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109 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad i didn't read the book.
I'm a 31 year old avid reader. I loved Harry Potter, Twilight, Mortal Instruments, and Hunger Games all which became movies. Movies never live up to the novels, yet usually I still enjoy seeing how the books are adapted even if the acting is poor or some of my favorite parts have to be cut. Seeing the rating of this movie almost kept me from renting it, but then I read...
Published 19 months ago by Jenny

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201 of 280 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe the authors allowed their story to be butchered.
I feel like I need to preface this by saying the trailer of this movie made me want to read the book. Also, you should know that this review will contain SPOILERS, so do not continue reading if you don't want to know why this movie doesn't do the book justice.

When I first saw the movie trailer, I thought to myself it looked like something I would enjoy since...
Published 22 months ago by Modern Girl


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109 of 122 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm glad i didn't read the book., May 27, 2013
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I'm a 31 year old avid reader. I loved Harry Potter, Twilight, Mortal Instruments, and Hunger Games all which became movies. Movies never live up to the novels, yet usually I still enjoy seeing how the books are adapted even if the acting is poor or some of my favorite parts have to be cut. Seeing the rating of this movie almost kept me from renting it, but then I read the reviews. Almost all of the bad reviews were people who were disappointed it didn't keep with the original story line. Well I never read the book, so I didn't know what I was missing. I was captivated beginning to end. Yes, I did notice a bad southern accent at the beginning, which I probably wouldn't have noticed if another review hadn't pointed that out. And yes there is a scene where she pours tea and obviously nothing comes out of the pot and the cup is empty. But I only noticed those things because I was looking for them based on other reviews. Within 10 minutes I had forgotten the reviews and didn't notice any other "little" thing, because the story was captivating and fun. A great coming of age story. Just like Harry Potter has to chose to use his magic for good or evil or like Edward Cullen's has to struggle against his vampire instincts, the main character struggles between good and evil and who she really is and what good and evil mean. It's a beautiful story full of love, and awesome fantasy. A must see for any fantasy freak such as myself!
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186 of 222 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Glad I didn't read the books....because the movie is very good, May 23, 2013
Personally I can't stand the 1 star "I read the book first and the movie sucked" crowd. Get over it. Movies cannot flow like books and keep a audience's attention, and they certainly cannot do books justice in the time frame given. I guess if you read something and a movie comes out about it either get over the fact it will not do the book justice, or don't go see it. Either way spare us of your negative, biased, and unwarranted reviews.

The story is original, and it is not just another Twilight. I have a wife and daughter who love the Twilight thing and I was forced to watch every one of them against my will. I would take this story over those any day.

So for you who have not read the books.....watch the movie with an open mind and enjoy.
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48 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable, March 21, 2013
This review is from: Beautiful Creatures (DVD) (DVD)
As soon as I saw the trailer I bought the book and I fell in love with it. Of course the movie was completely different from the book but the movie was still good. I loved it it was enjoyable and entertaining
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Didn't read the book, but enjoyed the movie, June 3, 2013
t seems that every studio is trying to replicate the success of the Twilight Saga at the box office by adapting a teen-supernatural-romance into a film franchise (fun fact, that will make you lose faith in humanity: you can now find a 'Teen Paranormal Romance' section in your local Barnes & Nobles). I can't blame them. The first movie only cost $37 million to make and made...wait for it...$392 million worldwide. I saw the first three Twilight movies at the urging of my mother, and I will never get those 2 hours back. I despise all of the ones I've seen. They are awful cinema, bad romance, and sparkly. However, I was intrigued by Beautiful Creatures, both by the story and the actors involved.

THE GOOD
I was warned that the acting was going to be over-the-top and campy, so I actually appreciated the acting. It is never a bad experience to see Emma Thompson on screen, and this is no different. Also, the male lead (Alden Ehrenreich) is really good, adding a surprising amount of depth to what could have been a simple character.

The story was somewhat cookie-cutter, but veered off the path enough that it was as intriguing as the trailer teased.

THE BAD
I know I'm always critical of the score of a movie, but this one was bad. In fact, it was almost on the level of Eragon, which was another Jeremy Irons movie.

