The Circle Of Disney Live-Action Remakes

Written by Megan Williams

Disney currently seems to be going through a phase of remaking their classic animated films and turning them into CGI/Live-Action features. So far, they’ve remade Alice in Wonderland, Cinderella, The Jungle Book and a sequel to the 1964 film Mary Poppins is due to be released in December. And they aim to continue this phase with a remake of the 1994 film The Lion King, to be released next year.

The Lion King was essentially a retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet, except it was set in Africa and featured animals. The film has so far grossed over $100 million worldwide, making it Disney’s 3rd highest grossing animated film ever, next to Zootopia and Frozen.

So, I’ve probably just answered my own question but: WHY IS THIS BEING REMADE?!

The Lion King is my favourite Disney film; I would even go so far as to say it’s a perfect film: it has the right level of emotional depth to make viewers care for the characters, a simple but brilliant story, a fantastic soundtrack and score and the hand-drawn animation is gorgeous.

The teaser made the smart move of replicating the original film’s teaser, by showing viewers the iconic opening scene. This time, the scene is recreated with CGI animation and, while the photo-realistic visuals are impressive, it looks very bland. What I loved about the animation in the 1994 film was how colourful and vibrant the setting and characters looked. By recreating the film to make it look realistic, it seems to have lost the charm that the source material had.

However, there are a couple of aspects that I do like about the remake: James Earl Jones is returning as the voice of Mufasa, and Hans Zimmer is returning as the composer. As well as this, the voice cast is impressive: John Oliver as Zazu, Seth Rogen as Pumbaa, Donald Glover as adult Simba, Beyonce as adult Nala and Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. If there’s one thing that can be praised at the moment, it’s the brilliant casting choices.

Disney have also revealed the official poster:

It’s simple yet effective, and it conveys the theme of the film beautifully by not saying much at all: Simba will need to take his place in the great circle of life as King of the Pridelands.

While there are a couple of things I like about this remake, it is not enough to actually convince me to go and see it. I give the original film extremely high praise and I don’t think this should be given the remake treatment. However, given Disney’s recent box office earnings, this will still probably be successful.

Oh well: Hakuna Matata!

 

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Disney Release First Teaser Trailer For Jon Favreau’s ‘The Lion King’

Directed by: Jon Favreau

Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogan, Keegan-Michael Key, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Bill Echner, Eric André, John Oliver

Release Date: 19th July, 2019

REVIEW: E T A (2018)

Directed by: Talia Shea Levin

WRITTEN BY JESSICA PEÑA

Talia Shea Levin’s latest project E T A celebrates community and identity as one woman (Alexis Floyd) combats the need to isolate herself at a bus stop and instead begins to reach out to those around her. Through song and dance, the short video creates an all too real narrative of feeling alone in a crowded space, not feeling like you’re enough for the mold society creates, and even that lingering self doubt. Like breaking the glass ceiling of social confines, our leading gal opens herself up to the community, segueing into a gracefully choreographed dance that represents the power and potential of individuality, and even the strength of women working together.  

This is the second dance narrative film collaboration between Levin and Floyd, having teamed up previously on an unofficial music video project for Alabama Shakes’ song “Gimme All Your Love,” a video that’s garnered over 36 thousand views on Vimeo. Alexis Floyd, who’s so masterful at inviting the camera to her choreography, is full of life and wonder in her performance work. Here in Levin’s non-traditional short, performance art takes soul by the hand and guides us to a divine sense of belonging, to yourself and to the little parts that make you who you are. The rich choreography, combined with facets of film and even an originally composed song (“Enough,” by performer/actress Alexis Floyd), creates a blossoming turn of events for Floyd’s character, a woman who is fighting the urge to remain isolated and instead uses that energy to invite positivity.

