Beauty and the Beast Review
Here’s our Beauty and the Beast review to help you choose wisely which movie to watch with your hard-earned cash. The film is directed by Bill Condon and stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast.
To start of this Beauty and the Beast review, allow me to post these awesome trailers and remind you that the movie opens March 16 and will be distributed locally by Walt Disney Studios PH.
Now, on to the actual Beauty and the Beast review.
The film was lifted almost entirely from the 1991 animated movie which was also released by Disney. It was big back then and I can tell you now that THIS film will be twice as big; in part because of amazing visuals from Team Disney. The other part? Nostalgia.
I think Disney will strike gold for this movie with the nostalgia card. Not only do they hit the kids who were enthralled by the original but also the kids of those now-grown up ’91 kids. I for one fall into the demographic and when my daughter gets to understand the concept of movies, this is one of the movies I’ll have her see.
I’m on the fence on Emma Watson. Sure she’s princess-y and very pretty onscreen but there are moments that her acting here as Belle falls flat. But that’s OK, she makes up for those scenes where she really acts. Did she “phone it in” in terms of performance? I don’t think so. Maybe they just chose a wrong shot.
Dan Stevens is a beast. no pun intended. The guys acts via mo-cap, sings like only a royal beast can and even get cute. There’s also the fact that he is a handsome, handsome man when he *spoilers* becomes human *end of spoilers*. But seriously, if not for the obvious CGI for most of the movie, Stevens could have really killed it.
Other cast members gave stellar performances ESPECIALLY Luke Evans who seems to have been destined to play live-action Gaston. Its like all his other roles from “Dracula Untold” to “The Hobbit” had something that prepped him to be Gaston.
Speaking of visuals, they work well here. As always, its relative whether you catch it on IMAX or 2D. For me though, catching “Beauty and the Beast” on IMAX 3D had its benefits. For one the song number “Be Our Guest” becomes a visual buffet with vivid colors and grade-A animation (not to mention stellar performance from Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson). I swear they had it easier because they just had to translate whatever was in the animated feature to live action, still with CGI and green screen technology.
So what’s new for the 2017 Beauty and the Beast movie? For one they added more depth to certain characters. Gaston for example is now revealed as having been a military man who loves violence, this gives Luke Evans’ performance more meat. There’s the tragic backstory for both Belle and Beast, which in turns gives them more reasons to fall in love with each other. Josh Gad’s LaFou also gets more here as opposed to his 1991 appearance where he barely gets to do anything other than be Gaston’s foil.
There were other things from the original Disney movie that kinda gets resolved or answered. One was how people from the village seem to have no clue that there’s a frigging castle nearby; or how Belle was able to bring back the Beast to the castle after their encounter with the wolves.
Oh they have a few new songs for the film too. Doesn’t stray far from the themes and I dig the new song they gave Beast here as he watches Belle leave his castle to return to her father.
Beauty and the Beast Review – Deeper Stories
One of the things that I was happy about when we stepped out of the IMAX theater last night was the richer backstory they gave Belle and the Beast and how it circles around them and how all of those things shaped up towards seeing things they swore were never there before.
Beast apparently happens to have a sad childhood due in part to the death of his mother. His father then raised him to be the person he was written to be; which ultimately led him to be cursed. Belle suffers the same fate as a child, with her being raised by her father with love and affection and nurtured her love of reading. So when the two gets together and they open up, we automatically have something that they can rally behind or relate to each other. Pretty slick Disney.
Then there’s also the theme of freedom. They explore this in trickles. Whether it’s Belle’s longing to be free from the village’s perception of her, or her want for freedom from the Beast’s castle. Beast obviously wants to be free from his curse. So much allusions and references to the concept of freedom.
Beauty and the Beast Review – Verdict
While they gave it a shiny facelift this is still the “Beauty and the Beast” that we all know and love. Same songs, retooled and repurposed stuff here and there but still the same. Got me good on the feels side too because I’m remembering someone dear to me who brought me along to watch the animated version decades ago in SM Centerpoint.
I leave this review with a question, now that we have a GREAT BnB movie, are we seeing the second coming of the Disney Renaissance?
“Beauty and the Beast” opens March 16