Narrator: Once upon a time, in a faraway land, a young prince lived in a shining castle. Although he had everything his heart desired, the prince was spoiled, selfish, and unkind. But then, one winter’s night, an old beggar woman came to the castle and offered him a single rose in return for shelter from the bitter cold. Repulsed by her haggard appearance, the prince sneered at the gift and turned the old woman away. But she warned him not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found within. And when he dismissed her again, the old woman’s ugliness melted away to reveal a beautiful enchantress. The prince tried to apologize, but it was too late, for she had seen that there was no love in his heart. And as punishment, she transformed him into a hideous beast and placed a powerful spell on the castle and all who lived there. Ashamed of his monstrous form, the beast concealed himself inside his castle, with a magic mirror as his only window to the outside world. The rose she had offered was truly an enchanted rose, which would bloom until his 21st year. If he could learn to love another, and earn her love in return by the time the last petal fell, then the spell would be broken. If not, he would be doomed to remain a beast for all time. As the years passed, he fell into despair and lost all hope. For who could ever learn to love a beast?
IMDb Top 250 (247)
Bell lives in a small French town and she considered strange because she is a girl who likes to read and isn’t overly excited by the affections of the town’s hunk, the self-important Gaston. Her father is affectionately known as the town lunatic but he is actually just an experimental scientist. Bell sends him off to the science fair but he gets lost on the way and goes into the Beast’s castle. The Beast finds him and locks him up. Bell’s horse returns to her house and she knows something is wrong. Bell goes to the castle and exchanges her freedom for her father’s. The servants in the castle, who was also turned into inanimate objects by the curse convinces the Beast to give Bell better treatment because she may be the one to break their curse and restore them to all their humanly glory. Their relationship starts rocky but after Bell runs away and the Beast saves her from wolves they start getting to know each other. Everything goes great until Bell sees her ill father searching for her in the woods. Beast shows that he learnt to be self-sacrificing and sends her after her father. She takes her father home and Gaston and the asylum’s manager arrives wanting to take her father to the asylum. They lock bell and her father up to go hunt the beast, but Chip, Mrs Pot’s son, saves them by freeing them with Bell’s father’s scientific invention. They rush to the castle and find Gaston ready to kill the Beast but the Beast sees Bell and starts fighting back. He nearly kills Gaston but takes pity and releases him, only to have Gaston stab him in the side. He lies dying and Bell tells him that she loves him and it is luckily in time and he turns into the handsome prince he was before the curse. The entire castle returns to their normal states and Bell and the Prince get married.
IMDb Rating: 8/10
My rating: 8.5/10
I love the classic Disney movies. They are all so beautifully made and the music score fits perfectly with every story. I love the old time romance in all of them and the illusion that a perfect prince exists. Beauty and the Beast is my favourite of them all because Bell has a lot more to offer than the other heroines – she is strong and intelligent and doesn’t swoon to Gaston or the Beast – she is making her own destiny and saves the Prince at the end through her bravery and love.
Beauty and the Beastis better written than most movies today. It has a solid start – telling us who the beast is, introduces the heroine and villain and make sure you know who is who.
It is also a movie I watch at least three times a year and can say without shame that I always sing along.
“The pieces all fit together. Yet everything was falling apart.”
Times read: Four times
Ronnie and her brother Joshua travel up to the coast to go visit their father, Steve, the man that abandoned their family three years ago, for the summer. She is extremely unhappy about it all, especially with her mother who is making her go. At seventeen, Ronnie is rebellious and argumentative about everything, and wears a streak of purple in her hair mainly to annoy her mother. Despite being constantly contradictory she still isn’t the bad kid she pretends to be – she is always kind to her ten year old brother and any strangers who need help, have good manners when needs be and never smokes and drink like many of her friends.
