Monday, October 3, 2011

Movies You Might Have Missed Monday

It’s October!! Wow. Can’t believe that. Time flies.

I know lots of movie lovers who look forward to this time of year because they are fans of those stories that are designed to frighten them into peeing their pants. In the weeks leading up to Halloween, my fellow film fans love to load up on horror, monster and generally scary flicks.

Me… not so much. It’s not that I’ve a frail constitution. My theory is that the adrenaline rush that is ‘fear’ does not give me a thrill, as in the thrill of riding a roller coaster, rather it makes my joints ache as if I have the flu. It’s just not pleasant for me. It’s the one genre of story that’s not my favorite.

But I do like suspense and mystery. So over the next couple of weeks, I’ll share the films at least remotely related to the season that fit into my comfort level.

The first one is about as ‘monster’ movie as I get. It’s a modern take on a classic fairy tale, and of course it communicates a worthy moral.

Earlier this year, a little movie by CBS Films called Beastly hit theatres starring up-and-coming cutie pie Alex Pettyfer (I Am Number Four) and Vanessa Hudgens of High School Musical fame. It’s a live-action, modern telling of the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Alex plays Kyle, his high school’s prince, gorgeous, rich, cocky and mean. Vanessa plays Lindy, a hard-working beauty and fellow student of Kyle’s who doesn’t have it so easy at home with her addict father. Early in the plot, Kyle plays a cruel joke on the class Goth, a self-proclaimed witch named Kendra, played by Mary-Kate Olsen. In order to teach Kyle a lesson, Kendra places a curse on him. Kyle’s inner beastliness mars his good looks making him ugly with scars, blemishes and tattoos including the image of a tree on the inside of his arm. The curse remains unless someone tells him they love him before the tree goes through all the seasons – basically, a year.

Kyle goes through a gamut of emotions as he copes with his biggest fears, his own prejudices, and the ugliness of his soul. On a sharp learning curve aided by a sympathetic housemaid, a blind tutor, and an unsuspecting Lindy, Kyle discovers the meaning of true love and beauty.

I like this story and how it fleshes out in this movie. It’s not brilliant as far as writing is concerned, and yes it gets a little sappy (but only a little!). Though the story is perfect for young people, the PG13 language puts it more at young adult, so I think the producers didn’t have their target audience clearly in focus. Still, Beastly is clever enough, teaches a timeless and important theme, and makes for a pleasant evening of movie watching.

Okay, okay, next week a true horror movie… promise.

Happy Movie Watching, Dry Ground friends!

(photo by