Thursday, February 14, 2013

Beautiful Creatures? How did I miss this?

 In today's edition of "I suppose I really can't be everywhere at once" Beautiful Creatures is coming out.

Maybe it's that I have been loath to start a new non-steampunk mythical creature romance franchise since the whole Twilight Era, but to be entirely fair, when it's done well, they can be my absolute favorite thing.

That said, I'll be checking out Beautiful Creatures now, in part because there seem to be some pretty heady opinions in the press about it not being awful.
Beautiful Creatures is what Twilight would be if it were awesome
"Everything you hated about Twilight — the bad dialogue, the sappy scenarios and drippy characters, the eye-rolling politics — is made right in Beautiful Creatures. This flick is a supernatural high school romance full of teenagers who talk like real human beings and make decisions that aren't entirely stupid. And yet it's still a terrific, fun flight of fancy about witches, ghosts of the Civil War, and a small southern town where church ladies fight librarians for the souls of the young. This is the movie you never expected to like — but you probably will. "
Review: Beautiful Creatures (2013) Is Almost Fantastic
Over at the Huffington Post
"The film paints an evocative picture of life in a dead-end fundamentalist American small town and is unapologetic about depicting some unpleasant sides of religious fundamentalism.  But while the film outright soars when  it focuses on character and human interaction, it cannot withstand the weight of its own overly contrived mythology.  The deeper the film gets into its central conflict the more of a mechanical plot exercise it becomes.  So superb is the first two thirds of Beautiful Creatures that I felt genuine disappointment when the film flubbed the landing, ending itself in the territory of merely 'very good.' "
Of course, for everyone who likes YA Paranormal Romance (lol publishing genre titles) there are plenty who don't. But does their distaste means the movie is bad?

Beautful Creatures Review by Variety
"The film ultimately plays like so much teenage girl poetry, heavy on the angst, endearingly naive in its notions of love and yet brought vividly to life by a game cast, evocative locations (both indoors and out) and stunning anamorphic lensing. Louisiana works nicely for Civil War-obsessed Gatlin, suggesting a tween-friendly 'True Blood.' "
Beautiful Creatures Review from Rolling Stone
"When Lena hits her 16th birthday she'll be called to fight with the light side or the dark side. It's a bigger yawn than it sounds. As supernatural types, Oscar winners Jeremy Irons and Emma Thompson overact so strenuously and with such outrageously awful Southern accents that you fear the damage this crock may do to their reputations. Bukowski would have puked. I know I did."
Are the critiques of the movie's story going to get in the way of new audiences (non book readers lets say) enjoying and getting into the world? Can you love it if your heart isn't already open to Mississippi Witch Teen Drama? I will let you know what my thoughts are when the movie is released to the public. 
The books authors weighed in in an interview with TIME that is probably worth reading for posterity, they're stating that they tried to respect the teen audience more than other books of the genre as intelligent and reasonable... did they deliver?
"We wanted to write a story about strong girls, because they were strong girls. We wanted to write a story about claiming yourself, owning who you are, being the person that you are, accepting who you are. Because not only did we see them trying to do that, but we weren’t brave enough to do that when we were their age. They were much braver than us. And it was like us cheering them on."

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