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Aladdin (2019)

Discussion in 'Movies' started by Jake Lipson, Nov 2, 2017.

  1. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    TBH, I was just ribbing Jake as I changed my mind about seeing this film because of the good reviews about the 3-D on an IMAX screen. The closest IMAX theater doesn't have many 3-D showings as it used to have, so I'm going to take advantage in watching a rare 3-D showing at that theater.
     
  2. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    My top 5 movies for the first 5 months of 2019.....

    Aladdin
    Us
    Tolkien
    Dumbo
    Stan and Ollie
     
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  3. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    The soundtrack album has the same problem on the songs as well. It’s one of the worst mixed albums of recent memory IMO, way too much bass. There is one moment in Speechless Part 2 where there is this loud sweeping bass sound right in the middle of the song, it sounds like something from one of my audio calibration DVDs. It buried everything for a second or 2 and makes no musical sense. I haven’t seen the movie yet but I’m extremely disappointed with the soundtrack presentation of the music.

    In fact, the album actually discouraged me from seeing the movie Thursday night, went to “Booksmart” instead. The more positives reviews in this thread are encouraging and have me wanting to see it again.
     
  4. Message #404 of 443 May 25, 2019
    Last edited: May 25, 2019
    Adam Lenhardt

    Adam Lenhardt Director

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    I didn't plan on seeing it, but ended up seeing it tonight at the single-screen downtown theater in Chatham, NY.

    An entirely soulless exercise. Everybody (with the exception of maybe Will Smith) felt like they were just cashing a paycheck. The beats were there, but they all felt obligatory.

    The closest point of comparison in terms of emotional response (or lack thereof) was the first time I saw Rodgers and Hammerstein's Cinderella with the new 2013 book by Douglas Carter Beane. It made the story more sophisticated and socially relevant, but it cost the story its beating emotional heart.

    In this case, the love story between Aladdin and Jasmine didn't play like it should. Over course of the movie, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott both have moments that capture why they were cast in these roles. Massoud looks quite a bit like the hand drawn Aladdin, and when he's a thief on the streets of Agrabah, you see the confidence and competency shine through. Scott makes Jasmine an active participant in what's going on, aware and opinionated. But when they're together, the screenplay works against them at every turn. Too many of their scenes together play like Anakin and Padme in Attack of the Clones. The movie takes it for granted that these two young people are supposed to end up together, and assumes that the audience will want them to end up together, and doesn't do enough work earning it.

    The musical aspect also threw me. All of the songs are produced like the pop versions you'd hear on the radio, not as a cohesive part of the movie's sound mix. The vocals are heavily processed, and the instrumental accompaniment doesn't tie in with the rest of the score. Most musicals are acted against pre-recorded vocals, but the production choices here serve to immediately draw your attention to when the change from the dialog recorded on set to the pre-receorded vocals occurs. Also, while Massoud has a capable singing voice, I don't think his singing voice is well suited to Aladdin.
     
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  5. benbess

    benbess Producer

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    Naomi Scott performing "Speechless"....

     
  6. Chris Will

    Chris Will Screenwriter

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    She does a fine job singing but, I’m just not a fan of that song. It just doesn’t sound like a song from Aladdin and for some reason I get a “Skyfall” (the song) vibe from it. Even with all the modernization to the original songs, this one still feels odd next to them. Also, knowing who wrote the song, it feels more like an unused song from “The Greatest Showman”, it would fit that movie perfectly.

    Anyway, just not a fan of the song so far. I’ve only heard it on the album so maybe it will grow on me when unsee the movie, which will probably be this evening.
     
  7. Message #407 of 443 May 26, 2019
    Last edited: May 26, 2019
    Sam Favate

    Sam Favate Lead Actor

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    I didn't love it. Frankly, I didn't expect to, but there were aspects of it that I did like. Naomi Scott was great in her role and her song is the best one in the movie, even if it doesn't feel like it belongs (it seems to belong to a Broadway musical). The costumes were great, as well as the production design. Will Smith didn't work for me so much; it's a thankless task to replace Robin Williams, and even harder to be on screen doing it. He's got plenty of charm and they should have let him be himself (ironic) rather than channel his energy through the character Williams created. (Genie was also missing that manic quality.) Mena Masoud certainly looks the part of Aladdin, but he felt rather flat. The main failing of the movie, IMO, was the songs. Of course, they're great songs, and they all shine in the original, but hearing them in this movie, it felt like a cover band doing your favorite band's stuff. Perfunctory, and they didn't have the same effect.

    Here's what should have happened in the studio meeting all those years ago when they decided to make live action versions of their animated classics: They should have said "Let's do something different. Let's make them unique. If people want to see the musical version, the cartoon will always be there, so let's make these set apart somehow. Like, let's make Aladdin a straight-up adventure tale. It has all the elements, it will be great." Instead, they chose to do virtual remakes with live actors and (some) sets. In some cases, they are shot-for-shot remakes.

