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Overall Rating

Worth A Look: 33.33%
Average: 5.56%
Pretty Bad: 0%
Total Crap: 0%

2 reviews, 6 user ratings

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Beauty and the Beast: IMAX Edition
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by Thom

"A magically delicious IMAX extravaganza"
4 stars

The new Beauty and the Beast is remarkably similar to the old one. What is remarkably disimilar is the difference it makes to watch in on an IMAX screen. Grainy detail that you wouldn’t notice is magnified so that familiar characters like Mrs.Potts occasionally take on an Annie-like face with simple black lines to act as facial features. On the other hand, the staggering height of the screen also amplifies the shots of Belle when she first enters the castle and you get the sensation of looking way up at the ceiling and looking way down to the floor.

Instead of just blowing up the original 35mm version for the IMAX screen, the production crew went to work on the digital source material, adding detail and effects and and fixing mistakes that were unnoticable before. The colors are richer and more saturated. Don’t tell anyone, but if you look closely, you can see that the lines rastared poorly when enlarged. (Rastaring is what happens when you enlarge a digital line. When you blow an image up large enough, you start to see the pixels as very noticeable blocks. A curved line doesn’t truly exist digitally the way it does on a piece of paper, or in nature.) Every so often, watch the black outline of Belle and you’ll see there weren’t enough pixels to create fine detail in every scene. The edges aren’t as smooth as you’d get with a higher resolution in the original.

And there is a new song called “Human Again”, led by Lumiere, the candlestick Maitre d’ about how wonderful life will be now when the enchantment is broken. It’s another song in a consistently engaging animated musical. It doesn’t suck.

I like Disney’s Beauty and the Beast because it shows off what Disney does best. And I am just as susceptible to that very tight, very mythic story structure as anyone. And I laughed all over again at the song about Gaston. “Nobody’s neck is incredibly thick as Gaston.” When Disney wants to create real magic, they know how to do it.

I’m getting tired of seeing Jewish pennypinchers in Disney films though. What is it that makes a crooknose a symbol of malintent? But what can you do when you are stuck watching films created inside of history which contains the unfortunate development of racial and ethnic stereotypes borne from religious and social persecution. Nothing. Just cry, I guess.

This time around I also noticed how the pretty french maids that were all pretty much alike, were completely uninteresting. It was quirky, brainy Belle that was the talk of the town. It makes me wonder how generic beauty is placed at such a premium over uniqueness or personality. Women kill themselves to conform to a standard of very standard “prettiness” and then they end up being completely unremarkable and indistinguishable from the herd of women just like them. In the real world, you see this taken to the extreme in the kind of women Hugh Hefner surrounds himself with publicly. They have the same hair, the same lips, the same tits. When you put them all together, it’s like looking at wallpaper.

Belle is like Julia Roberts or Gwyneth Paltrow. They are not generic beauties but are attractive women with distinct personalities. So why do all these desperate Hollywood hopefuls bank more on their ability to conform then their ability to distinguish themselves? Ask the Hefner chicks. Ka-Fucking-Ching. It’s brutal to be placed in a film only to look like every other person you see at malls in upper middle class neighborhoods America over. Hello and welcome to Oblivion. Thank Goddess for Kirsten Dunst and Julia Stiles.

I used to be critical of Disney for raping the western cultural heritage. But they are on to something. The culture belongs to those who create it. And Mickey is a big ticket item openly traded on the stock market. Nobody is going to let that mouse get dirty. They can keep pumping it out, for better or worse because God Damn It, it’s good for America.

Like the Chemical Industry is good for America. God Damn It. Who cares if half the rivers in America are poisoned if it means my daughter is going to get a good college education and drive her own Ford Explorer some day.

The same money protecting the profit made by the chemical companies are protecting the mouse. Money has no conscience, no morality. But board members do or don’t, depending on what it is they are working so hard for. Power? Privelege? Prestige? Pretentious polemical pomposity? It’s a sick, sad, world. If I’m going to go see this movie I may as well just dump cyanide in my backyard. Which is the chemical used by mining companies who routinely lease public lands from “the government”, roughly translated as, “whoever recently hijacked the White House” in the process of seperating the minerals in the ore.

But all of that doesn’t really matter when you are spellbound by the magic of Beauty and The Beast. I like dark and the demonic of the castle under the curse as much as the light and joyful castle after the spell has been broken by … what else… True Love.

Its stupid and sappy but it’s something I completely believe in. The Power of Love. Billie Holliday said it when she sang , “Love, for sale. Appetizing young love for sale.” I’m a pimp, and Disney is the whore. Ten bucks a fuck. I’m ashamed to admit that she’s a good lay.

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originally posted: 12/19/01 19:09:04
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User Comments

10/20/11 Magic The best Disney princess movie ever made. Nearly the best Disney movie of all time. 5 stars
1/10/09 Bethany Cox Best Disney movie of the 90s. Gorgeous songs and animation. Beast and Lumiere made movie. 5 stars
9/01/03 Kitty B. better than the original-saw it in vegas 5 stars
1/07/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik I'm more forgiving on that glitch on Belle's face, can you delete my rating, HBS? Thanks. 5 stars
1/29/02 Ron F. Myaudience was complacent and only perked up at "Himan Again." 5 stars
12/20/01 Andrew Carden It Was Ok I Guess...Watchable and At Times Fun, but Just OK. 3 stars
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