Monday, March 27, 2017

Beauty by Robin McKinley Book Review

This is my last Beauty and the Beast themed post for a while, I promise.

222659 Goodreads Synopsis: A young woman, well educated and honourable, accepts responsibility for her father's act and leaves her family to enter the enchanted world of castle and Beast. The Beast she finds is not the one she imagined, but can she stay with him?

A gifted storyteller embellishes the classic tale, developing a new and very real world of her own in a love story that has all the wonder and magic of the fairy tale.


My least favorite part of this book was its pacing. Had the first third been much shorter and the last fifth much longer, I would have enjoyed it much better. The author took far too long setting up the story, wasting pages and attention that should have been devoted to Beauty and the Beast's relationship. 

And I found the ending sweet, but anticlamactic. The ending, by the way, is my favorite of all the Beauty and the Beast movies and re-tellings I can remember reading/seeing. It needs to be perfect and beautiful and happy, but when this one fell a little flat, there was little other merit to praise.

Also, I couldn't get into the characters(except maybe the Beast). Beauty's family was horrible for letting her give herself to the Beast, but I was lost between confusion over why she missed them and then how she adjusted to indefinitely living without them so easily.

Essentially there was nothing to drive the story beyond my desire to finish it and write a review in the near future. 

All that being said, there were enough small things that added up to make a not-entirely-bad book.  I appreciated the literary references, many of the twists to the original fairy tale, and the incorporation of a horse as the main character.

So, long story short, I was disappointed, but  I don't hate Beauty. I just don't know if I could honestly say I like it.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Movie Review (Spoiler Free)

My two main impressions:

~ it was really, really pretty

~it was really, really sweet

The music made me happy and, though some cast members sang better than others, it was pretty well executed.



Most of the additional scenes were fun, especially the prologue(that eyeshadow, though), but many of them failed to complement the original story. For example, at one point the Beast and Belle use time travel apparatus to visit her past and discover what happened to the mother who was never mentioned in the cartoon. That scene served to satisfy our interest about her mom, but did little to drive the story or develop the characters.

Also, without revealing too much, the ending played out a little differently than it did in the 1991 movie. I didn't care for the alterations, but "on that point it is best to remain silent" until you have seen it and decided for yourself. :)

Now, besides the music and visuals and sweetness, the one other element that filled my heart with joy was the casting. So much yes. So many familiar faces and perfect choices for the roles. The actors I appreciated  were...

-Emma Watson

Hermione! She was a pretty good Belle. She looks like Belle to begin with and she brought the strong, but feminine attributes essential to most good female characters.

-Dan Stevens


He played one of my favorite characters in Downton Abbey, Mathew Crawley. I was looking forward to the transformation at the end of the movie when he would look like said Downton Abbey character, but, to my delight, the CGI managed to match his facial expressions to that of the Beast's to where I could was thinking, "Wow, that's just the way Matthew would have said that!" throughout the movie.

-Emma Thompson 

Mrs. Potts has never really been my favorite character, but Emma Thompson pulled the role off nicely.

-Luke Evans

Isn't it funny how both the live-action Disney princess remakes have featured a villain played by an actor who was a hero in a Tolkien movie? (sorry, that was a mouthful)

Cinderella featured Cate Blanchett(Galadriel) as the evil stepmother and Beauty and the Beast included Luke Evans(Bard) as Gaston. Both cases required a little getting used to, but in the end, Luke Evans was a perfect Gaston. He made him humorous and despicable and just like the cartoon.

-Gugu-Mbatha Raw

She had a relatively minor role as the featherduster, but it was nice(and somewhat ironic) to see the graceful star of Belle

