'Beauty And The Beast' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD]
(Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, et al / 2-Disc Blu ray+DVD+Digital HD / PG / 2017 / Walt Disney)
Overview: 'Beauty And The Beast' is a brand new live adaptation of the fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.
Blu ray Verdict: To kick things off, let me say I've been a Disney fan since the beginning. 'Beauty and the Beast', the original animated version, was leaps and bounds more enjoyable. However, and sadly, as I really wanted to like it; love it even, this version removes the soul of the story.
Disney didn't seem to want to be bothered by what would actually be enjoyable to watch, or more, what would be important to keep you engaged. Emma Watson simply was a poor representation of Belle. She tried, I'll give her that, but it would've looked more natural seeing the strings the director tied Watson's appendages to make her move about the scenes.
Beyond Watson's contribution to the film, the Beast was just a plain bad design. Disney has been pushing out films for decades, but can't get the CGI remotely on par with today's standards? Luke Evans provided a great representation of Gaston however, so the film has that going for it.
Pointing out the topic which received the most controversy, the forcefully presented sexual affiliation of character Lefou was just bad taste on Disney's part. While the banter and side context between Gaston/Lefou was somewhat entertaining, the portrayal of homosexual desire designed by Disney in this children's film was bad judgment and part of a seemingly larger agenda.
In short, if you are expecting to see a wholesome family film, this isn't it. I've got no problem with homosexual references in adult films, but this is for kids. Disney was previously unbiased and was successful. If this new direction continues, I can say Disney will more than likely lose a good deal of business from a much larger, more value-driven number of communities.
For me, personally, it's a great shame that Disney had everything to make a decent film (the budget was tremendous, the sets were fine, the cast could have been better, the special effects were good in some parts), but missed their chance and decided to destroy the childhood memories of those who once loved 'Beauty and the Beast'.
I mean, and this isn't just me griping, but my friends also, but the producers made a HUGE mistake in casting Emma Watson as Belle. With her usual 'too knowing' look and unmistakable accent, watching the film is like watching the Harry Potter star making a parody appearance!
The strong English accent is cringe worthy throughout the film and Emma clearly is not a believable Belle. One of the original Belle's main features are her big luscious eyes batting gracefully and innocently. Whether the producers were simply looking for a modern Belle or not, the casting failed miserably here.
In closing, with the plot and characters already well known and predictable, they should have captured other aspects of making it a big modern classic - such as going 'outstanding' on vocals and emotional pulls. But, there was no effort here and the main characters are heavily set on auto tune and heavily lacking of real emotions.
Taking a look at some of the more stand out Special Features, my favorites are such ones as The Women Behind 'Beauty and the Beast' where Emma Watson introduces several of the talented women in all aspects of production who helped bring this enchanted tale to life. It's an engrossing little featurette and one that shines amongst the wealth of others here.
Another one is Making a Moment with Celine Dion where the Canadian songstress shares what it’s like to sing “How Does a Moment Last Forever” – and be a part of the legacy of 'Beauty and the Beast,' in general.
One last one is From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences, where we go behind the scenes into the making of some of the best-known moments from 'Beauty and the Beast.' This is a Widescreen Presentation (2.40:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
Bonus Features Include*: BLU-RAY & DIGITAL HD
Enchanted Table Read – Join the cast for the movie’s elaborately staged table read, complete with singing and dancing to live music, set pieces and more.
A Beauty of a Tale – Explore the process of transforming a beloved animated film into a new live-action classic.
The Women Behind “Beauty and the Beast” – Emma Watson introduces several of the talented women in all aspects of production who helped bring this enchanted tale to life.
Making a Moment with Celine Dion – Celine Dion shares what it’s like to sing “How Does a Moment Last Forever” – and be a part of the legacy of “Beauty and the Beast.”
From Song to Screen: Making the Musical Sequences – See what goes into making some of the best-known moments from “Beauty and the Beast.”
“Belle” -- Filmmakers and cast reveal how it felt to shoot this memorable scene.
“Be Our Guest” -- Discover all that went into creating this epic, primarily virtual performance.
“Gaston” -- Join the cast for rehearsals and filming of this rousing, high-energy number.
“Beauty and the Beast” -- You’re invited on set for the filming of this beloved, classic scene.
Introduction by Director Bill Condon -- Director Bill Condon presents a collection of scenes that, for one reason or another, ended up on the cutting-room floor.
Gaston Courts Belle -- Pleased with himself after settling a disturbance with the townspeople, a triumphant Gaston attempts to woo Belle.
Bread and Jam for Agathe -- On her morning market rounds, Belle stops by to see Agathe, the village beggar woman.
Storming the Ice Gates -- The angry mob of villagers, led by Gaston, overwhelms the castle’s defenses.
Lumière Torches LeFou -- As the fight rages around them, LeFou scuffles with Plumette … until he experiences a sudden, extremely heated interruption.
Monsieur Toilette -- LeFou escapes from the brawl into a small room, where he's startled by a castle resident.
Cogsworth Rescues Lumière -- When Clothilde the fishmonger threatens Lumière, Cogsworth leaps into the fray.
Treacle the Lasses -- Three village lasses chase Chip and Froufrou – Madame Garderobe’s dog-turned-footstool – into the kitchen, where a surprise awaits.
LeFou and Monsieur Toilette Reunite -- After the spell is broken and the castle residents are returned to human form, LeFou and his new acquaintance meet again.
Extended Song: “Days in the Sun” – Learn more about Beast’s childhood in an alternate version of this beautiful song, introduced by director Bill Condon.
“Beauty and the Beast” Music Video – Award-winning artists Ariana Grande and John Legend perform a moving version of this iconic song.
Making the Music Video – Go on set to capture the magic as it happens in Ariana Grande and John Legend’s “Beauty and the Beast” music video.
Disney Song Selection – Jump directly to all your favorite songs and sing along with the movie.
“How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Music Box)
“Be Our Guest”
“Days in the Sun”
“How Does a Moment Last Forever” (Montmartre)
“Beauty and the Beast”
“The Mob Sing”
“Beauty and the Beast” (Finale)
“Beauty and the Beast” Music Video
'Beauty And The Beast' [Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD is released everywhere this June 6th, 2017.