‘Beauty and the Beast’ is Absolutely Gorgeous and Redundant

Beauty and the Beast

The 1991 animated version of Beauty and the Beast was a landmark achievement. It was a major contributing factor to the early ‘90s revival of Disney animation and was the first animated film to ever be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars. The movie became a pop culture phenomenon, inspiring a number of spoofs and homages over the years, most famously “See My Vest” from The Simpsons. Now Beauty and the Beast joins the long line of animated classics that Walt Disney Studios is bringing to the big screen in live action versions. Directed by Bill Condon, this latest incarnation of Beauty and the Beast is a stunning piece of visual beauty to behold but doesn’t do anything new with the story that wasn’t done infinitely better a quarter century ago.

Everyone know the story: In a quaint French village, Belle (Emma Watson) lives with her artist father Maurice (Kevin Kline), though the young woman yearns for something more outside of the small town. Belle is constantly pursued by Gaston (Luke Evans), a macho warrior with his friend and companion LeFou (Josh Gad) always by his side. When Maurice doesn’t return from a trip, Belle goes in search of him and discovers a decaying mansion which has had a curse placed upon it years ago. The resident of the rotting castle is the Beast (Dan Stevens), formerly a prince until his selfishness led to an enchantress placing a curse upon him, his household, and all of his servants. In order to lift the curse, the Beast must be capable of giving and receiving love before the final petal of a magical rose falls from the stem.

Of course, Belle and Beast’s romance is aided by the various furnishing breathing with life. There’s the candelabra Lumière (Ewan McGregor), the clock Cogsworth (Ian McKellan), the kettle Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) and her son, a teacup, Chip (Nathan Mack), the wardrobe Madame Garderobe (Audra McDonald), and the piano Maestro Cadenza (Stanley Tucci). These beloved characters bring the hit songs to this version as they did with 1991 classic, belting out “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast.”

Familiarity is at once the chief selling point for Beauty and the Beast and a major reason that its story doesn’t have remotely the same impact that it did the last time around. The screenplay by Stephen Chbosky and Evan Spiliotopoulos doesn’t breathe new life into the story as much as it simply aims to revive the magic of the past. With nothing new to do with the story, one wonders what the purpose of this live action remake is aside from helping the bottom line and pleasing the stockholders.

While the story of this version of Beauty and the Beast doesn’t quite tug on the heartstrings with the same efficiency of the animated classic, it is certainly something to look at. Bill Condon has assembled a team of artisans that craft a gorgeous world with lush costume, set, and production design that is vibrant with its colors. Condon has fun with the IMAX 3D, hurling items at the screen and creating moments of whirlwind visual splendor. Even the live action sequences with modest CGI flair are dazzling, as Gaston sings his own praises in the local tavern in a segment that is straight out of a classic musical. However, most of the moments of visceral grandeur come at the expense of the story’s pacing. Even when the story is meandering or just plain overly familiar, there’s always something on the screen to catch your eye.

As the Beast, Dan Stevens is obscured by the motion capture and voice modulation that is necessary for his character. The motion capture technology on display here seems like a step backwards from the photorealism of last year’s The Jungle Book. It’s still a technological marvel, nonetheless, but not an awe-inspiring digital creation. Emma Watson seems as if she was born into the role of Belle, approaching the role with a quiet grace. The real standout performance of Beauty and the Beast goes to Luke Evans as Gaston. Recently, the British actor has been reveling in playing villainous creations and he delivers most of the film’s funniest moments and the biggest, brashest persona of them all. As for the much ballyhooed sexuality of LeFou, it’s another case of the publicity taking precedent over the content. There’s nothing controversial about this character as presented. Among the servants in the castle, Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen work off each other wonderfully as Lumière and Cogsworth, with McGregor surprisingly inflecting a scene-stealing French accent.

Fans of the animated classic will love reliving the beloved tale in its gorgeous live action version. Likewise, children unfamiliar with the 1991 version will be raptured by the colors and songs of Beauty and the Beast. If you’re looking for something that is even the slightest bit different from the animated version, you’ll be underwhelmed by the familiarity of the film’s construction while dazzled by the stunning visual beauty. Beauty and the Beast isn’t a bad retelling of an animated classic; it’s just a movie that doesn’t have a purpose aside from the bottom line when it could’ve been so much more.

Shop Deadpool tees in our officially licensed Marvel store!

Leave a Reply

Animation/Anime Interviews Animation/Anime News Animation/Anime Reviews Film/TV Interviews Film/TV News Film/TV Review
Ben Wheatley and the Cast of ‘Free Fire’ Talk About the Film’s Lengthy Shootout

Put a bunch of scumbags in the same room and give...

