Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

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Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Dan » April 10th, 2015, 10:33 pm

Might as well start a thread for it. So here's what we know...

Scheduled for release on March 17, 2017

Directed by Bill Condon (Gods and Monsters, Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn)

New music and songs from Alan Menken and Tim Rice

Emma Watson as Belle
Dan Stevens as Beast
Luke Evans as Gaston
Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts
Kevin Kline as Maurice
Josh Gad as LaFou
Audra McDonald as Garderobe

And now Condon has enlisted an old friend to join the cast.

Sir Ian McKellen will be playing Cogsworth

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » April 10th, 2015, 11:15 pm

Until debunked, the prevailing rumor was that this was the movie version of the Broadway musical (hence the "new music and songs")--Yes, it's pre-Cinderella.
And, obviously rather than film characters wearing candelabra suits, safe guess that Kline and McKellen will be voicing the CGI Maurice and Cogsworth.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Dan » April 11th, 2015, 12:15 am

Being that he's playing Belle's father, I doubt Kline would be voicing a CG character, but that's just a guess.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Dan » December 31st, 2016, 6:45 pm

As posted on the front page, Disney released a sample of Emma singing "Something There". I rather like it, makes me all the more interested in hearing her sing "Belle".

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Bill1978 » January 3rd, 2017, 3:45 pm

I liked the sample I heard, but cannot handle the comments on the video I watched saying she is the best sounding Belle ever. It seems I'm super protective of Paige O'Hara's role of Belle LOL. Emma sounded good, but it also wasn't spectacular singing. I am impressed that they haven't altered the music to the song though.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Ben » February 22nd, 2017, 7:39 am

http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/b ... deo-977939

I already hate this movie!

What is with Watson's slouch? She just looks like she can't be bothered, but her interactions with others show she's not sulky or insular.

When she comes in, what's with the arm touch of a random person? Does she know him? He doesn't look to familiar to her and they both shrug off the encounter even before she's started it!

Her vocal syncopation is all wrong! I'm not expecting a straight interpretation of Paige O'Hara, but c'mon...she's just through it out there without any feeling whatsoever. How about even holding her last words? I noticed in the previous Something There clip that she was short on lines, and here she cuts "sell" so it doesn't "sing".

She takes the bread without so much as a smile. She's taking the guy's bread for free, complaining about it at the same time, and doesn't even smile!

What's with the weird framing and cut with Monsieur Jean putting his hat back on? This not only totally obscures Belle, but she leaves screen right but is heading screen left - from what I've seen of actual clips from this thing, the direction is all over the place!

Belle is off to "return this book", apparently. What book? Where is the book? She's not holding anything and has just stuck a loaf of bread in her one pocket. How is she going to return a book she clearly doesn't have?

As the schoolkids stomp into school, Belle slouches by again, still without book. Shouldn't she be reading this? Also, although she wasn't ever particularly happy about living in the village, Belle still took pride in herself and made the best of things. She wasn't a sulky slouch!

As the schoolmaster slaps the kid (which he misses), he's singing out after Belle, but in the wide shot she's already gone, thus lacking the visual connection to make the line work - not that it does because she isn't "dazed and distracted" anyway, since she isn't reading her book!

Stepping stones - the one thing in this that I liked, and even that was marred by the bouncy harness that Watson is clearly wearing so that she doesn't fall in.

"No denying she's a funny girl..." has Belle stomping though the washer women, but because she STILL doesn't have her head buried in a DARN BOOK, she's not distracted and absent-minded, she's just a huge jerk who thinks she's important enough to make people leap out of her way so that she can walk through!

Ugh!

As some of the feedback comments say, this looks like a TV movie or one of those NBC musicals. This doesn't come over even in the same way as Cinderella, which looked amazing even if it was too close to the animated film. Here everything feels like a pale imitation, and not even as nice as the charm of the stage version.

I've been more worried about this since the Something There clip and the last trailer (is it only me finding the "enchanted objects" less than enchanted and just plain UGLY!?), with Watson's lifeless, somewhat self-aware performance, but now that has extended to the rest of the feel of the film as well.

A big opening weekend, sure, but I think drop off will be bigger than expected and time will not be as kind to this one as it has been to the now classic 1991 movie.

:(

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Randall » February 22nd, 2017, 7:56 pm

There was never any point to doing this anyway, and I've seen nothing in it that appeals to me. My wifey wants to see it, so I'll give it a chance, but... expectations are LOW.

Watson is, sorry, no "beauty" to start with. The film already dies right there for me. Not that it's necessary for every film to have a gorgeous headliner, but... her name is Beauty, for Pete's sake. She's supposed to be beautiful. Not that Emma is ugly at all, but I wouldn't describe her as a beauty.

