Category Archives: Children & Family

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

 

The Lion King Review

Director: Jon Favreau
Writers: Jeff Nathanson (screenplay by), Brenda Chapman (story)
Stars: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen

Did The Lion King need to be remade? Of course not, but you can say that about any movie.

However, this one isn’t simply a remake. As nearly everyone already knows by now, it’s almost the exact same film, right down to the songs, music score, title card, jokes, dialogue and iconic scenes (many of which are shot at identical angles or perspectives). James Earl Jones even returns to voice Mufasa. The only significant difference is the animation…CGI and motion-capture that makes everything (mostly) look like live action.

My initial reaction was that this version might be as redundant as Gus Van Sant’s misguided scene-for-scene remake of Psycho. Why crank out the same thing when the original was not-only groundbreaking, it remains culturally relevant decades later? Even though I’m a middle-aged curmudgeon who remembers – and often misses – the days of traditional hand-drawn animation, I certainly understand the aesthetic appeal of computer animation…as long as it still looks like animation.

The family dog notwithstanding, animals ain’t all that expressive, so by designing the characters in the new Lion King to be as realistic as their counterparts in the wild, their personalities are severely muted, as is our emotional investment in them. That also makes it pretty tough for the exact same dialogue, jokes and songs to go over as effectively as they did 25 years ago, despite an impressive cast (though Seth Rogan, voicing Pumba, comes close).

A few new wrinkles are sprinkled-in here and there. How Rafiki learns Simba’s still alive is creatively amusing (like anything involving dung beetles) and the hyenas have a few more chuckleworthy scenes. But most of the added material is inconsequential. Other than that, this is the shiny penny version of The Lion King you grew up with.

But people like shiny things, and in that respect, The Lion King admittedly hits a home run (and is therefore not as redundant as Psycho). The animation is meticulous, an astounding amount of detail poured into every shot. It’s a technological wonder and the imagery alone makes it worth checking out at least once. Director Jon Favreau and his crew of computer nerds may not have added anything significant to the narrative, but visually, they’ve certainly taken what they learned from The Jungle Book and amplified it tenfold.

For a lot of viewers – kids especially – the eye candy may be enough, perhaps even preferable to the barbaric methods used to animate critters back in the ancient ‘90s. Since the story itself is bereft of any surprises whatsoever, The Lion King is obviously intended for those who enjoy paying to have their cars detailed: It’s still the same old vehicle, but for a brief time, you feel like you’re driving a shiny new set o’ wheels.

Dora and The Lost City Of Gold (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

 

Dora and the Lost City of Gold Review

Director: James Bobin
Writers: Chris Gifford (based on the series created by), Matthew Robinson (screenplay by)
Stars: Isabela Moner, Eugenio Derbez, Michael Peña

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see Dora and The Lost City of Gold this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.   Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Dora and the Lost City of Gold brings to the silver screen the titular cartoon heroine from Nickelodeon’s Dora The Explorer! Back in August 2000, the world was introduced to Dora, a seven year old latina adventurer that entertained a generation of kids for eight seasons, with her talking backpack, map and monkey friend Boots!  Exploring her jungle, outwitting foxes and teaching kids a bit of Spanish all at the same time!  Updated for this live action adventure, we catch up with a high school age Dora (performed by Isabela Moner) as she is sent by her explorer parents (Played by Michael Pena and Eva Longoria!) to the big city to attend high school with her cousin and childhood bestie, Diego (Yes, for those cartoon historians, Diego starred in his own Nick Jr cartoon Go Diego Go! Unfortunately that show is never referenced here).

While innocent, homeschooled Dora is sent to explore this, as of yet to her, undiscovered world of selfies, social media and high school bullies, her parents head off to discover the Lost City of Gold, Parapata! After a bumpy start to High School life,  it doesn’t take long before Dora is off to the jungle in search of her missing parents, with a few new classmates in tow!

