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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ' I'M GLAD I WATCHED IT '
I almost did not watch this movie due to the bad reviews I've read here. But after watching it and forming my own opinion, I really do not get what the negativity was all about. True, I did not read the novel but every movie made based on a novel always comes out short because they cannot fit everything in a 2 hour movie (and this one is only about an hour and half)...
Published on October 17, 2011 by Super Shopper

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102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a 5 star film in my imagination.
Having read the book and seen the movie within a week, I'm here to say that the movie could have been so much better.

As is often the case, the book is always better than the movie. Often, for reasons unknown, the screenwriters/ directors/ producers decided what is worth keeping from the novel and what isn't. And often it is us the readers who are left...
Published on March 19, 2011 by Romantic Glutton


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102 of 108 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It's a 5 star film in my imagination., March 19, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
Having read the book and seen the movie within a week, I'm here to say that the movie could have been so much better.

As is often the case, the book is always better than the movie. Often, for reasons unknown, the screenwriters/ directors/ producers decided what is worth keeping from the novel and what isn't. And often it is us the readers who are left disappointed with their vision.

So what left me disgruntled was this:

Why make Kyle refuse to learn in the movie? Part of the beauty of the novel was that Kyle found solace in the beauty of books and learning. I loved that he was able to relate his situation to the dark characters he connected to in classic novels. The book emphasized that Kyle went through a process where he began to care about himself as a person and cultivate his mind. Also, this process truly shows the relationship between him and his tutor and it's a very special one. In the movie- Kyle refused to learn and scoffed at books and tutoring. Not only is it a terrible message to the youth marketed for this film- but it also ruins a substantial part of the depth of this character. In the novel, one really feels that Kyle is becoming a better person by committing himself to education and relating his experience to classic literature. AND because of this new-found love- he is able to relate to Lindy and that is one of the reasons they fall in love. This was IMPORTANT! He reads Jane Eyre for the girl because she asks him too. That was a beautiful metaphor, of course, and it was just totally missed in the film.

Why change the character Sloan? In the book, Sloan was the female version of Kyle. There are essential parts of the book where Kyle learns about love and humanity by realizing that Sloan is superficial and was using him for popularity. Even her role at the end was essential to realizing the growth of Kyle. In the movie, they take Sloan and make her into a victim which just doesn't work. At one point Kyle hears Sloan say that she "had to be mean" because she felt Kyle made her that way. This makes Sloan into a nice girl who was forced to torture other people because Kyle forced her too. This just didn't work for me in the plot line. If she really was this nice person under her mean (fake) exterior, then perhaps she would have actually loved Kyle or helped him after his transformation. In the book, she only loves him because he's popular and handsome and when he goes to her, she runs away. This was an important series of events! It was part of his learning process about love and the depth of people. The movie pretty much axed her part and changed her role in the story- therefore taking out another essential slice of the pie.

Why in the world did they change the end of movie?! When I read the book, I found the last pages to be so powerful and amazing. I re-read the ending several times and then sat back, sated, feeling a surge of romantic pleasure. I was really shocked that they removed the best part of the story- which, in essence, was the part that made you, the viewer/reader, realize that Kyle really had "changed" and deserved a second chance at life. What he did for his lady love was so amazing and was such a true sacrifice, I just melted! The movie as it is now just ends sorta ho-hum. An anti-climatic reunion at best.

I've read the critic reviews and nearly all of them say this movie isn't good because the transformation of Kyle just isn't believable. The movie seems silly to them because it has no depth. I think the reason why is because all of the parts of the story that showed his growth and depth were removed. I could go on about parts that are missing, but basically the filmmakers just used the shell of the story and didn't include the meat inside. You can't tell a viewer that the beast has evolved simply by telling them it's so. You have to prove it.

I felt the movie was sorta awesome but always fell short of total awesomeness. I had watched the preview to the film at least a dozen times and, in my mind, I had filled in the movie with so much possibility. I was so excited to see the actors take the depth of the novel and really push their limits to showcase this fairy tale as a real modern-day possibility. But I felt they were often holding back. There were some moments I cheered because I felt the real poignancy of the depth of the story... but overall I felt like the actor's were told to be deep but not too deep.

