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Beauty And The Beast (2017) Blu-ray Review


The 2017 “Beauty and The Beast” is a deeply flawed, but solid adaptation.

I doubt I need to describe a tale as old as time, but I’ll briefly summarize the story of Beauty and the Beast (2017) regardless. It’s a simple story about the bookish Belle falling for a cursed Prince who bears the form of a Beast until he can find true love. Obviously there’s subplots involving the egotistical Gaston (who desires Belle), Belle’s father, and the Beast’s cursed lively household objects, but at its heart, it is a love story.

While they may be making boffo box office and winning the hearts of many viewers, the core problem with Disney’s recent live-action adaptations of their animated classics is that it is hard for the viewer to separate the live-action versions from their animated counterparts. Granted, in the case with “Beauty and the Beast,” there are newly added scenes and songs here, but these new additions have no impact and merely stretch out the runtime. Perhaps in future releases the live-action films will stand on their own more when compared with the animated film, but for now, “The Jungle Book,” “Cinderella,” and “Beauty and the Beast” come off as technically efficient but inferior remakes that lack that magic spark that made the animated versions so iconic.

Another central problem here is with the Beast himself. Now, I am in no way faulting Dan Stevens here whose voice acting (however modified it may be) and motion capture work is top notch. The issue here is with the Beast being CGI when it never should have been in the first place. Makeup work has come a long way over the years and there’s no reason why Stevens couldn’t have donned a suit for the Beast. It would have been much more impactful in terms of reactions shots, emotional moments with Belle, and so forth. I’m not saying the CGI here is bad (it’s not), it just would have made much more sense to see a physical character on screen. With the CGI Beast, it feels like there’s a real disconnect here.

It may sound like I’m being harsh on the film, but, for the most part, it is easily the best of the live-action remakes so far. It’s a real crowd pleaser that wins over the audience with elaborate musical numbers, fancy costumes, big sets, memorable characters (obviously) and Bill Condon’s assured direction.

The cast is also generally quite good. Emma Watson shines as Belle despite some singing issues here and there. I’ve already touched on Dan Stevens work. Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (LeFou) are the clear scene stealers here. They are perfectly cast. Musical veteran Kevin Kline is as reliable as ever as Belle’s father. Ewan McGregor is delightful as Lumiere. The rest of the cast (Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen, GuGu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan, Nathan Mack and so on) are all solid in their roles. The only real miscast person here is Emma Thompson whose singing voice and general voice work are just off. Angela Lansbury she is not.


Presentation: 2.40:1 1080p. How does it look? To no surprise, this is a dazzling hi-def transfer.

Presentation: 7.1 DTS-HD MA. How does it sound? This 7.1 track makes full use of every form of sound whether it be the classic songs or the dialogue.

* DVD copy and Digital copy.
* An extended version of the “Days In The Sun” song.
* Disney trailers.
* 8 deleted scenes with an intro by Bill Condon.
* A music video for “Beauty and the Beast” by Ariana Grande and John Legend and a making of the music video featurette which contains interviews, set footage, and discussions about the classic song.
* An option to choose a song from the film with sing-along subtitles.
* “Making A Moment With Celine Dion”- Celine Dion talks about the “Beauty and the Beast” song, the impact it had on her career, the new film, and working on the new movie.
* “From Song To Screen: Making The Musical Sequences”- A 4 part extra that covers the making of the big musical numbers “Belle,” “Be Our Guest,” “Gaston,” and “Beauty and the Beast.”
* “The Women Behind Beauty And The Beast”- A tribute to the female crew members who worked on the film.
* “Enchanted Table Read”- A behind-the-scenes look at the unique table read.
* “A Beauty Of A Tale” contains film clips, discussions about the animated and live-action films, interviews, and more.

“Beauty and the Beast” will be released on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital HD on June 6, 2017

May 27, 2017 - Posted by | Blu-Ray review | , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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