Monthly Archives: March, 2017

Ever just the same, ever a surprise: Review of the live action Beauty and the Beast

“Tale as old as time

Song as old as rhyme

Beauty and the Beast

– “Beauty and the Beast”

*Warning Spoiler: The beast turns into a prince at the end.  Sorry!  Seriously, no spoilers.

Tonight I went to the pre-showing of the new live-action Beauty and the Beast.  I bought my tickets early for the “Fan Event” which translated into your tickets cost more, mostly, though we got awesome drinks and popcorn buckets.  At first I was thinking I got gipped, because come on, other theaters in big cities got these really pretty pins, and I got a bucket.  But still, there were cushy recliners, assigned seating, and a design to the theater that ensured you would see the movie, no matter how tall or fat headed the person in front of you might be.

Bucket and drink. But also a fold out rose. But mostly it was a bucket. wooot.

My husband, who believe me showed his twu luv by coming with me after I bought him a ticket, was literally the legs of the operation.  He went back for the popcorn buckets and the drinks, then again back for the 3-D glasses (who knew it was 3-D?) that the stupidhead ticket guy didn’t tell us to take.  The special feature was an interview with the guys working on the score (which I’m sure will be on the DVD) and the Beauty and the Beast music video (which has already been on youtube.  Check it out, it’s trippin’.)

In case you are wondering about the Things, they were invited to the movie in the same theater at the same time by some friends whose mother actually shelled out for the tickets.  Vile betrayers.  Thing Two said she hoped that we weren’t close to each other, to which I responded “So do I.  Like I want to be near teen girls giggling.”  I mean, seriously, I didn’t.  I was however, beside an adorable little girl wearing a Belle dress and sparkly shoes.  More on her later.

Of course there was not one of these in 40 year old size. credit: Disney Store.

When the movie started, any complaints I might have had vanished.  Any other thoughts I had vanished as well.  No more political stupidity, no more stress, no more worries, for a little over an hour.  Just as I was during my Thing One’s starring role (she was a spoon) in the high school Beauty and the Beast musical, I was transfixed.  I was pretty sure my husband was over there, but I didn’t check to see.  I did not peel my eyes from the screen.

Was the movie good?  Well, I suppose part of it depends on whether you liked the original movie, or Disney period.  Though I feel I must point out that the guy playing Gaston is evil but extremely hot, and Emma Watson is obviously beautiful.  So you know, there’s something for everybody.  Well most people.  There were some who, for hateful reasons you can easily discover with a quick Google click, refused to take their unfortunate children to the movie.  (Hint: It’s seriously not a big deal and I doubt the kids will notice, parents.)  Disney is feeling the hurt, people, I mean with sold out theaters long before the movie began, gosh I’m not sure what they will do!

I was already obsessed long before the movie came out, thanks to them announcing it like ten years early.  When the merchandise came out, I completely restrained myself and did not buy a thing.  I bought several things.  Though not enough to break my budget, so no naysayers.  I’ve had my fill of naysayers, most of them found on Disney fan boards.  Go away, false fans.  Because this was not just a movie.  This was an incredible movie, with the ability to make me feel, at forty years old, the awe and wonder and beauty of the film I first watched at fourteen.

#notobsessed. BTW that’s a real working clock.

It’s a story that is – well not as old as time, I don’t think the dinosaurs did musicals.  But close.  It’s been retold millions of ways.  I love all of them.  The heart of the story is always the same – see beyond appearances, for beauty is found within.  It is a lesson many people need to take to heart, now more than ever, as they dismiss people based on the color of their skin, the place they grew up, the religion they believe, the people they love.  Belle does not fall in love with the Beast as soon as she sees him.  She thinks he’s a jerk, since he acts like a jerk.  But as she spends time with him, gets to know him, she sees beyond the outside, beyond her first impressions.  She finds he is not so different than herself.

Barely even friends

Then somebody bends

Unexpectedly”

This movie had a lot to live up to, as the original Disney cartoon of Beauty and the Beast is a beloved classic, the only animated feature to be nominated for an Academy Award.  I believe it lived up to the original, keeping close with the story, but with twists.  For one thing, it briefly mentions why no one realized there was a freaking castle and royalty nearby.  That had been bugging me for years!  There are also so many touching moments.  Like Belle and her father, and their love for each other, and ostracism from a town of people with no imagination, no vision into the future.  I know people like those in this “poor provincial town” and – I cannot imagine living that way, with no stories in your head, no new ideas.

Man, I hate this town.