E T A’s supporting cast of dancers fill the room, twirling, leaping, and welcoming the change of pace. The community that forms onscreen and in our hearts is both a testament to Levin’s narrative guidance and Floyd’s charismatic, felt performance. It makes a viewer reach within themselves and take flight. The result is a self-satisfaction like nothing else, reminding us that we can take the simplest of risks and be heard, something that may otherwise seem insurmountable to some. When we decide to open our hearts and battle isolation and choose a collective support system, miraculous things can happen. What’s communicated in Levin’s project is reinvigorating. It’s a collaborative ensemble of dancers, musicians, and filmmakers all coming together to create. Much like its production, the finished product is a unique collection, merging dance, sound, and film for big causes. It marches on like a creative protest against division and even doubt, the veiled force against us all.    

E T A is a form of unity, confidence, and empowerment. Talia Shea Levin embraces many arts to tell us a condensed moment of time we all come to grips with and it works on the soul. Wonderfully edited and paced, the short bounces off the screen and interacts with you, as lush as its message. Not only will its original track have you humming all day, but it’s a constant reminder to never sell yourself short or doubt your worth, and that’s a message art can never ignore.

Jessica’s Verdict

4

You can find out more about the film, and watch it, here

REVIEW: Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy (PS4)

Written by Megan Williams

After Crash Bandicoot: The N Sane Trilogy was released and proved a huge success, fans then wondered whether another certain Playstation mascot would also get the remaster treatment: this mascot being Spyro the Dragon.

Spyro is a platformer game series that was originally developed by Insomniac Games (whose latest release is the PS4 exclusive ‘Spiderman’ game). The first game, simply titled ‘Spyro the Dragon’ was released on the Playstation One in 1998, and spanned over 10 games that were released for Playstation, the Nintendo DS and the Gameboy Advance. The franchise has now found itself on Netflix, in the form of an animated show based on the ‘Skylanders’ spin-off games.

Like Crash Bandicoot, Spyro was another game from my childhood; I remember getting Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage when I was around 9 and I used to play that game, and Crash Bandicoot, regularly. So I was excited to see what the remastered trilogy would look and play like.

Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy is a remaster of the three original games that were on Playstation One: Spyro the Dragon, Spyro 2: Ripto’s Rage and Spyro 3: Year of the Dragon. And, after playing through all three games, I can say that developers Toys for Bob have done a fantastic job at restoring these Playstation classics; however it is not perfect.

The visuals are gorgeous, and the cut-scenes are beautifully animated; they wouldn’t look out of place in a Pixar or Illumination Animation film. Toys for Bob have done an incredible job at restoring the trilogy visually, and Spyro has never looked better. The updated character models look great too; my personal favourites are Hunter (who’s in the 2nd and 3rd game), Spyro (of course) and Crush (who is the first boss fight in the second game).

One of the main issues I had with the original first game was the sensitive controls; it made Spyro difficult to control and some of the levels slightly more challenging than they needed to be. Thankfully, the controls for all three games have been tightened, and they are now more responsive and more precise. Spyro the Dragon is now more enjoyable because of this.

So, is Spyro: The Reignited Trilogy a perfect remaster? Well…no.

The voice acting is hit-and-miss; some of the voices work and some of them really don’t. Tom Kenny (Spongebob Squarepants) has reprised his voice role as Spyro, as well as some smaller characters throughout the three games and, once again, he’s fantastic. However, some of the voice acting for the side characters, mainly in Ripto’s Rage isn’t very good: they’re either not expressive enough or completely over-the-top when the situation does not call for it.

While most of the controls have been tightened, one aspect that has been made worse is the swimming controls during the underwater levels. What was once precise is now overly sensitive and tedious; the phrase ‘If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it’ definitely applies here, unfortunately.

The game camera also isn’t your friend here; this was another huge issue I had with all three original games and, unfortunately, the issues continue here. It still gets stuck at corners and, during boss fights, will dive underneath Spyro’s feet, making the fights unnecessarily difficult. Another aspect that makes some of the boss fights unnecessarily difficult is the speed of the characters that you have to fights in these levels: they’re too fast. Specifically, Gulp and Spike’s laser projectiles in ‘Ripto’s Rage’ and ‘Year of the Dragon’, as well as Buzz’s rolling attacks in ‘Year of the Dragon’. These are too fast, while Spyro is not fast enough to always dodge them. However, these levels aren’t impossible; they’ve just been made to be needlessly difficult.

