Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Beauty and the Beast (1976) Review

Continuing with my previous posts, I wanna discuss another well known adaptation of Beauty and the Beast. Though not regarded by many to be the best nor the worst, this 70's production includes some interesting casting choices and beautiful locations among other notable factors. Let's dance into a look around the 1976 version starring George C. Scott and his wife Trish Van Devere.

First and foremost as mentioned, our two leads in real life were married when filming this, making their chemistry the most realistic one could get when looking for an on-screen couple. Many times you can see the spark between Scott and Devere, though sometimes knowing this fact makes the film's romantic aspect a little bit awkward, especially when it comes to the sequences that involve our leading man screaming off in anger.

Speaking of which, this could indeed be the first version in which the Beast truly has severe anger management issues, something that became more included as a major plot point in future versions (notably the Disney adaptation, which started the permanent trend of that being one of the reasons for his transformation!) But while Disney's Beast gets fussy and chases her out of the house from time to time, this Beast (or Sir Gentle Eyes as Belle refers him to) instead creeps the hell out of our leading lady to the point of her being psychologically damaged in the beginning. This sequences plus moments of the Beast snapping back at Belle with incredible sass make him unlikable overall.

Belle though falls into a similar category, but at least she does something similar to the Josette Day version of 1946 and Disney's 1991 heroine: She defends herself. Sure, she's initially scared but she gets control over her captor and makes him feel awful at the end of his temper tantrums. This Belle also has the distinction of being the only truly feminist version on film, telling the Beast that his liking of Aristotle is ridiculous, especially since she doesn't believe herself to be the woman the famous writer describes. (In short, Belle describes Aristotle to have what us modern day gals would call "Nice Guy Syndrome".)

But Belle is definitely not perfect either. This incarnation of our leading beauty is actually one that quotes herself to only believe in the true stories and no fantasies. Sure, her family believes in old wives tales from time to time, but even when being asked simply to hear the story of a Unicorn, she refuses to be told the story unless it is deemed true.

Now granted this could be a reflection of her honesty, but at times with the way Trish delivers her lines comes off bitchy and cold hearted, something that is hard to swallow from a character that is supposed to ask for something as delicate as a rose.

But one thing that should be given credit to this version is it's age choices. Realistically, when reading the original tale and knowing the time period it was written in, I always thought the "prince" at the end would be an older and more mature man, someone who would be wealthy and able to support a girl this age. As this story was considered by most to be meant for young brides in arranged marriages, it would indeed make sense for the Beast to turn into a man in his middle age.

So while most adaptations one would expect a handsome young dashing Prince, we get a middle aged bigger King character, which though not exactly one of the fantasies of most young women works in its context and is more realistic - something that relates to this Belle's method of thinking. Though oddly, on the last shot of the film, we see that Belle's face is puzzled. Not sure if this facial expression was intentional, but it oddly seems as if this wasn't the complete happy ending she was hoping for.

So at the end of the day, is this version good? Eh. It has it's moments, but with a truly bizarre choices in acting on both the talents parts it's hardly a classic really. Sure, I like the risks that it takes but compared to the Cocteau and Disney versions, it's a downgrade for sure. Though it definitely stands much above the Cannon Films by a long shot. 

So if you're willing to take a slightly more "serious" adaptation with a lot less of the whimsy and childlike views of the more memorable versions, take a look for this one. Just don't be surprised if you have an urge to look for a hug after it, especially after hearing General Patton scream at Belle through most of it. Definitely post-movie cuddles required to regain your mushy side. 

Rating: 6.0 out of 10

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

The Old Man Crush List

Now its no secret that I am a big huge girly girl when it comes to my feelings on romance and cute guys in the lime light. I sure do have a huge crush list when talking about celebrity crushes, but I have my own separate list that I believes needs to be mentioned to the masses: My Old Man Crush List.

