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Review: Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast
6 days ago
7 10

Beauty and the Beast movie review Emma Watson Dan Stevens Disney

PLOT: A live-action adaptation of the animated Disney classic, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST tells of the love that blossoms between a cursed prince - turned into a beast by an enchantress - and a simple village girl whose love will turn him human again.

REVIEW: Disney recently hit two resounding home runs with their live-action adaptations of CINDERELLA and THE JUNGLE BOOK, so it's perhaps not unreasonable to get one's hopes way up for their latest, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. However, for this generation, the 1991 BEAUTY AND THE BEAST is a very different, well, beast. A bona fide beloved classic against which so many animated films are weighed. The original CINDERELLA and JUNGLE BOOK are cherished, but not untouchable. BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, I would think, is another matter.

So how did director Bill Condon do with his much-anticipated live-action adaptation? As someone who doesn't obsess over the 1991 iteration, I found this to be a very respectable, pleasant and frequently heartfelt experience. Flawed, to be sure, and no threat to the legacy of the original, but not without some genuinely enchanting moments. When put up against the recent live-action efforts from the studio, it's certainly better than ALICE IN WONDERLAND or MALEFICENT, but not as wholly magical as the two aforementioned titles.

The story you probably know. An arrogant prince (Dan Stevens) is cursed by an enchantress after refusing her shelter on the night of a great storm. As reprisal, she curses him to look like a horrifying beast, while also turning his subjects and servants into a variety of inanimate objects. (I never understood what they did to deserve such a twisted fate, and this movie doesn't elaborate on it.) She bestows to him a rose, one that will secure his fate once all of its petals have fallen off - unless he can find true love in his heart for another, who must love him in return. The prince, already a jerk on the best of days, only grows more cantankerous and heartless, resigning himself to a lonely, doomed life in his dilapidated castle.

Some time later, a lovely ("funny," according to her neighbors) young lady named Belle (Emma Watson) arrives to tempt fate. After capturing the girl's father (Kevin Kline) for stealing a single rose from his property, Beast offers her the opportunity to take the old man's place, a prisoner in his home forever. Belle agrees and, with the help of the beast's transformed friends (a candlestick, a clock, a piano, etc.) gradually begins to melt the pitiable creature's icy heart. Will they fall in love? Is it creepy if that happens..?

Beauty and the Beast movie review Emma Watson Dan Stevens Disney

The beats of this film are exactly the same as the animated film's, although for some reason this version runs 129 minutes (easily 15-20 minutes too long). The song and dance numbers work well enough, although sometimes the whimsy feels forced. "Be Our Guest" (as sung by Ewan McGregor) starts off well but gets more and more chaotic as it goes on, while Watson's "Belle" is just OK without being a showstopper or a bust. The best sequence is "Gaston." in which village blowhard Gaston (Luke Evans) joyfully sings his own praises in a rambunctious tavern. The Evans-led "Mob Song," where the villain riles up his fellow villagers in an effort to storm the beast's castle, is also a winner. The classic "Beauty and the Beast," sung by Emma Thompson's Mrs. Potts, is very nice, but it's one area purists might find the live-action adaptation really falls short of its predecessor.

And yes, you read correctly: The two best songs involve Luke Evans. What may initially have seemed like odd casting turns out to be very inspired indeed, as Evans brings just the right amount of charisma and spitefulness to Gaston. A lovable rogue one minute, a miserable wretch the next, Gaston ends up being the most compelling character in the movie, and Evans is fully up to the task of making him pop off the screen. If nothing else, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST proves that Evans is very still worthy of our attention, even after it looked like his shot at Hollywood stardom had faded.