They didn’t forget the talking furniture and appliances.  They are done in CGI, which some have complained is awful, because they probably come from Belle’s town and can’t see beyond pixels.  Though they are very different in appearance than the Disney version, they absolutely fascinated me.  Disney created an atmosphere much more conducive to 18th century France.  I work in archives, so I tend to like old stuff.  The costumes, the enchanted objects, the castle, the town, all of it is very true to the time period.  Now some complained that Belle’s dress is too modern, and that lousy feminist Emma Watson should have worn a proper corset.  First of all, Belle’s dress is more modern because she’s Belle, always looking to the future, never having to fit in, and also because Emma didn’t want the depiction of unrealistic figures.  I for one didn’t even notice, probably because Emma is naturally so thin she doesn’t even need a corset.

The Beast notices Belle is not wearing a corset. Does not care.

Yet with all the beauty, the incredible special effects and imaginative sets, none of it matters if you do not love the characters.  And you do love these characters.  There is Gaston, the handsome idiot, harmless enough until for the first time he doesn’t get what he wants.  The household objects are all lovable as well, which allow you to look past the fact that they aren’t actually on the screen.  Emma talked to nothing a lot.  There is the Beast, punished severely for his arrogance, filled with anger and despair, but who still has enough humanity to save Belle from a pack of wolves.  And there is Belle, who could have escaped when the Beast was attacked, but her morality, her inner goodness, compels her to help nurse the Beast back to health.  It starts with small acts of kindness, which lead to more of these acts, more closeness, and more understanding of both themselves and each other, for you cannot love without knowing who you are first.  And, as Belle points out, you cannot love unless you are free.

“It is sweet and strange

Finding you can change

Learning you were wrong.”

I’ll admit it.  I cried during this movie, with my hands up by my mouth.  I cried on the way home. But I wasn’t depressed. They were tears of absolute joy, for this is a story I have written myself, all my life, in books that are never quite good enough, that I have never dared show to any but one friend, that I have never tried to publish, that so often, I say I never have time to work on.  But the stories in my head never go away.  They are there, urging me on, even as I try to ignore them.  But tonight, in the little girl in the Belle dress, I saw not just my girls when they were younger, but I saw myself.  The whole world ahead, every day filled with magic, with possibility.  I watched as she tried to grab the flakes of gold that shot out of the screen at you.  And I delighted when the credits rolled, the song played, and she danced so passionately in the aisle.

Okay, she can keep the dress.

It’s time to remember that little girl, or boy, that’s inside you.  It’s time to listen to the voice that speaks to you, I mean, as long as it’s not an actual voice you understand.  It is simply time for us to find the beauty within ourselves and each other, to love instead of hate, to make the world a better place for the little girls dancing in the aisles, lost in dreamland.

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Trump Voodoo

I know things seem kinda dark right now, what with a rabid toddler in the White House.  It’s like Richie Rich took over, and the rest of the White House staff has to race around cleaning up his messes (not potty trained yet) and providing him with everything he wants, when he wants it, no matter how insane it is.  They also have to explain his actions away like “Well he needed his nap” (one of his people actually said he crank called all those foreign leaders because he was “tired”) because they can’t admit that they are really, really bad parents.  If any of you have been parents, or have even known a toddler, you realize that these tiny people are not sane.  You have to spend most of your time keeping them from killing themselves.  With the president, you have to keep him from killing everybody else.  Haha, yeah I’m not kidding.  He knows nuke codes, you guys.  Nuke codes in the hands of a toddler.  If that doesn’t scare the crap out of you, I don’t know what does.

Now I’m not saying he’s going to nuke us all, but he COULD, and really that’s like just giving your toddler a box of matches.  We don’t know he’s going to burn down the house.  Maybe he’ll just eat them.  But they are there, and they really, really should not be around a toddler.  Like paint chips.  I bet there were golden paint chips near the Donald when he was young.  Explains so much.

So how do we deal with this?  He’s here, he got elected (How?  Just how?) and we have to deal with him in a peaceful manner.  I found some great products to help us do just that!  Click to Enlarge the Fun!

Trump Voodoo Dolls

This made my day so happy!

This is great.  It is so great.  Really great.  A cheeto with pins in it.  I laughed and laughed and laughed.  A strange part of me actually wanted to buy it from Ebay.  But that would have kept this amazing image away from others.  It’s a great marketing strategy.  Imagine, an entire bag of voodoo dolls, just waiting for you.  And when you’re done, you can eat him.  Don’t worry, unlike the original, these are not toxic.  Oddly enough, no one paid 3 bucks for a cheeto (I was a little surprised by this) but the seller promised me to relist.  We had an interesting conversation about Cheeto here.  The seller does not like Cheeto (in case the pins didn’t clue you in) and is hoping it goes viral.  Do your part to make it so, guys!  Here is the link, which is hopefully updated with a relist soon.