While I am glad to see Spyro return, and I’ve enjoyed revisiting these classic games, this isn’t a perfect remaster. There are some aspects that need fixing and hopefully ‘Toys for Bob’ will listen to any feedback it gets regarding the game and act on it.

3

Weekend BO Report: ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’ Opens To A Franchise-low $62m In A Less-Than-Magical Weekend

Written by Dapo Olowu

This Box Office weekend saw ‘Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald’ fall ill to the much rampant ‘sequel-itis’, an affliction affecting many other recent big-budget Hollywood follow-ups. Symptoms vary, but in the case of ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, a mixture of an ordinary critical & moviegoer reception (40% on RT and a B+ on Cinemascore), and a packed film schedule, have seen the film suffer a $10m drop-off from its predecessor 2 years ago, to earn $62.2m – the lowest of the ‘Harry Potter’ films so far.

Of course, ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s condition is nowhere near critical, but way under our $70m+ expectations. Two years ago, ‘Fantastic Beasts’ went onto finish at $234m domestically, and $580m overseas for a total of $814m worldwide. Its lop-sided domestic/international split is a precursor to Warner Bros’ cure for ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’; a focus on its international revenue.

Every ‘Wizarding World’ film has had its ratio somewhere in the 30:70 region, with ‘Fantastic Beasts’ and ‘The Deathly Hallows Pt. 2’ earning just 28% of their respective totals in the U.S. Warner Bros. have taken this into consideration with ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, ditching the staggered international release option to open in 80 major markets across the globe at once.

We’re already seeing the treatment work: the film opened to over $191m overseas this weekend, eclipsing ‘Fantastic Beasts$145.5m international start. ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’s international gross from 79 countries included $37.5m from China and over $16m from the U.K, with Japan still to open at the end of the month.

Still, there’ll be many at WB who hoped for a better domestic start. ‘Fantastic Beasts’ earned a surprising opening weekend/domestic total multiplier of 3.15x when it grossed $234m back in 2016, while ‘Fantastic Beasts 2’, whose U.S. total seems destined to be the far more frontloaded, should end a domestic finish under $200m. It’s clear as the more U.S. audiences grow weary of a wider ‘Harry Potter’ universe (this is the second of five planned films), international moviegoers aren’t letting go just yet.

It also marks good news for ‘The Grinch’, as Illumination’s comedy remains the biggest opening of the month so far. Its second weekend gross of $38.6m gives it a $127m running total, ahead of Illumination’s last Seuss adaptation ‘The Lorax’ at the same time in its run.

Another of the new releases this weekend, ‘Instant Family’, failed to make an impact, grossing only $14.5m. The PG-13 comedy sees a similar opening to this year’s ‘I Feel Pretty’ ($16m) and ‘Tag’ ($14.9m), two comedies that finished at around $50m. ‘Instant Family’ boasts the best reception of the three, and its A on Cinemascore should grant it some staying power in coming weekends.

Staying power like ‘Daddy’s Home’ and ‘Daddy’s Home 2’, the previous collabs between director Sean Anders and star Mark Wahlberg, would be ideal, with a run like ‘Daddy’s Home’ in particular giving ‘Instant Family’ a $60m finish. Of course, this wouldn’t be anywhere near enough to guarantee profitability, raising the questions of firstly, who greenlit its $48m budget, and then, who forgot to call Will Ferrell to co-star?

If ‘Instant Family’ was neither here nor there, then ‘Widows’ is the flop of the weekend. With its $12.4m opening (from a $42m budget), the critically-acclaimed crime drama will likely finish on a domestic total around $35m.