But how does one determine the Old Man Crush? How is even a male celebrity put into such a category? Well for me, there are a few factors that must be included:

1 - The individual must be older than 45.
2 - Must still look awesome compared to their younger selves.
3 - Must not let their age damage their confidence.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's explore the crush list, with some junior candidates not old enough to become full time members:

Idris Elba
Age: 40
This junior candidate has all the charm and sass to be part of the Old Man Crush list, but since he is five years too young to be eligible, I can't exactly rank him on here. But in a couple of years, he sure will be added to the top rankings. But that doesn't mean we can't stare at him in that delicious black suit in Pacific Rim

Edward Norton
Age: 43
At the top of my favorite actors list of all time is Edward Norton. He's a shinning example of adorable deliciousness with a hint of scary underneath those yummy pearl like eyes. Sadly though, he's too young to be on this list. But in a two years he'll be added to the list for sure!

Takanori Nishikawa
Age: 42
Yes, get over the shock - this dude is in his 40's. Takanori literally is drinking from the fountain of youth and whatever he is doing it's working amazingly. It always surprises me to learn how old he is, but it also creates a level of respect. If a man in his 40's can still wear short shorts like that with confidence, he deserves to be on this list. 

And now time for the official list!

10. Patrick Dempsey
Age: 47
I never was a fan of Grey's Anatomy, but for some bizarre reason when I saw Enchanted I fell in love with Patrick Dempsey. Maybe it was because he played such an adorable and lovable father figure with a heart of gold, or that his comedic moments with Amy Adams were perfect, but something about his performance made my heart go nuts. Also, it doesn't beat seeing him in a Prince outfit near the end. Now I have a lot of admiration for Mr. Dempsey and even when he is in a truly silly movie, I'll watch it just for those good looks.

9. Keith David
Age: 57
Sometimes people fall for the looks first, but in this case it's the voice. Every time I hear Mr. David's voice I lose it. He's got the vocals that seriously are so dreamy and sexy, it's hard to deny them. It also helps when he is the voice of my first ever childhood crush, Goliath from Gargoyles. With that, plus a fantastic singing voice and that cool overall swagger of awesome, Keith definitely had to be on my list for sure. 

8. Mark Ruffalo
Age: 45
Ah the Ruffalo! He's got the charm, the cute smile, and the hint of nerdiness to keep all your senses pleased. With roles in the The Avengers and guilty pleasure classic 13 Going On 30, Mark has always stood out as a rarity in the older man department. Now that he's letting the grey hair come in, he's just got this natural sexiness about him that's hard to deny. 

7. Antonio Banderas
Age: 52
I am a child of the 90's, and as such it is my duty to speak of the immortally amazing Antonio Banderas. Ever since Interview with the Vampire, Antonio has stolen my heart with his fantastic accent and adorable overall essence. I'm totally okay admitting that I'll put on Mask of Zorro or Take The Lead just to watch him dance or talk, either way it's an enjoyable time with this Spanish hottie.  

6. Robert Downey Jr
Age: 48
Mr. Downey Jr is literally a god of delicious. The man literally can play anything and look good doing it, but especially this comes to play when he is portraying his alter ego Tony Stark or Sherlock. But I think the thing that makes Robert the most attractive is his beautiful and fun personality, something that you can't deny finding charming. 

5. Josh Brolin
Age: 45
Brolin is been immortally a hottie from the beginning. The Goonies was my first time experiencing my crush feelings for him, but like a fine wine Brolin has gotten cuter with age, especially in roles like Jonah Hex and Men in Black 3, Brolin always classes up a movie with ease. Personally, I am super excited for his turn in OldBoy, where it looks like we'll get a lot of shirtless Brolin and that's always a good version to watch for two hours!

4. Vincent Cassel
Age: 46
I have a huge weakness for French men. Not exactly sure what it is, but that Parisian flare makes go weak in the knees. Now if you combine that attraction to a guy that can play slightly creepy powerful roles, then you have my dream man and Vincent fits that bill perfectly. With roles like in Black Swan and being featured in all those perfume commercials, I was sold on Cassel instantly. But now that he's playing my favorite character of all time (The Beast) he might eventually jump higher on the list. 

3. Ron Perlman
Age: 63
Similar to Keith David, Perlman I first fell for with his voice. Playing one of my favorite characters, Vincent in Beauty and the Beast (80's TV) along with playing my favorite comic book character of all time (Hellboy), my crush developed without even a thought. But after watching him in Sons of Anarchy, I fell for the whole Perlman package. With an equally hilarious sense of humor and a fantastic overall personality, Ron Perlman is the coolest guy ever and hence why I crush. 

