Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast – Movie Review

Beauty and the Beast, the 2017 live action remake of the 1991 animated classic of the same name. Directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, Luke Evans as the egotistical and quite funny Gaston, and Josh Gad as LeFou this is a very entertaining movie for all the family.

Set in 18th century France, the movie starts with Belle in the local village as we are introduced to the key characters in the village. The setting and production would remind you somewhat of other classic Disney movies from the 50s/60s while being modern and stunning to watch. This production of a live Beauty and the Beast rendering really wraps the film and music we know from the 90s and brings the whole thing to life.

Emma Watson is perfectly cast as Belle, the beauty of the village and the one girl who has the intellect to go far in life, much to the annoyance of the local learned and scholars (a bit like the know-it-all Hermoine from Happy Potter). Emma Watson also sings 3 songs in the movie, but I thought in the first number there was a slight amount of auto-tune going on (either that or the production on the audio was a bit off)

Beauty and the Beast would be nothing without the beast. We are indeed introduced to the Prince who is turned into the beast after dismissing and insulting an enchantress. He has until the last petal from a rose falls to find true love. We also see Belles father, played by Kevin Kline, and we find out how he ended up at the beasts castle. There are some changes to the original storyline in the film, one being that Belles father was a bit slow but in the live action version the father, Maurice, is quite skilled at making clocks and automated devices.

Gaston is forever after Belle, thinking of her as his future wife. He is accompanied by Le Fou who some people say is Disneys first openly gay character. Gaston hears that Belle is in trouble and goes to find her, thus encountering the Beast which is vows to kill.

I’m not going to spoil anything, there is a lot of story to go from here, but the films CGI is very entertaining and combined with the musical numbers its something to behold. Beauty and the Beast may not be everyones cup of tea (excuse the pun chip) but overall it is worth the admission fee – if you have kids, it’s a no brainer, they will love it.

If you enjoyed the original Beauty and the Beast, you will love this one too. If you have not seen it, then you will be enthralled by the story, the characters and a few twists in the story.

Recent Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences, All is Lost

Recent Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences, All is Lost

Recommended Movies – Moonlight, Fences & All is Lost

I have seen a few great movies in the past few weeks, 2 oscar winning movies and also one which is available for download.

Moonlight

This movie is one which I was in two minds about, both before seeing it and also afterwards. It is done almost in 3 acts as it looks at 3 defining chapters in a boy and ultimately a man’s life. Chiron is a young black man growing up in central Miami and the movie starts with him as a child. He watches his mother played by Naomie Harris become addicted to drugs, and he battles to understand his sexuality. Mahershala Ali is amazing in the first section of this film and very much deserved the oscar win.The film is shot in an unusual style and afterwards it took me a while to digest the movie, but this only help you appreciate what you have seen. Worth a watch!

Fences

Fences was actually a play which was transitioned to the big screen. The movie is the story of a black family who’s son played by Jovan Adepo gets a chance at a scholarship but his father Troy Maxson played by Denzel Washington had that chance but doesn’t want his son to go down that route.  Maxson once had that opportunity and dreamed of becoming a professional baseball player, but he was just too old  when all of the baseball major leagues began admitting black athletes. Although the father never admitted it was age, claiming it was racism, he still remained bitter over this missed opportunity. The father removes the son’s chance to meet a college football recruiter and the splits in the family begin to show. This movie has a few plot twists and is very well played by all involved. I would actually rate this higher than Moonlight and it is a very engaging movie.

All is Lost

This movie (available on Netflix or iTunes) is quite unusual in that it has very little dialogue. Infact it can be a few minutes before you hear any utterance from Robert Redford. It is set on a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean as a man (unnamed and played by Robert Redford) awakes to find his yacht taking on water. The yacht hit a stray shipping container and water is pouring into the vessel damaging his radio and navigation equipment. He sails into a violent storm and almost dies. He hopes drift into a shipping lane at some point but eventually sees no hope and is faced with his death, to which he has no option but to face head on. A tense and dramatic film, some lulls in action but the end I thought was good.

Moonlight Trailer

Fences Trailer

All is Lost Trailer

 

What do you think … if you have seen any of these movies, leave a comment with your thoughts…

Cat The Play takes to the West End in London

Cat The Play takes to the West End in London

CAT the Play has hit London’s West End. This is a shop not to be missed. This show is written by a good friend of mine and well known Waterford actor Jamie Beamish along with Richard Hardwick. I saw this show on it’s last visit to Waterford and it is a hilarious show with a bit of an edge where you least expect it. It strings you along with song and well written script and then it …. well, I will leave you find out for yourself!

DAVE WAS IN THE ORIGINAL CAST OF CATS.ON OPENING NIGHT HE WAS SACKED. HE WAS NOT A HAPPY PUSSY…

Visit the Official Website for details

A roller coaster, tongue-in-cheek homage to the world of musical theatre, CAT (THE PLAY!) is the fictitious account of how Dave the Cat was sacked from the iconic musical CATS just minutes before ‘curtain up’ on opening night.

