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[Movie Review] - Beautiful Creatures

Beautiful Creatures by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl

Title: Beautiful Creatures
   Director: Richard LaGravenese
   Author: Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl
   Release Date: February 14th, 2013
   Rating: 7.5 Out of 10

     Ethan longs to escape his small Southern town. He meets a mysterious new girl, Lena. Together, they uncover dark secrets about their respective families, their history and their town.

From the Book:
     Is falling in love the beginning . . . or the end?

In Ethan Wate's hometown there lies the darkest of secrets . . .

There is a girl. Slowly, she pulled the hood from her head . . . Green eyes, black hair. Lena Duchannes.

There is a curse. On the Sixteenth Moon, the Sixteenth Year, the Book will take what it's been promised. And no one can stop it.

In the end, there is a grave.

Lena and Ethan become bound together by a deep, powerful love. But Lena is cursed and on her sixteenth birthday, her fate will be decided. Ethan never even saw it coming.


      Well I have to say I haven't read the book at all, and this is the first movie that went against my rule to read every book-movie adaptation. Beautiful Creatures was a movie I had almost no expectations about, unlike The Hunger Games, I just hoped it wasn't a Twilight want to be. The cast was a bit new and frankly I didn't know any of them. So I guess what I am saying is I didn't have a single clue as to what to expect in this movie period. So enjoying the movie or not was completely up in the air.

     So after seeing the movie, I ha d a few issues with it, but other than that it wasn't overall terrible. The characters were pretty mediocre, they capture the everyday teenager life. The actors did a great job capturing that notion, and ideal. However the background of the characters, I found myself wondering and asking more of. In this case, it wasn't the case of them not having a background, but I felt it needed more depth and originality.

     The movie did a great job casting Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich) and Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert). Alice is just so attractive and makes this role her own, she cast something that I doubt anyone else could do in that role. It's so sexy and yet sophisticated. Playing a girl who is so lost and alone in the world, she is striving to be accepted by someone and possibly fall for more. Its a typical teen girl love story, but she is so hard and stubborn it's a big refreshing. I just don't like how quick she is to always push Ethan away, it seemed a bit too much, almost like she never trusts him or his intentions at all.

     On the other hand Alden has this emotional character that expresses himself and fights back constantly that he just took it and ran. I loved Alden's portrayal, and just how he is able to express it, and while I know that it probably took maybe 100 shots to get that perfect expression I am gloating over, but it's just so good. In my opinion, he did a better job and shining through his character than what Theo did with Four. Blasphemy some of you are probably saying, but there is just more character in Ethan throughout the movie than what Tobias (Four) did.

     No for the parts that brings this down, the Castor heritage just isn't there. It's the past between Ethan and Lena's families that takes the main stage. I want to get to know or see the Castors more, but it just wasn't there. I wonder if this is part that was cut from the book, a reason for me to actually read the book now. I just don't understand why they didn't express it more. I mean Ethan is curious he wants to know more about it, but they just seem to glance over it and explain it all as, we are Witches but not exactly. It was aggravating.

     The last bit was the graphics of the Castor's spells. It just seemed so fake, normally or too generic would be a better word. I loved the bits when the graphics interacted with Ethan or anyone else, but when there was talking along with the Graphics of the spells, the movement or motion stopped (with the mouth) while the black overlay of the spell just clouded everything else. It was like we have to reshoot this if we do a cheesey and lame job at a black overlay and hope it works. I found it sad, and rather insulting to the movie itself. Try to do it better.

     In Conclusion, the characters and the overall plot was okay, it wasn't anything I would exclaim or crow over. The actors however were the best part of the movie casting a light on two rather generic normal character, but gave them a light that I don't think any other actors could have done in the same role. Alden by far took the stage in this movie, and I applaud him. However with the lame spells and the lack of some Castor history or influence really, it just lacked something I thought the movie needed to take from the book. If you want a movie that's good, lacks a bit of the book mechanics, but somehow pulls off a decently good movie, I would recommend this movie to you. Just be warned that at times it will drive you crazy and wish to know more about the Castors and see better spells than tables turning and walking through doors.
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