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Tale as Old as Time

by Carly on March 20, 2017

in In Saint Louis

As a huge Disney freak, words cannot describe how excited I’ve been in anticipation of the live-action Beauty and the Beast being released. And it’s finally here! I remember hearing about this movie in the works of couple years ago. Especially in the last few months, it has been everywhere in the news. From interviews with the stars, to various trailers, and to music videos being released, I feel like I was reading something new about it every day practically.

Because I am such a huge Disney fan, and because this was my favorite cartoon movie growing up, I am going to send this week’s blog talking about this blockbuster movie. But don’t worry; I won’t give any spoilers away. Although, it’s probably safe to say you already know the story. 😉

Overall, I thought this movie was beautifully made. I like that it truly stuck to the original cartoon version. With the exception of a couple minor plot twists, the look of the characters, the songs, and progression of the story was very similar to the one we grew up with. Any expectations I had were exceeded. In addition, the imagery in this film was absolutely breathtaking. Everything from the view of the castle, to the ornate costumes, and visuals of the snowy woods, it was all a wonderful sight to see. And then there’s one of the most iconic scenes of all time: when Belle and the Beast have their first dance in the ballroom, with her yellow gown and his blue suit. As Mrs. Potts sang “Beauty and the Beast” and this scene was playing before me, I can guarantee you I was giddier than the numerous children sitting in the row next to me. Beautiful!

And speaking of children, the kids in this theater were troopers! I completely understand that you want to take kids to see this movie; I mean, come on, it’s Princess Belle! However, there were quite a few scary elements throughout the film. I never realized how many scary and life-threatening scenes there were until I saw it in live-action. For one, of course the beast is a bit frightening at first, before you see his soft side. Also, there are a couple occasions where characters are fighting off deadly wolves. Plus, Gaston isn’t referred to as a “bad guy” for no reason (although I must say, the actor that plays him is quite a charmer; but shame on you, Gaston!). But there are still many magical moments that kids and adults alike can enjoy. Who could not love little Chip?!

So, there’s my brief two cents on the film. I have just been so excited to see it; I could not wait another day. You don’t have to rush out the first weekend like me, but I hope you get a chance to go soon! I love a good-hearted story that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy inside. Trust me, you will not be disappointed by this tale as old as time.

beauty and the beast




Jurassic World

by Patricia on July 6, 2015

in Extracurricular

On Monday, I saw the new movie Jurassic World in 3D. It was about two kids who went to visit their aunt in the Jurassic World theme park. Their aunt ran the park and she was one of the scientists who took care of the dinosaurs. The park had all kinds of attractions such as a dinosaur petting zoo, underwater show, and vehicles that drive drove people around.  In the underwater show, an aquatic dinosaur ate a shark all in one bite! I would HIGHLY recommend seeing this movie before it comes out on Red Box.


Last night I went to the midnight premiere of Catching Fire. It was amazing! I had never been to a midnight premiere before — the whole experience was so exciting. I was excited the whole day looking forward to seeing the movie. It did not disappoint. The movie was so awesome. I thought it followed the book better than the first one. Not saying the first movie was bad by any means. Catching Fire had my attention the whole time. Katniss’s outfits, Peeta’s kindness, and Haymitch being Haymitch really holds your attention through the whole movie. I am ready to go see it again. I also want to read the Hunger Games books again. The movie makes you love all the characters and the storyline so much more. Go see Catching Fire!


