Reviews

‘Beauty & The Beast’ Review

What I learned from Beauty & The Beast. Want a smokin’ hot princess? Just own a lot of books!

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A tale as old as time! One of films greatest love stories, about a girl who chooses one overbearing, self-absorbed, violent jerk of a man for another overbearing, self-absorbed, violet jerk of a man…..wait what? Disney’s Beauty & The Beast finally gets an updated live action version, after hits with Cinderella and The Jungle Book. The world has been patiently waiting for its release, and with a 170 million record setting box office weekend, live action Disney movies are here to stay! Growing up the animated version was one of my favorite movies, I loved everything about it, the music, the characters, the message, it was one of a kind, so going into this movie I was a little skeptical of the outcome. Well after watching it, I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised with the result.

Everyone knows the tale, Belle (Emma Watson) the beautiful, smart, kindhearted girl who wants more out of life, trying to figure out where she belongs in the world. The Beast (Dan Stevens) the Prince who gets cursed for having a cold heart, and believing that it’s what’s on the outside that counts, living alone in his castle with his servants who have also been cursed. It’s not until he can love and be loved that this curse will be broken, and he has to accomplish this before the last peddle falls off his magical rose. You know that old chestnut. Here’s the thing, one of my concerns with them adapting this into a live action movie was the time. The 1991 animated movie clocks in at 84 minutes where this version has a run time of 129 minutes. That’s an additional 45 new minutes added to this tale, and I didn’t know how they would be able to stretch this story out that long. Well let me tell you, it worked; I didn’t think this movie was too long or some of the new elements added took away anything from the old version. Obviously things needed to be added to add substance and more backstory for our characters, and at the end of it, I thought it was pulled off extremely well. One thing I was a little worried about, was Dan Stevens playing Beast, I thought it might be a little blah, but he turned out great, and actually brought a lot of personality to the character, and was even dropping jokes at certain points.

Let’s talk about some of the good stuff in this movie. The music is excellent, I didn’t know Emma Watson had bars like that. She was already perfect and now she can sing, some people are just special; she was fantastic as our princess Belle. At times it was like I was looking at the animated Belle being ripped from the 1991 version. She portrayed the fearless, but kindhearted bookworm we all fell in love with when we were young. I don’t want to say she was born to play this role, but it was certainly a match made in heaven. I don’t think too many other A-List actresses could have pulled this off like Emma did. Luke Evans on the other hand, man was he born to play Gaston. Again who knew he could sing like that. From his muscles (when he lifted a girl and Josh Gad onto his shoulders, I thought that was super impressive) to his spitting ability he nailed Gaston to a tee. He played the smug, jackass kind of a guy to perfection, who will stop at nothing in order for Belle to be his beloved bride. One thing I would have liked a little bit more with Gaston was his death (spoiler, but if you don’t already know that, I don’t know what to say), it just felt kind of stupid and I was really hoping it would have been the same as in the animated version, oh well just a little nitpick. Gaston would be nothing without his best mate LeFou, his trusty old sidekick who underwent the biggest transformation in the live action version. Congrats to Disney for having its first ever gay character! That’s pretty awesome, and honestly it’s about time that Disney did something like this. LeFou has the hots for Gaston in this, but it’s very subtle and I thought it was really heartfelt and hilarious how they pulled it off. His character also undergoes another big change and he becomes a good guy in the end, which I was kind of pissed about, but seeing where he ends up it made sense for the story. You see in this movie there are two beauty and the beast tales. You have Belle and The Beast, where Belle falls for him because of not what he looks like on the outside, a monster, but rather she falls in love with his heart. His kind, and gentle heart, he just wants someone to understand him, and see passed his monstrous looks. Whereas there’s the LeFou and Gaston arc, where LeFou loves Gaston for what he looks like on the outside, but once he sees who he truly is on the inside, he has a heart of a monster. He understands it’s what’s on the inside that counts, That was a new aspect added to the movie, the perfect muscle man has the heart of a monster, yet the actual Beast has the heart of a soft spoken guy. So during the epic battle at the end, LeFou decides it’s time to change sides and helps Belle and the castle fight back against Gaston and the villagers. So Josh Gad really did a bang up job bringing this character to life, his comedic timing in this was prince less.

Talking teacups, clocks and candlesticks in live action wasn’t as strange as I thought it would be. Props to Ewan McGregor for having the worst French accent known to mankind who voices Lumiere, it really took me out of the movie at certain points, because I just thought it was that bad. Like why hire a person who can’t do a French accent to voice a guy who has a French accent? So he almost ruined the movie going experience, and that might be my only problem with the movie. All the other voice actors are fine in this; Ian McKellen was the standout as Cogsworth! There are a lot of familiar faces throughout, I’m not going to mention anymore names, because it was fun trying to figure out who was who, and the reveal at the end when they all become human was fun. Actually another small issue was The Beast himself; I don’t understand why he was CGI sometimes. Practical effects work best, and again it took me out of the movie. During the most iconic scene, when Belle and Beast are dancing, I knew in my head she might just be dancing with a broomstick. So really wishing they just went full practical effects for the Beast, but other than that, the movie is pretty much flawless!

