TIME movies

10 Things Beauty and the Beast’s Belle and Harry Potter’s Hermione Have in Common

From Left: 'Beauty And The Beast' and 'Harry Potter And The Order Of The Phoenix' Disney; Warner Brothers

Emma Watson's new role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast has more in common with Hermione Granger than just being bookish

Emma Watson, best known for playing Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, has been cast in Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast and thus is stepping into another role as a beloved nerdy girl. Hermione and Belle are probably the two most well-known bookworms in pop culture — and it turns out they have a lot more in common than their mutual love for the written word:

1. They’re both bookworms

Obviously, the casting directors for Beauty and the Beast wondered, “What other female character spends all her time with her nose in a book?” The best they could come up with was Hermione.

2. Everyone thinks they’re strange

Because Belle and Hermione are both beautiful women who love to read, everyone thinks they’re weird — obviously. Hermione is ostracized by her peers (including her future husband Ron Weasley) in J.K. Rowling’s first Harry Potter book for being a know-it-all, while the townspeople sing about Belle in the opening scene of Beauty and the Beast, “Look there she goes that girl is strange, no question. / Dazed and distracted, can’t you tell?” People are the worst.

3. They love beastly things

While Belle shows her affection for the Beast, a creature who repels most, Hermione is kind to the gentle giant Grawp, half-brother of Hagrid, the Hogwarts gamekeeper. Grawp, however, never turns into a handsome prince.

4. They are humans that enter a magical world

When Belle comes to Beast’s castle, she finds an enchanted world where teacups and candelabras can sing and dance. Hermione is a muggle whose first major introduction to the magic is at Hogwarts where the ceiling can change from night to day and ghosts wander the halls.

5. They both live in castles

The Beast’s home and Hogwarts? They’re both massive, old and awesome magical castles. Emma Watson will feel right at home on the Beauty and the Beast set.

6. They both have major dress moments

Remember when Belle appears at the top of the stairs in a billowing yellow dress before her dance with the Beast? Remember when the exact same thing happens on top of another staircase as Hermione shows up in that gorgeous dress to the Yule Ball? They even have the same hairstyle! Here’s a reminder:

7. They’re friendly to all creatures

Belle defends her beloved horse, while Hermione is always a helper to the house elves (RIP Dobby). She even launched a Society for the Promotion of Elfish Welfare.

8. They both get hit on by terrible men

Gaston, a detestable human being, is relentless as he hits on Belle. Hermione, too, must suffer through the amorous advances of Cormac McLaggen at Potions Professor Slughorn’s holiday party. Both are smart enough, of course, to run away from their loathsome suitors.

9. They love wandering into restricted places

Don’t tell these ladies where they can and cannot go. Belle wanders into the forbidden west wing of the castle even though the Beast warns her not to do so. Hermione passes off an autograph from Professor Gilderoy Lockhart as a note that allows her to enter the restricted section of the library in Hogwarts.

10. They’re judgey about table manners

Hermione makes fun of Ron for eating like a slob, just like Belle throws shade at the Beast for eating his oatmeal like, well, a beast.

Read next: How 7 Disney Princesses Could Change the World

TIME movies

Here Are the Worst Things Critics Had to Say About Mortdecai

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Gywneth Paltrow and Johnny Depp in Mortdecai David Appleby—Lionsgate

Critics really sharpened their pens for Johnny Depp's latest

Sometimes the best movie reviews are the ones written about the worst movies. Despite boasting an all-star cast, Johnny Depp’s new film Mortdecai has quickly emerged as an early contender for worst film of the year. It has invoked the wrath of critics (and currently has a 8% on Rotten Tomatoes), inspiring some memorably savage critical barbs. Here are some of the harshest:

Robbie Collin for The Telegraph

“It’s hard to think of a way in which the experience of watching the new Johnny Depp film could be any worse, unless you returned home afterwards to discover that Depp himself had popped round while you were out and set fire to your house.”

Kyle Smith for The New York Post

Mortdecai typifies playful English wit in much the same way as Wimbledon is known for its monster truck rallies.”

Brian Truitt, USA Today

“The actor has done a lot better than this forgettable piece of bargain-basement low art.”

Elizabeth Weitzman for New York Daily News

“Without anything funnier to offer, [director David] Koepp leans heavily on a pointless running joke about the way Mortdecai’s mustache continually triggers Johanna’s gag reflex. Should you find yourself subjected to this baffling display of wasted talent, time and resources, prepare to share her understandable instinct.”

Stephen Holden for The New York Times

“What a frantically dull spectacle this vanity project is.”

Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com

Like the film as a whole, [Johnny Depp’s] performance is such a spectacular miscalculation that it begins to generate a strange fascination in that you almost want to keep watching just to see how much worse it can possibly get before it finally comes to a merciful and long-overdue conclusion.”

David Edelstein, New York Magazine

“Having combed Roget’s Thesaurus in vain for a suitable adjective to describe the Johnny Depp comedy Mortdecai, I’m forced to say it’s just … bad.”

But not everyone thought the movie was a complete disaster. The Los Angeles Times had a more generous take:

Gary Goldstein, LA Times

“If the rest of the movie, directed by David Koepp (Premium Rush, Secret Window), isn’t quite as memorable as Depp’s screwball stylings, it’s a mostly zippy, well turned-out concoction. Translated: It’s better than expected.”

 

TIME Music

A New Kanye-Rihanna Collaboration Is Coming

Rihanna (L) and Kanye West (R) Jon Kopaloff—FilmMagic/Getty Images; Jim Spellman—WireImage/Getty Images

Yeezus previewed new music at a surprise appearance

Any hint of a release date for the upcoming Kanye or Rihanna albums could break Twitter. A new collaboration between the two may just end the universe.

Kanye West reportedly interrupted a Def Jam presentation on Wednesday at the iHeartMedia Music Summit to talk for 45 minutes about his favorite topic—himself—and preview some new music, Billboard reports, including that new duet with Rihanna.

The pair already worked together on two of Kanye’s biggest hits, ‘All of the Lights’ and ‘Run This Town,’ so a third collab would be highly anticipated, to put it mildly.

Kanye also spoke at length about his “responsibility to innovate,” reminisced about working with Paul McCartney on “Only One” and even sang some of that song a cappella. He also joked that he asked the former Beatle, “What was p—y like in the ’60s?”

West concluded by playing his collaboration with Rihanna from his laptop. Though he didn’t reveal the title of the song, Billboard reports that it featured acoustic guitar and a melody with a “massive hook.” When the song ended, Kanye (in classic Ye fashion) slammed his laptop closed and walked offstage—to a standing ovation.

MORE: Did A New Rihanna Song Called “World Peace” Leak?

[Billboard]

TIME Courts

Hunt for Impartial Jurors Delays Boston Bombing Trial

FBI Release Images Of Boston Marathon Bombing Suspects
In this image released by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) on April 19, 2013, Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19-years-old, a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombing is seen. Handout—Getty Images

“Make sure he gets what he deserves," wrote a prospective juror

Finding impartial jurors in the case of alleged bomber Dzhokhar Tsarnaev is proving harder than expected, a federal court in Boston announced Thursday, and the trial that was set to begin next week will be delayed.

Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. had scheduled opening statements to start on Monday but decided that date was now “unrealistic” given how many jurors had to be dismissed since the voir dire process began Jan. 15, the Los Angeles Times reports. Some said they were already convinced Tsarnaev was guilty, while others stated they could never agree with the death penalty.

Tsarnaev’s lawyers have argued that it will be impossible to find a fair jury in the Boston area, which was reeling after the deadly attack at the Boston Marathon finish line in April 2013. On Thursday, they requested for a third time that the judge move the trial, as 68% of the 1,373,-member jury pool admitted to already thinking of Tsarnaev as guilty.

“I am set in my ways and this kid is GUILTY,” the defense team said one person wrote on the secretive questionnaires. “Quit wasting everybody’s time with a jury and string him up,” said another. And a third wrote: “Make sure he gets what he deserves.”

Last week, the lawyers also asked for a trial delay until the publicity surrounding the recent terrorist attacks in Paris calmed down. O’Toole has repeatedly denied requests that the trial be delayed and moved out of Boston.

[Los Angeles Times]

TIME justice

Seattle to Begin DNA Testing on Backlogged Rape Kits

Here’s What Happens When You Get a Rape Kit Exam TIME

Police will test 1,276 stored kits from the past 10 years

The Seattle Police Department announced Thursday it would begin to test 1,276 backlogged rape kits.

“We will test all sexual-assault kits moving forward and begin addressing untested kits,” Capt. Deanna Nollette, supervisor of the SPD’s Special Victims Unit, said in a statement. The cost of testing, which can cost from $500 to $1,500 per kit, has created a backlog of what experts estimate to be hundreds of thousands of rape kits at police departments across the country.

