Movie Review: Beauty & The Beast

Beauty and the beast

Trailer: Youtube

Duration: 2 hours 19 minutes

Release Date: February 23 2017 (London)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson & Sir Ian McKellen

Director: Bill Condon

Music Composed By: Alan Menken

Lyrics By: Howard Ashman and Tim Rice

Ratings: IMDb: 7.8/10, Rotten Tomatoes: 71%, Common Sense Media: 4/5

Summary: Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast’s hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside.

 

I want to begin by saying: I loved the animated Beauty and the Beast! So, I was both excited and somewhat weary about seeing the Live Action Remake, as usual going into movies like these I had high hopes (and admittedly fairly low expectations). I found that, to my pleasure, the movie blew my expectations out of the water and I was delighted.

 

The cast was perfectly chosen (though can one go wrong with Sir Ian McKellen?), the story stayed true to the original and built on it – it addressed the absence of Belle’s mother, why nobody knew about the prince or the castle or the staff within, characters were given more depth (like LeFou who, in the original, only served to bring attention to Gaston and boost his enormous ego, or the beast who was a fairly two dimensional character), music was great, and visuals were stunning.

 

As much as I love the music, I felt like that was the movies greatest let down. There seemed to be some inconsistencies in the vocals, as if some parts were heavily auto tuned, others were not, at one point I thought another person was singing.

 

I would highly recommend watching the film!

 

Personal Rating: 4/5

 

Until next time, warm hugs!

Morgenstern

 

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National Hug Day 2017!

Saturday, 21st January 2017

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How’s it shakin’ bacon?

So, yesterday I finished my first ever week of work! I was exhausted! Working in retail is not what I expected (my feet were so, so sore by the end of each day and Friday… well, I was lucky to be standing at the end of the day). There were some very real tears Friday night. This is a partial reason for why I’ve had no posts (the other is: I’m lazy. Soz!).

Today is National hug day 2017! I didn’t know it was a thing until the middle of the afternoon. A hug can brighten someones day, reduce stress and anxiety (and there are some noted health benefits). Hugs held for longer periods of time increase serotonin levels, thereby causing an improvement in mood. What better reason to hug someone, right? On this day that is a day in celebration of hugging we should spread some of this free hugs (perhaps not to random strangers though – might get awkward!)

Everyday should be a hug day!

Until next time, warm hugs,

Morgenstern!

New Skills: Music, Languages

Wednesday, 4th January 2017

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

 

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This year I wanted to take up an instrument. So, I’ve decided to start with the keyboard/piano. I already own a keyboard so I’m hoping to get that set up in the next few days and perhaps even look into taking lessons (that I’ll just learn from YouTube videos).

 

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I really believe that continuing to learn is very important after finishing school or college. So I want to make 2017 a year of learning for me. I haven’t decided what I’m going to do yet, though I have some ideas. I’ll be sure to be researching some courses in the coming days.

 

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I took German classes in school and I sucked at it. I think that if I didn’t have the pressure of pending exams that perhaps I’d have better luck learning German. So, we’ll see what happens.

 

Do you have any plans to take up any skills in 2017?

 

Until next time, warm hugs

Morgenstern!

Books to be Published in 2017

Saturday, 10th December 2016

How’s it shakin’ bacon?

Will 2017 still feels like it’s ages away, there are so many amazing books coming out. Books I am super excited to sink my teeth into as soon as they are released. Of course there are so many being released, but here are 1 I’m particularly excited for. Some of the books are parts of series (some of which I haven’t even started yet. But will!) and some appear to be solo novels. Anyway, list away! Also minor disclaimer, I will be linking to the GoodRead pages for the books and including a synopsis for the book – just warning about spoilers.

Lord of Shadows (The Dark Artifices #2) by Cassandra Clare

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Expected Publication: Tuesday, May 23rd 2017

Emma Carstairs has finally avenged her parents. She thought she’d be at peace. But she is anything but calm. Torn between her desire for her parabatai Julian and her desire to protect him from the brutal consequences of parabatai relationships, she has begun dating his brother, Mark. But Mark has spent the past five years trapped in Faerie; can he ever truly be a Shadowhunter again?

And the faerie courts are not silent. The Unseelie King is tired of the Cold Peace, and will no longer concede to the Shadowhunters’ demands. Caught between the demands of faerie and the laws of the Clave, Emma, Julian, and Mark must find a way to come together to defend everything they hold dear—before it’s too late.

I haven’t read Lady Midnight yet, but soon I shall read it! I absolutely love Cassandra Clare’s work and would highly recommend it to anyone. I think the Shadowhunter Chronicles is a set of series that a lot of people will enjoy.

Warcross (Warcross #1) by Marie Lu

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Expected Publication: Fall 2017

Two teenage bounty hunters are “hired by a young billionaire to catch a hacker in the world’s most phenomenally popular virtual reality video game.”

I’ve read other books by Marie Lu and she is an amazing writer. She also wrote the the Legend Series and The Young Elites. I’m going to be saying this a lot, but I highly recommend reading her books. I think they’d appeal to quite a lot of people.

Untitled (Throne of Glass, #6) by Sarah J. Maas

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Expected Publication: May 2017

Unfortunately I couldn’t find a synopsis for this and I’m not up to date with the series yet, but if it’s anything as good as the sequels to this book, I think it will be a very, very good read indeed. Sarah J. Maas is an amazing writer and I thoroughly enjoy reading anything she writes.

