• Culture and Entertainment

    Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

    FYI, I watched this film almost two months ago although I wrote my notes well before this. 

    I had low expectations when we watched this, so I like it better than I expected or at least I liked it okay instead of hated it? My expectations for Cinderella barely existed. A friend pointed out that Cinderella was rather a surprise, that it wasn’t emphasized very much. When movies get tons of attention, I often don’t like them because I forget that I don’t have the same taste as other people and raise my standards unintentionally. I prefer to know little going into books and movies. 

    So, I had stacked my expectations (known and unknown) against Beauty and the Beast
    ~Not Cinderella 2015
    ~Not my favorite plot
    ~Star-studded (often means stars overshadow movie or character or change movie or aren’t really a good fit)
    ~A musical (I don’t dislike musicals; my favorite music is from musicals, but in terms of overall movie choice, I prefer a more developed story)
    ~Director of Twilight vs. Kenneth Branagh (no wonder Cinderella is so brilliant)
    ~My dissatisfaction with the casting and the suspicion that Emma Watson couldn’t sing, partially proven by movie clips
    ~The moral scandal (and yes, they did everything quite deliberately with the media focus)

    What I liked
    ~Dan Steven’s voice.

    ~Evermore (I’ve listened to this so many times).

    ~Luke Evan’s voice (“Kill the Beast” is where his vocals really got me).

    ~Seeing Dan Steven’s facial expressions in the beast (that is so fascinating).

    What I disliked aesthetically
    ~I preferred the bright, clear, sparkling, sunny visuals of Cinderella, and I prefer the greater depth in Cinderella that a non-musical allows.

    ~My favorite musical themes were cut short.

    ~I prefer the original version of “Beauty and the Beast.”

    What I disliked in the plot
    ~In addition to the fact that a musical format doesn’t allow for much depth, this film had waaay too many plot lines and so none of them felt completed or deep. I always prefer simpler and deep to intricate and shallow (i.e. unfinished).

    ~The original movie had enough plot lines, this one added more and increased the old ones, so much so I felt that Belle and the Beast’s romance and the Beast’s transformation is eclipsed; both feel comparatively short or rushed, and I feel like they hardly get any attention at the end.

    ~Enough has been said on the moral issues that I won’t address it here except to state that besides the subplot being distraction, the immorality is also a distraction.

    What I disliked about the casting and acting
    ~Star-studded casts often means stars overshadow movie or character or change movie or aren’t really a good fit and all three apply for Emma Watson in this; she overacts and cannot sing (you would think an excellent voice is essential for a role in a musical, but after seeing the movie versions of Les Misérables and The Phantom of the Opera, I wasn’t surprised).

    ~I love Dan Stevens as Edward Ferrars, he is adorable, but he is not the Greco-Roman looking blond god-figure the animated version promised. He is sweet and candid looking, not the kind of handsome that can really pull off regal dignity and arrogance.

    ~I wasn’t happy with Luke Evans either, he is too old and not the fleshy, bold Gaston kind of handsome (I don’t think he handsome in this film at all), but I think he performed his role the best.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Beauty and the Beast Week Kick-Off Tag

    I’m participating in Meredith’s Beauty and the Beast week. At least, I’m going to do that tag and read a bunch of posts. 

    1.When did you first experience Beauty and the Beast?
    As a child I watched the Disney princess movie and read our large blue Disney Classics book (Mom just got this again for my sister who remembered adoring it as a child). I cannot remember how young I was, but this was one of the Disney princess movies I watched most (along with Pocahontas and Cinderella).

    2. In what forms(book, movie, retelling) have you experienced Beauty and the Beast?
    Beauty by Robin McKinley, Beastly and the Disney animated movie.

    3. Who is your favorite character in Beauty and the  Beast?
    In the animated movie, probably Gaston. He is hilarious. Lumiere and Cogsworth are fun too. Um, the couple? Well, the Beast is disturbing and underdeveloped (yes, I know it is a Disney movie . . . but Flynn he’s ruined me for anyone less) and Belle is annoying.

