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A movie directed by Daniel Barnz

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  • Mar 15, 2011
  • by
Before I start this review, I would like to share a little anecdote. I often go to the movies with my friend (that I mentioned in the Twilight review), and we have many great stories to tell. But this one is terribly funny, even if you don't find it all that interesting. We were waiting in the huge popcorn line and this lady was in front of us ordering for a goddamn platoon and wrangling four or five kids who were all talking their heads off. The same thing happened when we were waiting to get in the damn theatre. Thankfully, we never saw them again, because they weren't seeing Beastly. Anyway, on to the actual review.

Beastly was nowhere near as bad as the critics made it out to be, but it is a teenage girl movie and none of the critics on RT are teenage girls. It was oddly paced at the beginning and full of corny dialogue. It won't change the history of film as we know it, but it wasn't at all poorly acted even though it did have little to add to the brilliant source material. For your information, I have read the book that Beastly is based on, and ever since me and my friend both saw the trailer for this at Easy A, we were both excited to see it, mostly because we had both read the book and that Alex Pettyfer is a pretty blonde boy (for the beginning and end of the movie anyway). Plus, we both love NPH, but...getting anecdotal again...moving on.

For those of you who don't know, Beastly is about Kyle Kingson (Pettyfer), a very sexy, but mean popular kid at his exclusive NYC high school. He pisses off a goth girl (Olsen) who was giving him a second chance, and weird things start to happen. See, Kendra (the goth girl) happens to be a witch, and she turns him into a bald tattooed freak who is as agressively unattractive outside as he is inside. She also says that he has a year to find someone to love him or he stays that ugly forever.

His equally superficial and distant dad dumps him in a house with Zola (the maid) and Will (NPH the blind tutor). Circumstances happen, and Lindy (Hudgens) a pretty girl from Kyle's school ends up living in the house. Lets just say that she is the rough equivalent of Belle and he is the rough equivalent of the Beast. Those of you who have read the book and want to see this will be happy to know that, despite all they cut out, all the basic plot elements of the book are still there. Before I even heard that this book existed, I thought it was a very interesting idea, sort of a modern-day adaptation of Beauty and the Beast told from the perspective of the Beast. Anyway, the story, while not perfect, still has the basic elements of the book and was still pretty good.

The dialogue, however, was very corny and was the main problem of the movie. It is a romance movie, and a teenage romance movie at that, so the corny dialogue (except from Neil Patrick Harris) isn't anything that I wasn't expecting beforehand. Of course I didn't like how much they cut from the book, and I (as well as my friend) thought that it was very oddly paced at the beginning and the beginning was incredibly abrupt. However, as the movie progresses, the pacing gets better and the movie actually gets quite good. Those were the only major problems in the movie, but it was otherwise good.

The performances started off very shaky, but as the movie progressed, they got better. Before I start in on the performances, I should probably take this time to tell you how much I love Neil Patrick Harris. I adore him and he's the only reason why I watch How I Met Your Mother and judging by what I've seen he seems like quite possibly the most charming man alive. Anyway, he is fantastic in this movie, probably the best actor in it, but I could ramble on about him for paragraphs, so we shall move on to the leads. I have only seen Vanessa Hudgens in the High School Musical movies, and I suppose she wasn't bad in them. You know, nothing great, but nothing terrible. She was also okay in this movie, but who I was really impressed by was Alex Pettyfer in the lead role.

I haven't seen I Am Number Four yet, but Alex Pettyfer always looked like a "maybe he'll be good, maybe he won't type of actor". I thought he was quite impressive in this movie, even though his performance did seem rather insecure, because he is a new actor. His American accent was spot-on, not showing shades of Brit like Robert Pattinson. When he becomes rather ugly, he progresses into a genuinely nice guy and we want to see him get the girl. In the middle of the movie, when Lindy says "You're a good friend", the whole theatre (including myself and my friend) had a chorus of "uh" because we want to see him get the girl. In the end, when he finally does, we are all quite happy because he's transformed into a nice guy and isn't a cruel bully anymore. Mary Kate Olsen was rather unmemorable albeit quite witchy-looking, and the rest of the cast is fairly unmemorable. All in all, NPH was the best performance, but Pettyfer and the others did quite well also.