Immediately after arriving Ronnie heads to the beach without speaking to Steve. At the beach there is a volleyball game going on and one of the players, Will, accidentally runs into her and spills her soda all over Ronnie. Fuming, she storms away and meets Galadriel, a strange girl who calls herself Blaze. Blaze is dating Marcus, a sociopathic teenager with an affection for pyrotechnics. Together they hold fire-throwing shows illegally on the beach. Ronnie and Blaze immediately have a rapport between them, and Blaze shares how her parents are divorced as well and constantly dating. Ronnie tells Blaze about her troubles in New York, particularly her shoplifting escapades, which she did for fun until she was caught a second time and nearly got into big trouble. Marcus, who is cruel and likes being ugly to his very insecure girlfriend, begins to flirt with Ronnie. Ronniehowever is a true friend who has excellent senses when it comes to douchebags and tells him very firmly that he should leave her alone. Marcus, unable to stand her dismissal, turns it around so it seems that she was flirting with him. The next day Ronnie tries to tell Blaze what really happened but she refuses to hear anything bad about her boyfriend, and slips stolen CDs into Ronnie’s bag and Ronnie gets arrested by one of her father’s friends.
Ronnie is distraught to be caught stealing again, especially since she didn’t even try to steal the CDs. Surprisingly, her father believes her and suggest they don’t tell her mother unless it is necessary if charges are laid against her. This improves their relationship and she starts to connect with the father she has been ignoring for three years. Her brother tells her about the church window he and their father has been busy building for their Steve’schurch that had to be rebuilt after mysteriously burning down the previous summer.
Walking on the beach with her father they spot sea-turtle nests. Her father explains how endangered they are and that raccoons will probably destroy the nest before the eggs hatch. Ronnie becomes determined to save them and spends the night sleeping at the nest, protecting them. The next day she requests help from the aquarium and they send a volunteer to mark the spot so a temporary protective cage can be hatched. The volunteer is Will, and when the cage isn’t up the same day Ronnie is furious with him, sure he didn’t do his job. He insists he did and offers to spend the night protecting the nest, and they begin to understand each other and a relationship develops.
Blaze still refuses to acknowledge that she put the CDs into Ronnie’s bag and the charges against her remain. Blaze’s life is rapidly deteriorating and she moves in with Marcus when her mother kicks her out. Even though she asks for Ronnie’s forgiveness, she won’t admit to what she did because Marcus, with his ongoing grudge against Ronnie and Will, will kick her out of the house.
Will also has some problems. Accepted and forced to attend Vanderbilt when he actually wants to study environmental sciences, he feels trapped by his mother’s overbearing nature. He also knows what happened to the church – his friend Scott accidentally set it alight with a firecracker, and Marcus saw it go down. Marcus uses this important information against Will and Scott, knowing that Scott will most likely lose all chance at getting a scholarship for university if the story gets out. Will doesn’t want to split on his friend because Scott saved Will and his mother’s life when they nearly drowned, with Scott regularly reminding him of it. Will’s mother immediately dislikes Ronnie and it gets even more strained when Marcus ruins Will’s sister’s wedding and his mother blames Ronnie because Will can’t identify Marcus, in fear of Scott’s secret getting out. Megan, the bride and the only person who kept her head through the ordeal, visits Ronnie the next day and asks her to not back off from Will. Ronnie, who told Will it is over rushes to him and tells him that she is sorry.
To cap it all, Steve father reveals that he is dying of cancer. What will happen to his and Ronnie’s relationship, finally on the mend? Will Blaze be able to escape the cycle of abuse she is in and own up to her treachery? Can Will ever reveal the truth of the night the church burnt down and betray the boy who saved his life? Will Ronnie and Will survive the nightmare that surrounds them or will they only remain a summer fling?
I had a much nastier rating planned for this but the book improved slightly as I kept on reading. I have to say that it seems Nick Sparks is writing books for movies these days. His earlier works (The Notebook, Message in a Bottle, a Walk to Remember) are poignant and strong, beautiful and solidly written. His most recent books are littered with cheap, compulsive, tear-jerking tricks that I truly get irritated with. The writing style is still enjoyable but he seems to have lost focus as to what his books used to achieve.
I have issues with the male leads in his books. I get that Steve was trying to reconnect with his daughter before his death, but it is highly unrealistic that any parent would tolerate such attitude under any circumstance. It is irritating when a female is a whining-snotbag but it is utterly revolting if you read a whining-snotbag male. Will had some cute moments but overall he came through as utterly spoiled and privileged. I mean, honestly, he was complaining about having to go to Vanderbilt. If that isn’t a brat, I just don’t know what is!
