Hello, fellow moviegoers!
It seems like every other week I’m writing an article about some new live-action version of an animated classic Disney is putting into development. This week, I’ve decided to talk about probably one of my most anticipated, mainly for curiosity’s sake, of these films. That would be the upcoming remake of The Lion King, set for release in summer 2019.
When they first announced that they were making this film, I was extremely wary for two reasons. First, The Lion King is arguably the best animated film ever made. There’s really not a need for it to be remade. I mean, there’s no way they’re going to improve upon it. Right? The second reason would be that they were making it “Live-action”. Meaning that all of the animals and environments and everything would be real. Or at least, it would be animated to look like it was real. This gave me cause for hesitancy because if the animation isn’t perfect for this film, the whole thing could go downhill fast. The magic would be gone.
The thing that brought me some comfort with this announcement was the director they attached. Jon Favreau signed on to direct this film for Disney. Favreau is most well known for his works on the first two Iron Man movies (which he directed and played the character Happy). He also directed the critically acclaimed film Chef, and most recently he directed the live-action version of The Jungle Book for Disney. When I heard that, my tune about this project completely changed. I went from being really apprehensive to being legitimately excited.
Side note: if you haven’t seen the new Jungle Book film yet, you should definitely do that. It’s amazing. Anyway, picking Jon Favreau to direct this film was the smartest thing that Disney could’ve done. Not only is he a great director, but he also has his experience with The Jungle Book to draw from. The visual effects in The Jungle Book were marvelous, in every sense of the word. Not only were all of settings and backgrounds realistic, but the animals walking around were picture-perfect, and they made you believe these were real animals talking. If they can somehow improve on that technology a little bit, and make it last for an entire film than this new live-action Lion King could be a pinnacle of modern filmmaking.
My excitement for this film only increased when they started to announce the cast. Most recently, they confirmed that Billy Eichner (Parks and Recreation, Billy on the Street) would be voicing Timon, and Seth Rogen (you know who Seth Rogen is) would be voicing Pumbaa. Both of which are, in my opinion, perfectly cast. For the lead role of Simba, Childish Gambino himself, Donald Glover, will be lending his voice talents. The most exciting addition to this cast is actually a returning voice. James Earl Jones has been confirmed to be returning to voice the character of Mufasa. Do I even need to explain why that’s amazing? You’ve all seen The Lion King. You know why that's great. The only thing that could make it better at this point is bringing back Jeremy Irons to voice Scar.
So, in general, I’m really looking forward to seeing this new adaptation of The Lion King. I’m really curious to see how these characters and this story translate into live-action. Though in reality, it won’t actually be live-action, it’ll be a realistic animation, which will be odd. But hey! If any studio could pull this off, it would be Disney. So, in Disney we trust, and I guess we’ll see.
So what do you think about the idea of this new live-action Lion King? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Power Rangers is directed by Dean Israelite, and it stars Dacre Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Elizabeth Banks, and Bryan Cranston. It is based on the incredibly popular TV series that began in the 90s, and it tells the story of five high school students after they discover ancient stones that give them incredible powers. Soon after, they discover that they must now become the Power Rangers to save the world from an evil sorceress known as Rita Repulsa. When this film was announced, many people dismissed it out of hand, but I actually wrote an article defending the idea. Was it worth it? Definitely.
This new Power Rangers film is a great example of how to balance nostalgia and the quality of a film. First and foremost, this film is tons of fun. All the action sequences are over the top (in a good way), and the humor consistently hits well. I had a big smile on my face from the moment this film started to the moment the credits rolled. In addition to the immense sum of fun, Power Rangers also has a surprising amount of heart to it. Throughout the film, I found myself legitimately caring about what was going on. I wanted to see what happened next, and I was rooting for these characters to succeed.
Speaking of the characters, they are a large part of what gives this film so much heart. In the original series, for the most part, they were cliché cardboard cutout "Let's save the day!" superheroes. This film takes what people loved about those characters and adds to it without changing who they were at their core. Each of the five Rangers in this film was a fully fleshed out three-dimensional character. They had good things about them, they had flaws, and they had motivations. They felt like actual teenagers, which is the best compliment I can give to them. Since I became so attached to these characters, I cared about what was happening to them, and it added another layer of depth to the film that is missing too often in films like this.
