Megaplex Masses Have Spoken

Joe and Jane Popcorn have embraced Disney and Bill Condon‘s Beauty and the Beast to the tune of $170 million domestic and $350 million worldwide. I’m sorry but I don’t give a shit about this movie at all, and I respect Condon as a guy who’s made films I’ve enjoyed and admired (Gods and Monsters, Kinsey, Mr. Holmes) and presumably will again. I could have attended an all-media screening a few days ago but I “forgot” about it — i.e., never wanted to see it in the first place and embraced the first distraction that came along.

What am I missing? Nothing…nothing at all. I am not a lemming, and I don’t do cliffs. I won’t see it or stream it, and I won’t lose a blink of sleep.

Knowing Disney and their corporate factory-product sensibility, I strongly sensed that the view of The Verge‘s Tasha Robinson would be my own: “[This is] largely a frustrating clone of the original [animated] movie — same songs, same script, often even the exact same shot choices — but it replaces every moment of authentic or moving emotion with bombast and hyperbolic overemphasis. It slows down the flow of the familiar music by jamming in extra phrases, and builds up the energy by jamming nonstop, busy action onto the screen. It’s a garish, strident film, as well as a profoundly unnecessary one.”

  • Geoff

    Yes but David Poland really liked it.

    • SaulPaul

      Has he ever not liked a musical?

  • Aaron B

    I thought it was not without flaws but still very good. Yes it mostly recreates the animated film, but the backstory it does add and the characters it fleshes out more I think all add to the story in a positive way. In all honesty I probably enjoyed it more than “Logan.”

  • Mark

    Branaugh nailed Cinderella but had a much easier task in that the cartoon is shit. This appears to be a straight remake; not a big fan of the songs from the original, and don’t need to hear John Legend sing them.

    • Aaron B

      That’s not the movie version of the song.

  • Bobby Peru

    Sorry, no. Robinson is a joyless asshole for describing this harmless and perfectly acceptable, even touching at times movie as “garish” and “strident,” which really reeks of a miserably unhappy and out of touch film snob. Try critiquing the film without knee-jerk comparisons to its cartoon predecessor. Also, you can tell yourself whatever you want about Joe and Jane but the movie that pulls in 170 million in three days is hitting a lot more than that. And Robinson should lighten the fuck up.

  • JoeS

    And, the divide between Critics and Audiences continues to grow.

  • Mr. F.

    First MOONLIGHT, now this. What is it with you and movies featuring gay characters?! Embrace your inner LeFou!

  • K. Bowen

    Hey, Benjamin! One word: Musicals.

  • K. Bowen

    Wasn’t it like, three months ago that all I heard was that nobody was ever going to go a movie theater anymore?

  • Brad

    The Disney animated version is a classic, a complete movie animated or not, superb. I had the same feelings as you Wells, this is more Disney cashing in, and it is sad. especially because it is working so well for them.

  • childerolandusa

    This was pretty good. But if you don’t like Disney Princess films, it probably isn’t for you.

  • Lou A.

    Of course this film went through the roof – it had every teenage girl wanting to see it, it had every Harry Potter fan wanting to see Emma Watson, it had every movie musical fan wanting to see it, and it had some slam-bang-beautiful trailers.

    Pity it’s a mess of a movie. The dramatic core of the story (how does an enslaved captive woman go from frightened and angry to loving her hideous captor) is absurd in this script. I’m amazed to say that the animated version did it better.

    And to be even more cynical, despite the brilliant casting of Emma Watson from a name-and-mythical-fantasy-story-recognition point of view, she proves how limited an actress she is. Part of it is the muddled direction, but she is wooden and uninteresting.

    Tasha Robinson was too kind.