2 March 2017

On a lighter note

In serious times it is sometimes pleasant to discuss matters of no consequence.  As Seneca once wrote: "Aliquando et insanire jucundum est."  With that in mind...

I saw another ad for the upcoming live action Beauty and the Beast movie.  It took some time for me to come up with an appropriate response to this endeavor, but I think I have finally come up with something I would like to say to the makers of this movie:

Are you drunk?

First off, the original is widely regarded as one of the finest animated movies (what we used to refer to as 'cartoons') ever made.  A live action remake is up there in folly with the live action Grinch movie.  It will not compare well with the original.

Second, the casting of this movie is off.  Emma Watson is a competent actor, but not much more. And did I detect in the ad a hint of autotune in her singing?  Perhaps I am revealing my naivet√© here, but it seems to me that having someone who can sing, as opposed to someone who, y'know, can't, would be rather important in a musical.  Silly me.

They have also revealed the beast, thus robbing the movie of its potential Big Reveal.  Additionally, the Beast looks like a cut rate Sweetums the Muppet.

Worst is the casting of Gaston.  Gaston is supposed to be huge and dominating.  The guy they got to play the role is about... average.  He looks like a fop, if you get down to it.  I know the casting must have been difficult.  In brief terms, to be true to the original, they would have been looking for a body builder who can both act and sing.  In even briefer terms, they were searching for a unicorn.  They were never going to get it right. But  there are degrees of wrong and this casting is just wrong.  Listen to his singing "As a specimen yes I'm intimidating" in the least intimidating way possible at the end of this clip: 

Be honest: how many of you did not realize that was Gaston until he sang?

As a singer, I know exactly how this is being sung, and I therefore know it is being sung exactly wrong.  He is singing in a high tenor head voice which barely distinguishes itself from the background noise.  He should have a booming baritone that drowns out everyone else.  It is all wrong, from top to bottom.

It is time Disney lay down its cups and stop trying to cash in on nostalgia.  I will not be throwing my money at this picture.

Not that I've thrown my money at any picture in some time, but still.  There are principles involved.

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