Lastly, I dislike the book because it reminds me of a time when Miley Cyrus, who played Ronnie in the movie adaption, was still a pretty brown haired teenager instead of a blonde haired attention seeking desperado. I miss those days.
Have you read the book? What did you think?
“If I drive for you, you get your money. You tell me where we start, where we’re going, where we’re going afterwards. I give you five minutes when we get there. Anything happens in that five minutes and I’m yours. No matter what. Anything a minute on either side of that and you’re on your own. I don’t sit in while you’re running it down. I don’t carry a gun. I drive.” The Driver
The Driver (Ryan Gosling) works as a getaway driver. He gives the criminals he drives for only five minutes to get in and out, and will leave them to their own devices should they take longer. His manager Shannon (Bryan Cranston) manages him in his three jobs – the getaway service, as a stunt double and as a mechanic in an auto shop.
Irene (Carey Mulligan) moves into one of the apartments in the building, and the Driver becomes her friend and helps her with small chores and connecting with her son Benicio (Kaden Leos). Even though he is attracted to her, he only acts as a friend because she is married to Standard Gabriel (Oscar Isaac) who is in prison. When Standard comes home, he is suspicious and competitive of the Driver but after the initial awkwardness it is obvious that nothing ever happened and he becomes friendlier.
Shannon wishes to get the Driver into racing, fully aware of how amazing he will be on the track. He persuades mobsters Bernie Rose (Albert Brooks) and Nino (Ron Perlman) to invest in them and buy a stock car chassis so that the Driver can build it up and race it.
Meanwhile Standard is visited by Cook (James Biberi) who he owes protection money to for his time in prison. He is beaten up while Benicio watches and Cook gives Benicio a bullet before he leaves. When the Driver finds them he is furious that Benicio is now in danger, and Irene probably as well, and offers to be the getaway driver to steal $40 000 from a pawn shop that will cover Standard’s debt.
Standard and Cook’s accomplice Blanche (Christina Hendricks) to pull off the heist, the Driver sees a dark Chrysler pulling into the lot. Standard is killed by the pawnshop owner as he leaves the building and Blanche barely makes it into the car and they rush away.
Blanch and the Driver hides in a hotel, where she confesses that she and Cook were double-crossing him and Standard. Two of Cook’s henchmen arrives, kills Blanche before the Driver kills them both. The Driver tracks Cook down and after he smashes his fingers Cook tells him Nino is behind the robbery and double crossing.
The Driver wants nothing of the million anymore, just to get rid of it. Nino dismisses the offer to take the cash plainly, and sends a hit man to the Driver’s apartment building. He enters the lift with the Driver and Irene, and the Driver notices the man is carrying a weapon, kisses Irene for the first time and viciously kills the hit man, terrifying Irene.
What will happen to Benicio, Irene and the Driver? Is there any chance they can ever be together? Will the Driver be ever able to get rid of the cash he doesn’t even want?
Drive was so delightful. The movie was beautifully shot. The spans of silence worked to build the tension excellently and the depth of the Driver’s character was mesmerising when he defended himself. I didn’t find the violence too much at all, and seeing as I don’t have a fondness for guts everywhere I can’t see what people are harping on about. I never felt bored watching Drive and there was never the remote possibility of confusion – everything was so clearly shot that you knew exactly what was going down.
This is one of Ryan Gosling’s most intense roles ever played and certainly one of his best. It takes remarkable acting skills to get the message through without words, aided only by grunts and facial expressions. His character seems calm and a bit of a pushover and then when he is approached by people he did a job for in a social setting that switch is so fast and terrifying and effective.
Carey Mulligan seems to be gaining speed in Hollywood and I think it is well deserved. Sure, she fits into a very specific role but she does it so well that I love her every time I see her on screen. She is definitely becoming a favourite of mine.
The relationship between the Driver and Irene is so beautifully done. Initially the only thing the Driver does is be her friend and assist her. Only after her husband dies they share a kiss, but there is still something remarkably old fashioned about their love story.
The support cast did so well. Bryan Cranston was his ever delightful self, and I have to rave about Ron Perlman for just a few seconds. I find him hilarious. He is so over the top and strange and even when he is a gangster (Sons of Anarchy) there is something infinitely fabulous and mock-worthy about him. He is a great actor and always makes his characters so interesting.
