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Archive for March, 2017

Magical.  The live-action version of Disney’s animated classic Beauty and the Beast is simply magical.  For those of you who thought they couldn’t do justice to the original, I would say that this one stands on its own and can be enjoyed without taking anything away from the animated version.

It stars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Prince/Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as LeFou.  The household accessories include Emma Watson as Mrs. Potts, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth.  All were wonderful.

It’s a faithful adaptation of the original animated film, with a few extra scenes thrown in.  It can’t have been easy to take on a new version of such a beloved classic, but Disney (and director Bill Condon) got it right, and by the estimated $170 million haul it has made so far (and the fact that tickets were selling like hotcakes) I’d say this will go down as a huge success.

There are the original songs as well as some new ones, including one for the Beast called Evermore.  And yes, Dan Stevens really does sing it.  All the cast members did their own singing.  Some of them, like Luke Evans, are old pros at it.  Evans told CinemaBlend they recorded the songs but also sang live on set and he doesn’t know which version they used.

Speaking of sets, if there isn’t an Oscar nomination for set design that would truly be a shame, but let’s have a word about the costumes.  The iconic yellow dress is amazing.  And yes, it is a little odd that the story is set in France, yet the actors are by and large British.  From what I can tell the timeframe is supposed to be mid-1700’s, and the French upper class wore very… umm… over the top (dare I say foppish) clothes.  I would have brought the clothes down just a tad, particularly for the Prince, and had him forego the wig with side curls for a simple ponytail with a ribbon, for instance.  That said, the original story is a French fairy tale published in 1740 (according to Wikipedia), so I suppose Disney was at least being historically accurate.  That is the tiny, and only, complaint I have.

So by all means go if this is at all your kind of thing.  I saw it in 2D, but it’s also out in 3D and IMAX.  I’d rate it well worth a full-price ticket.  Don’t forget to bring the tissues!

Image via imdb.com

#BeautyAndTheBeast

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The BBC and ITV have teamed up to start a new streaming service, BritBox, according to Variety.

For us Anglophiles stuck here in the U.S. this is good news!  Many of us have been able to watch some British TV through, say, Netflix (hello, Midsomer Murders!) or if PBS decides to collaborate with or piggyback onto the BBC’s content, but have been frustrated that we’re unable to get ahold of some shows that are up online in the U.K. but are blocked for us viewers here in the States.

Enter BritBox, which brings a mixture of classic and current television.  Old favorites such as Blackadder, Fawlty Towers and The Office are available now, as are back episodes of current shows such as EastEnders and Casualty.  New episodes of those are loaded up the day after they air in the U.K.

If you like detective stories and mysteries, there’s Jeremy Brett’s Sherlock Holmes, Helen Mirren’s Prime Suspect, Joan Hickson as Miss Marple and Rosemary and Thyme, among others.

Bleak House, Jane Eyre, Pride and Prejudice and Upstairs, Downstairs (both the original 1971 version and the 2010 remake) are part of the historical drama contingent.

Right now the offerings are a little thin, but I would imagine that’s due to the BBC and ITV wanting to see if this takes off before adding more.  I would love to see Coupling on here, maybe Graham Norton, and possibly some game shows.

The service starts with a 7-day free trial and is $6.99 monthly thereafter.  To sign up go to BritBox.com.

#BritBox #BritishTelevision

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Marvel released the second trailer for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 on Jimmy Kimmel Live.

We see Elizabeth Debicki as Ayesha and Kurt Russell as Ego, Star-Lord’s dad.

And of course, we get more of pint-sized scene stealer Baby Groot. One can never have enough Baby Groot!

The song is The Chain from Fleetwood Mac’s Rumors. If director James Gunn ever decides to quit making films I have a sneaking suspicion he could get a gig as a DJ somewhere…

Enjoy!


#GotGVol2

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