Let’s not mince words_ beauty and the beast is a terrible movie _ ars technica

You know the story: girl meets boy, girl gets imprisoned by boy, girl and boy slowly grow closer with the help of his enchanted atlas. Best lunch spots in san diego Okay, so you know most of the story.

Beauty and the Beast is the latest of the live-action Disney re-imaginings that are so unnecessary to the company’s bottom line they can’t be viewed merely as cash grabs.

Popular restaurants in los angeles They’re more like test tracks for a nostalgia engine. Best restaurants in san diego And Beauty and the Beast is determined to put a new spin on that tale as old as time, whether it needs it or not.

These kinds of retellings have the potential for something genuinely new. Best restaurants in downtown san diego Maleficent gave us a shift in cultural sympathies toward antiheroes, and the unorthodox result both worked as a story on its own and refreshed our perspective on the classic Disney princess movie. Best places to eat in downtown san diego But the 2015 Cinderella was merely a stylish, vacuous playground. Best places to eat in san diego on a budget Still, it raised some questions. Good places to eat in san diego What sort of realism does a Disney narrative require now? How much reinvention dare you risk in design? How should Disney reflect social changes when revisiting older works? And can you manufacture nostalgia without weighing down a franchise?

Those are the big questions for Beauty and the Beast. Mexican food in san diego Disney’s animated version from 1991 is recent enough that its core audience is now making reservations six months in advance to eat at Be Our Guest Restaurant in the Magic Kingdom. Best seafood restaurants in san diego Though we know the new live-action version is likely too big to fail, the original still has something to lose: Disney’s taking a genuine risk meddling with a former Best Picture nominee. Best restaurants in chicago il But that hasn’t stopped Disney and director Bill Condon ( Twilight: Breaking Dawn, Dreamgirls) from trying. Mexican food in los angeles Almost inevitably, Beauty and the Beast ends up as an experiment in piecemeal nostalgia—the modular storage unit of the Disney legacy. Best dinner restaurants in los angeles From cartoon to live-action

Condon takes advantage of the live-action production design, which frequently evokes Jean Cocteau’s classic 1946 version, but VFX demands mean that, once we reach the castle, we get a lot of opulence by rote. Best inexpensive restaurants in chicago Emma Watson gives Belle her mostly sufficient all; Dan Stevens struggles valiantly behind suffocating CGI. Best cheap restaurants in chicago That same problem hounds the enchanted servants, who are all pieces of furniture and household items come to life. Best affordable restaurants in chicago As Madame Garderobe, a talking wardrobe, Audra McDonald pitches gamely to the cheap seats. Best lunch spots in new orleans Others suffer: Ewan McGregor as an anthropomorphic candlestick palpably expects to be replaced any moment.

Among the supporting cast, Luke Evans has the most fun—his Gaston is a perfect downshift from cartoonish boor to all-too-recognizable egomaniac. Best food in new orleans But Kevin Kline’s a close second, lending Belle’s father, Maurice, a depth you didn’t realize was so badly missing from the animated version. Best chinese food in chicago In fact, the movie banks heavily on the idea it’s providing things that were missing from the original. Best chinese food in chicago chinatown It’s largely incorrect. Best seafood in wildwood nj But at nearly an hour longer than the animated version, there’s certainly plenty to choose from: additional songs reminiscent of the movie’s blockbuster stage musical, lush production design in the vein of that new Cinderella, and up-to-the-minute social commentary. Best indian restaurants in chicago (Belle’s an education-reform threat to small-town patriarchy now! Take that, quiet village!)

The flip side is that Beauty and the Beast doesn’t know where to stop—and it feels uncertain about how to treat its origins. Best seafood restaurants in new york city This gets us some oddly generic costumes for our leading lady (Belle’s famous dress is so blatantly designed to be merchandised you can practically hear the Disney stores starting their engines), character beats for absolutely everyone (if you ever questioned the town professor’s position on Killing the Beast, wonder no longer), and the occasional side trip through the space-time continuum with the Enchantress’ magic book (because if there was one thing missing from the classic, it was an ensorcelled atlas).

Does any of it work? Well, all this modernized polish certainly demonstrates the effective leanness of the original. Best cheap eats in chicago Nothing highlights the emotional heart of a movie more than surrounding it with so much filler you can barely find what you came for. Best fast food places near me But with so little substance at its center, the rest of the movie defaults to a self-conscious scorecard just hoping for a net gain by the time the credits roll. Best restaurants near times square Here’s the score: Kline’s worth ten points, and the grimly gleeful Evans is good for at least fifty, but Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette the dancing feather duster is wasted, and those credits roll before Dan Stevens has shed his CGI for a five-dollar Handsome Prince wig—so subtract at least sixteen. Best seafood in miami beach Near misses

Beauty and the Beast’s sheer excess masks the individual weakness of many of these additions, but there are a lot of missteps. Soul food restaurants in new york We probably didn’t need more music. Soul food restaurants in newark nj On the bright side, after “Be Our Guest” stretches into its fifth minute, you’ll be yearning to hear something— anything—new.

Further Reading Favreau beats Serkis to live-action Jungle Book film throneWhat’s most frustrating about Beauty and the Beast are the near-misses that suggest a potentially interesting perspective on old material. How to get free food from restaurants We get a fascinating setup with the prince in all his empty glory before the Enchantress appears, but we only get a glimpse before it’s gone. Fast food restaurants delivery Same for Gaston’s witch-hunt tactics, which feel like a fantastic counter-arc to a movie that isn’t here. Fast food restaurants near my current location Giving the Beast more romantic screen time without doing much about his violent early behavior remains a hard sell. Seafood restaurants near my location Gaston’s sidekick LeFou looks more like congratulatory back-patting in a cravat than a character, and Josh Gad does nothing to compel us otherwise. Best seafood restaurants in san francisco And draped over everything is a veil of self-consciousness that’s hard to shake. Best mexican food restaurants It’s two hours of a movie quietly apologizing for existing even as it launches into another group number.

Given all this superfluity, perhaps Beauty’s biggest achievement is that it comes off as well-meaning as it does. Best soul food restaurants That invisible scorecard will entertain you when the movie doesn’t; the effects are robust fodder for debates about the limits of CGI; the new material constantly offers something new to consider or decry. Best seafood restaurants in los angeles But despite its attempts to heighten the sparkle, earn its extra hour, and jump-start some new nostalgia, there’s just no disguising that this movie was better the first time.

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