Aladdin (2019)

Wayne_j

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,465
Real Name
Wayne
I just got back. I liked it very much but it took me a while to get into it. Standouts were Will Smith and Naomi Scott. This might just be my theater, but the singing was often buried in the mix so that some of the lyrics were hard to pick out. Spoken dialogue was clean and intelligible the entire movie.
 
  • Like
Reactions: benbess

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,033
Real Name
Ben
I liked it a lot! My rating: "A"

My rating of the original: "A+"

The theater was only half full, but the audience was clearly enjoying it. Jasmine was a standout, with a more powerful role and her own new song.

That's 3 for 3 for me for the recent Disney remakes, since I really liked Mary Poppins Returns, Dumbo, and now this one.
 
Last edited:

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,033
Real Name
Ben
Revised and/or new lyrics for opening song....

"Oh imagine a land, it's a faraway place
Where the caravan camels roam
Where you wander among every culture and tongue
It's chaotic, but hey, it's home

When the wind's from the east
And the sun's from the west
And the sand in the glass is right
Come on down, stop on by
Hop a carpet and fly
To another Arabian night

As you wind through the streets at the fabled bazaars
With the cardamom-cluttered stalls
You can smell every spice
While you haggle the price
Of the silks and the satin shawls

Oh, the music that plays as you move through a maze
In the haze of your pure delight
You are caught in a dance
You are lost in the trance
Of another Arabian night

Arabian nights
Like Arabian days
More often than not are hotter than hot
In a lot of good ways

Arabian nights
Like Arabian dreams
This mystical land of magic and sand
Is more than it seems

There's a road that may lead you
To good or to greed through
The power your wishing commands
Let the darkness unfold or find fortunes untold
Well, your destiny lies in your hands"
 

Jason_V

Lead Actor
Senior HTF Member
Joined
May 7, 2001
Messages
7,595
Location
Bothell, WA
Real Name
Jason
Please let us know how your screening goes tonight @Jason_V and anyone else who is seeing it tonight or over this weekend. I look forward to discussing it.
The theater ended up roughly 3/4 full by the time the movie started. All kinds of people were in the mix and all different sizes of groups: fathers and their daughters, what I presume were "Girls Nights," what I presume were dates, etc. Even the smallest of kids in the theater were quiet the entire time (there was one kid who got carried into the theater...he was around 3 or 4 years old). Ours was one of two theaters playing the movie last night; it was a Dolby Theater. The other was plain digital.

I have to say I was entertained by it and I only looked at my watch once because I had to go to the bathroom. There are jokes in the first half I just laughed by butt off over. I was immediately taken by Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott. Will Smith is a new version of the Genie; I could see the influence of Robin Williams in his acting...BUT Smith is NOT doing Williams.

At over 2 hours, there isn't much wiggle room to add things to the story, but I would have liked to see more with the Sultan and Jafar. Those roles are completely paper thin; aside from one or two scenes, I never got pure evil from Jafar. Which works, I think, since this is live action and there needs to be some level of realism. (There are a few sketchy CGI shots through the movie. One I noticed fairly early in the movie and I couldn't get over how terrible it looked.)

It's colorful and bold and happy. For me, some scenes were too dark and not as awe inspiring as I wanted them to be. The Cave of Wonders and "A Whole New World" fit into that bucket. I am happy I went and don't regret the decision. Is this film "needed"? Not really, but I'm not going to pass up seeing a new take on a film I've been watching for almost 30 years. I'd go B+ for a letter grade.

This might just be my theater, but the singing was often buried in the mix so that some of the lyrics were hard to pick out. Spoken dialogue was clean and intelligible the entire movie.
That is literally every movie or stage musical I see. The sound mix overpowers the lyrics and I have a hell of a time figuring out what is being said.
 
  • Like
Reactions: benbess

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,033
Real Name
Ben
One of the places this film could be said to be "needed" is in the more feminist take on Jasmine.
 