I don't blame this on Vanessa or Alex. I could almost feel them both wanting to do more. So what happened? Can we do so more filming and add in the parts that were missed to make it a real winner?

This really had potential but I suggest you go read the Beastly Movie Tie-in Edition if you haven't had a chance.

******EDITED EDITED EDITED FOR AN UPDATE******:
For those of you who are interested, the DVD special edition of the film has the correct ending of the movie under the "deleted scenes" area of the Special Features as an alternative ending. Perhaps it was too violent to show in theaters, who knows... but it's actually better (in my opinion) than the cheesy ending they tacked onto it.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars One for the Saps, June 12, 2011
By 
Stephanie Lorée (TOLEDO, OH, United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
One for the saps. Maybe it's my recent break-up talking, but I liked this one. It's ultra-romance, where the bad guy realizes the error of his ways, and the poor-girl hot-chick still manages to look pretty and stay smart despite her severe family troubles - but the film knows what it is and doesn't shy away from it. The screenwriter tried to be "hip" with the dialogue, creating his own lingo that resembles a sore thumb at times when the actors (young and hip in their own right) stumble on, rather than integrate, the new lexicon.

A highlight is Neil Patrick Harris as the blind tutor, whose frequent one-liners give the film a levity it greatly needs in order to stay away from the "I love you so much it hurts" scenario that a film like this always gravitates toward. Also a huge welcome back to Mary-Kate Olsen as the witch. Her outfits are a character all their own.

The plot is simple and stays true to the book. It would be sacrilege to turn Alex Pettyfer into a real beast, so I forgive the producers of the film for playing tame on that account. This is the type of movie teenagers see and swoon over, which brings back plenty memories of a certain Mr. DiCaprio reciting Shakespeare. I love the film for that, so if you don't mind a little sap - and Vanessa Hudgens - give it a shot.
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Grown-up story, remixed for high school, April 10, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
I can't say the remix did it a lot of good. The story gets off to a shallow start, with pretty much every character acting out some stereotype. Kyle places himself squarely in a cult of personality (his), at the expense of everything that matters. Lindy (charmingly played by Vanessa Hudgens) is the earnest one, working her way up from an unfortunate start - almost a Horatio Alger character, or a character from one of those nineteenth century class-consciousness novels. One of the Olsen sisters showed up in goth drag, playing the part of the witch.

After that, the classic Beauty/Beast story plays itself out predictably: fair maiden held in isolation with The Beast, he trying desperately to break the enchantment. How this happens in modern-day New York (or something similar) stretches credulity, but I'll go along with that much for the sake of the story. The only real additions to the old fairy tale are Kyle's father - as obnoxious as Kyle, but more practiced - and his tutor, who probably shouldn't make me think of Pinocchio's Jiminy Cricket but does.

In the utterly predictable happy ending, true love blossoms. Or, I wonder, was it just Stockholm Syndrome?

Outstanding, if you're a high schooler looking for a shallow, romantic date movie - but I'm not.

-- wiredweird, reviewing the release to theaters
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Tale as old as...*YAWN*, August 19, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
Beastly. First it was a book based off the tale, Beauty and the Beast. Then, when producers saw how much money it drew from the teen and tween crowd, it became a movie starring Alex Pettyfer and Vanessa Hudgens.

Kyle Kingston is a self-absorbed teenager, son of a similarly self-absorbed reporter. He has been raised to admire two things in life: money and good looks. When he upsets a witch, Kendra, he is cursed with being ugly and having to find someone to love him before the year is out. Will Kyle find his true love or will he be ugly forever?

I read the book back in March and my overall thoughts were this:

"This book was a fun timewaster, but I think it could have been a lot better. I remember reading Robin McKinley's Beauty and being enchanted; years later, I hunted down the book and bought it (and have plans to reread--eventually). But I just don't see this book lasting very long, not with the very specific culture references. And we all know how long culture trends and fads last...
Now that I've read it, I think I'm probably going to sell it back; it's just not one of those books I want to keep on my shelf and reread. However, I do have plans to see the movie; hopefully, the movie will bring some new insights."

