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Movie Reviews
by Todd Pearage

Beauty and the Beast (3/17/2017)


Rated PG for some action violence, peril and frightening images.

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

Directed by Bill Condon


Todd's Rating: Theatre Worthy

Dynamic ImageA tale as old as time.

Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast 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.

There is no doubt Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast feeds on the nostalgia audiences have for the 1991 animated feature. And as exciting as it might be to watch actors inhabit this beloved story, the film itself seems to be both confused and confusing.

I am more than willing to admit that I am not of fan of the setting, culture and costumes of 18th century France – which is when the fairy tale was written. I know some will think I’m uncultured, but the tight pants, big wigs and powdered faces just aren’t my thing. Throw in today’s all-inclusive identity politics and the result is a bit of a mess. Then again, this is a film that features a singing candelabra and a talking clock, so maybe it's best to check disbelief at the door.

I took my wife and two daughters to see the updated Beauty and the Beast and they loved it…the singing, the dancing and all the enchantment made them “Ooh” and “Aw” all the way through it. And I will admit, there is something fun about watching this story come to life with real actors.

Emma Watson as Belle is near perfect casting. She manages to carry the film and keep the audience engaged. The Beast looks great and is fun to watch. I wish I could say the same for the other “characters.”

There is plenty of singing and dancing which my girls loved, but I found myself wondering if the popcorn needed to be refilled.

To be clear, I am basing my score more on my wife and girls’ opinions…because they are the target audience: Beauty and the Beast for them was “Theater Worthy.”


SHOULD KIDS SEE IT?
There is no sex or nudity but…“very mild homosexual undertones are depicted openly by a flamboyant male character.” - IMDB

There are a few frightening scenes like when Belle is chased by a pack of wolves and the battle scene between the villagers and the castle's enchanted items.


CONVERSATION STARTER:
  1. Why are the villagers afraid of the beast?

  2. Have you ever judged someone (good or bad) by the way a person looks?

  3. Read 1 Samuel 16:7

      But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.”

  4. What can we learn from this movie and this passage?

  5. How can we do a better job of not judging people by their outward appearance?




Todd Pearage Todd Pearage is a movie buff at heart, but he's not your traditional film critic. Todd is a blue collar film geek, from his job years ago at Blockbuster to his heartfelt online movie reviews. But Todd isn't just a film geek. He has worked with middle and high school students since 1991 as a youth pastor and is currently on staff at Calvary Church in Souderton, PA. Todd and his wife Lynda have three children, Brianna, Caleb and Addyson.



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