The students and Diego played by Jeff Wahlberg, Nicholas Coombe and Madeleine Madden get dragged along as Dora reunites with Boots and runs afoul of her old nemesis Swiper the masked fox!  For the “I can’t believe I’m writing this record”  Boots the Monkey and Swiper the Fox are voice acted by Danny Trejo and Benicio Del Toro!  Wow, just Wow!   Directed by James Bobin of recent Muppet Movie fame, Will Dora find her missing parents?  Can she prove herself to her judgmental city peers?  Does the City of Gold exist?  Is this pint sized Lara Croft ready to face the real life dangers and challenges awaiting her?  Is this film simply a death trap or is it the high school equivalent of Raiders Of the Lost Ark?  Will you wish you stayed home or will come away believing a Fox can talk?  Grab you maps, insect repellant and pink backpacks everyone, it’s time to find out!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  Honestly, I remember the Dora cartoon from my children watching her years ago.  With that in mind, I was very curious after seeing the trailer for this film.  I would even say I was a tad bit excited to see how this would all be pulled off.  How would they update Swiper the Fox for a live action film?  It didn’t take long before the movie lets us know that much of what we saw in the cartoon was the product of young Dora’s imaginative adventures growing with only her cousin Diego and her parents around for company.  This worked well for me.  The acting was pretty par for the course for a movie of this type.  The lone standout to me was the performance of Isabela Moner as Dora.  This young actress really carried the show.  She conveyed Dora’s earnestness in each and every scene!  No spoilers! (Oh man!…, see what I did there?)  But even in the very Croft/Indiana Jones third act, Moner never drops the innocent innate goodness of Dora throughout the various situations!  Muy Bueno!

Once it became apparent, to a grumpy filmgoer such as myself, with Swiper the Fox’s first onscreen appearance, (where he is wearing his mask and talking to a group of mercenaries without anyone freaking out),  that the earlier explanations trying to tie the cartoon version to the live action film was now out the window.  I remembered that this movie is really made for kids or young adults that actually watched the cartoon with regularity!  My need to understand Swiper or Boots in a real world setting faded soon after and I started to really enjoy this movie for what it is.  Part Mean Girls, Part Indiana Jones (especially the third act with a cool nod to the Last Crusade) and Part walk down nostalgia lane.

Packed with great messages about being true to oneself, the value of everyone and the bond of family, what more could you ask of a film with a target audience ripe for all these positive concepts.
Overall, I enjoyed Dora due to a great lead performance and a fun concept, but to be fair, if you have no feelings of nostalgia or never cared for Dora The Explorer, you’ll probably hate it.  With all that in mind, I must quantify my rating.  If you are a kid or a young adult who grew up watching Dora, I feel its a solid 4 Bills!  BUT, if you have little to no history with the cartoon it’s a solid 3 (probably a 2 if not for Moner’s performance).  So for me, I give Dora and The Lost City of Gold 4 Bills!  Pretty Good!  Overall a good time!  If not entirely Delicioso!

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  Hola!  Senora Moviie Couple aqui!

It was so enjoyable to see all the cartoon characters brought to life in this movie!

All the actors did a fantastic job in their respective roles and Boots was very cute and funny!

The moral of this story really should have been used to promote it more.  Being true to yourself, even when being teased for it!  Never changing who you are for acceptance reasons, are both great lessons to teach our children these days!

We here at Moviie Couple work hard not to spoil the plot twists and turns or even big movie reveals, but I have to make an exception for one scene in this film.  I feel a responsibility to speak on this particular scene.  Dora and her friends are lured into a field of dangerous plants, once the plants are awakened they spray a pollen that when the characters breathe it in, they all begin to hallucinate.  It is played for laughs, as the characters see themselves as they appeared in the original cartoon.   Dora even thinks she is speaking to her map and backpack, as she imagined all those years ago.  I think it’s up to a parents discreation as to whether or not they want to expose their children to a scene like this one.  Or perhaps you can use this as a teaching moment to speak about hallucinogens to your kids depending on their age.  Either way I wanted to alert parents about the scene in advance so they can decide for themselves.

