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When I first heard that Beautiful Creatures (the novel) was going to be
adapted into a movie, I was hesitant to see it, due to the fact that
the trailers were absolutely horrible. I'm just glad that the movie
focused on a lot more than a supernatural romance, because that's only
one of many interesting and complicated plot lines.
Despite the fact that the LA Times and the NY Times gave the flick great reviews, a bunch of lesser-known critics were much harsher on it. After reading some of these reviews, I was shocked to see how biased and silly some of the comments were. It was clear that these were people that walked in to the theater expecting Twilight and were too self-conscious about praising a teen movie to say that it wasn't.
Twilight is all about the romance. Beautiful Creatures has a big Romeo and Juliet thing going on, but at the same time, there's mysteries, prophesies, hypocrisy, Southern politics, Civil War history, religion, death, evil forces, and all sorts of madness making for quite an interesting story (with some very witty and sarcastic dialogue to put a cherry on top).
Other people that read the book were likewise upset, because they thought it strayed too much from the source material. The only MAJOR change made was about 3/4 of the way through the movie, and the end result was still the same as the book. The reason why the writer did this was for the sake of TIME. If he hadn't made that change, the movie would have dragged on for three hours as oppose to rapping itself up nicely at two.
I thought the acting was good as well, and Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert had nice chemistry as Ethan and Lena. Of course, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, and Viola Davis gave great performances, but that comes as no surprise. Emmy Rossum as the wicked siren, Ridley, was fabulous, and Thomas Mann was hilarious as Link.
I especially loved Thompson's twisted character-she played a crazy Republican fundamentalist named Mrs. Lincoln, who gets possessed by Sarafine Duchannes, the most powerful Dark Caster alive. As Sarafine, her performance was definitely "Dark", bridging on psychotic. Not what I was expecting, but I liked it.
However, I thought some of the other actors, like the girls that played the Barbie cheerleaders, were horrible. There is a way to portray phony people and there is a way to pull off a satire while still keeping it believable.
Besides plot and acting, I loved the costumes and set. They were very beautifully done and really captured the gorgeous yet creepy atmosphere of the story. In addition, the effects were cool-nothing to die over, but they served their purpose.
Lastly, I thought the soundtrack was awesome and very different. The mix of classical, blues, country, and alternative music worked great with the film.
Overall, I think the movie is an 8 out of 10. It's not amazing, but it is entertaining, interesting, and something I recommend seeing.
The story has an original premise in that's it has a fairly familiar
ideas (witches and magic - one of the oldest subjects for stories -
strange kid moves into town and changes everything, secrets about the
town are unveiled etc.) but the focus is on how the caster girl's
powers affect her and her feelings of being outcast all her life, and
the story revolves around a teen romance with a twist.
I went to see the film expecting to follow Lena, the caster girl who is struggling with the powers of light and dark inside her, but was (pleasantly) surprised to see the story was generally told from the point of view of her love interest Ethan, the 'normal' boy who falls for the outsider when everyone else shuns her. He's a very likable character, clearly passionate and compassionate, and has a good sense of humour that provides fresh light on the sometimes dark story matter.
It was also a bit creepier than I expected. There is conflict between the light and dark casters, as well as these elements within the characters, fighting for supremacy - danger and fear run through the film, and you will be surprised more than once.
Personally I found this film really entertaining, though I understand many fans are unhappy with the adaptation and I'm considering reading the books myself. I thought it offered everything, humour, action, fear, a sweet romance, a healthy dose of magic - and it's fresh! This is a solid, quality young adult movie.
Okay so here is the deal with this movie. no it doesn't follow the book
exactly, but then again, what movie really does? I read all the books
in this series about 3 years ago and just finished the last in the
series recently. The movie got the main events pretty much right so
that is all that matters. The effects were pretty amazing and I have
nothing to complain about on the acting. But the only thing that
bothers me is that people keep calling this Twilight.
For one, Twilight has poor acting and a stupid story line. I read the books before the movies, and they were only okay. This has a fantastic story line and it is more... realistic i guess. Yes it has magic and what not but he likes her because of her! Not because he "just cant stay away from her". The movie does have a lot of romance but it's more believable that they really care for each other.
