Beauty and the Beast

The more I think about it, the more I realize just how much I love the original Beauty and the Beast. The 1991 classic animated film has my favorite Disney princess Belle, but only recently have I begun to regard it as possibly my favorite Disney film. Which is why when they first announced the live action remake almost two maybe three years ago, I was absolutely thrilled. I marked March 2017 in my calendar and waited years for this film which has now finally arrived. So much waiting may have heightened my expectations just a bit as I began to feel a bit apprehensive about seeing the film and feeling underwhelmed. I have to say though, I had a magical and fun time watching Beauty and the Beast and I am sure audience everywhere will too.

Adapted from the 1991 animated film, Beauty and the Beast tells the story of intelligent and beautiful Belle (Emma Watson) who is taken prisoner in the enchanted castle of a fearsome Beast (Dan Stevens). Though at first at odds, Belle learns to look beyond the Beast’s monstrous exterior and into the kind heart and soul of the prince inside.

Beauty and the Beast was able to achieve a delicate balance between old and new. While many of the scenes and even lines are directly from the animated film, Beauty and the Beast also incorporated new elements into the story. I personally did not have a problem with the heavy reliance from the source material as I feel the live action remake was made to be faithful to the story and paid excellent homage to the original film. While a bit jarring at times, the new additions to the story brought nice depth to the characters in a novel yet familiar way.

The casting is what this film got right from the very beginning and as a result the performances were all fantastic. Emma Watson was the perfect Belle! I cannot imagine anyone else in the role as she harnessed both the inner beauty and the strength needed to play her character. My only disappointment is that I feel Watson could have brought more emotion to the table during some scenes, especially during the magical “Be Our Guest” number. This girl was just casually smiling like it was another Tuesday! Nevertheless she was great and I found her singing to be refreshing as well. Dan Stevens surprised me as the beast! He remarkably was able to let his character’s tormented yet loving emotions shine through all the CGI. His passion for Belle was absolutely palpable and electric during the Beast’s new and original ballad “Evermore”, a highlight of the film for me personally.

The supporting cast was flawless as well. Luke Evans simply was Gaston! I loved his confident performance as well his on-screen partnership with Josh Gad’s LeFou. While it sometimes felt like I was just watching Josh Gad, well be Josh Gad, he nevertheless brought great humor and surprising heart to his role. I cannot praise the enchanted castle objects enough as well! Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, all wonderful performances that stuck true to their characters.

One of my main concerns for the film before I watched it was the CGI aspect. I had no idea how to visualize all the enchanted characters in a live-action form and was worried the film would come off as coated or even fake. However, I found the CGI to be well done with the Beast and the castle’s many enchanted objects. The sets and visuals in the film were gorgeous! There were times when I felt the film to have an almost awkward feel but I honestly believe it was just trying to get its footing. It is no easy task to bring such a beloved story to the big screen in such a grand way.

Fans of the original animated film may not embrace the new look to the film as well as the additions to the story, but I urge them to keep in mind that it is a remake. It stays faithful but also offers something new to audiences. I went in simply wanting to have a good time and I did! Many times I found myself smiling from ear to ear. From Belle singing on the French country hillside, to the fabulous “Be Our Guest” number, to Belle and the Beast’s first dance, the film reminded me of why I loved the original Beauty and the Beast so much. Children and adults alike are sure to enjoy the film with its blend of romance, adventure, magic, and heart. I bid you to give into the charms of Beauty and the Beast and of course, be our guest!

ALL IN ALL: While staying true to the story and offering new elements and depth, Beauty and the Beast is an enjoyable and magical film with great performances and visuals sure to delight audiences.

Beauty and the Beast 5/5 Ticket Stubs

EDIT: After enjoying this film so much, I decided to go back and watch it again in theaters, this time in IMAX (which is totally worth it by the way). I realized once again that I simply love this movie so much that in an unprecedented move on Ticket Stub Love, I am changing my rating from 4.5 ticket stubs to 5! It’s hard to explain my reasoning, but essentially there was nothing I did not like in this film. I believe the emotions and the experience the film gave me deems it worthy of a full rating!

Director: Bill Condon

Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Kevin Kline

Run Time: 2hr 10 min, rated PG

Year: 2017

 

 

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower

Earlier this year I read the novel The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Steven Chbosky. I absolutely loved it and immediately saw the movie afterwards. A word of advice that I will tell to anyone seeing a movie adaptation of any book: READ THE BOOK FIRST!  Especially for Perks because in my opinion, the book is better, but I still recommend the movie 100%.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower based on the novel by Steven Chboksy and directed by him as well, tells the story of a shy freshman named Charlie(Logan Lerman) taken under the wings of two seniors, Sam(Emma Watson) and Patrick(Ezra Miller) who welcome him to the real world.

I really liked how the movie was directed by author too. Many movie adaptations turn out much different from their basis, but with the author directing, there’s no room for flaws! The casting was excellent in the film. Logan Lerman was sensational as Charlie! A word about Charlie: I love him so much. He’s the kind of character that you just wanna give a hug to and is so likeable. I thought Lerman did a great job of this and portrayed him just as the book did. Emma Watson was surprisingly good as the free-spirited Sam. I was hesitant of her casting at first because I couldn’t picture her as anyone but Hermoine Granger. However, she breaks out of her Harry Potter shell and is unrecognizable. Ezra Miller also was great as the humorous and giddy Patrick. Their friendship was heartfelt and gives hope to any lonely kid that there are friends out there waiting for you.

The movie;however, did leave out many scenes, including some of the really important ones. I wished it was longer because I felt that  it sped along almost too quickly. Also, Charlie’s relationships with some people were not that developed as they were in the book. Paul Rudd plays Charlie’s English teacher Mr. Anderson, who by the way did a great job. Their friendship was not focused on as much and felt very distant. Also in the film, as Mr. Anderson gives Charlie his first book to read, Charlie is seen putting it on his bedroom shelf. I kind of wished this continued throughout the movie so that at the end, the audience could have seen all the books Charlie had read. Just a thought.  In addition to, the portrayal of teenage issues, including drug use and alcohol, seemed idolized, and the suicide of Charlie’s best friend(NOT A SPOILER) seemed glossed over even though the event counts for many of Charlie’s actions and feelings in  the film.

The climax of the movie was done exceptionally well. The music, the camera movement, and Lerman’s emotional performance gave the scene so much more height and suspense. The flashbacks of his Aunt Helen throughout the film were smart, and Charlie and Sam’s relationship and chemistry was really cute. Again, I love Charlie. Perks of Being a Wallflower was a good, but did have its flaws.

ALL IN ALL: Perks is an excellent adaptation of the book and includes outstanding performances by its lead cast.

image from: http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMzIxOTQyODU1OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDQ4Mjg4Nw@@._V1_SY317_CR0,0,214,317_.jpg