Viola Davis was ridiculously out of place. Almost every scene she's in feels awkward. If she doesn't start picking better movies to suit her style, she's going to go the way of Kevin Costner (i.e. an actor with accolades that now lives in obscurity). There was a scene involving the town library that was so confusing and forced.

One of the main message of the film is that 'Small Towns have Small Minds.' I am sympathetic to that view because of my own upbringing. However, the film went overboard in demonizing people of faith. It could have been more temperate. But, I guess that's what we should expect from Hollywood.

CONCLUSION
In comparison to other teen-paranormal-romance movies, this one is the best of the bunch. And when compared to the other movies released so far this year (all of 2 months), it stands up pretty well. But, it's not going to be making anyone's "Best of the Year" list. It's pure popcorn, which was what I expected, and therefore I enjoyed it. 3.5/5 Stars.

As a side note, if the movies released thus far are an omen of the quality of this year's films, we are in trouble. Most in the critical community regarded 2012 to be an exceptionally good year for movies. It looks like this year might be as bad as 2011.
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201 of 280 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars I can't believe the authors allowed their story to be butchered., February 17, 2013
This review is from: Beautiful Creatures (DVD) (DVD)
I feel like I need to preface this by saying the trailer of this movie made me want to read the book. Also, you should know that this review will contain SPOILERS, so do not continue reading if you don't want to know why this movie doesn't do the book justice.

When I first saw the movie trailer, I thought to myself it looked like something I would enjoy since I really liked the Twilight series, and I initially saw it as "Twilight except with witches"... errr... "Casters". Since the movie opening was a month away, it left me plenty of time to read the book. I really enjoyed reading Beautiful Creatures and read the entire book (all 550+ pages) very quickly.

I knew I'd want to see this movie as soon as I could, so I was sure to make it a showing opening weekend.

Overall, I REALLY did not like the movie. I do not feel the movie even scraped the surface of the book. It was more of a hollow shell of the literary version. I understand that with movies you have to keep it brief because at most you have about two and a half hours to communicate the story, but this movie really butchered what was an otherwise good and entertaining story. Having to cram several hundred pages into 2 hours is definitely a feat, but it's been done before and even done WELL before, so that is not even a great excuse for the filmmakers in this case.

Things I did not like about the movie:
* There was little-to-no character development and the pace was much too quick. From the very beginning, the movie starts at a grueling pace and doesn't even give the audience a chance to soak information in and decide for themselves who these people are or what to make of the story or events. I felt like key scenes or story lines from the book were left out that would have improved the character development exponentially.

*To piggy-back on the lack of character development, there was absolutely no connection whatsoever between Lena and Ethan. They are supposed to have such a strong emotional connection that they have dreamt about each other even before meeting each other (these dreams parlay into the following 3 books in the series), and they are supposed to even be able to telepathically talk to each other (which builds in the second story where Lena starts to shut Ethan out and he is left hurt). This movie basically introduced the characters to each other, and then suddenly they love each other.

*MAJOR character changes:
-Ethan's Mom - Though deceased, Ethan's Mother is supposed to be a very pivotal character throughout the series. She was a Caster Librarian and a genealogical expert which is important to the overall story. Here, she is mentioned once... maybe twice and that is it.

-Larkin in the book is a Dark Caster who is actually using his power of illusion to make himself look like a Light Caster. In the end of the literary version, it becomes apparent to the Duchannes that Larkin has actually been fooling them all this time and had betrayed the family. This parlays into Book 2 (Beautiful Darkness) where Lena drives Larkin's car because she can't bear to drive Macon's old car anymore and this leaves Ethan puzzled how she could be in something that belonged to the cousin that betrayed her and her family. In the movie version however, Larkin is just a nice Light Caster who helped Lena in the end against Sarafine. (Did they seriously just do that?) This is one of the biggest ones that bothered me because the feeling of betrayal is a powerful human emotion. It reaches into your gut and pulls your insides out. There was such a great opportunity to make the audience FEEL something, and the film makers did not capitalize on that at all.

