Recently I was offered the chance to watch a pre-screening of Beautiful Creatures (Movie).
WARNING -- SPOILERS AHEAD!!! DO NOT READ ON IF YOU DON'T WANT TO READ ABOUT THE MOVIE!!!
Keep in mind... I've never read the book and the only reason I went was because I'm a huge fan of magic and teen dramas. If you're a huge fan of the series and think I shouldn't even have been offered the chance - I completely understand. However after watching the movie -- I'm curious enough to read the book.
Let's begin at the beginning!
A descriptive narrative... A young southern male accent begins to describe someone in a dream -- someone he keeps wanting to meet but as soon as he gets close enough -- dies. (SOUND OF A GUNSHOT)
As far as openings go for iTeen movies - I'm already sucked in. They picked a decent male lead for this role, his accent isn't perfect but it's difficult to be authentic with me when my mother raised me in a house where the answer to any question was "No Mama" or "Yes Mama."
It's your typical story (NOT HATING ON THE STORY - I HAVE NEVER READ THE BOOK) of a brilliant boy -- too smart for his own backwards hick town, in search for greener pastures and an alien other half to complete himself. I always wonder if when he found his new land of brillance - would he be depressed to find that intellectuals can be just as oppressive with closed minded views of people with accents?
She is opposite the HOLLYWOOD GLAMOUR STEREOTYPE.
After a fun round of "MY MAMA SAYS SHE'S THE DEVIL" - her rage manipulates the weather to destroy the classroom windows.
Moving on down the road...
It's raining - the road is wet, radio is on.. not paying attention - our Ethan Wate almost slams into our heroine. They have a really fun and awkward chemistry, their feelings of adolescence and southern upbringing are perfect. I believe their banter and naiveté. It's nice to see actors achieve this within a teen drama.
So.. Ravenwood Manor
I'm a huge fan of spells and magic being done the RIGHT WAY... and when I say RIGHT WAY -- I mean as little CGI as possible. HUGE fan of practical effects in movies and LESS GREEN SCREEN. The first scene of mind manipulation magic being casted was by Macon Ravenwood (my favorite character). He uses a mind warp mixed with truth syrum... It is one of the funniest and coolest scenes in the movie and HAD NO CGI. I WANT TO ITERATE THIS POINT - magic in cinema does not need to be glamours - it can look and feel real. HEY HOLLYWOOD! BE SUBTLE IN YOUR CHOICES - WE WONT JUDGE YOU.
Ravenwood Manor is awesome and has all the mystical effects that it attests to in the books so I wont go into them -- just know that the house is awesome.
I fell in love with the actors who played LENA and ETHAN -- they do an amazing job.
The movie goes on it's normal track so I won't bore or ruin it for you but towards the end of the movie -- the CGI gets pulled out of the closet and tossed everywhere -- especially in the FINAL BATTLE scene.
ATTENTION HOLLYWOOD - I LIKE THIS MOVIE - I WILL WATCH MORE... but I would love it if instead of a FULL BLOWN CGI MAGIC FIGHT... your ART department, Director and Director of Photography collaborated on a scene. A scene where instead of an INDISCERNIBLE CGI DARK ENERGY GHOST -- we see Sarafine Duchannes's evil spirit being removed from her body like black blood being drained out of her skin... slowly and painfully. THAT WOULD BE CINEMATIC and it would feel REAL.
I could go on but I would be summarizing the movie and the book in the process. IN SUMMATION = GO SEE IT.
Thanks for reading my rant.