I have to give Dora and the Lost City of Gold 2 Bills!  Despite some fun, it drags a bit too long and I wish I had saved my money and waited to catch it on Netflix.  It will be a great watch for kids at home or for a family movie night on the couch, but not as an expensive night out!

On the way home, We spoke of the old cartoon. I still strove for an explanation of Swiper talking and nobody caring!  Am I the only one? Guess so. The Mrs. ribbed me a bit about how I was actually looking forward to this one and what more did I expect?  At the end of the day, we both had different experiences, who knew Dora the Explorer could be so divisive?  With my 4 Bills and her 2 Bills we come up with a solid 2 Bills maybe a Shaky 3 Bills.

Till next time, keep your binoculars close by, your backpack strapped tightly and never trust a talking fox wearing a mask, especially if he sounds like Benicio Del Toro!  Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review!  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

Missing Link (2019) Blu-Ray Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

 

Missing Link Review

Director: Chris Butler
Writer: Chris Butler
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Zoe Saldana, Zach Galifianakis, Stephen Fry, Timothy Olyphant, Emma Thompson, Matt Lucas, Amrita Acharia

One thing is certain: Laika Studios – located right in my backyard, by the way – has never made it easy on themselves. In an era when virtually all animated features are CG, they adhere to the painstaking process of stop-motion animation (probably why they’re produced only five films in 10 years). When even Pixar has succumbed to franchise fever, Laika continues to take enormous creative and financial risks with concepts that aren’t easily marketable nor conducive to franchising. Laika makes family films without ever dumbing them down or blatantly catering to kids with “cute” characters.

They are films made by artists, not technicians or accountants, so it must have really stung when Missing Link didn’t find an audience while another studio can vomit-out The Emoji Movie and audiences vomit-back $200 million. That’s like a talent show where a classical pianist comes in second place to a kid who can squirt milk out his nose.

In a way, I can understand Missing Link being a hard sell. It’s populated with unconventionally-rendered, wildly-exaggerated characters that wouldn’t look good on a cereal box. In fact, the title creature, Mr. Link (aka “Susan”), is initially off-putting, with a snout like a botched nosejob. The humor is often very dry and a lot of the best gags aren’t visual ones.

But like Laika’s other films – The Boxtrolls, in particular – Missing Link develops an infectious, easy-going charm that can sneak-up on the viewer, perhaps without them realising it. Though seldom laugh-out-loud funny, there are frequent bits of throw-away dialogue that are often uproarious (“You’re utopia sucks!”). The voices provided by an impressive cast are merely adequate (Hugh Jackson seems kind-of underused), but their characters are what matter and they tend to grow on you as the story unfolds.

Of course, it’s the unappreciated stop-motion animation that ultimately steals the show. The attention to detail is amazing, the characters’ expressions & movements so fluid that one could almost mistake it for computer animation. Even if one isn’t enamoured by its aesthetic, characters or story, the technical merits alone make Missing Link worth seeing. Another visually impressive achievement from Laika Studios, it’s a shame their hard work was largely ignored in theatres. On the other hand, since this Blu-ray comes with some fascinating making-of featurettes, maybe it’ll be easier to appreciate at home.

The Lion King (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

The Lion King ReviewThe story is nearly a beat for beat, scene for scene remake, even more so than Aladdin earlier this year. Like Aladdin, Lion King makes a few (much smaller) changes from the animated original, but here they are often either not enough or not for the better (as with Aladdin).  It is so similar in fact, that halfway through I asked myself why was this even made?

