It’s a whole new world with the new ‘Aladdin’

In the fall of 1992, Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film “Aladdin.” Based on the Arabic folk tale “One Thousand and One Nights,” the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of the year, as well as have an animated series, two direct to video sequels, and a Broadway adaptation. And like everything in this world, it’s time that to remake the classic Disney film that made an estimated $504 million in the box office because of money.

A Whole New World

“Aladdin” was directed in Guy Ritchie (“Snatch,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “One of Madonna’s ex-husbands”). Guy also wrote the screenplay with John August (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). Like stated and mocked above, this is a remake. While I wouldn’t call it a modern retelling, it is a different version of the movie that we have gotten. There’s a lot of what we loved about the original film, as well as some updated elements that help add more depth to the story.

Mena Massoud (“Jake Ryan”) stars as the title character Aladdin, a young thief from the right side of the tracks that end up falling for Princess Jasmine, played by Namoi Scott (“Saban’s Power Rangers,” upcoming reboot of “Charlie’s Angels”). Aladdin gets trapped in the cave of wonder after Jafar, Marwan Kenzari (“Ben-Hur,” “The Mummy,” the remake king), send him in after Aladdin meets the Genie, Will Smith (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men In Black”), and the Genie helps him try to win over Princess Jasmine’s heart before Jafar’s master plan comes into light.

Honestly, this movie isn’t horrible. It’s not the most magnificent remake in the world, especially went it’s compared to the source material. “Aladdin” is overall little over two hours and ten minutes or 128 minutes. 1992 “Aladdin” is about an hour and a half, or 90 minutes. That’s about 38 minutes longer than it needs to be. I get that it’s different when it comes to live-action vs. animated. If they could have chopped off 10-15 minutes, then it wouldn’t have dragged toward the end. Most of that is more depth in parts to add to the plot. Some of that does work, but a lot of it doesn’t work. It just feels out of place and drags the movie.

The acting in the movie is excellent. Everyone in the film does an excellent job as portraying the characters. I’m not a big fan of Will Smith as the Genie, but that was always going to be a hard act to follow. I’m also sad that Gilbert Gottfried didn’t reprise his role as Iago, but it works as Iago didn’t have that big of a function like in the animated works. The music in the film is also well done. It’s all the songs from the original movie, plus one new song that honesty is everything. Mena, Naomi, and Marwan are the ones that shine the most in their roles.

Production-wise, this is a beautifully shot and produced film. Some of the directing is a little wonky at times, but you can look past it at how they brought this film to life. Parts of it was produced in Jordan, and those deserts scenes are what really make it feel like “Aladdin.” The CGI is okay but for a Disney film in 2019, it could have and should have been better.

Verdict

“Aladdin” isn’t a bad movie; if you didn’t know it was a remake, it would be a fun Disney movie. As a remake, “Aladdin” doesn’t stack up to what we got with the “Beauty and the Beast” remake. While I appreciate them trying to add to the overall plot and story of “Aladdin,” the changes don’t do anything for the movie. I do recommend checking out the film, because like I said, it’s a good movie on its own merits. But as a remake of a beloved classic, it falls short of being in the same class.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Taylor Swift|”Lover” review

Are you ready for it? Taylor Swift released her much anticipated seventh studio album “Lover,” on August 23, 2019. The album comes two years after the release of her sixth album “reputation.” It’s time that we put away the snakes and leather for some pastel colors and a heart over our eyes. “Lover” is here and it’s time to review it.

I promise that you’ll never find another like me

“Lover” is a pop album that is vastly different than her electro-pop ode to her “bad reputation” that we got when Taylor proclaimed the iconic line that “Old Taylor can’t come to the phone right now because she’s dead.” “reputation” was full of bangers and bops that rocked during her stadium tour for the album back in 2018. “Lover” is a more upbeat and happier and brighter album.

The common theme of the album is romance. The lyrics on the song are the typical Taylor Swift well-done lyrics and cover a wide range of topic under romance. Taylor stated in an Instagram Livestream on June 14, 2019, that “Lover” is ‘not just simply thematically, like it’s all love songs or something. The idea of something being romantic; it doesn’t have to be a happy song. You can find romance in loneliness or sadness or going through things in your lifeā€¦ it just looks at those things through a romantic gaze.”The album relies heavily on synth-pop melodies. Like Taylor’s fifth studio album, “1989,” it makes up most of the songs on the album.

Because of this, it doesn’t create some of the songs sounding too similar to each other. During my listen, it sometimes felt like I’ve already heard this song before. The flow of the album is good, especially with an 18 song tracklist. I wish that they would have spread out “ME!” and “You Need to Calm Down” to help break up the sound a little more. There’s only one song in-between them. I’m glad they aren’t the first songs on the album.

Let’s talk about the snake on the album as Taylor removed a lyric from the album’s first single “ME!” After months of having the song overplayed, she removed the lyric “Hey Kids; spelling is fun!” from the album version. Doesn’t seem like a big deal but it honestly just sounds weird. Sure, the fans have a new thing to yell during the inevitable tour. It feels like something is missing when you listen to it. Was it essential to remove the lyrics? No. I’m hoping that the fans go “Hey bitches; spelling is fun!” That needs to be a thing.

