Movie Review: The Lion King (2019)

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Summary: After the murder of his father, a young lion prince flees his kingdom only to learn the true meaning of responsibility and bravery.
I will tell you where this film falls into my lineup of the live action remakes. So far, I have enjoyed them all, some more than others obviously but I for the most part like them all. However, I’m going to be as honest about this as I can be and I’m not comparing it to the animated film.
Oh, and there will be spoilers… I mean, you’ve seen the animated film, right? lol
Pros:
Cast and Characters.
  • Donald Glover as Simba. He is a lion who is the prince of the Pride Lands. Simba is a young adult, is happy with his new life. He gets to do whatever he wants and he’s let go of his past. However, it’s clear it still haunts him, especially shown when they talk about the stars in the sky. Simba has to come into his own, retake his past and then take his place as king. Donald Glover had enough youthful energy to him that I believed Simba was probably an early 20 something who wasn’t sure of who he was. I think all of the scenes in the cove with the other animals was handled well too because Simba didn’t quite understand why the other animals were so afraid of him. I liked that addition because then he did grow up into an innocent young lion because he believed the motto, he was taught by Timon and Pumbaa. Glover was good though and I really think it was a missed opportunity to not have him have a solo song. The movie isn’t two hours but maybe it should have been to give us more time with Simba in the end so Glover could have really got his hooks into really good moments and dialogue.
    • JD McCrary as young Simba. Overall, he was good. I thought his voice was cute but perhaps too cute? I think he did what he was supposed to do in the end. His singing was a highlight.
  • Seth Rogen as Pumbaa. A slow-witted common warthog who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. Pumbaa is probably the more honest one out of the pair. You know what you’re going to get with him because he doesn’t think in complicated ways. He’s smart in his own way and I think Seth Rogen plays the part really well, one of the best in his role. He doesn’t always stick the dialogue but for the most part he works. For some reason, he’s less annoying and more honest in his characterization and portrayal.
  • Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar. The treacherous brother of Mufasa and the uncle of Simba who seeks to take the mantle of king of the Pride Lands. Scar was given his scar in a battle with Mufasa when he challenged him for King. I liked that added line or word to imply that. I wonder what his name was before. Scar is similar but a little different in ways too. Ejiofor plays him differently. He’s less “flamboyant” and came across more like concealed anger and aggression. He has an ego and a strong desire for what he wants and I think Ejiofor manages his tone with his line delivery that isn’t mocking but honest and threatening. It’s very Shakespearean.
  • Alfre Woodard as Sarabi. She gets a bit more to do but she’s regal, confident in herself and refuses to break down. I’ve always loved her strength and Alfre Woodard is always great at being strong-willed and sassy in her way.
  • Billy Eichner as Timon. A wise-cracking meerkat who befriends and adopts a young Simba after he runs away from home. First of all, I love the fact that he has so many meerkat movements, like the way he pops up when he stands or how he sits. I think Billy Eichner was great! Definitely one of the best and my favorite of the film. His line delivery fit the character so well! Timon is smart and clearly the leader of his friend group but he doesn’t always get it on the first try. It works for him and while he’s smug, it’s not obvious. He has most of the best lines! I like his philosophies and what he believes in. Also, the distraction scene was probably better than the actual scene in the live action scene and he doesn’t even do the entire song.
  • John Kani as Rafiki.A wise mandrill who serves as the shaman of the Pride Lands, and a close friend of Mufasa’s. Rafiki doesn’t get a lot of lines, whenever they show him, he’s speaking in an African language and doing whatever he’s doing. Not to mention, the first time he actually talks, I believe, is when he talks to Simba and I thought he was great! He’s a bit eccentric but he knows what’s going on and he’s quick on the uptake. John Kani was great in the role. He just got to be a bit weird and it works for the character.
  • John Oliver as Zazu. A yellow-billed hornbill who is the majordomo to the King of the Pride Lands. Zazu likes structure, he does things the way they’re supposed to be done. He’s serious about his role in the circle of life and John Oliver is quite perfect for it. He also gets a lot of laughs and I wonder just how much Oliver got to make up. Zazu is a brownnoser but he’s not annoying, at least not to me. I also like how he always takes his duty serious because when Nala was trying to sneak away, he not only spoke to her, he came to her rescue. He’s a bird but he’s put himself into danger for his family.
