A tale as old as 1991. You may have not stopped hearing about how much money Beauty and the Beast made this weekend. How much, you ask? $174.8 Million. No big deal. The Disney machine cannot be stopped. The conversion of all of Disney’s classic cartoons into live action films will soon be complete and there’s not much we can do to stop it. It’s not a new thing. You’ll remember all those Snow White remakes, and Maleficent interpretations. Once Upon a Time, that shitty tv show everyone forgot about, has somehow managed to butcher all the classics for six seasons and no one is really complaining about it except me it seems. So what’s the deal? Are these remakes a bad thing? Yes and no.
The good news? The remakes that Disney has come out with in the last three years are actually really good. The Jungle Book came out earlier in the year and gave us a really good peak at what The Lion King is going to look like and I approve. Cinderella was fantastic, although missing some of the great songs the cartoon had. They’re now casting for Aladdin, and Mulan is also in the works.
So what’s the bad news? Well, it depends on what kind of movies you like to see and how you feel about Disney, singing, and remakes.
You’ll love this film if you can answer yes to the following questions:
- Do you love Disney?
- Do you constantly find yourself wanting to throw money at anything Disney’s name is on?
- Do you want to hear all the same songs from the cartoon movie?
- Do you want to hear new songs that aren’t in the original cartoon movies?
- Do you want lines from the cartoon movie repeated back to you almost verbatim?
- Do you want blocking that’s almost move for move what it is in the cartoon?
- Did you ever ask yourself what happened to Belle’s Mom?
- Did you ever wonder what happened to Mr. Potts?
- Did you ever ask yourself, is LeFou gay for Gaston or was I just picking up weird vibes in that cartoon movie?
- Do you worship Emma Watson?
If you answered yes to these questions then this movie is for YOU! That’s great! This movie is for me too. I loved it, but I completely understand why some people wouldn’t.
It does feel like Disney is really pushing it here with all these live action remakes but when the results are $174.8 million more in the bank, who can blame them?
Emma Watson gives us her feminist perspective of Belle which we all knew was there in the cartoon movie, but with her convincing and wonderful acting, we see a Belle full of action and bravery. She joins the fight with Gaston and the Beast at the end. She constantly stands up for literacy in her village. Belle invents a washing machine so she has more time to read. She tricks her father into taking his life sentence. She manufactures a rope to climb out of the castle and escape. Most importantly, she takes a giant snowball to the face and doesn’t give any fucks about it. She’s wonderful.
The rest of the cast is just as good. Josh Gad, voice of Olaf in Frozen, plays LeFou. He’s taken ridiculous criticism from hard line Christians all week long about how LeFou is too gay in the movie. Um, have you not seen the cartoon? He literally waltzes with Gaston and eye fucks him everytime he walks by. I’m confused as to why this is suddenly now a problem, and wasn’t in 1991.
Luke Evans plays a great well rounded Gaston. He starts as a comical joke but soon turns super dark. At one point he punches Maurice in the face, then ties him to a tree for wolves to eat him alive. No big deal.
If you’re a Dan Stevens fan you will not be disappointed. You may remember him from his days at Downton Abbey as Matthew Crawley. He also is on the incredible FX show Legion where his acting really shines. His face is only in the movie in the beginning and end, but you can really see his facial recognition in The Beast. His standard side smile, the shrug of his shoulders. It’s all Dan Stevens even as a seven foot tall hairy Beast.
There’s a few new things to this movie, songs, small holes of plot filled that the cartoon created. The film plays on provincial France as the background of the cartoon and really outdoes themselves with the costumes and what French royalty would have been like at the time. It’s truly a visual delight.
Overall though, the movie is the same as the cartoon, which is honestly what people wanted. They proved it by throwing their money at it all weekend long. Maybe we need to start coming to terms that we as a society just want to eat the member berries for the rest of our lives. I for one think they’re delicious.
Get Out (2017) – Horror | Comedy | Thriller
Directed by: Jordan Peele
Starring: Daniel Kaluuya and Allison Williams
How I Watched: Theatres
Review by Nick Spanjer
Here’s the thing about the first big horror movie of 2017: it is not that scary. Now before you turn away from this review, know that I loved the film. While each trailer wraps it in a pretty horrific little bow, the truth is, the film is more of a psychological clusterbomb, meant to fuck with the heads of the droves of white audiences filing in to see it. I know you’re thinking, “Oh man, Jordan Peele just made a movie to rip on Trump voters?,” but, no.
The smartest part of Get Out, was not that it rips on Trump, Trump voters, or even white people in general. What the movie actually does is firebomb the white, liberal elite; those same ones that were sure Hillary Clinton had the election in the bag. At one point, a terrific Bradley Whitford, who plays main character Chris’ girlfriend’s father, tells Chris that if he could have, he would have voted for Obama a third time. This sort of forced validation with the “black” community that Chris represents shows how out of touch these people really are.
I’m not going to go too much further into the plot, but what I can tell you, is that this movie definitely did its job in making me horribly uncomfortable. Being a white liberal, I could just feel the awkwardness of Bradley Whitford and his wife (played by an awesomely creepy Catherine Keener) almost giving each other pats on the back of how accepting they are of their white daughter’s new black boyfriend. The musical score does its job to inflict unease (with the exception of one over-the-top section at the end of the film), but the most discomfort is caused by the characters’ interactions. While there are plenty of classically tense “horror” moments in this, these moments are the most uncomfortable. And trust me, there are plenty of them.
I think my favorite performance in the film came from Caleb Landry Jones, the brother of Chris’ girlfriend. From the get-go, you can tell the character is off his rocker and it is one of the more well-acted pieces in the film. There is a dinner scene in which I was sinking further and further into my chair as the tension built. There are also moments which made me think of films like Rosemary’s Baby and Under the Skin, where the movie almost descends into a dreamlike abyss, causing you to feel the worst case of inescapability. At one point, Chris is hypnotized and his state of claustrophobia was nearly infectious upon me.
Get Out is not a horror movie in the classic sense. Yes, there are jump scares and there is some pretty gruesome violence. In all reality though, this is Jordan Peele’s living nightmare on film. He took what he saw was happening in our country and all over the world, and made it into a film. Our world has become a pretty horrific place for a lot of us, and there are funny moments, as well as really uncomfortable ones. We do not treat each other right, and we have not been treating each other right for a long time. This is the movie that shows us just how awful it has gotten – and that is the most horrific part of Get Out.
Final Score: 3.5/4
Similar Films: Rosemary’s Baby, Green Room, The Stepford Wives