3.20.2015

Insurgnia

Oh, the dystopia!! Will it ever end?? The answer is not very likely. We've got endless sequels of series yet to come, and each one finds it completely necessary (when it's completely not) to split their respective final installments in half. Sigh. Today's latest dystopian teen flick is the forgettably titled Insurgent, the sequel to the almost equally unforgettably titled Divergent. So let's cut to the chase. Is the sequel worth your time? The answer to that question depends on how warmly you received the first film. If you found that film lacking, the flaws in this one will only be more glaring. On the other hand, if you thought Divergent was a pleasant, brain numbing flick you'll probably enjoy Insurgent pretty well. For me? I'm somewhere in the middle.

Let's address some of its shortcomings first and then discuss its strengths. This movie requires you to turn off your brain and take MANY logical leaps. If you're dumb enough like me (this is one of the few times where I will EVER admit this) and get easily distracted staring at Theo James's face for two hours, you might not notice how silly some of the plot points are that this movie is trying to make you swallow. The plot and character motivations of Kate Winslet's Jeanine really don't make a lot of sense if you look at them within the context of the first movie. And can we talk about the name JEANINE for a second? A wonderful name for a villain if ever there was one. Every time anyone said the name I secretly chuckled. How could that name conjure up fear? It sounds like the name of the nicest lady in the neighborhood who will bring over lasagna at the drop of a hat. But I digress. It's a silly thing to be critical of, I know. Then again, no one's motivations (save for when Tobias/Four does anything out of love for Tris) make a lot of sense. You can tell the story came first. The characters came second and function as plot devices as much as possible. The worst offender of this would have to be Miles Teller's character, Peter, who may be the biggest flip-flopping character I've ever seen. Also there's a couple moments of unintentional humor in facial reactions of Tris that I couldn't help but chuckle at. Otherwise this was a pretty humorless affair. I get the stakes are higher this go round, but a little bit of humor could have gone a long way. As it is, I checked my watch a few times when it hit the hour and a half mark. It felt way longer than it was.

Now for the good. Did I mention how beautiful Theo James is? I probably could have just written his name in big bold letters and called this category good. But he and Shailene's other former love interests from various films all do a fine job (It's funny when they all happen to be in frame together in the beginning. It's like "Shailene Woodley's army of lovers"). Shailene Woodley is a likable actress, but I'm not sure if she sold Tris to me this time. Still that likeability carries her far. I also enjoyed seeing more of this Dystopian world than last time, and it was nice that some more famous faces popped up. And props to Kate Winslet's Jeanine. She's certainly creative in the means she uses to get all their people in line! If you go along with it, Insurgent is entertaining, even if it doesn't make a lot of sense. It's Hunger Games: Lite. But honestly, even still I probably enjoyed this more than Mockingjay Part 1. Your viewing will also be helped depending how attractive you find the leads...I was in luck. EMILY RATING: 6/10


The Divergent Series: The Lovers of Shailene Woodley.
Featuring (from right to left): Theo James (Divergent, Insurgent) Miles Teller (The Spectacular Now,) and Ansel Elgort (The Fault in Our Stars.) 

3.13.2015

Rags to Riches

After talking about all things Cinderella for a week straight (and filling my brain with CONSTANT Cinderella stories... most recently Maid to Order and Cinderrabit), I think all of us are happy to finally have this review up so we can move on with our lives, right?? During the Cinderella Awards, I talked about various aspects and characters that make up this film'; so you probably have some kind of an idea of what I thought of it. But before we get into that, let's discuss my expectations. Last year Disney brought audiences a live action adaptation of another one of their animated fairy tales, Sleeping Beauty. Except twist! This time it was from the perspective of their classic villain Maleficent. Only she wasn't a villain anymore in this telling, she was the new hero. Many audiences ate Maleficent up. I was not one of them. When I heard they were making a live-action Cinderella, I dreaded how awful it would be. Were we to see giant CGI talking doofus mice akin to what they did to the 3 fairies in Maleficent? I was worried. The trailer arrived and looked... well colorful, and potentially fun. But where would it fall in the recent lot of live action fairy tale adaptations? Would it be Mirror Mirror, Snow White & The Huntsman or the dreaded Maleficent? Happily I discovered it was better than all of them and one of the best live-action fairy tales in some time!

