The Magic Comes Home: Our Review of ‘Beauty & The Beast’ (2017) on Blu-Ray

Posted in Blu-Ray/DVD, Movies by - June 06, 2017
The Magic Comes Home: Our Review of ‘Beauty & The Beast’ (2017) on Blu-Ray

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It takes talented and brave souls to tackle the remake…

Over 25 years after the animated classic that enraptured audiences everywhere, this live action Beauty & The Beast despite being a hair over long still captures all the magic and spectacle that this story has brought countless audiences over the years.

Beauty & The Beast is the classic story of Belle (Emma Watson) a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

While it does get a little too wrapped up in itself with the layers and layers of pomp and circumstance, this Beauty & The Beast still works on so many levels and it is an absolute delight to take in on either the big or the small screen.

Director Bill Condon leans hard into the style and design of everything that passes across the screen but it works exceptionally well with a strong but slightly padded screenplay taking in all the right elements of every version of this iconic story and mashing them into one.  The musical performances are mostly note perfect and every musical number gets staged with exceptional care and love making it all feel as sweeping and as epic as we want it too and even though the most cynical of us will think that the music is just there to drive soundtrack sales and an eventual Broadway run, it’s still and always has been a musical at its core and the music is what opened it up to audiences everywhere.  While I’ll be the first to admit that the production design is really a little over the top it’s also what sells this entire story giving it all a fantastical other worldly type of feel.  Playing as grey or dull, it wouldn’t have worked and it needed to uses every shiny bauble and rich colour in the spectrum to hammer this all home.  It’s an immersive experience from head to toe.  Condon managed the emotional delicacy and the pomp and circumstance of the story all throughout.

Emma Watson effortlessly makes for a brilliant Belle and she easily carries the movie with absolute aplomb as a strong cinematic heroine.  Dan Stevens is fine as the Beast and plays off of Watson quite well.  Luke Evans is delicious as the villainous Gaston and Josh Gad as his sidekick Le Fou provide so much delightful comic relief.  To call the balance of this ensemble as loaded is probably an understatement as Kevin Kline, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Audra McDonald bring their A+ games to everyone of the supporting roles in transforming this animated classic to life with magic and ease.

The picture quality on the Blu-Ray is top notch and the special features include deleted scenes, music videos, behind the scenes featurettes and a unique look at the table read for the film and how it was quite different than anything else that has ever been done.

More of a tribute or an homage to the more classic telling of this story; today’s version of Beauty & The Beast captures all the cinematic magic that you’d hope it does and will delight audiences on any sized screen, but we do recommend that the bigger the better.

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This post was written by
David Voigt is a Toronto based writer with a problem and a passion for the moving image and all things cinema. Having moved from production to the critical side of the aisle for well over 10 years now at outlets like Examiner.com, Criticize This, Dork Shelf (Now That Shelf), to.Night Newspaper he’s been all across his city, the country and the continent in search of all the news and reviews that are fit to print from the world of cinema.
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