Sexual-assault victims usually undergo a forensic exam that includes taking blood, saliva and semen samples after reporting an assault. In Washington, kits are sent to the Washington State Patrol Crime Lab, which cross-references DNA samples with an FBI database of DNA profiles. Even though the Seattle Police Department has collected 1,641 rape kits over the last 10 years, only 365 have been tested by the state crime lab. Sgt. Sean Whitcomb, the city’s police spokesman, said last year that it was department policy to only test rape kits when charges were filed.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance pledged $35 million to eliminating the backlog or rape kits across the country in November, saying that victims deserved to see that the invasive exams were conducted for a purpose. The announcement has spurred police departments nationwide to become more vigilant about testing evidence in sex crimes cases.

Read more: In Hot Pursuit of Cold Cases

TIME cities

New Orleans Bans Smoking in Bars and Casinos

smoking cigarette wrapped in money on ashtray
John Knil—Getty Images

The Big Easy becomes one of the last major American cities to pass a sweeping smoking ban

The New Orleans City Council unanimously passed a ban on smoking in bars and gambling halls on Thursday.

The law will take effect in about three months, the Associated Press reports. While owners of bars and casinos expressed concerns that the ban would hurt business, city officials decided the health of musicians and others exposed to secondhand smoke while working in those establishments is paramount.

New Orleans, a major tourism hub known for its nightlife, is one of the last major American cities to allow people to smoke in bars. Logan Gaskill, a lawyer for a large casino next to the French Quarter, estimated at the meeting that revenues would decline 20% as a result from the ban, the AP reports.

But lawmakers were convinced by a teary speech from Councilman James Gray II, who read off the names of people he knew who died from lung-cancer. Another member, Jason Williams, said they had an obligation to protect “the heart and soul” of New Orleans, the musicians and barroom workers.

[AP]

TIME NFL

Watch a Scientist Put ‘Deflategate’ Under the Microscope

The science behind the New England Patriots scandal

The New England Patriots have been under fire amid allegations that 11 of the 12 balls they used in their AFC Championship Game win were inflated significantly below the NFL’s requirements. While the league has yet to rule on whether the Patriots cheated their way to the Super Bowl—both coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady denied any wrongdoing Thursday—science can give us some answers.

Ainissa Ramirez, scientist and co-author of Newton’s Football: The Science Behind America’s Game, breaks down whether the cold weather could account for the footballs deflating about two pounds each, how players might take advantage of a deflated ball, and what players have done to manipulate balls in the past.

TIME beauty

Instagram Admits ‘Mistake’ After Pulling Pubic Hair Photo

FRANCE-US-IT-INTERNET-TELECOM-INSTAGRAM
The Instagram logo is displayed on a smartphone on December 20, 2012 in Paris. Lionel Bonaventure—AFP/Getty Images

"We don’t always get it right"

Instagram faced immediate criticism three weeks ago when it disabled an Australian magazine’s account after the publication posted a picture that showed female pubic hair. The Facebook-owned photo-sharing app restored the Sticks and Stones’ account Thursday and released an apology.

“We try hard to find a good balance between allowing people to express themselves creatively and having policies in place to maintain a comfortable experience for our global and culturally diverse community,” according to the statement. “This is one reason why our guidelines put limitations on nudity, but we recognize that we don’t always get it right. In this case, we made a mistake and have since restored the account.”

The photo in question showed two women wearing bathing suits with some of their pubic hair exposed. Sticks and Stones director Ainsley Hutchensce argued to the Huffington Post that Instagram was exhibiting sexism by objecting to this photo, but not others that showed male pubic hair. “From what I can gather I do feel as though men can get away with a lot more in terms of what Instagram deems to be of a sexual nature,” she said. Critics point to pictures where men’s pubic hair is exposed, like one from Justin Bieber’s recent Calvin Klein campaign, as examples of a gender imbalance in the way society views people’s natural bodies.

Instagram and Facebook have both come under fire in the last year for censoring pictures in which women’s nipples are exposed. A movement using the hashtag #FreetheNipple argues that normalizing female toplessness is a question of gender equality and that topless female photos—like ones of breastfeeding—should be allowed on social media.

MORE: Free the Nipple! The Problem With How We Think About Breasts

TIME movies

Mockingjay Tops Guardians to Become Highest-Grossing Film in U.S. Last Year

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1
Jennifer Lawrence stars as ‘Katniss Everdeen’ in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1 Murray Close—Lionsgate

It's already grossed more than $700 million worldwide

All hail Jennifer Lawrence. The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1 flew past Guardians of the Galaxy to become the highest grossing film in the U.S. last year.