    In the book (Beauty), every character is lovely (Beauty has an interesting family). Beauty is a much more worthy heroine, but I still wish the Beast was a little bit more developed. However, in the book he comes off as mysterious which is good.

    4. What is your favorite song from the cartoon Beauty and the Beast?
    I prefer the tracks “Prologue” and “Transformation” to the singing.

    5. If you were turned into a piece of furniture what you want it to be?
    A side table in an abandoned room where I could be left alone until all was well.

    6. What would your dream cast for Beauty and the Beast be? (This can be as elaborate or simple as you desire.) I just cannot pull anyone together quickly; I don’t know enough about enough actors and actresses to do this easily.

    7. If your school were performing BatB which character would you want to play?
    Belle could be fun or perhaps an enchanted maid. Most preferably, someone in the audience. I’m not a theater kid nor EVER wanted to be.

    8. Like Belle, do you enjoy reading books multiple times?
    Yeees. But I need to be careful. Since adulthood, if I read books (or watch movies) too many times and too close together, I sicken of them.

    9. If you were to write a retelling, what would you change?
    Develop the Beast’s character a bit more, give more detail to his back story, give more detail to the love story after the transformation.

    10. Are roses your favorite flower? 
    One of my favorites. Not so much store roses as homegrown ones, though. We had at least six in our yard as a child. Not those Knock Out roses that fall to pieces the minute you touch them.

  • Culture and Entertainment

    Cinderella 2015

    I think gushes and squeals would pretty much describe my feelings on this movie. My mom and all the sisters at home and I all went to see it when it came out in March, and we all wanted to see it again. When my other sister gets back from overseas, I think we are going to try and watch it with her. Also, I do not want to hear a word of criticism for this movie.

    I felt like the movie was a perfect blend of Ever After and the animated Disney Cinderella.

    I liked how Kit and Cinderella meet before, but they still do not know one another well.

    There are no really ugly “scenes” (there are many in Ever After).

    I liked that Cinderella’s father realizes that he made a mistake about her step-mother.

    The scene when Cinderella retorts in French is funny.

    I like how the film did the mice.

    I loved the part with her mother and how Cinderella always clings to her words, “Have courage and be kind.” Cinderella is such as sweet character, sweet, but without completely allowing her step-mother to rule over/beat her down (as in Ever After) or to fool/stupefy her (as in the animated version). She did stand up to her step-mother near the end, but she was not arrogant or self-righteous, and then later, she forgave her (which looks especially nice when juxtaposed against the cringe-worthy last step-mother scene in Ever After).

    And the Prince.* What an absolute darling. He was sooo sweet, and I just loved the scene with his father just before his father died. He was respectful but resolute. I am glad his father was not such a bully as kings are often portrayed. I love how the Prince is clever and the Duke does not deceive him completely. That scene when he takes off his helmet! Cinderella and Kit are such a humble, sweet, yet strong pair!

    I loved the leitmotif of Lavender’s Blue. I loved that the filmmakers used a folk song period, but to have it as Cinderella’s theme is wonderful. The dance of the future royal pair is marvelously choreographed and beautiful.

    I want her wedding gown. Her ballgown is gorgeous and I loved the butterflies on it. The whole movie is so bright and beautiful. But I am going to have a wedding gown like hers; it is so elegant and lovely and modest, and I loved the embroidered flowers.

    So much of this movie is so harmonious, peaceful, graceful. The Prince and Cinderella are so gracious. The buildings, clothing, animals, outdoors, and etc. is all so fresh and bright. The music is old-fashioned and sweet. It is literally a fairytale of a fairytale movie.

    *Do not for one moment think that I still do not love spoiled, silly, darling, bratty Prince Henry. I still think he is awesome in his complete not-awesomeness.