Add that to the fact that we've seen no spark of life in her within the clips revealed so far. Just sad.

Beast just looks like a ridiculous dude in a costume. The actor is forced to move stiffly, worse than Batman '89. Again, no believability. TV movie indeed.

The enchanted objects are dull and, yes, ugly.

The stage show at Disney World was far better than this looks. Even the local production I saw here a few years ago, put on by our local pro theatre company, had more life to it.

Perhaps one shouldn't judge too much before seeing the whole film; but if what we've seen so far is supposed to whet our appetite, then I'd say it's a big fail for me.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 7th, 2017, 8:06 pm

Bad/unnecessary remakes tend to be guilty of what I call "Doubling-down":
The need to justify their existence vs. the original starts to cause the writer and director to overcompensate, try to flesh out some missing plot point, theme or question that wasn't in the original, and then become neurotically preoccupied with making THAT the central plot of the story, to the point that they wander so far off the path, they darn near forget what the main story was about.
(The Tim Burton Charlie/Chocolate Factory was guilty of more than a few examples, as was the '98 Godzilla's repeated need to remind us that the monster ate tuna.)

Here, from the sound of the reviews, Bill Condon's been doubling-down on every single aspect of the story--even making a 90-minute-or-less animated into a 2-hour epic--because nobody, maybe even him, really knows why they're making it, apart from the need for studio franchise.
Belle can't just have her dreamy head buried in a fairytale book and be bothered by the town about it, she must now be FIGHTING A STRUGGLE for female literacy! We can't just say that Maurice has been raising Belle since her mother died, we have to know HOW she died! The servants can't simply wish that their master's curse was broken, we have to establish their long-term relationship with the Prince from the beginning!
And LeFou can't just be a comedy-relief flunky for Gaston, he has to....well, in light of recent events, even Condon in interviews has been saying to the effect of "Okay, that idea didn't go well." (The minute they said it in an article, I knew it was going to blow up like the one Paranorman line all over again.)

The Jungle Book remake looked good, but also kept wandering off the appeal of the original trying to make the characters "contemporary", and losing all their point and appeal of the original Kipling story or the 60's movie.
Another case where Disney jumped into a project not really knowing why they were doing it, and then making a lot of busy-work for the script.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Ben » March 8th, 2017, 9:14 pm

That was my more recent concern, too, seeng that the 78-minute (or so, minus credits) animated film was now a two-hour plus endurance test. End of the day, this should still be fun, fantasy, lightweight escapist fare - it's a fairytale, it's not Shakespeare or Dickens!

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby LotsoA113 » March 20th, 2017, 11:49 am

So, I saw this last Thursday and, in brief, it's actually pretty good but way too derivative of the original, it comes off like a cover band version of the original 1991 animated movie too often. There's some really weird editing in the first third of the movie and doing Be Our Guest with these uber realistic looking enchanted household objects leaves that musical number feeling way more stilted than it should. That being said, the cast is dynamite and they did a good job of adding scenes of the two title characters interacting with each other, thus making their romantic relationship feel more investable.

Overall, better than usual musical family entertainment, totally well-made in terms of sets and costumes, pretty good movie overall that I wish tried to be more of its own thing since it too often just stands in the original movies shadow.
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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Vernadyn » March 20th, 2017, 4:40 pm

The movie was…OK, I guess, though I feel like I don't need to see it again. I was fine with most of the plot additions.

The Beast was a bit of a bummer of a character in this rendition, moping around petulantly in the earlier scenes. In the original, the Beast was legitimately menacing in the beginning of the film, his sympathetic and even humorous qualities manifesting themselves as the film went on. Some of my favorite exchanges in the original were 1.) when the Beast asks Belle to come to dinner, and 2.) the post-wolf-attack conversation between Belle and the Beast. In the 2017 version, the former is rewritten into dull, exposition-filled sludge. The latter conversation is kept word-for-word, but completely devoid of the sense of repartee and the characters' attempts to outwit each other (and their subsequent reactions to each successive rejoinder).

I gradually got used to the look of the enchanted objects, with the exception of Mrs. Potts and Chip. I mean, they were basically refugees from The Blue Umbrella--the only difference being that while the titular umbrellas had twee designs, Mrs. Potts and Chip had literal derp faces.

I liked Luke Evans fine enough, and he sung all right too, but the songs in general were a major letdown in terms of their performances. As others have observed, Emma Watson is auto-tuned out the wazoo, though this is more noticeable on the soundtrack than in the film. She's not quite the Rebecca Black nightmare, but still… And the songs in general lacked the verve and almost frenzied excitement of the original. In the original "Belle," the buildup from the line "Just watch I'm going to make Belle my wife" to the song's final chorus is rapturous, but in the live-action version, that part of the song just plods along ponderously as before. Oh sure, it crescendos, but the performances by the ensemble are too polished and calculated to create the sense of palpable euphoria of the original.