The third installment in the series hit $333.2 million on Wednesday, surpassing Guardians‘ $333.17 million, Variety reports. The movie continues to dominate worldwide as well, having grossed more than $700 million already ahead of its China opener on Feb. 8. It total, the franchise has brought in over $2.2 billion, with one more movie set to release this fall.

This is the second year in a row that the Hunger Games franchise topped the charts at the domestic box office. The success will certainly provide ammunition for actress Cate Blanchett, Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal and others in the industry who argue that films with female protagonists can make money. Even though studios continue to bet on male-dominated action films as tentpoles, an analysis of films conducted by Vocativ last year found that films with robust female roles do better at the box office.

The Hunger Games‘ biggest challenge yet will come this year when it faces off against the new Star Wars and Avengers films for top box office. Fire is catching.

MORE: How Hollywood Can Get More Women to See Movies

[Variety]

TIME movies

American Sniper Screenwriter Jason Hall: ‘I Bled for This Thing’

BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party - Red Carpet
Screenwriter Jason Hall attends the BAFTA Los Angeles Tea Party at The Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles At Beverly Hills on January 10, 2015 in Beverly Hills, Calif. Frazer Harrison—BAFTA LA/Getty Images

Hall talks to TIME about the movie's controversial politics, fighting a Navy SEAL and why he and Clint Eastwood decided not to show Chris Kyle's death

American Sniper may be quickly stealing the title of the most politically controversial film this Oscar season, but screenwriter Jason Hall maintains he just penned a portrait of a beleaguered soldier — not a political statement. The biopic of Chris Kyle, who the Navy credits with the most kills in American military history, broke January records with a whopping $90.2 million at the box office over the weekend in spite of — or perhaps because of — critics who say the film glorifies a murderer, not to mention a war America never had any business fighting in the first place.

“People see the movie poster, and it’s got a guy and the American flag, and they know Clint Eastwood — the Dirty Harry guy and the Republican convention guy — directed it,” says screenwriter Jason Hall. “So they think it’s some jingoistic thing. I would challenge that in a big way. Chris was a man who believed in something and who therefore was useful to a government that needed him to go to war. It cost him his physical health, his mental health and almost cost him his family — but Chris probably would have paid the price over and over again if he’d been asked, which is both patriotic and totally tragic.”

MORE Who Was American Sniper Chris Kyle?

Actor Seth Rogen and director Michael Moore stoked the controversy over the weekend when they each tweeted what were widely interpreted as criticisms of the film. Rogen wrote: “‘American Sniper’ kind of reminds me of the movie that’s showing in the third act of ‘Inglourious Basterds,’” referencing the fictional Nazi propaganda film about a German sniper featured in Quentin Tarantino’s movie. Meanwhile, Moore tweeted that he had always been taught snipers were “cowards.” Both Rogen and Moore have since backpedaled on these comments: Rogen explained in another tweet that he “actually liked” the movie, while Moore penned a lengthy Facebook post praising Bradley Cooper’s performance as Kyle.

But other detractors have pointed to Chris Kyle’s controversial 2013 book, also titled American Sniper, in which Kyle unabashedly referred to enemies in Iraq as “damn savages” and shared statements like, “I don’t shoot people with Korans. I’d like to, but I don’t.” Several journalists (most notably New Yorker writer Nicholas Schmindle) have tried and failed to corroborate some of the tales in the memoir, including one in which Kyle shot and killed two armed men trying to steal his truck in Texas and another in which Kyle set up as a sniper atop the Superdome after Hurricane Katrina and shot 30 looters. After the book was published, Minnesota governor Jesse Ventura sued Kyle for claiming that he had punched out the politician for disparaging Navy SEALs. Ventura won $1.8 million in damages last summer.

“That book — you hear the voice of the warrior, not a civilian, and I think it turned people here in Hollywood off,” says Hall, who believes that Kyle was pressured into hiding his softer side in the memoir for the sake of sales. “Everybody in Hollywood was like, ‘We don’t want to see an Iraq war movie. Everyone was against it, and we kind of lost, didn’t we?'”

But Hall pitched a portrait of a man who had been deeply changed by war and was struggling to spiritually return to the person he had once been — a pitch that eventually convinced Bradley Cooper to buy the rights. Hall had met Chris “The Legend” Kyle before the book’s publication in 2010, and — after years of talking with Kyle — decided that the soldier had been more affected by his high body count than he let on to the public.