Not the best news for director Steve McQueen, whose latest offering actually marks his biggest Box Office opening to date (overtaking ’12 Years a Slave’s $6.7m). It isn’t great news for studio 20th Century Fox either, as this marks another flop in a year where ‘Deadpool 2’ and ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ have had to cover the losses of ‘The Darkest Minds’, ‘Bad Times at the El Royale’, ‘Red Sparrow’, and ‘The Predator’.

Widows’ ill-fortune may stem from an audience who didn’t connect with the film. Its B on Cinemascore and 65% audience RT score are just above-average, perhaps due to a marketing campaign that promoted a faster paced, heist-y film than the slower, character-driven story we ended up with. Regardless, it’s likely we’ll remember ‘Widows’ in the future for its award-season success, rather than its Box Office triumphs.

Thanksgiving weekend comes to town next weekend, with three more major releases – ‘Wreck It Ralph 2’, ‘Robin Hood’, and ‘Creed 2’ – looking to inflict damage onto this weekend’s three newbies, but who will hold up the best? Let us know your thoughts on Twitter and Instagram – we’re at @JUMPCUT_ONLINE.

Smoothwall

Emmet And Friends Are Back In A Brand New Trailer For ‘The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part’

“The much-anticipated sequel to the critically acclaimed, global box office phenomenon that started it all, ‘The LEGO® Movie 2’, reunites the heroes of Bricksburg in an all new action-packed adventure to save their beloved city. It’s been five years since everything was awesome and the citizens are facing a huge new threat: LEGO DUPLO® invaders from outer space, wrecking everything faster than they can rebuild. The battle to defeat them and restore harmony to the LEGO universe will take Emmet, Lucy, Batman and their friends to faraway, unexplored worlds, including a strange galaxy where everything is a musical. It will test their courage, creativity and Master Building skills, and reveal just how special they really are.”

Directed by: Mike Mitchell

Cast: Chris Pratt, Elizabeth Banks, Will Arnett, Nick Offerman, Alison Brie, Tiffany Haddish, Stephanie Beatriz, Arturo Castro

Release Date: February 8th, 2019

BFI COMEDY GENIUS: Sightseers (2012)

Directed by: Ben Wheatley

Starring: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram, Eileen Davies, Kenneth Hadley

Written by Tom Sheffield

“I’m not coming home. Yorkshire is lovely. Not like you said at all. They can smile and they do sell my pasta sauce.”

The second strand of Showroom Cinema’s BFI Comedy Genius season is Contemporary British Comedy – an exploration of quintessentially British wit, expect a bitter twist and a sprinkling of social realism delivered by the British stars of today (and tomorrow). Kicking off this strand was Ben Wheatley’s Sightseers, a film that took me by complete surprise when I first watched a couple of years ago, and one I was very interested in watching with an audience just to hear their reactions to the bat-shit craziness that ensues. So on Saturday afternoon, I was joined by fellow Yorkshire folk in the comfort of Screen 4 at Showroom, pint in hand (of course) for 85 minutes of ‘WHAT THE FUCK!?’

Tina (Lowe) and Chris (Oram) have been dating for 3 months and decide to do a little tour of Yorkshire with Chris’ caravan in tow. Chris is an aspiring writer and is hoping some time in the British countryside with his girlfriend will help him with ideas. The couple’s relationship appears like any other, and in truth, they come off like a match made in heaven, with similar personalities and they both appear to love every moment they’re together. Tina’s mother is much against her daughter going away with Chris, even going as far as telling Chris she doesn’t like him as he’s about to drive off with her daughter in the passenger seat.

During their first stop at the National Tramway Musuem, Chris’ blood begins to boil as he calls a man out for littering and he refuses to pick it up. The ordeal starts to completely ruin the day for Chris and as he and Tina are about to leave the museum he accidentally reverses his caravan over the man, leaving him with a huge gash spurting gash in his neck. His wife and son look on in horror and Chris tries to cover Tina’s eyes from the horror – but neither of them can take their eyes odd the dying man. After they leave the police station the pair continue their holiday. The event at that museum sparks a bloody and relentless killing spree, but whilst Chris tries to justify his murders – one being “he’s not a person, he’s a Daily Mail reader”  – but Tina’s erratic and unpredictable nature begins to make Chris question their relationship.

