November 19 2017

Murder on the Orient Express – Movie Review

One of Agatha Christie’s most popular novels is brought to the big screen and it is done lavishly and with style. I confess to not having read Christie’s novel but, of course, that made the movie all the more fun, not knowing the ending. It is refreshing to see a movie come from Hollywood that is not filled with gratuitous language, sex, or violence.  A good old-fashioned mystery with lots of interesting characters portrayed by some great actors – Michelle Pfeiffer, Judi Dench, and Willem Dafoe to name a few. I was pleasantly surprised to see Olivia Colman in the movie, a wonderful British actress who I first noticed in the BBC program, Broadchurch. Kenneth Branagh plays Hercules Poirot, the self-proclaimed greatest detective in the world. Yes, he’s arrogant but with good reason. He is able to solve mysteries that stump others largely due to the way he views the world. Poirot is obsessed with symmetry, perfection, and order. He’s almost a tortured soul in that regard – viewing the world as he thinks it should and could be, but disappointed in how it falls short. I could really relate to him on that score.

The story takes place on a train ride from Istanbul to Calais when twelve passengers come under suspicion after a murder takes place. Detective Poirot is intent on having a vacation in which he wants to do nothing more than read “A Tale of Two Cities.” But after the murder takes place and an avalanche has stopped the Orient Express, Poirot is reluctantly drawn into solving the murder. As he interrogates all the passengers and searches for clues, you can see his transformation from reluctant sleuth to determined detective bent on discovering the killer before he/she strikes again. I loved the use of camera angles in this movie, particularly the overhead shots which cleverly helped you to see clearly into the tight spaces of the train. Being a mystery, the pacing has to start slow while building up to a quick conclusion in which all the clues come together to reveal the culprit. Since I have not read the book, I do not know if the movie had glaring oversights or blunders. All I know is that I enjoyed watching the mystery unfold and I really had no idea how it would end. I’ve seen a lot of discussion about Poirot’s incredible mustache but I think it speaks to who he is as a person and I, for one, would like to see him in another movie.

My score: B  (or 4 out of 5 mustaches)


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November 11 2017

Catching Up

Did you hear that? That’s the sound of the days going by way too fast! Why does this time of year always seem to go by so quickly? I really want to savor it. The weather has continued to be just beautiful around here. I took this picture about a week ago as the trees were beginning to turn. That tiny white speck is the moon! Anyway, things are progressing much more rapidly now and there are glorious reds, oranges, and yellows on all the trees. Sometimes I think these bursts of striking autumn colors are God’s way of making the imminent dreary brown of winter a little more tolerable.

I mentioned in a post a couple of weeks ago that I was taking the National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) challenge, which is to write 50,000 words in November. I was pretty confident going into the challenge but have since discovered that my life is a lot busier than I thought and finding the time to write consistently is a challenge in itself. Then there is my writing style. My first efforts were very slow as I was editing as I wrote, which is not conducive to a high word count. Then my daughter reminded me the challenge is to get over those editing tendencies and just write. First drafts are never supposed to be great anyway. I think it would be better for this challenge to be in January which tends to be a less hectic time of year! With jury duty this coming week and then Thanksgiving and Christmas just around the corner, I fear I will probably not reach the goal of 50,000 words. However, I have written more on my novel than I ever have, so I will continue to persevere.

Here is a short synopsis of my work in progress:

Title: Shattering Limbo

Samantha is living two lives, but not intentionally. When she wakes each morning, she is either living with the love of her life anticipating the birth of their daughter, or living in fear for herself and her unborn child from an abusive husband. She doesn’t know in which world she truly belongs. As the birth of her child nears, she becomes increasingly desperate to find a way to remain in the world where she feels safe. But does she deserve to be in that world? She doesn’t remember how she got trapped in this state of limbo. Searching for clues as to how there can be such an existence, she instinctively knows that she is running out of time. When her daughter is born, in which world will she remain?

Does it intrigue you? Do you want to know more? I hope so!