As you expect, the movie changes quite a bit, from the names of characters ("Adrian" is now "Hunter", "Magda" is now "Zola", "Kingsbury" is now "Kingston"), to the characters themselves (Sloan goes from being vapid to being just a girl downtrodden by her boyfriend), to some events (the final climax of the book is completely omitted). Some of them make sense...and some don't.

The characters range from meh to terrible. Kyle just isn't as appealing as his book form. Here, he makes a ludicrous speech for being elected to Environmental President. Why would he do this? Nothing in his personality suggests "caring for the environment". Why couldn't he be elected student president? Why do the instructors let him get away with such a silly speech? "Elect me because I'm beautiful and you aren't"? Geesh. Kyle, once afflicted with ugliness, doesn't attempt to change into a better person, a person who gets a grip on his new features by studying and getting interested in roses. Instead, Kyle mopes around, stalking Linda until he is in love with her and THEN begins to change. But even this change is almost non-existent--when he had no character before, other than "I'm obsessed with looks", it's hard to change into anything with depth. Alex Pettifyr tries really hard in his performance, but when a lot of the character of Kyle is changed so that there really is nothing to work with, it's hard for him to succeed.

Linda has changed from nerdy, plain girl to environmental freak (in name only--she doesn't bring her own coffee cup when getting coffee or any other attribute you might find in the someone promoting greenness), feed the homeless, gorgeous Vanessa Hudgens. While she does have a spark of independence not shown in the book (such as the scene where her dad drops her off at Kyle's), overall, Linda is boring. Even more boring than her book counterpart (which, if you read my review, means a lot). And Vanessa does nothing to make it better. At one point, she looks like a dead fish as Kyle tells a story about a mother elephant returning to where her dead elephant babies were (although, I will give her this: that story was a PAINFUL way to try to woo a woman!).

Kendra the Witch looks nothing like her book counterpart. In the book, she was fat (possibly with greasy hair and acne). Casting Mary Kate as her did nothing to help it. Mary Kate is far from ugly, even in the weird getup. She didn't do terrible as Kendra, but Kendra's role was greatly reduced from the book, so it's hard to say. She was a little bit overdramatic. Will the Tutor is terribly underused. Because Kyle doesn't want to study in this version, his existence is unnecessary. Zola the Maid fairs better than her hugely stereotyped Magda. I even liked how she *wasn't* someone that the book made her to be in the end. Sloan morphs from popular girl to "Oh, I'm not so bad, it was just my boyfriend that made me that way".

But the story is where the book really falls flat. When you open to a scene where Kyle is running for president and his speech consists solely of "Vote for me, I'm beautiful", you know you have problems. The basic outline is pretty much like the book: Kyle asks Kendra on a date to humiliate her, Kendra curses him, Kyle must find someone to love him. In between, there are changes, both good and bad.

I wasn't fond of how Linda and Kyle spoke and started "clicking" before he changed "ugly". I didn't mind her having a crush on him (she did in the book), but if they had a connection before, it almost deadens the "He has to learn to fall in love" lesson. And makes it look like he would have tried to date her anyway.

I have no idea why Will was brought in. Kyle wanted to learn in the book and asked his dad for a tutor. Here, Will shows up and promptly does nothing for the rest of the movie.

Having Kyle stalk Linda before he saves her from the drug dealers was stupid. Does every teenaged romance have to have stalking now as a sign of love? And the drug dealers' scene was horribly cheesy. Although I will admit, it gave a better reason why Linda should stay with Kyle than the book did.

Most of the "chemistry" between Kyle and Linda is very sketchy and awkward.

I really hated how Kyle got into a hissy fit about Linda calling him "a good friend" and then refused to take her phone calls. Uh, dude, she's trying to clarify your relationship. You are *this close* to losing her. Get over yourself and pick up the %^&*ing phone.

The "climax" or end scene or whatever is so dull and boring, it is like dropping a brick on the floor. *THUD* Blah. Whatever.

I could probably go on like this forever (in fact, I wrote a nearly scene-by-scene rant, just to get it out of my system), but I think you get the point. The movie is definitely not as good as the book (which isn't the best of books to begin with). I do not recommend a viewing, unless you are a die-hard fan of Alex Pettyfer, Vanessa Hudgens, or Beauty and the Beast. Or, you are bored and need to get to sleep.