-Ethan's Dad was pretty much nonexistent in the movie. I don't even think they cast an actor to play his dad? Having read the book, I understand why he was in his study all the time, but people who haven't read the book will never know why. I believe that in the book, Ethan's dad played a role in Ethan's character development... his emotional being that we never got to see in the movie. We all know that Ethan lost his mom, but the audience is not given the opportunity to feel sorry for him because he might lose his dad too (Events in the book that included his dad towards the end were omitted from the movie). Although his role was a small role in the book, I felt it was important nonetheless and it's a shame his character got cut out entirely of the movie.

- Marian / Amma - In the film version, Marian's character was consolidated with Amma, and thus eliminated from the movie. Again, I felt this made the story feel rushed... they didn't have enough for Amma in the movie so they made her librarian too. Even with Marian's elimination, Amma's character was very one-dimensional. She didn't do things that she did in the book like give the Wate family "charms" to ward against evil or anything. She just mentioned a few times that she was a Seer, so I guess the audience was supposed to just take her word for it. Character development for Amma left a lot to be desired. The ending of the movie was also disappointing because in the end, Amma should have been there to try to help Lena, but the ending was changed (I'll get to that soon).

- Mrs. Lincoln / Sarafine - The movie also consolidated Mrs. Lincoln and Sarafine into one character which completely blew my mind. Although I know in the book it turned out that Sarafine was using Mrs. Lincoln's body, the movie made it seem like Mrs. Lincoln actually WAS Sarafine the entire time. I couldn't understand why they did that, other than because they didn't know how to create that scene at the end where Sarafine "steps out" of Mrs. Lincoln's skin. It can't be that hard, could it? I'm sure the special effects nowadays could have done the job.

- Boo Radley - Why did they have to get rid of the dog in the movie?! Did they forget that "caster animals" play a bit of an important role in the second story?

- The Greats - I guess Amma didn't need The Greats in the BC movie series because Lena saved the world by casting that spell on Ethan so he would forget her. How in the world are the filmmakers going to introduce The Greats later on when they play important roles in helping Amma, Ethan & Lena in the other stories?

- The Sisters - Ethan's Great-Aunts were nowhere to be found in the Beautiful Creatures movie. If the producers intend to use them to finish off the BC movie series, they are going to have a heck of a time introducing them (and the Greats, and the fact that Boo and the cat have magical seeing abilities, and...)

MAJOR Plot changes:

- Guardian Angels - The "Guardian Angels" in the book were eliminated. Although I don't think this was a HUGE deal, it was disappointing that the "Guardian Angels" were eliminated from the movie version. In the book, I felt it really developed the characters of the girls (Emily, Savannah, etc), and emphasized the fact that Lena was basically being persecuted for no reason other than being from out of town and different. The "club" also played a part in the end of the book where Link wore a ripped up Guardian Angels shirt at Lena's Surprise party (more on that later...) because it offered up a bit of irony they they were all at Lena's birthday party when they campaigned against her just days before. In the movie version, the only "character development" that the girls got were lines that started with "My mama said....". Cliche'.

- Winter Dance / Ridley's return - The Winter Dance in the book served a purpose, in my opinion, because Lena wanted so badly to just be normal and do normal teenage things like go to the high school dance. The dance also developed the characters of the mean high school girls and reintroduced Ridley and showed the book's audience what she was capable of. In the book, the incident at the Winter Dance is what made them have that "hearing" about getting Lena expelled from school and not just the window breaking. The winter dance and everything that happened there was completely eliminated from the film.

- Breaking the Curse / Spell on Ethan- In the movie, Lena finds a cure to the curse that she shares with Amma, but doesn't tell Ethan. How anti-climatic. In the novel, there is not a way to break the curse. This was a pretty significant shift from the book. In the movie, She also decided to put a spell on Ethan so that he forgets they ever loved each other because it would save him from being hurt and from being brought further into their world. I was actually pretty shocked that the authors agreed to let them shift so significantly because nothing NEAR this happened in the book.

- The Book of Moons - The Book of Moons is really significant in the book series -- all the way to the very end of the last novel. In the movie however, it's simply used as a Caster encyclopedia where she finds a cure to the curse. Yawn.