Anyway, I’ve been very busy preparing things at work for my upcoming absence for jury duty. So I was grateful for the nice weather as walking Max is great stress relief. One afternoon, we wound up at the dog park and I struck up a conversation with a nice lady. As we talked, I mentioned NaNoWriMo which led to talk of my blogging website. She encouraged me to sign up for a Twitter account to help it get more exposure. Well, I have resisted joining the Twitter universe for fear of being bombarded by political craziness but the lady assured me I could control the types of things on my Twitter feed. So with some trepidation, I decided to sign up with visions of hashtags and tweets jumbling in my brain. Turns out I have had a Twitter account for two years already. Yup, someone in Vietnam decided to used my email address to set up an account. I’m not even sure how that is possible. But she promptly got the account suspended. So I spent a lovely afternoon trying to sort out my Twitter account and make it my very own. Hah! I’m still figuring things out so if you have any Twitter advice for me, I’m all ears. For now, I’ve added a Twitter feed to my webpage.

I just realized that I am way behind on my movie reviews as well so I decided to quickly catch up and do a mini review of each movie I’ve seen over the past month.

Blade Runner 2049

This sequel to the 1982 movie with Harrison Ford really captured the feel and sound of the original. I wasn’t a huge fan of the original as it paints a pretty bleak picture of the future. Still, the story line was a good extension of the first movie if a bit overly drawn out. Considering that they used the same music from the first movie and were spot on with the visuals, I think they missed the mark in a big way by not having Ryan Gosling do a voice over as Harrison Ford did. That would have been perfect.  My score: B

Let There Be Light

Kevin Sorbo and his wife produced and starred in this movie. I’m a big Kevin Sorbo fan and I admire his efforts to bring Christian movies to the big screen. I think the world is in need of more wholesome and meaningful movies. Not everything has to be about CGI and action. While I feel the movie had a good overall message, I wanted them to delve more deeply into the topic at hand. Of course, my thoughts on religion and God have begun an evolution (or should I say revolution) over the past couple of years and so I am craving things that aren’t trite. Having said that, go see the movie. It’s still good and we need to show Hollywood that we want more movies like this.  My score: B

Thor: Ragnarok

This is the third Thor movie and definitely the most fun and visually appealing. There is a lot of humor in this one which I appreciated. The previous movie, Thor: The Dark World, was well, dark.  And I am glad that the new director decided to have fun with this movie and do something different. I did find the plot a bit weak in some spots but the ending was intriguing. Gotta say I am not happy about Thor losing his eye though. I don’t care if he’s more like his father now. Ugh! My score: A-

So there you have it!

And last but not least, since today is Veteran’s Day, I would like to thank all the men and women of the military for your dedication, courage, and sacrifice for America. I would especially like to thank my father, husband, brother-in-law, and boss for their service. I love my freedom and I thank you from the bottom of my heart!

And my thanks to Texas Roadhouse for giving out free meals to all veterans today and for this:





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September 23 2017

Kingsman: The Golden Circle – Movie Review

Where do I begin? This movie is a sequel to 2014’s Kingsman: Secret Service and you most definitely need to have seen the first move to understand this one. The first movie was a tongue-in-cheek spy film with dark wit and crazy stylized action. An homage and satire to the James Bond films, if you will. Yes, it was a bit over the top but still a fun movie if you didn’t take it too seriously; so I was expecting more of the same with the sequel. In fact, I was expecting it to be even better with the added star power of Channing Tatum and Pedro Pascal as well as the return of Colin Firth’s character. This sequel starts out with a strong opening scene involving a car chase and lots of fancy driving through the streets of London. Unfortunately, after that, it devolves into a convoluted mess. When the majority of the Kingsman agents are annihilated, the remaining agents must team up with their American counterparts, the Statesmen. The world is being held hostage by a new threat: a deadly toxin that has been laced in every recreational drug available. This would have been a great opportunity to show some combined teamwork as both sides of the pond came together. While Pedro Pascal’s Agent Whiskey’s whip-work (say that three times fast) was lots of fun to watch, I kept hoping that Agent Tequila (Channing Tatum) would have a bigger role. What a waste. Ultimately, the scenes felt forced and contrived. In fact, this movie was so disappointing, it taints my feelings for the first one so much so that I’d like to forget both exist.

P.S. Elton John’s cameo is this movie is terrifying and grotesque. Stick to the musical stage, Sir!

My score: D

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August 6 2017

The Dark Tower – Movie Review

After last weekend’s disappointment with Atomic Blonde, I was a bit nervous to see this movie. The previews I had seen looked so good and I really wanted to like it. Happily, I can say that I really did like this movie very much. I will say that while I have read many of Stephen King’s books, his Dark Tower series was not one I had pursued, and it was to my benefit. According to my husband, this movie did not follow the story line of the books at all. Even so, he appeared to enjoy the movie. Apparently, this was not the case with many movie reviewers out there who have slammed this as a mediocre movie full of wasted opportunities. I beg to differ.

