Family Movie Night

I was looking at the movie rental rack the other night in our little store and noticed that two of the newest movies were based on fairy tales.

Beastly is based on the Beauty and the Beast fairly tale with a bit of high school bullying angst thrown in. Amanda Seyfried stars in Red Riding Hood which is based on the darker aspect of the familiar tale.

If you have ever read the original tales that the Grimm’s brothers recorded, you know that this is dark territory. The punishments are harsh with their bloodletting. Gothic and gruesome, some of these tales are simply amazing.

Poster image from IMDb.com

The stories we tell children have been incredibly cleaned up from the originals.

What these two movies do with their fairly tales is not meant for children.

Red Riding Hood takes us to a small village that has made a deal with a werewolf by feeding him farm animals. However, one month a villager is killed and revenge is exacted. But doubt remains and a werewolf hunter is called in.

Around this is the love triangle with Valerie, her true love Peter and her promised husband Max. Valerie also discovers she has a connection to the werewolf. There is more to the plot but it gets a little crazy and then you have Gary Oldman as the werewolf hunter.

Now there is violence and some sensuality in this PG-13 movie that is aim squarely at those teens who also like Twilight.  

Poster Image from IMDb.com

Beastly is also rated PG-13 and focuses on a young man at a high school who is rich and handsome. Kyle’s heart is cold and cruelty lies beneath those good looks. His latest victim is goth girl Kendra, rumored to be a witch. When his latest prank hurts her – as planned – Kendra turns the tables on Kyle. She casts a spell making his appearance as ugly as his soul.

Now Kyle has a year to find so

meone to love him or stay in his ugly state forever. And his hope rests in the quiet Lindy, a classmate he has never talked to in the past. The rating reflects crude comments and some violence.

What these two movies represent to me is popcorn watching. They were both rated terrible by critics and movie goers gave both movies a 50% enjoyment rating, according to Rotten Tomatoes movie review website.

I have a few fairy tale movies that I love.

Fiona and Shrek from "Shrek," image from IMDb.com

My family pick is the Shrek series. Mixing all sorts of characters from fairy tales across Europe, Shrek weaves a tale of freedom from repressive rulers and true love and magical transformations in the first movie. As the series moves along we are transfixed by great musical selections and simply good storytelling.

Drew Barrymore in "Everafter," image from IMDb.com.

My second pick is great for a girls’ night or a couple date night at home stars Drew Barrymore. Everafter is a retelling of Cinderella that takes my breath away every time, even though Barrymore does a terrible accent. The movie is filled with little moments of discovery about the story we never thought about.

A young Fred Savage and the late great Peter Falk in "The Princess Bride," image from IMDb.com.

Lastly, my favorite fairytale movie – and perhaps one of the best movies ever – is The Princess Bride starring Cary Elwes and Robin Wright. The tale of a woman about to marry a prince after her true love was killed by the Dread Pirate Roberts never fails to fascinate me with incredible sword play, amazing dialogue and the deepest essence of true love.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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