Lastly, I was surprised to recognize Hattie Morahan(the enchantress) from Sense and Sensibility and Mr. Holmes.

~~~

Now, about the gay character. Yes, LeFou was gay. Yes, the "exclusively gay moment" the director promised us was nothing more than about three seconds of men dancing with each other, but yes, there were a fair number of clues leading up to that. LeFou mildly flirts with Gaston throughout the film, which is uncomfortable, but not terribly inappropriate. Just disagreeable and unfortunate.

Downton Abbey(the best tv show ever) features a gay character as well. It's definitely uncomfortable, but I still watch the show because it takes a neutral position on his actions(and because it never crosses my personal border of content I don't tolerate on a screen). It doesn't shove it under our noses and ask us to celebrate like Disney did.

As a teenager, the issue was whether I would financially support something I didn't morally support. In this select circumstance, I was willing to do that. That was my decision, but I respect yours.



So, conclusion: Beautiful(and somewhat shallow)...but mostly beautiful. To quote my previous mini-review, "a long string of overwhelming eye candy". :)

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast? Did you like the casting?

Monday, March 20, 2017

"Adieu, Adieu, To You, and You, and You"

I'm taking an internet break for three weeks starting today, just so you all are aware. I do have two posts scheduled for this week, but after that nothing until April.



I need more time for reading, family, school, writing, and movies and *ahem* worthy tv shows.  And it seems good to step away from the all-consuming distraction and addiction that is the internet. 

So long, friends! :)

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 1991 Quotes Answers

The quotes and their characters are...

1. "If it's not Baroque, don't fix it."

Cogsworth 

2.

Character 1: "The wheels in my head have been turning."
Character 2: "A dangerous pastime."
Character 1: "I know."

Gaston and LeFou respectively 


3. "So you want me to throw her into the asylum, unless she agrees to marry you? Oh, that is despicable. I love it!"

Monsieur D'Arque("creepy person" and "asylum guy"count xD)

4. "For once it might be grand to have someone understand-- I want so much more than they've got planned."

Belle

5. "Well, there's the usual things: flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep."

Cogsworth

6. "How can you read this? There's no pictures!"

Gaston

7. "Master, I could be wrong, but this might not be the best way to win the girl's affections."

Lumiere

8. "Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?"

Chip

9. "Perhaps there's something there that wasn't there before."

Mrs. Potts

10. "Don't you see? She's the one. The girl we have been waiting for. She's come to break the spell."


Lumiere


Scores
Livia Rachelle- 80%
Fawnabelle Baggins- 90%
Mary Horton- 90%
Cordy- 100%
KB- 80%
Madison- 100%
MovieCritic-30%


Beauty and the Beast Trailer Game Answers

I'm sorry to post the answers so tardily!

Here are the screenshots in the correct order:


(a)
(g)
(b)
(c)
(e)
(d)
(f)

-The Scores-
MovieCritic- 100% 
Cordy-  71%



Saturday, March 18, 2017

Beauty and the Beast Week Wrap-Up Post



Thank you so much to everyone who participated in my Beauty and the Beast week!



There were a few posts I didn't get around to, namely a book review of Beauty by Robin McKinley(which I think I called "Belle" a few times, so sorry for any confusion) and a review of the 2017 movie. But since I still want to write both of those, I will publish them soon-- just out of the context of this week. :) 

Here are the tag participants-


And other related BatB posts were...

~Hamlette's review of The Phantom of the Opera book and its similarities to Beauty and the Beast, which I found fascinating. 

~Heidi's lovely review of Belle by Cameron Dokey 

~Cordy's To Set Your Fairy Tale Minds At Ease, in which she defended Beauty and the Beast and that Belle fell in love with "a beast" 

~Mary's A Word About Beauty and the Beast, which was excellent

~Rose's post about the Broadway musical of Beauty and the Beast(yay!)

~Tarissa's review of the original fairy tale, which I want to read now 


If you wrote something that I didn't link, please tell me and I will add your link. Thanks for participating! :) 

Friday, March 17, 2017

VERY Short Beauty and the Beast 2017 Analysis

Well, I have seen Beauty and the Beast 2017.

Three thoughts:


1. The casting was very perfect. 

2. The music was beautiful. 

3. Almost the whole thing was a long string of overwhelming eye candy. So much prettiness. :)



More about my impressions and the "explicitly gay moment"(*rolls eyes*) later.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Beauty and the Beast 1991 Quotes Game



Hello, all! I'm so sorry I've been neglecting to reply to your comments. I will do that soon, but I'm pretty packed today(and planning to see BatB in theaters tonight!!), so I haven't gotten around to the comments.



Anyways, here is a quick game for those of you who've seen the 1991 Disney movie(and those of you haven't, I suppose). Just submit which character(s) said the quote, and I will post the scores on Saturday! :D

1. "If it's not Baroque, don't fix it."

2.
Character 1: "The wheels in my head have been turning."
Character 2: "A dangerous pastime."
Character 1: "I know."

3. "So you want me to throw her into the asylum, unless she agrees to marry you? Oh, that is despicable. I love it!"

4. "For once it might be grand to have someone understand-- I want so much more than they've got planned."

5. "Well, there's the usual things: flowers, chocolates, promises you don't intend to keep."

6. "How can you read this? There's no pictures!"

7. "Master, I could be wrong, but this might not be the best way to win the girl's affections."

8. "Do I still have to sleep in the cupboard?"

9. "Perhaps there's something there that wasn't there before."

10. "Don't you see? She's the one. The girl we have been waiting for. She's come to break the spell."



Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Two Broadway Beauty and the Beast Songs You Should Try

It's not too late to jump in on the Beauty and the Beast party! :)



As you are probably aware, there is a Broadway Beauty and the Beast musical which currently travels the country.

(What you may not be aware of is that Hugh Jackman once played Gaston in the Australian cast.)

But that is neither here nor there.

Actually, I wanted to highlight two songs from the musical which aren't in either of the Disney movies, but still deserve attention. :)

They are...

Home

Is this home? Is this what I must learn to believe in? Try to find something good in this tragic place? 



