Cast of casters: Jeremy Irons (left) and Alden Ehrenreich (right) try to save Alice Englert from a dark fate in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.
Cast of casters: Jeremy Irons (left) and Alden Ehrenreich (right) try to save Alice Englert from a dark fate in BEAUTIFUL CREATURES.

The TWILIGHTing of romantic fantasy continues apace. In WARM BODIES a few weeks ago, director Jonathan Levine managed to take the human teen/inhuman teen (in this case, a zombie) romance and grace it with humor and  genuine emotion; in the upcoming THE HOST, Andrew Niccol tackles TWILIGHT mistress Stephanie Meyer’s take on INVASION OF THE BODY SNATCHERS, ideally avoiding the anticipated liberation of the genre from anything that would make it scary or effective. But for this week, it’s BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, the tale of a young man (Alden Ehrenreich) dreaming of greater things who may find it in the courtship of a soulful “caster,” or witch (Alice Englert), if only she can free herself from a curse that may doom her to a life of evil. The writer and director here is Richard LaGravenese, raising the question: Can the man who was an Oscar nominee for THE FISHER KING and has garnered praise for his screenplays for A LITTLE PRINCESS and BELOVED, among others, bring a similar intelligence to a teen-oriented romance?‘s Andrea Lipinski joins Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski and Dan Persons to find out.
Then, Steve gives his verdict on the CG-animated, science fiction comedy, ESCAPE FROM PLANET EARTH; plus: listener mail and what’s coming to theaters next week.


Beautiful Creatures in theatres February 14

Warner Brothers releases this fantasy film from Alcon Entertainment.Richard LaGravenese wrote and directed, based on the novel by Kami Garcia and Margaret Stohl. The cast includes Emmy Rossum, Jeremy Irons, Emma Thompson, Alice Englert, and Alden Ehrenreich. The story follows Lena (Englert), a high school girl whose family is believed by the local small-town populace to be satanists. It turns out that “witches” would be a more accurate description, and Lena has reached the age at which she will decide whether or not to go to the dark side. LaGravenese is a talented writer and sometimes director whose previous work has flirted around the borderline of the fantasy genre (THE FISHER KING, A LITTLE PRINCESS, BELOVED); it will be interesting to see what he can do with a project that is clearly intended to launch another TWILIGHT-like young-adult fantasy-romance franchise.
beautiful_creatures_ver3The film’s second theatrical trailer (embedded here) shows off the supporting cast more prominently, especially Jeremy Irons, adding a sense of dramatic gravitas that the TWILIGHT films sorely lacked.
U.S. Theatrical Release: February 14, 2013