Let's break down its success, shall we? As mentioned in my previous posts, I definitely thought that they assembled a very fine cast that do justice to their respective characters. But then, I didn't really hate the cast of Maleficent either. However, unlike Maleficent which tears down an old story to try and be superior,  Cinderella shows absolute respect to the animated version of the story and pays homage in moments. Thankfully, it seems that this time a quality director was put at the helm (Kenneth Branagh), who had a respect for both the original fairy tale & the animated version. That's not to say some characters aren't expanded upon in a negative way to suit the purposes of the story, but those changes are pretty acceptable. Why? Because there were several moments that put a smile on my face with their happy nostalgia. Throughout the screening, I was exclaiming things such as "those bells look JUST like the ones in the old movie," "Aww she's singing 'Sing Sweet Nightingale,'" "Man, Lucifer is the best!" and "D'aww Gus Gus!!" Really, all the small touches were handled beautifully.



But somehow, it's not a carbon copy of the cartoon. In fact, we get to learn a lot more about Ella's childhood (her nickname gets added later) and what shaped her ideals. They give the character some really nice depth and make you understand  actions that to a modern mind might seem questionable. She has her roots in the animated character, but we can see a little more behind her motivations. However, she's not the only character to be fleshed out in this adaptation: Cate Blanchett's Lady Tremaine and Richard Madden's Prince Kit gain another dimension in the process as well. While I loved how coldly evil the animated stepmother was, instead of recreating her they give us another take entirely. Blanchett isn't trying to play the same character, she's giving us someone else; which is another reason why it works so much better than Maleficent. The villains share the same name and relationship to the heroine, but Blanchett made the character her own whereas Jolie made her character a hero. She rightfully stays a villain, she just becomes a more human one...which is exactly the right move. And the Prince? I'm happy to report he's not a prop! We see a lot of his life in the palace and what attracts him to Ella. He is one of the most likable princes I've ever seen. You definitely root for him.

As I glimpsed from the trailer, the production design for this movie is definitely something to look at! In fact, it's a stunning visual feast. The costumes are simply gorgeous and basically everything Cate Blanchett wears is a stunner. It's definitely an imaginative and magical take, but clever, too, in covering a lot of holes I always thought about when I was young (What about the pumpkin seeds? How do people not recognize her?). Some of the CGI might be hokey sometime down the line in the future, but that's honestly the only complaint I have. All in all, it's a clever and sweet telling of this well-known tale. It's even more impressive when you consider that even though it's been told a hundred times over, this version manages to make it new again. EMILY RATING: 9/10

But I will say it needed more Lucifer. A LOT more Lucifer.

3.12.2015

Cinderella Awards: The Woman Herself

Congratulations!! You've made it to the final post of the Cinderella Awards! Before I reveal my review of the new film tomorrow, we have one important subject left to talk about. We've now discussed almost every aspect there is to discuss with the many adaptations of the famous fairy tale Cinderella... besides Cinderella herself! Like yesterday's post, while this is largely based on my personal preference, I included criteria to rank all the Cinderellas against so I can make the best possible case for this ranking. All Cinderellas will be rated from 1-5 on the following criteria: Beauty & Style (can she make even the "sooty servant look" appealing?), Intelligence (no one wants a dumb heroine), Personality (is she a likable Cinderella?), Strength & Determination (how courageous and resourceful is she? Does she ever try to better her situation?) and finally Portrayal (did the actress get the character right.. sure they might be written well, but it's up to the actress to make their Cinderellas memorable). What's been interesting, is that more often than not, I find Cinderella to be the weak link in her own movie! As such, this list was a lot more difficult to rank than I thought it would be. Unfortunately, we've gotten a lot of mediocre Cinderellas in otherwise good movies. So here's how they stacked up!

#10 Jennifer Beals - Faerie Tale Theatre


Beauty & Style: 3. She's lucky her looks propel this number higher... but even they couldn't save her from being #10 on this list. While she's pretty, her clothes she's stuck with throughout the whole movie (save her final dress) are pretty horrible. The dresses are wearing her whether she's a servant or at the ball. Cinderellas must have control of their look!
Intelligence: 2. She's definitely one of the dumber Cinderellas of the lot. You can almost see her Fairy Godmother guiding every thought she has. Also, she doesn't know what kissing is.. She pretty much has the mentality of an elementary kid.
Personality: 2. She's pretty bland... and when she's not bland she's kind of pouting. And she doesn't get half of the Godmother's jokes.
Determination & Strength: 2. No, she never does anything to better her situation. I mean she had a suitor and, even though, her stepsisters TOLD him that she died, she could have sought him out and said "hey I'm alive... how about we get married so I don't have to live with my stepfamily anymore..."
Attitude: 3. Like I mentioned before, she's rather pouty... and ungrateful! Her little tantrum "prayer" to her Fairy Godmother after she was able to go to the first ball but isn't sure she can make it to the second is pretty bad. But before that I guess she took everything with stride.
Portrayal: 2. Jennifer Beals is clearly the weak link in this otherwise really fun adaptation. Had she been replaced with someone else it would be awesome.
Total: 14