All in all, if you are a teenage girl or into sappy romance, then you will probably like this movie. If you are a male who doesn't like sappy romance, then I would encourage you to avoid this movie like the plague. It is very teenager-y, which is probably why the critics didn't like it, but its not nearly as bad as the critics made it out to be. It featured decent performances and a decent story, but a corny script and odd pacing. In short, its a decent romance to watch on a rainy day.

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More Beastly reviews
review by . March 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
A Tale As Old As Time...Beauty and The
Every now and then I allow myself to be dragged into seeing a movie that I normally wouldn’t even see unless it was on video. Well, since I haven’t seen any reviews for “Beastly” in Movie Hype (during the time of this review), I allowed myself to get dragged into the theaters to see this film. I’ve always said that “seeing a bad movie is something one needs to experience; that way, one can see what is the difference between a really bad movie and a mediocre one”. …
review by . November 06, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
I don't generally rent movies for their cover art, because it usually dosn't turn out as well for me as when i buy books for the cover. But since my weekends of late have been long, and for lack of a better word, lonely, here i am watching Beastly. Let me just forewarn readers now this review is riddled with spoilers. The story goes as follows, Kyle, our typical popular highschool kid; rich, attractive blah blah is running for president for "president of the green committe" wich i'm assuming is …
review by . March 25, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
There is something fun about film adaptations to pieces of literature.  Granted there are some books that should NEVER be messed with, but there are others that have potential of being something... well... interesting. Beastly is a fun book for what it is, and I feel that Young Adult lit is kind of one of those "touchy" areas because kids and teens read at different levels and have such a wide variety of interests that it quickly becomes one of those "agree to disagree" …
review by . March 24, 2011
Beastly should be considered a romantic flick by the tweener set but fails as a modern-day take on the classic Beauty and the Beast tale.    As the story goes, there's a vain prince who thinks of no one else but himself, so a witch curses him, turning him into a beast and giving him one year to find a girl to love him, not for his looks but for what's inside. In Beastly, the prince is a modern-day high school stud named Kyle (Alex Pettyfer), who basically rules the roost by proclaiming …
review by . March 08, 2011
posted in Movie Hype
Star Rating:         Beastly, based on the novel by Alex Flinn, is Beauty and the Beast for the Twilight generation. I grant you that this is not automatically a bad idea, and admittedly, aspects of the film are charming – in their own naïve, adolescent ways. There’s also no mistaking the message of the film, which is important and made abundantly clear: Looking beautiful isn’t nearly as important as acting beautiful. None of this changes the …
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About this movie


  • Prone to mocking and humiliating "aggressively unattractive" classmates, Kyle zeroes in on Goth classmate Kendra, inviting her to the school's extravagant environmental bash. Kendra accepts, and, true to form, Kyle blows her off in a particularly savage fashion. She retaliates by casting a spell that physically transforms him into everything he despises. Enraged by his horrible and unrecognizable appearance he confronts Kendra and learns that the only solution to the curse is to find someone that will love him as he is -- a task he considers impossible. Repulsed by his appearance, Kyle's callous father banishes him to Brooklyn with a sympathetic housekeeper and blind tutor. As Kyle ponders how to overcome the curse and get his old life back, he chances upon a drug addict in the act of killing a threatening dealer. Seizing the opportunity, Kyle promises the addict freedom and safety for his daughter, Lindy, if she will consent to live in Kyle's Brooklyn home.
  • Poster art for "Beastly."
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    Director: Daniel Barnz
    Genre: Drama, Fantasy, Romance
    Release Date: 4 March 2011 (USA)
    MPAA Rating: PG-13
    Screen Writer: Daniel Barnz, Alex Flinn
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