Saturday, July 27, 2019

Jerry Lewis on his split from Dean Martin


With all due respect, I like that Leia could use the force to save herself.

I happen to like Kevin Smith.  My love of Star Wars is only second to his.  I love watching his enthusiasm.

Solo didn't impress me.  It was okay, but it doesn't add anything to the Star Wars story unless we get a sequel, which I would welcome.  Solo felt average and like a recycled western.  I also thought that the ending was overly convoluted and not consistent with the Solo character.  It blows my mind that he can walk up to a bar and order a "brandy", as if an earth drink would exist a long time ago in a galaxy far far away.

I don't buy this notion that there was no overall plan.  Sure, Rian Johnson had too much creative control to do his own thing, but I'm certain that Lucasfilm had expectations on what they wanted each movie to accomplish.

I will swear to my dying breath that The Last Jedi is entertaining, because guess what?  I found it entertaining.  Four times.  It was not what I expected, nor exactly what I would have preferred, but that is the problem with the fan reaction; they are going to reject an otherwise entertaining movie because it does not match their preconceived notion of what it should be.  They complain that the character of Luke was disrespected, but it is not our story to tell.  Lucasfilm chose to give us a story that was different than what we expected, likely in order to take the series in a new direction.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Thor 4: Love and Thunder: Natalie Portman, female Thor

Natalie Portman is going to play female Thor in Thor 4.

Almost every time they do something like this, they lose money. They give us movies that people don't want to see.

Saturday, July 20, 2019

The Lion King

The 1994 hand-drawn animated version of The Lion King is nearly perfect.  The animation is beautiful, with most of it having a 3D look.  The characters are great and the voice acting by Matthew Broadrick, James Earl Jones, Jeremy Irons, Nathan LaneErnie Sabella, Whoopi Goldberg, and Cheech Marin all give those characters a very distinctive sound.  The music, which effectively pulls at our emotions, is so wonderful that it is like another character in the movie.

The only part of the original film that I did not like as much is the musical number "I just can't wait to become King."  This sequence is drawn in a 2D style like a classic Saturday morning cartoon.  Although it isn't a particularly bad sequence, its target audience seems to be just for kids.

The 2019 remake has many of the qualities that made the original good, but it also is lacking in many areas.  The insistence that everything be photorealistic means that the movie is absolutely gorgeous to look at, but it also means that the characters are far less expressive than their hand-drawn counterparts.  For example, the character of Scar had charisma in the original, but in the remake he just comes across as mean.  I don't think that the voices are as stylish either, although Seth Rogan does a good job as Pumbaa.  Why they didn't use the original cast?  Only Jame Earl Jones reprises his role.

The music had a powerful impact on the original.  It is strangely more subdued in the remake.  The star of the new movie, and by far the best reason to see it, is the computer animation.  It is a sight to behold.

Hand-drawn animation is expensive, so the original at 88 minutes feels slightly too short.  It is a very compact movie with scenes and dialog taking no more time than they need to in order to convey the story.  The remake is 30 minutes longer, with extra and more mature dialog everywhere.  Many of the scenes are longer.  Some of this is nice, but parts of it also feel unnecessary.  The final confrontation with Scar is too long and gives the impression of being more violent.

There are little things done in the original that weren't done in the remake, like Pumba picking up Simba with his horns, or Pumba getting stuck under a tree root while being chased by Nala.  I found myself wondering if this was just a technological limitation of the computer animation?

Should you see the 2019 remake of the Lion King?  Absolutely.  It is a wonderful movie to look at.  At times I felt like I was watching a beautiful nature show that just happens to be The Lion King.  However, the original is a better overall experience.


The Lion King (1994):  A.
The Lion King (2019):  B+.

The Lion King (2019) has just a 55% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.  My favorite movie critic, Richard Roeper, gives the movie 3.5 out of 4 stars.

Thursday, July 4, 2019

Spider-Man Far from Home

Spider-Man Far from Home starts out like another teen friendly movie, like Alita Battle Angel, so I'm thinking to myself that I'm sick of this crap. I'm thinking that if this continues I'm going to walk out. But about 1/4 of the way in, the action gets intense. The movie feels like it comes to a conclusion half way through, but then we find out that we have been deceived and the real story starts in the middle of the movie. By the the end the film delivers in a really big way. The two post credit scenes shake things up even further. Overall it is a pretty wild ride.

Best wishes,

John Coffey