Bill Finger Finally Recognized in ‘Batman & Bill’

For decades Bill Finger got the finger from several of his...

Unforgettable
‘Unforgettable’ Has Moments of Memorable Camp

The jilted ex-lover subgenre of thrillers endures despite the fact there...

Enabled Gaming Gaming News Gaming Reviews
Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Now Available

Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy: The Telltale Series Now Available from...

Injustice 2 Gear
Injustice 2 Gear Trailer Explains How Every Battle Defines You

Injustice 2 Gear Trailer explains the game’s sub-title and also the game’s...

Shift Happens Review
9.0/10
No Other Way to Say It, This Game is the Shift – Shift Happens Review [Xbox One]

Everyone goes through shift, but it’s always easier to handle shift...

Comic Creator Interviews Comic/Graphic Novel News Comic/Graphic Novel Reviews Manga News Manga Reviews Novel/Novella Author Interviews Novel/Novella News Novel/Novella Reviews
Bring Back Memories of Prince in Full Vivid Color

They say time heals all wounds, but really you just become...

Five Things You Should Know About the Valiant Summit

The Valiant Summit came has left a huge impact on the...

9.5/10
Batman 21, The Wait is OVER!!!!

Title: Batman 21 Writer: Tom King Artist and Inker: Jason Fabok...

Apparel/Personal Maintenance News Apparel/Personal Maintenance Reviews Entertainment Product News Entertainment Product Reviews Food/Beverage Reviews Hardware News Hardware Reviews Mystery Box News Mystery Box Reviews
EIROA The First 20 Collection has begun Shipment on the Colorado

From C.L.E. Cigar Company – April 21, 2017 (Miami, FL) –...

WWE and Loot Crate Reveal Their Latest Mystery Box and Surprise!

The Game, Triple H has revealed the next wave in the...

Evil Geniuses Special Edition
SteelSeries teams up to create Evil Geniuses Special Edition Gear

SteelSeries teams up to create Evil Geniuses special edition versions of...

Arena Football Automotives MMA, Kick Boxing & Boxing Professional Wrestling
Full Bellator 178: Strauss vs Pitbull 4 Weigh-In Results & Photos

UNCASVILLE, CONN. (April 20, 2017) –The official weigh-ins for Bellator 178:...

Bellator 176 and Bellator Kickboxing 5 Weigh-In Results and Photos

All Photos Credited to Bellator and Lucas Noonan. TORINO, ITALY –...

Combate Americas Adds Women’s 105-Pound Bout for the April 20 Card in Tucson, AZ

NEW YORK – April 6, 2017 – Combate Americas announced today...

Adult Continuity Comics on the Can Cultural Junk Drawer Future Comic Rock Stars Is That Racist? Revisiting the Reviled THAT'S NOT ROTTEN! The B-Reel The Cantina Scene This Week in Crowdfunding What the HELL Did I just...?
Adult Continuity Issue Nine – Ten Inch Mutant Ninja Turtles

The porn parody has a long, hard, turgid and difficult to...

DC’s New Aqualad is ‘3-Pages of Gay’

3…2…1…Okay, now that the Social Justice Warriors who have only read...

12 Incredible Assyrian Women Around the World (Reposting)

March commemorates Women’s History Month in the United States of America,...

Event News Event Reviews
Romy and Michele Reunite on Stage

This summer something exciting will be happening… Romy And Michele’s High...

Blackheart Burlesque
Artistically Exotic and Downright Sexy – Suicide Girls Blackheart Burlesque

Your cosplay fantasies come to life, but way better and sexier...

Danzig’s Blackest Of The Black with Ministry, Suicidal Tendencies, Atreyu & More

This year marks the first Blackest Of The Black Destination Festival....

Gaming Uncensored Toon-In-Talk
Gaming Uncensored: Year in Review 2016

A look back at the year in gaming.

Gaming Uncensored Roundtable: December 2016

December’s roundtable discusses story in games with Chad, Josh, and Spencer....

Gaming Uncensored: Podcast #349

Jamie reflects on some of his time with the HTC Vive....

Music Interviews Music News Music Reviews
Prince’s ‘Deliverance’ Reminds Us of Who We Lost

On Friday, April 21st, it will be one year since we...

As Balto Heads on Tour with their Latest Album ‘Strangers’

Balto is a quick on the trigger, Folk, Country, Blues, Gospel,...

Lebanese Englishwoman, Nadine Khouri Lulls you with ‘The Salted Air’

There is something fitting about a woman who’s last name translates...