#9 Brandy - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '97

Style & Beauty:  3. She's a pretty average Cinderella in my opinion. Her rag look is alright enough, and her ball dress is pretty but dated. I guess my main problem is those pencil thin eyebrows... and that she (or her Godmother) coupled her look with blue eye shadow and a cheap looking necklace.
Intelligence: 3. Does SHE put two and two together that the guy she talked with at the beginning was the Prince? It's not really clear... but she seems smart enough. Not a genius by any means but she's got her head on straight.
Personality: 2. I know her situation sucks, but she never finds time to really laugh at the antics of her stepsisters. Basically, there's not much to her from what we're shown... though she does have some moments of being opinionated.
Strength & Determination: 3. She's kind of more existing than enduring, but her songs always help. Her fairy godmother mentions she has the power to leave on her own.. but it doesn't seem like she ever truly contemplates using it.
Attitude: 4. Using her imagination & singing songs get her through the day. She's not too whiny about it. She has a pretty good attitude all things considered.
Portrayal: 2. If you're in a musical adaptation you better be able to do two things well: singing and acting. Brandy doesn't really do either. She has a fine enough voice for pop songs.. but her renditions of these classic broadway songs are much to breathy and weak. And her acting left A LOT to be desired too.
Total: 17


#8 Drew Barrymore - Ever After

Style & Beauty: 3 Drew Barrymore is kind of a "good light, bad light" kind of girl. Unsurprisingly her prettiest moments come when she's dressed NOT like Cinderella. Luckily for her, her mother had a great sense of style so that helps her cause. Otherwise, she'd be borderline hopeless.
Intelligence: 5. She's one of the smartest Cinderellas... at least that's what we're told anyway.
Personality: 3. Personally, I don't think she's anything to write home about. She's pretty much your typical female empowerment type leading lady.. which is fine, I'm just not sure how genuine that makes her. You can tell they were going for an Elizabeth Bennet type, but instead they should have taken the qualities all Cinderellas have and just made her stronger for them.
Strength & Determination: 4. Though I'm not sure if she really thinks about bettering her situation while she's with her stepsisters, she certainly does when she gets sold to the guy at the end.
Attitude: 2. One thing that bugs me is that she should know the one stepsister is an ally of hers, yet when she can tell she's upset about something she believes the easy excuse instead of asking the stepsister herself what's wrong. Might have saved her a lot of troubles. Basically, I feel like she could have made a better situation out of what she had than what she did.
Portrayal: 2 I know many readers will disagree here and say I'm lowballing her, but she overacts in this movie like crazy and her accent really almost ruins the whole thing for me.
Total: 19


#7 Gemma Craven - The Slipper and the Rose

Style & Beauty: 5. She's always beautiful, whether it's rags or riches she always looks pretty awesome.
Intelligence: 2. It takes her awhile to put two and two together or even question how the Fairy Godmother could be helping her. Also she's never given thought to if love should come before marriage?? Come on.
Personality:  4. She's kind of bland quite honestly, BUT she is willing to sacrifice her love for the good of her country. That's pretty respectable right there.
Strength & Determination: 2. In line with the last thing though, it kinda shows she's not much of a fighter.. not that there was much she could do. She's just lucky her Fairy Godmother planned to sort things all out in the end.
Attitude: 3. She pretty much takes everything in stride and accepts her situation.
Portrayal: 3.5. She does a slightly above average job just because she brings a needed loveliness and softness to the part... and she does well with the musical numbers.
Total: 19.5


