Monday, March 21, 2011

Beastly Movie review

So I've had some time to mull over Beastly, and I figure you've either seen it by now or you're still trying to decide if it's worth seeing in theaters. And my thought on that is... meh. Aside from the rather remarkable makeup job (not necessarily as grotesque as they'd like to think, perhaps, but certainly impressive) there isn't a lot about this movie that screams "must see on big screen!" to me. It's a fairly typical paranormal romance, some of the sharper points in the book dulled down a bit.

Your story, of course, is Beauty and the Beast from Beast's perspective. He's a jerk, but we feel sorry for him because his father is even more of a jerk. He tries to pull one over on Kendra, but surprise! Those rumors about her being a witch: totally true. (It wasn't just a euphemism for a word that rhymed! Who knew?)

So suddenly he's all icky. He has a couple run-ins with Lindy both pre- and post-uglification, and the camera is definitely zoomed in on his affection for her. (HE IS ADMIRING HER AND SHE DOESN'T EVEN NOTICE! HOW ROMANTIC!)

Then, and here's where you can tell the marketing went "Well, what worked in Twilight?" he stalks her a bit, following her around town and watching her read at her window. Through his stalking, he is able to intervene when her father gets tangled with some drug-dealers, taking her away to his outside-the-city house for her protection. (I believe in the book, he had the traditional magic mirror on his side, making his stalking more of a mystical nature. I'm not sure that's better, but I had more trouble believing the chain of events in the movie than I did when I read the book.)

Neil Patrick Harris is definitely the highlight of the film. Every time he was on screen there was something to laugh about. From a blind guy throwing darts to he's caustic but useful advice, as far as I'm concerned, he was the star of the show.

The rest of the acting didn't hold up so well, and though it's always hard to say what's the acting and what's the directing, none of the three main characters (Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Alex Pettyfer) pulled off anything spectacular or... believable.

For my money, if you want a supernatural romance, I'd check out I Am Number Four at the theater, which at least has the special effects to be worth the big-screen ticket (and I liked it a lot better in the end--it caters much more to the sci-fi/action crowd than the Twilight crowd), and save Beastly for your home system. And as for this story, if I care to revisit it, I will go by way of book, and not the movie.

Edit: Here is a really nice blog entry by Alex Flinn, with thoughts about the movie vs the book, and her excitement at the premier. Well worth reading!


  1. Ahhh NPH is HILARIOUS! I love how Doogie Howser is making a comeback in Jimmy Kimmmel's diet video LOL

  2. While I'd read the book beforehand and wasn't crazy about it because it was pretty cheesy, I thought the movie might be better. I liked the weird tattoos better than the cliche "fur and fangs" thing the book did.

    However, the movie was not better than the book. I admit to laughing through most of it. It was so obviously aimed at the fan girl preteen crowd and we cracked up at many of the scenes, especially the zoo scene. The only good parts were exactly what you said: The tattoo/makeup job and Neil Patrick Harris.