All the music in this is incredible, they added a few new songs into the mix, and they worked really well! The costumes are Oscar worthy, actually I’m saying it now, and this might win best costume design at next years Oscars. If I’m Emma Stone I’m asking to keep the famous yellow dress, and actually I’m probably wearing it to the Oscars next year, wouldn’t that be a hoot. The costumes are right from the original and made the movie feel that much more authentic. It made the characters come to life, especially Belle, LeFou and Gaston. All around, with the new elements added, the added story makes for an enjoyable movie going experience. It was a tough task to bring this classic fairy tale to life, but I thought the director Bill Condon did a marvelous job, and he should be extremely proud of the final product. If this is the standard for live action Disney properties, then I’m really excited for certain future movies, because the bar has been set pretty high, and I have a feeling the next movie will want to top this. Disney has really found something special in adapting their properties into live action and I can’t wait to see what they do next. Be my guest to give this review a thumbs up!

Check ya later,

Nate’s Movie Tour Reviews — Beauty & The Beast = 82/100

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Lets Talk About Disney

I still don’t get why Donald Duck never wears any pants

Disney, making kids and adults alike cry like little babies since the beginning of time. No matter who you are, at least one Disney movie has a special place in your heart. It’s undeniable; they just know how to pull on your heartstrings in the worst way possible. Remember the first 10 minutes of UP? That might be the saddest 10 minutes in cinematic history. They can also make us extremely happy, well it’s pretty easy to do that when every single movie has a happy ending. Disney is doing something new these days and taking the beloved animated films we all grew up with and turning them into live action adventures. They started with the Jungle Book, which was just outstanding. Fun fact, nothing in that entire movie was real, expect for Mowgli. Go back and watch it and it’s actually mind blowing, damn movie technology has come a long way. Any who, their next project is everyone’s favorite love story Beauty & The Beast and it hits theatres next week. So I’m going to talk about some of my favorite Disney movies! Last thing; remember all the weird sexual references in these movies, what the hell is up with that Disney?

Aladdin

That street rat really didn’t know what he was doing when it came to wishes. Okay I guess it beats asking for it to rain junk food from the sky but that was Kazaam, and let’s not talk about that. Actually wait, if you switched genies from those two movies, which is the better movie? The answer is simple, they would both tie for being the greatest movies ever made. Shaq flying around on a magic carpet, sign me up. Aladdin was so awesome, I would pay a lot of money to have Abu as a pet. I legit do a mean Abu impression, ask me next time you see me. Aladdin was the first Disney movie I wanted to watch over and over again, mostly because of the incredible job Robin Williams did but also I think Jafar is one of the coolest Disney villains ever. Did you know Steve from Full House voices Aladdin, man he must be sleeping on a pile of money every night from the residuals alone.  Final note they are making this into a live action flick, if they have someone else do the voice of the Genie, we boycott this movie. It’s simple the only lines spoken in the movie are lines from the original so they can still have Robin Williams be the voice of this character. It’s his character and his character alone. Robin Williams or we riot!!

Toy Story

It’s toys with feelings! Kind of a scary premise for a movie, because if this actually happened my toys would have straight up murdered me when I was a kid. Things got pretty intense, all sorts of galactic battles happened that sometimes involved packages of ketchup. Shit got real when it came to my toys and me. Toy Story really shaped the future of animation and truly was a life changing moment when I went to see this movie. Andy was super nice to his toys almost too nice if you ask me. I think in like 10 years Pixar should make a rated R movie and it’s just about Andy as an adult and he’s just a sick and twisted bastard. A serial killer who writes ANDY on all his victims’ feet! Holy shit that’s actually a sick premise for a movie and would totally be a smash hit. Who wants to help me write this movie?  I wasn’t fond of Woody or Buzz, to be honest I was a Mr. Potato Head kind of guy, that guy was hilarious! One thing is for sure, Tim Allen must pray to a Pixar poster every night because they are the only people giving that man work today. Poor Tool Man Taylor, who knew he would be a ghost in Hollywood today.

UP

What was Mr. Frederickson’s job? How much money did he spend on balloons in his life? Did he blow them up himself? Did he have a pump? Why have they made 3 Cars movies but we haven’t gotten an UP sequel? So many unanswered questions. Talk about an emotional roller coaster, I can’t reiterate how sad the first 10 minutes of this movie are. No wonder the Mr. Frederickson literally gave zero fucks about anything. He really did have the ultimate mic drop moment, just flying away with your balloon house, right before they are going to demolish it, what a badass. UP has my favorite Disney character ever, Dug the talking dog. He was hilarious, and just wanted to love and be loved. It made me realize I hope I’m still kicking when the world actually has that technology, it will be the only way I will ever own a dog. Really hoping for that UP sequel, somehow it involves water balloons……SQUIRREL!

