ALADDIN

There’s no point in rehashing the plot of Aladdin, Disney’s 2019 live-action remake of their similarly titled 1992 animated film — screenwriters John August and Guy Ritchie (who also directs) closely follow the story of a diamond-in-the-rough street rat and his monkey sidekick who happen upon a magic lamp with a genie inside. Yes, there are additions, roughly 40 minutes of them. Some are bizarre: the Genie (Will Smith) gains a love interest; some are requisite showstoppers for a post-Frozen world: Jasmine (Naomi Scott) gains a new song, “Speechless;” and some eschew universality for specificity: Jafar’s (Marwan Kenzari) quest for … Continue reading ALADDIN

THE LEGO MOVIE

Most Hollywood movies can be neatly summed up and packaged in one 140-character sentence. The official term for it is “High Concept”. To try to sum up The Lego Movie in a single sentence or label it high concept is nearly impossible, and frankly, wrong. There are those who have tried (“It’s like Toy Story in The Matrix.”), but any summation falls short to the experience of what The Lego Movie has to offer, and The Lego Movie has a lot to offer. Any fears that The Lego Movie is nothing more than an elongated commercial for a Danish building block, … Continue reading THE LEGO MOVIE