Beauty and the Beast (2017)

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Yet another film on the many others that i wanted to watch in 2017.

I was a bit young in 92 when the original released, and as a result i’m not sure if i saw it in theaters though i definitely saw it afterward.

The only other anecdote that i can add to this latest remake craze was the couple sitting beside us had brought their young (5 ish if i were to guess) daughter to the movie, and i thought it nice that the mother was able to bring her daughter to Beauty and the Beast like her mother possibly did when she was her daughter’s age.

So remakes aren’t all that bad guys, lighten up.

Though in fairness the Ariana Grande/John Legend version of Tale as Old as Time is apparently ruining yet another set of childhoods.

 

THE STORY

Sometime in pre-Napoleon France there was a castle, and in this castle was a shallow jerk who had a spell put on him that only the power of love can break. Hilarity and CGI ensue.

 

THE GOOD

98’s remake of Psycho proves simply copying a classic is no guarantee of success, and while this new B ‘n the B is a straight shot by shot remake in some instances, it does just enough different things to stand on its own. Chiefly it adds some new musical numbers and some back story about Belle’s mother. Which i think serves to deepen and legitimize her and the Beast’s connection to one another, as both of them learn of each others checkered pasts.

It’s a small addition, but that’s precisely what a remake should do; look for ways to show the original source material in a new light or do some things better. Otherwise Disney should just re-release a 3D update for the original classic for an easy payday.

The songs themselves are all pretty decent (though admittedly i don’t much like musicals), i didn’t notice which ones were new (as i haven’t watched the original in at least 20 years) so i think that speaks loads about the quality of the old and new songs here in Beauty and the Beast. Notably the original theme, with its sense of icy melancholy is reused to great effect.

 

THE BAD

The Bad is a bit of a misnomer there aren’t a lot of bad things i have to say about Beauty and the Beast, but what i hold against it has to be put here.

The actors are all fine, but none of them really stood out. Emma Watson is fine as Belle, and she can hold notes well enough which is fine. Dan Stevens is fine as the beast, i have no idea if he just provided his voice or they used a similar method as Rise of the Planet of the Apes. Either way worked, as he’s likable and growly and handsome and all the things the Beast should be. The rest of the supporting cast also turns in good work, with Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Luke Evans all being well cast and having fun in their roles.

And that’s just it, the performances are fine. Just fine, nothing particularly notable or offensive in any of them.

Of the musical numbers i had some issues with the mixing of CGI and live action numbers, mostly that the live action numbers are rather lacking in comparison. As an example Gaston’s musical centerpiece is well put together, being made completely within the real world. But compared to the spectacular Be Our Guest it comes in rather short, as table dancing and fencing can only step up to the challenge of laser light shows, dancing furniture, and fireworks.

Be Our Guest is so effective it makes me wonder why Disney didn’t just reanimate Beauty and the Beast completely, as the sky would be the limit for the other musical numbers if they didn’t have to be done with human beings.

 

THE UGLY

Overall Beauty and the Beast is a pleasant experience, it’s filled with nice visuals, competent story telling, decent songs, and the actors are having fun in their roles.

Nothing nothing in the film is severely lacking and/or offensive and i think only the most die-hard of fans of the original won’t like what they see here, and new comers will be treated to a decent movie that anyone can enjoy.

 

OUT OF FIVE

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