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A movie directed by Daniel Barnz

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Review: 'Beastly'

  • Mar 24, 2011
  • by
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 his hotness and preaching that attractive people are the only ones who can win. He doesn't come by this philosophy unnaturally since his news anchor, distant father (Peter Krause) has been telling him that since he was a little tyke. And when Kyle ticks off the wrong person — Kendra (Mary-Kate Olsen), the emo chick at school who's really a witch — she hexes Kyle, gives him some serious facial scars and tattoos and sends him on his way to find love from the inside.

Here comes the part that's really hard to believe. After her drug-dealing father puts her in danger, Kyle manages to work out a deal to protect Lindy (Vanessa Hudgens), a girl he briefly met before he became hideous boy. At first, all Lindy knows is she's being forced to live with a weird guy named Hunter, his Jamaican housekeeper (Lisa Gay Hamilton) and the blind tutor (Neil Patrick Harris). But Kyle sees a possible chance at redemption — and love — with Lindy, and soon she warms up to Kyle, teaching him how to be a good person without the good looks.

Pettyfer, who is also starring in I Am Number Four, doesn't have much depth as the tortured Kyle, but he performs as best he can, while Hudgens mostly gets to stand around and look beautiful. Hamilton is sort of eye-rolling stereotypical as the wise Jamaican, as is Krause as the ultra-vain dad, which is too bad since the Parenthood actor can be so good. Olsen as the witch was a fascinating choice, and she plays it to the hilt, getting to wear all kinds of crazy wigs and fabulous costumes. Kudos to her for pulling it off. And thank god for Harris, who steals every scene he is in and adds all the right kinds of comedy in a movie he really has absolutely no business being in.

I do admit Pettyfer and Hudgens are pretty eye candy, and if I were 11-years-old (as is my daughter, who saw the movie with me), I might get swept up into the romance of it all. The story doesn't really have to make sense in order for you to be an adolescent swooning at the young leads. So for that reason, Beastly follows the Twilight pattern and succeeds in drawing in that same audience. I also remember the TV series Beauty and the Beast, which was also terribly romantic but didn't make a whole lot of sense either in its modern-day milieu. Yeah, without a castle, singing teapots, clocks and candlesticks, it just isn't the same, is it?

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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 15, 2011
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 …
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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Kit Bowen ()
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Member Since: Mar 24, 2011
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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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