2. Jeff Bridges
Age: 63
Another man that is on the same level of cool factor to Perlman (and the same age ironically) is my high ranking Old Man Crush. Ever since I was a wee little one seeing Tron for the first time, Mr. Bridges has been a love of mine big time. His relaxed attitude, his awesome taste/talent in music, and his overall adorable nature just make me wanna snuggle with him by a fire and let him sing me some old school country tunes (This song especially!) And now with R.I.P.D and Seventh Son coming out, I can't wait to get my older Bridges with yummy facial hair fix!

1. Ralph Fiennes
Age: 50
What can I say about Ralph without exploding my fingers with fangirly excitement? Ralph is just the perfect package. He's smart, fun, silly, talented, handsome, and just a overall fabulous individual. Every single movie he is in makes me crush for him even harder (yes, even Red Dragon) But special mentions should go to romantic roles like Wuthering Heights or Maid in Manhattan, where he is just giving all those fantastic romantic feels. You can't deny the Fiennes, you just can't. 

And that's my list! Do you have an Old Man Crush List? Who is your number one? I'd love to hear your thoughts or even celebrities regardless of age you are crushing on! Comment below!
Monday, July 15, 2013

La Belle et la Bete (2014) Photos Released Plus Interview With Director (rough translation)

Finally some photos of La Belle et la Bete (Beauty and the Beast) have been released along with an explanation of the photos by director Christophe Gans. Here I did a really rough translation of two key elements from the interview in Premiere Magazine, giving some really awesome insight into this new version of the fairy tale. Again, this translation is very rough, but I hope it at least paints a much more clearer and excited picture for people interested in the film.

(My favorite photo so far)

Interview Translation: 

"In the suit that we created for Vincent (Cassel), there is a combination of all I love the classic fantasy. The Phantom of the Opera, Count Dracula, the disfigured hero of The Phantom of the Paradise ... Monsters of cinema must be beautiful creatures. The decor is a beautiful chamber, a cave with an amethyst basin which provides a magical water. This is a reference to the mythology or the caves are recurrent and or gods punish humans transforming into animals. The texts of ancient times, as The Metamorphoses of Ovid, are the source of european fairy tales, which differ significantly from their Hollywood equivalents."

First off, HOLY CRAP Christophe referenced my favorite movie The Phantom of the Paradise. Not going to lie, that automatically made me smile - BIG - TIME! The fact that he is drawing so many fantastic references into his version of my favorite literary character of all time is kind of the coolest thing on the planet. I don't care how biased and weird it makes me sound, hearing details like this make me think this could be my favorite version of the story put to film.... and it hasn't even come out yet. Le friggin sigh.

Interview Translation:

"Here, we show why the Beast has become what it is. This is one of the things that I was passionate in the project. I've always been disappointed by the explanations given in previous versions. This is completely eluded in the Cocteau and aberrant Disney. In our film, we go back three hundred years ago, or Back when the prince spent his time hunting in the field with friends. He will commit an act against nature and be punished. In this photo, the chataeu is a lively place, the people of courtiers, guards and hunters. Three centuries later, when the Belle discovers this gigantic mausoleum overgrown with vegetation, including a rose in which her father, the merchant will pick the flower...."


I 100% agree with Gans on the previous versions retelling of The Beast's origin story, in which the way that it is told is disappointing and not as grand. If something as insane and traumatic as being turned into a creature by a fairy is just glanced over, the audience comes unsatisfied with the character ark. This seriously will be fantastic to see, and judging by the photo I assume he has had a past lover that maybe he betrays in the process of whatever this "act against nature" is. I am thinking maybe he kills his wife or a friend, maybe an important creature that he hunts? So many questions are now spinning in my mind. Either way, you can't deny how good Vincent looks in that red suit! 

Now that this has got you interested, check out the other photos below! Are you curious to see the film? Are you dying to know what these changes are? What do you think The Beast will look like? Comment below!

