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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Tweet Review: Beauty & The Beast

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3 Responses to “Tweet Review: Beauty & The Beast”

  1. EtGuild2 says:

    Your love of musicals is showing. I’m not a huge fan of these things, but “by far?” I’m not sure anyone else would argue this is “far better” than TJB or CINDERELLA.

  2. David Poland says:

    I like Jungle Book, but it is insanely overrated. Cinderella just isn’t very good.

  3. Hallick says:

    I just re-watched the original with the family a couple of weeks ago and saw this one yesterday. Emma Watson is a fine Belle, but…she’s just fine, not more. There were a few times, like during “Be Our Guest”, where it reminded me A LOT of watching that play-along-and-watch-the-puppet-do-its-thing acting of an unengaged guest celebrity on The Muppet Show.

    But most everything they did to alter and open up the original story worked better than I would have expected (Kevin Kline with the re-written father character, Luke Evans’ Gaston, the enchanted snow palace in June, the magic map visit to Paris, more detail added to Belle and the Beast’s blossoming friendship, etc).

    The extra sorceress material wasn’t better though, being too easy to spot early on and didn’t add anything necessary to the climax. My daughter also noticed that the worst technical decision, the digital alteration of Beast’s voice, sounded just like like Kylo Ren. They should have bolstered Stevens’ voice in more subtle ways rather than make Beast sound like a creepy cop show kidnapper making ransom demands.

    But all in all, it’s kind of a great “good” movie without actually being a great movie.

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“When Bay keeps these absurd plot-gears spinning, he’s displaying his skill as a slick, professional entertainer. But then there are the images of motion—I hesitate to say, of things in motion, because it’s not clear how many things there are in the movie, instead of mere digital simulations of things. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that there’s a car chase through London, seen from the level of tires, that could have gone on for an hour, um, tirelessly. What matters is that the defenestrated Cade saves himself by leaping from drone to drone in midair like a frog skipping among lotus pads; that he and Vivian slide along the colossal, polished expanses of sharply tilting age-old fields of metal like luge Olympians. What matters is that, when this heroic duo find themselves thrust out into the void of inner space from a collapsing planet, it has a terrifyingly vast emptiness that Bay doesn’t dare hold for more than an instant lest he become the nightmare-master. What matters is that the enormous thing hurtling toward Earth is composed in a fanatical detail that would repay slow-motion viewing with near-geological patience. Bay has an authentic sense of the gigantic; beside the playful enormity of his Transformerized universe, the ostensibly heroic dimensions of Ridley Scott’s and Christopher Nolan’s massive visions seem like petulant vanities.”
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How do you see film evolving in this age of Netflix?

I thought the swing would be quicker and more violent. There have been two landmark moments in the history of French film. First in 1946, with the creation of the CNC under the aegis of Malraux. He saved French cinema by establishing the advance on receipts and support fund mechanisms. We’re all children of this political invention. Americans think that the State gives money to French films, but they’re wrong. Through this system, films fund themselves!

The other great turning point came by the hand of Jack Lang in the 1980s, after the creation of Canal+. While television was getting ready to become the nemesis of film, he created the decoder, and a specific broadcasting space between film and television, using new investments for film. That once again saved French film.

These political decisions are important. We’re once again facing big change. If our political masters don’t take control of the situation and new stakeholders like Netflix, Google and Amazon, we’re headed for disaster. We need to create obligations for Internet service providers. They can’t always be against film. They used to allow piracy, but now that they’ve become producers themselves, they’re starting to see things in a different light. This is a moment of transition, a strong political act needs to be put forward. And it can’t just be at national level, it has to happen at European level.

Filmmaker Cédric Klapisch