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
11,017
Real Name
Jake Lipson
Jake? Jaaaake??
I didn't like it at all.

To call the original movie my favorite film of all time is an understatement. I was four years old when it came out and it was the movie that made me love movies. It shaped my lifelong obsession with movies and with musicals and informed a lot of my taste and personality. It showed me what good storytelling can do and is the reason I want to write.

Oh, and my original copy of the VHS broke due to overuse -- not because I wasn't careful with it or mistreated it in any way at all -- it just got used so much that eventually the flap on the back that covers the actual tape came detached and it wouldn't play anymore. I had to go to eBay during its out-of-print spell before the DVD came out to buy a second VHS of it, and although I've since gotten rid of all my VHS copies of everything else, I kept those two, just as a marker of how much I loved it.

It's not overstating the case to say I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for loving Aladdin. So, more than any other film Disney could choose to remake, this one has my entire heart wrapped up in it. It's my favorite story ever.

And yet I sat there and I watched it and I felt absolutely nothing.

It's not a terrible movie. It's not incompetently made. I don't think any of the cast members were bad or miscast. The design of Agrabah and everything in it looks beautiful. Disney and the cast and crew clearly spent a lot of time, money, effort and energy making this. It hits all the beats it needs to hit -- many of them in a very similar way as the original -- so in that regard, it does what it was designed to do.

But it wasn't entertaining. I simply did not have any fun watching it. I didn't laugh or smile or emotionally engage with any of these characters. It did everything it should have done, but it just lacks charm.

It's not even about it being inferior to the animated film -- although it is that too. But I wasn't thinking about the animated film while I was watching it. I was just sitting there waiting to care about something, anything that was going on at all.

The closest I came to caring was that I didn't like the "jams" scene. That was just bad.

Everything else was just...there.

I didn't care enough about it to hate it. If I hated it, that would mean they made enough bad choices for me to pick it apart, which would be something. But it wasn't strong enough to provoke that kind of a response.

The movie played, then it ended. I thought, "Well, that happened." Then I shrugged, I got up and left.

Since then, people I know who I've been talking with about it have been apologizing to me because of my presumed disappointment. But it's weird; I'm not even exactly disappointed. I'm just numb to it.

For years, I wanted Disney to make Aladdin into a Broadway musical. I asked for that. They finally did that and I've now seen it twice, including once when the original lead actor from Broadway went out on the road and my mom and I drove all the way to Los Angeles for it. That trip is a lifetime highlight for me.

I never asked for a live-action movie of it. I got excited about it because they were going to do it whether or not I asked for it, and I genuinely believed there was potential for this to be great. It isn't, but it could have been. It doesn't have to be the animated version. The Broadway version is not the animated version and I love that. But since I never asked for it, I can't say I'm disappointed. It's just something that I saw last night, and now I've seen it, and it's over. It's shocking how little I care about it.

The end.

Oh, and for those curious, I will be returning my pre-ordered soundtrack unopened to Amazon for a refund.
 
Last edited:

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
11,017
Real Name
Jake Lipson
One of the places this film could be said to be "needed" is in the more feminist take on Jasmine.
I suppose there is an argument to be made for that, but I don't see her characterization in the animated version as being flawed at all. I always assumed that whenever the Sultan stops ruling that Aladdin and Jasmine would do it together as equals, without them ever actually having to say that. Although Aladdin is from a lower social class, the animated film very much makes them equals anyway in terms of their mutual respect for each other. It seems entirely within character for them to rule as partners as well. As written, she was too strong-willed to have it any other way, and Aladdin as a character wouldn't subjugate her upon their marriage even if he could.

The new film made this actual text by dealing with it directly, which is admirable, but it seemed implied to me by the original anyway.
 