Jake Gyllenhaal and Hugh Jackman in “Prisoners”
After watching the recently released film Prisoners, an incredibly suspenseful kidnap mystery, I could not help but long for a time when these types of stories were a rule of mainstream American film rather than an exception. While the popularity of thrilling “airport novels” is still derided by literary highbrows, and on network television police procedurals still rule the ratings, the mystery has been fading from the movie theater. Gone are the 1990s, when movies regularly found huge box office success by having leading men like Denzel Washington, Tom Cruise, or Harrison Ford follow a string of clues to a find a killer, unveil a bureaucratic conspiracy, or prevent a geopolitical disaster. In this new decade, whether it is an Oscar-nominated spy versus spy mole-hunt (Tinker, Tailor, Soldier Spy, 2011), an acclaimed courtroom drama (The Lincoln Lawyer, 2011), a gritty, macho neo-noir (Broken City, 2013), or a star-studded political conspiracy (Ides of March, 2011 ), the mystery has simply failed to draw the attention and success it could take for granted during the days when writers like John Grisham and Tom Clancy were at their peak in popularity.
In the current Hollywood roster, adaptations based on works by popular authors in the mystery genre often rely on a heavy action element to justify their existence in a medium dominated by CGI-spectaculars. Both James Patterson’s Alex Cross (2012) and Lee Child’s Jack Reacher (2012) followed this model but still generated less than $100 million in box office revenue, the traditional mark for a Hollywood hit. If fact, even with the expanded fistfights and shoot-outs, Alex Cross could not recoup its low Hollywood budget of $35 million even when incorporating the international market, a far cry from when Morgan Freeman played the same character in 2001’s Along Came A Spider and did little else besides ask questions and have “Aha” moments to the tune of $105 million in worldwide box office. One fictional character who did prosper with a revised fusion of action and mystery was the most famous detective of all, Sherlock Holmes himself . Portrayed by Robert Downey, Jr. in these 2009 and 2011 releases, the iconic sleuth deduced his way through swashbuckling brawls and chases the scale of which rivaled anything in the original Pirates of the Caribbean. The seamless integration of mystery into a larger adventure appeared so effortless for director Guy Ritchie, one could say of him that it almost seemed elem… second nature.
Now, in regards to the pure mystery, could a whodunit still intrigue the public enough to show up in mass to learn the answer? If any movie seemed to embody a “yes” to that question, it was the American version of Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (2011). Every aspect of the film appeared to prophesize success. It had a built-in audience from the mega-selling trilogy of Scandinavian thrillers by Steig Larsson. It had an acclaimed director, David Fincher, who made his name in the psychological thriller genre with the Academy Award-winning Se7en (1997) and, later returned to similar ground with the true story of Zodiac (2007). The size of the marketing budget for Girl could compete with that of many blockbusters and the advertising made ample use of actor Daniel Craig during a 007 drought and Roony Mara, who’s eerie physicality in her performance as Lisbeth Salander was already inspiring whispers of “Oscar.” After the duration of its domestic run, and all the dollars were all tallied, the film was a quantifiable hit, earning just north of the domestic hit marker at $102 million dollars. But this success was still too small to be considered a worthwhile return on a substantial investment. The grosses were far below studio hopes considering it was made on a budget of $90 million (not even including marketing). Ultimately, it was considered a financial disappointment. Development on the other installments of the trilogy were shelved, each sequel waiting for an adaptation that would likely never occur.

Ben Kingsley, Leonardo DiCaprio, and Mark Ruffalo in "Shutter Island"

There is one bright example, however, of a true to form mystery, which was successful in this decade without qualification: Martin Scorsese’s almost “locked-room”-style Shutter Island (2011). Set in the 1950s, the film follows an emotionally tormented police detective, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, as he investigates the disappearance of a mental ward patient on an isolated island. The detective gradually realizes that the appearances of this mental ward are, of coarse, not the reality and that the missing patient is just a single piece to a much more maddening puzzle. Proving the everlasting reverence of director Martin Scorsese and the reliable box office draw of Leonardo DiCaprio, one of Hollywood’s last “sure bet” movie stars, Shutter Island reached $128 million in the United States. At last, a true hit mystery film.
But could this just be one of the last breaths of dying genre? Probably not. While popular mystery films such as Shutter Island are rare, it is never for a lack of Hollywood trying. Like Westerns, it seems you can always count on a few high profile productions cropping up on occasion when the studios decide it is time again to test if audiences are ready embrace the format. Additionally, there are always enough moderate successes, such as The Call (2013), which made $51 million on a budget of only $13 million, and Unknown (2011), which made $63 million on a budget of $30 million, to ensure that fans of the genre will always have a decent serving of intrigue, suspense and one person’s dogged search for the truth. The mystery never really dies. Sometimes it just goes missing and waits to be found.


A True American Classic

by Alumni Posts June 2, 2013

The first time I read F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” I hated it. Now you should know that I rarely use the word “hate” because it’s such a strong word. However, I really, really disliked the book. I guess I wasn’t prepared for a book exposing all of the 1920s immorality. However, as this […]

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Summer Plans

by Alumni Posts April 2, 2013

Wow, I’m more than half way done with my first year at Fontbonne. I plan on hanging out with my friends that are coming back into town. We normally play video games and meet up to do something fun, like seeing a movie. I also plan on helping my dad finish rebuilding our deck and […]

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Work and Play

by Alumni Posts September 25, 2012

I’ve got another busy week ahead of me, which is the way I like it. Especially when the week is spent doing things I want and choose to do. Wednesday night, FAB (Fontbonne Activities Board) is hosting a free event at Wild Country. So, I will be line-dancing the night away in my cowgirl boots! […]

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Christmas Time Is Here!

by Alumni Posts December 2, 2011

Thanksgiving is done. Black Friday is long gone. It is time to throw up those Christmas decorations and start watching Christmas movies! Every year after Thanksgiving we put up my tree to some Christmas tunes and bake cookies to “How the Grinch Stole Christmas!” I would have to say it is my favorite time of […]

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St. Louis.. WHAT? :)

by Alumni Posts October 25, 2010

So.. I feel bad for not really introducing myself in my very first blog, but I was just really excited to get started on it. I apologize!  My name is Brittny Radley and I am a sophomore here at Fontbonne University! I am majoring in Elementary Education (but also thinking of maybe switching to Secondary Education-Psychology). It’s a long decision […]

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