Now some of you may be saying, sure Alice, sticking pins in my snack food is fun and all, but it’s not that sturdy. Plus I’m not sure if I’d doing the voodoo right.  Don’t we need to have a doll with some pins to make black magic?  Never fear, there is an answer for this as well, and it’s also on Ebay.  I ordered one for myself and hope to test it soon.  The pictures in the advertisement, though, are very informative.

I love how excited the girl is to get this awesome gift.

Yes, that’s right, a genuine voodoo doll, I’m sure of it due to my tireless research (tireless because I did none) .  It’s a doll, it looks like Fart (that’s UK for Trump) and you can put a pin anywhere you want.  There are so many places.  So many.  Now I do not advocate actually harming the president, I mean he’ll probably eventually do that himself by ticking off the wrong person.  But hey, if you put a pin in his eye, and he happens to get an eye boo boo – that’s hardly your fault.  I mean, stuff happens, right?  Like the following on the advertisement:

Make sure and get full coverage.

Don’t be afraid to get creative with your torture.

You can always bring your furry friends in on the action.

Speaking of furry friends, it seems a shame to leave them out of all the fun.  They can smell stupid, and they want to help their owners out however they can.  Or, at least, they really like tearing stuff up.  Just like Senor Cheeto!  That’s why more marketing gurus, this time on Amazon, came up with this.

Trump Cat Toy

Here, kitty kitty . . .

Cats come runnin’ for the good taste of Trump!  Especially when he’s loaded with drugs, er cat nip.  You’ll notice that there is a version for cats and dogs (the dog one comes with a squeaker), and also a variety of politicians you can choose for Fluffy.  I’m not sure that Hillary Clinton needs anymore punishment, as she lost to Cheeto here, Bill is just tired, and Bernie is stuck questioning Cheeto’s cabinet contenders which would lead anyone to bang his head repeatedly against his desk. That can’t be good for a guy that old.  Our Favorite Russian, Putin, is awesome, though.

Communism has never been so hot!

Another great thing about these pet toys is the reviews from creative Amazon customers.

December 5, 2016
Size: Donald Trump|Style: Cat|Verified Purchase
My cat immediately started attacking his hair and trying to rip it to shreds, but the trump toy managed to weather all the attacks and remained president. A fun addition to Sir Nitro Purr’s cat toy collection.
He includes a picture of his cat getting to know Donald.

Thinking this cat was not a Trump voter.

But Alice, you might ask, how can you really know how good these products are without testing them?  Well, never fear, for I have both the Trump voodoo doll (the cloth one, not the cheeto though I’d be happy to buy a bag for the sake of research), and the cat toy on order.  We don’t have a regular cat, but we do have Hazel the stray cat, who graces us with her presence when she wants food.  Sometimes she even acts cute about it, but we all know she’s really evil.  Still, I hope she loves the doll as much as the other cat customers must, since it’s on back order at the moment.

Donald Trump SqueezeEZ Big Head Collectible Stress Ball

And finally, last but not least, we all need a way to get rid of stress these days.  Ripped off the head of your stress ducky?  I did once, and the church ladies’ retreat director gave me a funny look when I said “Look, he’s got a tracheotomy”.  Some people have no sense of humor.  I got another duck, though.  Where was I?  Oh, right, next up, the Trump stress ball.

The Great Oz Will See You Now

These kinda scare me, and we’re talking about me here.  I haven’t dared buy one yet.  Maybe I’ll put some orange fuzz on my stress cow, donated graciously by Thing Two who told me not to rip off its head.  Everyone’s a critic.  But if you order one of these squeeze heads, you might get lucky and receive the coveted gold head.  It’s still filled with air like the others, but special.

That’s all I have for now!  When I get my other products, I promise to show my own personal review with the help of Hazel the cat, my Things, and a bunch of sharp stuff.  I’m sure they will push me into it, no matter how Sad Pony I get just because the president wants to invade Australia, or whatever.  Also look out for Sim Trump.  It’s been a while since I wrote my posts on Boppo the Clown (search for Boppo in my search box if you’re extremely bored and hate clowns), but now I have The Sims 4, which allows you a lot more customization on characters.  So, for instance you could make one fat with orange hair.  Not sure if I can make him orange yet, but I’ll let you now.  I can also give him lots of new awful character traits, like insane.

Stay tuned, and if the world gets you down, do that voodoo that you do so well.

Alice