Director: Jon Favreau
Writers: Jeff Nathanson (screenplay by), Brenda Chapman (story)
Stars: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Seth Rogen

Moviie Couple here!   We went to see The Lion King this weekend!!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.   Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

OK, C’mon, everyone knows The Lion King, right?  If you do not, I’m sure you’ve read Hamlet or maybe you are familiar with Japan’s Kimba the White Lion…..Oh wait … never mind.  Forget I brought that up.  We’re talking about Disney’s very own, totally original, The Lion King!  Hakuna Matata and all that?  You all at least remember the 90’s smash animated hit!  We’ll this is that, only with very realistic CGI animals!  Got it?  Good.  Directed by Jon Favreau, who directed the other CGI Disney update, with great box office  results, in the Jungle Book.  The voice cast are as follows: James Earl Jones returns as Mufasa, Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar, Donald Glover as Simba, Beyonce as Nala, Billy Eichner as Timon, Seth Rogan as Pumbaa and a lot more, but that covers the most popular roles.  So how does this live action (does it count as live action if it’s all CGI?) version hold up?  Does it stand on its own paws?  Let’s break open the nearest log, grab some grubs, tune up our singing voices, leap from smiling giraffe to smiling giraffe and find out!

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  I am a big fan of the Lion King.  My kids loved it growing up and I often told both my sons as they grew ever older and bolder  “Mufasas not dead yet boys, go clean your room.” or something to that effect many times over the years.  Needless to say, we are intimately familiar with the animated film.   So I am a tough audience for this one.  First let me say this is a visually stunning film.  Like wow!  All the credit to the camera work and direction.  This movie is gorgeous to look at.  The CGI animals are amazing!  They are so lifelike that you nearly forget they are CGI despite the talking.  And therein lies the rub,  it is almost too realistic for its own good.  In its efforts to look like real animals, the characters lose nearly (not all) of their expressions and much of the personalities from the original seem less as a result.

The story is nearly a beat for beat, scene for scene remake, even more so than Aladdin earlier this year. Like Aladdin, Lion King makes a few (much smaller) changes from the animated original, but here they are often either not enough or not for the better (as with Aladdin).  It is so similar in fact, that halfway through I asked myself why was this even made?

The songs do not hold a candle to the original version.  It seemed as if they slowed down all of the songs. Maybe they were attempting to tone it down to match the realism, but it pales in comparison to the original or the Broadway smash version that many are familiar with. Be Prepared suffers the most, by drastic changes (to make the Hyenas less goofy and more dangerous, which I get) but the song becomes nearly a spoken word version and a short one at that!  Only, Can You Feel the Love Tonight, holds up, but hey it has Beyonce singing and it was slow to begin with.

Jones, Glover, and Ejiofor are fine, but my biggest surprise was Eichner and Rogan.  I was absolutely NOT on board with them as Timon and Pumbaa when casted, but I humbly apologize.  They are amazing as The No Worries duo!  They are very Meta in many of their jokes and they give us a Disney easter egg that brings the house down in place of the old drag/hula dancing scene that is replaced from the original.  No spoilers, but very funny.  They probably took on the toughest jobs as far as filling shoes made famous in the original and they nailed it!

So…A beautiful film with some great voice work, but it feels longer than it should have been and in a film nearly the entire world knows scene by scene, it just doesn’t give me anything new to be excited about.  It just seemed unnecessary.  We have the perfect version of this movie available to us already.  The same could be said for Aladdin, but the new version of Aladdin gave us a new viewpoint to see Jasmine through and a great end of the story for Genie.  Lion King does nothing new story wise and other than being an achievement in visual effects, brings nothing else to the table. In conclusion, It’s a decent, if unspectacular (other than visuals) movie.  The Lion King is known for its music and here the new version fails hard and that is a cardinal sin in a musical.  I’m going to give The Lion King 2019 3.5 Bills.  It’s better than Meh, but not quite Pretty Good.  Nothing new to get excited about.   I’d catch it on Disney + sometime soon.

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  OK, I’m back again!  It’s me.  I’ll give Hubby a break typing and hit you up with my bullet style review!

-We are huge fans of the original at our house!  We have very fond memories of multiple viewings and many Disney sing a longs!  I’m sorry to say this one missed the mark for me.  “Be Prepared” to not be wowed!

-CGI effects were good, but could have displayed a bit more expression.  Trying to appear real is one thing, but they are talking animals afterall, a bit more expressiveness couldn’t hurt.