Belle sings this one. It has a nice melody, and fleshes out a little more what was arguably skimmed over in the cartoon: her internal processes after deciding to stay with the Beast. Essentially she acknowledges the undesirable circumstances, but resolves to make the best of them. But much more eloquently. ;) 

If I Can't Love Her

No beauty could move me, no goodness improve me, no power on earth, if I can't love her. 



A song from the Beast! We didn't get this in the cartoon, but we should have. It develops his enigmatic character, especially at a pivotal part of his arc. And it harks back to the prologue song, which is beautiful.

Honorable Mention: Me(sung by Gaston)

What are your favorite songs from the Broadway musical? 

Monday, March 13, 2017

Why Belle Is My Favorite Disney Cartoon Princess

Day Three of the Beauty and the Beast Week! :D Today I'm discussing one of my favorite things about the Disney movie, Belle.





I prefer Belle to Mulan, I prefer her to (cartoon) Cinderella, and I prefer her to Snow White. She strikes a perfect balance between their flaws. Mulan practically abandons femininity, but Belle embraces it. Snow White and Cinderella fall into the damsel-in-distress stereotypes, but Belle can stand on her own to feet. By the end of the movie, Belle and the Beast had each saved each other's lives.

Also, I like Belle because I get her. She's the social outcast of her society and, while that isn't quite how I would describe myself, I'm no Gaston either. My interests often contradict societal norms, but like Belle, I'm usually okay with that.

And I love books. I love experiencing a good story again and again.



Lastly, despite my introversion, you could say I want "adventure in the great wild somewhere," in a sense. I want to dream big, even if I don't have any very specific aspirations at the moment.

And so, because of her femininity matched with capability and her similarity to myself, Belle is my favorite Disney princess.

(minus Lily James's Cinderella, who isn't a cartoon character) 

Who is your favorite Disney princess? Do you identify with Belle? 

Beauty and the Beast 2017 Trailer Game

If you're like me, you've seen the latest Beauty and the Beast trailer many times. 

So, I thought it would be fun to test your memory of the trailer. :) I have eight screenshots below in random order. Organize them by their appearance in the trailer and I will post the answers Saturday! 

The scoring might be a little tricky, so you'll have to bear with me on that one, but I'll figure something out. :)  

a.

b.

c

d.

e.

f.

g.

Sunday, March 12, 2017

My Answers To The Beauty and the Beast Week Tag

Here are my answers! 





1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast?
When I was around four or five and watched the Disney movie. Come to think of it, we had a picture book version of the (non-Disney) story, so that may have been first.  Either way, I was four or five(or even three perhaps).

2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast?
I've seen the cartoon, read the picture book version I just mentioned, listened to the Broadway recording, seen a high school production, and read Beauty by Robin McKinley.

Also I've read The Phantom of the Opera and Howl's Moving Castle which are at least reminiscent of BatB, if not technically re-tellings.

3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the  Beast?
Belle! I'm going to publish a whole post on why she's my favorite later this week.

4. What is your favorite song from the Beauty and the Beast(cartoon or Broadway musical)?
Probably Belle, the first song from the movie. I also love The Mob Song for some reason. I'm interested what that will look like in the live-action movie.

5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be?
A wardrobe would be fun, I could hold lots of pretty dresses.

6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.)

I really like most of the cast for the 2017 movie, but I would like to see Georgie Henle as Belle.

7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play?
I'd probably like to play one of the blonde girls in the village who sing in Belle. A small role, but expressive, and I'd get to sing. ^.^

8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times?
Yup. Very much.

9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change?
Hmmm. I think it would be fun to try to incorporate time travel. I'm not sure how exactly, but it's an interesting thought.

10. Are roses your favorite flowers? 

No, I don't think I have a favorite flower... I do want to name one of my daughters Rose someday, though.

Beauty and the Beast Week Kick-Off and Tag

It has started! :)

I'm so happy that you all were interested to join-- it should be fun! :)

First of all, I should clarify something. I built the scheduling of this week around the live-action Beauty and the Beast movie which is coming out this Friday. But sadly, the director announced recently that it will feature a gay character-- LeFou. This development certainly disappointed me-- I believe that the Bible flatly condemns same-sex relationships and that it's inappropriate for Disney to force this kind of content into a kid's movie. And for these reasons, many Christians have chosen to not see or support the movie this week.

I respect that, and if you are among them, that's fine-- we can still celebrate and discuss the cartoon and other manifestations of the story this week. :)  And if you are planning to see it-- great! We'll see how it goes. 0.0

I just ask that if you agree with Disney's decision, you remain respectful to those of us who don't.

So, here's how this is going to work--

I'm going to post a game tomorrow and several other Beauty and the Beast-related posts throughout the week. I'll post the game answers and a wrap-up post this Saturday. The wrap-up post will contain a list of all the pertaining links to what you've written, so if you're planning to participate(even just filling out the tag), please remember to submit the link in the comments below this post.

The subject includes the cartoon Disney movie, the new Disney movie, the original fairy-tale, or any other movie/tv/book adaptions or re-tellings.


The Blog Buttons:






The Tag Questions: 

1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast?
2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast?
3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the  Beast?
4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast?
5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be?
6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.)
7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play?
8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times?
9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change?
10. Are roses your favorite flowers?