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March 18th, 2011

Movie Review - Beastly

Beastly

Starring: Alex Pettyfer, Mary-Kate Olsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Neil Patrick Harris, Lisa Gay Hamilton, Peter Krause and more.
Directed/Screenplay by: Daniel Barnz  Based on the Novel by:  Alex Flinn  Original Music by: Marcelos Zarvos

Premise: Modern retelling of the Beauty and the Beast in New York City.

Review: I'm a sucker for Beauty and the Beast movies. There's just certain tales that I will go watch every time they're redone.  This is one of them. And I'm glad I did.

Everyone involved with the film gave it a fun, fresh feel to the old story.  Some nice chemistry or the beginnings of chemistry between super popular Kyle and and down to earth Lindy right before the world gave out under Kyle's feet. The addition of Neal Patrick Harris was brilliant. A nice bringer of humor to lighten the dark, somber, estranged Kyle. And you'll love Mary-Kate Olsen as the witch. Too fun!

All the original earmarks of the tale of Beauty and the Beast are here - a test failed by Kyle which gets him cursed; the one year time limit to find true love; fate giving Kyle a way to strong arm Lindy's father to have her stay at his home; roses.

Having said that, there are also many new surprises.  Reasons are shown why Kyle was the shallow, skin deep only boy we meet at the beginning. The transformation of Kyle is not into a beast but someone with tattoos, torn skin, embedded metal. And the sign of his curse, the way to keep track of its progress - some really nice subtle special effects for this one - a giant rose bush with roots in his hand and up his wrist, with the crown on his arm - and it goes through the seasons. There was a section passage of time that was also done in a subtle surreal way that totally complemented the film. 

The ending had a slight twist from the norm, which was also a nice surprise. I especially liked the question it through in, the spiking of unexpected tension after he believes Lindy's gone on her trip - will she know him now as she did then? (No, I won't explain. Don't want to spoil it!)  Fun film!

Rating: 4 out of 5  (No hubby rating as he didn't want to see it. Now I get to rib him that he missed a good one. Nyah!)
Gloria Oliver
Unveiling the Fantastic
www.gloriaoliver.com

Novels


JEWEL OF THE GODS

(2015) Fantasy

The King is Dead! Long Live the Undead King!


Excerpt:
"What are you implying?"

The magister glided forward and scrunched down beside him.

"That in order to bathe, you must first actually get into the bath."





INNER DEMONS

(2014) Urban Fantasy

It took everything from her, except revenge!


Excerpt:
The muscles in my right arm jerked from tension as I tried to make it move and it resisted. A shrill scream inside my head insisted I didn't want to do this. That if I did, there'd be no way to take it back. "I...I'm afraid."



THE PRICE OF MERCY

(2011) Young Adult – Fantasy

Which is worse…the monster without or within?


Excerpt:

Home—family—the two things he would never have, the two things forever denied him…because of her.

Anger welled inside him, the heat of it suffusing him to the core, gurgling with seething emotions the total opposite of the coolness splashing down from the fountain nearby. Before he realized what he was doing, Jarrin stepped inside the gazebo.




CROSS-EYED DRAGON TROUBLES
(2007) Young Adult – Fantasy
“Harry Potter meets Dragon Riders of Pern”

Excerpt:

“Do you need any help?” she asked. “Just tell me what you want me to do. If you prefer, I’m sure I can round up at least a few people to come over and give you a hand.”

Kel slowly shook his head. “It’s all right. Thanks anyway.” His voice lowered to where she almost couldn’t hear it. “This is all part of my punishment.’

She frowned, not understanding what he meant. “Punishment?”

Kel cocked his head in Clarence’s direction. In a flash, she understood. None of this was an accident. Clarence had landed there deliberately, hoping to make Kel pay for all he went through in the past month. She shook her head, not wanting to believe this, but what the dragon said next took any doubts right out of her head.



WILLING SACRIFICE
(2008) Young Adult – Fantasy
“To save the world she must DIE! Or must she?”

Excerpt:

Panic and fear filled with utter helplessness made her dizzy. She knew what would be done with her, she knew what they planned. But there was nothing she could do to stop any of it.

Sharp gasps echoed in her ears as she felt the room’s cold air caress the Eye.

“You were right. She is the one.”



IN THE SERVICE OF SAMURAI
(2002) Adult/YA – Japanese Fantasy Adventure
“The Last Samurai meets Pirates of the Caribbean”

Excerpt:

Laying the blade on the floor before him, Toshi parted his kimono until his stomach lay exposed. He tucked his sleeves beneath his legs to hold him upright if he should falter. Ignoring Asano, he took up the blade. His shoulder flared with pain and he tried not to flinch, as he grabbed the blade with both hands. He turned the wakizashi until its sharp point was aimed at his belly, the residence of his soul.



VASSAL OF EL
(2004) Adult/YA – Fantasy Mystery
“He tried to forget his past, but his past wouldn’t forget him”

Excerpt:

Torren took a step back a sudden shudder racking through him. It was as if he’d never left, as if the boy he’d been would be coming back-though the one who’d loved this room and all these things was long, long dead. That boy died when he’d watched his father’s blood pour forth from his mouth, the end of a sword protruding from his abdomen. That boy died when he survived while everyone else lay dead.

Info, sample chapters, and free reads at www.gloriaoliver.com

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