I generally hate open endings. It is so frustrating to never know what happened to the characters! Drive is one of the few movies where it didn’t frustrate me, because the Driver did what he wanted to do – keep Irene and Benicio safe.
Have you seen this? What did you think?
Happy Friday! Pardon my temporary radio silence of yesterday, but I am back in action today with some villains on the small screen that was excellently done. Enjoy!
King Joffrey Baratheon – Game of Thrones
The expletives that come to mind to describe this rugrat cannot be repeated on this blog. I am pretty sure the internet will break if I truly describe him, so;
Plainly put, he is cruel and weak and a coward hiding behind his mother’s skirt, a little incest-bred shithead without any morals.
I HATE HIM. I can admire villains if they serve their own purpose, but he isn’t serving anyone but himself. He has no pride for his Kingdom except what it can offer him.
Red John – The Mentalist
I was apprehensive to start Mentalist season 6 because I would have been so unimpressed if they did not reveal Red John. These fears were unfounded because the build-up during season five and the first few episodes of six was brilliantly done and when they finally showed him I was truly impressed with how it went down.
I will not reveal his identity because I do not suck that way, but Red John is one of the most brilliantly created villains ever. He is intelligent and capable of staying incognito, and has a finger in many law enforcement pies that keeps him in the loop. He is also one of the few people that have ever been able to play a game with Patrick Jane, and pulled one on him many times. Red John, ultimately was so surprising and incredibly well played out, and the man himself was highly entertaining.
The Yellow eyed demon – Supernatural
I have some beef with this guy – if he hadn’t killed Sam’s mom, Sam wouldn’t have become such a whiney brat and Dean would have had a much less infuriating life. BUT, without the YED, Supernatural wouldn’t have been because John Winchester would never have started hunting.
I liked the YED, how he had such big plans and how he worked over spans of years – he never rushed his ideas and waited patiently for Sam to grow. He always stayed in the shadows and was so difficult to find and Sam and Dean’s hunt for him was very frustrating at stages. He was the perfect antagonist right up until he was killed.
Klaus Mikaelson – Vampire Diaries
I know plenty of people see Vampire Diaries as a wimp-show, but there are moments that are actually highly entertaining and scary. The first season was really well done, but the inclusion of Klaus Mikaelson in season two was absolutely fantastic. He is such an entertaining, layered and smart-ass villain, and his development from the cold and cruel goal-orientated hybrid to something a bit more lovable was one of the best plot developments of the story.
Victoria and Conrad Grayson – Revenge
Season one of Revenge was so gripping, and although they lost the plot a bit in season two, Victoria and Conrad Grayson remain despicable and compelling. They are both so self-serving and spoilt, and they are such a huge part in Emily’s broken psyche that you cannot help but hate them.
Who is your favourite villain? Feel free to drop a comment 🙂
I’m running behind on posting things because I am studying all the time, so for today, here is another Harry Potter quote for the Iconic Book Scene.
I just loved Harry’s attitude when it comes to Snape!
If you are keen to take part in this, drop me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Homeport (Nora Roberts)
Dr. Miranda Jones lives in Seaport, Maine, working in her family’s Institute of Art. She is aided by her brother, Dr. Andrew Jones, who is a developing alcoholic. The Jones’s of Seaport are revered in the community, but nothing is as happy as it seems. Miranda and Andrew’s parents, Elizabeth Stanford-Jones and Charles Jones remain married yet live on separate continents, and both are uninvolved in their children’s lives. Elizabeth is particularly cold hearted and continuously finds fault with both her children, while Charles is simply uninterested in anything other than the next dig he can be on.
Miranda returns home after a lecture and is attacked by a man with a knife. He only steals her bag with all her ID documents in and nothing else and slashes her tires, something that perplexes the police because the jewellery on her is worth far more than the contents of the bag. When her mother calls, ordering her to fly to Standjo, another of the Jones institute’s arms in Florence, she is unable to do so because of her lost documentation. Her mother is obviously displeased, enraged that her daughter is stalling and never checking what actually happened.
