Beauty and the Beast: This is the Wrong Story for Belle and the Beast

Belle and the Beast stand in front of a winter landscape, Belle holding a rose. The text reads "Disney, Beauty and the Beast."
Image: Disney

Genre: Fairy Tale Retelling

Synopsis: A prince is cursed to become a beast for an act of unkindness. He can only be redeemed if someone falls in love with him. Enter Belle, an educated young woman unsatisfied with her life, and willing to do anything to save her father–from the beast who’s imprisoned him.

Verdict: This adaptation is genuinely charming in its execution, but it’s quite faithful to the Disney version, and fixes none of the major flaws of its predecessor. If you liked Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, you’ll probably like this one—it’s not that different. Continue reading “Beauty and the Beast: This is the Wrong Story for Belle and the Beast”

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Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility

This was a great movie that paired Marvel’s style of adventure and humor with a fresh feeling. The setting and costumes were absolutely gorgeous, blending a futuristic/sci-fi feel and inspiration from numerous African cultures for its aesthetic–from the Maasai people in East Africa, to the Zulu people in Southern Africa, to the Akan people of West Africa. (Waris @diasporicblues details several in a Twitter thread; Lynsey Chutel and Yomi Kazeem wrote Marvel’s ‘Black Panther’ is a broad mix of African cultures—here are some of them for Quartz Africa, which I was super excited to see mention Dahomey’s historical female warriors.) Black Panther is quite feminist as well, including black women as both major characters and a substantial chunk of the background characters. Continue reading “Black Panther: A Futuristic Wakanda Inspired by African Cultures, Tackling Responsibility”

Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy

Two people's faces, above an image of a ship in space. The words read "Jennifer Lawrence, Chris Pratt, Passengers."
Image: Sony Pictures

Genre: Sci-fi/Romance

Synopsis: Jim and Aurora are passengers on a starship, kept in stasis inside hibernation pods during the journey. When they arrive at their destination, a good century would have passed, and they’d have reached a distant world. Except they wake up too early. 90 years too early. Without the ability to put themselves back to sleep, they’re looking at the rest of their lives spent alone, aboard the ship… Continue reading “Passengers: Shouldn’t be Marketed as a Sci-Fi/Romance if It’s Gonna Be This Creepy”

Wonder Woman: Refreshing and Emotionally Powerful

Wonder Woman stands on a battlefield, deflecting a bullet with her gauntlet.
Image: Warner Bros via Wikipedia

Genre: Superhero

Synopsis: Diana has grown up in a land of Amazons, isolated from the rest of the world. They are the keepers of a weapon that can defeat Ares, the god of War, waiting for the time when he returns to wreck chaos and slaughter. Then World War I intrudes onto her island, and Diana takes this as a sign that Ares had arrived. She sets off on a mission to kill him, believing that without him, the war would end and the world would know peace. Continue reading “Wonder Woman: Refreshing and Emotionally Powerful”

Terminator: Genisys Reboots the Franchise for the 21st Century

A picture of a man with parts of his skin wounded enough to reveal metal underneath, holding a smoking shotgun, in front of a black font with some fog. The words "Terminator Genisys" are written over him.
Image: Skydance via Den of Geek

Genre: Action/Sci-fi

Synopsis: John Connor is the leader of the resistance in a world where humanity is being obliterated by Skynet, a self-aware artificial intelligence. Without him, humanity stands no chance. In the original Terminator movie from 1984, Skynet sends a Terminator back in time to kill John’s mother Sarah before he can be born. John sends back a trusted colleague, Kyle Reese, to protect his mother. However, in Terminator: Genisys, this has already happened. Continue reading “Terminator: Genisys Reboots the Franchise for the 21st Century”

Round-Up: Crimson Peak Redux and Questionable Content

Crimson Peak 

crimson-peak-tom-hiddleston-jessica-chastain
Borrowed from whatculture.com

Watching this movie for the second time was actually a much more enjoyable experience than watching it the first time–and I already liked it the first time. I love it now. Continue reading “Round-Up: Crimson Peak Redux and Questionable Content”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Less Powerful Though Still Good Closing of the Franchise

 

the-hunger-games-mockingjay-part-2-poster
Borrowed from thetorchentertainmentguide.com

Genre: Dystopian/Sci-fi

Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen  is the face of the revolution against the Capitol, after the destruction of her district. And now it’s time for the final showdown. But complicating things is the rescue of Peeta, who’s been psychologically reprogrammed through a combination of torture and drugs to believe that Katniss is a monster who needs to be killed. And now Katniss, accompanied by her friends and a struggling Peeta, needs to end things, once and for all. And decide what the future is going to be. Continue reading “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2, the Less Powerful Though Still Good Closing of the Franchise”

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Yes, Part ONE), Characters Holding Themselves Together

 

mockingjay-part-1-image-6
Borrowed from hypable.com

Genre: Dystopian/Sci-fi

Synopsis: Katniss Everdeen survived the sadistic Hunger Games twice, unwittingly lighting the spark of revolution along the way. The Capitol’s President has responded to every slight challenge with violence or the threat thereof, finally culminating in the complete destruction of a district. Now Katniss, still reeling from the deaths and the capture of several of her friends, must become the face of the revolution. Because everyone is already looking to her. Continue reading “The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (Yes, Part ONE), Characters Holding Themselves Together”

Crimson Peak: Evocative Characters, Harrowing Scenes

Borrowed from thecreativepartnership.co.uk

Genre: Horror/mystery

Synopsis: Edith is content focusing on her efforts to publish her stories and living with her father, when Thomas Sharpe from England enters her life, intent on winning her over. This culminates in him and his sister Lucille bringing her to their home, Crimson Peak, a place Edith realizes too late that she’s been warned against all her life–by ghosts, which she has the ability to see. And there are ghosts in Crimson Peak. Continue reading “Crimson Peak: Evocative Characters, Harrowing Scenes”