Beauty and the Beast review

Whenever there’s news of a remake or reboot of an old and beloved movie, the reactions usually range from cautious optimism to some variation on “only when you pry it from my cold, dead hands.” In the case of Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, it’s the movie itself to which those latter adjectives apply.

This isn’t to say that the movie’s got nothing going on; if anything, it has too much going on. Padded out with 45 extra minutes, the movie’s M.O. is to take everything in the original and crank it up from ten to twenty. There’s more magic, more backstory, more cutlery, more dance breaks, more everything. It feels like love up to a point, the way the best stories get embellished with time, but when the new songs come clunking to remind you of exactly what it takes to get a Best Original Song nomination (and how good the old songs are), the proceedings start to feel a little less genuine.

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/Response: Your Favorite Movie Musicals of All Time

Beauty and the Beast

(Welcome to /Responses, the companion piece to our /Answers series and a space where /Film readers can chime in and offer their two cents on a particular question.)

Earlier this week, the /Film team celebrated the arrival of Beauty and the Beast by writing about our all-time favorite movie musicals. We then opened the floor to our readers: what is your favorite movie musical? And you let us know!

We have collected our favorite answers (edited for length and clarity) below. Next week’s question: which book (novel or non-fiction) do you want to see adapted into a movie? Who would star in it and who would direct it? Send your (at least one paragraph, please) answer to slashfilmpitches@gmail.com!

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Beauty and the Beast Featurette

(Welcome to Movie Mixtape, where we find cinematic relatives and seek out interesting connections between new releases and older movies that allow us to rethink and enjoy what’s in our theaters as well as the favorites on our shelf. In this edition: Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast.)

Bill Condon was nervous to make the live-action Beauty and the Beast. That’s understandable. Any filmmaker would tread lightly with Disney’s modern animated classic directly in the rearview mirror.

But it’s not just the delightful singing teapot that makes a new adaptation risky; it’s also a beloved fairytale that’s older than the United States, crafted from a story several thousand years old, and remade dozens of times over. With any brand of dusty antique magic, there’s got to be something special that justifies its existence. That fine balance between staying true to the spirit of the animated movie that first enchanted us while giving us something new enough to explain why we aren’t simply reaching for a DVD we already own.

To make matters even more challenging, Beauty and the Beast isn’t only contending with its own history, but with a cinematic history filled with other fairytales, fantasies, and musical wonders. For something with a history like this, it isn’t just Angela Lansbury crooning the unlikely romance between a bookish beauty and lion-faced dandy into existence that we need to consider. Plus, you probably already have it queued up for a double-feature.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the other cinematic connections to be found in Beauty and the Beast.

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beauty and the beast imax ratio

Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast is out in theaters today and it is, by all accounts, a visual marvel. So when director Bill Condon, a filmmaker with his fair share of experience in directing lavish and colorful films, sits down for a new featurette and explains how the best possible way to watch his movie is on an IMAX screen, maybe we should listen.

We are pleased to debut this new video, which you can watch below.

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bill condon directing beauty and the beast emma watson on set

Last week, I had the opportunity to sit down filmmaker Bill Condon to talk about his live-action adaptation of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. We discussed the changes he made to the Disney classic, hiding Universal horror homages in his work, the film’s incredible production design, and a taste of the deleted scenes fans can expect on the inevitable home video release. Read our full Bill Condon interview below!

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Cool Posts From Around the Web:

Tarzan - Disney Easter Eggs

Any Pixar Animation fan can tell you that the computer animation studio loves to sneak characters from their upcoming movies into the preceding releases that hit theaters. We even featured a video that shows off a kind of Russian nesting doll of Pixar characater Easter eggs. But they’re not the only ones to have some fun with their character library.

Walt Disney Animation has been putting character Easter eggs in their movies for years, and a new video points out some of them. It’s not quite as organized like the chronological Pixar video, but it does have some Disney Easter eggs that I wasn’t aware of at all. Watch below! Read More »

Beauty and the Beast Honest Trailer

With the live-action adaptation of Beauty and the Beast arriving in theaters this week, it should come as no surprise that Honest Trailers has taken aim at Disney’s modern animated classic on which it’s based. If you’ve ever thought the story of a woman who falls in love with the hairy cursed prince who forces her to stay in his castle was a bit of a perplexing romance, then you already know what to expect from the Beauty and the Beast Honest Trailer. But the good news is that they continue their streak of parodying songs, if that’s something you enjoy. Read More »

Mike Mitchell Yoda

Cool Stuff is a regular feature where we take a look at the latest geeky collectibles, toys, and gear. It’s your geekarific Holiday shopping guide published all year round.

In today’s edition of Cool Stuff, we are looking at some of the current limited time pop culture screenprint offerings. Mondo is releasing three new Mike Mitchell Star Wars portraits, Timothy Anderson is releasing a Matrix-inspired sprint as part of his Sci-fi Landscape series, Mondo is also releasing a Kong: Skull Island print by Francesco Francavilla, Cyclop Print Works is presenting Be Our Guest: An Art Tribute To Disney’s Beauty and the Beast with a bunch of prints including a beautiful one-sheet by Craig Drake., and Acme Archives has a bunch of Rogue One: A Star Wars Story prints from Dan MumfordDave Perillo, and Arno Kiss.

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Beauty and the Beast Music Video

You’ve already heard the cover of the iconic theme song from Beauty and the Beast that has been updated with the voices of chart-topping singers Ariana Grande and John Legend. Now see the singers bring the song to life in a new music video featuring appearances by Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Plus, you just might some some of the transformed castle residents pop up too.

Watch the Beauty and the Beast music video after the jump. Read More »

Beauty and the Beast review

Disney’s live-action-remake obsession continues this month with Beauty and the Beast, and it might be one of the trickiest adaptations they’ve tackled so far. Oh, sure, it’s an easy sell: the 1991 animated feature is one of the most beloved films in the studio’s catalogue, and nostalgia alone would’ve been enough to get some butts in seats. But on the other hand, how do you live up to near perfection? What’s the point in redoing something that good? How do you make a movie that satisfies fans of the original, while adding enough of a twist to justify redoing it in the first place?

We don’t have all the answers — if we did, we’d be running Disney, not blogging for /Film — but the first reactions to the first screenings offer some clues as to how the studio tried to address these challenges. See the first Beauty and the Beast reactions below, as well as our own brief Beauty and the Beast review. 
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