Director: Bill Condon
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans
Release Date: June 6, 2017
A Review By: Kevin Lovell
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
The story and characters you know and love come to spectacular life in the live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast, a cinematic event celebrating one of the most beloved tales ever told.
Based upon their animated masterpiece, Disney’s new live-action adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ takes viewers deeper into the story than ever before. Most are surely quite familiar with the general story; the smart, kind and book-loving beauty Belle (Watson) who agrees to take her father’s place as a prisoner within an enchanted castle whose owner just happens to be a massive, hairy and angry Beast (Stevens) that along with a number of various enchanted companions has spent generations trapped within the walls awaiting the illogical chance that he might somehow find true love and subsequently break the curse. But once the gorgeous and wonderfully unique Belle arrives, a semblance of newfound hope magically manages to seep in.
Directed by Bill Condon (Mr. Holmes, Dreamgirls) from a screenplay by Stephen Chbosky (TV’s Jericho) and Evan Spiliotopoulos (The Huntsman: Winter’s War), Condon does a pretty fantastic job at the helm of the live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ adaptation, capturing the overall magic within and guiding the story along quite capably at each turn. The film also owes a good share of the credit to the cast which includes numerous talented individuals offering fitting performances in these infamous roles (no small feat), most notably Emma Watson and Dan Stevens who portray the title roles and each offer noteworthy portrayals that should have no trouble pleasing fans of the original. The cast also includes a number of additional well known individuals including Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci, and more who all help to make up the expansive supporting cast, whether in person or primarily by voice.
Disney’s new live-action take on their beloved animated film ‘Beauty and the Beast’ offers a gorgeous, fairly well done and remarkably detailed remake of their animated masterpiece that includes all of your favorite moments (and songs) and also takes things a bit further; adding some new musical additions (such as one sung by The Beast which fits in splendidly) and providing a deeper exploration of Belle’s past, along with some other new touches, and never forgoing important elements from the animated film in favor of new moments, merely offering a larger scope of the events which for the most part fits quite well and rarely feels out of place or forced (albeit somewhat unnecessary at times). It’s a fairly rewarding and well done live-action take on their unforgettable classic in most regards, although perhaps not as spectacular as a few of Disney’s other recent live-action adaptations such as ‘Pete’s Dragon’ and ‘The Jungle Book’ which both soared well above expectations in my book. ‘Beauty and the Beast’ can find itself dragging a tad in a few instances which is one negative result of trying to add so much additional material to the overall story, and a few of the magical objects (such as the teapots) appear almost comical and don’t quite fit with some of the other remarkable items like Cogsworth who looks absolutely spot on brought to life here. As a whole the film still comes out a winner, and the wonderful performances from leads Emma Watson and Dan Stevens contribute notably to its success. I would strongly encourage fellow fans of the original animated classic and Disney fanatics in general who haven’t yet had the pleasure to make a point of giving this new live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ a whirl when you have the chance; it’s almost certain to repeatedly put a smile on your face throughout and aside from a few mildly scary moments it should make a great selection for a family movie night this summer.
Overall, Disney’s new live-action adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ provides a beautiful and mostly well done new take on the animated classic that expands the story we all know and love and even offers some new songs (along with all of those you love of course), all brought to life with breathtaking detail that looks spectacular nearly every step of the way, even if the extended story occasionally results in the movie dragging a bit. Guided along splendidly by director Bill Condon and further complimented by fantastic performances from Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in the lead roles. This live-action adaptation of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ is definitely recommended for fans of the original and anyone who tends to appreciate (or outright love) Disney films in general. Fans of the film who have already had the pleasure will likely want to consider picking up a copy of the Blu-ray release for their collection which sports impressive high definition video and audio presentations along with some enjoyable extras for everyone.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ features a full 1080p High Definition presentation utilizing the film’s original 2.40:1 Cinemascope Aspect Ratio. The video presentation looks outstanding as a whole and provides a remarkably detailed, colorful and clean presentation from start to finish, with no noticeable faults to be found within. It holds up impressively even during the numerous darkly lit and heavily populated sequences, never allowing anything occurring on screen to become negatively affected or rendered indiscernible. Overall, this is a wonderful high definition video presentation from Disney that should have no trouble pleasing the fans and casual viewers alike.
The Blu-ray release features a lossless 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio soundtrack. This lossless multichannel soundtrack delivers an immersive, often quite aggressive and just plain enjoyable audio presentation throughout. It regularly takes advantage of all seven available channels in order to fully immerse the viewer within the memorable music, in addition to sending crowd activity, nature elements and plenty more making its way through the various speakers when appropriate, and never causing any dialogue that might be occurring simultaneously to become distorted or rendered inaudible in the process. Overall, this is a fantastic 7.1 channel DTS-HD MA soundtrack that delivers on every level and contributes even more fun to the overall viewing experience.
The Blu-ray release of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ includes ‘3 Ways to Watch the Movie’: the ‘Original Theatrical Edition’, in ‘Sing-Along Mode’, or with an opening ‘Overture’ (approximately 4 minutes) before the movie. The release also includes some fun extras for the entire family. Included on the release are a number of ‘Deleted Scenes with an introduction by Bill Condon’ (running approximately 6 minutes in length altogether), in addition to an ‘Extended Song: “Days in the Sun”’ which also includes an introduction by Bill Condon (running approximately 4 minutes). We are also treated to a number of other fun videos including a Music Video and some Behind the Scenes Featurettes that include behind the scenes footage, interviews/comments with the cast and crew, plus more; they include: ‘Enchanted Table Read’ (running approximately 14 minutes), ‘A Beauty of a Tale’ (approximately 27 minutes), ‘The Women Behind Beauty and the Beast’ (5 minutes), ‘Making a Moment With Celine Dion’ (3 minutes) a ‘”Beauty and the Beast” Music Video by Ariana Grande and John Legend’ (4 minutes), plus ‘Making the Music Video: “Beauty and the Beast”’ (2 minutes), and an inside look at bringing some of the infamous songs to life with ‘From Song To Screen: Making the Musical Sequences’ (approximately 13 minutes altogether). The usual ‘Disney Song Selection’ option is also included which allows you to jump directly to your favorite songs in the movie.
*Please note that the above images are taken from the Blu-Ray and resized. They additionally will suffer quality loss as a result of .jpg compression. Larger versions of each image can be viewed by clicking on the image. All images and content included on this Blu-Ray release are the property of their respective owners.
Film Rating: 7.5/10
Disc Rating: 8.5/10
Disney’s Live-Action Adaptation Of ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Arrives Home on Blu-ray, DVD & Digital HD June 6, 2017 from Walt Disney Pictures Home Entertainment