A Court of Wings and Ruin (A Court of Thorns and Roses, #3) by Sarah J. Maas

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Expected Publication: May 2017

Looming war threatens all Feyre holds dear in the third volume of the #1 New York Times bestselling A Court of Thorns and Rosesseries.

Feyre has returned to the Spring Court, determined to gather information on Tamlin’s maneuverings and the invading king threatening to bring Prythian to its knees. But to do so she must play a deadly game of deceit-and one slip may spell doom not only for Feyre, but for her world as well.

As war bears down upon them all, Feyre must decide who to trust amongst the dazzling and lethal High Lords-and hunt for allies in unexpected places.

In this thrilling third book in the #1 New York Times bestselling series from Sarah J. Maas, the earth will be painted red as mighty armies grapple for power over the one thing that could destroy them all.

It’s Sarah J. Maas so I imagine, that’s enough said. I haven’t started this particular series yet, but I thoroughly look forward to starting it as soon as I can.

Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhonda Belleza

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Expected Publication: Tuesday, February 7th 2017

Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a holo-vision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation—and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

This sounds really, really interesting. I haven’t read anything by this particular author, in fact I hadn’t even heard of them until I started searching through GoodReads for books. But I shall endeavor to read this book when it’s released!

The Love Interest by Cale Dietrich

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Expected Pubication: Tuesday, May 16th 2016

There is a secret organization that cultivates teenage spies. The agents are called Love Interests because getting close to people destined for great power means getting valuable secrets.

Caden is a Nice: The boy next door, sculpted to physical perfection. Dylan is a Bad: The brooding, dark-souled guy, and dangerously handsome. The girl they are competing for is important to the organization, and each boy will pursue her. Will she choose a Nice or the Bad?

Both Caden and Dylan are living in the outside world for the first time. They are well-trained and at the top of their games. They have to be – whoever the girl doesn’t choose will die.

What the boys don’t expect are feelings that are outside of their training. Feelings that could kill them both.

This sounds interesting, the suggestion of a love triangle however is something I’m uncertain about. Love triangles can be so, so wrong sometimes. I feel like it’s a very hit or miss thing. But, I haven’t read the book and I haven’t read anything by this author either and admittedly I’m very curious about it.

Daughter of a Burning City by Amanda Foody

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Expected Publication: Tuesday, August 15th 2017

A darkly irresistible new fantasy set in the infamous Gomorrah Festival, a traveling carnival of debauchery that caters to the strangest of dreams and desires.

Sixteen-year-old Sorina has spent most of her life within the smoldering borders of the Gomorrah Festival. Yet even among the many unusual members of the traveling circus-city, Sorina stands apart as the only illusion-worker born in hundreds of years. This rare talent allows her to create illusions that others can see, feel and touch, with personalities all their own. Her creations are her family, and together they make up the cast of the Festival’s Freak Show.

But no matter how lifelike they may seem, her illusions are still just that—illusions, and not truly real. Or so she always believed…until one of them is murdered.

Desperate to protect her family, Sorina must track down the culprit and determine how they killed a person who doesn’t actually exist. Her search for answers leads her to the self-proclaimed gossip-worker Luca, and their investigation sends them through a haze of political turmoil and forbidden romance, and into the most sinister corners of the Festival. But as the killer continues murdering Sorina’s illusions one by one, she must unravel the horrifying truth before all of her loved ones disappear.

This is the debut novel of Amanda Foody and I’m looking forward to reading it. It sounds very interesting. Needless to say, I’m looking forward to August.

The Amaterasu Project by Axie Oh

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Expected Publication: 2017

YA science fiction/action novel set in a futuristic Korea about a former gangster who is recruited into the military over a secret prototype weapons project—which turns out to be a genetically modified girl.

This sounds interesting, I don’t know much about the author but I’m curious to read the book.

Scorched by Joss Sterling

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Expected Publication: Thursday, April 6th 2017

Ember stands accused of murdering her own father. Joe is tasked with gaining her trust and finding out more about her crime. But as the wall Ember has built around herself comes tumbling down, feelings flare between them. As truths and half-truths are revealed, will their love survive or will they both go down in flames?

Joss Sterling has written other novels previous to this, I haven’t read them – but I think I might be looking them up at some stage. This book does sound like a love story, sort of. Sounds interesting though.

Overturned by Lamar Giles

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Expected Publication:  Tuesday, March 28th, 2017

Nikki Tate is infamous, even by Las Vegas standards. Her dad is sitting on death row, convicted of killing his best friend in a gambling dispute turned ugly. And for five years, he’s maintained his innocence. But Nikki wants no part of that. She’s been working on Operation Escape Vegas: playing in illegal card games so she can save up enough money to get out come graduation day.

Then her dad’s murder conviction is overturned. The new evidence seems to come out of nowhere and Nikki’s life becomes a mess when he’s released from prison. Because the dad who comes home is not the dad she remembers. And he’s desperately obsessed with finding out who framed him—and why.

As her dad digs into the seedy underbelly of Vegas, the past threatens everything and Nikki is drawn into his deadly hunt for the truth. But in the city of sin, some sinners will do anything to keep their secrets, and Nikki soon finds herself playing for the biggest gamble ever—her life.

This isn’t the sort of book I’d normally go for, but it sounds really interesting. Sounds like it could be exciting and have some mystery to it. So, admittedly I’m looking forward to reading.

Do any of these books appeal to you? Any of those you think you’ll read? Or are there other books you’re looking forward to? Let me know. I’d love to hear some opinions.

Until next time, warm hugs,

Morgenstern!