16 February 2013 | songbirdn
Much Better Than I Was Expecting
When I first heard that Beautiful Creatures (the novel) was going to be adapted into a movie, I was hesitant to see it, due to the fact that the trailers were absolutely horrible. I'm just glad that the movie focused on a lot more than a supernatural romance, because that's only one of many interesting and complicated plot lines.
Despite the fact that the LA Times and the NY Times gave the flick great reviews, a bunch of lesser-known critics were much harsher on it. After reading some of these reviews, I was shocked to see how biased and silly some of the comments were. It was clear that these were people that walked in to the theater expecting Twilight and were too self-conscious about praising a teen movie to say that it wasn't.
Twilight is all about the romance. Beautiful Creatures has a big Romeo and Juliet thing going on, but at the same time, there's mysteries, prophesies, hypocrisy, Southern politics, Civil War history, religion, death, evil forces, and all sorts of madness making for quite an interesting story (with some very witty and sarcastic dialogue to put a cherry on top).
Other people that read the book were likewise upset, because they thought it strayed too much from the source material. The only MAJOR change made was about 3/4 of the way through the movie, and the end result was still the same as the book. The reason why the writer did this was for the sake of TIME. If he hadn't made that change, the movie would have dragged on for three hours as oppose to rapping itself up nicely at two.
I thought the acting was good as well, and Alden Ehrenreich and Alice Englert had nice chemistry as Ethan and Lena. Of course, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, and Viola Davis gave great performances, but that comes as no surprise. Emmy Rossum as the wicked siren, Ridley, was fabulous, and Thomas Mann was hilarious as Link.
I especially loved Thompson's twisted character-she played a crazy Republican fundamentalist named Mrs. Lincoln, who gets possessed by Sarafine Duchannes, the most powerful Dark Caster alive. As Sarafine, her performance was definitely "Dark", bridging on psychotic. Not what I was expecting, but I liked it.
However, I thought some of the other actors, like the girls that played the Barbie cheerleaders, were horrible. There is a way to portray phony people and there is a way to pull off a satire while still keeping it believable.
Besides plot and acting, I loved the costumes and set. They were very beautifully done and really captured the gorgeous yet creepy atmosphere of the story. In addition, the effects were cool-nothing to die over, but they served their purpose.
Lastly, I thought the soundtrack was awesome and very different. The mix of classical, blues, country, and alternative music worked great with the film.
Overall, I think the movie is an 8 out of 10. It's not amazing, but it is entertaining, interesting, and something I recommend seeing.