Spiral

Good movies you've seen recently

5,657 posts in this topic

Casino

The Fate and the Furious

Manhattan Murder Mystery

Sideways

Star Wars: Rogue One

Hardcore Henry

American Pop

Patriots Day

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A Fistful Of Dollars and For A Few Dollars More.

Too bad For A Few Dollars More is overshadowed by The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly because I think the former is better than the latter.

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Was it strictly good? Well...

Settle down, kids. Grab some popcorn, pour yourself a beer, this is gonna be a long one.

The Preface

Beauty and the Beast (the original) is one of my favorite films of all time. Not favorite Disney films, or even favorite animated films, favorite films period. I liked it...okay when I was a kid, but I rediscovered it during college and fell head over heels in love with it. It's a masterpiece, the closest I've ever seen to the "broadway-style" musical being properly adapted to the big screen. The talking objects are just a bit too kiddy (well actually most are okay, it's just Chip who's obnoxious) and LeFou can be a bit much at times, and I think the human form of the best could've used another pass in the art department (and he could've been given a name in the film so we'd know him as Adam or whatever rather than just "Beast"), but other than that, 10/10 masterpiece level shit.

Walking into this movie, I was cautiously optimistic. Some people planned to love it no matter what, while others figured that remaking the original was a crime against humanity that should not be countenanced. I fall somewhere in the middle.

The Good

Most of the cast was great. Normally I'm iffy about Josh Gad, but he was great as LeFou and gave him some nice dimension (and the whole gay thing was done tastefully in my opinion, not shoved down your throat or left strictly to subtext). That being said, that bit with the guy being happy to be in women's clothes... I dunno, I'm not sure if Disney's really ready to tackle transgender issues yet, and I think we should take one baby step at a time, especially with the people throwing a hissy fit that a side character happens to be gay. I like the Beast a lot, I think most of the animated objects are great (except Chip but I've always found Chip to be obnoxious, so that's all in the source material).

The musical highlight was easily "Be Our Guest", though "Gaston" was great too. Ewan's got some pipes on him, let me tell ya; probably the best singer in the movie. A shame he didn't get more material. I think giving Gaston a war hero backstory was a little silly, but I like making him more sinister and less buffoonish. I also like that he's more buyable as a pretty boy who's "beautiful on the outside" but ugly on the inside; when I see cartoon Gaston, he's so comically overmuscled that I can't imagine any woman finding him to be "beautiful".

I thought the fight scene in the castle was great; a little cartoony, but fun, while the animated version feels a little childish in this part. Sidebar, but whenever I hear Lumiere saying "I know!", all I can think of is

Oh, and getting back to casting, Kevin Kline as Maurice was fantastic. I'm fine with buffoon dad in the original, but he played it with class and dignity.

The Bad

Emma Watson sucks. I'm sorry, I really wanted to give her a chance, but she just does. I don't agree with Doug that this movie overall is shit, but I have to agree that she can't sing for the life of her. Every time she opens her mouth it's clear that she's straining, and it just hurts, and compared with Belle in the original, one of the best characters that Disney has ever conceived, it's hard not to notice the difference. Even when not singing, she alternates between slightly bemused and mouth agape, never showing the huge range of expressions that Belle showed in the original. She was just flat and uninteresting, and it's a huge shame seeing how she's the lead, especially since I know she can do better from the Harry Potter films. Maybe it's bad direction or she was that uncomfortable with singing, but either way she drags the whole endeavor down.

Emma Thompson is also pretty bad (what is it with Emmas in this movie being bad singers?). During the acting parts she's fine, but her voice cracks all over "Beauty and the Beast" and she simply can't cut it.

Then you've got the cinematography. It's dull as a rock. You look at scenes from the original, like that shot that flies around Belle as she sings "There must be more than this provincial life!" or of course the classic sweeping shot of "I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!", or the legendary ball room scene, and they're all amazing. Meanwhile here they just use a bunch of static shots. Is it in the name of "realism"? Dude, you're making a movie about a fairy tale with a beast man and a talking candelabra; realism isn't on the menu.

The new songs weren't bad per say, but they were completely unmemorable. The new backstories for Belle and the Beast were also a little forced; let them just be their own characters, don't give them parental issues, please. There were other changes that were hit or miss, some good some bad.