-The movie seemed overall very flat to me. Not nearly as energetic or colorful as the original and the music seemed dull in comparison.  Nothing seemed as lively or fun as the original and fair or not, this will always be judged alongside the first film.
-Outside of the original voice of Mufasa returning, the voices were all forgettable with the exception of Timon and Pumbaa, I’ll get to them later.  For instance Beyonce, Forgettable!  How often do you use the name Beyonce and Forgettable in the same sentence?  Never!  Until now! No new songs were added for her and if I didn’t know going in I would never have known it was even her!

-The humor was nearly all gone!  Only Timon and Pumbaa added any, and barely any at that!  The Hyenas were played for scares here and weren’t funny at all.
-Rafiki had nearly zero dialogue and never had his “staple” staff until the very end.
-Timon and Pumbaa were the best of the voice actors, but even they seemed a bit slower and were missing the fast pace timing of the original buddies.

I gave this movie 3 Bills, only out of respect for the original I am such a fan of.  Without my sentimentality, it would have been even lower!  I found the attempts at realism to stink!  Give me more smiles and gestures!  I know that doesn’t happen in nature, but neither does talking, singing or monarchies!

On the way home, We talked about the original Lion King and how even the Jungle Book’s CGI version was far better.  We boiled it down to this,  Jungle Book changed more than a few things from the original where Lion King’s changes were minimal.  If they had done the same with Lion King, they may have succeeded a bit more.  To make it so much like the original and then change only what people liked (lively music, color, expressions) a lot gets lost despite it being a shot for shot remake.   Thanks to my 3.5 Bills and the Mrs. 3 Bills, The Lion King ends up with an average of 3 Bills!  So Meh.  Not quite a Lion King, maybe a Lion Duke or something.

So until next time, remember Hakuna Matata my friends, you win some you lose some.  No worries, I’m sure Disney will get it right by the time they finish Mulan and Little Mermaid, at least we hope so!  Be sure to check out our Twitter or Facebook for a clue to our next movie review.  Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

Toy Story 4 (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear along with their old friends now living in Bonnie’s Room. All our old favorites are back, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the bosom buddy toys are joined by Jessie, Rex, Ham, Slinky Dog, Potato Head as well as Dolly, Trixie, and Mr Picklepants from part three.Director: Josh Cooley
Writers: John Lasseter (original story by), Andrew Stanton (original story by
Stars: Tom Hanks, Tim Allen, Annie Potts

Moviie Couple here! We went to see Toy Story 4 this weekend! Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies! We’re here to tell you if we liked it. Film experts we are not! Just a quick reminder of our rating system. Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out. we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system. 1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money! 3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent! 5-6 Bills equal Wow! Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter! Please take our money again!

Toy Story 4 continues the adventures of Sheriff Woody and Buzz Lightyear along with their old friends now living in Bonnie’s Room. All our old favorites are back, Tom Hanks and Tim Allen as the bosom buddy toys are joined by Jessie, Rex, Ham, Slinky Dog, Potato Head as well as Dolly, Trixie, and Mr Picklepants from part three.

Bonnie is growing up and getting ready for Kindergarten. She is fearful and as a way of coping creates an arts and crafts toy named Forky (voiced by Tony Hale). Remember, we do not spoil films here, but suffice to say Forky is very important to Bonnie and Woody and Buzz are there to help him learn the importance of his new position.
Along the way (You’ve seen this in trailers) there is a road trip to a carnivale, the return of Bo Peep (Annie Potts)! New toys (both friends and enemies met along the way) including Ducky and Bunny (Key and Peele of comedy and film fame), Gabby Gabby (Christina Hendricks) and Duke Caboom (voiced by the one and only John Wick himself, Keanu Reeves!).

