Or: A movie review by someone who has no business giving one.
I rarely see movies. I am by all accounts a TV girl and I will binge-watch shows for days at a time. Once a movie comes on, though, I typically have trouble paying attention or even staying awake.
Consequently, my movie knowledge is fairly limited. This is a source of consternation for Kyle, who has kept a list of movies that I haven’t seen that he thinks I need to see. I’m fine with that as long as we start the movie before sundown. Otherwise I’m toast, wakefulness-wise.
You see? I really am someone who has no business giving movie reviews.
So, something about a movie needs to be particularly compelling to get me to go see it in a theater. It also doesn’t hurt that my local theater is one of those with the recliners, which is really the only way I want to see movies ever again.
But back to the compelling part — the new live-action Beauty and the Beast certainly fit that bill. A remake of a childhood classic with Hermione/Emma Watson as Belle? Sign me up.
Despite being seated between a pair of undergrads who were SnapChatting on one side and a woman loudly (and distractingly) complaining about how distracting the snappers were on the other, everything about the movie was a damn delight. Sure, the whole Stockholm Syndrome aspect of the story has always been fairly problematic, but when you look past that (bear with me), it is just as enjoyable as the original — and even more fully realized.
The story gets more fleshing out in the update, which is appreciated for those of us always looking for plot holes. Animated Disney movies are, of course, geared toward children, so they’re understandably shorter and miss some of the character building that might otherwise be there.
I could take or leave the new songs. They weren’t bad, but the original score was wonderful and I’m becoming more set in my ways as I age. Pretty soon I’ll be listening to the oldies station exclusively and pining for the “good ol’ days.”
Really the only area where the animated version is stronger is with the anthropomorphized castle staff. There are things you can get away with in animation that are harder to pull off when trying to make something as life-like as possible. Lumiere is much more charming as a 2D animation than as a CGI candelabra. It’s just slightly more creepy in 3D. And, well, Ewan McGregor did a terrible French accent.
But really, I loved this movie. I’ve been singing Disney songs under my breath (and, OK, at the top of my lungs) for the past three days. I went to an 8:35 showing and stayed awake through the whole thing and was grinning widely by the end of it. It may not win an Oscar, but it was enjoyable as hell. That’s quite an accomplishment.
Rating: 4 out of 5 Enchanted Roses