Friday, March 4, 2011

Release Day: Beastly

So, today is Beastly's release date, changed from last year to fall more in line with all of the Hollywood fairy tale momentum that is starting this month and should continue through much of 2012. Of course, Red Riding Hood is getting more hype and attention, but I am hoping Beastly finds it audience and does well.  First of all, it is based on a book--Alex Flinn's Beastly--and that is always my hope for authors who manage to get movie options on their books, especially those who work with fairy tales. (And while we're here don't miss Flinn's new release Cloaked which I have blogged about recently.)

Usually my thoughts for opening day posts--albeit there hasn't been that many yet since I started the blog--is to share reviews. Well, the reviews for this movie are admittedly not that great. Phrases such as "typical teen tripe" and "only a skin-deep fairy tale‎" are the norm. As I browsed through them, I was met with the standard vitriol that is written about these types of movies. With Oscar season over for a bit, it's time to sit back and once again admit that most of us go to the movies for light entertainment, not heavy messages or themes.

So I decided not to quote those but to labor on soap box style for a few moments.

I have to admit my own hypocrisy and say that the only movie that inspired me to deal with driving to a far away theatre, pay good money and sit in a dark room with other filmgoers distracting me, in the past several months has been The King's Speech. (Loved it.) The last movie I saw in the theatre before that was Tangled. I enjoyed both of those so much that I've preordered DVDs of them.

But I am a reluctant movie goer--I've aged out of most of the target audiences, alas. I also prefer most of what is offered on TV over the big screen these days where I can usually find the character development that I personally need to maintain interest instead of wanting to get up and read or go back to my computer. Even the TV often requires me to have my computer nearby. Don't mistake this for snobbishness. I don't only prefer "highbrow" entertainment either and am equal opportunity. I watch my share of American Idol, Castle and Bones, and several USA Netword series to name a few. And am saddened by how much Bones has lost it's spark since the 100th episode, but that's another conversation... It's just that at this point in my life, I've seen it and done it. If the characters aren't compelling enough only the most outstanding of plots will seduce me and those are lightning in a barrel and only happen a few times a year. I think that is what brings on that ennui and wrath from movie reviewers, too, but they have to condemn a movie instead although it never claimed to be anything more than what it is, a few hours escape from our world.

I do want to see Beastly. I'm not sure that will be in the theatre though. My personal limitations may keep me away. But I do want to support it and will assuage the guilt with a DVD purchase. The underlying message of these reviews that I am not going to fully quote is that this is a film for a teen audience looking for some fantasy and romance--one who isn't as tired of Hollywood cliches and conventions--such as in this one in which "ugly" is still insanely beautiful and above the humble norms of me and perhaps you. Yes, that is my greatest quibble from what I've seen so far. But I have more than one friend who has complained about BBC productions because the people aren't pretty enough, so Hollywood has it partially right, unfortunately. I love BBC because so many people just look average and normal, not freaks of nature.

So, if you are a teen, go see Beastly. I doubt you will be disappointed. If you are an adult with a similar interest--and there are plenty of us, Harry Potter and Twilight proved that--this may work for you, too. Don't let the naysayers keep you away. Support the fairy tale!

All that said--and if you haven't gotten this far and do see the movie, please come back and report. I still might sneak off to see it but this weekend is the hubby's b-day, so other entertainment is being considered over going to the movies anyway.

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