Tag Archives: Beauty and The Beast

Pardon Me, My Depression Has Spoken For me

There are some illnesses that are obvious via physical symptoms. The various forms of mental illness are very often referred to as invisible illness because symptoms are not always obvious to the naked eye.

I have lived with depression for years. It often speaks for me when I cannot. The problem is that when it speaks for me, it does not speak the truth.

Courtesy of fanpop.

It speaks of my anxieties, my insecurities. It reveals that in spite of all I have worked for and achieved, I am still worth nothing. The people in my life are lying to me. I am worth nothing and the only place I should be is the grave.

If we have a conversation and my depression decides to speak for me, please pardon me. It is not me who is speaking, but one who has taken over my tongue and my thoughts. It is my depression.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Mental Health, Music, Once Upon A Time

Throwback Thursday-Beauty (1998)

The story of Beauty and the Beast is familiar one. It’s therefore, understandable that many writers have tried their hand at adapting the story.

In the 1998 Lifetime TV movie, Beauty, the eponymous Beauty is Alix Miller (Janine Turner). A portrait painter by trade, Alix has followed her father into the family business. When her father gets sick and is unable to take the next job, Alix takes his place. The client or Beast is the reclusive writer Lee Compton (Jamey Sheridan). Lee has been disfigured by a disease and has chosen to withdraw from the rest of the world. This piece of information is unknown to Alix until she takes the job, but being the professional that she is, she goes on with her work. Their relationship shifts from painter and client to potential lovers, but Lee’s anxieties may keep them apart.

As Lifetime movies go, this television movie is not bad. I also appreciate that this adaptation is a stripped down, bare bones narrative that gets the core of Beauty and the Beast without relying on the more traditional aspects of the fairy tale genre.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, Television, Throwback Thursday, TV Review

New Randy Rainbow Video-Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

Though the First Lady Of The United States is not an elected position, she has a platform that few have, especially when it comes to activism. Most, if not all First Ladies have used their positions to shine the light on an issue that they feel is important to them.

Be Best is the cause taken up by Melania Trump, our current First Lady. The focus of this organization is to ensure that all American children grow physically, emotionally and socially healthy. One of the main goals of Be Best is to ensure that our young people use social media in a way that is productive, positive and healthy. The irony of this goal is that her husband uses social media as a bully pulpit to spread lies, half-truths and to make himself look good at the expense of the country.

This is the subject of Randy Rainbow’s new video, “Just BE BEST! – Randy Rainbow Song Parody”, uses Be Our Guest from the Disney film Beauty and the Beast to show how utterly hypocritical this idea is.

 

Thank you, Randy Rainbow. You have given something to laugh about and something to think about.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Music, Politics, Randy Rainbow

Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters Book Review

For many a young and old literary nerd, Little Women is treasured classic.

2018 is the 150th anniversary of the release of Louisa May Alcott‘s classic novel of four young women coming of age in the mid 19th century.

The new book, Meg, Jo, Beth, Amy: The Story of Little Women and Why It Still Matters, by Anne Boyd Rioux, tells the story of how Little Women impacted both American and worldwide culture over the past 150 years.

Little Women was a smash when it hit bookshelves on September 30th, 1868. Since then, the book has become ingrained into the public consciousness. In her book, Ms. Rioux explains how each era viewed Little Women. She also writes about how modern feminism and modern female writers have used pieces of Little Women when creating their own works. Specifically, Ms. Rioux explains how Little Woman lives today in new characters and narratives. Belle from Beauty and The Beast, Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series and Rory Gilmore from Gilmore Girls all have something in them from Little Women.

I will warn that this book is not for the virgin Little Women fan. It requires the knowledge that only comes via multiple reading and multiple viewings of the various adaptions. I really enjoyed this book. It could have turned out to be just another dry academic book detailing the history of Little Women and Louisa May Alcott. Instead it is  lively, entertaining and reminds its readers why Little Women continues to be relevant 150 years after it was initially released in bookstores.

I recommend it.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Book Review, Books, Feminism, History, Writing

Beast Movie Review

At it’s heart, Beauty and The Beast is a tale of two outsiders who find the companionship and affection that is missing from their respective worlds. That narrative quality alone opens the door for new and interesting interpretations of the classic fairy tale.

In the new movie, Beast, Moll (Jessie Buckley) lives with her family on the island of Jersey. Put upon by her family and more specifically, her overbearing mother, Hilary (Geraldine James), Moll externally goes along with everyone, but internally, she is screaming for a way out. Enter Pascal (Johnny Flynn), a rough around the edges outsider who may be the man responsible for a series of unsolved murders of young girls. Pascal is one of a few suspects who is being investigated by Clifford (Trystan Gravelle), a family friend who works as a police officer and has been assigned to the case of the murdered girls.

While the movie was a little too long, the narrative was fantastic. This dark and twisted fairy tale is neither simple or predictable. Writer/director Michael Pearce keeps the tension thick, always making the audience question if Pascal is really the killer or if he is being targeted because he is an outsider. He also smartly ended the film in the most un-fairy tale way possible, with just enough narrative leeway for the audience to ask questions about the future of these characters.

I recommend it.

Beast is presently in theaters. 

 

 

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, Movie Review, Movies

New Randy Rainbow Video-RUDY and the BEAST – Randy Rainbow Song Parody

The latest addition to Donald Trump’s legal team is former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani.  Like the rest of the team surrounding Trump, he seems to be opening more cans of worms than helping to govern the country.

Randy Rainbow’s latest video, RUDY and the BEAST – Randy Rainbow Song Parody, is the perfect parody of this political relationship that may go down in flames like the other political relationships.

