Due to a birthday weekend with my daughter this one’s a couple days late. In all honesty there's not really much left to say though after my first thoughts video. Which if you haven't seen you can watch here. Anyway, I still think the best way to sum up this movie is, in a world without the original animated film, I’d be coming to you saying this was a really good movie. However, that said in that world it wouldn't have reached the prestige & greatness of its predecessor. Story wise this thing is pretty much a carbon copy of the classic. Just devoid of anything you wouldn't see out of actual animals. Think the hula scene with Timon. Leading me to the craziest part about this film for me. Dealing with the realistic aspect of the whole thing. Its biggest achievement seemed to also he its biggest flaw. The amazing CGI that led to everything looking so real, that the animals couldn't really seem to keep up emotionally with the material to do it justice. I’m still not sure if that had anything to do with the voice work not really standing out. Mediocre all around with the exception of Oliver, Rogen, & Eichner. Those three were the only ones that kept me entertained throughout all of this, & if no one is getting them together for a film, a big mistake is being made. Wasn’t really impressed with Ejiofor's Scar, & same goes for the whole depiction of the hyenas. This Scar is a pale comparison to the original. While the hyenas, while very frightening, lost their entertainment value it seemed. The main three were my favorite characters from the original. They seemed to adept here. Almost as if they wouldn’t even need Scar in the first place. Cast aside, even the songs fell just short. My favorite going to “The Lion Sleeps Tonight". That whole scene was great. The rest was an alright remake of “Hakuna Matata” & “Just Can’t Wait To Be King”, an absolutely horrible “Be Prepared”, & a “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” duet where one party over powered the other completely. The bad thing is a lot of this could be derived from the fact that I do have a greater version to compare to that's almost a facsimile of. I did enjoy myself still. All in all you have a technological wonder of beautiful CGI on display with a great story. That while it dosen't knock it out of the park, does mange to round at least base. This will be on the list of these remakes that unlike Aladdin & Beauty & the Beast, I’ll most likely grab the animated classic the next time I want to watch Lion King. Curious what others think though. So as you see it please let me know on the comments what you think.
Just got out of the Beauty & the Beast "Be our Guest Fan Event" first release of the brand new live action movie. I had never been to a "Fan Event" so I wasn't sure what to expect except an inflated ticket price. However, it was worth it just to feel the energy in the room as the rest of the audience sat & chattered about all things Disney in anticipation. For that matter, my little girl was not the only person to come in full costume.
I was a little let down that the AMC Imax we went to didn't have themed cups or popcorn buckets. Along with the fact that our particular theatre wasn't showing the fan event in 3D. It did provide a few attendee only items though. In the form of a lanyard style event pass with the date & a fold up cube style Beast. The lanyard was a nice touch as it felt as a sort of backstage pass. While the Beast cube figure was.... Well, a Beast cube figure. There were also two scenes that played before the movie. These two were only for the event. We got the Ariana Grande - John Legend video for their version of "Beauty & the Beast". Which I could've done without. Then we got a nice little behind the scenes with the composers that was actually a real treat. You could really see the passion they had for wanting to make this one bigger than what was already perfect.
Now to the review of the actual movie. I had a few worries going in from the previews. First, was Emma Watson's ability to sing. I had noticed in the previews the songs had been altered to suit that she couldn't belt it out like her predecessor. Second, the CGI designs. I wasn't fond of the first images of the various furniture, it seemed basic & lacking life. I was also concerned with the ability to pull off the Beast for the whole duration. Lastly, was the music in general. The more I had watched the previews I was starting to think this cast would have made a better non-musical film.
All of those worries have been put to rest. First of all, I must say I was very wrong about the non-musical. The old songs felt as new as they could considering you've heard the perfect versions already. While the new song additions had all the passion of the originals, even if they weren't as memorable. Emma Watson sang, & though it wasn't Paige O'Hara level, it was quite good & took nothing away from this fantastic retelling. The CGI is also not perfect, there are a few times you can notice the Beast is animated. However, they are few & far between when you take into consideration how long he is present throughout. These being the only the only actual negatives they were easy to look past.
On the upside, in the most curious casting decision for me by far, Luke Evans shined as Gaston. Emma Watson made you fall in love with Belle all over again. To Dan Stevens & all the creators involved with bringing the Beast to life, I must commend them on their near perfect quality. Not quite on the level of Jungle Book's CGI, but very impressive nonetheless for an emotional leading role. Most of all, the all-star supporting cast was amazing from the believable cadre of furniture, to Belle's father, to LeFou all contributed to making this bigger & more magical than its animated version.
Overall, that's the best thing I can say about this movie. The fact that they set out to make it bigger & better, & they actually achieved that. They managed to top a story that had already been told to perfection. I must give this movie a 10 out of 10 just due to that fact. We're now 3 for 4 on these live-action Disney remakes in my book, & if they keep up like this count me onboard for the ride. Disney really made this one a tale as old as time.