Monday, December 4, 2017

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Number Rolled: 69
Movie Name/Year: Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Tagline: Be our guest.
Genre: Family, Fantasy, Musical
Length: 129 minutes
Rating: PG
Production Companies: Mandeville Films, Walt Disney Pictures
Producer: Steve Gaub, Don Hahn, David Hoberman, Jeremy Johns, Todd Lieberman, Jack Morrissey, Thomas Schumacher, Jeffrey Silver, Greg Yolen, Alexander Young
Director: Bill Condon
Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos, Linda Woolverton, Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve, Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont
Actors: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Haydn Gwynne, Gerard Horan, Ray Fearon, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Clive Rowe, Thomas Padden, Gizmo, Adrian Schiller, Harriet Jones, Adam Mitchell, Tom Turner, Alexis Loizon,
Stunt Doubles: Guiomar Alonso, Adam Basil, Matt Crook, Douglas Robson

Blurb from Netflix: Held captive in an enchanted castle where clocks and candlesticks come to life, a brave young woman clashes with a beastly but good-hearted prince.

Selina’s Point of View:
Growing up, Beauty and the Beast (1991) was my all-time favorite Disney movie. Needless to say, when this live-action remake came out with such a brilliant cast attached, I was all about wanting to see it.

I wasn’t able to go to theaters for it, I can’t remember why. But I was disappointed when I couldn’t. I’m glad it hit Netflix so quickly.

As the movie goes, there was a lot of recognizable scenes and music, but with extra bits and pieces thrown in. New songs to get into, and more in-depth bits of story added to explain smaller aspects of the characters. On top of that, the cast was well chosen… though I wasn’t overly fond of Dan Stevens’ make-up job when he wasn’t in the form of the beast.

I get that the beginning make-up job was to stay true to the fashion of that era in France, but after he was returned to his human form? There was no excuse for that.

There are definite parts of this story that I can appreciate the artistic reality of more as an adult.

For instance, when Gaston finally learned about the Beast from the mirror and used a five second glimpse of something he didn’t understand to whip the villagers into a blood-lust frenzy. When I was a little girl, I didn’t understand that. I figured they were just doing that to make it a scarier part, but that there was no actual real-life translation there. Now, however, we’re pretty much living that moment on constant loop here. No one double checks fact. No one is willing to get the whole story. Everyone is willing to blame whomever a finger is pointed to for all the evil in the world.

I had no idea, as a child, how true-to-life that mob mentality scene was. Knowing it now, that scene is much more terrifying.

I greatly enjoyed this adaptation of one of my favorite childhood films. They did the story proud.

Cat’s Point of View:
My daughter and I went with some friends to see this movie in the theater when it was first released. We thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and I was quite happy to watch it again. I am immensely glad that I did get to see this on the big screen, though. While excellent at any size, it was quite breathtaking with the stunning visuals throughout.

It’s hard to know where to begin in describing just how amazing this was. It was satisfying on so many levels.

My daughter had one of those ‘ugh mom!’ moments watching this in the theater with me because I couldn’t help myself and was singing along with a few of the songs – very softly, of course. All of the classic songs from the 1991 animated movie are present – and there are new ones added for this film.

This movie is a bit longer than the original due to some of the added content. Purists shouldn’t fret, however, because the music was co-written by Alan Menken (Enchanted, Galavant, Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Return), who was responsible for all of the iconic original numbers.

Honestly, there are places that almost feel like you could frame by frame compare this movie to the animated classic. There were just enough changes to update it stylistically; which kept it feeling nostalgic, familiar, and yet fresh. I can’t tell you how happy I was that they kept the movie a musical rather than converting it into your average cinematic experience as with the live action Cinderella (2015).

The cast was absolutely phenomenal. They really captured the essence of the roles.

Emma Watson (The Bling Ring, Noah, Regression) is far more than the brightest witch of her age – she has quite a lovely singing voice. I was really happy with her nuanced portrayal of Belle. I have yet to see Dan Stevens (The Guest, The Cobbler, Colossal) in a role where he didn’t knock my socks off. To play the Beast here, he was fitted with some stilt prosthetics and a motion capture suit to pull off a blend of both practical and CGI effects.

Luke Evans (Immortals, No One Lives, Dracula Untold) also did well with the character everyone loves to hate – Gaston. I didn’t realize that he had such a good singing voice. His scenes with Josh Gad (Marmaduke, Love & Other Drugs, Jobs) were hilarious. Of course, the role of LeFou was expanded a bit here, and I loved the spin they put on it. It made so much sense for the character. Evans and Gad were able to improvise a good deal within their characters’ rapport.

If you’re a fan of the fairytale at the heart of the story or the original 1991 movie, you won’t be disappointed here. The live-action treatment only enhances the magical qualities of the animated film and gives a spectacular visual feast that, paired with the music, is a treat for the senses. I don’t think I could get tired of watching this one.

If you’re looking for a good movie to curl up with the family to stream at home this holiday season – this one should do the trick.

Speech Available: English, Spanish
Subtitles Available: English, Spanish

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 71%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 81%
Metascore – 65/100
Metacritic User Score – 6.8/10
IMDB Score – 7.3/10

Trust the Dice: Selina’s Rating4.5/5
Trust the Dice: Cat’s Rating5/5

Movie Trailer:

No comments:

Post a Comment