shadowkat: (Default)
shadowkat ([personal profile] shadowkat) wrote2017-06-11 05:57 pm
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Movie Reviews: Beauty & the Beast and Captain Fantastic

Saw two movies this weekend, on via On Demand, and one via Amazon Prime.

1. Beauty and the Beast - Live Action adaptation of the Broadway Musical version of the animated film

This starred Emma Watson (Belle), Dan Stevens (Beast), Luke Evans (Gaston), Ewan McGregor (Lumineer), Emma Tompson (Mrs. Potts), Audra McDonald (Mmd de Carderzona - the wardrobe), Stanley Tucci (the player piano or Maestro) and Ian McKellan as Codsworth (the clock) and Kevin Kline (as Maurice, Belle's father).

It was good. But it was also almost exactly like the animated version. Decent CGI, and everyone sang their parts quite well, I thought. There's three new songs -- two the Beast sings, and one Belle sings.

So, if you liked the animated version, you'll like this one. I've seen four versions now, my favorite is the French 1930s a director I can't remember the name of. Because it had some nice twists. It's also the version that Disney one is clearly based upon, with the enchanted or haunted castle and all the servants various forms of furniture, etc. In the French version, Gaston turns into the Beast upon his death, and the Prince becomes human again. The fourth one is not worth mentioning.

2. Captain Fantastic

This starred Viggo Mortgensen (who was nominated for an Oscar and various awards for the film), along with Frank Langella, and the kids are amazing in it.

It's a quirky film and in places a scathing indictment of American society. (When you post on an international journal, you need to quantify these sorts of things.) Also of Capitalism. Although he does make the point to his son, who has become a Maoist, after being a Troskist, that Communism can result in genocide as well. (It didn't bother me, because I don't worship at the feet at any economic system and think all of them are crap. Frankly economics gives me a headache. And I'd prefer not to think about it too much. But alas, I'm surrounded by economics majors, how did this happen? I got a degree in Law, cultural anthropology, and English Lit. Sigh, life, always the comedian.)

Captain Fantastic aka Ben has been raising his seven kids off the grid. When the movie opens, we don't know why he's doing it or what happened to the mother, just that she's not there. During the movie, we are slowly told why, and what happened, etc.

It's funny in places, and disturbing in others.

There's a scene where they enter a restaurant, and each kid gets excited over hot dogs, hamburger and fries, or pancakes -- and he immediately tells them that's it they are leaving. Because there's no real food on the menu.

Also during a discussion with his daughter about Lolita, his youngest asks what rape is, then what sexual intercourse is.

Ben: It's when a man puts his penis in a woman's vagina.
Kid: Why would he want to do that?
Ben: sometimes for pleasure also to procreate and have children
Kid: But isn't that where the woman pees?
Ben: Well, not exactly, it's below there, but yes ...something like that.
Kid makes a face.

To resolve the problem, Ben buys the Kid the Joy of Sex.

Then there's a discussion with his sister-in-laws family about childrearing. He's telling the truth about what happened to the mother. The sister in law says we need to shield kids from this. Meanwhile her two teenage sons are engaged in an extremely violent x-box game.

That's just two examples. I found it hilarious in places and cringeworthy in others. But overall, an excellent and uplifting film, and worth watching. The people do change in the end, Ben changes...he realizes that he's putting his children at a disadvantage and with their help, finds a middle way -- to raise them without sacrificing his beliefs entirely.
cjlasky7: (Default)

[personal profile] cjlasky7 2017-06-12 01:27 am (UTC)(link)
Jean Cocteau, La Belle et La Bete (1946). Beautiful, dreamlike. A completely different animal from the other versions. Haven't seen since college. Have to see it again.
Edited 2017-06-12 01:29 (UTC)