Friday, April 14, 2017

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast [SPOILERS]

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I finally got around to seeing the new live action version of Beauty and the Beast. I love Disney's cartoon version (don't we all?), so I was very pleased that this movie stuck very closely to the original. BUT I did not think the changes did the story any justice:

-The added songs aren't necessary. We all love the original songs, and the new ones were put in there just to make the movie last longer (it's out of fashion to make any movie shorter than two hours, apparently.)

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-This version felt the need to explain what happened to Belle's mother (do any of us care?). Supposedly the enchantress left not only a magical rose, but a book with a map that can take you anywhere in the world. Belle wants to see where she lived as a baby, and it's this tiny one-room apartment in Paris. We find out that Belle's mother had the plague, so her father took Belle away as a baby so that she wouldn't get sick, too. They just abandoned her mom to die! Definitely didn't need to see that.

Well, I guess Angela Lansbury is getting kinda old...But still! Image found here
-Angela Lansbury is still alive. While I do like Emma Thompson, Lansbury IS Mrs. Potts, and no one else should play her!

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-I couldn't even tell who was playing some of the characters! Ewan McGregor, who is so good looking, plays Lumiere the candlestick, and even when he became human again, I still didn't recognize him! Ian McKellen, another well-known actor, plays Cogsworth, and again I had no idea! And Stanley Tucci as the pianist has hair and a mustache! Why?!

-Added characters, like Agathe, were unnecessary. And I didn't think she was that beautiful as the enchantress; she looked more like a ghost!

Beauty And The Beast GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
Maybe they couldn't find enough old books for this scene AND the beast's library? GIF found here
-The bookstore/library in Belle's town is much more meager than in the cartoon version. In this movie, the place doesn't even have ten books!

-At some point the movie mixed Belle up with Rapunzel: she was trying to escape from a tall tower. Get your fairy tales right!
Beauty And The Beast GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY
GIF found here
-The gaggle of girls who ogle Gaston are brunette. They're so much cuter as blondes!

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GIF found here
-The dance scene is beautiful, but I wasn't feeling the modern moves. Maybe that's just me speaking as a dancer.

-This story is supposed to take place in the mid-1700's. I did like the Marie Antoinette-feel of the opening scene at the castle, but I did not appreciate the historical inaccuracies. I won't say anything more about it, but I found that distracting.

But don't get me wrong: this movie is so much like the original version that I still very much enjoyed it. And it's still very romantic (although I don't feel quite the same connection between Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as I do with the characters in the cartoon).

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Swoon. GIF found here
*I saw the play version a while back. Read that blog post here.

*One of the previews was for the movie Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul. Alicia Silverstone is looking old! I guess her Clueless days are far behind her. The same goes for That Thing You Do's Tom Everett Scott

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