Wonder Director: Stephen Chbosky Screenwriter: Stephen Chbosky Cast: Julia Roberts, Owen Wilson, Jacob Tremblay, Izabela Vidovic, Mandy Patinkin, Daveed Diggs, Noah Jupe, Danielle Rose Russell Distributor: Lionsgate Rated PG | 113 Release Date: November 17, 2017
Based on the children’s novel of the same name, Wonder inspires with its virtuous themes that tell its audience to do the right thing. On the surface, Stephen Chbosky‘s film looks like one of those schmaltzy films so formulaic that you probably already know that it is going to hit all the right emotional notes at all the right times.
But sometimes predictability is not so bad, and underneath that surface, there is something honest and heartfelt about it. There is a refreshing message that reminds us when given the choice to be right or be kind, we should be kind. Check out my full review of Wonder below.
Beauty and the Beast Blu-ray
Director: Bill Condon
Screenwriter: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos
Based on the original screenplay by Linda Woolverton
Cast: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson
Distributor: Disney Studios
Rated PG | 129 Minutes
Blu-ray Release Date: June 6th, 2017
Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast has already grossed close to $1.2 billion worldwide, and it debuted in theaters less than 3 months ago! The film received rave reviews from critics and fans alike. It somehow managed to retain the magic and aura of the 1991 animated Best Picture nominee (the first ever animated film to receive the honor), all the while breathing new wonder into the timeless story. Given 25+ years to review the original classic, the writers and Director Bill Condon covered up some of the continuity errors, and added a few beautiful new songs to mix alongside some of Disney’s most famous tunes like “Be Our Guest” and the titular number. Featuring a star-studded cast headlined by a radiant Emma Watson and Dan Stevens, Beauty and the Beast was one of my favorite films of 2017 thus far, as well as my 6-year old daughter’s, who loved every minute.
After succeeding with Cinderella and hitting the jackpot with The Jungle Book, Disney’s live action lineup went with one it’s true classics. Back in 1991, Beauty and the Beast became the first animated film nominated for Best Picture, combining unbelievable new animation technology with maybe the greatest assortment of music and songs put to screen. The film won two Oscars, both for its music; Best Score and Best Original Song (Beauty and the Beast). It had 3 (!) song nominations. Disney’s new live action Beauty and the Beast is exactly what fans of the 1991 animated classic could hope for. The film directed by Bill Condon maintains all the magic and charm, while following very closely to the narrative of its Oscar winning forerunner.
It has been 26 years since Disney released their Oscar-winning animated hit Beauty and the Beast, and the film continues to resonate with its fans. These live-action remakes have given the studio the confidence it needs to open the vault and revisit which films deserve the same treatment. So it seems more than appropriate for Disney to release this new version with an all-star cast that includes of Emma Watson playing Belle.
The film has a special place in Watson’s heart as it not only inspired her to be an actress, but it has also shaped the person that she is today. We were invited to attend the film’s press conference along with our fellow journalists to talk to the actress about her approach to the role, accepting who you are, and discovering your place in the world as an outsider. Check out what she had to say and more below.
Disney adapting Beauty and the Beast from its animated format into live-action is a tall order considering the huge fan base the 1991 animated film has. But considering that Disney has found huge success in their live-action remakes, it comes as no surprise that the studio would give this one the same treatment. And like those previous films, they usually come with a huge ensemble. With Emma Watson and Dan Stevens playing the title characters, the film needed actors who could fill the roles of the massively muscular and massively egotistical Gaston and his adorably bumbling sidekick LeFou.
So Luke Evans and Josh Gad took on the roles, and did so beyond our expectations. The two have such great chemistry, and have a wonderful duet in the new rendition of “Gaston.” You can check out our video of the two singing the song alongside the film’s composer Alan Menken. Plus find out what they had to say during the film’s press junket about what it takes to be a villain and their experiences working with their horses.