Beauty and the Beast (2017)

beauty and the beast 2017 poster rose
8.0 Overall Score
Story: 8/10
Acting: 8/10
Visuals: 8/10

Good cast, good looking

Rehash to fix a couple of plotholes, too long

Movie Info

Movie Name:   Beauty and the Beast

Studio:  Walt Disney Pictures

Genre(s):  Musical/Drama/Comedy/Romance/Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Family

Release Date(s):  February 23, 2017 (Premiere)/March 17, 2017 (US)

MPAA Rating:  PG

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Still creepy that they are human…yes have another drink from Chip

In a hidden castle in the French countryside a Beast (Dan Stevens) resides with his servants all under a curse.  When Maurice (Kevin Kline) becomes lost in the woods, his rescue by his daughter Belle (Emma Watson) could be the hope that the Beast and his servants need to break the spell before it is too late.  Unfortunately, time has made the Beast bitter and for Belle to see into his true heart, she must learn to love him for what he is and shatter the spell.

Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast is a live-action adaptation of Walt Disney’s classic 1991 animated film while combining aspects of the 1994 stage musical.  It is an adaptation of the Gabrielle-Suzanne Barbot de Villeneuve fairy tale from 1740 and became one of Disney’s biggest blockbusters.  The movie received largely positive reviews and was nominated for Academy Awards for Best Costume Design and Best Production Design.

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Love…exciting and new

The original Beauty and the Beast (along with The Little Mermaid) rejuvenated Disney and saved it from the doldrums it was facing in the 1970s and 1980s.  The film helped reinvent the animated picture and brought respect with an Academy Award nomination.  Disney began revisiting their old animated feature and making live action features…Beauty and the Beast was a natural in that sense.

The problem with the trend is that a lot of the movies they are revisiting are solid animated features.  Beauty and the Beast has stood up with the test of time and remains a good picture.  Revisiting it here works to tie-up some plot hole (like why they don’t know the castle exists), why they just don’t tell Belle about the curse, and why LeFou is such a hanger-on among other things.  It just doesn’t seem necessary and doesn’t feel like it necessitates a movie with a runtime of over two hours for kids.

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Oh Gaston…you are such a psychopath

The cast is strong.  Emma Watson demonstrated a headstrong empowered girl in the Harry Potter series and she’s now grown into leading lady roles with that same fervor.  Dan Stevens is pretty bland as the Beast (but to be honest it is kind of a bland role) and Kevin Kline is nice casting as Belle’s father.  A lot of attention was drawn to Josh Gad’s portrayal of LeFou as gay since it was a Disney film and Luke Evans’ Gaston comes off as more of a psychopath.  While good, I don’t feel that Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson are as good in the roles of the furniture when compared to the original but they aren’t bad and are joined by Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, and Nathan Mack.

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Beast…Dance like nobody’s watching!

Visually, the movie does adapt the animated movie’s look and style.  While the animated version was a revelation with its combination of computer and traditional animation, this movie already has the advantage of the technology so it doesn’t seem as amazing that the makers are able to put it together.  It also appears like a lot of green-screen shots at points.

Beauty and the Beast isn’t a bad movie despite my criticism, but it feels like an unnecessary movie.  It is a sign of the laziness of Hollywood and the recycling of old ideas (really old if you consider the age of the story) and the quest for money.  I realize this isn’t new (Alice in Wonderland and even 101 Dalmatians have been tapped in the past).  It seems like a rerelease of the original animated movie in the theaters might have been a nice substitute for the film.  With its success, Disney is moving forward with its live action adaptations with Dumbo in 2019.

Related Links:

Beauty and the Beast (1991)

Beauty and the Beast:  The Enchanted Christmas (1997)

Beauty and the Beast (1946)

The 90th Academy Award Nominations

Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter/Instagram/Letterboxd @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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