December 31, 2013.

This blog is now closed. After three years and 311 posts, I have decided to end this blog. I have enjoyed watching the films, reviewing them, and interacting with global readers.

If you are interested in contacting me, you can do so by commenting on any of the posts. The blog will remain live on the web.
Thank you to all the readers for your comments, ideas, and thoughts. They were helpful, stimulating, and enriching. This is Alene, signing off.

May 11, 2011

Beastly (2011)

When it's over, I can understand why it did so poorly in theatres, but I can also see the potential it had for success.  Beastly is a modern version of "Beauty and the Beast" from a male perspective.  Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is a spoiled teen who cares for no one but himself.  To teach Kyle a lesson, a witch (Mary-Kate Olsen) puts a curse on him exchanging his good looks for a scarred and deformed one.  He has one year to find someone to fall in love with him or be doomed forever to be ugly.  Having read the book and loving it, I was disappointed by how much the producers downplayed the character of the Beast - personality as well as physical.  The film did away with the hairy body and the animal-like qualities of a beast, such as roaring, tantrums, difficulty in speech, and clothing that didn't quite fit.  Instead, Kyle spoke perfect English and stayed in human form with the addition of tattoos, warts, and scars held together with staples.  The casting of Vanessa Hudgens as Lindy, the girl who enters Kyle's life and eventually becomes "the one" who breaks the curse was a poor choice for a female lead.  She lacked the acting ability to bring Lindy to life - to show Lindy's greatness as well as her vulnerabilities.  Early into the film, I was feeling "turned off" by Pettyfur's poor acting despite his dashingly good looks.  However, I held on and tried to keep an open mind about the story and hoped that Pettyfur would hook me as the "Beast," which he eventually did and I found myself really liking his character and being engaged in the personal journey he was on.  Neil Patrick Harris played the tutor, Will, and he was a much needed supporting cast member.  Harris brought comedy and spontaneity to a film that desperately needed some humor.  Lisa Gay Hamilton portrayed Zola, Kyle's maid and housekeeper, who was much more than a hired help.  She represented wisdom and guidance to a teen who failed to receive any from his father.  These two supporting characters helped to make Kyle complete and also, helped to elevate this film to a more positive experience. 

My rating: 3 out of 5

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