Lowe and Oram are fantastic as the loved-up serial killers and what makes this dark comedy so good is that you actually buy them as real people. Tina and Chris look and act (in public) like an average couple you might see wandering around the beautiful sights of Yorkshire. This film needed strong leads to make its audience believe this relationship was real because everything they do they think they’re doing for each other – and luckily it has them. The film also features some familiar British talent, including Eileen Davies, Tony Way, and Richard Lumsden.

Murder sprees aside, Wheatley beautifully captures the British countryside and some of the characters you’ll find wandering through it. We get a look round some of the museums, my favourite being the Pencil Museum which includes a scene of Tina trying to write a heartfelt letter with a pencil as big as her. There’s also some genuinely hilarious exchanges of dialogue between some of the characters, but they’re best heard in context,

Watching this film with an audience was just as interesting as I hoping it would be. Sometimes you don’t know whether you’re supposed to laugh or be shocked at some of the couple’s antics, but it’s reassuring when everyone else is belly laughing at scenes that made you question how dark your sense of humour is. The audible gasps and wincing from some of the audience also made managed to add bring a few more laughs to the screening.

A special mention must also go out to the make-up and visual effects department for some absolutely brilliant and grotesque work on Tina and Chris’ victims. There’s one in particular where someone’s face, uhm, meets a rock and the camera shyly hovers over the shoulders of the couple to give us a quick look at the aftermath. If blood makes you a little queasy, be sure to have a sick bag to hand if you plan to watch this (which you totally should).

The film’s runtime clocks out at around the right time, the killing does become a little much and you can’t help but find yourself questioning how this film will bow out. Thankfully, and without spoiling it, the film comes does close in a fitting manner and perhaps not how you imagined it would.

Those with a dark sense of humour ought to crack out the Yorkshire tea, put your feet up, and stick Sightseers on one night you need a good laugh.

For more information, and details of the various workshops and Q+A sessions ongoing throughout the comedy season, click here.

Deadpool Goes PG In ‘Once Upon A Deadpool’ Trailer


“To kick off the holiday season audiences of almost all ages will soon be able to enjoy the Merc with the Mouth’s reimagining of Deadpool 2 filtered through the prism of childlike innocence. “Fox has been asking for a PG-13 basically since the start in 2006,” Ryan Reynolds told Deadline. “I’ve said no since 2006. Now, this one time, I said ‘Yes’ on two conditions. First, a portion of the proceeds had to go to charity. Second, I wanted to kidnap Fred Savage. The second condition took some explaining…”Fred Savage will join Reynolds in new scenes for ONCE UPON A DEADPOOL in an homage to Savage’s starring role in the 1987 bedtime-story classic THE PRINCESS BRIDE. Fred remarked, “while my participation in this film was anything but voluntary, I am happy to learn that Fudge Cancer will be the beneficiary of this shameless cash grab”For every ticket sold, $1 will go to the charity Fudge Cancer – previously known as Fuck Cancer, who have graciously changed their name to be more PG-13 friendly for the 12 days of Once Upon A Deadpool’s release.”

Directed by: David Leitch

Cast: Ryan Reynolds,  Moren Baccarin, Josh Brolin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand

Release Date: May 18th, 2018

A Hero Is Born In The Final ‘Aquaman’ Trailer

“Following the events of Justice League, Arthur Curry, the reluctant ruler of the underwater kingdom of Atlantis, is caught in a battle between surface dwellers that threaten his oceans and his own people, who are ready to lash out and invade the surface.”

Directed by: James Wan

Cast: Jason Momoa, Amber Heard, Patrick Wilson, Nicole Kidman, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Willem Dafoe, Dolph Lundgren, Randall Park

Release Date: December 13th, 2018