Beauty and the Beast

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.”

While I like Disney movies, I wouldn’t say I was a huge fan of the animated Beauty and the Beast.  Not that I disliked it, I just probably haven’t seen it since I was a little kid and never gave it much thought in the time since then.  So when I got to the theatre to see this new movie, I realized I didn’t remember much of what it was really about.  Oops.

So if there are differences from the animated movie, I have no idea.  Either way, this movie was a lot of fun.  The singing is amazing as well as the acting, which really should come as no surprise.  The sets are beautify done and brings the whole world to life.

Gaston is absolutely my favorite character and every scene he is in, especially with LeFou, is perfect.

After this I can’t wait to see how Disney brings back all their other movies scheduled to be made live action (ahem, don’t mess up Mulan!!!!)

Red Queen – Victoria Aveyard

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change.

That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.”

A friend of mine suggested this book and it was on sale for really cheap so I quick picked it up and read through it.  If you loved dystopian YA novels like Hunger Games and Divergent, but kind of want to be reading something a little more adult, you are going to love this book!

It kind of has a Game of Thrones feel to it where there are different families, and you don’t know who you are able to trust.  The characters are great and come together to tell an exciting story.  There is a bit of romance to it, which I’m kind of thinking might play a bigger role in the following novels, but it isn’t done in a cheesy YA kind of way.  I think it is easy to forget that the characters are only in their late teens, which to me is a good thing.

You’re going to get hooked early on, but the just you wait until you get towards the end and see what happens because you are going to get that much more into it.  I’m so excited to get my hands on the second book in the series because I need to know where it is going to go next.

The Truman Show

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3/5 Stars

Summary: “An insurance salesman/adjuster discovers his entire life is actually a television show.”

Look at me watching another one of those “classic” movies that I’ve never seen and people always talk about!

Unfortunately, like with The Usual Suspects, I didn’t really get the big deal.  It was an okay movie with an interesting idea, but not something I would choose to watch a second time or really even talk about afterwards.  This could be because of the time I’m watching it though.  Back in 1998, when it came out, I can see the appeal of how strange a story it is.  But now we have people who are sharing many aspects of their life with us on YouTube and all the other social media sites, it’s not that big of a deal.

There are a few funny moments, but it’s definitely not a Jim Carrey comedy.

I love that when The Truman Show first came out, the movie got categorized as fantasy/sci-fi, but now it’s kind of just life.  As I was watching the movie, I did start to think about what a remake/sequel would be like.  It’s like the perfect time for something like that to be made.  There’d be people wanting to put themselves in the same situation as Truman instead of (or probably along with) people trying to break him out and tell him the truth.  Plus it would feel a lot less cheesy like I thought some of the moments in the original were.

Overall, kind of a take it or leave it movie for me.  But if they sometime decide to pick up this world again, I will definitely be interested.

Available on Amazon Prime.

Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

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4.5/5 Stars

Summary: “The year is 1926, and Newt Scamander has just completed a global excursion to find and document an extraordinary array of magical creatures. Arriving in New York for a brief stopover, he might have come and gone without incident, were it not for a No-Maj named Jacob, a misplaced magical case, and the escape of some of Newt’s fantastic beasts, which could spell trouble for both the wizarding and No-Maj worlds.

Fantastic Beasts is the add-on to the Harry Potter universe that Cursed Child wasn’t.  This one was written by JK Rowling, after all.  That being said, it isn’t really like the original movies at all, and it isn’t meant to be.  It has a completely different feel to it with it taking place in 1926 NYC with an older cast.  It’s a different world really.  But the little bits throughout the movie where they talk about Dumbledore and Hogwarts and a few other things remind you that this is a place you kind of, sort of know.

I loved all the different animals we got to see.  I need a Niffler, they are just so adorable!!!  The characters are great, and I can see as the story continues in the next 4 movies, that we are going to grow to love them almost as much as our Harry Potter favorites.  Almost.

The story is fun and hints at how dark it is going to get in the future.  I’m so excited that we are going to get the chance to see Grindelwald and hopefully the lead up to his battle with Dumbledore.

If you liked Harry Potter, you have no excuse not to go and see this movie.  You won’t be disappointed!

A Monster Calls – Patrick Ness

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “The monster showed up after midnight. As they do.

But it isn’t the monster Conor’s been expecting. He’s been expecting the one from his nightmare, the one he’s had nearly every night since his mother started her treatments, the one with the darkness and the wind and the screaming…

This monster is something different, though. Something ancient, something wild. And it wants the most dangerous thing of all from Conor.

It wants the truth.”

A Monster Calls is the perfect book to pick up when you’re looking for a quick read that will tug at your heartstrings.  Seriously, you’ll probably cry.

It’s slow-paced and written in a non-traditional way that makes it a breath of fresh air.  I’m pretty sure the book is written for a younger audience, teens maybe?  That didn’t stop it from being enjoyable to me as a 24 year old.

This story is a beautiful depiction of grief and death and kind of has the feeling of the old fables.  I don’t want to give anything away, so just go and give it a read.  It might take a few pages to get into it, but once you do you won’t want to put it down until it’s finished.

Odd Thomas

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4/5 Stars

Summary: “In a California desert town, Odd Thomas, a short-order cook with clairvoyant abilities encounters a mysterious man with a link to dark, threatening forces.”

First, I’ve never read any of the Odd Thomas books (but now I want to).  Second, if you like strictly mainstream movies, you probably are going to want to pass this one up.

The best way I can describe the style of this movie is odd, but in a really good way.  From the dialogue to the look of the movie, it doesn’t feel quite real.  I’m not sure how else to explain it, but I liked it.  The combination of comedy, horror, and fantasy makes this unique style that is fun to watch.  Kind of like it could be a comic book in a way.

The relationship between the main character, Odd and his girlfriend, Stormy is absolutely adorable!  Their whole “destined to be together” thing and how they completely get each other adds a lot to the movie.  While the plot of saving the world isn’t that original, it has some twists and turns that you don’t see coming along with it’s interesting premise.

You’ll laugh, you’ll probably cry, and if you give it a chance, you’ll enjoy it all the way through.

Available on Netflix.