BEAUTY and the BEAST – Rated PG

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BEAUTY and THE BEAST – Rated PG – 2 hrs. 9 mins.

Starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, Ian McKellan and Stanley Tucci

From Director Bill Condon, the man who brought us movies like GODS & MONSTERS, DREAMGIRLS and the TWILIGHT SAGA: BREAKING DAWN, Parts 1 & 2, comes Disney’s REAL LIFE remake of their classic animated tale, so sit back, relax and get ready to take in all that is…Beauty and the Beast!

As we meet the sweet and kind Belle (Emma Watson), she is living out her mundane life within her village, with her father Maurice (Kevin Kline) and all the other people who apparently don’t understand either of them…

When the suave and debonair Capt. Gaston (Luke Evans) returns, with his comrade Lefou (Josh Gad) by his side, it seems that there is only one girl within this town suitable to marry ~ the beauty Belle~ but as luck would have it, she wants nothing to do with him…

When her father disappears into the wilderness, Belle must go in search of him, only to find that her father is being held prisoner by this hideous beast (Dan Stevens)! Knowing that her father is too frail and sick to stay locked up for too long, Belle trades places with him, allowing herself to be imprisoned within the walls of this horrifically cold and dismal place…

As Belle soon finds, her new abode is quite enchanted, filled with objects that not only talk, but also dance and sing – including Lumiere (Ewan McGregor), Cogsworth (Ian McKellan), Mrs. Potts (Emma Thompson) and her son Chip (Nathan Mack). As Belle tries to find some peace in this place so far from home, it seems that the servants have hatched a far-fetched plan to break the spell they are all under. All they need to do is make sure that Belle falls in love with the terrible Beast who has imprisoned her within the walls of his castle…as he really is a handsome prince with a big heart, under all his beastly imperfections…

I give BEAUTY AND THE BEAST a rating of MUST SEE ON THE BIG SCREEN and in IMAX or 3D: This film is absolutely breathtaking from its first frame to its last, and as it seemed we had to wait forever for its release to arrive, it was truly worth the wait. The casting throughout was exceptional; starting with Watson as the witty, charming and beautiful Belle. Stevens is good too as the Beast, but I wish we could have experienced him more in real life, than the mostly CGI’d version of him throughout most of the film. And all of the other castings were perfection as well, as they truly tried to cast individuals who not only “looked the part of those animated characters from the original”, but actors that could sing and dance their way perfectly through all those wonderful scenes throughout the storyline too. I was also excited to see how this movie affected everyone around me ~ from the youngest to the oldest that joined me to catch the advanced screening, you could see the true joy and amusement on their faces, as they viewed this film. There was just one tweak I would have loved to have made to adjust in the transformation of this remake, and it would have been to bring everyone into a 3-dimensional character – in order to not CGI so many of this films characters. I mean, Disney does own Jim Henson’s MUPPETS, and I just wish they would have secured those services to make all the characters from the candelabra, to the clock, to the teapot and cup, even using this for the Beast throughout the film, thus exuding a truly real-life dimension to this film, allowing for the CGI element to go bye-bye. But, even with that being said, I still loved seeing BEAUTY and the BEAST brought to life! This is one film that you have to take your entire family to enjoy this weekend, as it is not only very reminiscent of the original, but its a very nice reprieve from all scary, depressing and downright BAD films that have been hitting the big screen over the last few months. Take my word for it…YOU’RE GONNA LOVE IT!!!

Kathy Kaiser