The score was the best part of the new film, though even then I'd put it a notch below the original. With the exceptions of the beginning of the Prologue and finale, the score is all new, incorporating the song themes and the Saint-Saens-inspired enchantment theme into a rich tapestry. The orchestrations are more lush and the thematic development more accomplished, but the score omits the "To the Fair" theme that turns into an action theme in "West Wing." More disappointing to me was the near-omission of what I call the Beast theme, which dominates the second halves of "West Wing" and "Battle on the Tower;" in "Transformation," it plays poignantly only to emerge triumphant alongside the enchantment theme. In the new film, this versatile and emotionally rich theme appears only briefly in the Prologue and returns only at the finale of the film. In fact, the only reason I think this theme reappears at all is because, as I noted before, these sections of the score are lifted almost verbatim from the original.

I had low expectations going in and was mostly entertained throughout, but it doesn't hold a candle, much less Lumiere's set of three, to the original.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Randall » March 25th, 2017, 7:25 pm

Saw this last night....

And contrary to Ben's expectations of me (the optimistic, forgiving, wants to love everything movie-goer), I would say it was not good.

It starts with the casting. I hate to fixate on looks, but I still find Emma to be no beauty. Having Gaston swoon over her just seemed ridiculous. If she at least showed some quirky personality, or a twinkle in her eye, I could be on board; but she just does not appeal to me all that much. She is plain, and uninteresting. And she is so slight, too--- no physicality. She still looks like a preteen girl, which only made Gaston seem like more of a perv than intended. I found her acting just so-so, too, missing a number of important emotional beats. (Directing may have been an issue here as well.) And the editing did her no favours, such as a few times when they inserted a reaction shot of her, only to show her with no expression whatsoever--- such a fail in those instances.

If Emma could at least sing, one could understand her casting, but her singing was weak. I hated how she chopped off the ends of the song phrases, abbreviating every line. She can't seem to hold a note all that well. She fared okay in a couple of parts, but overall her singing was substandard for such a "big deal" production.

I thought Dan Stevens was pretty good, and the Beast came off much better than I expected, based on what I'd seen in trailers.

I didn't like the designs of the castle staff at all. Too busy, too ugly. With Lumiere having so many lines, it would have been nice if you could actually see his mouth or facial expressions easier. Why give such an important character such a tiny, shiny face? Cogsworth's design was also overly busy. Mrs. Potts and Chip were simply unappealing.

This is forgivable, but did France have so many black people in the 1800s? It seemed weird to have so many showing up in roles major and minor.

I actually liked Agathe having more of a role, though they should have taken it further if they were going to go there. Give her a line!

My wife was quite critical of the costuming, not liking the dresses Belle wore. She especially hated the final dress, calling (quietly) out in the theatre that Belle looked like she was wearing a curtain.

I was okay with the story additions. They were the least of the film's problems.

This film gets a 4/10 from me.

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby EricJ » March 26th, 2017, 1:19 am

Randall wrote:It starts with the casting. I hate to fixate on looks, but I still find Emma to be no beauty. Having Gaston swoon over her just seemed ridiculous. If she at least showed some quirky personality, or a twinkle in her eye, I could be on board; but she just does not appeal to me all that much. She is plain, and uninteresting. And she is so slight, too--- no physicality.


I want to give the Harry Potter actors the benefit of the doubt, and see them move on to other roles, but it just comes back to the fact that Emma Watson was a perfect Hermione because she just naturally looked snippy.
She'd stepped out of the book at ten, and as a teenager in the later stories, she was a snippy teenager.

I'm thinking Disney wanted to play "Belle, Literacy Warrior for Girl's Education" as the loaded focus of her character in the live-action movie, for which her "smart" looks would qualify, but...yes, Emma's just not a beauty, in the sense that Belle had to be an implausibly good fairytale character as well.
It's j-just......it's a mess. The whole thing. Let's just leave it at that. :lol:

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Ben » March 26th, 2017, 4:01 am

Beauty And The Auto-Tuner, as I've taken to calling it.

Or...Beauty Is A Beast? ;)

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Re: Disney's live-action Beauty and the Beast

Postby Vernadyn » March 28th, 2017, 5:22 pm

It's always a little tricky when a film's story calls for a character to be outstandingly "beautiful." Kristin Stewart in Snow White and the Huntsman is one of the worst offenders. I guess I would understand if the Evil Queen had been played by, say, me in drag, but Charlize Theron? Stewart had no chance, and let's not get started on the substantial disparity in acting ability.


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