It is an insult comparing this amazing book and pretty good movie to Twilight. Yes if you like Twilight you should like this too, just because Twilight was made into a movie first does not mean that this should be compared to it. It is not a Twilight copy. Especially if you read the book, it is for a much more mature mind.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
As a die-hard fan of the Beautiful Creatures series, this movie was completely and totally horrible, and almost painful to watch. The movie was basically a Twilight-ified version of the books I loved. From the complete absence of key characters (Marian, the Sisters, Reece, Mr. Wate) to the ridiculous additions to the plot line (Ethan forgetting Lena) and the major events and character aspects left out (Ridleys lollipop, Larkin being Light, Macon being a Caster, Link killing Ethan, and don't get me started about Genevieve killing Ethan!), this movie was horrible. I understand that the director and the screenwriter were allowed to take some liberties with the script, and some parts of the book were just impossible to adapt into a movie, but this 'interpretation' was awful. I would not recommend this movie to anyone, even someone I deeply disliked. I was close to getting up and leaving the theater.
Unlike the other reviews I actually liked this movie. I didn't go into
the cinema thinking I would like it either. The storyline is good,
quite in depth for a fantasy 12A rated movie. The special effects are
great, especially towards to end. The cast are decent, some giving of
great performances, Alice Englert is an example.
Yes the story is 'corny' at times and it does kind of remind me of a Twilight movie, but it worked and in a way mixed the fantasy genre with a Rom Com style. I've heard the book has lots more characters and a better ending, and I honestly don't know how they will turn this into a sequel (if they do) but for me it was good.
Summary: If you like Twilight (even just slightly), Rom Coms and fantasy movies then you will most likely like this movie. I found it overall decent and would watch it again if it was be shown on TV a later time in the year.
Im 33 years old and probably not in the main-group for this movie
(teengirls maybe). But me and my friend got a free ticket and went for
this movie we would normally not had seen.
But i was charmed. The young actors played well, was cute and had chemistry together. We smiled many times, and the effects was good. The story was OK, and i have never read the story this movie is build on.
This is a good movie i think, and probably they will make more movies so we see how the story will go. I found it fun with the southern small town fun of religious narrowness. And the fight between good and evil is a fight in many of the fantasy-movies, and that was a red line in this movie and worked good.
Fun also to see Emma Thompson, she did a awesome actor-work.
The word on the street is that this is the expected successor after the
conclusion of the Twilight film franchise, having some parallels in its
tale that deals with the supernatural, and love between a being of
higher power and that of an ordinary human except for the reversal of
genders, and set in a schooling environment of an idyllic small town
where people know just about everyone else. It's also based on a
successful series of novels by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl, so it's
everyone's bet just how this first installment would perform that would
determine its future as a potential film franchise, where many other
potentials have fallen after its initial start - The Dark is Rising,
The Golden Compass, and I am Number Four, to name but a few in this
Beautiful Creatures starts off rather beautifully, with awesome visuals that would set to engage and create that visual feast for the eyes, crafting a mystery from the onset in the dreams of protagonist Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), who see an ominous sequence of events, only to not see who that raven haired female is due to a deliberate obscuring by her long tresses. But soon enough the latest stranger in town happens to be Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), who brings forth with her immense powers, conveniently unleashed against those who taunt her because of their small town mentality, especially that of Ethan's ex Emily (Zoey Deutch).
But Lena has other problems to worry about, and that's due to an internal family feud, with different camps set up who want her pledged allegiance, being a caster and thought to be one of the most powerful ones yet. On one hand there's Macon (Jeremy Irons) her uncle who serves as adviser and father figure. But on the other, is mom Safarine (Emma Thompson) and evil cousin Ridley (Emmy Rossum) who try to turn her, all of whom come together for that merry celebration of computer generated imagery that in all honesty, are gorgeously rendered, making Beautiful Creatures live up to its namesake. It's almost like Star Wars with Safarine dead set in getting Lena turn to the dark side when it's her 16th birthday, so that they can rule the universe and galaxy with their powers, between mother and daughter. Lofty ambitions, but that's what evil folks fantasize about.
The romance is something you'd have to get used to though, since it forms the bulk of the story here. If you're a fan of Twilight and its treatment of first love between two unlikely beings separated by life, then this would be something quite up the same alley, with inherent powers that define the abilities of one side of the couple, which are used for that effective courtship. There's plenty of cooing between the love birds here as they spend time together like any teenager in love, if not researching with Amma (Viola Davis), who is a seer of the town, and an ally in Lena's identity crisis.
