The Lion King - Movie Review

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    Chris Stuckmann reviews The Lion King (2019), starring Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, James Earl Jones, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Alfre Woodard, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, John Oliver, John Kani, Seth Rogan, Billy Eichner. Directed by Jon Favreau.


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    The Lion King was directed by Jon Favreau this time around this is the adaptation I hesitate to say live-action there was a massive debate about this online of the 1994 classic animated film and in case you somehow do not know the plot of this movie Simba gets his right to the throne of Pride Rock challenged when his evil uncle Scar causes tragedy to occur and banishes Simba from the pride lands this is another live-action remake from Disney we already had Aladdin this year and we've had Cinderella in The Jungle Book and Beauty and the Beast and Pete's dragon and Dumbo which I still haven't seen and probably won't because I've heard rough things about it and I was never a massive fan of the original number film anyway but when it comes to live-action remakes the Jungle Book which was also directed by Favreau and I really enjoyed that at least had a young actor in it who was surrounded by a digital environment in the case of this film though it's basically another form of animation just not the traditional hand-drawn that the original Lion King did so well and I'm not gonna get too hard into that debate here because I think it's pointless and we really want to talk about the film in regards to visuals and the technical achievement that this film shows us mind blowing no matter what you think of this movie you must praise the artists that worked on it they have created a beautiful world that absolutely looks photorealistic the trees the sky the mountaintops the blades of grass insects all of the animals everything looks incredible and it's impossible to deny the technical brilliance that's on display constantly the voice cast is also really good James Earl Jones once again as Mufasa is obviously music to my ears and seth rogen as Pumbaa is essentially perfect casting he laughs as Pumbaa and I heard Seth Rogen laugh as Pumbaa in a movie which was vastly satisfying to me and that's about where I'm gonna stop at the praising the rest of the movie has some great stuff too but it's all just stuff from the 94 film I mean Hans Zimmer score I got that on vinyl I love it I've always loved it but this movie didn't create it the opening scene with the circle of life song is an iconic scene that is recreated here the story is emotionally affecting like it was in 1994 the characters are entertaining like they were in 1994 Timon and Pumbaa bickering that's funny just like it was in 1994 are you getting where I'm going with this this movie is a shot-for-shot remake of The Lion King there's no personality of its own it's completely predictable in every way there's no surprises there's very little that's new and the things that are new are mostly things that have just been removed or shortened like the be prepared song for instance is heavily shortened there's a new song that's added and hilariously the song can you feel the love tonight was originally featured in a scene that took place at night but in this movie the scene is in broad daylight so the song title no longer makes sense can you feel the love this afternoon I guess but what disappointed me the most about this film is not that some songs have been shortened or that some scenes have been removed but that the personality of the original film is non-existent here this film is soulless much of the humor and mysticism of the original film has been completely removed and replaced with an overly serious attempt at an epic movie and it does not have to be I love Jon Favreau he's one of my favorite filmmakers working today I've loved just about every film he has made particularly Iron Man and chef and I love the idea of him taking this and making it his own but he hasn't this reminds me of when Gus Van Sant made psycho in 1998 and it was essentially a shot-for-shot remake of Alfred Hitchcock's film and he added weird things like strange visions and you know some scenes here and there but for the most part I watched Gus Van Sant's psycho and I wonder why what is the point of that film why is this necessary psycho was already a classic it was already good everybody loved it what's the point of doing it again if you're not gonna add your own spin on it and that's exactly how I feel about Disney's live-action Lion King remake because it's essentially the same movie and I will always love that original film and I will always want to watch that original film I guarantee that any day I will always want to watch that original film over this and I know for a fact that there will be many people who enjoy this movie and who just want to see exactly what this film offers the same movie just with a different look and more realistic characters and if that's all you want if that satisfies you you're gonna have a good time you're going to enjoy this movie but if you want a filmmaker to actually take this material and put a spin on it make it feel fresh or unique you're not gonna get that at the same time doing that Favreau would risk hurting a lot of people because oh my god you butchered The Lion King this is nothing like the original bobble so that's again I circle back to what's the point it's unnecessary it should never have been done Lion King is a classic a movie like The Jungle Book you can do a remake of that there's already been tons of jungle book movies The Little Mermaid I could see that too to be honest The Lion King though like that's that's top tier Disney there's no point to it and I feel like Disney just thought well we're doing the live-action stuff now so we have to do the Lion King right I mean we have to do you really have to Bob yes Jeff yes another issue that presents itself when you have these characters look like photorealistic lions is that they are not showing the level of emotion that the facial expressions show in the original animation and you can tell there was an attempt to make it look as real as possible so during the Stampede sequence and Simba sees what he sees and he screams no it just looks like a lion just opening his mouth and and there's commotion there there are fight sequences as you may expect between characters and they just look like lions fighting about halfway through the movie I realized they were going to change basically nothing and it would be a shot-for-shot remake and so I just found myself watching each scene thinking how will they do this oh they did it just like the other one except without the personality and it just felt kind of shameless you know like I I tend to give studios and people the benefit of the doubt I do I might be a little naive in the case of this movie I would like to think that they thought well we can make a new version of The Lion King and people will like it and young kids who've never seen the original will like it which is probably true I mean I came close to hating the live-action Aladdin but people apparently liked that movie so what the hell do I know Aladdin but the cynic in me wants to say this is a cash grab because the movie has no soul it just feels like control-c control-v there's your new Lion King in regards to Timon and Pumbaa they have obviously retained a lot of their humor they didn't do too much to those characters in regards to stripping that humor from them but they've done it with just about every other character all of the subtleties and the nuances that were in the performances and in the characters in the script and the original film seemed to have been stripped away here especially with Rafiki Rafiki was always my favorite character in the original film I've loved Rafiki forever and they removed so much of his humor no longer do we have this great moment oh geez what was that for it doesn't matter each in deposit how do you cut out like one of the most important character building moments in the Lion King like I get that you want to do something new which is what I'm asking so now I'm complaining about something that did that was new even though they just cut something out but I'm putting myself in the headspace of the people who made this movie if you're going to make a shot-for-shot remake why cut out that like if you've already committed to doing every single thing including the way the shots move and when they cut that the original film did why would you cut out like one of the most important character moments Disney gets quite a bit of hate online because they own so many different properties now and their hands are in a lot of different thing and so a lot of people are expressing themselves and sometimes they make good films but in the case of these live-action remakes in particular they're starting to get very stale this movie has none of the vitality of the original story very little of the energy and the emotion and humor seems to be stripped away in favor of a bland retelling of a story that we all know and love but still you've got to hand it to the people behind the scenes making this film the technical artists the people behind the visual effects because it is stunning and it is potentially game-changing in that way for what you can do with digital characters it's just that it was in service of a copy and paste movie I'm gonna give the Lion King a seat I think Disney has tapped into something here I think they know exactly what they're doing and they are going to make so much money with this movie because nostalgia nostalgia sells and people will go and see a movie where they know exactly what's going to happen because they already loved that movie and they will look at another movie just to see how that movie looks I don't know what's happening but for some reason that was really funny to me so yeah like if you want to put a blu-ray quote for this movie The Lion King 2019 was the Lion King anyway guys thank you so m...
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