Bedknobs & Broomsticks

I know, the 10 people reading this, at least 6 of you don’t even know this movie probably. It’s very old (1971), and it stars Murder She Wrote herself Angela Lansbury. Remember she was a witch/babysitter, who goes on a bat shit crazy adventure with three kids, that involves playing soccer against cartoons and summing the knights of the roundtable to defend Great Britain. I don’t really know why I took a liking to this movie when I was younger, but I watched it so many times growing up. I’m actually shocked Hollywood hasn’t remade this yet, or maybe it’s in the works, because nothing can ever be sacred anymore. Maybe it’s just when you’re a kid, you want to go on an adventure like this, it was weirdly violent too. They fought Nazi’s in it; whenever they are involved you know the movie is going to rock. The last battle scene was something I cherished as a child, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. This movie can do no wrong, so enjoy this clip I pulled of animals playing soccer synced with some crappy house music (sorry).

The Lion King

This is one of the first movie going experiences I can remember. Going with my dad and brother, and all of us going nuts when Rafiki came and fought off those hyenas at the end of the movie. It was honestly like the reaction we have now when someone gets dunked on in a basketball game. I’ve loved the movie theatre experience ever since, and  a moment in my life I will never forget. Still to this day the most shocking death in movie history, that backstabbing bastard Scar, killing Mufasa. That was hard to take in at such a young age, and the amounts of memes people have made out of it (I’m looking at you Tony Romo), it has to be the all time biggest Disney gut punch. The songs were great, it gave us Timon and “They call me Mr. Pig” Pumbaa. They are giving this the Jungle Book treatment and going down the live action route. Donald Glover will be Simba, and I’m personally excited to call him Lionish Gambino for the next little while. I could not be happier for that guy; he is blowing up right now and taking the world by storm. I would not be mad if they have Simba lay down a few freestyles in this movie. Why not, lets make this happen, I don’t think anyone will complain about a rapping lion. Is the world really ready to watch that tragic death scene again, but with like real lions, okay not “real” lions but it will look real so better bring a box of Kleenex.

The Incredibles

The best Pixar movie ever, and some could argue the best Superhero movie ever. Yeah, I just went there. I love when I am hung-over and I turn on the TV only to find this movie is on, and I know I’m fully committed to watching it. It’s on the list of best cable movies ever, that once it’s on, you’re done, you are not changing the channel, you’re focused on this movie and you will not move until it is over. The champion in this category Shawshank Redemption (You totally just nodded your head in agreement). We are finally getting the much-deserved sequel next summer, and I’m super interested to see where they take it. I hope that maybe the kids have aged in like real life time, so they are now teenagers/young adults and Jack Jack is quite possibly the villain?????? Again, two Cars sequels before they give their best movie ever one? Man something is wrong over at Pixar; we should be getting a new Incredibles movie at least once every 3 years. Since the first one the world has really exploded into Superhero frenzy so I’m hoping they kind of play on that a little in this one, and maybe poke fun at some stuff. The sky is really the limit for this movie, just give us what we all want, more Frozone. Just remember, NO CAPES!

Beauty & The Beast

Beauty & The Beast it’s like Shallow Hal but for kids! Wait if the moral of the story is looks don’t matter. It’s what’s on the inside that counts. Why does the Prince transform back into a hunk? Shouldn’t he be a fat slob, but Belle still totally digs him? Why am I just realizing this all now, Beauty & The Beast is full of shit. Are all the morals in Disney movies ass backwards? Who knows, but one thing is for sure, this movie comes out next Friday, and I’m pretty excited for it. The original is such a great movie; it’s almost the one Disney movie that didn’t need to be adapted into a live action version. I’m not sure what they could really improve on, but Emma Watson is in it, and well she’s the perfect human being so I will gladly go see this movie. Ewan McGregor is playing Lumiere the French candlestick and MAN is his accent putrid. It sounds like he has peanut butter in his mouth the entire time he is talking, so that might just get a tad annoying. The thing I’m most looking forward to in this is Luke Evans and Josh Gad who are playing Gaston and LeFou, they have such a good bromance in the original and I’m hoping that’s the case here. Josh Gad is hilarious and I hope he really brings it for this role. I still find it weird at the end of the original movie when they get turned back into real people that they are just acting like everything is cool beans. I would need years of therapy, going from being a fucking teacup to a real life human being, that’s a lot to take in, especially for an 5 year old. Only Disney am I right!

Check ya later.