If I had to give this film its due credit, it will be how it set up the hook for that emotional resonance in the final scene. There has to be some personal sacrifice in store for our protagonists in order to cement their relationship, although the solution presented here was of a taller order, that called for some twists during the big magical battle set against the recreation of the Civil War's Battle of Honey Hill. It was in fact, the final few minutes that became the movie's saving grace, and lifted it from mediocrity, providing it that bit of a heart beat and soul that primed itself for subsequent episodes in the series.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I just came back from watching this at the cinema. I only read the book two weeks ago after seeing the trailer and was so hooked went and got the second book. Well this film does the book no justice. Half the characters are missing and the main characters in the book do not have the same characteristics. I found it completely different. Its almost like they re-wrote the whole book (a very sub-standard version). I almost left half way through the movies but stayed just to see it through.
The end of the movie. I'm sorry, but it was completely awful.
I don't know how they could even make the sequel as half the main characters aren't even there.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
The screenplay is completely wrong! I was so angry I wanted to ask for
my ticket money back! I read all four novels and am not sure how they
could attempt to make the next three into movies. Amma is supposed to
be an OLD southern black lady who is involved with voodoo and is
continually places "dolls" and salt to "protect" Wate's Landing. She IS
NOT the Keeper! Professor Marian IS and she is also Lila Evers Wate's
best friend and colleague at the Gatlin Library! Uncle Abner likes Wild
Turket Whiskey and Lemon pie. Amma is a county fair winning cook who
lives at Wate's Landing and is taking care of both Ethan and his father
as she has done her entire life.
The Book of Moons was in the Duchannes Crypt not in the Caster Library which is only open on holidays when the Gatlin Library is closed! What happened to the Sisters??? They play an ever increasing role in the books. Without them Ethan and Lena will not get the maps of the Caster Tunnels.
Serafine does not die until book three. They killed her off in this movie. She is an important evil, destructive force in the novels.
Uncle Macon, a Dark Caster??!!! No!! He is a Blood Incubus who chose to "feed" on dreams! He does not have Caster abilities at ALL! Where is Link? The basketball team? Savannah Snow is a blond blue-eyed southern belle! The English teacher has a good eye side and a bad eye side not the history teacher. Ethan, Link, and Lena do not attend the Battle of Honey Hill.
Ethan is stabbed by Serafine on the 26th moon and Lena uses the Book of Moons Ethan finds in Genieve's grave to bring him back to life causing Macon to die. This fact is not in the movie creating more problems for the next three novels in the series! The only good thing I can say about the movie is RIDLEY ROCKS. Her character is spot on and she steals the movie from the main characters. The casting for her role is PERFECT!
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
So this movie is set in Gatlin...and the main characters are Ethan and
Lena... and that is where the similarities to the book end. My friend
and I recently read the book in preparation for going to the movie. We
adored the book and were excited to see the film.
First, let me say that I have seen countless movie from book adaptations and, granted, they all stray. However, most of the time, there are just a few niggling details that bother me. This movie COMPLETELY lost the charm of the book it was adapted from. Every beautiful moment, every lovely detail was eliminated for cheap, CGI effects and cloying, pitiful attempts at romance.
While the performances were solid by some very talented actors, I have to wonder why they even accepted the parts??
The most glaring problems were the following: 1.) Amma and Marian fused into one character - WTF? 2.) Ethan portrayed as a lovable idiot 3.) The HORRIBLE accents used in this movie were incredibly grating - and I am from Mississippi 4.) Why did all the inhabitants of Ravenwood look like they just stepped out of a community theater's performance of Alice in Wonderland? 5.) Where was BOO RADLEY?!?!? How hard is it to get a dog people!?! 6.) Larkin wasn't dark - he was insipid and frankly a useless character 7.) Why was the trial at the beginning of the movie and not after the dance, and for that matter - why didn't we see the dance? 8.) Rosemary and Lemons anyone?! 9.) the sixteen moon song 10.)Nothing with Ethan's dad - nothing. 11.)All of the scenes with the locket visions were pitiful.
I could go on and on and on and on...even small things like the movie Ethan is watching when Mrs. Lincoln comes to his house on Halloween were different. How hard is that to get right for goodness sake?!
In summary, this movie was awful. I tried to just view it as a movie and separate it from the book I had read in my mind, but that made it even more insipid. I was literally laughing out loud in parts they were so schmaltzy and ridiculous. MAYBE, maybe if you hadn't read the book and were 12 years old and were an idiot, maybe then you would enjoy this movie. At least I got to listen to Jeremy Irons talk, that was the only redeeming factor.
I wanted to address other reviewers comments that "even the Harry Potter movies strayed from the books". This is true. However, key characters, plot lines and story elements were never eliminated as they were in this film. Based on the storyline of this movie the film makers have made it virtually impossible to continue the series. Rant over.
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