Emma Watson

Still magical. Yet, there’s something there that wasn’t there before, and that something is meh.

Belle and Beast dance the night away.

If you’ve seen the 1991 Disney animated classic Beauty and the Beast as much as I have, you’re probably just as nervously excited for the live-action version as I was. The 1991 film was the first animated feature to ever be nominated for the Best Picture Oscar Award, and for good reason: it was smart, magical, romantic, and broke down animation barriers. The new live action version had to stay true to these things, while simultaneously amping up the drama, the romance, and the magic, and still embracing its classic songs (“Bonjour”, “Be Our Guest”, “Beauty and the Beast”, etc.). For a while, it was scarily unclear if the new version would be a musical at all. Once announced it would be, however, the producers needed to cast actors who could sing, and employ special effects that didn’t ruin the fun-loving side characters like Lumiere, Cogsworth, and, of course, the central character of the Beast. While the new songs and expanded character backstories are jarring and uninspired, the majority of the new Beauty and the Beast is still full of magic and romance, and does the original and Disney source material proud. The film also marks a pivotal point in Disney’s aspiration to have one of the industry’s most inclusive, and ethnically and racially diverse, modern film portfolios.

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Emma Watson dances, but not as much as you want, in The Bling Ring.

Emma Watson dances, but not as much as you want, in The Bling Ring.

The Bling Ring is Sofia Coppola’s fictionalized account of the real life Hollywood Hills burglaries of 2009, when a group of young Los Angelenos spent their nights breaking into the houses of celebrities to steal their high end clothes, purses and jewelry. While it’s technically based on a Vanity Fair article about the crimes, it draws a lot of inspiration from a reality show that starred one of the participants. How familiar you are with this show is going to determine your reaction to the film. That’s problematic. [read the whole post]

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