A few days later Miranda arrives in Florence and is ordered to immediately start working on authenticating the Dark Lady, a possibly priceless figure either made by Michelangelo or a student of his. Even though she is furiously excited, she remains objective in her tests before she confirms it is highly probable that it was of that origin. A few days later, Miranda’s name is shattered. Her mother tells her the Dark Lady is a fake and that Standjo lost the artefact contract, and Miranda returns in shame to her home.
Ryan Boldari arrives in Maine. Outrageously charming and powerful, he visits under the pretence to loan three of his paintings to the Institute in exchange for some of theirs. Miranda thinks this is a great idea and she and Ryan immediately hit it off. What she doesn’t know is that Ryan, while being the owner of the above-the-board Boldari galleries, is also secretly an art-thief, acquiring (stealing) art for paying customers. Ryan breaks into the Institute one night, and within fifteen minutes removes the Bronze David from its enclosure and disappears.
Stunned, Miranda deals with yet another set-back in the past few weeks. Elizabeth blames her and Andrew again, and Andrew continues to drink his troubles away. Ryan returns to New York without any suspicion, and he thinks it is the last they will see of each other, something necessary although it saddens him.
Ryan returns at night a few nights later, sneaking into Miranda’s bedroom and confronting her because the bronze is a fake. She is furious, because firstly he is the thief and secondly he claims another bronze she tested is a fake when she knows both the David and the Dark Lady was real when she authenticated it. They sneak into the lab to check her data, but the papers authenticating the work is missing and some tests immediately shows her that the David is a fake.
As more and more people turn up dead and more questions being raised, Miranda and Ryan set out to find the truth. Everything points to Miranda being discredited being the main point of the forger of the bronzes, but who is it? Will Andrew be able to fight his alcoholism? Will Ryan and Miranda be able to move on from the fact that he stole from her?
I am so happy to be doing a book review again. I have been rereading a lot of material the last few months so there wasn’t anything new to put on here sadly. This book I’ve only ever read as a Reader’s Digest version so I jumped at the chance to read the full book. I preferred the full book because it covers so much more details than the Readers Digest that gives only the essentials through.
I enjoyed Homeport. It is well written by its ever delightful author, with good characters and an interesting story. I always learn some fun fact from Nora Roberts. The woman is an ocean of information and her books are always excellently researched.
Homeport focuses on the dynamics in families, comparing what they show to the world and what they really are, the fascinating field of authenticating lost art and the obsessive passions people have when it comes to priceless artefacts.
The villain is once again a surprise and the reasons behind the madness quite entertaining. I really didn’t see it coming and that is something I like – I hate it when the killer is immediately revealed!
An excellent work for the Roberts fans, although I am not sure if people dedicated to hard crime will appreciate it.
IMDb Top 250: 35th with 8.5/10 rating
It D Day, June 6, 1944. American soldiers plan to land on Omaha Beach, but their landing is waylaid by the German infantry, who starts shooting them to pieces the moment they second they come close to the beach. Many American soldiers die, but Captain John H. Miller (Tom Hanks) survives and assembles a group of soldiers to take down the German defences, leading to a breakout from the beach.
Back in Washington, D.C, General George Marshall (Harve Resnell) is informed that three of four Ryan brothers were killed in the war, and that their mother will receive notification that very day. Her fourth son, Private First Class James Francis Ryan is a paratrooper, assumed alive but missing in action in Normandy. Marshall reads Abraham Lincoln’s Bixby Letter, and this moves him to order that Ryan must be found alive and sent back to his mother so that she can at least have one son.
Executive Mansion, Washington, Nov. 21, 1864.
I have been shown in the files of the War Department a statement of the Adjutant General of Massachusetts that you are the mother of five sons who have died gloriously on the field of battle. I feel how weak and fruitless must be any word of mine which should attempt to beguile you from the grief of a loss so overwhelming. But I cannot refrain from tendering you the consolation that may be found in the thanks of the Republic they died to save. I pray that our Heavenly Father may assuage the anguish of your bereavement, and leave you only the cherished memory of the loved and lost, and the solemn pride that must be yours to have laid so costly a sacrifice upon the altar of freedom.
Yours, very sincerely and respectfully,
Three days after D-day, Miller is ordered to find and return Ryan to his mother. He assembles six men: Horvath, Reiben, Mellish, Carparzo, Jackson and the medic Wade, and Upham, a cartographer that speaks French and German and who tells Miller from the start he hasn’t been in combat and has the barest of training.
