Beauty and the Beast (2017) Review — Tale As Old As Time

Too old for my taste.

  • I’ve made it clear in the past that while I think Disney’s animated stuff is fine for the most part, their live-action division hasn’t been doing it for me at all. While I haven’t seen some of the more obscure remakes like Pete’s Dragon and such, I have seen the live Cinderella (whatever) and the live Jungle Book (godawful), so I’ve pretty much got a firm stance set in place for this “let’s remake those animated films you loved as a kid, but without the magic” trend early, unlike when the MCU arrived. To be fair, Beauty and the Beast is probably my favorite of the three that are out right now, but that’s only because I was fascinated by how cynically made this film was.
  • It’s pretty much the same story as the 90s film with a few changes that don’t really add anything. They even brought back all the songs, except not sung nearly as well. This is coming from a guy who liked what he heard of the songs from Moana, even though he knew that Dwayne Johnson’s singing voice was horrible (at least, I’ve been told it was him who sung his character’s songs in that), so believe me when I say that mostly everyone was just speaking the songs rather than actually singing them.

Y’know, I never found the Beast to be that ugly in anything he’s in.

  • For those of you who’re not familiar with the animated classic, Beauty and the Beast is the story of a young woman named Belle who wants something more of life, although why and for what reason, neither movie really clarifies. One day while her father is off somewhere, he gets lost in a forest and ends up at the titular Beast’s castle, who wastes no time in imprisoning the dude and letting the horse run off to guide Belle to him. A prisoner exchange is made and while Belle resists at first, she starts seeing the good in the Beast after he saves her from wolves, unaware of the curse put on him and how he must experience true love to turn into a human.
  • And then there’s Gaston. Hey, remember how funny he was in the animated film? Not so much here. He’s more like that generic bully character from Edward Scissorhands. LeFou is actually pretty neat here (even if that makes his name sort of nonsensical), but I couldn’t stop seeing him as Josh Gad every time he was on screen.

Tell me you don’t see Hermione Granger doing Disney cosplay rather than Belle

  • You can bet it wasn’t just him either. I know most Hollywood actors just play themselves in whatever film they’re in, but if there’s one product category where you shouldn’t do that, it’s classic Disney tales. And I never saw Belle every time she was on screen. I just saw Emma Watson playing herself, which she’s been doing ever since the first Harry Potter movie. Whenever Cogsworth spoke, all I could think was “oh hi Ian McKellan. How are you doing?”. I don’t know who played Lumiere, but he sounded like everyone else: not bad, but not a character either.
  • Even without comparing this film to the much better one from almost two decades ago, you can tell this movie is off. In addition to the premise being kind of outdated, lots of plot points and scenes go nowhere, and I couldn’t remember any of the new songs for the life of me. Once in a while there’s a quick laugh, and I do like how the servants become completely inanimate once the curse is complete, but that’s not enough to carry two hours of story.
  • This movie is about as mechanical as an anime franchise film. It hits all the right plot points, but there’s no vision. None of the few updates go anywhere interesting, none of the actors feel like they play characters, the settings look kind of cheap, and there’s just no sense of wonder. When Belle enters the castle, she never really takes the time to explore just how big it is. When she sings a song about wanting something more, she’s looking at a very dark area that she definitely wouldn’t go to willingly. Seriously, what the hell?

For such a big castle, you sure don’t see much of its interior

  • At best, this new Beauty and the Beast is passable. But passable in this day and age means *ka-ching*, so you can look forward to more diminishing returns in the future for something that will never achieve greatness. However, I guess that’s Hollywood in a nutshell, isn’t it?

Minor Quips

  • I’ll get back to reviewing the Disney Animated Canon soon. Just been busy with other stuff.
  • Did people really go nuts over one “gay” moment in this movie that wasn’t even very gay? Have they never seen Captain Hook and Smee from Peter Pan?

4 responses to “Beauty and the Beast (2017) Review — Tale As Old As Time

  1. Many people have told me that several of the live-action Disney remakes have been good, and this movie has been advertised so heavily it’s ridiculous, but I just never have a drive to watch any of them. And it’s not a case ‘oh lawdy, my childhood is hurtin’, it’s a matter of ‘this is just a beat for beat mirror of the animated version, just in live action.’ No ones ever given me a real reason to watch any of these movies. At best, they just say that they did a good job adapting it to live-action. Adaptations are fine, but if they bring nothing new to the table, or worse take things it originally had away, then why should I watch it? The fact that they were advertising this movie with the same (redone) music from the animated version just made me go ‘hm, I kinda wanna watch the animated movie now.’

    As for the gay stuff, people will look for any reason to bitch and moan. LeFou always had a thing for Gaston, and it was always obvious, even though a lot of people will just say you’re looking too far into it in regards to the animated movie. Yeah, he liked women too in the animated version, but he can be bisexual.

    I saw a news article that said a mom was actively boycotting ever taking her kids to Disneyland/world again or buying Disney stuff because of that one facet of the movie. And it was a long-ass article, too. A side character most people don’t even remember the name of being confirmed as gay is such a horrible thing that she decided to punish her Disney-loving kids over it. Disney lost .000000000000000000000001% of their profits and her kids will be miserable for years and grow to resent her. Logic is fun.

  2. If your name is Mr flawfinder then any of your reviews are going to be the same yawnfest of cynical, unhappy comments. Anyone can be a critic. Easier to criticise than compliment eh?

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