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,033
Real Name
Ben
Saw it again today in IMAX 3D and liked it even better the second time around. The 3D is very good imho, and I think that's the way to go if you can find it in that format. They were only showing it once in IMAX 3D as far as I could tell as my local AMC (not once a day, just once period). Anyway, for me the new Aladdin is spectacular, wonderful, funny, and emotional, and it's clearly one of my very favorite movies of 2019 so far. I still love the original too, of course.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,863
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
Saw it again today in IMAX 3D and liked it even better the second time around. The 3D is very good imho, and I think that's the way to go if you can find it in that format. They were only showing it once in IMAX 3D as far as I could tell as my local AMC (not once a day, just once period). Anyway, for me the new Aladdin is spectacular, wonderful, funny, and emotional, and it's clearly one of my very favorite movies of 2019 so far. I still love the original too, of course.
I wasn't planning on seeing this movie. However, since Jake hates it and some others like it, I'm going to see it in IMAX 3-D next week.:)
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mysto and benbess

Jake Lipson

Executive Producer
Premium
Joined
Dec 21, 2002
Messages
11,017
Real Name
Jake Lipson
since Jake hates it
I never said that. I don't hate it. It's adequate. I said:

I didn't care enough about it to hate it. If I hated it, that would mean they made enough bad choices for me to pick it apart, which would be something. But it wasn't strong enough to provoke that kind of a response.
I am indifferent to it. Also, I'm not sure why my indifference to it would be a factor in your deciding to see it, but you do you.
 

Robert Crawford

Moderator
Moderator
Joined
Dec 9, 1998
Messages
48,863
Location
Michigan
Real Name
Robert
I never said that. I don't hate it. It's adequate. I said:



I am indifferent to it. Also, I'm not sure why my indifference to it would be a factor in your deciding to see it, but you do you.
Maybe you didn't say you hated it, but the first sentence in your post was the following:

I didn't like it at all.
Am I misinterpreting those words about this latest film version of "Aladdin"? That sentence might not be out and out hatred, but it gave me the impression that you didn't like it all.:) Your dislike isn't the only reason why I'm going to see this film, but so many people were ragging on Will Smith's role in this film before the film's release also has peaked my interest in seeing it. Furthermore, it looks like this film is well liked by the majority of early viewers in this thread so I'm going to see for myself about the contrast of views regarding this film.
 
Last edited:

benbess

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Sep 8, 2009
Messages
4,033
Real Name
Ben
I didn't like it at all.

To call the original movie my favorite film of all time is an understatement....
Jake: Thanks very much for sharing your thoughts. Given how important the original movie has been to you for so many years, it's understandable that you didn't connect emotionally with the new one.

My favorite movie adaptation of a Jane Austen novel is the 1995 version of Sense and Sensibility, impeccably directed by Ang Lee, with Emma Thompson (who also wrote the wonderful screenplay), Kate Winslet, Alan Rickman, etc. Anyway, I can't even watch any other version, because they all feel profoundly inferior and just wrong to me. And for me the new Star Trek show Discovery betrayed my beloved Star Trek. I endured the whole first season of Discovery, often cringing and wincing, but after that I couldn't even watch it anymore. Finally, although I'm not thinking of an example right now, I've also had your experience of profound indifference when watching a remake—just feeling almost nothing.

Probably all of us posting here at Home Theater Forums have special relationships with individual movies and TV shows. I just wanted to take a moment to sincerely thank you for sharing how meaningful the original Aladdin has been for you. I hope you'll take out your VHS tape or your blu-ray of the original Aladdin and have an enjoyable experience watching it. I love the animated Aladdin too. It's a spectacular, wonderful, hilarious, emotional, and beautifully made movie. It's one of the best animated movies ever made, and I think almost all of us here would agree about that.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: TravisR

Mysto

Screenwriter
Joined
Feb 15, 2018
Messages
1,420
Location
Florida
Real Name
marv long
I didn't like it at all.

To call the original movie my favorite film of all time is an understatement. I was four years old when it came out and it was the movie that made me love movies. It shaped my lifelong obsession with movies and with musicals and informed a lot of my taste and personality. It showed me what good storytelling can do and is the reason I want to write.