#6 Hilary Duff - A Cinderella Story

Style & Beauty: 3.5. She's a pretty girl, but her style isn't particularly memorable. Also.. what's so bad with her "diner girl" look that she'd be a social pariah to all her classmates just because she had a job?? 
Intelligence: 5. We're led to believe this girl gets into Princeton so she's gotta be pretty smart! I don't know if the character I saw seemed that smart but I digress.
Personality: 3. She has a pleasant enough personality.. pretty interchangeable though from other characters Hilary or other former teen actresses have portrayed.
Determination: 4. She's just biding her time, but by her actions to attend college and work at the diner to earn money, we know she is taking the initiative to get out of there.
Attitude 4. She's actually pretty positive about life and her situation for the most part. She enjoys her friends and counts the good things that she DOES have.
Portrayal: 2.5 Hilary doesn't really bring any depth or anything interesting to this role. You could have interchanged her with any teen actress and basically gotten the same movie. 
Total: 22


#5 Leslie Ann Warren - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '65

Style & Beauty: 4. Her rags look is admittedly hideous, but somehow she still rocks it! That takes something!! I guess it's those big giant eyes that play their part in making you like her. 
Intelligence: 2. Her planned pickup line to the Prince was "Please your highness, I would like to be your bride!" Oh gosh. Good thing the stepsisters laughed in her face because that Prince probably would have too.
Personality: 4. Even though she is a bit naive, her wide eyed optimism is kind of infectious! You can tell that she has a joy out of life when she sings her rendition of "In my own little corner."
Strength & Determination 3. Same as Brandy's R&H Cinderella and same with Julie Andrews below.. They handle their life but don't really contemplate escape much.
Attitude: 5. Like I mentioned in Personality, she's an extremely positive individual! Even if she had never gone to the ball she probably would have still sought to make her life a happy one.
Portrayal: 5. Yes at times it can be chuckle worthy, but she just gives us a really young, happy Cinderella. A true dreamer.
Total: 23


#4 Julie Andrews - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '57

Style & Beauty: 3. She's kind of a mousy Cinderella to be honest. She's just lucky that her Fairy Godmother gave her a really pretty dress for the ball.. but other than that she kinda just looks the same.
Intelligence: 4. She doesn't come off like an airhead like Leslie Ann Warren. She seems like she knows what's going on.
Personality: 3.5. Even if she seems smarter, she is still fighting a 1950's blandness.. and mostly comes out on top.
Strength & Determination: 3. Ditto the other three R&H Cinderellas. They're just not written in a way other to exist in their situation...
Attitude: 5. When does Julie Andrews' positivity NOT shine through on a role she's playing?
Portrayal: 5. She might not be the most memorable Cinderella, but she set the standard for the R&H adaptation.. and she gave it her all.
Total: 23.5


#3 Anna Kendrick - Into the Woods

Style & Beauty: 4. She has two looks the whole movie, and she wears them both well. Her Cinderella dress is more Belle than Cinderella... but that's not her fault!
Intelligence: 5. She takes more than enough time to think things through. She doesn't make decisions on the fly.
Personality: 4. She's very relateable and likable. She's just a girl trying to always make the best decision she can.
Strength & Determination: 4. She goes through A LOT in this film, and handles all the pressure extremely well.
Attitude: 4. She, like Lily James below, takes her parents words to heart to help her get through her trials. Though her life is tough, she generally tries to keep a positive handle on things.. even if sometimes she gets distracted.
Portrayal: 4. Anna Kendrick was a fine edition to the canon of Cinderellas. Even though she doesn't appear in a film purely focused on just her character, she makes her role memorable.
Total: 25


#2 Lily James - Cinderella 2015

Beauty & Style: 5. She rocks every style pretty much. Rags, ball, wedding gown.. no worries she will always look glamorous.
Intelligence: 4. She benefits from having a smart fairy Godmother and asking her the right questions (what if people recognize me?) But her kindness allows her to be taken advantage of.. which she doesn't always see coming.
Personality: 5. Her mother taught her the importance of kindness and has minded her words her entire life. She loves her parents and cherishes those memories of them to get her through the hard times. She's very likable.
Strength & Determination: 5. The only Cinderella we ever see who actually tries running away! The only reason she turns back is that she remembers her home and feels it is her duty to protect her childhood home from her stepmother. She has my respect.
Attitude: 5. She takes her parents words to heart and they help her through her entire life. She strives to be a good person to everyone and it shows.
Portrayal: 4. I thought Lily James made a lovely Cinderella... it will be interesting to see if she stands the test of time.
Total: 28


#1 Animated 1950:


Beauty & Style: 5. She's always simply lovely. Even in her servant clothes, she outshines her stepsisters in all their finery.
Intelligence: 5. She knows what's going on. She doesn't always see through her stepmother right away, but she always puts things together.
Personality: 5. How can you not like someone that sews tiny clothes for mice? She is just kind and graceful in everything she does. It's hard not to admire her!
Strength & Determination 3.5. She's of the school that endures, but endures well. Plus she is smart enough to get her vermin friends to help her out of her messes.
Attitude: 5. She handles everything with patience and always looks for the best in life. She probably has it worse than all the other Cinderellas and she handles everything beautifully.
Portrayal: 5. She's classic! My first thought of Cinderella and the most fitting portrayal to the character yet. I'm not sure if she can be topped.
Total: 28.5


THE WORST:
Leslie Caron - The Glass Slipper

Style & Beauty - 2. One of the Cinderellas who didn't rock either look. Then again how could she? As Cinderella she was almost completely COVERED in cinders. Yeah we get it!! Your name is Cinderella! And then at the ball her dress is completely out of control.
Intelligence: 0. Honestly.. it seems like her light bulb went out upstairs.
Personality: 0. The only adaptation where I found myself cheering along the stepsisters.
Strength & Determination: 1. I didn't really see any evidence of this.
Attitude: 0. She throws tantrums at the drop of the hat.
Portrayal: 0. WORST CINDERELLA EVER.
Total: 3

Well my friends, you've made it to the end of the Cinderella Awards. I hope you enjoyed them. For a reward I made another personality quiz you can take. This time you can find out which one of these Cinderellas most resmble your personality. Take the quiz HERE And be sure to come back tomorrow for my full review of the new Cinderella!



Which Cinderella is your favorite?

Animated Cinderella
Lily James - Cinderella 2015
Anna Kendrick - Into the Woods
Julie Andrews - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '57
Leslie Ann Warren - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '65
Hilary Duff - A Cinderella Story
Gemma Craven - The Slipper and the Rose
Drew Barrymore - Ever After
Brandy Norwood - Rodgers & Hammerstein's '97
Jennifer Beals - Faerie Tale Theatre
Poll Maker

3.11.2015

Cinderella Awards: Charming Princes

Getting closer to the end of the Cinderella Awards! Just two more entries to go before my review of the new film.. one of which is just below! Today we celebrate one character with perhaps the most varied interpretations. After all, someone's dream man is almost always certain to differ between another's. This makes the role of the Prince very subjective...so I felt that today a more logical ranking was in order, besides my personal preference. I decided to examine WHAT makes a good prince in this particular story. As such I will judge each prince according to the same criteria: Looks (he's gotta be someone we want to fall for,) Personality (is he someone worthy of the name charming?) Loyalty (will he stay with our heroine through thick and thin?) Humor (an important component in any man,) and Intelligence (is he the Lois Lane of Princes in being fooled by a silly disguise)? They will be scored from 1-5 on each category with 25 points total possible. May the best man win!

#10 Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1957 - Prince Christopher 

LOOKS: 2. Though this picture might deceive you and make you think "gosh she's being harsh.." just watch the movie and see how forgettable this guy is.
PERSONALITY: 1. Ditto the last comment. Not much personality to speak of here.
LOYALTY: 5. All princes who portray the Rodgers and Hammerstein's prince are incredibly loyal to their Cinderellas and don't think twice about the fact that she's a commoner.
HUMOR: 1. Remember what I said about being boring? That means no humor either.
INTELLIGENCE: 3. Even though the guy is about as entertaining as watching paint dry, I won't try to assume anything negative about his intelligence. We aren't given any evidence that he's a dummy, so we'll say he's average.
TOTAL: 12

Most Swoonworthy moment: love at first sight.


#9 Cinderella 1950 - Prince Charming

LOOKS: 3. As far as Disney animated characters go, this guy is cute enough but incredibly generic.
PERSONALITY: 1. Let's be honest. This guy is basically a glorified prop to the story.
LOYALTY: 5. We never see his reaction to finding out Cinderella is a servant... but we know he married the girl so he must not have had a problem with it.
HUMOR: 1. Well maybe he actually has a fantastic sense of humor... if so we never see it.
INTELLIGENCE: 3. Who knows if he even has NEED of intelligence... everyone else runs his life for him! He simply says he likes a girl and the whole kingdom goes out of their way to find her. So he's gotta be kinda smart at least right?
TOTAL: 13


Most Swoonworthy moment: Gotta be the dance of romance!