The film is directed by Josh Cooley. Cooley’s only directing work until this point was two Pixar shorts. Toy Story is a grand road trip adventure with a lot to say about growing up, finding one’s place in the world and how it’s never too late to make a change. Pretty deep stuff for a kids movie seen through the eyes of animated children’s toys! Does it work? Will the kids love it? How about the older generation that grew up on Woody and Buzz? Is this one Toy Story too many? Queue up the Randy Newman music, grab your favorite old stuffed animal or blanky and lets hurry to find out! Let’s get to the reviews!
So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple: Truth be told, I was expecting this to be just a huge cash grab for Disney Studios. It’s common knowledge that the theme parks just recently opened an entire area of rides dedicated to the Toy Story characters. So the timing couldn’t be any better for the Mouse House. And didn’t we really get a great conclusion to the Toy Story “Trilogy” already? Is there any reason other than money for this film to exist? I mean really? (Said in my best Tom Hanks voice). Well Actually…There is!

Can the writers come up with one last story worth filming? In the soon to be immortal catch phrase of Duke Caboom “Yes, They Can..ada!” You’ll get that after you’ve seen the movie. This film grows Woody and gives our favorite toy sheriff an actual character arc to complete! By the films end (Which we will absolutely not be spoiling) Woody grows and learns more about who he is than he did in all three of the other films.

As with all Toy Story films, we get emotions out of our shared nostalgic experience of having beloved toys of our own growing up, and this is no different. But beyond just enjoying seeing Woody, Buzz and the gang again, we meet new toys with all new personalities and the return of a missing original. Make no mistake, Bo Peep is a star in this film! She is the new hero of this world and its not in a forced, shoehorned way that the Marvel films have been using to show that their world isn’t just for boys. Bo Peep is heroic without taking anything away from Woody or the others we have grown to love. She just is amazing with nothing to prove. She is a favorite and Annie Potts shines as her voice!

I have to talk about the new toys besides the returning Bo. They are all a welcome addition to the team. The comedy and friend team of Key and Peele lend their voices and I’m sure comic talents to the film as Duck and Bunny. These two plush carnival toys provide some of the funniest sequences and had me laughing out loud. Gabby Gabby, voiced by Christina Hendricks, is the antagonist in the film (no spoiling you can tell by posters and trailers), but like the best antagonists we totally understand her motivations! She is like a Toy Thanos, in her reasoning, not her power level. Let’s not get carried away. We even get a new action toy ala Buzz in Duke Caboom, Canada’s Daredevil Stunt Rider (Think a Canadian version of the old Evel Knievel toy from back in the day) voiced perfectly by Keanu Reeves.

While maybe not as complex, as Inside Out or Toy Story 3, I found this to be an emotional conclusion to the Toy Story Saga (It’s a Saga after 3 films right?) I must admit I got something in my eye at the end. It caused me to tear up and Mrs. Moviie Couple could have sworn I was crying. I will not confirm or deny. Just a great film to end the series on. After four great pulls from this well, I do believe the well is dry, but I’ll never say never. I give Toy Story 4 5 Bills!

Mrs. Moviie Couple: Adored this movie! She was happy to once again see a girl in a position of action and power to inspire the young ones out there! She found Bo Peep to be a great heroic role model for the young girls in the audience! She wanted to warn some parents that Gabby Gabby’s “henchmen” toy dummies could be frightening for younger viewers. She found them unsettling and she’s an adult. Just a precaution to parents. She loved the themes. She found the movie to be all about Parenting (Woody having to parent a young Forky), friendship (as always in these movies), seasons of life and a little bit of romance thrown in. A very well rounded film!. These themes promote children to keep trying, think in unconventional ways and to see change as a good thing rather than with anxiety or fear.

She liked how Woody and Buzz learned to adapt and enjoyed Forky as an out of the box creation! She knows how many young children can create toys with imagination and it has just as much meaning as a store bought toy and felt that was a great concept to bring into the Toy Story world. It was all done with great humor as well!
She feels the best age group for this movie is ages 5 and up! There were kids younger in the theatre and they were bored and running about! She really loved this film, but also felt the closure found at the conclusion of this one should herald the end. It was an emotional finish! Nothing more needs to be said! She also gives Toy Story 5 Bills!

