Movie reviews from the UP staff

The University Press staff members have seen the movies, bought the popcorn and now they’re sharing their reviews with readers.


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Beauty and the Beast

In Disney’s new installment of remakes from their classic cartoons, “Beauty and the Beast” barely holds a candle to its predecessor. The child inside me was more than excited to see this CGI recreation of a tale as old as time but unfortunately, this rose ran out of petals. That’s not to say that this movie wasn’t beautiful, it was just filled with more opulence than a stereotypical shah’s house. It begins with the background of the traditional story, a prince doesn’t let a woman in, it turns out she’s a witch, so she curses him to live as a beast and find love before the rose petals fall: blah, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. It jumps to the heroine of the story Belle (Emma Watson) and her now snotty provincial life that she apparently has.

The movie continues with Belle searching for her father and meeting the beast inside an enchanted castle. She soon finds out that there is something more behind the man than fur and rudeness. Watson shines as the timid yet firm Belle who loves books and thinks before she speaks. She glides through each scene as if it were written for her. In the meantime, Gaston (Luke Evans) brags about how he’ll conquer Belle and make her his wife. Just watching him be gorgeous as LeFou (Josh Gad) sings of his bravery and handsomeness is the highlight of the movie.

By the time Belle and the beast fall in love, his transformation is anticlimactic. It reveals a very attractive Dan Stevens, who will always be Matthew from Downtown Abbey to me. It’s a great way for Disney to introduce the timeless classic to a new generation but I think they assumed that just the nostalgia factor would be enough to hold the older generation’s attention.


Grade: A


Table 19

In a witty attempt to be deep and play with the “awkward loner” arch in wedding cliches, director Jeffrey Blitz, brings one but not the other and fails miserably at both. Going to weddings can be a joyous occasion for most, but for this group of six, saying “I don’t” might have been a better option. The movie begins with Eloise McGarry (Anna Kendrick) being dumped by the bride’s brother and best man to the wedding, Teddy. He does it in the most cliched millennial way and sends it through a text. Heartbroken, Eloise drops her maid of honor title and decides not to go to her friend’s wedding. Last minute, she realizes she’s no coward and RSVPs to the wedding.

Unfortunately, because of her last minute “courage,” she is seated at Table 19, the table meant for the losers that no one else knew what to do with. There Eloise meets an unhappily married couple, Bina and Jerry Kepp (Lisa Kudrow and Craig Robinson) who vaguely know the bride’s father, the taken-for-granted nanny, Jo Flanagan (June Squibb), the black sheep of the family, Walter Thimble (Stephen Merchant) whose only troupe is how many phrases he can use that don’t blatantly say he was a convicted criminal and an awkward teenager who wants to meet girls and Renzo Eckberg (Tony Revolori). With this strange group of people, you assume that they’d follow the movie stereotype where they’re strangers at the beginning and best friends at the end. This movie attempts to do this but in the most boring, dry toast way possible.

The actors were obviously paid beforehand and assumed the audience was stupid enough to not realize that they barely acted and merely recited words written from a shitty script. It gets worse the more the movie drags on. The characters are all cliche bland versions that 5-year-olds who haven’t seen real life could only produce. At one point the movie tries to turn all the characters’ mundane life crises as an emotional point, but by the time it rolls around the audience is already detached and couldn’t care less.

All in all, this movie ran for too long, the script was written by sleep-deprived children in crayon and had so many attempts at trying yet failing to be funny. I felt it would have been more beneficial to write a script myself in the amount of time it took to stomach that. Kendrick as always, wistfully glided through the movie like a boring fairy. Merchant, as usual, gave off the creepy vibe that he’s known for and Robinson and Kudrow delivered dry renditions of an interracial couple at odds.

I recommend this movie for those who only love Anna Kendrick, enjoy watching paint dry or think every Judd Apatow creation is God’s gift to the world. If you don’t fit in this category, then you’re better off enjoying a higher budget movie with thought and dedication and not the half-assed plot that this movie brings. It wasn’t an F only because I’ve convinced myself that this is the rough draft of the movie and it’ll be turned in for a better grade in the future.

Grade: D-



With leg-losing, head-tossing and vein-popping violence in the first five minutes, “Logan” does not fail to fit in the violent, yet passionately emotional conditions associated with Wolverine films. “Logan” tells the story about, you guessed it, Logan, aka the infamous Wolverine, in his later years as he works as a driver in Texas in order to save money to buy a boat, where he and Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) can live out the rest of their years. But suddenly, Logan is bombarded by a scientist from Alkali Transigen who delivers a young mutant child, Laura (Dafne Keen) to him. He must then race across the country to protect the girl, who hosts the same, infamous powers as him, Adamantium claws, regenerative health and an equally bad temper. Almost instantly, I came to admire the visual look of the film as a whole: colors popped, cuts and injuries didn’t magically disappear over the course of 10 minutes the aerial landscapes were eye-catching.

That, paired with the insanely satisfying story of redemption above all past sins, is definitely worth the $10 movie ticket. Although the narrative structure of the movie felt like it was stuck in the “rise of main conflict” portion for at least 75 percent of the movie, the last 25 percent made all issues I had with it before seemingly fall into the background. The emotional power of Hugh Jackman is one of the strongest and most consistent forces in “Logan.” His performance matched by the impressive Dafne Keen’s, aka Laura, comes together to form an impeccable show of will, strength and of course, badass-ness. This movie can best be described as a gritty, passionate film that balances the right amount of X-Men nostalgia and newfound admiration for the characters. Although quite a few references might be missed if you’re not versed in X-Men cinematic lore, “Logan” acts as a perfect final act in the Wolverine saga with just the right amount of allure, violence, blood and raw, indefinite willpower against all obstacles, that can make any viewer a fan from the moment they enter the theater.


Grade: A-


Celeste Andrews is the assistant creative director of the University Press. For information regarding this or other stories, email [email protected] or tweet her @number1_fl2ist.