    From the time I first saw Aladdin the theater in the fall of '92, I thought it could be a great Raiders of the Lost Ark-style adventure. This isn't that. I liked the added depth to the story and to Jasmine, but it wasn't enough. I enjoyed it enough that I would watch it again, on blu-ray or TV, but the original will always be the best; the Lawrence of Arabia of animated Disney classics. By comparison, this one seems like a made for television special.
     
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  8. Sean Bryan

    Sean Bryan Sean Bryan

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    I wasn’t sure what to expect with this, but I really enjoyed it.

    I always liked the original animated version, but it has been a long, long time since I’ve watched it. Maybe that worked in my favor. Anyway, I thought it was entertaining, fun, hit some nice emotional beats (I especially liked the additions to Genie’s story) and generally well done.
     
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  9. TJPC

    TJPC Producer

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    My daughter was about 6 when the original came out and conservatively speaking after we saw the film theatrically 4 times, she played the soundtrack and watched the VHS tape at least 10 000 000 456 000 times, so I am fairly familiar with it.

    My wife and I just came home from seeing this new version and were thoroughly charmed by it. We found the 3 main leads wonderful throughout. It was excellent in Imax 3D.

    My only small quibble was the overcranking (undercranking?) during some chase and dance sequences, which was reminiscent of silent films.
     
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  10. Johnny Angell

    Johnny Angell Played With Dinosaurs Member

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    We just watched the movie in 3D imax. I found it to be a movie whose sum doesn’t equal the whole of it’s parts. The performers were fine, but I found the magic to be missing. I wanted to like this movie and I wanted it let it stand on it’s own. I failed at the latter and that apparently kept me from appreciating it. Of the three main leads, the Genie is the least fulfilling.

    Damn, I wanted to like it.
     
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  11. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I just read that Aladdin's opening is the highest Memorial Day weekend gross ever for a non-sequel.

    While this is technically true because it's a remake and not in the continuity of the animated version, it seems like a technicality to me, in that this is very much a well-known branded property, and the initial interest was based on people's affection for the prior film.

    Good for Disney for churning out another hit with comparatively little marketing effort on their part versus what they normally do. I wish I liked it more, but they certainly are proving unstoppable this summer.
     
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  12. holtge

    holtge Screenwriter

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    So sorry to hear you didn't enjoy it, @Jake Lipson. Really stinks when you have so much excitement heading in to something you're really looking forward to, only to be disappointed in the end product. I certainly do feel bad for you. But if it makes you feel any better, I enjoyed it a lot more the second time I saw it as compared to the first. Took my almost 7-year-old grandson with me on my second viewing, and seeing it from his eyes and viewpoint was quite a treat! He said his favorite character was the Genie because "he does a lot more in the remake than he does in the animated one." Interesting perspective. ;)

    Also, it is really good to hear that all of the negative press and buzz leading up to the movie's release didn't really affect it in the way we all thought would happen. Audiences have really enjoyed it and the positive word-of-mouth has been unstoppable. Have to say, I am really glad. Did it have its' problems? Yes. But on the whole, I thought it worked well. Good for Disney and everyone involved in the project.
     
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  13. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    I'm glad you liked it and that it's working for you, but I have no interest in seeing it again. I'll stick with my Blu-ray of the original.
     
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  14. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    I'm going to see this film with the mind set of not comparing it to the animation film as I see this live action remake as something different.
     
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  15. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    It is, but at the same time, it lifts so many things so extensively from the animation that it is impossible to completely ignore that element. I wasn't actively thinking about the animated film while I was watching this one, but that doesn't mean I wasn't aware of the structural (and in some cases line-for-line quote) similarities.
     
  16. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    For you it was impossible to completely ignore that previous film. For me, probably not so much. I hope to see this film tomorrow or Thursday at the latest.
     
  17. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    If you've seen the previous film, there are things here that will bring it to mind.
     
  18. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    So? I'm going into seeing this film with an open-mind so any previous memories from the previous film will hopefully be minimized. TBH, I enjoyed the previous film, but it's not a film I loved like Beauty and the Beast. By the way, as much as I love that animated film, I really enjoyed the live action remake too so I'm expecting about the same reaction.
     
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  19. Jake Lipson

    Jake Lipson Lead Actor

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    Minimized, sure, but not absent, when they're literally quoting much of it, which means it's impossible to completely ignore.

    For the record, I liked the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast too. I went into this film with more than an open mind -- I was genuinely excited for it -- you can read pretty much any post of mine in here prior to the release of the film for proof of how excited I was to see this -- and I left not excited, and that's because the new film didn't do anything to excite me.

    However, hopefully it works better for you. It's obviously working better for a lot of people, and that's good, since nobody wants to pay for a movie and not like it.
     
  20. Robert Crawford

    Robert Crawford Moderator
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    To each his own in this world of film subjectivity!
     

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