On the way home, We talked all about the journey of Woody and Buzz, the new characters, the perfect ending (one that seems perfect for those older kids that grew up with the toy buddies) that may or may not have brought me to a few tears. We agreed it was far Beyond (Infinity?) our expectations! While not racing to see it in theatres again, we will be adding it to our video catalogue and highly recommend this movie. Well worth the money spent and a great night out at the movies! I give it 5 Bills, just a great conclusion to a great franchise. The Mrs. gives it 5 Bills! She loved the messages and the growth of the beloved characters! So we have a solid 5 Bills! Highly recommended!

Till next time, Check for snakes in your boots pardner, and always set your sights to Infinity and Beyond! Be sure to check our facebook page for a clue to our next movie up for review! Mr. & Mrs. Moviie Couple out!

Aladdin (2019) Movie Review By The Moviie Couple

Aladdin Review

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: John August (screenplay by), Guy Ritchie (screenplay by)
Stars: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott

Moviie Couple here!  We have added an I to how we spell Moviie, that’s not a mistake!  Because with the Moviie Couple you always have 2 eyes on one movie!  Two distinct perspectives!  We went to see Aladdin this weekend!  Remember we are just a married couple that loves movies!  We’re here to tell you if we liked it.  Film experts we are not!  Just a quick reminder of our rating system.

Mrs. Moviie Couple and I, rate films on whether they are worth the cash spent on a night out.  we use a 1-6 Dollar Bill system.  1-2 Bills equal a waste of both our time and money!  3-4 Bills equal Meh to Pretty Good, money well spent!  5-6 Bills equal Wow!  Well worth the price of dinner, movie and sitter!  Please take our money again!

Aladdin is a live action retelling of the animated Disney classic of the same name.  Of course even if you grew up in a Tibetan Monastery and have never seen the Disney classic, you probably still know the story of Aladdin and the Lamp, so spoiler protection will not be at it’s highest level.  “Street Rat” Aladdin gets involved in Royal politics, after run ins with the Sultan’s beautiful daughter, Jasmine,  and his Vizier Jafar.  There is a Cave of Wonders, a Magic Lamp just begging to be rubbed, an all powerful Genie, a flying carpet and yes, a monkey sidekick!  Since this is based on the Disney feature we also get new interpretations of classic songs as well as a timely new one!  Betrayals!  Romance!  Comedy!  Broadway worthy musical numbers!  Bollywood-like dance numbers!  What else could we ask for?  Mena Massoud stars as the title hero Aladdin.  Naomi Scott portrays Princess Jasmine, Marwan Kenzari is featured as the villainous Jafar.

Uncredited, we have performances by Carpet and Abu, so don’t worry the gang’s all here.  And last, but certainly not least, Will Smith brings the Genie to life!  Guy Ritchie, yes THAT Guy Ritchie, directs this adaptation.  Ritchie does a good job of puling off a near (I said near not exact) beat for beat live reenactment of the animation classic most love and cherish.  He does pull out a surprise or two, not included in the original and manages to change the end of the tale in a very cool and modern way.  Since there is very little you won’t know going in, we will not spoil the little changes.  Trust us that they are great and wait to enjoy them yourselves.  The real pressure is on Mr. Smith.  Let’s be honest, anyone chosen to step into the legendary shoes of Robin Williams would be taking on an very unenviable position.  Not only have we lost this comic legend far too soon, but his performance as the Genie from Aladdin is near animation perfection.

For many adults that grew up with his interpretation of the Genie it is the quintessential version.  Does Wil Smith’s take on the Genie live up to the legacy?  Does he drop the ball like a lay up on the courts of Philly?  Or does his performance rise to Bell Aire levels?  Sorry couldn’t help my self with that one.  But the question of just how Smith’s Genie comes across looms over the entirety of this movie?  The internet proved that after the first trailer broke.  All the classic numbers are here and a particularly good new one.  The sets and costuming is impeccable!  This really feels like the world of Aladdin.  Enough with the basics, let us review our journey to Agrabah!  Keep your pet monkeys close, hop on a carpet and fly with us to a Whole New World and let us tell you what the Mr and Mrs thought of Aladdin!