The confrontation with Gaston and the Beast was kind of weak. In the original, the Beast just lets himself get kicked around by Gaston until Belle shows herself, which gives him the strength to retaliate. Here, after getting shot once he runs around on the rooftops like he's ready to fight, and then he's like "oh hey Belle what's up girl". Oh, and why include the enchantress at the end? Seriously, just let it be magic; don't bring her in to go "HERE I AM TO SAVE THE DAAAAAAAY". Like a lot of things, it felt forced.

Also, minor thing, but I hated that when the servants became human again, they just cut away, and surprise, the actor! Spare a little CG to show them transforming? I'd even take a whirl effect and then they're human, like they did int he animated version. This just felt remarkably lazy.

And I wasn't a fan of the whole Victorian thing of giving everyone powdered wigs. The animated movie felt timeless, whereas this made all of the stuff at the castle feel stuffy and old-timey.

There was something else at the very end of the movie that grinded my gears, but I can't remember it, so I guess it wasn't that important? I'm sure it'll hit me sooner or later.

The Verdict

I wrote a lot more stuff about what I didn't like rather than what I did, but that doesn't necessarily mean I dislike the movie. Rather, the majority of the movie, that which takes from the original film wholesale, is fine because it's copying one of my favorite films of all time. It basically feels like a redux version of the original. I remember seeing the Broadway musical once when I was in high school (a high school production of it, my brother's friend was Lumiere), and I thought it was good, but it wasn't the definitive version of the classic. And that's how I feel about this movie: a good retelling that will never surpass the original. I might watch it sometime again in the future, but I know I'll see the original time and time again, and if anything this just made me appreciate it even more.

In the end, though, no matter how many times this tale is retold, there will only be one perfect version that lives in the hearts and minds of generations:

Spoiler

 

 

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Ivanhoe

MGM's answer to WB's The Adventures of Robin Hood (1938)...14 years after that was released.

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Dogma

I have been on a binge of View Askew movies, and I'd never seen this before, though I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not really a fan of Affleck or Damon though, but the side characters and everything else was great.

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Oh yeah, now I remember something about Beauty and the Beast that annoyed the piss out of me.

When the Beast transforms back, there's no exchange between him and Belle. They just look at each other for a few seconds and kiss. What the actual hell? It just feels so limp and weak.

Also another note, the magic mirror was really tiny for some reason. You can barely see anything in it, and you're basically taking the characters' word that they can see anything in there.

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16 hours ago, Maq said:

Dogma

I have been on a binge of View Askew movies, and I'd never seen this before, though I enjoyed it a lot. I'm not really a fan of Affleck or Damon though, but the side characters and everything else was great.

...speaking of Kevin Smith, I almost forgot, Mallrats, since I watched it during Easter. I mean, hey it counts since it takes place at the mall during Easter break. One of my top 5 favorite Kevin Smith movies of all time.

This might be the highlight:

 

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I like Mallrats a lot as well, it is also probably in my top 5. Funny that it was a major flop to critics but it still has a lot of fans.

Also, OT:

Airplane!

Very funny movie, I'm surprised I didn't watch it sooner. I would say that I consider myself a fan of Zucker movies, and the use of slapstick.

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The Simpsons Movie

I've seen it like 10,000 times but it's still hilarious to this day.

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Capote

Absolutely stunning performance from Philip Seymour Hoffman, truly a shame he had to go at such a young age. Wonderful movie overall in almost every way.

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The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad!

"Sexual assault with a concrete dildo?"

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I just saw Hong Kong 97 (The movie not the game). It is pretty good.

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The Double Life of Veronique (1991)

 

Oldboy (2003)

Possibly the third ultra-violence film i saw (after Ironclad and A Clockwork Orange). 

 

 

Spoiler

Boy, the twists of both films are really unexpected (especially the latter).

 

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Your Name was fine. I wasn't too fond of how the songs were used and the character designs weren't exactly my cup of tea.

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teaser_orig.jpg

I burst out laughing multiple times, primarily the scenes with Brad and those directly parodying Christian films.

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The Breakfast Club

Well, the first hour quarter, anyway; we caught and unplanned TV screening and didn't have time to watch till the end. Up until then I had only heard of it as this quintessential 80's movie, yet I never quite knew what it's like, so the economic setting and profanity ++ caught me off guard. Funnily enough, Dad, who saw it with me, and who's way outside the target audience, became even more engrossed in the character dynamics (easily the film's best point) than I did.

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Sausage Party

This is what Foodfight! was trying to be, if that's saying something. I thought it would be dumb but I actually enjoyed it quite a lot.

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