Movie Review – Aladdin (2019)

TL;DR – It is a good, sometimes great film, but it does fall into some of the same traps as other Disney classic remakes of recent years.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is midish-credit dance number scene

Aladdin (2019). Image Credit: Disney.

Review

I’m not sure if I have ever been so apprehensive walking into a film before. For me, the original Aladdin holds a special place in my heart and without a doubt, it is my favourite from the entirety of the Disney Renaissance. However, this more than any of the recent remakes have had a very rocky history with its promotion misfires on top of the simple worries of how does an Aladdin film without Robin Williams? Well, some of those fears were put aside in the first couple of minutes of the films, others not so much.

So to set the scene, we open in on Aladdin (Mena Massoud) who is walking through the streets of Agrabah with his monkey companion Apu (Frank Welker). He is an orphan, or street urchin, or as the guards call him a street rat. He lives by stealing from others and then surviving off the small returns. But this is not your every day, because someone new is in the markets, someone who clearly does not belong, Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) in disguise. One musical number later and all is right in the world, however, The Sultan’s (Navid Negahban) Grand Vizier (Marwan Kenzari) has other plans, for he is searching for the ‘diamond in the rough’ and his macaw Iago (Alan Tudyk) might have just found it.

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Movie Review – Mary Poppins Returns

TL;DR – This is a film with two halves, the beautiful story of a family coming together in the face of a crisis with the help of Mary Poppins, but also a story about how it is individuals and not big corporations that are bad … from Disney … umm  

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Mary Poppins Returns . Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Mary Poppins is a movie that is quite dear to me. When I was a child it was one of those films that we would watch as a family on a Saturday night. I honestly I was not really all that on board with the remake/sequel hybrid film all the trailers seemed to imply that we were about to get. As well as this, I am starting to get a little tired of Disney’s ‘Weaponised Nostalgia Era’.  Well, that is what I thought walking in, but then a wave of joy enveloped my life leaving a smile on my face and tears rolling down my face.  

So to set the scene, it has been a number of years since the first film and the Banks’ children have grown up. Michael (Ben Whishaw) is, well was, a painter, who married and had three lovely children Annabel (Pixie Davies), John (Nathanael Saleh) and Georgie (Joel Dawson) before his wife tragically died. This has understandably sent ripples through the family, made all the worse when there is a knock on the door and we discover that the bank is foreclosing on the house because Michael has fallen behind paying back a loan, the same bank his father helped run, and the same bank he currently works for. Well, the whole family, including his sister Jane (Emily Mortimer) helps to look for their father’s shares in the bank in the last ditch effort in saving the house, when who should appear at the end of a kite, none other than Mary Poppins (Emily Blunt) herself.

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Movie Review – Ralph Breaks the Internet (Wreck-It Ralph 2)

TL;DR – A solid family film,with some great moments, but I am not sure it will have the same impact as the first film.     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Ralph Breaks the Internet. Image Credit: Disney.

Review

Creating films about the internet is something we are seeing more of as filmmakers try to incorporate this major part of our lives into the cinematic landscape. However, because the Internet is something that is both instantly familiar but also completely abstract, it actually is a difficult task to pull off as long as you don’t mind adding a crane shot into a cable. In the last year or so we have had the bad with The Emoji Film, and the amazing with Searching (see review), and today we have another entry into the genre with Ralph Breaks the Internet, which while not amazing, is still a fun ride.  

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Countdown – My Personal Top 10 Films of All Time List

TL;DR – Today we countdown my Top 10 films of all time; from towns where there are a lot of ‘accidents’, to all forms of Sci-Fi, to do you know the man with six fingers on his right hand, and everything in between.

Countdown

Recently I watched the CineFix crew countdown their Top 10 films, and it had me thinking what are mine? Now it was at this point where I of course naturally spiralled as how can you reduce thousands of films that you have seen into only a Top 10. Just before I threw my hands up in resignation and chucked in the towel I happened to catch an episode of Movies with Mikey on how he determined the best sequel. With this in mind I wondered if there was a set of criteria that I could use to categorise the films into a list that I would be happy with, and after some work, I came up with the following criteria that work for me.

 

  • Films that are beautifully constructed
  • Films that mean something to me
  • Films that are always re-watchable
  • Films that have added to my love of the craft of cinema

 

With this criterion in mind I went through all the likely candidates and with a bit of a struggle I think I have been able to come to a final list, well at least until I change my mind next week, which is always a chance.

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Movie Review – Ant-Man and the Wasp

TL;DR – A fun self-contained romp in the MCU that has all the charm of the first film with a bit more focus and a more interesting opponent.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

 

Ant-Man and the Wasp. Image Credit: Marvel/Disney

 

Review

Ant-Man (see review) was a bit of an odd duck of a film when it first came out. It followed on from Avengers: Age of Ultron (see review) as a kind of epilogue to Phase Two even though it didn’t kind of fit there. As well as this, it had the misfortune of being one of the two films in Phase Two where Marvel had big director missteps, with Edgar Wright stepping away from the project. It had all the makings of Marvel’s first big complete failure, yet it wasn’t. Indeed it was a fun little heist film with a lot of charm. Part of this has to be the groundwork Edgar laid down, but also the commitment of the actors to just go for it. Ant-Man was also one of those crystallising moments that showed that Marvel needed to work on a few things behind the scenes and the fruits of those decisions have been films like Black Panther (see review) and Thor: Ragnarok (see review). With this in mind, today we look at the first direct follow up which fixes one of the issues from the first film, and we see that right in the title because today we are looking at Ant-Man and the Wasp.

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TV Review – Luke Cage: Soul Brother #1

TL;DR – This does everything you need the first episode of a new season to do.

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Soul Brother #1. Image Credit: Marvel/Netflix

Review

The first season of Luke Cage (see review) started off so strong, with such an amazing cast, and the first big dive into African culture for Marvel in the lead up to Black Panther (see review). However, like many of the Netflix/Marvel TV Shows it lagged in the middle, but unlike the other shows, it just could not stick the landing, with one of the most underwhelming season finales so far. However, while there were real issues, there was also such an amazing potential which we got to see a bit of in The Defenders (see review). So today we take our first steps in the follow-up season as a new player enters the scene in Harlem.

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Movie Review – Bao

TL;DR – A beautiful look at what it means to be a family

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

Bao. Image Credit: Pixar/Disney

Review

One of the hallmarks of a lot of recent Disney and Pixar films has been the short films that run before the main attraction. These are little films that explore interesting topics, like exploring the love between volcanoes in Lava that ran before Moana (see review), or Lou a story of a lost and found box that comes alive that came before Cars 3 (see review) which was also nominated for an Oscar. Now while not all of these short films work, they are all really interesting, and today we are going to look at Bao, which was the starting show for Incredibles 2 (see review).

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