#8 Ever After - Prince Henry

LOOKS: 3. I've never really seen the appeal to him physically, then again maybe he just needs to smile more... and get better hair.
PERSONALITY: 2.5. He can be pretty arrogant and closed minded. But... he does have his moments.
LOYALTY: 2. He turns on Danielle PRETTY fast, and on top of it adds to her humiliation by telling her not to address him informally. Ouch.
HUMOR: 2. He enjoys Danielle's occasional quips, but in general it seems like he takes himself way too seriously.
INTELLIGENCE: 4. Well... he likes reading books. Doesn't that mean they're smart by fairy tale standards?
TOTAL: 13.5

Most Swoonworthy moment: 


#7 Into the Woods - "Cinderella's Prince"

LOOKS: 5. Oh, baby. He might take the whole cake in this category. Too bad it's not the only one that matters...
PERSONALITY: 2. He sums himself up best when he tells Cinderella "I was raised to be charming, not sincere."
LOYALTY: 1. SPOILERS highlight to read: Welp you cheat on your wife you instantly tank this category and the last../end spoilers.
HUMOR: 3. Whether or not it's intentional on his part, this guy makes me laugh.
INTELLIGENCE: 4. In Cinderella's very own words "He's a very smart prince, he's a prince who prepares." He is one of the only Princes with a pretty good game plan, and he recognizes her immediately when he sees her.
TOTAL: 15

Most Swoonworthy moment: I guess we've got to go with AGONY.

#6 A Cinderella Story - Austin Ames

LOOKS: 5. If Chris Pine takes first place in this category, Chad Michael Murray places second.
PERSONALITY: 3.  He's not just a dumb jock! He's got poetry in his soul! But...sometimes he seems like a dumb jock.
LOYALTY: 2.5. Note to Austin Ames: when finding out the identity of your Cinderella, a shake of the head followed by a face palm is NOT an appropriate reaction. Nor is avoidance. Kinda cowardly actually.
HUMOR: 2.5. Most of the time, he's too angsty to find anything funny...but he did laugh at Samantha joke about water not having calories, so he's not completely humorless.
INTELLIGENCE: 3. The boy dreams of Princeton, but can't tell who Samantha is with a simple mask on her face. But he does come up with decent methods to track her down.. and doesn't fall for imposters.
TOTAL: 16

Most Swoonworthy moment:

#5 Faerie Tale Theatre - Prince Henry

LOOKS: 3. Matthew Broderick has a talent in this movie where he simultaneously is adorable and a doofus at the same time. He's cute, but it's hard to say how much sex appeal he actually has. His pickup lines about kissing don't help much either.
PERSONALITY: 3. What I said about his looks applies totally here as well. Simultaneously a sweetie and a dork.
LOYALTY: 5. But you gotta hand it to the guy, he stays loyal to Cinderella even when he does see her covered in soot wearing her ridiculous hat.
HUMOR: 4. He's hilarious whether or not he tries to be.
INTELLIGENCE: 2. Not the brightest Prince of the lot when he had two chances to see her and still didn't ask her name. "What have you been calling her this whole time? Hey, you!?"
TOTAL: 17.

Most Swoonworthy moment: Not sure if he ever FULLY makes anyone swoon, but you can watch the whole movie on youtube!

#4 Rodger's & Hammerstein's '65 - Prince Christopher

LOOKS: 4.5
For his time period, he's a prime specimen. The ideal image for princeliness.
PERSONALITY: 1. I'll be honest... I can't believe the maths let him get this high! He's a total smarmy jerk to all the people he converses with at the ball. Total snob.
LOYALTY: 5. Like I said, those Rodgers and Hammerstein's princes are always true to their girls.
HUMOR: 4. He definitely likes cracking jokes, but as I mentioned in the personality section they're usually pretty mean spirited.
INTELLIGENCE: 3. Didn't recognize Cinderella at the ball, but at least knew her when he saw her at her house.
TOTAL: 17.5

Most Swoonworthy moment: Hands down my favorite song.


#3 The Slipper and the Rose - Prince Edward

LOOKS: 2. Most girls don't want someone more beautiful than them. With those frilly blouses you might often be competing over outfits.
PERSONALITY: 4. He's a pleasant enough guy who cares about his servants love lives!
LOYALTY: 5. Almost the second he sees Cinderella at that ball he pretty much considered her his one true love and his ONLY acceptable companion. His heart was on lockdown at that point and nothing she did or said afterward could make him change his mind.
HUMOR: 2. He's too busy pondering his potential marriage to be cracking jokes.
INTELLIGENCE: 5. He knows who to trust and not to believe lies spun by people with ulterior motives.
TOTAL: 18

Most Swoonworthy moment: Unfortunately I couldn't find a clip, but the moment he rides up to her where he discovers where she is and kisses the heck out of her.

