Tag Archives: Guy Ritchie

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!

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The Man From Uncle (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

THE MAN FROM UNCLE

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Guy Ritchie (screenplay), Lionel Wigram (screenplay)
Stars: Henry Cavill, Armie Hammer, Alicia Vikander

Plot: In the early 1960s, CIA agent Napoleon Solo and KGB operative Illya Kuryakin participate in a joint mission against a mysterious criminal organization, which is working to proliferate nuclear weapons.

Running Time: 1 hour 56 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 66% Audience 73%

Why I Watched it: I had watched the TV on reruns as a kid, my mother was a big fan, it was a pretty good show so I knew the source materiel, I will say I was worried about Guy Ritchie directing it.

Thoughts: I will say I’m always a little worried when they make a movie out of an older show, The Man From Uncle is from the 60′s a much different time and even though they were doing it in the time period I was afraid they change the characters and try to make it more modern cause let’s be honest the kids don’t know this show. Also being a fan of the show I had a bias watching a new movie with old characters.

What I liked: The first thing is that Guy Ritchie did a good job not turning it into a big loud slick Guy Ritchie movie, it is slick and pretty well directed but he did stay pretty true to the source material.

I liked the look and I liked that it was a period piece, they didn’t try to convert the show to the modern time, the best part for me was Henry Cavill he was not only very slick and cool but I liked his take on the character, he took things in stride, he wasn’t yelling and screaming and he wasn’t trying to macho it up too much, he was a thinking man’s spy and a criminal. He did have chemistry with Armie Hammer, of course this was the beginning of the partnership so of course they had to be at odds. It was also good to see that Alicia Vikander had a somewhat fleshed out character and that she wasn’t just playing the love interest. I also liked Elizabeth Debicki, I liked her look and acting someone to watch for. I did like that Vikander was the love interest for Hammer and not Cavill.

The plot was fine, these kind of movies have to have something to do and the story was decent enough, they had stakes, they had to work together. What I liked most about the film was the tone, this was a tough back film for me, some people call it slight but I liked the slick and fun films where the actors got to have fun, look good and be witty. It was somewhat of a light tone but that’s what the show was, and if the movie nailed anything almost perfect it was the tone and look.

There was a couple of nice bits, one was Hammer and Cavill arguing over women’s fashion and there’s a really cool bit with Cavill being drugged, realising it but also knowing there isn’t anything to do about it so he’s talking and also getting a pillow and a place to lay down so when he falls he won’t hurt himself, very cool.

What I didn’t like: They changed the characters especially Illya Kuryakin, they also changed Solo has well don’t recall him being a thief in the series. If there was a flaw in the film it was casting Hammer he’s fine a decent to good actor but playing a Russian not his strong suit and he did stick out, I think they should have gone more rugged with that character to balance out Solo. The film was also a tad long at almost 2 hours, it did drag a bit and I also wished they would have made this a more stand alone as clearly this was suppose to be set up for another film.

Final Thoughts: I liked it, it was a change of pace for me something lighter and more breezy, it made me smile a few times and overall enjoyed watching it.

Rating: 7/10

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017) Movie Review by John Walsh

KING ARTHUR

Director: Guy Ritchie
Writers: Joby Harold (screenplay), Guy Ritchie (screenplay)
Stars: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Bergès-Frisbey, Jude Law

Warner Bros new film King Arthur: Legend of the Sword was to be the beginning of a shiny new Camelot universe before it absolutely bombed at the box office recently. I was going to take it relatively easily on this film, as I actually didn’t think it was totally terrible, though of course, it wasn’t great by any means either. That was until I discovered the budget for the thing. $175 million is an utterly bewildering budget for a film in this position to be granted, like to the point where I’m left wondering just where in the hell they spent the bloody money.

Spearheaded by Charlie Hunnam as King Arthur himself, an actor I actually admire as a fan of Sons of Anarchy, it’s essentially an origin story in what was to be a half dozen film franchise. It opens with a fantastical battle intro set in the relatively recent past with Uther Pendragon (Eric Bana), Arthur’s father, successfully leading the assault against Mordred, a powerful warlock, rampaging his way through Camelot, on an army of towering Elephants. Did Ritchie binge watch Return of the King prior to this? Visually, the elephants were just about fine, but the castle was decidedly dodgy looking. Vortigern (Jude Law), the treacherous brother of the hero then performs a sacrifice, murdering his wife Elsa to unleash a powerful dark magic and betray/overthrow Uther, casting out a young Arthur in the process and setting us on our way into the present.

When we meet him again, presumably a good twenty years has passed at least and Arthur is living a simpler life in a brothel. His roughing up of some prostitute bothering Vikings, brings with it some unwanted attention to his doorstep that eventually leads him to Excalibur and a date with destiny. There’s one particular montage scene during this part of the film where he’s describing the roughing of said Vikings, which sticks in my mind for mixed reasons. It was extremely choppy from a visual standpoint, with about twenty or so cuts to various different scenes within a short period of time. The humour was quite well implemented though. This cinematography style actually popped up again later in the film, and I have to say that although I’m not a fan of the style, it did work reasonably well. Shoutout to Mr. Roose Bolton himself (Michael McElhatton), who made a nice, little cameo.

Now, Arthur would be nothing without his loyal, dutiful knights and they duly appear not long afterwards. This not so merry band of soldiers, waifs and strays are at this stage led by Sir Bediver (Djimon Hounsou), Uther’s once right hand man and they soon want the former to help lead a rebellion against the tyrannical king. He’s in no mood for this after his narrow escape from the murderous clutches of uncle Vortigern, especially following an embarrassing blackout during the reclaiming of Excalibur. The timely intervention from the mysterious Mage (Àstrid Bergès-Frisbey), an associate of Merlin, and Bediver’s men lets him fight another day however and they soon manage to persuade him into joining the cause, though not before forcing him to restore the power within himself and the sword on a dangerous solo journey through the ‘Blacklands’. This inevitably leads to a showdown between Arthur and Vortigern after much plotting and counter plotting between the two factions.

In terms of performances, it was a reasonably well acted film actually despite the forgettable story. I don’t recall many utterly outstanding performances catching my eye, but Jude Law was the best of the bunch as the evil Vortigern. He played the part with enthusiasm and was a believable villain. You can’t ask for much more than that. Eric Bana popped up in bits and bobs throughout. You know what you’re getting with Bana. Djimon Hounsou was pretty decent. I think he’s a smashing actor. Bergès-Frisbey did what she could with a fairly underused and afterthought of a character. Charlie Hunnam will always hold a place of semi-reverence for me after his performance as Jax Teller, but objectively, he doesn’t yet have the gravitas to lead a film or franchise of this ilk. He did ok and nothing more. Can someone tell me why David Beckham was in this? Aidan Gillen channeled his inner Littlefinger with the portrayal of Goosefat Bill. I can’t imagine him as anything else now.

I intended to be harsh on this film with the ridiculous budget and all, but I honestly can’t bring myself to slate it. It’s not THAT bad and I honestly think it’s flopped purely because of the terrible marketing, a relatively underwhelming story, and I’m going to say it again, ridiculous budget. You just can’t spend that amount of money on an untested franchise and expect to come out with anything like a profit. It’s just really, really terrible planning and resource management from Warner Brothers. Most people will look at the flop headlines and give it a body swerve, but I say give it a blast.