I’ve always enjoyed movies with a classic good versus evil theme and this is definitely one of those movies. The concept of the Dark Tower being at the center of and protecting/holding up multiple worlds intrigues me as does the concept that what happens in one world affects another. The Man in Black (aka Walter), played by Matthew McConaughey, is intent on bringing down the tower so that the demons being held at bay will be free to enter the world(s). I have to say that McConaughey, while generally not a favorite of mine, is perfect in this role. He sent chills down my spine as he confidently strode about using his “magics”, calmly felling adversaries by simply telling them to “stop breathing” and spreading evil by whispering “hate” into the ears of innocent bystanders.

Idris Elba plays Roland, a gunslinger and the last of his kind, trying to stop Walter. He is more concerned with avenging his father’s death at the hands of Walter than actually protecting the Dark Tower. Enter Jake (Tom Taylor), a kid with psychic powers, who is being hunted by Walter for his “shine”, a power which can bring down the tower. Jake is from Earth but figures out there are portals to other worlds and winds up finding Roland and they embark on a journey to stop the Man in Black from destroying the Dark Tower. It was enjoyable to watch the slow reveal of the inhabitants of Mid-World. This is sci-fi/fantasy at its best. I also found the action scenes to be easy to follow which I love considering the way CGI is often overused in films. Surprisingly, the movie was not as long as I expected and that was also a bonus as sometimes final battle scenes are drawn out much too long for my taste. Having said that, I wouldn’t have minded if the film had been made longer to explore Roland’s background story a bit more. He’s an intriguing character that I wanted to know more about.

Considering that this movie is based on the massive eight volume story by Stephen King, I don’t think people should be surprised that this movie did not follow the books exactly. It would have been a huge undertaking requiring multiple movies to do that. And quite frankly, we don’t need that kind of thing yet again. After they made three movies out of Tolkien’s The HobbitI became a bit bored by Hollywood’s need to stretch out the story just to make more money. Anyway, The Dark Tower was well done and if you watch knowing that it was simply inspired by King’s tale, you will enjoy it.

My score: A


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July 29 2017

Atomic Blonde Vs. Despicable Me 3

Now this might seem an odd pairing but let me explain. Both of these movies use music from the 1980s to set the tone for the story. If you know me, you know that I feel the 1980s was a musical era like no other. I’ve been pleased that filmmakers have embraced 80s music the past few years. It is in this spirit, that I offer my review of these two movies. I will not go into plot detail or give away any spoilers.

On our way to see Atomic Blonde, we were listening to the 80s channel (of course) on Sirius XM and Charlize Theron was guest hosting and waxing poetic about her movie and the wonderful music in it. Needless to say, this got me pumped up to see it. Well, let me just say that while there were some good tunes in the movie, it often felt forced to me. How do I put it? Like jamming a square peg into a round hole. They just wanted the music to fit the scenes soooo badly. Sometimes it worked, mostly it didn’t. This movie was such a complicated and convoluted mess. To call this the female James Bond is a travesty. Sometimes I think that filmmakers don’t think that movie goers can watch a movie that isn’t full of constant action. It’s ridiculous. This is a seriously dark movie with very little humor to lighten the load. I also have trouble with a character (especially a very waif-like female agent) that can repeatedly get attacked, punched, thrown down stairs, etc. and still walk away without so much as a broken bone.

In contrast, I had no idea that Despicable Me 3 was going to be using 80s music when I went to see it. Consequently, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized the movie’s villain was a former 80s child star and had grown up obsessed with music from that time period. Every song was spot on perfect and worked beautifully to fit the story. I suppose it helped that I have always been a huge fan of this franchise. Was it the best of these movies? No. I doubt that they will ever be able to capture the magic of the first movie simply because it was all new and unique at that point. Still, this was fun and certainly not a disappointment.

So to sum it all up:

Atomic Blonde had a difficult plot to follow and I never found myself rooting for the main character. Frankly, it was an atomic bomb!

My score: D

Despicable Me 3 was fun, full of great 80s humor and music, and had those delightful minions.