“Lover” is a phenomenal album that is well-produced and well written. It just suffers from having songs sounding too similar and not being spaced out enough with songs that help break it up. “Miss Americana & The Heartbreak Prince,” “Cruel Summer,” “Daylight,” “The Man,” and “You Need To Calm Down” are some of my personal favorites off this albums. I honestly wish it had more bangers like “reputation” had. But I did enjoy “Lover” and recommended it.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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‘Charlie’s Angels’ goes uncover and kicks some butt

With the release of the “Charlie’s Angels” reboot trailer, I thought that It would be fun to relieve the movie duology that started it all. Many don’t know or frankly tuned it out, that “Charlie’s Angels” was a television series from the mid-1970s to the early 1980s. But let’s talk about the first movie because frankly, it’s a movie you should watch.

The most iconic scene

Good morning, Charlie!

“Charlie’s Angels” was a movie in the franchise. Released in the fall of 2000, McG directed the film. He has given the world both “Charlie’s Angels” movies as well as “Terminator Salvation” and “This Means War.” An all-star cast rounded out the film. Cameron Diaz, Drew Barrymore, and Lucy Liu made up the Angels while Bill Murray played John Bosley, a private detective that connected the Angels to the never seen but heard Charlie. The acting is probably the best part of the movie.

When you look at the actress, you would think that they wouldn’t work well together. One is strictly known for comedy, one strictly for action, and one purely comedic and dramatic roles. But the chemistry with them is just so good. They work well together and compliment each other. Their chemistry shows off the talents and the skills of everyone wonderfully. The acting is believable and you actually like the girls as a team as well as individually.

Iconic and hilarious

The premise of the franchise is that it follows three women who are private detectives who use their highly trained skill and different backgrounds to solve crimes that the police can’t handle. The movie follows the Angels as they have to track down a genius who created software that created a voice recognition software. Things go wrong when the person they need to find wants to use the software to find and kill Charlie.

This movie gets a bad rap due to films like “Mission: Impossible 2” coming out. “Charlie’s Angels” doesn’t take itself seriously and it doesn’t want the movie goers to take it too seriously either. The plot is simple and easy to follow. The action sequences are well done and exciting to watch. It was never going to win an Oscar, and the director and everyone that worked on it was okay with that. This film is probably the best adaptation of the “Charlie’s Angels” series, including 2011 reboot series, so far.

I highly recommend checking out “Charlie’s Angels,” especially if the reboot trailer got you interested in it. While it looks like it won’t following the same story per se, it will give you a little insight on what to expect with it. The premise of the film/franchise will be the same while it will be new characters and new plot. “Charlie’s Angels” is just a feel good and fun film to watch and enjoy.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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Why you should watch: Veronica Mars

Today is July 1st. Besides the fact this month sucks, the only highlight of this month is the fact that “Veronica Mars” is available to be streamed fully on Hulu in America, and some other streaming services around the world. Because of this, and it coming back on July 26th with an eight-episode fourth season. In honor of everyone favorite sassy blonde detective coming to streaming syndication, here’s why you should watch “Veronica Mars” if you haven’t already.

Long Time ago, We used to be friends

Click here to read about “Veronica Mars and the Case of Donald Trump and the Russians

Who is Veronica Mars?

Veronica Mars is a private investigator that works at her father’s detective agency in the sunny Neptune, California since she was a teenager She solves cases for her peers and even helps solve her father’s cases, whether he wants her to or not. Veronica was initially one of the upper elite, wealthy clique at Neptune High. She lost her friends after her father, the sheriff at the time before being voted out, accused famous software billionaire Jake Kane of murdering his daughter and Veronica’s BFF. Oh, she was also dating Lily’s brother before she was killed. Yeah, Veronica has a lot going and this is just the first episode.

Why should you watch Veronica Mars?

“Veronica Mars” is an extremely well-written show that isn’t just a teen show. It’s a smart show that is written in a manner that everyone can get it. Each episode has it’s own standalone case while there is a bigger mystery taking either the whole season or half a season. “Veronica Mars” is the “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” of the teen mystery genre. Without “Veronica Mars,” you might not have shows like “Riverdale.” It made the teen noir mystery seem cool. Veronica Mars was sassy, smart, and very similar to Buffy Summers. Both characters weren’t the girls you think would be taking down bad guys. They weren’t the stereotypic blonde girls you would see in their style of shows. They broke the mold.

I could sit here for hours and tell you about how much I love “Veronica Mars.” If you like good, quality noir and mystery shows, I highly recommend watching “Veronica Mars.” Just because it’s a teen show, it doesn’t mean you should sleep on the show. It’s not your average teen show and really shouldn’t be in that category. Take a trip down to Neptune, California, and meet everyone’s favorite private investigator. It worth your time.

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