By: Reel 127 (Four Beers) –
It’s pretty hard to not know that Disney is going through their catalog of classics and remaking them. If you haven’t seen the millions of trailers and ads every time one of these movies get released, then you certainly see some piece of entertainment news each week about it. After the success of Jungle Book, Disney’s newest remake is Beauty and the Beast. And I was actually pretty excited to see this film. The original Beauty and the Beast is not only one of my favorite animated movies, but one of my favorite movies, as it is for many people. Is it a good remake, though?
The movie is well-produced. That is its strongest point by far. The costumes are beautiful and well used though out. And the design of the Beast’s castle is great! I especially enjoyed the designs of the various servants of the castle. Where the cartoon just had objects with faces on them, this version does a great job of making them look like real objects; blending human features in to give a great feel of personality.
Josh Gad and Luke Evans as LeFou and Gaston were one of the best things of the movie. It seems like no matter what movie Josh Gad is in he can stand out in it. The comedic chemistry the two have for this film is great and I found myself smiling anytime the two were together. I very much enjoyed the opening scene to this movie, taking the old prologue of Beauty and the Beast and actually showing it play out, introducing important characters to us in just the brief moment they are on screen. Plus, they fixed a few continuity issues of the old film in the process.
Bear with me on this one as I try to explain my rating. While this isn’t a bad movie, it certainly has its problem. The easiest way I could sum up the problems of this film is that they were trying to fix something perfect. As a result, some things work well while others fall really, really flat.
The original animated movie is fantastic and it’s hard to find problems with it. The new Beauty and the Beast fixed the few glaring problems of the original, such as the question of what happened to the Beast’s parents. He still doesn’t get his real name, though. They even got rid of the not yet made Eiffel Tower during the “Be Our Guest” number.
Though they replaced it with a guillotine joke.
The other thing France is known for!
The supporting cast was honestly more of a stand out then the two leads. This is a good example of improvements that were good and bad. Gaston, LeFou, and Maurice were way more developed and had better stories in this one. But then Belle and the Beast’s stories just felt like they were on auto-pilot. Like the people making the movie went, “Yeah, everybody knows this story, so we don’t need to think about it. Heck! We tell the whole story in a three minute song!”
A song that of course needed yet another cover.
Of the few things that were just bad and not a result of poor adaption, I would say the exteriors were pretty terrible. The interior sets were all very well done. But anytime something took place outside it was very obviously a set. I get that the intent was to create a fairytale-esqe setting. But it just ends up looking fake. I’ve heard some people say Emma Watson was really good in this. But she just seemed really bland. Nothing stood out about her performance. This was as forgettable as when she was in My Week with Marilyn.
You forgot she was in that movie.
Just a nitpick because it is one of those clichés that bugs me. Of course Romeo & Juliet gets a name drop for being a great “love” story, but they also mention the story of Guinevere and Lancelot. So the first story is about two hormone ridden teens who kill themselves, and the second is about an unfaithful wife who then had her lover, the best knight around, always be her champion for trials brought against her. Great love story examples there.
You might as well add Jaime and Cersei
to your list of love stories.
This is definitely not a bad movie. There is plenty to applaud this movie for. Ultimately it serves as a nostalgia trip. But by the time I left the theater I had a sour taste in my mouth. The movie is a half hour longer than the original and that half hour felt more like a chore to get through. I wouldn’t recommend rushing out to see this one. Hell, you can probably wait till it is on VOD. I hope Disney’s next live action remakes can do better than this.
I still have hope for this one.
Beauty and the Beast (2017) Drinking Game
Take a Drink: every time Belle says “papa” with a very odd accent.
Take a Drink: every time Gaston treats someone like crap.
Take a Drink: for every musical number you can sing along with.
Do a Shot: when said musical numbers go on longer than you thought they would.
Finish Your Drink: When you find out that whole “gay character” controversy was over 10 seconds of footage in a 2 hour movie.