  • Beyoncé Knowles-Carter as Nala.Simba’s childhood best friend and future love interest. Apparently, she’s supposed to have a bigger role but I thought it was about the same. She could have/should have had a bigger role (definitely recast though). She gets a few extra lines and has two and a half new scenes. The scene before she runs away, the sneaking out scene, which was very good, but of course she’s not talking lol, and then when Simba catches up to her on her way back home. Nala is the youngest lioness in the pride and she has her independent thoughts and is strongly against Scar and his regime. She gets to be a little sassy but she’s not as sassy as she should be. Anyways, Beyoncé is fine.I thought she was going to be bad and she does have some really bad line deliveries but she’s fine in the end. I’m still very aware it’s Beyoncé talking and not Nala. I knew the director wanted her from the beginning and good on him for getting what he wanted, but I think Nala should have been someone with voice acting experience or GOOD acting experience. She’s fine though guys. SHE’S FINE!
    • Shahadi Wright Joseph as young Nala.She’s played this role before on Broadway and she was good. Young Nala doesn’t get a ton of lines but for what we saw, she felt like a little cub who had her own thoughts but who was Simba’s ride or die. Her singing was good and I wished we got to see more of young Nala just for her to have more lines.
  • James Earl Jones as Mufasa. The King of the Pride Lands and the father of Simba. Jones reprises his role from the original 1994 animated film. Mufasa is generally the same. He clearly sounds different due to James Earl Jones’ age but it works. He sounds way wiser and more seasoned and I think you believe everything Mufasa says. He’s kind, loving of his family and the kingdom. Yes, the lions hunt other animals but he still wants to protect everyone. He makes that clear. Plus, he’s a strong dad, he makes sacrifices for his child and he does whatever it takes. Whatever it is! James Earl Jones is always a gem and he’s just as good as he was as when he was younger.
  • Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, and Eric Andre voice Shenzi, Kamari, and Azizi. Three spotted hyenas who are Scar’s henchmen. Overall, I think they’re all different from what they were. They all get a bit more character. Shenzi is clearly the leader of the hyenas as they all defer to her and Scar approaches her first in ways. She’s still pretty ruthless and Florence Kasumba was great, her voice is so amazing. I could really listen to her talk for hours. Kamari and Azizi replaced Bansai and Ed and don’t expect to get those same characters. Kamari and Azizi worked off each other because Key and Eric Andre had nice chemistry. Azizi didn’t quite understand personal space and Kamari hated how close he’d get. They got a lot of laughs from me as well.
Musical Score. Hans Zimmer is a mastermind when he does musical scores and I think in ways; he improves on the original just a tad. It does sound the same but I can tell the differences and it works. One of my favorite scores is during the scene when Simba is walking through the desert after he ran away from pride rock. That piece of music is so beautiful that I do believe I raised my eyebrows. I think it’s beautiful and definitely a highlight.
STUNNING animation. When the film started, it didn’t start right at the “NAAAAA” but it gave us maybe 20 seconds of scenery and it looked like real Africa. I’m not sure if it was or not, but wow. Then the “Circle of Life” sequence is shot for shot the same as the original which doesn’t bother me, but I was super impressed at how beautiful everything was. When we got to see the vastness of the Savanah and Timon and Pumbaa’s home, it’s just beautiful and you can tell there was a lot of care that went into all of it. Whatever you think of these remakes, whether they are cash grabs or not, I don’t think it’s fair to say they don’t put care into them because for everything to look as real as it does and to be so beautiful, they care. I can’t wait to see this movie in Dolby IMAX. The animals are also stunningly beautiful. I think you can tell the difference between Simba and Nala when they are kids, you can tell the difference between Nala and Sarabi when she’s an adult and so on. This is a highlight of the film of the beauty. JUST ARGH! It’s so beautiful! Even if you HATE the movie, marvel at the animation!
Classic Story. This is a classic story of a kid running away from home, running away from their past, to find solace in a new family they created and then return home to face their past. The prodigal son returns! It’s a kind of story we know and probably understand in ways even if you haven’t lived it yourself. Simba goes through a lot of soul searching. We can all experience that.