#2 Rodgers & Hammerstein's 1997 - Prince Christopher

LOOKS: 4. He's a very handsome guy, and his awesome voice only adds to his attractiveness.
PERSONALITY: 5. He's just a kind, good guy.
LOYALTY: 5. Ditto what I said on every previous Rodgers & Hammerstein's entry.
HUMOR: 3. He could have topped this whole list if he himself didn't claim in the movie "I don't have much of a sense of humor." Bummer.
INTELLIGENCE: 3. He had a pretty lengthy conversation with her in the beginning of the movie, but must have gotten a case of amnesia when he met her at the ball.
Total: 20

Most Swoonworthy moment: Gotta be this song.


#1 2015 Cinderella - Prince Kit



LOOKS: 4. Believe me, I'm just as stunned as you to have put him topping this category after complaining about him for months haha. In fact... I was sure the Brandy prince would have beat him for sure, but the maths proved otherwise! But back to his looks... in the movie, he's got something about him that makes him pretty appealing. If he could grow a few inches taller he'd be pretty wonderful.
PERSONALITY: 5. He's probably the most well rounded prince on this list and he gives off a really pleasant demeanor. And hey he's is easily talked into showing kindness toward animals.
LOYALTY: 5. He is absolutely loyal to Cinderella from meeting her as a servant, to being enchanted by her at the ball, to finally knowing her real identity.
HUMOR: 3. Not his strongest suit, but he does have the ability to laugh every now and then.
INTELLIGENCE: 5. This is the only prince I think who is never fooled by Cinderella, and he's pretty good at coming up with ways to get what he wants.
TOTAL: 22

Most Swoonworthy moment: Since the movie isn't out, we'll just show this featurette on the Love story... but I like their moment in the secret garden.


Tomorrow THE BEST and WORST Cinderellas will be discussed. Until then? I've decided to give you an extra gift. A PERSONALITY QUIZ!! So if you ever wondered which of these prince you'd be most compatible with, I have your answer RIGHT HERE. In fact.. I've decided to be SO generous that later today you can also check the Stepmothers post from yesterday and find out which one of them is your spirit animal as well.

SECOND BONUS? Another Prince to critique below...





Which prince is your favorite?

Prince Kit - Cinderella 2015
Prince Christopher - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1997
Prince Charming - Cinderella 1950
Prince Edward - The Slipper and the Rose
Prince Christopher - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1965
Prince Henry - Faerie Tale Theatre
Prince Henry - Ever After
Austin Ames - A Cinderella Story
Prince Charming - Into the Woods
Prince Christopher - Rodgers and Hammerstein's 1957
Poll Maker

3.10.2015

Cinderella Awards: Stepsisters and Stepmothers

Today's edition of the Cinderella Awards will have us celebrating the women who make Cinderella's life a living hell: the occasionally ugly stepsisters and their always evil mothers. More often than not, even the weakest adaptation out there will provide a really strong stepmother. I guess it's the part all actresses secretly want to play. The harder part to get right most definitely seems to be the stepsisters. In trying to make them funny they err on the side of making them too slapsticky and obnoxious (A Cinderella Story,) but on the flip side sometimes they're neglected so much that they're almost forgettable. EDIT: And as a special treat, here's a personality quiz to find out which one of the Stepmothers is your spirit animal. TAKE THE QUIZ HERE.                                                                                      
THE STEPSISTERS

6. CINDERELLA 2015
Praise to the heavens that these gals didn't suffer the "three fairy treatment" that happened to some  formerly beloved characters in Maleficent. Then again, if they had it wouldn't have been so insulting since the characters they're based on are pretty obnoxious anyway. But basically what I'm saying is they're not totally stooges.. just one sort of is.

5. RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S '97

Best moment? I WANT A CHANCE AT HIM! Both have their moments of being unfunny... but they also manage to get some guilty laughs out of me too. 


4. RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S '65

How can one woman be both an ugly stepsister AND Ursula the sea witch in their lifetime? It definitely takes a level of some villainous talent! The stepsisters and their ailments are always humorous and this version of "The Stepsisters Lament" is definitely my favorite.

