An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love. Release date Beauty and the Beast - Feb 23, 2017.
Maybe in my life I have watched the original 1991 movie too often and no remake would have been good enough. I don't know. But I do know I had a lot more trouble accepting this remake while watching it than I did with last year's excellent "The Jungle Book" and the previous year's "Cinderella". While the other two felt like relatively fresh retellings, this one felt like a high-production rip-off. There are many changes and things added, but they are not all successful. Some of the things they copied over again did not work for me this time.
Like the design of the inanimate object servants. They look too much like the objects they are. It is often hard to interpret facial expressions or body language. I am reminded of the carpet in "Aladdin", which is bad if this is a large part of your supporting cast. That could just be my own problem though. But my biggest problem with them lies with the tea kettle and cups.
I was not impressed with any sort of warm characterization for them that I felt in the animated film. The voice of Mrs. Potts here bothered me, though it may be me just comparing her voice to the former film's. When all those characters transformed back into humans at the end, I wasn't as excited to learn what they actually looked like. The underwhelming nature of this overwhelmed me later after I got home. As stated in the review, the end fight on top of the castle was not strong enough.
Part of the problem might be that Belle gets involved and assures the Beast that what Gaston says about how she feels is wrong, which then motivates the Beast to fight. The problem extends more off from there, though. "The Mob Song" pales in comparison to the original. Because Gaston is now a living, breathing human it is much harder to be certain that he is evil and deserves to die, instead of just being a mighty self-centered buggard with a lot of influence and pride. I was confused about the townspeople's mockery of Maurice in this, as nothing is shown with him being eccentric.
I had a harder time picturing Belle and her father as this odd pair that everyone talks about. If the movie is going to promote its theme of inclusion by revealing that a few characters are of color, treated equally with white people, why do Belle and her father get such a bad reception from others? Emma Watson is okay as Belle, but she doesn't have as strong of a personality as in the 1991 film. The film doesn't have much of a personality either, which may be as a result of it being lost in distant nature of the inanimate servants and the inconsistent pacing, which speeds much too quickly through some places that I would have preferred it slow down, and then lugs sluggishly through other areas.
The pacing threw me out of the film too many times than I count, which upset me when I was finally starting to get into the narrative's groove. The Beast looks like too much CGI and not enough like a living being, which made it harder for me to be convinced of the possibility that Belle could fall in love with it. At least in the animated film both characters were animated, appearing to live in the same domain of reality, even if the Beast was figuratively "disfigured". Something else just occurred to me: Did the townspeople used to live closer to the castle, or people from town go to visit the castle? One person expresses that she recognizes the place. It is baffling to me that a couple of the inanimate object characters are married to people who live in town. Did they just forget about each other, or what?!