Saturday, June 21, 2014

La Belle et la Bete (2014)

This is the most boringest review ever.

So on a whim I caught a film in the theater last night, and because I missed the showing for Wadjda, I went with the latest, Frenchest incarnation of Beauty and the Beast, La Belle et la Bete, direted by Christophe Gans.

I mention Gans because he did a somewhat well-known movie called Brotherhood of the Wolf or Pact of le Wolf, in French. The movie is about French Sherlock Holmes and Native American Kato unravelling a mystery about a...wolf, I guess? I honestly don't remember much except some badass scenery, some cool costume design and near-constant being fucking awesome from the sidekick character. Seriously, look at this guy.

Needless to say, I was expecting much of the same from La Belle et la Bete. I was not wrong. The costumes were meticulously designed and unique throughout the movie, and the sets were not only intricate, they were sometimes not CGI. Sadly, however, the Beast's costume just made his stupid fucking computer-animated face look even faker, and the real sets just made the fake sets look absolutely atrocious.

Brotherhood of the Wolf was known for having really well-shot action sequences and creating a creepy atmosphere. La Belle et la Bete does create a fantastical environment with the real sets, which I enjoyed. The Beast gets a few action sequences that were just flat-out cool. When the Beast pounces on someone or something, it's like Batman and a lion had a baby, and then they taught that baby how to be a ninja.

The spectacular failure of the film comes from its script, which is supposed to a romance, I guess? The movie starts with an unseen mother reading a story to her children. GEE I WONDER WHO SHE IS. I presume the children are awfully fucking bored of this story because nothing happens in it for a good long while. We start off by following Belle's father around for a while -- which is all well and good, I mean he's a nice guy -- but it comes at the expense of spending time with Belle, whom we're expected to care about for the rest of the movie. She wanders around the castle, doing nothing, before having dinner every night with the Beast, which also accomplishes nothing. I almost want to forgive this plot jogging in place, because I'm assuming this movie was made just to look pretty, and not really tell a story. So while Belle is doing nothing, we get to see her newest dress and check out the castle. Hey, gotta play to your strengths, right?

But you know, the prettiness in this movie cannot justify buying a ticket to see it in theaters, or even to have it clutter up your Netflix. Maybe wait a bit and look at some stills from the movie on Google.

1) Well made? - Write a good script, then design the sets. This is not rocket science.
2) Contributed?  - Pretty soon I'll be watching the 1940s version of Beauty and the Beast, and I suspect this 70-year-old version will be vastly superior.
3) Good time? - Nope
4) Watch again? - You shouldn't even watch it once
5) Worth it?  - Nope
6) Who should watch this? - If all the tickets for every other movie out in the theater now is sold out, and you have to hide from the CIA for 90 minutes, I give you permission to see this movie.

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