It’s the weekend again, and that means Film Focus. Here’s Mike Laidman with what’s new in local theaters.


‘Tale as old as time, song as old as rhyme.’ That’s a little how I feel sometimes when I introduce the week’s movies, so why not let Beauty and the Beast do it for me? This week, that’s what’s on the menu, and boy, does it taste good.

Coming in second, way back in second, is The Space Between Us, a movie that takes its great premise and throws it away in favour of a big helping of cheese.

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Mike Laidman

Welcome to another edition of Film Focus. I’m Mike Laidman.

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Beauty and the Beast (2017, Bill Condon)
An adaptation of the Disney classic.

Disney is on a bit of a hot streak as of late, at least when it comes to the live-action adaptations of their classics, some of which date back over 60 years.

Beauty and the Beast was the first animated movie to be nominated for an Oscar for best picture, due in part to the beautiful story as well as the timeless songs and wonderful animation. This 2017 live-action version looks to keep exactly what made the original so popular - lavish costumes, beautifully-crafted songs, and an enchanting voice cast - while also offering a fresh take on the story that many know so well.

We are treated to the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast's hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true prince within.

Anyone who has fond memories of the original animated version, or who has kids now, will undoubtedly enjoy seeing such an enchanted story on the big screen once again.

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The Space Between Us (2017, Peter Chelsom)
The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time.

Shortly after arriving to help colonize Mars, an astronaut dies while giving birth to the first human born on the red planet. Thus begins the extraordinary life of Gardner Elliot - an inquisitive, highly intelligent boy who reaches the age of 16 having only met 14 people in his very unconventional upbringing. When he finally gets a chance to go to Earth, Gardner is eager to experience all of the wonders he could only read about on Mars. But after his explorations begin, scientists discover that Gardner's organs can't withstand Earth's atmosphere, and so he must work against time to unravel where he belongs in the universe.

The Space Between Us has an intriguing premise, but unfortunately falls pretty flat across the board. It’s full of plot holes, and is over-the-top sentimental. What could have been an interesting science fiction tale is instead turned into a cheesy teenage romance, just set in space.