Brought to you by:
*C.S. Light*
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ' I'M GLAD I WATCHED IT ', October 17, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
I almost did not watch this movie due to the bad reviews I've read here. But after watching it and forming my own opinion, I really do not get what the negativity was all about. True, I did not read the novel but every movie made based on a novel always comes out short because they cannot fit everything in a 2 hour movie (and this one is only about an hour and half). Geez, I read the complaints in the other reviews saying, "why is there a witch" or "it's so unbelievable". Well, duh! How will there be a curse if there isn't a witch to put the curse? Yeah, and are werewolves and vampires more believable? It's a good movie with a good moral (inside beauty is more important than outer beauty). No sex, no cussing -- which isn't necessary in this movie anyway. Alex Pettyfer is such an eye candy, so that's a plus. Of course, there are holes in the story (like why is Vanessa Hudgens' dad not in jail after he shot someone) but if you look at the main point which is the love story, it all works.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good teen film, October 7, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (Amazon Instant Video)
I liked Beastly a lot more than I thought. It started slow, with a few eye-rolling moments... but by the middle of the movie I was hooked. I think Vanessa Hudgens is an underrated actress, which probably puts me in the minority. I hope she can shed her HSM past and take more adult roles. This is also the best performance I've seen from Alex Pettyfer. His "ugly" self must have inspired him.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars I think others are expecting too much out of this movie..., August 3, 2011
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This review is from: Beastly [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
If you think you're going to see a cinematic masterpiece...find another movie to watch. If you want a sweet, cute piece of fluff to watch on a rainy afternoon, I think you'll like this movie. It's not worth the time to pick this movie apart and criticize it with more than one paragraph.

Yeah, it's really hard to update Beauty and the Beast - protecting the daughter from drug dealers by hiding her in a house is a weak and unprobable way to keep "Beauty" locked away to fall in the love with "the Beast," but seriously, it's 2011, do you have a better idea?

I was interested in seeing this movie because I like the male lead - despite being a young actor, I think he carries (if that's the right word) himself more maturely than other actors his age. I really liked him in "I Am Number Four" so I thought I would give this movie a try. I also like Neil Patrick Harris in almost any movie and the sarcastic humor his character brought to the table was one of the best parts of "Beastly."

Several times in the movie, Lindy (the modern day Beauty) says how she is a sucker for sappy romance. That is exactly what this movie is...a sappy romance. But at the same time, it's cute with a happy ending.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Banal, not Beastly, July 8, 2011
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
I rarely watch movies (and have been TV-free for 15 years), but I took exception and saw this, hoping for a modern spin on a beautiful fairie-tale. I was keenly disappointed in Hollywood's efforts to translate ancient story to present-day production.

First, it is completely unbelievable that a person so verbally horrible to others would be allowed to make the speech he did, without being called on it by school authority of some sort. Second, it's hard to believe that a son so put off by his own father's behavior would so embrace it - typically the opposite is true, even in cases where desperate desire for paternal love is the case.

Then there's Vanessa H., who has yet to impress me. She can't sing any better than the other girls out there of her age, is average fare where acting is concerned and the only thing I see that she has going for her is that she's "eye candy", to use one of Kyle's phrases. So does that mean our 'beast' will only fall in love with a sexy lil' thang? Hardly inspiring, that. Her character is a 'green freak', but she's chomping on boxed/processed candies, drinking Starbucks-esque lattes and decked out in synthetics while pumping pop/rock into her ears. Something doesn't quite jive with what they're telling us. There's actually nothing that sets this heroine apart from her peers - she's social network addicted, constantly on the cellphone, and gives little girly noises when she speaks. She's drawn to Kyle because 'even though he's wrong, he's real about who he is'. So beauty, apparently, equates to 'real'. Good to know - Timothy McVey suddenly is so very beautiful. Like, no way, and... well, no way.

The tragic hero truly is self-absorbed thru the entire movie, even at the end, when he's supposed to be so changed: he won't return her calls, because *HE* is upset with how things are playing out. When he's not self-obsessed, he's played as desperate to a painful point - where he has no pride at all. The extremes don't create a balanced character at all.

