Thursday, May 30, 2013

Beautiful Creatures: Movie Review

Movie Title: Beautiful Creatures
Running Time: 124 minutes
Rating: PG13


Brief Synopsis from Official Movie Site:
Oscar® nominee Richard LaGravenese ("The Fisher King,""P.S. I Love You") directs the supernatural love story "Beautiful Creatures" from his adaptation of the first novel in the best-selling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl.

Ethan Wate (Alden Ehrenreich), 17, has had the same recurring dream for months. A mysterious young girl is waiting for him on a Civil War battlefield. Ethan desperately wants to be with her, but there is an unknown danger-and each time a lightning bolt cracks like a gunshot, killing Ethan before he ever reaches the girl.

The danger of this strange dream world, however, is preferable to Ethan's waking existence in Gatlin, South Carolina, a small, conservative Southern town that hasn't caught up to the 21st century, where nothing ever changes and nothing ever happens. Trapped at home with a father who has completely withdrawn since the sudden death of Ethan's mother, Ethan yearns for a life he can only read about in books.

But Ethan's mundane world is shaken up with the arrival of Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert), the beautiful and enigmatic niece of Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), the reclusive owner of gothic Ravenwood Manor. Ethan finds himself immediately drawn to Lena, even though destruction seems to inexplicably follow her and it becomes apparent that she is a Caster, with powers beyond her control. The town, led by conservative Mrs. Lincoln (Emma Thompson), wants her banished. Even Gatlin's all-knowing librarian, Amma (Viola Davis), is afraid history may repeat itself-a history of family secrets and a curse that looms for Lena as she approaches her 16th birthday. It is that time when a Caster is chosen by the forces of either the Light or the Dark.

But Lena's fate may already be sealed by the curse that draws both her and Ethan into a tangled web of spells and peril from which there may be no escape.
 Ethan Wate is the main character of this movie. Every night he is haunted with dreams of a beautiful girl, but he can never reach her. He lives in a small town called Gatlin, and it seems that he can never escape, especially after his mother has died in a car crash. But his dreams for leaving Gatlin soon change when the girl he of his dreams (literally) shows up on the town's doorstep.

Lena Duchannes is a different type of girl. She is something called a Caster, sort of like a witch. When Casters turn sixteen, they are claimed for either the light, or the dark. Except, in Lena's family, they don't get to choose how what they are claimed for because of an old curse in the family. If Lena is claimed for the Dark, she will become an entirely different person than the Lena that Ethan, and everyone else knows.

 Macon Ravenwood has not left his creepy old mansion for years, and no one has ever seen him. So when his niece moves into town, everyone is nervous about her because they know the legends: Ravenwoods are magical folk and not to be messed with.
They have no idea how right they are.
Macon must protect his niece from her mother, the most powerful Dark Caster of all time, Sarafine, while trying hard to keep Lena good enough to be claimed for the Light.

Amma has taken care of Ethan ever since he was a little child, and especially now that his mother died.
Especially now that he is in love with a Caster.
As it turns out, Amma knows more about Casters and the other world living with mortals than Ethan ever would have expected her to. And she will do anything to protect her boy from the dark magic, and from the most dangerous magic of all:


Once a good girl but now a Dark Caster, Ridley is Lena's cousin and former best friend. She is a Siren, someone who lures people in (men especially) and makes them see what she wants, do what she wants, and even think the way she wants them to think. This type of power can be dangerous, especially when all Ridley wants is for her cousin to become Dark along with her and will stop and nothing to get it.
Link is Ethan's best friend, and has been since Ethan can remember. But just because he is not in love with Lena does not mean he is safe from the Caster world.
His mother is (unknown to him) being inhabited by Sarafine, one of the most dangerous Casters and not the best choice to kiss him goodnight. And on top of that, Ridley has set her sights on him and Link can't say no to neither her beauty or her power.
Do not be fooled by this nice actress who once played the role of Nanny McPhee. Now she is the baddest of all the villains: Sarafine. Sarafine is on the prowl. Being the Darkest and most powerful Caster of all time, she will do everything she can to make sure her daughter follows in her footsteps and aids her in destroying mankind forever.  And above all, she will make sure that Lena is not claimed for the Light.
For those watching this movie who have read the Beautiful Creatures series, you might be extremely disappointed. One thing this movie was not good at was following the storyline. At all. However, even though I have read the books and was slightly frustrated because of this, I loved that I was surprised because they added some new twists and turns that we did not see in the book. It was a great movie and I enjoyed watching it.
A note on the rating for those who have children watching this movie: There is some violence and scary images that would probably scare children under the age of ten years old. There is also a bit of crude language and swearing, and some brief scenes that might not be appropriate for younger eyes. Keep one finger on the mute button and one on the fast forward if you have any younger children watching this movie with you.

What this movie is about:
This movie is based on the bestselling series by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. It is about a boy named Ethan Wate whose ordinary, small town life changes forever when a girl named Lena moves in to town. Lena is different, and she is beautiful. And Ethan has been having dreams about her for months. She happens to be the niece to Macon Ravenwood, a man who lives in the creepy mansion on the hill who everyone is afraid of. And Ethan can't help falling in love with her.

Lena has a dark secret: She is a witch, although they prefer the term Caster. Casters have special powers and can do magic. On a Caster's sixteenth birthday, they can choose if they want to be Light or Dark. Except for Lena's family. They are cursed, and on their birthday, the moon will Claim them to be Light or Dark. And Lena's birthday is coming up soon. If she becomes a Dark Caster, the Lena Ethan knows will cease to exist.

Lena's mother is the most powerful Dark Caster of all time: Sarafine. And she wants her daughter to follow in her footsteps and become Dark. Lena is a Natural, she can create lightning, and storms, and control the weather by making it rain and snow. She is, therefore, even more powerful than Sarafine, and, if she turns Dark, has the potential ability to wipe out the human race and bring her mother to power. Sarafine will stop at nothing to blacken Lena's heart and turn her dark. Her greatest weapon to do this? Ethan.
Lena must search the Book of Moons to find a way to reverse the curse before her birthday, so she can claim herself to the Light and not become the Dark that she fears she will be. She is running out of time, and if she fails, life as we know it will be gone forever. Will Ethan's love for her be enough to keep her in the Light? Or is it the one thing chaining her to the Darkness? Find out in this wonderfully filmed romance.

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