- Lena's Birthday Party / The Ending - The book had such a completely different ending than the ending in the movie. The book involved an elaborate plan including a surprise birthday party that was Ridley's idea to separate Lena and Ethan. That didn't happen in the movie. The ending was extremely different than the novel. In the movie, Ethan is separated from Lena because he just doesn't remember them ever being together and Macon uses Larkin's illusion powers to make himself look like Ethan so that he can thwart Sarafine's plans. After the anti-climatic scene where Lena realizes it is actually her uncle that is dead, Sarafine/Mrs. Lincoln has this weird out of body experience and Lena looks pretty evil. The book was much better at creating tension and suspense during this scene, so this scene was such a let-down. The movie scene was basically just a gun-shot and Uncle Macon telling Lena to "Claim Yourself".

Before the credits roll, there is a message that tells the audience 6 months had passed, and there is a scene in the library where Ethan comes to let Amma know he is going to NY with Link to look at colleges. Ethan briefly talks to Lena making casual chit-chat and leaves. He drives off with Link and as he is about to leave Gaitlin, he stops and screams her name like he suddenly remembers everything. Link also doesn't seem phased at all that 6 months ago he actually shot Lena's uncle. (Explain that one to me!?!)

I need to point out that my review of the movie is not based on how it deviated from the book (which was definitely a bummer), but to point out how the movie lacked a lot of key elements to make it a good stand-alone story. The plot was rushed and sloppy, the characters were one-dimensional at best, and it was basically a giant small Southern town cliche with some spells sprinkled in for good measure. Had all the right elements been in place, I would have enjoyed the movie even if differed from the book.

In the end, the filmmakers took all the magic and mystery out of the novel. They spoon-fed the audience the very basic elements of the story, and didn't allow the audience to experience what could have been a really great, magical journey. The movie offered no suspense or conflict at all. I would highly recommend reading the book, however, I would also recommend skipping the movie because it was such a major disappointment.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lacks Coherency But Not Charm!, March 18, 2013
This review is from: Beautiful Creatures (DVD) (DVD)
When you think of teenage problems, what typically comes to mind? Passing a big exam, who to ask to prom, college applications, getting a driver's license --- ya know, things of the mundane sort. But Lena Duchannes isn't your average teenager and driving is the least of her problems. What the good people of Gatlin don't know is that Lena's a castor, a witch who will be claimed for either the light or the dark upon her sixteenth birthay. This claiming has the power to irrevocably change her life and the lives of all humans, because unbeknownst to her, she will be the strongest castor of all. Ethan had no idea what was in store for him when he befriended the mysterious outcast, Lena. Now he's caught up in a mystical battle between good and evil as he struggles to protect the girl he loves. Fates will forever be changed, secrets uncovered and choices made as a dark power takes hold on Lena and the town.

I think most of us are aware that Beautiful Creatures was a book first and movie second. I haven't yet read the novelisation but with the recent YA book to movie boom, it's no surprise why they chose to adapt it for the silver screen. There's romance, magic, intrigue and a bevy of young, beautiful people and a setting that's to-die-for. Beautiful Creatures is a coming of age story, only what sets it apart is the tinge of paranormal romance. Think Twilight only with stronger characters and so much more substance. What more could you want? Well, some coherency for one thing. I'm not saying I didn't enjoy the movie, but I've gotta admit, at times it was a little hard to follow.

My biggest problem with Beautiful Creatures is that it's difficult to discern how much time has passed between scenes and timing is sort of, um, critical considering Lena's predicament. Also, it felt like huge chunks of ctitical information were missing in places though I am aware this could be because I haven't read the book. I'm just glad I went with my BFF who read the series to fill in the gaps where I was floundering. And even then, she too, had some issues with following along. So in regards to reading the book and watching the movie, I'd say you're damned if you do, you're damned if you don't. Other than that though, the movie has a ton of potential and I was able to overlook many of it's smaller flaws.