My score: A

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July 8 2017

Spider-Man: Homecoming – Movie Review

This is the third reboot of Spider-Man. Here’s hoping that three is a charm because multiple reboots of the same character gets annoying. I will say that this movie at least spares us the details of Peter Parker getting bitten by a spider, the death of his Uncle Ben, and the whole spiel of “with great power comes great responsibility.” Okay, let me just say that Spider-Man is not my favorite superhero by any means. The name alone can bring on an attack of arachnophobia for me. Plus I’ve always had issues with his web-slinging abilities. To me, he should have the natural ability to web-sling with an endless supply of webbing material at his disposal – after all, he’s got super strength and agility, clings to most surfaces, and has that “spider-sense.” Why not an endless stream of webbing? In this movie, Spider-Man’s web-throwing is provided by wrist devices that can run out of material. That does not impress me.

Now that I have that out of the way, I will say I enjoyed the movie for the most part. It picks up a couple of months after the events of the last Captain America movie. Peter Parker is back home with the Spider-Man suit that Tony Stark (aka Iron Man) has given him. The suit has technological advances but has been programmed to be in training mode. So Peter is pretty much left to his own devices without any further assistance from Stark. Oh yes, Stark keeps tabs on him just to make sure he doesn’t do “too” much.  To his credit, Peter does his best to be a local hero. The movie’s primary focus is on his teen struggles and his high school classmates. His school mates are believable and well thought-out characters. Peter’s friend, Ned, is especially endearing. His sheer excitement upon finding out his best friend is Spider-Man is adorable and funny. These are the parts of the movie that I enjoyed the most. After all, Peter is only 15 and he’s often distracted by school matters and his budding love for a special girl. On top of that, his struggles to use his super powers effectively is refreshing. He’s not perfect and doesn’t have all the right moves.

Of course, Peter eventually gets in a bit over his head when he stumbles upon the villain of the movie. It seems implausible to me that Tony Stark (as well as all the Avengers) would not have been more concerned about Vulture who is making weapons from alien materials. Oh, if you were expecting to see a lot of Iron Man in this movie, you will be disappointed. I was personally okay with it as this movie is supposed to be about Spider-Man. Besides, Tony Stark is oftentimes not that nice despite being an Avenger. So Peter is doing his best with little guidance on how to proceed in his role as hero. Stark only steps in when he doesn’t like how Peter uses the suit and just takes it away. Granted, Peter’s friend, Ned, had helped him turn off the training mode of the suit but I can’t say I blame Peter for wanting to do that. Why didn’t Stark take Peter under his wing more? Oh yeah, because Stark is a self-centered ass the majority of the time.

At this point, the movie goes more into action mode and some of it was hard to follow at times. I did enjoy the scenes in which Peter discovers all the new modes of a suit without restrictions. The interrogation mode, in particular, will having you laughing out loud. I do feel the movie was a bit long at 2 hours and 13 minutes but when all is said and done, the ending was satisfactory. Tom Holland gives us a likable Spider-Man with heart and humor. He is very convincing as a teen hero.

One side note: the video clips of Captain America during the movie were hilarious. Stay to the very end of the credits for one last laugh!

My score: B


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June 3 2017

Wonder Woman – Movie Review

I had been eagerly anticipating this movie for a long time. I just couldn’t believe that there had never been a feature film with Wonder Woman and yet there had been numerous Superman, Batman, and Spiderman movies. A part of me thought that there could never be a new actress to live up to Lynda Carter’s version of Wonder Woman and maybe that’s why they took so long bringing her to the big screen. When I first saw who they cast, I was skeptical but I gotta say I was not disappointed. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman. She has captured the essence of Wonder Woman and surpassed my expectations. This movie is her origin story and I love that she is unequivocally a god(dess), not just an Amazon princess. She’s got better powers than all the male superheroes combined. Yeah! She’s a badass and yet she’s still compassionate, feminine, and vulnerable  – everything I believed Wonder Woman to be watching her on TV as a kid.

The beginning of the movie shows Diana growing up on Themyscira, an island hidden from mankind. Diana desperately wants to be a warrior although her mother, Hippolyta, does not want her to learn to fight. Eventually, Hippolyta sees it is futile to stop Diana and she allows her sister, Antiope, to train her. There are some pretty cool fighting scenes and Antiope, played by Robin Wright, is fierce. Of course, Diana will become the best warrior of all the Amazons and she will learn a few surprising things about herself.