3. EVER AFTER

I really like this pair, it's one of the best things that Ever After has going for it. On the one hand, we have the pure evil Marguerite and on the other, the far kinder Jacqueline. It's kind of refreshing for Cinderella to have an ally in Jacqueline! But I'm not sure why she's doomed to the love interest they give her... even for comedic purposes. Maybe I'd like this movie more if she switched roles with Drew and Drew ended up with the palace dude.

2. CINDERELLA 1950
Oh, these stepsisters are just nasty... in looks and behavior. Their voices are grating and really they're just awful people. They rip Cinderella's gowns to shreds and show absolutely no remorse. I'm not sure how Cinderella could stand to live with these ones for a single day.

1. FAERIE TALE THEATRE
These two are hands down my favorite step sister combination. Both of them are so funny I almost envy Jennifer Beals for getting to live with them. You can't pick a favorite moment with them because every moment they're on screen is GOLD. "Oh, I HATE that door thing."

DIDN'T MAKE THE CUT: THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE, A CINDERELLA STORY, THE GLASS SLIPPER, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S '57, CINDY



Which stepsisters are your favorite?

Cinderella 2015
Ever After
Rodgers and Hammerstein's '65
Rodgers and Hammerstein's '97
Cinderella 1950
Faerie Tale Theatre
Other
create quizzes

STEPMOTHERS
8. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S '65
This stepmother takes the backseat to her stepdaughters in this version. She's not particularly funny or incredibly memorable, but definitely what I always thought of when I heard someone talking about ugly stepmothers. 
7. INTO THE WOODS
Christine Baranski makes the most of her small screen time in Into the Woods and gives a fun, effective Stepmother. Maybe I'm biased because I just like her, but any stepmother that cuts her daughters feet down to fit a slipper is pretty hardcore, right? "The prince is looking for a bride, not a SCULLERY MAID!"

6. FAERIE TALE THEATRE
Eve Arden's stepmother in Faerie Tale Theatre is more on the funny side than on the fully evil side... but still she manages to get in a few sneers. "You kiss up to us, we despise you and everybody is happy!"

5. RODGERS & HAMMERSTEIN'S '97
Bernadette Peters' performance is one of the best things about the '97 Cinderella. She manages to strike a good balance between comical and evil. But she's pretty much awesome in anything she's in.

4. CINDERELLA 2015
Speaking of being awesome in everything... here we have Cate Blanchett's Lady Tremaine. She too has some moments of comedy, but also pure hatred for our innocent heroine. She brings some depth to the role as a woman whose heart has turned cold from all the tragedy she's faced in her life. 

3. A CINDERELLA STORY
I realize this one may be a guilty pleasure for having it so high, but Jennifer Coolidge really is just relishing this role and she makes it a lot of fun. But she's not totally there for comic purposes, she too has quite a few digs for diner girl. "There's something I've always wanted to tell you and I think you're ready to hear it. You're not very pretty, and you're not very bright. Oh, I'm so glad we had that talk."
2. EVER AFTER
Of the live action Cinderellas, I think Anjelica Huston's stepmother is as evil as they come... and not in a two-dimensional way. Like Cate Blanchett's Lady Tremaine, Huston's Rodmilla has moments when she lets her guard down to Drew Barrymore's Danielle.. but even though she has a sign of a heart, she cares nothing about her stepdaughter. The fact that she knows deep down she still cares nothing for her is more hurtful than any insult she could ever say. Plus she's really good at humiliating her and destroying her precious keepsakes.

1. CINDERELLA 1950
It's no surprise that the same woman who was responsible for voicing the evilest Disney villain ever (YES I'm talking about Maleficent.. screw you 2014 movie!) also brought to life another woman who could conjure up nightmares. Lady Tremaine is just unbelievably cruel and knows exactly how to play everyone in her life to make her stepdaughter miserable. Her motivations are never clear.. but that just makes her behavior all the more disturbing. She is a GREAT Disney villain and I'm glad her legacy isn't ruined by Cate Blanchett.. if anything the new 2015 is a lovable homage to the animated film. "These beads - they give it just the right touch. Don't you think so, Drizella?"

FORGETTABLE STEPMOTHERS: THE SLIPPER AND THE ROSE, THE GLASS SLIPPER, RODGERS AND HAMMERSTEIN'S '57, CINDY

Which is your favorite stepmother?

Cinderella 1950
Cinderella 2015
A Cinderella Story
Ever After
Into the Woods
Rodgers and Hammerstein's '65
Rodgers and Hammerstein's '97
Faerie Tale Theatre
Poll Maker


That's it for today! But come back tomorrow when we discuss PRINCES.