‘Beauty and the Beast’ a Flat and Lifeless Remake

Just to let you know, I’m not against Disney remaking their animated movies like all of the other purists seem to be. Sure, I hated Cinderella, but found Malificent a neat but flawed companion piece to Sleeping Beauty and, later on, sang the praises of The Jungle Book for retelling the animated movie’s story and vastly improving it at the same time. I’m not against remaking a movie as long as the movie either improves the concept or tells the story in a different way.

…and then there’s this garbage.

Calling Beauty and the Beast a remake is a little unfair. Think of it more like this: The original Beauty and the Beast is being reenacted by America’s Most Wanted. Word for word, scene by scene, beat for beat… this is one of the more lazy and uninspired re-imaginings I’ve seen.

Come to think of it, you can’t really call this a re-imagining because that would infer that imagination was somehow used.

You know the story. I know the story. My dog knows the story: A young woman named Belle is trapped by a Beast and, over time, she begins to see the tortured soul inside of him.

The original is, let’s face it… a classic. Even if you believe that Disney is an evil empire built on world domination, you have to acknowledge that, artistically and from a storytelling point of view, it was brilliant, it was vibrant, and it was alive and wonderful at every turn. In short, there was very little that could have been improved on it short of subtracting that cringe-worthy “Human Again” sequence that was added to the movie a few years ago. Is the movie perfect? No, of course not… there are some plot holes that I’ve written about before and, yes, they are fixed in the remake… but plot hole fixing alone does not a good movie make. As a matter of fact, I’m beginning to think that the plot holes were the only thing that Disney was actually concerned with when they translated this movie to live-action.

The 2017 remake is a flat and lifeless affair where everything seems downgraded. Belle’s personality is muted and her singing is flat and monotone. The Beast is less wild, less dangerous, and less innocent when you get to know him. The enchanted castle is substantially less enchanted. Heck, even Gaston is less intimidating and evil despite the fact that he does arguably more evil things in this movie. I have nothing against Luke Evans as an actor, but as a specimen he is not intimidating nor is he roughly the size of a barge.

That’s the thing that gets my goat about this movie is that it improves nothing and tells the same story from the same point of view. Nothing is better, nothing is grander, and nothing is special… it’s just a poor reenactment of something done a lot better. This is the community theater version of Wicked. This is the spray-paint version of A Starry Night. This is Turkish Star Wars.

This remake was unnecessary, uninspired, and, since we’ve already been watching it since 1992, a boring waste of time.

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