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Seventeen-year-old Kyle (Alex Pettyfer) is the spoiled, shallow and incredibly popular prince of his high school kingdom. Kyle foolishly chooses Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), a witch masquerading as a high school student, as his latest target for humiliation. In order to teach Kyle a lesson, Kendra transforms him into someone as unattractive on the outside as he is on the inside. Now he has one year to find someone to love him, or he will remain Beastly forever. A quiet classmate he never noticed named Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens) may be his best chance to prove that love is never ugly.
Beastly definitely lives up to its name--it's an absolutely beastly film--and not in a good way. It's a modern-day retelling of Beauty and the Beast based on Alex Flinn's novel Beastly, and one expects some pretty extreme characters, but in this movie, the characters are shallow and one-dimensional to the extreme, and their supposed personal and emotional growth is totally unbelievable. As for the plot--self-absorbed pretty-boy gets cursed, nice girl gets imprisoned with now-ugly boy, boy changes, and the two fall in love--it just never feels real or believable in this film. With a cast that includes Vanessa Hudgens and Neil Patrick Harris, one expects a halfway decent movie, but no amount of talent can overcome bad writing. In fact, one has to question whether Hudgens and Harris even tried, as their performances just aren't that good. The performances of Alex Pettyfer and Peter Krause are even worse, and Lisa Gay Hamilton only saves herself by her comic delivery of lines that primarily consist of two to three heavily accented monosyllables strung together at a time. The audience at our screening squirmed, laughed in inappropriate places, and even groaned out loud as the actors casually tossed off nuggets of wisdom in proper language that seemed totally out of place with the rest of the slang-riddled dialogue. Perhaps truisms like "Be the man I know you to be," lines quoted from Frank O'Hara's poem "Having a Coke," and statements like "Best embrace the suck" are supposed to come off as funny contrasts, but instead it all just seems hopelessly incongruous and falls horribly flat. The one good thing in this movie is the special-effects makeup, though Kyle's face probably looks nothing like the face that most people picture when they read Flinn's book. Don't bother seeing Beastly unless you enjoy sneering at bad, shallow movies. (Ages 13 and older) --Tami Horiuchi
A Classic Tale Retold: The Story of Beastly
Creating the Perfect Beast
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First off, the movie is safe for kids for the most part. There is no sexual content at all, nothing gory or violent, and a small handful of cursing. The cursing is minor, just a few name calling moments. Kids hear far worse in school and on the streets, so for me it wasn't a big deal. Also the lead male character, Kyle, is obviously "beastly" looking due to his curse, so if you or your child are extremely sensitive to that type of thing, then viewer beware. But again, it's pretty minor.
The movie completely changed a few things, such as Kyle doesn't bother to read or learn, unlike the book version of the character. I imagine that part of his personality was removed for the movie to make it more relatable to teens watching it now. After all, who actually WANTS to do their homework?
I think that Neil Patrick Harris as the tutor saved the movie for me, to be honest. The dry wit he portrayed as the blind tutor was pretty much how I had imagined the character. I think the male playing Kyle was great. Vain and arrogant in the beginning, then tortured and neglected, and then finding redemption. I think he portrayed this character very well. Vanessa Hudgens, on the other hand, was not believable for me as Lindy. I do like her as an actress, but I just don't think she did this role justice.
All in all, this movie was not a waste of time. It was an enjoyable way to spend an hour and some change.
I like Vanessa Hudgens, she's gorgeous and a ball of fire, but I also see in her the ability to be a good actress. I've only seen Alex Pettyfer in I Am Number Four and thought that was a pretty good movie too. Once I had my leads together, I brought my heart and soul along for the ride and I was transported back to my childhood.
A Handsome, popular albeit arrogant guy crosses the wrong girl, a powerful witch who decides to punish him for his superficial nature by cursing him with a vicious, beastly appearance. Though he has a chance for redemption, he has within the year to find someone who will love him or be cursed forever. Kyle the guy meets Lindy the girl, a beautiful albeit unpopular girl who has a lovely spirit and heart. After watching her from a far she is taken in after an incident with her father forces her to be protected by Kyle as he uses the opportunity to get to know her better.
Its very interesting seeing this love story play out within the confines of a modern remake. Some remakes that adapt this type of story-line are okay but unpopular. Fatal Attraction - Swimfan, Risky Business - Girl Next Door. Though this one is really good. Mostly due to Vanessa Hudgens but also due to some great writing. Though Beauty and the Beast is the foundation, this movie is based on a novel that bases its story on Beauty and the Beast. I haven't read that book but I have heard of some of the differences. Still the writing in this movie is really good.
The Blu-Ray is great, with deleted scenes that are nice. But the greatest and best thing is the alternate ending which is FAR superior to the theatrical cut. Sometimes DVD's have specialized Director's Cuts that allow you to see the alternate ending as a part of the main feature. Unfortunately its not the case for this movie but I love the alternate ending immensely that whenever I rewatch this, I stop at the point the movie ends and then I go straight to the alternate ending and finish the movie.
A very good movie.
I recommend this movie to anyone who is a fan of the Beast or that is looking for a dramatic romance story.