The strength of this movie lay in its amazing cast. Alden Ehrenreich (as Ethan) exudes this warm goofiness that endeared him to my heart. He's believable as the small-town guy with big dreams and the chemistry he shared with Englert was palpable. Alice Englert (as Lena) played the tempramental teen to perfection which is fitting for both the character's age and her precarious situation. She is, simply put, stunning. I also thought Jeremy Iron's (as Macon Ravenwood) performance was as equally powerful as his eccentric character. The only surprising performance that fell a bit flat for me was Emma Thompson's. As incredibly talented as she is, I thought she was a bit too over-the-top for my liking and it felt too theatrical for the grim nature of her character. All in all, the cast shined and played off eachother so well.

If the actors don't appease you in Beautiful Creatures, the setting sure will. LaGravenese painted a perfect picture of the lazy Southern small town. Ethan described it best, "My momma says there's two types of people that live in Gatlin, the people too stupid to leave and the ones too stuck to move," and I thought it was spot-on. The cinematography is haunting and ominous and magical and it plays well to the overall tone of the movie. I think it's interesting how LaGravenese tried hard not to rely too much on CGI SFX, instead, forgoing the green screen in favour of more traditional methods --- it is well noted and much appreciated! Overall, I did enjoy the movie despite being hard to follow and I'm eager to read the book series. It's a good one, just not perfect.

Food for Thought: If you're looking for another Twilight, Beautiful Creatures is it --- only it's so much better. While not exactly the greatest movie-going experience, I liked it enough to hope for a sequel. Ehrenreich is charismatic and Englert stuns as the leading duo. And if the characters don't sweep you away, the charming setting will. With a bit more clarity this one would have most certainly been a winner!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars This movie disgraces the author's beautiful novel., March 28, 2014
This review is from: Beautiful Creatures (DVD) (DVD)
This movie is the absolute worst adaption of a novel I have ever seen. I'm an avid reader, and there is nothing I appreciate more than a box office hit that at least attempts to get it right. This film was so far off base that I'm not even sure the screen writer attempted to read the novel before writing the screenplay. Here are the things that disappoint me most:

1. Crucial characters throughout the series are either removed or combined in ways that don't work.
2. Crucial plot elements, such as the Book of Moons or the 16 Moons Song are missing
3. Artistic liberty in the acting and directing of the majority of the movie characters is so off-base that they are unrecognizable.

This movie is worse than poorly written fanfiction. The only reason it wasn't a complete waste of my time is there are some pretty great special effects. If you've read the books, please, save yourself the two hours. It's definitely not worthwhile.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Say what?, July 24, 2013
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Not good. I watched it, because I paid for it. The whole story just felt like someone shook up a box of cliches and then spoon fed the rather predictable story to you. Also the male lead was painful to listen to; I kept thinking that they were going to uncover that he had some sort of learning disability.
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18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful creatures, bad accents and a bad adaptation., May 20, 2013
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Sarah (Christiansburg, VA, United States) - See all my reviews
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I had been looking forward to watching this movie despite the previous reviews. With actors like Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson and Viola Davis one would expect it to be good...right? I should have known this dog just wasn't going to hunt. I wish I had not purchased it, but oh well.
Adaptations always run the risk of being different. You know that main characters will be condensed (Amma and Marian) or removed all together (the sisters etc.) but it always bothers me when the stories are altered completely. However this could have been tolerated however...
The ACCENTS!!! Great Googily Moogily! I have yet to figure out why Hollywood has come to understand that Boston has a different accent than say...New York. That people from New York sound different from people in Maine and that people in Maine will sound different to those in the mid-west. Yet they seem to believe that every single southern state comes dripping with a Scarlett O'Hara style Georgia or Alabama drawl and that is even exaggerated beyond belief! I could listen to the actors listed above, but the younger actors, mainly the actor portraying Ethan, I could not wait to have the movie over so I would not have to hear him talk anymore.
So long story short, when you are wishing for the movie to be over you know it wasn't worth the investment paid.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars worst movie ever, August 28, 2013
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I read the whole series of books ...I am far from being a teen or YA but liked the books alot. Please don't waste one second of time or one penny of your money watching this movie. Nothing like the book and just plan bad acting. After 15-20 minutes I decided I didn't care if I had paid to see the movie I wasn't subjecting myself to this any longer.
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Beautiful Creatures (Blu-ray+DVD)
Beautiful Creatures (Blu-ray+DVD) by Richard Lagravenese (Blu-ray - 2013)
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