Monday, September 30, 2019

The Dump #1: Disney Does It Again

Look, we all know it's never going to stop.

When it comes to these live-action Disney remakes, you can love it, or you can loathe it, but either way? You're going to have to accept it. 

I didn't want to see The Lion King remake. After initially raising an eyebrow (or two) at the trailer, the lukewarm early reviews made it seem like it was legitimately skippable, even with that badass cast. And when my dog died suddenly the week after it came out, there was no f--king way I was going to see a flick brimming with adorable animals. Not a chance in Hell. But then...well...overwhelmingly out of character, my son suggested we see it. I was too wrecked to pick up on it, but my wife pulled me aside and let me know Matty wasn't into the flick at all, but he just thought I might be happier at the movies. He'd probably never seen his dad cry so much.

Oddly enough, the next night, in an attempt to rejoin society, my wife and I attempted to see Once Upon a Time in Hollywood...but that f--ker was sold out. The only movie that still had seats? The Lion King.

Fittingly, my wife fell asleep ten minutes in, leaving me to hate-watch Disney's latest remake all by myself. Oh, I had three high-school girls to my immediate right, and though they weren't too pleased with the antics of Uncle Scarface (I shit you not), they seemed to enjoy the flick....whenever they inadvertently looked up from their phones. But me? I detested almost every (Seth Rogen-free) second of this CGI nightmare. I love Favreau so I'll go ahead and blame it on being absolutely gutted over my dog, but being that I loosely connect the two events (the flick and losing my pup), I will absolutely never give this film another chance.

Three nights later, with my kids in tow (and feeling not miserable), the entire family managed to catch Guy Ritchie's Aladdin, which was, improbably, still being shown at our local theater (once showing a day...but still). Recommended to me by my younger brother Nikos (who generally never admits to enjoying anything remotely popular), I was absolutely pissed when the credits rolled. I mean...

...why didn't anybody tell me about this sooner?

Aladdin is so good, so relentlessly charming (and colorful), it's a crime it isn't considered the absolute pinnacle of the live-action movie Matterhorn. Bouncy fun from start to finish, this endlessly good time undid all the bloated awfulness of The Lion King and had me and my wife grinning from ear-to-ear. Sure, my kids were a bit...indifferent, but what do they know? Half the time, they just show up for warm popcorn and cold drinks.

While questions swirled around the casting, ultimately the only real controversy here is who I loved more, Mena Massoud as Aladdin or Will Smith playing the Genie. Clearly I'm kidding, as Naomi Scott's Jasmine stole not only my heart but I swear I was wearing pants when I got to the theater. No matter, as anything I left behind was for totally a gift for her majesty. 

I don't know what's up next for Disney in the live-action abyss we're all treading water in, but whatever it is, somewhat tepidly, I'm in. Really. Even if the tales/tails are old as time, it would appear that there's a chance you'll actually see something new. Something, dare I say...good?

Like I said, you don't have to like it, but goddamn it...eventually, you have to accept it.


  1. I liked Aladdin too, if only because just like new Cinderella it actually looks pretty. Lion King remake looks like anemic poop. Also Aladdin cast was charming and it seems other than Rogen and Eichner the other one has a problem in this department

    1. It loooooked sooooo pretty. I mean, who the Hell knew Guy Ritchie actually liked...color?

      Rogen and Eichner were totally the standouts, as I'm pretty sure you could hear Beyonce yawning at times. And whoever played Young Simba....uhhh....maybe just hum along next time, young man...please?

  2. I haven't seen either of these yet but Aladdn is in my queue. It's so funny to me that it's apparently better because Aladdin's first trailers were absolute trash. I do love Naomi Scott's singing voice though.

    I'll probably watch Lion King on Disney Plus just to say I've seen it but it legit looks terrible and unnecessary when the original still holds up and they need to stay the fuck away from Endgame's visual effects Oscar.

    1. I wasn't really familiar with Naomi Scott prior to this, but my word...she's so lovely. Hope you dig it as much as I did.

      I can't imagine ever finding a reason to ever watch the new Lion King again myself, but I think that you catching it on Disney Plus sounds like a plan. Oh, if that movie takes anything away from Endgame, I'm out. (Of what I'm not sure, but still)

  3. I'm so sorry to hear about your dog, dude. People without pets just don't realise that they are literal members of our family.
    SO glad you enjoyed Aladdin so much! I was hesitant after all the Will Smith drama but I enjoyed it so much I went to see it twice :)

    1. Thanks, Allie. I'm still wrecked over losing my little guy. He was the best! And seriously, there was no way the new Lion King ever had a chance I was in such a lousy mood...didn't help that the movie was a dud, regardless.

      But Aladdin? My goodness, it was so much fun. I was a little nervous about Smith, but he was were the two leads! I actually can't wait to see it again, good on you for seeing it twice theatrically. I'm super jealous.