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Beauty and the Beast (2017 Film)

Last night I saw Beauty and the Beast, Disney’s latest live-action remake of one of their classic cartoon masterpieces. It’s good. You would already know that if you’ve seen the cartoon. And if you’ve seen the cartoon, you’ve seen this movie. You know what happens. There aren’t any M. Night Shyamalan twists. They added some backstory and more character details, there are a few new songs, but it’s the same fucking movie.

That’s not a bad thing. The cartoon was the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. I’m sure this version will be nominated for a few awards as well. It’s already a blockbuster success and nobody should be surprised about that. It stars Emma Watson as Belle. Motherfucking Hermione Granger! You know how many Harry Potter fans were already invested once they heard about the casting?!? A lot. Like more than twelve. There are lots of Harry Potter fans. Dozens.

The only bad thing I can say about the movie is that the new songs are terrible. Terrible. Especially the Beast’s solo right before the climax. It totally ruined the mood. And you don’t want to ruin the mood right before you climax. I know that characters express themselves through song in musicals, but geez, enough is enough.

The special effects are top notch. Ewan McGregor’s accent is not. The story takes place in France, yet everyone speaks with a British accent except for one ridiculous French accent. But he can sing so he gets a pass. 

It’s a good movie. It’s worth paying money to see in the theatres. You might even splurge to see it in 3D. Not many movies are worth paying money for these days. This one is.

Critically Rated at 15/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Pixie Cut

A pixie cut is a popular hairstyle for women, but it shouldn’t be. It’s a short haircut along the sides and back of the head, and slightly longer on the top. Pixie cuts are super trendy right now for some stupid reason and I don’t know why. Girls are supposed to have long hair. Very few girls can pull off a pixie cut and still look good. Emma Watson had one. Beyoncé had one. Jennifer Lawrence just got one. They are all insanely gorgeous women with a terrible haircut in common. None of them can make it work. You shouldn’t even attempt it unless your name is Tinker Bell. You’ll end up looking like Peter Pan. The problem with a pixie cut is that it looks like a little boy’s haircut. And it’s hard for women to look sexy if they look like a little boy. If you want to look like a school boy, go ahead and get a pixie cut. But don’t stop there. The look isn’t complete until you also get a set of baggy overalls and a pair of Doc Martens. You can accessorize further with a slingshot in your back pocket. There, now you’re dressed to impress.

Critically Rated at 2/17

Written, Rated, and Reviewed by Brendan H. Young

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2 (film)

David Yates directs Emma Watson, Rupert Grint, and Daniel Radcliffe once again as the Harry Potter movie series reaches its epic conclusion. Harry, Ron, and Hermione track down the remaining Horcruxes and Harry and Voldemort face each other for the final time. And it’s all in mediocre 3D!

This movie marks the end of an era. You realize that you were spoiled by having eight awesome movies based on seven amazing books coming out over ten astounding years. You saw the kids grow up on screen, like British Olson Twins, but their careers didn’t end when they turned eighteen. With the 19 Years later epilogue at the end, you get to see them age into middle-aged adults. It’s cool to see how much those little tykes have grown.

Almost everything in the movie happens during one long day. Everything from the Gringott’s raid to Harry breaking and throwing away the Elder Wand happens pretty much within a 24 hour period. Harry’s day is way crazier than anything Jack Bauer ever had to deal with.

Harry’s quest to destroy Voldemort’s Horcruxes takes him back to Hogwarts. The Order of the Phoenix and Harry’s supporters all show up to take on Voldemort and the Death Eaters in one of the biggest and best battles in cinematic history. There are spells and creatures and death and destruction all jumping out of the screen and smacking you in the face. It wasn’t the best 3D movie, but it wasn’t the worst either.

Alan Rickman finally gets more than a few lines. Snape is the best character in the books, and Deathly Hallows is kind of his coming out party. His secret past is revealed at last. Harry exploring Snape’s memories in the Pensieve is one of the highlights of the film. It is brief but thorough.

I was a little nervous that Neville wouldn’t get to kill Nagini. In the book, Harry finds Neville and tells him to kill the snake. In the movie, Harry tells Ron and Hermione to kill the snake. Nagini was about to attack Ron and Hermione, but than Neville comes out of nowhere to decapitate the snake and relieve my fears. Neville is my favorite character. If he didn’t complete his story arc I would have written David Yates a strongly worded letter voicing my displeasure.

The movie was a pretty faithful adaptation for the most part. There are a few nitpicky things that would have improved the movie. They should have included Dumbledore’s backstory and not just hint at it. And Harry should have used the Elder Wand to fix his broken wand before he gets rid of it. Both the book and the movie screwed over Lupin and Tonks by killing them off-screen. I was hoping the movie would show how they bit the dust.

This is the only Potter movie to make over a billion dollars at the box office. Part 1 and 2 were made for $250 million, and took in $2,284,510,930 combined. That’s a spicy meatball. Take that Twilight.

I was sad when the movie ended. Harry Potter is over. No more books. No more movies. No more reason to live in this cruel world.