So here we go!

Mr. Moviie Couple:  I did not expect much from this film.  I am a fan of the original Disney animated features, so Disney live action updates really don’t appeal to me.  Beauty and The Beast really set the bar even lower than my already low expectations.  But boy was this a pleasant surprise!  The acting of Massoud and Scott really grabbed me early!  Massoud looks and preforms as if Aladdin leaped to life from the drawn pictures!  Scott, despite some internet displeasure, is a wonderful Jasmine!  Their chemistry was felt and the two actors sold the attraction. Jafar was far less effeminate than on the animation page and felt like a truly dangerous man due to his past and ambition.  As a matter of fact, I may be wrong, but in a few sections of dialogue I learned more of Jafar’s background than I remember being in the classic.  Could be wrong though, been a long time since I’ve rewatched it.

Let’s get to the Elephant in the room, Will Smith!  Is he Robin Williams? NO!  Of course not, but he makes the Genie role his own.  This isn’t the same Genie as Robin Williams’ was.  Its a different Genie with a different personality and thanks to the charisma and performance of Mr. Smith it works!  Smith’s winning personality shines through in subtle lyric adjustments to the songs we all know and love!  And this Genie has a plot thread that pays off in a very nice and cool way.  The musical numbers as serviceable to very good.  Friend Like Me, is decent but doesn’t come close to the original.  One Step Ahead and Prince Ali are very good, especially the parade and dancing in Ali. Whole New World is outstanding!  Speechless, a new song created for Princess Jasmine is phenomenal!  Scott kills it and it is a worthy addition among these beloved songs!  I found myself enjoying this even though I was constantly comparing it to the original.  If I had to nit pick, I’d say it seemed a bit long in the middle and Abu and Carpet seemed to lose some of the sweetness we all fell in love with in the original, but like Beauty and the Beast before it, this film proves its far easier to add personality to animals and inanimate objects on paper than with special effects.  Still with a modern twist to the final scene and outcome and some surprises most didn’t see coming, Aladdin was a pleasant surprise thanks to a fantastic cast and some great tweaks to the end story!  Smith and Kenzari seem to be taking lumps on the internet for their portrayals, but I found them both excellent!  I left loving it

Mrs. Moviie Couple:  She loved it!    Understand in advance, Mrs. Moviie Couple is a huge Disney Devotee.  She was also so glad to be seeing something not comic book related!  No one tell her Aladdin and the Magic Lamp was an early type of comic book (tale told to entertain) she was so happy to go!  She enjoyed all the characters and their performances!  She loved all the new musical productions and absolutely adored Jasmine’s new song Speechless!  She wasn’t expecting a new song and was truly taken by it!  Robin Williams will always be Robin Williams, but she really enjoyed Will Smith’s version of the Genie.  She liked that he had a character arc in this version beyond that of granter of wishes.  She also made me promise to mention that she feels that much like a fine wine, Mr. Smith gets better with age and loved the  muscular physique of his Genie (have to ask her more about that later, but a promise is a promise).  She approved of the younger Jafar and found him to be a good villain, but missed a certain transformation from the original animated film.  In her own words: “I would go see that again in a heartbeat!”  Tough to get better than that in a recommendation!

On the way home, we continued to talk about the new song and the actors that played the parts of characters we grew to love. The entire car ride home was filled with praise, so I’d say it was a unanimous positive this week!  The drive home always clarifies how we felt about a movie.  Silence is not golden, silence is bad.  We were never silent about Aladdin.  I give it 5 Bills, easy. The Mrs. gives it 6 Bills!, a first for her!   So we give Aladdin 5 solid Bills!  I say take my money!  It was One Step Ahead of the competition!  She says Wow!  The film took her to whole new world!  Take her money!  She wants to go again!  So we’ll go with an average of Really Good to Wow!  Money well spent/Take our money again!.

So until the next date night, which looks like a coin flip between The King of the Monsters or a King of Piano Rock!  Check our clue on our website to see which is next!  We will see you next time!  Moviie Coupe out!