When WWI soldier Steve Trevor crash lands on the island and Diana rescues him, she learns of the Great War and is determined to put an end to it. Things kick into high gear at this point but there are also humorous moments in the movie that help Diana’s personality to shine through. Despite being a warrior, she has an innocence about the world that is endearing and eventually heartbreaking. In the end, Diana does help to end the war but she also learns what her life mission must be.

The best special effect of this movie is her Lasso of Truth. It was a brilliant idea to make it glow while in use because it helps you to follow the action. Slow-motion during the film is also used to good effect. Was this a perfect film? No, but it was darn close. I would have liked for her to actually have been called “Wonder Woman” at some point in the movie and I think that the role of Ares was miscast. But these are minor grievances. They need to start filming the next Wonder Woman film immediately!

My score: A

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May 30 2017

Not One, Not Two, But Three Movie Reviews!

I have always loved to go to the movies and this is the time of year when there are so many movies to see. I love summer! Okay, it’s not technically summer yet; but the movie feast has begun.

I also love that our theater has converted all their seats to recliners. *bliss* It’s a double bonus that you get assigned seating as well. No more having to get to the movie theater early to ensure a good seat. Now we can just stroll in ten minutes before the movies starts, head to our seats, kick back with our feet up, and enjoy the film!

In the past month, I have seen three movies and decided to lump them all into one, hopefully unique, review. (warning: slight spoilers ahead)

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (or how to do a sequel right)

The guardians are back and this time they are a cohesive team (well, mostly). Everything that made the first movie fun is continued in the sequel. The humor is there as well as the special effects. This time around, Star-Lord, Gamora, Drax, Rocket, and Groot are hired by the Sovereign alien race to protect their valuable batteries from invaders. But Rocket decides to steal one of the batteries and so the Sovereign send out their army to seek revenge and kill the guardians. Meanwhile, Star-Lord discovers who his father is and that’s when the fun begins. I thoroughly enjoyed the new character, Mantis, and hope that she will be joining the team in future movies. Baby Groot is a hoot. Hey, I’m a poet and don’t even know it! And what’s not to love about getting to see an old favorite like Kurt Russell playing Ego? Yes, this sequel is how it should be done – with one tiny exception – the soundtrack from the first movie was better. Eh, you can’t have everything.   My score: B+

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales (or how not to do a sequel)

This is the fifth Pirates movie and while there were some parts that were good, I found many of the action scenes incredibly ludicrous. Yes, the Pirate movies are known for some over-the-top stuff but I still had trouble suspending my disbelief at some scenes, in particular the team of horses dragging a giant building through the streets of town at top speed. Yeah… no. This new adventure has the pirate-killing ghost, Capt. Salazar, and his deadly ghost sailors escaping the Devil’s Triangle and hunting down their nemesis, Capt. Jack Sparrow. Meanwhile, Will Turner’s son, Henry, has discovered that the legendary Trident of Poseidon will free his father, who is living a cursed life at sea as the captain of the Flying Dutchman. He is aided by the headstrong astronomer and horologist, Carina. Eventually, everyone is after the Trident because of its power to command the ocean. Much of the “humor” in this film fell flat. Johnny Depp as Capt. Sparrow was inept and bumbling throughout the movie, relying on others to save him time and time again. The flashback to his younger days with the use of CGI wound up being very creepy. I just don’t think they have perfected CGI technology enough to convincingly show someone as younger. For me, the best parts of this movie were the scenes with Capt. Barbossa, played so well by Geoffery Rush; and the eventual reunion of Elizabeth Swan and Will Turner. And yet that end scene was still not long enough to satisfy me. It’s obvious they are trying to revive the franchise with new characters, namely Henry and Carina, but I think it’s time to let it all end.   My score: C

Snatched (or how to do ludicrous right)

Frankly, the only reason I went to see this movie was because of Goldie Hawn. I’ve always been a big fan. Despite that, I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from this movie and it certainly wasn’t the best comedy I’ve ever seen, but I still found myself laughing heartily. Sometimes I think that the audience and the person you are seeing the movie with (in this case, my daughter) can make all the difference in a viewing experience. Maybe that was the case for me. I mean, some of the humor was crude but the plot was so ludicrous at times that it became hilariously funny. And the people in the audience were loving it. There were even some endearing mother/daughter moments. Amy Schumer plays Emily who gets dumped by her boyfriend shortly before her planned “non-refundable” vacation to Ecuador. She persuades her reluctant mother, Linda (Goldie Hawn), to accompany her. Emily and Linda are almost polar opposites in their vacationing style and views on life. They have some squabbles and differences in opinion but when they are kidnapped by some bad guys, they have to work together to escape their captors. When all is said and done, these two women wind up doing more bad things than their captors. Joan Cusack as a stealthy ex-special ops agent trying to help them is a riot. And Emily’s freaked out brother and a less than helpful State Department official working to get the ladies rescued is a funny side story. I do think that some of Goldie’s fun-loving silliness was missing in this movie. Even so, it was good to see her acting again. When all is said and done, the best part of the movie was afterwards when my daughter gave me an extra long hug. So this movie ranks right up there with one of my best memories.   My score: A