Oh, and my original copy of the VHS broke due to overuse -- not because I wasn't careful with it or mistreated it in any way at all -- it just got used so much that eventually the flap on the back that covers the actual tape came detached and it wouldn't play anymore. I had to go to eBay during its out-of-print spell before the DVD came out to buy a second VHS of it, and although I've since gotten rid of all my VHS copies of everything else, I kept those two, just as a marker of how much I loved it.

It's not overstating the case to say I would not be the person I am today if it weren't for loving Aladdin. So, more than any other film Disney could choose to remake, this one has my entire heart wrapped up in it. It's my favorite story ever.

And yet I sat there and I watched it and I felt absolutely nothing.

It's not a terrible movie. It's not incompetently made. I don't think any of the cast members were bad or miscast. The design of Agrabah and everything in it looks beautiful. Disney and the cast and crew clearly spent a lot of time, money, effort and energy making this. It hits all the beats it needs to hit -- many of them in a very similar way as the original -- so in that regard, it does what it was designed to do.

But it wasn't entertaining. I simply did not have any fun watching it. I didn't laugh or smile or emotionally engage with any of these characters. It did everything it should have done, but it just lacks charm.

It's not even about it being inferior to the animated film -- although it is that too. But I wasn't thinking about the animated film while I was watching it. I was just sitting there waiting to care about something, anything that was going on at all.

The closest I came to caring was that I didn't like the "jams" scene. That was just bad.

Everything else was just...there.

I didn't care enough about it to hate it. If I hated it, that would mean they made enough bad choices for me to pick it apart, which would be something. But it wasn't strong enough to provoke that kind of a response.

The movie played, then it ended. I thought, "Well, that happened." Then I shrugged, I got up and left.

Since then, people I know who I've been talking with about it have been apologizing to me because of my presumed disappointment. But it's weird; I'm not even exactly disappointed. I'm just numb to it.

For years, I wanted Disney to make Aladdin into a Broadway musical. I asked for that. They finally did that and I've now seen it twice, including once when the original lead actor from Broadway went out on the road and my mom and I drove all the way to Los Angeles for it. That trip is a lifetime highlight for me.

I never asked for a live-action movie of it. I got excited about it because they were going to do it whether or not I asked for it, and I genuinely believed there was potential for this to be great. It isn't, but it could have been. It doesn't have to be the animated version. The Broadway version is not the animated version and I love that. But since I never asked for it, I can't say I'm disappointed. It's just something that I saw last night, and now I've seen it, and it's over. It's shocking how little I care about it.

The end.

Oh, and for those curious, I will be returning my pre-ordered soundtrack unopened to Amazon for a refund.
It's all good Jake. I loved Mary Poppins and just yawned through the remake - not bad just no soul for me. Not Disney, but Everybody went gaga for La La Land and I was looking at my watch many times before it ended. Some films just don't connect with us and that's just the way it is.
I am glad to get your alternate view.
So far the only Disney remake that I have felt I would re-watch was Beauty and the Beast and that was mostly because it looked so good on my big screen - not because the movie was better. Tomorrow I may change my mind.:) Some films I didn't care for on first viewing were better with time - perhaps this one will be for you...or not.

Don't get mad at Crawdad - I think he was just having a go at you.

It's all good.:D
 
Last edited:

Wayne_j

Cinematographer
Senior HTF Member
Joined
Nov 7, 2006
Messages
3,465
Real Name
Wayne
There is a huge disparity between critic reviews and audience appreciation on this film. Currently at Rotten Tomatoes the critic score is at 58% and the audience score is at 93%. All of the people who submitted audience reviews that counted towards that number have verified that they bought a ticket for Aladdin from Fandango. Also this film received an excellent 'A' CinemaScore. I'm somewhere in between on this film, I would give it between a B- and C+ while I would give the animated version an A or A+.
 

Forum Sponsors

Forum statistics

Threads
344,488
Messages
4,711,567
Members
141,264
Latest member
Kas Quatermain