The most surprising thing in this film, to me, were the performances given by the cast. The entire cast that plays the Power Rangers in this film are complete unknowns to the general movie going audience, and they were all great! They each played their character extremely well and helped to differentiate the characters from one another. In the original series, it was just people in brightly colored suits kicking butt. In this new film, each Ranger had their own unique character traits, and those traits were portrayed wonderfully by the cast. All five of these actors and actresses, if they play their cards right, could become big names in Hollywood!
As I mentioned at the beginning of this review, Power Rangers shows how to perfectly balance nostalgia and the quality of a film. This film mainly concerns itself with actually making an enjoyable film that can introduce these characters to a new generation, but it also works very hard to keep its original audience happy. There are many moments in this film that are callbacks to the original series. Whether it’s a cameo from an actor or actress, a visual or audio cue, or an obscure reference, there were several moments in this film where I found myself and several other audience members really geeking out.
Overall, I thought Power Rangers was really good! I went into this film hoping to get some fun and a little bit of reminiscence out of it, and I was pleasantly surprised when it actually had well-developed characters, an interesting plot, in-depth world building, and an incredible amount of heart. Power Rangers is a really fun time at the theater, especially if you’re a fan of the original series. I would definitely recommend this film if you enjoyed the show. If you haven’t seen the show, I still think you can have a lot of fun with it. I loved Power Rangers, and I really hope to see this become a big film franchise!
So what did you think of Power Rangers? Did you love it as much as I did? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter! It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
With the release of Disney’s live-action version of Beauty and the Beast this past weekend, interest in the upcoming live-action versions of these fairy tales is at a high point. For the most part, critics and audiences are agreeing that the new Beauty and the Beast was very entertaining, so naturally many people find themselves asking “What’s next?”. Well, there’s a lot more live-action films based on Disney animated movies coming down the drain. There’s the Dumbo movie directed by Tim Burton, there’s The Little Mermaid with Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda doing the music, there’s the “live-action” take on The Lion King from Jungle Book director Jon Favreau, and many, many more. However, the closest one we’ll see in theaters is a take on the 1998 fan-favorite, Mulan, which will hit theaters in November of 2018.
First off, I want to fawn a little bit about how much I love Mulan. The 1998 film is a perfect embodiment of what makes Disney’s animated films great. They have fantastic characters (I would consider Mulan to be my favorite “Disney Princess”), engaging plots, catchy songs, and just the right amount of emotional weight to them. Mulan is one of Disney’s best animated films to date, and it’s a story that’s ripe for a live-action interpretation.
The film already has Mcfarland, USA director Niki Caro attached to helm the project, and in a recent interview with Moviefone, Caro described the film as “a big, girly martial arts epic. It will be extremely muscular and thrilling and entertaining and moving.” Disney executive Sean Bailey also gave some details as to the tone of the film. He described it as “an empowered female story…a little more muscular, stronger, with a touch of Ridley Scott.” So it looks like Disney is really looking to make an epic movie with their retelling of Mulan. The tale of Mulan is one that well deserves great action film adaptation. Despite being animated, the action scenes in the 1998 film really managed to get your blood pumping. Just imagine what they could do in live-action!
One of the most exciting things about this new live-action Mulan will be the cast. Thankfully, we won’t have to worry about white-washing with this film, because Disney is looking to have an entirely Chinese cast involved. Disney has even claimed to be conducting a global search to find the right actress to play the titular character. While no casting announcements have been made yet, I would assume we should be hearing some sooner rather than later. If Disney is going to make that 2018 release date, they should be getting decently close to finishing pre-production.
There have been a few reports swirling over the past week that are a bit concerning about the project. Mainly, it is being reported that the film won’t feature any musical numbers. Director Niki Caro commented saying “Yes, from what I understand, no songs right now, much to the horror of my children.” While Mulan without the likes of “Reflection” and “I’ll Make a Man Out of You” might not be exactly what fans want, keep in mind that a lot could change between now and the film’s release. So, don’t count the music out quite yet. There has been another rumor making its rounds that claims the film doesn’t feature the character of General Li Shang, though keep in mind that’s just a rumor, so take it with a grain of salt until we hear an official announcement from Disney.