MORE Bradley Cooper Ate Every 55 Minutes to Bulk Up for American Sniper

But finding the softer side of the “old school cowboy” who didn’t like chatting about his feelings took persistence. Kyle ignored Hall’s daily phone calls, responding with text messages instead, and answered questions like, “What was it like to kill a man?” with one or two words. Kyle didn’t care about political correctness and said so in a Facebook post. He gave Craft International, a defense contractor he founded and presided over until his death, this motto: “Despite what your momma told you, violence does solve problems.” That’s the Kyle audiences see in the war part of the film, the Kyle that critics object to.

“It felt like he was still at war, even though he was standing in Texas,” Hall says.

It wasn’t until after Kyle’s death that Hall learned more about what he calls the SEAL’s softer side. Kyle dedicated his post-war life to helping his fellow veterans. He started a business that installed exercise equipment inside veterans’ homes and even began spending time in small groups with vets who needed to talk about their problems. He would often take these men out to shooting ranges where they could bond and talk to them about their struggles with finding jobs, re-acclimating to family life and PTSD. It was on one of these trips that Kyle was killed — by a marine who he was trying to help.

That made the stakes for Hall even higher. Hall recalls a moment just after Kyle’s funeral, where he was sitting around a pool deck in Texas with about 15 SEALs. At that point, Hall had been working on his screenplay for three years; he had turned in his first draft just one day before Kyle was killed.

Hall doesn’t drink, but the rest of the men on the deck did. “One guy picks me out and is like, ‘You’re not even drinking, dude. Why are you even here? Get the f— out of here.'” When Hall told them he just wanted to tell Kyle’s story, the SEAL yelled at him again to go back to his room.

“I knew these guys were rough housers, and I was like, ‘Look man, I’m not going anywhere, but if you want, we can wrestle.’ So he threw down his beer and came charging at me.” Hall had some experience from wrestling as a kid and was ready for the SEAL. “I took him down. He clipped his head. It was nasty. I was bleeding — he was bleeding. I let him up, and he wanted to go again. We went four times. And at the end of it, I think he threw up. He gave me a big hug, and was like, ‘You’re a f—ing badass. I’ll tell you whatever you want to know.”

And they did. “When anyone challenges this story or thinks that I didn’t try to put the whole story out there, I’m like, ‘You know what? I bled for this thing,'” Hall says.

MORE Watch the Heart-Pounding Trailer for Clint Eastwood’s American Sniper

After the funeral, Hall and Kyle’s wife Taya spent over 200 hours on the phone together. Taya told him of their courtship, their marital struggles, and how it took years for Kyle to finally reconnect emotionally with her and the kids. “The first draft of the script that I had was a war movie,” says Hall. “Then I talked to Taya, and I saw what was at stake for him emotionally. I saw similar themes to The Odyssey. The second draft turned into this story about what it costs these men to go to war and how they find their way back.”

Though Taya’s perspective humanized the story, she also put pressure on Hall to get it right. “A running theme for this movie for me was people — SEALs, Chris’ friends — looking me right in the eye and saying, ‘F— it up, and I’ll kill you.'”

It was because of Kyle’s family that Hall and Eastwood ultimately decided not to show Kyle’s death in the film. It’s a topic that gets Hall worked up. “I don’t remember s— from when I was six years old. I’ve spent time with their son, and that kid is going to grow up without a dad,” he says. “I don’t want to be the guy who made some f—ing movie where I show his dad getting his f—ing head blown off. I made a promise to Taya that I was going to tell her husband’s story right.”

Turning a real story into an Oscar-worthy picture without facing some backlash — personal or political — is no easy feat, as demonstrated by some recent scandals: the real-life Mark Schulz’s enraged response to Foxcatcher, and the criticism of the portrayal of President Lyndon Johnson in Selma. And though Hall did eventually earn Taya’s approval — she cried and told him Cooper had brought her husband back to life — he still bristles under the implication that Chris Kyle’s story is one that glorifies war. “Chris and those other guys, they didn’t pick the war. If they did, they would have picked somewhere else because Iraq is a s—hole—it’s 140 degrees and just dirt,” he says. “The movie isn’t about whether we should have been in Iraq or not. It’s about how war is human.”

Hall won’t acknowledge a political agenda, except to emphatically assert that our government needs to do a better job of taking care of our veterans. “A lot of these guys come home — they have no work, no place to live. When Chris came back, he was drinking his face off, his marriage was going through some issues. It took him years to get back, spiritually, to the guy he was before the war,” says Hall. “I hope every time a politician decides to send us to war, maybe they saw this movie and know the cost of it.”

 

Read next: The True Story Behind ‘American Sniper’

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