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April 2 2017

Life – Movie Review

Non-spoiler Review: My daughter put it this way: “The highest budget B movie I’ve ever seen!”

My Review With Some Spoilers:

I generally don’t go to see horror movies – it’s not my favorite genre. I prefer humorous horror movies that don’t have me gripping the sides of my chair until my knuckles turn white. For example, I loved “Zombieland.” A little scary but mostly funny! And if I really want to date myself, 1984’s “Night of the Comet” was a fun zombie/end of the world type movie.

But back to ‘Life.” The preview for this movie looked intriguing albeit a little (okay, A LOT) reminiscent of “Alien”, but since my family wanted to see it, I was game. It has some star power: Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Hiroyuki Sanada, which left me hopeful it would be a good movie. The movie started off fairly well with a fun look at an interenational space station and the camaraderie of the crew. They are tasked with retrieving samples from Mars. Of course, they make a big discovery: a single cell organism which proves there is/was life on Mars. And here is where science and logic goes out the window (or should I say airlock?) This single cell organism rapidly grows and becomes an extremely crafty and intelligent octopus-like creature intent on consuming everyone. Imagine my disappointment when Ryan’s character gets killed off first. What?! That’s just not right! At times I was frustrated because the actors mumbled through some of their dialogue and I could not understand what they were saying. In the grand scheme of things, it didn’t really matter. There was also a very unnecessary scene involving a rat in which I averted my eyes for a while. It was only there for the gore factor. The alien creature is quite tenacious and it couldn’t even be killed by a blow torch. Eh, it was a crappy blow torch anyway because it didn’t seem to harm all the numerous equipment it was aimed at! Since there are only six crew members who make one stupid mistake after another, it doesn’t take this movie long to come to its conclusion. And that conclusion is rather predictable. I will refrain from spoiling that outcome in case you do want to see this movie. Frankly, the song played at the end of the movie is HUGE comedic relief. Somebody has a really sick sense of humor out there.

My score: D

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March 26 2017

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

I really wanted to love this movie. Ever since Disney has started remaking their classics as live action films, I’ve been loving it. Maleficent is one of my favorite movies of all time and I thought Cinderella was wonderful. I also thoroughly enjoyed Jungle Book. I was delighted to hear that Beauty and the Beast was next up. Since this is a tale as “old as time”, I’m going to assume that most people know the premise of the story. So where do I begin? While there was nothing awful about this film, there was also nothing spectacular either. The three previous remakes all had a special something that added to the story to make it unique, in particular Maleficent. I don’t feel that they succeeded in doing this with Beauty and the Beast.

When I first heard that Emma Watson was set to play Belle, I thought she was a perfect choice, but her facial expressions throughout the movie seemed off to me. It was obvious at times that she was acting with a “green screen.” She also didn’t have that joyful expression that I was expecting. And I guess that was part of my problem; I kept comparing this film to the animated version and the character of Belle just did not live up to my expectations.

Having said that, I do think that the Beast was well done and believable. There were moments of humor involving the Beast that were reminiscent of the animated film that I enjoyed. Oddly enough, my favorite character in the film was Gaston, played perfectly by Luke Evans. That’s really saying a lot because Gaston was my least favorite character before now. Haha. But I felt like Luke Evans embraced this character heart and soul and it really showed. I would also be remiss if I didn’t say that the ballroom scene made me a little teary eyed. It’s the pivotal scene to this movie and it was nicely done. Still, I also felt it was a tad too short. This is where they could have made this film great – instead of unnecessarily fleshing out Belle’s father’s back story, they could have focused more on why Belle and the Beast fall in love. After all, this is a love story. I do think that if you have never seen Beauty and the Beast before now, you would love this film. And while Belle’s yellow ball gown usually gets the most attention, her dress at the end of the movie is to die for!

My score: B-

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