What I'm Watching: Beautiful Creatures
Hopefully this won't be as long as the Man of Steel review!
This is a *little* off the beaten path for Trisk, but there's magic, there's witches...sorry, 'casters' as the movie insists on calling them, and curses. I can work with that.
Beautiful Creatures suffered a bit from coming out at the same time as Twilight fever. Which is understandable. Supernatural love stories are super huge right now, so everyone and their dog wants to make one and cash in on that. Which there's nothing wrong there, but the movie probably was hit by some backlash from the sparkly vampie abominations.
Which is really a shame, since this movie wasn't bad.
It doesn't blow me away, but it was a fun two hours. The cast is solid, mostly. The biggest problem was everyone having to do Southern accents, and not everyone in the cast should be allowed to do that, in this movie. Some were better than others, and some were just painful, to me, and got on my nerves.
But dialect aside, the performances still come through just fine, especially Jeremy Irons who can be known for chewing scenery with the best of them. Yeah, I'm looking at YOU, Dungeons & Dragons...
The story resolves around a kid haunted by dreams, until he meets a girl whose family is spoken about in hushed whispers and rumours. He's intrigued, and finds out everything rumoured about the family is true. He gets sucked into their crazy world of magic, destiny, and curses, and does his best to help his new girlfriend not turn evil.
I was a little uncomfortable with the movie's mythology that established how every caster reaches a point where they go either to the light or the dark. The women are forced into the role by their 'true nature' and have to stay that way. But the males are able to choose at will, being good or evil whenver they want. Gee, that's not too sexist, is it? I'm probably being too harsh, but it did make me roll my eyes.
The movie's use of magic was creative, and sexism aside, it have some good mythology to it, that built for a unique view of magic in this world. And setting it against a Southern backdrop and the Civil War gave it a bit of history and substance to it. The Vampire Diaries does much the same with its initial mythology, and it works well.
There were a few moments that made me wince though, and it was usually during any sort of magic battle. Partly because of effects, and partly because of acting. Magic is a tough thing to sell, magic battles even more so, since actors have to act big to sell whatever they're doing, while having no idea WHAT it is they're doing, and it sometimes comes across as silly.
Still, there's a good story here of trying to find your place in the world at that awkward time in your life known as high school. It's something we all go through, and a common source of supernatural allegory. Beautiful Creatures might not be the most unique take on a crowded genre trope, but it does a fair job, and is worth a look.