In my opinion, if there were any animated Disney film most deserving of a live-action retelling, it would be Mulan. The story of Mulan is one that I believe would work best in a live-action format. While it may be concerning that the film might not be a musical, keep in mind that neither was 2015’s Cinderella, and that turned out great! Almost everything that has come out of this project so far has been extremely exciting, and it’s definitely one of my most anticipated films of the next couple years. Mulan will hit theaters on November 2, 2018.
So what do you think about the idea of a live-action Mulan film? Do you think it could work without the music? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this article, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don’t forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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Hello, fellow moviegoers!
Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon, and it stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, and many more. It is a new live-action film based on the classic 1991 Disney animated film of the same name. You all know what Beauty and the Beast is, so let's just get into the review.
The new Beauty and the Beast may not be as good as the original animated film, but it is still an extremely enjoyable film to watch. Despite not being on the same level as the 1991 film, this film still has a sense of that Disney magic to it. It has a few flaws throughout it, but overall it is still a film that I would recommend seeing. For the most part, it stays pretty faithful to the animated film, but it does offer a few new things here and there.
One of these new additions comes in the form of original songs. This film features all of the classic songs you remember from the animated film, but it also features four brand new ones. These new songs are good enough in the film, but they aren't on the same level as those of the original. That is, all of them except for one. The song sang by the Beast, "Evermore", worked extremely well, and I've even found myself listening to it a couple times since seeing this film. The new versions of "Be Our Guest" and "Gaston" are also a lot of fun.
There are a lot of visual effects in this film, which would be expected with a film that takes place in a Beast's castle full of talking furniture. These visual effects weren't great. There were a couple times I found myself looking at the Beast and thinking "Yeah, that was definitely made on a computer". Also, there's a scene early on in the castle where it was very apparent that they were using a green-screen. There weren't any times in this film where I found myself in awe at the visual effects. Across the board, they were decent at best.
Emma Watson plays the role of Belle in this film, and Dan Stevens plays the Beast. They both worked very well together. That being said, while watching this film I never saw Belle. I always saw Emma Watson as Belle. Watson didn't disappear into the character very well at all. She gave a fine performance, but it wasn't amazing by any means. Dan Stevens as the Beast, on the other hand, was fantastic. The Beast was created through a mix of large body suit worn by Stevens and motion-capture technology, and Stevens was able to add a lot of depth to this character though his body language and voice inflections alone. The Beast had a large physical presence to him, yet Stevens was able to convey the gentleness of the character very well.
One of the standout performances in this film was Luke Evans as Gaston. I was one of the few people that wasn't sold on him from what we saw in the trailers, and he ended up being one of the best parts of the film. He embodied the vanity and persona that come with that character. There were a couple things they did with that character that I wasn't expecting, but Evans performance was what made it believable. In contrast to Watson's Belle, Evans disappeared into his character, and that's a large part of what made him so great.
The rest of the supporting cast also did great jobs. All of the miscellaneous household items in the castle were cast perfectly, specifically Ewan McGregor as Lumiere and Ian McKellen as Cogsworth. McGregor's Lumiere was probably the biggest surprise to me in this film. Similar to Evans's Gaston, I wasn't fully sold on this casting before the film, and then he ended up being one of my favorite parts of the film. His voice is almost unrecognizable as Lumiere. In fact, one of the people I saw the film with didn't believe me after seeing it when I told them that McGregor was Lumiere.
Overall, I thought the new Beauty and the Beast was pretty good. It wasn't quite on the level of the original animated film, but it was still a lot of fun to watch. If you're a huge Disney fan, you'll love this movie. Aside from "Evermore", the new songs in the film weren't great, but the new renditions of the classic songs were wonderful. Emma Watson was decent as Belle, but the best performances come from Luke Evans as Gaston, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and Ewan McGregor as Lumiere. This isn't going to be a Best Picture nominee by any means, but it was still a very enjoyable film.
So what did you think of the new Beauty and the Beast? Did you enjoy the new songs? Let me know by commenting on this post! Also, if you enjoyed this review, share it on Facebook and Twitter. It really helps! Don't forget, I post every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, so check back then for more movie reviews and miscellaneous movie thoughts!
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