Con Report ~ Connecticon: Epic Multi-Genre Fun Times

This past weekend I went to a convention I heard about for many years. Though some have given me mixed reviews, my boyfriend invited me along for the adventure, and thus I took on the task of investigating Connecticon 2013 (in Hartford, CT!)

First off, what makes this convention different than your mom and dad's older organized meetings is the freedom of fandom's showcased. This convention is geared towards literally any interest, making it a lot less intense than say a purely anime convention or a gaming one. Connecticon literally offers something for everyone, even to the point that a Gargoyles fangirl like me was able to go to a panel with a bunch of other similar minded folks. With aspects like this, it's hard to ever doubt the epicness of such an event, and never doubt it I did.

Day 1(ish)

(Me with Paul and Storm)

We arrived later in the day, since the boyfriend unfortunately had to work till the afternoon. But the great thing was registration had absolutely no line AND I got to check out the end of the J-Fashion Show (where my pals Victoria of Parfait Doll and Rune were modeling!) Then I met up with friends to check out the Paul and Storm concert. Incase you haven't heard of the duo, they are famous for their bizarre and catchy parody music and their overall love for internet culture. The best part about the show though was the surprisingly awesome opening act - Brentalfloss! I've been a big fan of the bald headed internet singer for a while and had no idea he was a guest at the con. Seeing him was definitely a highlight!

Day 2 (Official Full Day)

(My mermaid inspired coordinate)

Saturday was the first official full day of the convention for me to explore! I got my butt up early and went to my first panel, all about Anime Openings from around the world (Italian openings are the weirdest for sure!) Throughout the day I went to more awesome panels, including Marina Sirtis's Q&A (I met her too!), and Jim Cumming's voice actor panel (he did Winnie The Pooh as Darth Vader, 'nough said!)

But there was one moment that stole the entire show for me - the kind of rare moments that only happen once in the bluest of moons.

I went into the elevator after changing into a more comfy coordinate and called up my friend to tell her where we could meet up. I mentioned to her on the phone "I'm heading off to the Nostalgia Critic panel!", and suddenly a man in the corner of the elevator says.... "You are!?" but I ignored him thinking he was just some random guy..... Suddenly I feel my boyfriend take my head and turn it into the direction of the voice.... it was him, THE NOSTALGIA CRITIC! He was right there looking at me dead in the face. I started to laugh really hard out loud and fangirl screamed a tiny bit, and everyone in the elevator laughed too. After that moment and throughout the weekend, we kept bumping into each other. I wish I had the guts to have a real conversation with him, but that moment in the elevator was good enough for me!

Day 3 (Last Day)

(Me with my man dressed as the Tenth Doctor!)

The last day of the convention came by way too fast! I started off the morning by going to the Sailor Moon fan panel, which sadly had a lot of technical issues and some interesting audience members (sigh), but it was interesting either way. Sadly a panel about Anime Directors got canceled, but I instead snuck a peak at the bizarre Brony vs. Brony game show.... not sure I'd go again, but it was entertaining.

But the last panel of the day was the best panel of the entire convention. As mentioned, I love the Disney animated series Gargoyles. I'll be honest that it's hard to find people who know the show let alone like it as much as me, and when I find these people I latch onto them and do a happy dance of sorts. So when I heard a fan panel would occur on Sunday, I was beaming from ear to ear. I sadly got there a little late, but I still got to experience one of the best fan panels ever. The panelist was fantastic and had lots of awesome knowledge about the series. We later got to have a whole audience discussion, including a fan cast of a (dream) live action movie. I picked Idris Elba as Goliath, Ron Perlman as anybody (literally, he could play anyone), Nathan Fillion as Matt Bluestone, among others. A lot of people came up to me later and told me they loved my choices! So I guess maybe I could make the live action movie with success!

The day ended with me and Stefan heading off home, stopping off for delicious food at Friendly's, and driving through New England listening to Disney music. So fabulous!

(Gaston and Flynn have a smolder off!)

So overall, Connecticon was pure fantastic nerdy fun times! I am 100% going back next year without any doubt. There was so many awesome things to see, do and people to meet. Next year I am planning to run at least two panels, so if you are going next year look out for them. 

Have you been to Connecticon? Are you wanting to go? Have you been to any cool conventions this year? Comment below!



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