Neil Patrick Harris - very funny, completely over the top, though. He's just unbelievable. And that's leaving out the 'blind-guy-kicks-arse-at-darts' thing. Of course tutors would just sit around, twiddling thumbs for months on end, providing snarky dialogue to try to redeem the movie. Or is he a friend of Kendra's, just waiting for his own curse to be lifted by doing penance babysitting Kyle? It would've at least added something deeper to the very flat and Disney-imitated plot.

REALLY high on the list of things not to miss are the drug dealers. Her dad gets in an argument, baddie #1 pulls a gun, Kyle kicks it away, baddie #2 kicks Lindy down a flight of stairs, then both baddies (and Dad) stand staring at each other while Kyle carries her back to her apartment building, returning just in time for Dad to shoot baddie #1. Dad turns on Kyle, who knocks it away again (!?) and then baddie #2 in his rage and anguish *DOESN'T* do... anything. Do you think if you were a thug and someone kills your brother and was unarmed, YOU'D just turn tail? Hardly.

Our witch? You couldn't slather her with a more dramatic air. Her curse on Kyle... is "Embrace the Suck". Oh, yeah, that'll do it. Be sure to add a close-up of her retina to make it seem magical, or it'll fall flat. Wait, it did, anyhow. They couldn't decide on a look for her, either, so she goes from vamp to dreds to Pulp Fiction to Fairy Witch-mother... it wasn't coherent or well done.

I've read that the book is better in the comments, here. I'll have to try it. I really had such high hopes. They were dashed quite thoroughly by the finished movie.
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15 of 20 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Deserves zero stars., June 28, 2011
By 
wysewomon "wysewomon" (Paonia, CO United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
Wow, I honestly did not think it was even possible to mess up a story so badly. When I read the book last winter, I wasn't too impressed, but at least the author included the main points that make the "Beauty and the Beast" tale what it is. Well, for some reason the scriptwriters decided to take all those things--the most interesting parts of the story, in my opinion, and throw them away. They obviously had NO IDEA that they were trying to tell an old French fairy tale with lots of tradition behind it, and instead opted to make a boring teen sap flick. Aside from the curse, virtually all of the magical elements were missing. The so-called Beast was not even really a beast; they simply made him bald and covered him with tattoos and some scars--hardly anything to earn a second glance in New York City. And I found the fact that the protagonist was so very ashamed of his new look, and the implications that a tattooed skinhead is intrinsically ugly, DEEPLY offensive. If I were the author of this book, I would deny all knowledge of this travesty.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars (2.5 STARS) Pleasant But Underwritten Modern-Day Version of the Famous Story, February 19, 2012
By 
Tsuyoshi (Kyoto, Japan) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Beastly (DVD)
"Beastly" is a filmic version of an Alex Flinn novel of the same title, a modern retelling of the famous story of "Beauty and the Beast." Anyway, that's what they say. Not having read the original book, I cannot be sure, but it looks as if so much stuff is missing in the film adaptation, which feels often rushed.

Now, "the Beast" is Kyle (Alex Pettyfer, "I Am Number Four"), handsome, popular but arrogant high school student, and son of a news anchor; "Beauty" is Linda (Vanessa Hudgens, "High School Musical"), a quiet student of the same school who has to live with him (for a very contrived reason) in an expensive New York house with him.

The film's story is told from the viewpoint of Kyle, who is turned into the "Beast" by Kendra, an eccentric student, or "enchantress," effectively played by Mary-Kate Olsen. Dakota Johnson appears as Sloane, Kyle's girlfriend before he becomes "beastly," but her role is almost non-existent, even pointless.

The screen time of "Beastly" (that runs only 86 minutes) is too short for what it wants to be. It is too short for Kyle and Linda's romance to be believable, which needs more space to develop. The film is also humorless. Humor comes in the form of Neil Patrick Harris's tutor Will. Talented as he is, his character does not have much to do in the underwritten storyline.

Watching "Beastly" is like eternally waiting for something interesting to happen. It does when Mary-Kate Olsen and Neil Patrick Harris show up on the screen. Unfortunately, they are not the stars of the film.
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Beastly [Blu-ray]
Beastly [Blu-ray] by Daniel Barnz (Blu-ray - 2011)
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