Beauty and the Beast (2017)
Critic Consensus: With an enchanting cast, beautifully crafted songs, and a painterly eye for detail, Beauty and the Beast offers a faithful yet fresh retelling that honors its beloved source material.
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Critic Reviews for Beauty and the Beast
The film has an old-fashioned, studio-bound look, despite the reliance on digital effects.
The sheer dexterity is overwhelming, and only the sternest viewer will be able to resist the onslaught of such thoroughly marketed magic.
Disney has ripped a jewel out of its casing and set it in something far more elaborate; the effect is garish rather than nostalgic, frustrating rather than memorable.
There's a complicated jumble of gender politics at hand, and any attempt at modernizing the dynamic is more of a random piling on rather than a thoughtful incorporation.
Ian McKellan makes a fine, melancholy Cogsworth the clock, but the rest of the enchanted servants come off hammy and campy, while Kevin Kline seems lost as Belle's father and Luke Evans turns alpha male Gaston into a bigger cartoon than the original.
All the hit numbers... Emma Watson is charming as Belle; and the enchanted servants are voiced by the likes of Ian McKellan, Emma Thompson, and Ewan McGregor. But seeing it will probably send you back to the original animated movie for refreshment.
Audience Reviews for Beauty and the Beast
The real action version of the classic Disney film does have lovely colorful sets and a pretty perfect cast. It's especially nice to see Kevin Kline and Emma Watson does work wonderfully as Belle. The songs (not counting the outstanding title one) are a bit hit and miss but the film's biggest problem is the computer animated Beast. That becomes apparent during his solo song, where the creature sometimes feels sterile and fake. A beautiful mask and make-up would have worked wonders. Fans of the material should still be pleased, especially the finale is pretty good. But man, do I miss good make-up effects.
Chock full of the Disney magic we've all come to expect and then some, this work is infused with nearly an in-your-face undertone: "magic suckers!", that almost feels desperate. As well, there are politically correct minor cast substitutions that felt forced. Still, the Mouse is nobody's fool.
One cannot help but to compare this "Beauty And The Beast" with the Disney cartoon, given that it hews so closely to the original cartoon version. At times in the beginning, the films seemed shot-for-shot duplicates. In that light, the live-action music, characters and singing just aren't as "big" as those in the animated film. However, making such a comparison, is not fair to this live-action version, which itself is very fine. The sets and costumes are spectacular. The CGI is (mostly) impressive. (Just avoid looking at the Beast's face throughout the film and you'll think it was faultless.) The music is marvelous on its own, even if most of the new numbers are lackluster. This version is a definite five-star film on its own, which would be clearly evident it it didn't have to measure up to its predecessor.
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