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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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 – Bright

TL;DR – It is only the power of Will Smith and Joel Edgerton’s acting, plus some great makeup and prosthetic work, that drags this film out of being a complete write off.

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

Bright. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Ok, I want to start this by saying smashing genres and worlds together is kind of my jam, I love the worldbuilding, and taking something familiar and twisting it into something new. So when I heard the setting for Bright I was really excited. Taking those familiar fantasy setting, themes and races and transporting them into the modern world, it’s like Max Landis wrote a film just for me. But, and oh it is a big but, for the most part, it just does not work, and at best we get a mediocre C-List film with a B-List budget and A-List leading stars.

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Movie Review – Collateral Beauty

TL;DR – Collateral Beauty has me wondering how projects in Hollywood gets greenlit, how did this mess of a film pass through so many different layers of approval, and at no point did someone go ‘Hey maybe this is a terrible idea for a film’

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

Collateral Beauty. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

It is ironic that a film about an advertising company would be lambasted in the press and critic circles for the advertising of the film. Indeed, all of this would actually be quite amusing if not for the fact that Collateral Beauty fails spectacularly on nearly every front. How a film with this much talent, yet such a clearly terrible premise for a film, got put into production I do not know. Of course there are a few saving graces for Collateral Beauty, which is what stopped it from getting a lower score than this, but I can tell you right now, unless we have a truly terrible year for cinema I know this will be on my worst films of 2017 list, and we are only three films into the new year.

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Movie Review – Suicide Squad

TL;DR – Sigh, oh DC, it really looked like you tried on this movie, but boy the best that you can do is an aggressively mediocre outing that adds nothing to the franchise, and as a self-contained film – well you can do a lot worse, but you can also do a lot better.

Score – 2 out of 5 stars

P.S. There is a mid-credits scene

Suicide Squad. Image Credit: Warner Bros.

Review

When it comes to that whole DC v Marvel comics rivalry which seems to permeate the internet these days, for me this was one of those arguments that was never really a factor in my life growing up. This is because we didn’t really get the comics where I lived, but what we did get was the animated series, like X-Men and Batman, and they were not aired in competition with each other, and indeed sometimes aired on the same TV channel. So growing up you were not a DC or Marvel person, it was more “did you see that episode yesterday”, I feel I really need to start with this up front because I really want this Justice League series to work, I really do. However I don’t think Suicide Squad is the film that will do it, and in fact all it does is show that DC/WB just don’t seem to know how to get this movie series off the ground. At best it is average, and at worse it is quite problematic, but in the end it is not really all that engaging and you’ll probably forget most of it within a day of watching it.

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