Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

I don’t typically post two movie reviews in a row, but when an invitation came to watch the new Beauty and the Beast film, I was thrilled to accept. I arrived at the beautiful Warren Theater in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma with my sister Debbie, niece Ashley and great-nephew Kaleb, excited to see this live action remake of a classic Disney animated film. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Although this was my second visit to the Warren Theater, it was my first time in the Grand Infinity Room. With its 50X100 foot curved screen and comfy seats, this was a grand viewing experience indeed. Before the movie began there was a light show set to music from Beauty and the Beast. Nostalgia hit me immediately!

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Beauty and the Beast has a large cast that includes Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Ian McKellen, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Emma Thompson, Nathan Mack, Audra McDonald, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw. This fairytale musical was directed by Bill Condon, is rated PG for mild violence and scenes that might be scary to young children, and has a run time of 2 hours and 9 minutes. 

Beautiful Belle (Watson) and her father Maurice (Kline) live in a country village in France. They are surrounded by small minded people who don’t understand Maurice’s artistic creativity or Belle’s desire to read books, learn new things and go on adventures. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Belle has attracted the unwanted attention of Gaston (Evans), the town’s hunky self absorbed hero, who doesn’t actually have a hero’s heart. LeFou (Gad) plots to help his best friend win the hand of Belle and charm the townsfolk, while attempting to conceal Gaston’s more ruthless nature. 

When Maurice gets lost on his way to the market, he encounters a montrous beast-like man who takes him prisoner. Belle finds her father held captive in the Beast’s (Stevens) huge, dark castle that lies under a magical enchantment. She frees her father and surrenders herself as a prisoner in his place. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Belle befriends the inhabitants of the gloomy castle. Under the same spell as the Beast, the staff has all been turned into furniture and household items and antiques. There’s the comforting and motherly Mrs. Potts (Thompson) and her tea cup son, Chip (Mack), a singing wardrobe (McDonald) and her cadenza husband (Tucci) and a sweet French woman turned into a feather duster, Plumette (mBatha-Raw). Presiding over the strange household are the candelabra Lumiere (McGregor) and the crotchety clock, Cogsworth (McKellen). 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

This eclectic group views Belle as their only hope for restoration. If the Beast does not learn to love, and be loved in return, before the last petal falls from the enchanted rose, he will remain a beast forever, and his staff will remain in their current state. 

It’s a lot to ask of the girl who lost her father and her freedom on the same day. 

But something beyond magical begins to happen, as Belle and her captor get to know each other. Beast feels his guard coming down, and the anger he has nursed for years is replaced with curiosity and a faint hope. Belle, who has longed for someone to discuss books with, sees beneath the gruff and gruesome exterior of the beast to the man trapped within. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
They both wish to be free…free from the curse, free to live as themselves, free to love, and in Belle’s case, free to leave the castle to see her father. Time is running out as Gaston leads the villagers to the castle to kill the beast. Can love free them all before it is too late? 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
This was a beautiful remake. The animated film released in 1991 was a favorite of mine, the story enchanting on so many levels. My children were young and captivated as well, by this “tale as old as time…”.  Beauty and the Beast was the first film that my granddaughter Aubrey watched over and over, at the age of 18 months. So this story, this movie, holds many special memories for me. 

Which would explain why I watched it today through tear filled eyes, from start to finish. The music stirred my heart, the familiar songs, for this is a musical, made me smile, and the additional new songs and scenes enhanced the film. There were plenty of humorous moments too, from Gaston and his sidekick LeFou, Lumiere and Cogsworth, and even Belle and Beast. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast
What I love most about this film, beyond the music and the special effects and CGI, beyond the humor, is that this is a story about seeing past outward appearances, and into the heart. Beauty and the Beast is a love story, and a story about hope and redemption. 

I so appreciate the opportunity to see the movie today, and spend time unpacking its truths on the ride back to Joplin. I will be seeing Beauty and the Beast again. 

Movie Review: Beauty and the Beast

Movie Review: Doctor Strange at the Warren Theater

Saturday evening I enjoyed such a treat, in the realm of movie going. I visited the Warren Theater in Broken Arrow, OK, for the first time, to view the long awaited movie, Doctor Strange. 


I’ve wanted to watch a movie in this new state of the art theater since it opened. Thanks to my niece Ashley, who purchased tickets a week early, I at last had the opportunity to see inside this classy place. 

I was accompanied on this adventure by Greg, Linda, Debbie and Ashley. Our tickets gained us admittance into the ultra luxurious Director’s Suite, an intimate Hollywood style viewing room with reclining seats and chair side service from an extensive menu. We arrived early, and checked out the Director’s Lounge while waiting for the suite doors to open.



I was impressed when I saw the suite! With seating for 40 guests, the theater had the feel of a private viewing room. The seats did indeed recline, with warmers that could be turned on, and had small table tops that swung in front of each chair for the ultimate comfort while watching the movie and dining. 

We ordered dinners and drinks and I snapped pics with delighted enthusism while we waited for our food to arrive and the movie to begin. I was so grateful that the Warren had vegan options on the menu! I had a veggie burger, tossing the toasted bun aside, a small garden salad, and a tall glass of cold water. 


Just after our food arrived, the lights dimmed and the movie began.  I’ve looked forward to seeing Doctor Strange all year. Comfy in my heated seat, legs stretched out, dining on a tasty veggie burger, I was ready! 


Doctor Strange stars Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel McAdams, Chiwetel Ojiofor, Benedict Wong, Tilda Swinton and Mads Mikkelsen. This next installment in the Marvel Universe storyline was directed by Scott Derrickson and has a run time of 1 hour and 55 minutes. The adventure/fantasy carries a PG-13 rating, for intense action scenes. 

This story follows Dr. Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch), an extremely talented and egotistic neurosurgeon in the NYC area. After a horrific car accident severely damages the surgeon’s hands, and threatens his identity if he can no longer perform surgeries, Strange embarks on a journey that takes him far from New York and the reality he has accepted all of his life. 



The rest of the Doctor Strange characters are Christine (McAdams), Strange’s colleague and off and on girlfriend, Mordo (Ojiofor), one of the Masters at Kamar-Taj in Nepal, Wong (Wong), the Librarian…and so much more…at Kamar-Taj, The Ancient One (Swinton) and the villain of the story, Kaecilius (Mikkelsen). 

There are mysteries and mystics, transformations and time loops, metaphysical lessons and mind bending action scenes that caused one of my sisters and my niece to take dramamine so they could watch without getting too dizzy. 

I loved the dialogue within the film about surrender and being in the flow. It was so on target and spoke deeply to me. While the story contains some elements that may seem far beyond what we know as possible, many of the metaphysical components are very familiar to me. Movies like Doctor Strange expand my mind and awareness and encourage me to keep following my path and to keep growing. 



Doctor Strange was an amazing movie, highlighting the talents of one of my favorite actors…Benedict Cumberbatch. And I viewed the movie in an incredible theater, that just might have spoiled me for future theater excursions. I’m excited to watch this movie again…and I’m thinking the new Star Wars movie presents an excellent opportunity to return to the Warren.