Beauty and the Beast (2017) – If it were in a theater rather than a cinema, it would have been great.
But the fact is we saw this before when it was called Beauty & the Beast.
The songs we all heard before. Rather than an animated background you have a computer animated background but we have still seen it before.
We sit down and pay to watch a movie we already saw turn live action and follow the same plot, the same game, as the movie we fell in love with oh so many years ago.
We are living in an era for that, but we still want it to change at least a little.
Like all remakes it is dull and boring and utterly mindless. Like all remakes it makes changes that are unnecessary and irritating and in some cases, fairly insulting to the fans of the original: Belle, not her father, is the eccentric town inventor and that would, maybe, work if he wasn’t supposed get locked up for being, well, the eccentric town inventor with a story about a Beast.
Take away the establishment of one character that is sort of necessary to the plot and give it to another where it is less important to advance the story and do it only because, well, it’s a remake, you have to find at least one way to really insult the fans…
And changes like this are the only way to do it because, otherwise, you have the EXACT same movie you saw before with little changes made to really just drag the monotony out as much as you can.
I hate remakes, but the fact that it IS THE SAME MOVIE just makes it so much more monotonous to watch than your average remake.
Shameless money grab that is sub-par at best
Let me preface by saying that while the ’91 cartoon is my favorite movie of all time, I am not a strict cartoon purist, as the Broadway musical of BATB is also one of my favorites and there are other takes on the fairy tale that I really enjoy as well. But, when you are doing the songs from the cartoon and even replicate some scenes shot-for-shot, I expect that the characters should feel familiar and the quality of the production should live up to its predecessor. Unfortunately, this 2017 version falls dreadfully short.
CASTING – The biggest blunder is Emma Watson in the lead role. This is not to disparage her as an actress in general, but she is not right for this. Her Belle lacks grace, enthusiasm, warmth and sincerity. She seems bored, and while it sounds like she could have quite a sweet voice with further training, it is evident she does not have that skill set yet. In the other title role, Dan Stevens’ Beast is all CGI and you never forget it. They’ve also edited his voice to make him sound more “beastly”, which makes his solo awkward to listen to. One has to wonder why they didn’t just cast someone with a deeper voice then? The character also seems a more like a grumpy old man than a tortured soul in a beastly body. Why did Disney cast “Hollywood names” instead of people who were best for the role? It’s not like there was ever a doubt this would be a box office smash anyway given the beloved source material. I also never believed for a moment the relationship between any of the characters with the exception of the playful rivalry/camaraderie between Cogsworth & Lumiere.
CGI AND MUSIC – For a “live action” version, it certainly feels more stilted and unreal. The CGI in general looks fake, and the enchanted objects are creepy. There are new songs but they are mostly dull. Now, I think Alan Menken is a musical genius, so perhaps it had something to do with having to write songs for non- singers. The Beast’s new song is the best of the bunch, but the emotion doesn’t seem appropriate for the scene. The reused songs have new arrangements & new lyrics, but with the exception of The Mob Song, the changes are distracting and feel oddly paced.
STORYLINE – In truth, the whole movie is oddly paced. Things are dragged out that don’t need to be, and other things zoom by that should have been fleshed out. They give backstories, but odd ones at odd times in odd ways. Minor spoilers: For example, Gaston is a soldier who saved the village and that’s why everyone loves him. He likes Belle for her looks but also her dignity.By giving the villagers a very good reason to like him, he is no longer a foil for the Beast. Gaston is supposed to be handsome, strong and charismatic and people equate that with being good. The Beast is ugly so they automatically think he’s bad. Is not the moral that it’s actually what’s on the inside that counts? It seems they have forgotten the point. Even Belle makes a joke in poor taste at the end which undermines the message. Furthermore, significant details are altered which result in the Beast not changing & the leads basically falling in love by accident, and (SPOILER) the enchanted rose has no real significance in the end (END SPOILER)
I could say more, but I think you get the picture. I wanted to like it, but it grossly failed to enchant.
Water and CGI does not an instant classic make
As a fan of the original Disney film (Personally I feel it’s their masterpiece) I was taken aback to the fact that a new version was in the making. Still excited I had high hopes for the film. Most of was shattered in the first 10 minutes. Campy acting with badly performed singing starts off a long journey holding hands with some of the worst CGI Hollywood have managed to but to screen in ages.
A film that is over 50% GCI, should focus on making that part believable, unfortunately for this film, it’s far from that. It looks like the original film was ripped apart frame by frame and the beautiful hand-painted drawings have been replaced with digital caricatures. Besides CGI that is bad, it’s mostly creepy. As the little teacup boy will give me nightmares for several nights to come. Emma Watson plays the same character as she always does, with very little acting effort and very little conviction as Belle. Although I can see why she was cast in the film based on merits, she is far from the right choice for the role. Dan Stevens does alright under as some motion captured dead-eyed Beast, but his performance feels flat as well. Luke Evans makes for a great pompous Gaston, but a character that has little depth doesn’t really make for a great viewing experience. Josh Gad is a great comic relief just like the original movie’s LeFou. Other than that, none of the cast stands out enough for me to remember them. Human or CHI creature. I was just bored through out the whole experience. And for a project costing $160 000 000, I can see why the PR department is pushing it so hard because they really need to get some cash back on this pile of wet stinky CGI-fur!
All and all, I might be bias from really loving Disney’s first adaptation. That for me marks the high-point of all their work, perfectly combining the skills of their animators along with some CGI in a majestic blend. This film however is more like the bucket you wash off your paintbrush in, it has all the same colors, but muddled with water and to thin to make a captivating story from. The film is quite frankly not worth your time, you would be better off watching the original one more time.
Skip this movie. You won’t miss anything
Skip this movie. You won’t miss anything. Except perhaps the good performance by Luke Evans as Gaston. But still, the bad aspects of this film just overrides any good ones.
There were too many distractions in the film that it does not evolve into a movie experience. There are lots of propaganda in this film. If you would like to put racial minority actors, you don’t pick 18th century France as your setting. I am a racial minority so I can say this. They also depict that gays as mostly men in drag, weak and the so called gay scenes are not empowering at all but rather tacky. I am gay, so I have a right to say this.
The worst distraction and aspect of this film is Emma Watson. She doesn’t give justice to the role of Belle. You can see it in her eyes. This actress grew up with everything, having played Hermione. Belle is a sweet, innocent provincial lass. Every time I look at Emma Watson, it seems like I am waiting for her to roll her eyeballs or take out a cellphone and tweet.
Dan Stevens looked effeminate and his beast form should have been a bird and not a mammal. Josh Gad looked mechanical, uninspired and unconvincing as gay LeFou.
I watched this film because I was afraid I would miss out on something historic or a good film sequence. But sadly there was none. I should have skipped this.