Entertainment

Beauty & the Beast – A Review

Kylee & Courtney

 

Since the moment I first heard it was coming out I was excited. When I heard the casting, I was even more excited. Getting to see one of my favorite Disney movies in the theaters again was something truly magical. Though I haven’t been as big of a fan of their past live action remakes (Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon were not my personal jam), I knew this one would be different. And though the child part of me was head over heels for it, there were also some parts I didn’t truly love about the new take.

 

I’ve been looking forward to Disney’s Beauty and the Beast remake and had high expectations going into the show and can I just say at the outset…Disney delivered! And, they delivered big! There is so much garbage out there masquerading as entertainment that it’s refreshing when a movie entertains an audience without resorting to crude humor, profanity, nudity, brutality, sex or anything else base. Bravo, Disney! Obviously, Beauty and the Beast is intended to be family friendly fare (and it certainly is). But, I can assure you that we (6 young adults and my husband and I) enjoyed it just as much as the entranced little kids sitting around us in the theater. Two thumbs up from me!

    

emma watson as belle in beauty and the beast

 

What Kylee loves:

  • Gaston. As a kid, I thought Gaston was just the worst character ever, but seeing Luke Evans fill the roll, I was in love. Not so much in love with Gaston, but the way he played the character was just so relatable to certain guys I’ve run across before that I couldn’t stop laughing. And the Gaston song? By far, hands down the best of the whole movie.
  • The new Beast song was beautiful. The other new songs they tried to add I really could have done without – they weren’t bad necessarily, just forgettable and did not add much. But the Beast’s song as Belle’s leaving was beautifully written and sung.
  • They gave the characters a little more depth. Gaston more sinister, Lafou more intelligent and complex, and Belle a little more quirky. I’m glad they made Gaston more than just a jerk, but someone truly with a little more evil underneath the layers of shallowness. Lafou wasn’t just the bumbling sidekick, but instead an actual friend considering what was right and wrong. I also appreciated they gave Belle a little more to work with besides just liking books as what made her so weird.

 

What Courtney loves:

  • I was surprised and pleased to see that Disney followed the original animated version almost word for word making the new Beauty and the Beast an almost perfect re-creation of the version my kids and I grew to love in their childhood.
  • The visual effects are stunning. Check out Cogsworth, Lumiere, and the Beast…Wow! The costuming and sets are insane. The casting is perfect. Disney nailed Gaston with casting Luke Evans in the role. Emma Watson carries off Belle without a hitch. And as a Downton Abbey mega fan I was a little uncertain about Matthew playing the Beast but can I just say that Dan Stevens is quite a Prince. There’s not a single misstep in the cast. It’s perfect as far as I’m concerned.
  • For me and my kids, part of what made the original animated Beauty and the Beast so remarkable was the music. Disney’s live action version (thankfully) kept the original music and threw in a few new songs. Evermore, sung by the Beast toward the end of the movie is fantastic! I could have listened to it over and over! I loved it so much I downloaded it the next day and have listened to it over and over. Amazing music!  

 

What Kylee hates:

  • The additional back stories. I’m sorry, call me a hater but I did not love the new/additional backstories they tried to give to all the characters. It just felt like adding time to an already lengthy movie. SPOILER ALERT: especially the scene where she can go anywhere in the world and goes to the house she doesn’t even remember but happens to still be standing exactly how her father left it 20+ years ago, just to get upset and ask to leave after 5 minutes. Like c’mon, no normal person would do that if given the chance to go anywhere. And what a killjoy move Belle. For real, way to bring down the mood.
  • The way some of the classic songs were sung bothered me a lot. I get trying to change up some things a little, but the Beauty and the Beast song for example, the main title suite? Just sing it straight please, stop trying to switch up the style and make it sound more musically – just let me have my original masterpiece please.
  • The autotune. Oh the autotune. It’s pretty bad. Most so in the very opening number and then gets a little better throughout. As someone with no musical vocal talent, I get it, I empathize. But Disney for real?! This is your big grand remake and you resort to autotune? They should have gotten another singer to record instead – just like they did in the classic Disney movies like Aladin. No one can tell the difference between the actress and the singer, but it sounds so much better.

 

What Courtney hates:

  • As much as I love all things Disney and especially this movie, I hate what felt like a total publicity stunt by Disney – to make Gaston’s sidekick, Lefou, gay. After watching the movie, the whole thing felt incredibly blown out of proportion and overhyped, a last minute inclusion just to up the media chatter surrounding the release of the movie. This is my only gripe about the movie.

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