As the titular characters, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens are both quite fine. Not a rave, I know, but the two undoubtedly had difficult tasks ahead of them. It would be hard for any mortal woman to exude the allure and magnetism necessary for Belle, but Watson is, of course, enchanting in her own right, so she's perfectly acceptable in the role. Stevens, with his visage altered via motion-capture and his voice deepened, is about as good as could be hoped for. Really, the heavy lifting is on the VFX technicians transforming Stevens into the Beast, and the effect fluctuates: sometimes Beast is a believably flesh-and-blood (and fur) character, sometimes you can't help but admit it's not very seamless. (Let's put it this way, we've seen how good this kind of thing can be thanks to the new PLANET OF THE APES films, and Beast is certainly no Caesar.) Together, the two ignite some chemistry here and there, without exactly setting the screen on fire.

All other elements of the film are sturdy. Art direction, costume design and cinematography are all excellent, and the rest of the CGI is just right. Beast's talking object friends are all very neat-looking and entertaining, and the voice work by McGregor, Thompson, Stanley Tucci and especially Ian McKellen are first-rate. Though it falls short of being transcendent, Condon's film often enough radiates the kind of effervescent warmth that marks the Disney brand.

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Source: JoBlo.com

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7:26AM on 03/17/2017

Total Crap

Where do I start, the magic Of The original Was The effortless charm. This film had little to none. Every decision feels rushed and without any reason what so ever. The CGI, is going to age very poorly. Luke evens Was The best part Of The film, but not good enough to save the movie. I really wanted to enjoy this, but it's hard to enjoy garbage no matter how much sugar you put on it.
Where do I start, the magic Of The original Was The effortless charm. This film had little to none. Every decision feels rushed and without any reason what so ever. The CGI, is going to age very poorly. Luke evens Was The best part Of The film, but not good enough to save the movie. I really wanted to enjoy this, but it's hard to enjoy garbage no matter how much sugar you put on it.
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12:30PM on 03/17/2017
It seemed to have such contempt for the original. A fan asked why the village doesn't remember the castle, let's write that in. What happened to Belle's mom, let's write that in. What does Gaston do besides trying to win Belle? Let's make him a war hero! Where did the Enchantress go? Let's add her! Isn't this beastiality‚Äč? Let's add a beastiality joke at the end!

Meanwhile it created several new plot holes and just terrible screenwriting... He now has a magic book that can teleport him
It seemed to have such contempt for the original. A fan asked why the village doesn't remember the castle, let's write that in. What happened to Belle's mom, let's write that in. What does Gaston do besides trying to win Belle? Let's make him a war hero! Where did the Enchantress go? Let's add her! Isn't this beastiality‚Äč? Let's add a beastiality joke at the end!

Meanwhile it created several new plot holes and just terrible screenwriting... He now has a magic book that can teleport him anywhere he wants to go, but Belle doesn't use it to save her father? Gaston actually supports Belle reading books and is actually a pretty decent person and then all the sudden he ties Maurice up to be eaten by wolves? The Beast sings a 3 minute song at the absolute most awkward point when we want to follow Belle racing to rescue her dad. And the song will never live up to If I Can't Love Her from the stage show. Plus the poorly CGI face singing made me laugh out loud far too much.
Literally the only good moment was the Mob Song and they even cut a minute out of it that's still in the motion picture soundtrack! Grrrr
3:59AM on 03/17/2017
Grew up with the original. Loved and been in the musical.

What the ever loving f*** was this crap!?

4/10
Grew up with the original. Loved and been in the musical.

What the ever loving f*** was this crap!?

4/10
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5:40PM on 03/16/2017

Thank God for Gay LeFou

The film wouldn't be half of what it was if the creators hadn't made it absolutely clear that LeFou is gay. Nevermind his obsession with Gaston, nevermind playing it for laughs -- it needs to be romantic and pronounced and sexy.

A Beauty and the Beast without Gay LeFou is like Harry Potter without Gay Dumbledore. Changes the story entirely. Just doesn't work.
The film wouldn't be half of what it was if the creators hadn't made it absolutely clear that LeFou is gay. Nevermind his obsession with Gaston, nevermind playing it for laughs -- it needs to be romantic and pronounced and sexy.

