FILM REVIEW – ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ (2017)

One of the most highly anticipated films of 2017 from Disney kids young and old has finally arrived! Beauty and the Beast is currently burning up the silver screen, setting box office records, and delighting audiences everywhere.

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(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

 

True to the original animated movie, this is a musical. It’s beautifully shot, and the CGI on the Beast character is quite amazing. But what about the rest? Read on to see more!

DON’T WORRY – THIS REVIEW IS 100% SPOILER FREE!

Emma Watson (of the Harry Potter franchise) plays the lead character, Belle, the daughter of tinker, Maurice (Kevin Kline). She’s a rare beauty and a rarer woman of intellect. She has a great love of books and a strong desire for adventure outside of her tiny provincial town (and there goes that song again!).

BeautyBeast2

(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

Luke Evans (of the Hobbit trilogy, Dracula Untold) plays the thick-headed and self-absorbed Gaston. It’s a lesser character than we’ve seen Evans in, but he manages to pull it off. His personal belief in his perfection and manliness is bolstered by Josh Gad’s Lefou (Frozen) who fawns all over Gaston constantly, going so far as to sing a song dedicated to Gaston’s awesomeness. Why does he need this pep talk? Well, if you’ve seen the original, you’ll already know, if not, it’s because Belle tells him she will never marry him.

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(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

The story pretty much follows the animated version bit for bit. They do add in a few odds and ends, a couple of extra songs, but it’s almost an exact replica of the animated tale. A little disappointing, as I was hoping for something more, but die-hard fans of the original should be extremely happy with this. Don’t go trying to fix what isn’t broken, after all.

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(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

Don’t get me wrong, the CGI is fan-freaking-tastic. Cogsworth (Sir Ian McKellen) and Lumiere (Ewan McGregor) are beautifully executed. The rest of the cursed staff are a bit more cartoonlike than I expected, especially after all the effort they put into making the other three look realistic. Some of the sets seemed a bit too contrived, too, almost as though they were drawn or painted as opposed to being actual places. I know, I’m getting WAY too picky for a Disney flick. I’m just going to say that they production looked more like a play than an actual movie in parts (there, I said it!) and that’s not exactly a bad thing, just an odd one.

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(image courtesy of Walt Disney Pictures)

The Bottom Line:
Overall, Beauty and the Beast is a very, very good movie, and absolutely deserves all the praise it gets, and is absolutely worth seeing in theaters… once. As for my take on it…

Did I like it? Absolutely.
Overall, it was pretty well done. It was amusing when it was supposed to be, serious when required, and it’s lesson was easy to understand (all Disney movies have a lesson, shut up, internet types, and just live with it). So, yes, I liked it.

Did I love it? well.. no.
Emma was awesome as Belle, Luke is annoyingly gorgeous as Gaston, and Josh makes you giggle as Lefou just as he does as Olaf. – Oh my goodness, I forgot to mention Dan Stevens (of Downton Abbey) as the Beast! – That might be because you only see his face in the last five minutes of the movie. His Beast could’ve been taken from the original animated movie and no one would’ve noticed. To be honest, the original voice work done by Robby Benson had a lot more power behind it. Stevens seems to lack the forcefulness that the Beast requires at times. He does do well at the thoughtful moments, though.

So while the story-telling was great, and the cast (sans Beast) was fantastic, especially WatsonGad, McKellen, and McGregor who stole the show; it did leave a tiny bit to be desired for me. Then again, this is only my opinion. – 7.5/10

.

-Hannah Collins
Staff Writer: Nerd Nation Magazine
@NerdNationPress

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