Giuliani has revealed quite a few truths that, frankly, I am not surprised about. The only question is, which truth will be the final nail in the coffin that gets Trump out of the office?

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Music, New York City, Politics

Beauty And The Beast DVD Review (2014)

Beauty And The Beast is one of those fairy tales.  Every writer who has picked up their pen or turns on their computer has a different perspective on how to tell the story.

In 2014, another reboot hit theaters. Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel play the title roles. Unlike other adaptations, the narrative of the film is closer to the narrative of the original fairy tale. Belle is the youngest daughter of a once wealthy merchant who has taken on her father’s debt to the Beast. The Beast is a prince who was cursed and can only return to his human form once he has the love of a woman.

I wanted to like this film, I really did. While most of the Beauty and the Beast adaptations of recent memory have moved away from the original narrative, this film clings pretty closely to the source material. The problem is that I was underwhelmed and the lead actors lacked the chemistry to make me believe that they would hopefully have their happily ever after.

Do I recommend it? Not really.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, Movie Review, Movies

Ten Best Movies Of 2017

2017 is nearly up. Surprisingly, it was a good year for the movies. Below, without further a due, is my top ten list of movies that premiered in 2017.

  1. Star Wars: The Last Jedi: The next chapter in the ongoing saga of the rebellion against the empire was nothing short of perfection.
  2. The Post: The story of the revelation of The Pentagon Papers is as relevant today as it was in 1971.
  3. Beauty And The Beast/The Shape Of Water: Both the live action adaptation of the 1991 animated Beauty And The Beast and The Shape Of Water proves once more that love wins over hate and only through tolerance and respect of others, can we create the world we wish to have.
  4. Darkest Hour: Gary Oldman is sure to win multiple awards playing Winston Churchill, who must decide to negotiate with Germany or go to war.
  5. Lady Macbeth: In 19th century England, a young lady is forced into marriage and has an affair with one of the estate workers.
  6. Lady BirdA gripping and realistic coming of age story set in Sacramento in the early 2000’s.
  7. Thor: Ragnarok: When Thor’s previously unknown sister Hela returns to Asgard, he must save his land and his people from his sister.
  8. Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman finally receives a proper film adaptation. Starring Gal Gadot and directed by Patty Jenkins, this film, well is, a wonder.
  9. The Lovers: Tracey Letts and Debra Winger play a married couple who are openly seeing other people, but somehow find the spark has returned to their marriage.
  10. Battle Of The Sexes: The true story of the tennis match between Bobby Riggs and Billie Jean King is as much a story about tennis as it is about feminism.

Honorable Mentions:

  • The Big Sick: This unconventional romantic comedy hit both the comedy gut and the heart.
  • The Women’s Balcony: When a new Rabbi takes over an Orthodox temple in Jerusalem, the women stage a coup to get their husbands and their temple back.

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Feminism, History, Movie Review, Movies, Star Wars

Of Beast and Beauty Book Review

Beauty And The Beast is a story that has been told many times in many different ways over the years. The question is, how does a writer distinguish their version from the previous versions?

In Of Beast and Beauty by Stacey Jay, Isra is the last living member of the royal family. Blinded from a young age, she knows that at some point in near future, she will have to sacrifice herself for her city and her people. Gem is from the desert people known as Monstrous. For an untold number of generations, Isra’s people, known as the Smooth Skins, have fought with the Monstrous people. But Monstrous are dying of starvation. To save his people, Gem steals an enchanted rose from Isra’s garden. Captured before he can escape, he becomes a prisoner.

Isra is curious about him and asks for his help. Their relationship begins to change from Queen and prisoner to something more. Not only will their relationship forever change the course of their lives, it will change everything that Isra was taught to believe.

I really enjoyed this book. It was so engrossing that I had to finish it before going to bed. Ms. Jay blends politics, social issues, myth, science fiction and the traditional Beauty and The Beast narrative into a novel that is engrossing, extremely readable and extremely enjoyable.

Do I recommend it? Absolutely.

 

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Book Review, Books, Fairy Tales

The Shape Of Water Movie Review

The story of a romance between a human female and a non human or super human male is not new to readers or audiences.  This basic narrative has been rebooted many times over in many different ways for generations. The question is, can the writer or writers make their narrative stand out from similar narratives?

The new film, The Shape Of Water, takes place in 1962 Baltimore. Elisa (Sally Hawkins) is a mute woman who works for a government facility in the janitorial department. She spends her time with her co-worker and friend (who talks enough for both of them),  Zelda (Octavia Spencer) and her middle-aged bachelor neighbor, Giles (Richard Jenkins). One day, a new classified experiment arrives the facility under the control of Richard Strickland (Michael Shannon). Elisa and Zelda are told to keep their time in the laboratory short, but Elisa’s curiosity gets the best of her.

The experiment is an Amphibian Man (Doug Jones), who Mr. Strickland would like to kill and experiment on. But Dr. Robert Hoffstetler (Michael Stuhlbarg) has a conscious and a secret reason for keeping the creature alive. Can Elisa save this creature and how will that forever change them both?

Using a fairy tale, Beauty and The Beast motif, this film is one of my favorite in 2017. I loved the basic fairy tale narrative blended with life in the early 60’s. Both The Cold War and The Civil Rights Movement are so seamlessly blended into the plot that the audience forgets about the history lesson they are receiving. I would not be surprised if this film did well come awards season.

I recommend it.

The Shape Of Water is presently in theaters. 

 

 

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Filed under Beauty And The Beast, Fairy Tales, History, Movie Review, Movies