepy & totally sold out the witch role. And Neil Patrick Harris was also there, who has to constantly remind us that he is blind because obviously he didn't looked blind neither I saw him ever tutoring Alex. Another weird thing! Overall, with all its mediocrity, cheesy dialogues, crappy performances, it's a total waste. Trash It!
I have to say, even though I knew this movie would not take my breath
away I decided I wouldn't judge it as harshly as I would any other
movie because I absolutely loved Beauty and the Beast as a child and I
thought I could shove aside any negativity towards a retelling of my
favorite story. However, somehow, Beastly still managed to disappoint
There are too many things wrong with this movie, the biggest issues being the acting and the script. The male lead was unconvincing, and the female lead never had me rooting for her. The script didn't give their characters any depth which is ironic for a movie which tries to convey that the style is not nearly as important as substance. Even disregarding the clichés and the poor line delivery, the story itself veered too much from the original without being inventive or interesting enough to make it worthwhile. The two hours were wasted, and the relationship between the two leads was monotonous and shallow, again ironic for the story it is meant to tell.
At the start, I kept thinking they were somehow going to throw in interesting twists, like maybe a botched surgery as a result of a re- emergence of the brain cancer he said he had causing his "ugliness" or making use of symbolism to hint at things like whichever Olsen twin it was being a witch or even his vanity, but it was all in-your-face and not at all thought-provoking, and the script barely gave the characters enough time to develop feelings for each other, it was all a very forced relationship.
The only part that I found interesting was their version of the "beast" in terms of appearance, which was perhaps a little too interesting to be "ugly" but worked fine for the film. Everything else seemed superficial, dull, poorly thought-out and badly written.
To say that the Disney animation is funnier, better written, more interesting, and most of all, more thought-provoking is no understatement. And that was supposed to be a kid's movie. I am hoping someone will be more clever with the Beauty and the Beast story and make a better film version one day, but until then, avoid this movie and go watch the classic Disney animation again.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This movie had so much potential, it actually looked good from the trailer, but to watch it as a complete piece of work, it was pretty bad. The acting, apart from Hudgens, was disappointing. The story was so under-developed, I think the director missed some good opportunities for humour, excitement, drama, romance. It really lacked anything emotionally. I was kind of waiting for the film to end. The only good points apart from the performance of Hudgens, was the soundtrack was o-k-a-y. And there was a nice shot of New York but that was it. It was such unrealistic dialogue and storyline and it was simply just unbelievable. If you're going to make an unbelievable fairy-tale type film then go all out and make a fantasy movie. But this was trying to be a romantic drama in completely realistic modern settings, but with an absolutely unrealistic plot line. A witch cast a spell? Really? I see that it was just a movie and it shouldn't be taken so seriously but the movie lacked any sort of humour and I was really disappointed. The main character made so little effort to actually turn himself into good, all he did was sort-of seduce a vulnerable female by getting her to live in his loft (WTF) and barrage her until she gave in and told him she loved him, I didn't really see the point in the movie at all. I would never watch the film again, I only wanted to see it for Pettyfer but apart from his buff body he was disappointing to the max. Also the director and the production team should be ashamed of themselves for letting this movie get made so poorly, to waste my time and everybody else's who had to sit through the film. 2.5/10
I have not read the book Beastly is based upon, but I have heard from a
lot of people who disliked the film that it is much better, maybe at
some point in the near future I'll check it out. Beastly on its own
terms did have potential to be good, Neil Patrick Harris and the fact
it is based on a story I have adored since forever being two prime
But Beastly doesn't deliver. A major problem was that I just couldn't get into the story. It seemed too rushed particularly at the end, and filled with filler that was either corny or didn't need to be there. I also couldn't empathise with any of the characters, the title character especially is a very unlikeable brat and his moaning and whining gets both annoying and unintentionally hilarious after a while.
The dialogue is roundly poor, the romantic parts are sappy and forced and some of it was funny in an unintentional way. To be honest it was like hearing Twilight all over again except in a modern fairy tale twist. The direction for me was mediocre at best, while the ending if I were to be honest left me unmoved and the music was disappointingly forgettable.
I did not think much of the two leads at all. Vanessa Hudgens was pretty but her acting was flat. Even worse was Alex Pettyfer, who is awful. I personally didn't find his make up all that grotesque, his transformation was okay at first but its impact diminished quickly, his character is very unlikeable and his whiny delivery really grates. It also doesn't help that these two have no chemistry together whatsoever, another major reason why both the romantic elements and the film fell flat.
Despite all this, there are two or three saving graces, first and foremost that the cinematography and scenery was quite good. And there are two good performances for the two bad lead ones and the indifferent ones from everyone else. One is Neil Patrick Harris, whose comic timing is impeccable. The other is a surprisingly credible Mary Kate Olsen in a completely different role than usual.
In conclusion, it may have good cinematography and two good performances, but the two leads, story presentation, script, lack of sympathy for the characters and pace spoil it significantly. 3/10 Bethany Cox
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I decided to watch this movie because it caught my attention...a modern fairytale sounded a nice idea so i gave it a try. After 10 minutes, i felt i would die from boredom. Bad acting-Pettyfer is supposed to be arrogant and mean to others because he's so full of himself. I get it. BUT! This changes after he meets Lindy. He falls in love. He becomes a whole different person. At least in the book (i haven't read it but that's what i've heard)In the movie he is from the beginning to the end an obnoxious, self-absorbed creep who looks forward to breaking the spell so he can have his precious looks back. No change whatsoever. Hudgens was boring and flat. I wasn't interested in her character not even for a second. All that sweet and innocent attitude she had seemed fake to me and unconvincing. It was like she was trying too hard. Mary Kate Olsen was good, i liked her style and i wished she had more scenes in the movie. Kyle's tutor was the most funny character, i enjoyed him and he was a relief in this dull and slow movie. Overall, i think it was a waste of time. Far too predictable and boring.
i read the book afew weeks ago and when i saw the trailer for this film i was so excited,unfortunately after watching the film i was really disappointed.for some strange reason the director has changed the names of some of the characters and the whole film feels very rushed there was no chemistry between the two main characters although they are both fantastic actors normally.the ending was terrible and not at all what i expected the book is far better and this film doesn't not live up to it.The trailer for this film makes it look far far better then it really is, if your a beauty and the beast fan then give this film a go it does have some good qualities like looking at Alex the male leading actor is never a bad thing lol.
OK, I'll admit, I loved this film BUT I haven't read the book (Although
I fully intend to). This is an easy film to watch but bear in mind I'm
a teen-aged girl who's a sucker for fairy tales and Beauty and the
Beast is one of my favourites. This isn't a film to take your boyfriend
to or to see with your dad, I'd recommend it as cheesy "girls night
out" film that doesn't require much thinking. The acting isn't as good
as it could be (mainly Vanessa Hudgens) but overall it's convincing
enough. I was surprised at Mary-Kate Olsen's performance, she was much
better than anticipated and fitted the part well. Neil Patrick Harris
was fantastic as the blind tutor and nailed those witty moments.
I give this film 6/10 because the acting wasn't brilliant (it was admittedly laughable at some points) but the the fact that the film is easy to watch made it enjoyable. My review may have been different if I'd read the book first and perhaps my perception of the film will change when I do read it, however, if you haven't read the book and you love girly cheesy films then this is the one for you!
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