They move on to Neuville. They meet a platoon of the 101st Airborne Division. After entering the town, Caparzo (Vin Diesel) is shot by a sniper. Jackson (Barry Pepper) takes the sniper out but they still lose Caparzo. They find a Private James Ryan, but he is not the Ryan they are searching for. A member of the incorrect Ryan’s party tells them that the man they are looking may have rallied at the drop zone at Vierville. Miller and his men head there and hear that Ryan is helping defend a strategically important bridge over the Merderet River in Ramelle, and they continue on their search mission.
While travelling to Ramelle, Miller decides to neutralize a German gun position. Wade (Giovanni Ribisi) is fatally wounded and when a last surviving German soldier is found, the Americans want to kill him, except Upham (Jeremy Davis), who pleads for his life to be spared. To the incredulity of the other men Miller lets the German walk away, blindfolded. Reiben (Edward Burns) speaks up and questions Miller’s leadership. He plans to leave but is pulled into a confrontation with Horvath (Tom Sizemore). To defuse the suddenly volatile situation, Miller tells his men information they have been desperately curious about – what Miller’s profession is outside of War. Reiben grudgingly stays with the troop.
In Ramelle they finally find Ryan (Matt Damon). He is told of his brothers’ death, Miller’s mission and that he is allowed to go home. He is saddened by the loss of his brothers and the for the lives of the two men who died on the mission to find him, but he says that he must stays with his troop, the brothers he has left, and help them defend the seriously undermanned bridge. This causes some upset amongst Miller’s men because they risked their lives finding him, but eventually they stay to help the men on the bridge and Miller takes over control.
Will Ryan make it out alive? Was the mission been vain? Will Miller and his men get out alive?
Even though it was excellent, this wasn’t the easiest movie to watch. It is gruelling, brutal and intense but also gripping and entertaining. The opening scene was horrific, the senseless slaughter, the hopelessness of the soldiers stuck in an impossible situation, watching their fellow soldiers die in agony. The bloody waves rolling onto the beach really touched me because the sea is something that should bring you great peace and those soldiers were just being shot to pieces.
I haven’t ever seen Tom Hanks being anything less than fantastic and he didn’t disappoint here either. Captain John H. Miller was a good man, and I found how he kept his true job a secret and how he later used it as a tool to calm everyone down. At the end of the day, Miller’s occupation was so vastly removed from his war life I was like whaaat? It seemed incomprehensible to me that he was such a normal family man and a war general everyone naturally followed at the same time.
He was obviously the right leader for the mission. One of the saddest scenes was when he broke down away from his men because he knew they needed a stable person they could rely on leading them.
Richard Reiben was one of my favourite characters – he was cocky and did not mind one bit telling Miller what was on his mind. He was the first to voice his opinion, even if it got him into trouble, and I respected him for that. I had a huge amount of sympathy for Upham – even though the other men weren’t necessarily glorifying what they did in the war and struggled with adapting, he had the most trouble accepting what he saw and the horrors of War. The death of the medic, Wade, made me so sad just to think that he exactly knew how he was dying and what was wrong but couldn’t even fix himself.
I was feeling pretty steamed at Private James Ryan when he was eventually found, and his rejection of the offer to return home maddened me even while seeing sense in what he was saying. I completely stood with the incredulity of the other men that risked their life to get there to take him back to his mother.
If you are one of the few people who haven’t seen Saving Private Ryan, like I was, I suggest you do so. It is excellent.
I took part in Rob’s Genre Grandeur this month! Go take a look 🙂
For my next entry in this months Genre Grandeur – Crime, I present you with a review by Natasha of Life of this City Girl. If you don’t already follow her blog, I strongly recommend that you do. Her site features movie reviews, book reviews (Don’t know how she has time to read so much) :), TV show (and whole series) reviews and her Five things Friday series.
Thanks Natasha for joining in!
Here’s her review of Lawless (2012)………
I am so excited to be blogging here today! I’ve always read and admired Movie Rob’s site, and especially these posts, but never got around to doing a post (a combination of laziness and laziness). When I saw that May’s Genre Grandeur was about Crime, I knew I had to send in something!
My experience with crime movies are on the rise. I’ve never really watched a lot of…
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