A Beauty and the Beast without Gay LeFou is like Harry Potter without Gay Dumbledore. Changes the story entirely. Just doesn't work.
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4:31AM on 03/17/2017
lol at the gay Dumbledore thing, jk rowling never outed Dumbledore as gay until after Order of the Phoenix was released, so...this idea that "without gay Dumbledore" it would change the story entirely...u didn't even know he was gay until Order of the phoenix, nice try.
lol at the gay Dumbledore thing, jk rowling never outed Dumbledore as gay until after Order of the Phoenix was released, so...this idea that "without gay Dumbledore" it would change the story entirely...u didn't even know he was gay until Order of the phoenix, nice try.
10:49AM on 03/17/2017
Hah, hope you know I'm totally kidding dude. I'm sarcastically saying that the sexuality of these characters has absolutely zero bearing on how the story plays out and is just another way to make a statement.
Hah, hope you know I'm totally kidding dude. I'm sarcastically saying that the sexuality of these characters has absolutely zero bearing on how the story plays out and is just another way to make a statement.
8:55PM on 03/17/2017
Oh lol, i totally believed u
Oh lol, i totally believed u
6:01PM on 03/04/2017

Beastiality??

In my fucked up mind, I can't help but to think of this story as being about a kidnapped girl with a hidden beastiality issue and suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
In my fucked up mind, I can't help but to think of this story as being about a kidnapped girl with a hidden beastiality issue and suffering from Stockholm syndrome.
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+1
7:11AM on 03/04/2017
So see it as a double bill with Logan then.
So see it as a double bill with Logan then.
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+0
4:05AM on 03/04/2017
HoyleHaw - yeah he is so amazing in high rise. he really comes off the screen. was i not reading much about the film, or were there not many writers praising his performance? and the film?
HoyleHaw - yeah he is so amazing in high rise. he really comes off the screen. was i not reading much about the film, or were there not many writers praising his performance? and the film?
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5:56PM on 03/03/2017
Not at all surprised that Luke Evans is the best thing about this. Heard him and Hugh Jackman have a Gaston "sing off" on the Jonathan Ross show and Luke was much better than Jackman who played Gaston onstage in Australia
Not at all surprised that Luke Evans is the best thing about this. Heard him and Hugh Jackman have a Gaston "sing off" on the Jonathan Ross show and Luke was much better than Jackman who played Gaston onstage in Australia
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5:35PM on 03/03/2017

As I expected

I thought it would receive a a 7/10. It looks like a good copy of the cartoon. Watson never struck me as one who can really belt out the notes that Belle needs to. My cousin, who is far better singer than Watson, played Belle and the notes she hit Watson doesn't seem like she can match. The one thing the reviewer loved is something I have been looking forward to since the cast announcement....Gad. Whomever suggested that at a meeting deserves some type of raise. I will definitely see
I thought it would receive a a 7/10. It looks like a good copy of the cartoon. Watson never struck me as one who can really belt out the notes that Belle needs to. My cousin, who is far better singer than Watson, played Belle and the notes she hit Watson doesn't seem like she can match. The one thing the reviewer loved is something I have been looking forward to since the cast announcement....Gad. Whomever suggested that at a meeting deserves some type of raise. I will definitely see it though
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4:38PM on 03/03/2017
I remember being surprised by the Evans casting. Then I saw High-Rise, and realized he's perfect for the toxic masculinity of Gaston. Not surprised that it falls short of the mark. As an adult I find the themes of Beauty and the Beast to resonate more strongly than most Disney animated movies.
I remember being surprised by the Evans casting. Then I saw High-Rise, and realized he's perfect for the toxic masculinity of Gaston. Not surprised that it falls short of the mark. As an adult I find the themes of Beauty and the Beast to resonate more strongly than most Disney animated movies.
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