Critically Rated at 15/17

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Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 1

The final book of the Harry Potter series was split up into two movies released six months apart. David Yates, the director of the fifth and sixth movies, comes back to finish up the epic saga. Splitting up the movie into two parts was a great idea. The book is rich and dense with material, and the previous movies left so much out, there was no conceivable way to make a two-and-a-half hour movie that would wrap everything up in a satisfactory way. The two parts of Deathly Hallows are the most loyal to the book since Chamber of Secrets. It makes the film much more enjoyable if you’ve read the books.

Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Emma Watson all do a great job again. The last few movies would have been terrible if they had to recast. This Potter flick didn’t have any 3D. There were only a few scenes that would have benefitted from looking extra dimensiony, so it doesn’t really affect anything. The special effects were amazing, one of the highlights being the scene with the decoy Harrys.

Harry, Ron, and Hermione decide that destroying Voldemort’s Horcruxes is cooler than going back to school. The three of them embark on a mission to identify and track down the mysterious objects that house fragments of Voldemort’s soul.

Voldemort has taken over the Ministry of Magic. Harry has become a fugitive along with his two best friends. Ron gets all moody and bitchy and storms out on Harry and Hermione. They celebrate by dancing awkwardly. Eventually Ron comes back (what a relief) and the three of them continue on their quest.

Hermione reads aloud the story of the Deathly Hallows, and they jump to an animated sequence of the Peverell brothers and how they cheated death. It is reminiscent of the Japanimated O-Ren Ishii sequence in Kill Bill Vol. 1. It’s unexpected and an interesting moment that was unlike anything else previously seen in the Potter movies.

It’s a great adaptation of the book. With the extended running time, there is no reason to rush or cut out important parts from the novel. It’s a bit disheartening when they show so many vital parts from the book, but don’t delve into Dumbledore’s backstory. That was a huge part of the book because it makes you question Dumbledore’s integrity. The film lags and drags for a bit when Harry and friends are hiding out in the wilderness, but the book was like that too. The escape from Malfoy Manor and Voldy getting the Elder Wand is a great way to end the film with a nice cliffhanger. It’s a good way to wrap up the movie and leaves you gearing up for the final chapter.

Critically Rated at 14/17

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Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (film)

Harry Potter’s fourth film translation got a new director: a very British and a very boring Mike Newell. This film has its moments but only because the book was filled with great moments. It was a step backwards for the franchise; it pales in comparison to what Alfonso Cuarón did with the third film.

Prior to filming, there was a lot of discussion into splitting the film into two parts because the book was so lengthy. Instead they decided to cut out most of the side plots and minor characters and focus primarily on Harry. By doing this, the film feels very rushed, and you get jerked around from place to place. It gives the movie an awkward flow. The Dursleys are noticeably absent from the beginning, instead we jump to Harry, Hermione and the Weasleys meeting up with Amos and Cedric “Twilight” Diggory and they all go to the Quidditch World Cup. They build up the excitement and introduce all the Quidditch players and then skip right over the game. You don’t see a second of actual Quidditch. I remember thinking that the projector must have made a mistake or they were missing a reel or something.

The whole movie goes on like that. They constantly cut over and skip significant things. And then they have the audacity to add characters like Nigel, and they even give Nigel lines! And they add whole scenes like the kids learning to dance. Why waste precious running time on stuff that isn’t even in the book? There is only one scene with Sirius Black. There is no Winky, Dobby, or Bagman.

Daniel Radcliffe is maturing more as an actor, but this film didn’t give him as much to work with as Prisoner of Azkaban. It is less character driven. Harry’s haircut is the worst out of all the films. It’s one of the worst movie haircuts of all time, up there with Tom Hanks in the DaVinci Code. Emma Watson stands out in the Yule Ball scene, and Rupert Grint’s best scenes were when he was fighting with Harry, and later making up.

The acting from everyone else was decent, Brendan Gleeson does a good job as Mad-Eye. Michael Gambon made a huge mistake as Dumbledore: he would never grab Harry violently like he did when he thought he submitted his name to the Goblet of Fire. David Tennant plays Barty Crouch, Jr. He added an annoying little tongue flick, something that Gleeson copied, and that shows that fake Moody and Crouch are the same person. It is a big “FUCK YOU” to the audience. Inserting Barty Crouch, Jr. into the opening scene with Voldemort and Pettigrew is another big “FUCK YOU.” Please Hollywood, treat us with some respect.

It is always good seeing Potter on the big screen. There are some really cool sequences in the movie. The first task with the dragon was really dynamic and action packed. It might be the best Harry vs. Magical Creature moment in all the films. It was good to see Moaning Myrtle again, creepy as she is. The second task underwater was eerie and memorable. The climax at the graveyard redeems the entire movie. First off they kill Twilight, and I love anyone who kills Twilight. And Voldemort comes back and gathers his army and him and Harry have a sweet light saber battle. I mean wizard duel. Yeah, that part was cool.

All in all the movie is entertaining and you have to see it if you’re watching the Harry Potter saga, so you can’t really avoid it. It just leaves a lot out, and maybe splitting it into two parts wasn’t such a terrible idea. They cut out a lot of important things, and some of the things they included didn’t need to be there. It was a step in the wrong direction for the movies. It might be some people’s favorite film, but some people eat glue sticks.

Critically Rated at 13/17

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