Feiten. Anders bekeken.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Geschreven door  op in Media, Review.

This review contains spoilers for the original 1991 animated classic, and shared storylines of the 2017 remake.

Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince.

It really doesn’t feel like 1991 was that long ago. Still, 25 years ago, I was only 5 years old when the Disney’s animated Beauty and the Beast film was released, and it was one of those movies that has  always remained one of my all time favorite films (along with Aladdin and The Lion King).

The animated film, featuring a stunning cast, iconic music and an even more stunning visual look with cinematic sweeping movements,  was deservedly the first full-length animated movie ever to win a Golden Globe for Best Picture, and was even  nominated for Best Picture at the Academy Awards. Colours, mixed with great architecture, dramatic lighting and incredible scenery fill the stage with interesting characters that can all stand on their own. It really was the first movie that had a maturity that really connected with people.

Gaston (Luke Evans) is relentless in his pursuit of Belle (Emma Watson).

We can all agree that this is a true perfect masterpiece. But, does it need an update? Showbusiness is a business after all and nothing is ever new in Hollywood. So for the past few years, Disney has been working on creating live-action versions of their classics, with Beauty and the Beast being  the latest installment. However, what sounded like a horrible business decision, somehow has turned out some great movies like Jungle Book and Cinderella. Did lightning strike again?

Well… yes. Having seen the original and all of its special features on the Blu-ray yesterday evening, I was prepared to be disappointed. Never have I been more glad that I was proven wrong.

One of the reasons director Bill Condon was interested in doing a remake, despite considering the original “a perfect movie” is the evolution of CGI. “It is 25 years later and technology has caught up to the ideas that were introduced in the animated movie,” he explains. “Now it is possible, for the first time, to create a photo-real version of a talking teacup on a practical set in a completely realistic live action format.”

Cogworth the mantel clock.

To create a full-fledged live-action rendition of an animation film, additional depth is sometimes required. This can go from small things like suddenly naming the small village as Villeneuve to adding completely new characters like Stanley Tucci’s Maestro Cadenza, a harpsichord. But the biggest change is the introduction and backstories of characters.

One of those backstories is having Belle’s mother die of the Plague, in what feels like a sad parallel to songwriter Howard Ashman who died of AIDS during the production of the original movie.

On the  movie’s Blu-ray is the original 20 minute story-reel for the animated movie. It’s great to see Disney going back to their archives, and reuse all those ideas in a way that not only makes sense, but also truly enhances the movie. Some parts have been integrated from the original fairy tale as well.

Gaston (Luke Evans) a handsome but arrogant brute, holds court in the village tavern.

The original cast of mostly Broadway-legends have been updated to A-list actors. However, the casting was spot-on.

Emma Watson has been shedding her Harry Potter history without losing her lovelyness and great talent, which makes her an almost obvious choice for the smart and independent Belle. In fact, Belle is more active than ever. Luke Evan’s Gaston on the other hand is even more of an evil bastard than he was before. The character that became gained not only a dimension in art, but also in personality is Josh Gad’s LeFou. And I don’t only mean that ‘one thing’.

A lot of ink has been spilled on Disney’s first “out” character in. All I’m willing to say on it is: Yep, it’s there. And that’s more than we should even bother to write about it. I mean, it’s 2017, and to quote Lin-Manuel Miranda: ”And love is love is love is love is love is love is love is love, cannot be killed or swept aside.” But, LeFou is much more than ever someone who has real feelings, and isn’t just there for comic relief like the original.

Luke Evans is Gaston and Josh Gad is LeFou.

Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen have great chemistry together as well, making them great as Lumière and Cogsworth.

Hearing that classic music and song accompany the visuals just ads so much dimension to this movie. Something that I felt was lacking with movies like Cinderella and in some part The Jungle Book. Everyone in the cast has solid singing performances. It especially was great to hear Ewan McGregor bring out his Moulin Rouge singing voice again.

Lumiere, the candelabra.

Something that you do feel isn’t there are the new songs, where we miss Howard Ashman deeply. Having Tim Rice come in with veteran Alan Menken does add a lot, but the new songs Days in the Sun and Forever More feel a tad odd. However, with some time and repeated listening, my opinion might change. That’s the sad thing about advance press screenings. You can’t line up again and see and hear things a second time to give it the full impression.

