‘Beast’ Review: Idris Elba’s Monster Film Makes You Crave for ‘Anaconda’!
In the new film “Beast,” a demonic lion’s background is as complex as Liam Neeson’s in “Taken.”
Why is Scary Simba killing African people for sport and pursuing Nate (Idris Elba) and his two little daughters (Leah Sava Jeffries and Iyana Halley) with such determination? As a result of being humiliated by nefarious poachers, the large cat went rogue.
Never in “Jaws,” “Anaconda,” or “Lake Placid” did I feel sorry for the vicious beasts. But my heart went out to this miserable, homicidal, widower lion who was hell-bent on avenging the death of cubs and lionesses.
Yet, this is a film similar to the aforementioned three (one of Nate’s daughters even wears a “Jurassic Park” T-shirt in an early scene) in which we must root for a man (the good ones, at least) to prevail.
We never offered the shark a drink. There were no tears shed for raptors! These tales are cheesy and lack emotional depth, and this one leaves you feeling miserable.
Nate relocates his girls to a remote savanna after the death of his ex-wife. The couple spent many happy years there — he as a physician and his wife as a wildlife photographer — and he believes it would be beneficial for the children to have a connection to the location. What a brilliant idea that proved to be!
On their first day there, they go on safari with Nate’s old friend Martin (Sharlto Copley), and the gang stumbles onto a savaged, corpse-strewn town and encounters Kitty Cat Cujo.
Naturally, their car crashes into a tree, and the remainder of the film consists of them (idiotically) venturing outside, returning in fright, and failing to evade the thing.
There are some effective jump scares, and Elba’s portrayal is subdued given the circumstances.
To give his character more depth, the authors separated him emotionally from his daughters, who believe he abandoned their sick mother. A father can regain his children’s affection by defending them from a fierce lion.
However, everything hinges on Mr. Whiskers. The CGI animation of the lion is simply competent, so even if he terrifies you, he never quite appears real.
After a few initial thrills, Baltasar Kormákur’s film loses its luster because the monster no longer offers any surprises. Again, he leaps through the window.
And the ultimate epic battle is comical. Nate would be mauled to death in five seconds in reality.
The Critically Panned “Devil Wears Prada” Musical is Undergoing a Major Overhaul
The famous catchphrase of magazine editor Miranda Priestly from “The Devil Wears Prada” is “That’s all there is to it.”
However, that is not the end of Elton John’s catastrophic new musical adaptation of the Meryl Streep film. At least not yet.
Broadway insiders believed it was dead on arrival after premiering in Chicago last week to tepid to scathing reviews from every major critic, including The Post, New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, and Chicago Sun-Times. (I’m surprised Le Monde did not appear!)
However, the show is not yet packing up its Prabal Gurung; it is storming forward like a model who just face-planted on the runway.
However, getting to New York will require much more than finding its equilibrium and correcting its hair.
Multiple sources informed The Post that “Kinky Boots” director Jerry Mitchell was flown to Chicago by producer Kevin McCollum on Wednesday to view the floundering stiletto and offer his opinion. Other directors have also made the journey.
A representative for “Prada” did not respond to The Post’s request for comment. And lest you believe Mitchell only wants to enjoy the summer beauty of the Chicago River, his new off-Broadway production of “Kinky Boots” opens to critics in Chicago on Friday. He is quite busy.
Current director Anna D. Shapiro, who received a Tony Award for “August: Osage County” — the complete antithesis of “Prada” — was also present at the theater on Wednesday evening.
Could Mitchell give her his notes if he were in town? Sure! Jerry Zaks traveled to Chicago 13 years ago to provide remarks for “The Addams Family,” and the producer was so impressed with them that he sacked the previous co-directors and offered Zaks the position.
According to sources within the production, which has a book by Kate Wetherhead and lyrics by Shaina Taub, the cast has debated what to do with the character Miranda. The ice-queen editor, portrayed by Beth Leavel, sings sparingly, and the few songs she does sing are an afterthought.
Given that Audra McDonald, a really fantastic vocalist, was slated to perform the role in an early workshop, the decision to make the character practically non-singing seems baffling. (She exited.)
Insiders are perplexed by the decision, but the creative staff has maintained their stance. Taylor Iman Jones as Andy, portrayed by Anne Hathaway, and Javier Muoz as Nigel, the gay fashion editor portrayed by Stanley Tucci, receive the most of the songs.
One stated, “The musical imagines what would happen if you removed all of Max Bialystock’s songs from ‘The Producers’ and instead gave Ulla eight songs.”
The script (not very hilarious) and choreography (not sufficiently theatrical) are also in serious need of improvement, and the production is aware of this.
So are the tunes, but the “Tiny Dancer” singer-songwriter is no longer known for tearing up sheet music and producing spontaneous new songs. Nonetheless, some believe he may be up to the challenge if only to prevent another “Lestat.”
None of this is affordable. Adding more creatives will incur further costs for a show that, according to a source, currently need eight figures to launch in New York.
Charles Isherwood of the Wall Street Journal stated that the musical is “destined for the metaphorical discount bins of T.J. Maxx,” which is a lot of money to wrangle.
“Prada” has not yet announced a Broadway venue, although it will most likely be a Nederlander production.
Jimmy Nederlander Jr. and Nick Scandalios from the Nederlander Organization, the theater’s owner in Chicago, attended the opening night in the Windy City. During Act 1, Lucky Jimmy disappeared for thirty minutes up the aisle.
Even before the reviewers’ reviews were published, there was a negative buzz about the production on Broadway.
It is more difficult to find a “Prada” fan or sympathizer in Shubert Alley than it is to purchase a discounted “Hamilton” ticket. A seasoned wit remarked, “They will lose their fitted shirt.”