Movie Review: “Beauty and the Beast”

The recent Disney remakes are rather hit and miss. For every “Jungle Book”, you’d get an “Alice in Wonderland” or a “Maleficent”. This “Beauty and the Beast” remake was anticipated since it was based on the first animated movie to be nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.  The big question is how does this movie hold up to the original?

The strongest point of the new “Beauty and the Beast” remake are the visuals and its art direction. There was a lot of effort in trying to recreate the look of the original. The ensemble cast was fine overall. Kevin Kline is the main standout from the cast. He brought a certain warmth to his character. Luke Evans and Josh Gad were fantastic as Gaston and LeFou respectively. Emma Watson’s performance as Belle on the other hand was wooden and stiff as was her singing.

This film is pretty much the same film as the original. Sure, they try to add some scenes to give it a longer running time but it’s all in vain. For example, they hinted at the Beast’s strained relationship with his father but it goes nowhere. This is ironic considering that the Beast is the most developed character in the movie. The film adds four new songs to the soundtrack in addition to the original songs. While the songs were fine, they were forgettable.

While “Beauty and the Beast” isn’t a bad film per se, it’s not a good film either. It’s a shame because this movie had potential. It’s practically a shot-for-shot remake.

SCORE: 5/10

Movie Review: “Kong: Skull Island”

The best thing about “Kong: Skull Island” are the visuals. Kong, along with the other CGI creatures, look amazing. The film has great cinematography that was shot on location. It is very reminiscent of how “Apocalypse Now” was shot.

Unfortunately, most of the cast was forgettable. Although the performances were fine overall, most of the characters were one-dimensional. The only character that had any development was the one that was played by John C. Reilly.

If you only came for Kong, this film is for you. Otherwise, it’s a mixed bag.

SCORE: 5/10

 

Movie Review: “Logan”

Although Hugh Jackman came from a musical theater background, it was the role of Wolverine/Logan in 2000’s “X-Men” that became his breakthrough performance. He gave the character the same amount of respect he would give any role. “Logan” is a fitting end to the titular character.

Patrick Stewart also returns as Charles Xavier for the final time. Like Hugh Jackman, he also plays a character who is a shell of his former self. This film solidifies the surrogate father-son relationship between Xavier and Logan.

Dafne Keen was surprisingly good for a child actor in her portrayal of Laura/X-23. I wish the relationship between her and Logan was more developed in this movie.

“Logan” feels like a modern-day Western than a generic superhero movie thanks to James Mangold’s direction. Stylistically, I would compare this movie to 1992’s “Unforgiven” due to its familiar themes of being past your prime.

The main issue I have with this film is its villain, Donald Pierce. Although Boyd Holbrook does a fine job with the role, I felt his character existed in this movie just to initiate a conflict.

If this movie and “Deadpool” doesn’t start a trend of adult-oriented superhero movies, something is very wrong with the world.

SCORE: 9/10

Movie Review: “Get Out”

“Get Out” is an impressive debut for Jordan Peele. Despite his background as a comedian, this movie is more of a satire than an outright comedy. Speaking of satire, Peele tackles the unintentional racism of suburbia. It would have been clichéd if the villains of this movie were straight-up rednecks.  As a director, Peele knows how to set up a shot like a master filmmaker. Daniel Kaluuya does a fine performance as the main character Chris Washington. I was surprised to find out that he is a London native. “Lil Rel” Howery, however, steals the show as the comic relief Rod. What keeps this movie from being great is its odd pace. Overall, Peele has a bright future ahead of him as a filmmaker.

SCORE: 8/10