I saw this movie when it came out in theaters. Of all the Disney remakes thus far (with the exception of Dumbo which I haven’t seen), I like this one the best. I thought it stayed true to the original story*. Even though they added a solo for Jasmine, it fit the movie well, even if the style didn’t match 100%.
The actor who played Jafar did a good job. My only regret is that he didn’t get his solo. I was looking forward to hearing him sing Jafar’s song.
Overall, I was impressed, and while it is not one that I will buy. I will definitely watch it with my family now that it’s on Disney+.
*The Lion King remake seemed to follow the original movie as well; however, it was not one of my favorites growing up, and I was not as intimately familiar with it as I am Aladdin.
I must say, I really liked Jumanj: The Next Level. I honestly wasn’t expecting it to be any good as is the way with most sequels. However, I was pleasantly surprised. In fact, I think I enjoyed this one more than Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (the first Jumanji sequel). This one is more funny, although it could be because I had the benefit of watching it in a packed theater. There is something about sitting in a full theater with a laughing crowd.
The premise of Jumanji: The Next Level is that one of the main characters – Spencer – is dissatisfied with his life, and so he resurrects Jumanji, which is the last place he recalls feeling important. His friends, concerned when they cannot get a hold of him, realize what he has done and go in after him. However, things don’t go quite as planned and Spencer’s granddad (played by Danny DeVito) and an elderly friend (Danny Glover) get sucked in to the game as well.
What I found most hilarious was watching Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Kevin Hart channel Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, respectively. It was funny to see adult men pretending to be older men in a younger body. Kevin Hart in particular did a great job of maintaining Danny Glover’s calm demeanor and personality.
While the movie was funny, my favorite thing about the movie was the message. Eddie, Spencer’s grandfather, is aging. He is recovering from hip surgery and doesn’t want to let anyone help him. He is an old, cranky man who resents growing old. However, by the end of the movie, he realizes that maybe getting old isn’t such a bad thing. My favorite line in the movie is Eddie’s statement:
Getting old is a gift. I forget that sometimes, but it is. What more could a guy possibly want?
In a world where we are so focused on remaining young in appearance, it is nice to be reminded that aging truly is a gift. It is a sign of a life lived and adventures had. Not everyone lives long enough to grow old; be thankful for the life you’ve lived.
Parents should note that there is some crude humor referencing male anatomy as well as some profanity.
The Christmas Chronicles (PG) is one of the recently released Christmas films produced by Netflix. It tells the story of two kids who startle Santa (played by Kurt Russel) causing him to wreck his sleigh and lose the presents and the reindeer in the process. Together the kids and Santa must find a way to ensure all presents are delivered or calamity will strike – the Christmas spirit will disappear, leading to all sorts of unpleasant things. (According to Santa, the Dark Ages and almost every war in history is a result of him not being able to complete his Christmas deliveries.)
The Christmas Chronicles is one of the best newer Christmas movies I’ve seen. There is something in it for kids and adults. It is just an all around fun, relatively clean (only a couple of instances of profanity “hell” and maybe a “damn” – I can’t remember.) Christmas movie that families can enjoy together. The show is well acted, even by the child-actors, and what I would consider about 4 steps above your stereotypical “Hallmark” Christmas movie. So, check it out!
The Man Who Invented Christmas is a story about the origins of Charles Dickens’ novel, A Christmas Carol. With a cast of famous actors, this story is well acted, and if the content is to be believed, the origins of A Christmas Carol are interesting.
If nothing else, this movie sparked my curiosity about the life of Charles Dickens, and I hope to find a biography about him to find out if the origins of A Christmas Carol are truly the way the movie described it.