Interestingly enough, Forever More was created as a song for Beast, with the Broadway musical song If I Can’t Love Her reportedly not fitting in with the film’s events

The Beast (Dan Stevens) and Belle (Emma Watson) in the castle library.

One dubious honour that the animated classic has, is that it’s the first ever Disney movie to create a pop-version of their main song. No matter how popular she became, in my opinion, Celine Dion’s duet with Peabo Bryson is no match for Angela Lansbury’s iconic movie version. Same here, as Ariana Grande and John Legend’s single Beauty and the Beast doesn’t again come close to Emma Thompson’s Mrs. Potts.

The biggest problem is the same as with every remake. You know exactly what is going to happen, and how it is going to end. Something that even the trailers did not try to hide. But then again, we all know the Titanic is going to sink. That doesn’t mean retelling the tale will be any less exciting.

However if it’s not Baroque, don’t fix it.

So did this movie had to be made? No. But I’m glad they did, as it’s truly a tale as old as time. (kvds)

Beauty and the Beast will be released March 22 in Belgium. Photos © Disney. 

 

Ook interessant

Telenet schiet raak met Chaussee d’Amour

26/05/2016

26/05/2016

“It’s not TV, it’s HBO” moeten ze daar in Mechelen gedacht hebben. In de eeuwigdurende strijd om de concurrentie de...

It’s time to sparkle: Disneyland Paris turns 25

28/03/2017

28/03/2017

There are celebrations, and then there are Disney celebrations. From having a star-studded event with stars like Teri Hatcher and...

Ricoh THETA

29/04/2015

29/04/2015

<p>Fun 360° images with the push of a single button! </p>

Doctor Strange (2016)

23/10/2016

23/10/2016

Marvel comic books have a very rich and diverse history of superheroes. A whole lot of mysticism appears, like Power...

SWAROVSKI OPTIK PA-i5 iPhone adapter

05/06/2014

05/06/2014

<p>Turn your <span>Swarovski telescope into an iPhone zoom lens with the PA-i5 iPhone adapter.  </span></p>

Spectre (Blu-ray)

22/02/2016

22/02/2016

Movie From the continuous opening shot of five minutes, Spectre takes you on an adventure that is pure entertainment, worthy...

Gigantische verdwijntruc van A’s B’s en O’s = campagne van het Rode Kruis

16/08/2016

16/08/2016

Misschien zag u de voorbije dagen ook vreemde dingen gebeuren in de logo’s van bedrijven, of keek u vanmorgen verbaasd...

SONOS PLAYBAR

04/08/2016

04/08/2016

One of the first things I like to do when having a new speaker, is blast out the THX theme....

Sengled Pulse

12/11/2015

12/11/2015

The Sengled Pulse is a new product that aims to combine two experience each day: Light and Music. The problem with...

Apple Watch Impressions

16/05/2015

16/05/2015

<p>I've had an hour with the Apple Watch. And it was quite an introduction!</p>

Creative Cloud, Photoshop 13.1 & Illustrator 16.2.1

11/12/2012

11/12/2012

<p>​Adobe Photoshop gets a major mid-release update. Why? Creative Cloud! </p>

Pixelmator, the Photoshop alternative

05/06/2013

05/06/2013

<p>Pixelmator aims to offer almost everything Photoshop has, and beyond. Does it? Yes! </p>

Lightning To SD Card adapter (USB 3.0)

14/12/2015

14/12/2015

A single cable that replaces a MacBook Pro with an iPhone. Isn’t that just a preposterous thought? Strangely enough, with...

LaCie SSD Thunderbolt Drives

16/07/2013

16/07/2013

<p>LaCie's SSD Thunderbolt drives create a new class of speed. </p>

Taking Adobe on the road with Libraries

24/01/2017

24/01/2017 1

With my mobile lifestyle, it’s not always easy to keep track of ‘assets’. The Libraries in Adobe’s Creative Cloud however...

Reageer
Geef een reactie

Het e-mailadres wordt niet gepubliceerd. Vereiste velden zijn gemarkeerd met *

Deze website gebruikt Akismet om spam te verminderen. Bekijk hoe je reactie-gegevens worden verwerkt.