Beauty and the Beast
I’ve been waiting for this since 2015’s Cinderella! Last week Disney invited us to be their guest once again with the live action musical Beauty and the Beast.
So, we know the story obviously because it’s a tale as old as time…Sorry couldn’t be helped. I won’t do that again. Our leading lady is Belle played by Emma Watson (Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, The Perks of Being a Wallflower, My Week with Marilyn) a beautiful young woman with a love for books. In a small boring town with everyday being the same she longs for adventure in the great wide somewhere. Oops. She’s constantly pursued for marriage by the village macho meathead Gaston; Luke Evans (The Girl on the Train, The Three Musketeers *2011, The Raven) with his portly sidekick LaFou; Josh Gad (The Angry Birds Movie, Frozen, Wish I Was Here). But Belle doesn’t want to settle down yet…least not with Gaston so she continues to dream of adventure while she helps her father Maurice played by Kevin Kline (Ricki and the Flash, The Pink Panther, A Fish Called Wanda) with his many inventions. Maurice takes his leave for a one day trip into a town a little further off to sell his gadgets leaving Belle to take care of the farm. But when their horse returns with no Maurice Belle knows something terrible must have happened to her father. Which it did!
The horse takes Belle to where Maurice was last seen which just happens to be a large abandoned castle in the middle of nowhere. Enter the Beast played by Dan Stevens (Night at the Museum 3, Vamps, A Walk Among the Tombstones) who informs Belle that because her father tried to steal from him he is now his prisoner. Belle then makes the ultimate sacrifice to take her father’s place as prisoner so that he may go free. As we know the castle is enchanted the Beast is really a cursed prince and to break the curse and become human once more he must learn to love and be loved in return before the last petal of a magical rose falls.
I know I kinda paraphrased it there at the end but honestly who doesn’t know this story? If you don’t know it I’m sorry ask your four year old they will tell you in grave detail. So yeah, enchantress turns the Prince into a beast and all who lived in the castle into household appliances because the Prince was kind of a jerk. Let’s start with the CGI effects here because they were pretty cool! Lumiere turned candle holder, Cogsworth turned clock and Mrs. Pots turned teapot are just to name a few in that order they are played by Ewan McGregor (Jane Got a Gun, Nanny McPhee Returns, I Love You Phillip Morris), Ian McKellen (Mr. Holmes, The Wolverine, The Hobbit) and Emma Thompson (Burnt, Bridget Jones’s Baby, Stranger Than Fiction). The most fantastic of the three are of course Lumiere and Cogsworth and only because their characters had so much detail to play around with and the artists brought them to exquisite life! Mrs Potts is lovely as well but they did nothing but draw a face on the side of a kettle and called it a day but however simple it did work. Honestly there’s not much you can do for a talking teapot. The beast was done as well though in my opinion he could have been better. I get the feeling that they were trying too hard to follow the designs of the original Beast which is cool but why though? You’re bringing a classic to life why not make it something spectacular? A giant dog with horns is cool and he did look alright but in my opinion go for something more monstrous! Although it is a kid’s movie as well so…let’s leave it at that.
All your favorite songs are here from the opening of Belle to the classic Beauty and the Beast theme. There were probably two songs added that I had never heard of before one sung by the Beast another by Maurice which I heard were in the Broadway musical but not the Disney cartoon. The songs have a little creative spin on them to liven them up such as a dance number with Gaston’s song and there’s a the most spectacular scene in Belle’s theme that was just brilliant directing! I’d explain it but it’s one of those things you gotta see to understand I wouldn’t do it much justice here! Once you see you’ll know what I’m talking about cause you’ll think ‘Whoa! How cool!’
Just about everything else was the same almost word for word with the classic. Almost. There are a few tweaks here and there such as the story of what happened with Belle’s mother and the Enchantress has a slightly bigger role. My only take away from the movie is the song Be Our Guest which in my opinion fell just a little flat. I know this was the big scene and it’s most likely the most anticipated song so it’s probably the fact that I held it high with expectations. It was too flashy with a lot of random graphics which in my opinion took away from the movie. Lumiere is acting too silly and for some reason Mrs. Pots verse left me wishing for the original. But I may be over judging though I really don’t think I am.
Rated PG for some action, violence, peril and frightening images.
Rotten Tomatoes currently has this blockbuster at a 70% fresh which is insanely awesome!
There’s really no reason to not see this movie. We’d been waiting for years for this Beauty and the Beast and for the most part it did live up to the hype! The acting was fantastic, Emma can sing, the graphics were spot on, the songs are amazing and it leaves you with that warm fuzzy blanket of nostalgia. Maybe after work you can go to a nice dinner theater and see it? After all, if you’re stressed it’s fine dining we suggest! …I’ll stop now. I’m done! I’m done!