As dreams of West End acclaim and adulation turn to tatter, this riotous parody of show business offers audiences a comedic, fictional insight into Dave’s turbulent theatrical career, beginning with his first role as Jesus’ donkey in the original cast of Jesus Christ Superstar and ending with a grand finale of backstage drama, romance and anarchy that led to his hopes of stardom becoming nothing more than a distant ‘Memory’.

After a sold out run at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe Festival, this comedy about the greatest musical star that never got to shine finally makes it to The West End. Starring Gerard McCarthy, CAT isn’t so much a love letter to musical theatre more a death threat.

Liam Murphy called it “A WOW OF A ONE MAN SHOW”

Pat McEvoy called it “AN AMAZING PIECE OF THEATRE!”

Book Tickets to CAT the Play - London

Tickets for Cat the Play

26TH & 27TH APRIL, 7:30PM
AMBASSADORS THEATRE
WEST STREET, LONDON, WC2H 9ND
BOX OFFICE: 020 7395 5405

Click Here to Book Now
Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans – Funniest Viral Ever

Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans – Funniest Viral Ever

Do you remember the Daleks from Dr. Who? Those things really frightened me, but now the Dalek family are coming back. There is no Dalek invasion or Dalek army coming to feast on us. No, the Dalek are coming to us to help us with relaxation. According to this fantastic viral, the Dalek from Dr.Who will be making a return, but this time at your local spa. The stresses and strains of daily life will float away as the Dalek relaxation tape for humans plays in the background.

The first time I head the Dalek Relaxation Tape I was on the ground in a ball with the laughter. Who ever did this is a genius, as the retro aliens come back to reduce our stress.

Have a look and enjoy – I think it’s the funniest viral video ever !

Dalek Relaxation Tape for Humans

 

Next time you go to the spa, just remember the Dalek Relaxation tape … relax …. then laugh out loud !

Tips to Improve your Twitter Account

Tips to Improve your Twitter Account

Easy Twitter Tips to improve your Twitter account

I have been on Twitter quite a while now and over the past 3 years I have come to love the platform. For me Twitter is a source of news, opinion and interesting articles as well as the odd competition which I have won. If you are looking to grow your Twitter audience and influence you are going to have to invest some time on Twitter. These are some Twitter Tips to help in growing your following and presence.

1. Have a good Twitter Profile image

The first Twitter tip is update your profile pic. The Profile Image is the small icon which appears beside each tweet. Your profile picture should be representative of you or your business. Try make the image one which will stand out.

The key here is don’t leave it as the default Twitter Egg! The profile photo of an egg is indicative of an account which is new. So change this and you’ll get an advantage over accounts with Twitter eggs.

 

2. Ensure you include a Header image

At the same time you should upload a good header image. The header image could be a product photo or something which works along with your profile image to strength your accounts visual appeal. You can use systems like Canva to place a nice quote or even your web address.

 

3. Your Twitter Bio

Your Twitter Bio should detail what your account is about. It should also outline the content people will expect if they follow you.For example you could tell people what interests you or what you tweet about.

Feel free to use hashtags or even other accounts. e.g. “I am account manager for @mentioncompanyhere and I like #Travel”.
If you have a website don’t forget to include that. This is one of the key Twitter Tips – so if you do one thing, it’s update your Bio.

 

4. Daily Twitter Activity

Each day, you should log on to Twitter and do some sort of activity. This activity may include;

– Tweeting something even if it is just a comment on the weather. This keeps your feed flowing with recent content.
– Retweeting others tweets. If you find something interesting retweet it.
– Responding to any replies or notifications
– Thanking some of your recent followers.
– If you find content you like the press the ‘Like’ button
– you should follow any Twitter accounts which you are interested in. Normally I follow about 5-10 accounts per day. If I find a Twitter list of Food Bloggers or Travel Writers I may end up following 50 or 60 accounts. By monitoring their content I can then see if I want to keep following. Every so often I clear down the accounts I am following based on their content. One good app for doing a follower check is Crowdfire.

 

5. Tag or include others in your tweets

Every now and again you should mention other accounts using the @account method.
For example “Hi @mrshanemcdonald many thanks for liking my tweet. Delighted you are interested” would send me a nice mention and I may then follow you as a result.

 

How do I know if I am doing well ?

There are a few pointers to show your success in growing your account.

  1. The first is your growth, if it is increasing fast this is one indicator that you are doing well.
    You can track your growth visually on TwitterCounter – take a look here at my Twitter account on TwitterCounter to see how it works.
  2. Secondly is your mention notifications, if you are getting a lot of @mentions, either responses or direct mentions, this shows a well engaged audience.
  3. You can also check your Klout score which takes into consideration all your social/online channels and gives you a number between 0 and 100; The higher the better! If you are over 45 on that score you are progressing well, Over 60 and you are a real contender, and 70+ would be social influencers.
  4. If you are enjoying Twitter and you are Tweeting daily – In a way this is a success of it’s own as many people start on Twitter and just give up!

 

I hope you enjoyed these Twitter Tips and this is what works for me. If you have any other interesting Twitter Tips or hacks please feel free to leave a comment.

 

Follow Me on Twitter

My Twitter account is @mrshanemcdonald so if you like this post why not follow and say hi!