Timon and Pumbaa. To be clear, they were never my favorite characters. I’ve always found them annoying. I think I grew to like them later in their television series but in all the movies (including Simba’s Pride and 1 1/2 they were annoying to me) but Billy Eichner has the best lines in the entire film at least in terms of humor. Most of the dialogue laughs came from him. Seth Rogen was also good as Pumbaa, I thought he was a good choice from the get-go but I think he maintains that lovable personality Pumbaa has. Also “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” is probably the best song in the movie lol. Plus, the two play-offs of each other really well. I believed their relationship and I liked their relationship to each other, to Simba and to the other animals in their little cove.
Soundtrack. There’s been a lot of talk about the soundtrack and that it’s not good. This is why I don’t listen to movie soundtracks without seeing the movie. I think overall, it’s good. All of the main songs are handled well. “Circle of Life” is good, I’m sure the singer is different. “Just Can’t Wait to be King” was cute, JD McCrary was good, as was Shahadi Wright Joseph, I liked her delivery of Nala in general and her singing was nice. I wish there was more of it. “Hakuna Matata” was fine and I liked Donald Glover riffing on it because they made a joke about it, otherwise I probably wouldn’t have liked it. “The Lion Sleeps Tonight” was the best in the film. Now, about “Be Prepared” since everyone’s been hating on it. I thought it was fine. I read they were going to change some of the words and how it was animated since it had very clear Nazi undertones and they didn’t want that again as to not offend. Sure. I liked how it started out as spoken word, then it slowly built into a song but it was still more spoken than sung and that didn’t bother me. FUN FACT: Jeremy Irons who voiced Scar, sang most of the song but then Jim Cummings (who does a ton of voice over acting) sang the rest of the song because Irons couldn’t hit some of the notes. “Can You Feel The Love Tonight” was okay, I’ll talk about it more later, but I thought Donald Glover did well on it. His singing voice to me, is more of a crooning sound and I think this song is a crooning song and he does that.
Good Tense Moments. I will get into this a bit in the cons, but some of the scenes that stood out to me were Nala’s escape and Simba vs. Scar. I always wondered how Nala escaped without Scar knowing or without being caught by the hyenas, or at least what did she have to do? They played a little bit of “Shadowland” and I was like ARGH! That’s all I wanted was that song! But anyway, she’s sneaking away and Scar wakes up and she’s hiding, ducking so he won’t catch her and though we know she makes it away, it’s actually tense because I was like dang, he’s around the corner, how is she gonna get out of this one? Hyenas were also patrolling. I thought that sequence was good. Then later, with Simba and Scar. When Simba shows up “get away from my mother!” that line delivery was pretty bad lol but Scar then turns it all on Simba about killing his father and I liked the stuttering from Glover at Simba’s guilt and insecurities and how Scar preyed on that. I do think the blocking could have been a little better but the acting between the two was good. Then of course later, when they have their actual fight and I thought that was animated really well and the blocking and direction was great! For one, they of course did move like lions which in ways made that a tad more brutal. I always have to laugh though because Simba is definitely malnourished from living off of bugs… just saying lol.
Cons:
Some of the voice acting. I don’t think this is a problem all around, just in some areas. I know everyone is expecting Beyoncé to be the worst, but she’s not. I mean, Nala has like 8-10 lines overall and Beyoncé isn’t bad at all of them. Maybe half lol. I laughed a bit when she first started talking but it was this loud whisper and then her “I laugh in the face of danger” line was terrible AND her “I’m not a cub anymore” during the battle at the end was also bad lol. Her accent isn’t as prominent as it usually is, so I think it’s clear she did a lot of work for this which I appreciate it, but she doesn’t quite nail it the way she could have. It was inconsistent, is the best way to put it. Not terrible but inconsistent. I also felt that JD McCrary as young Simba was just okay as well. I knew the singing was going to be okay because he has a really nice voice. The dialogue and the acting didn’t quite match up to me. Simba is supposed to be this over-confident, a little arrogant little princely brat, with a bit of earnestness but they were heavy on the earnestness more than the other adjectives. Maybe it’s just that JD McCrary is just too innocent for his own good or that he just doesn’t have the experience to match what the character is supposed to be. He’s cute, don’t get me wrong but I was like “I don’t believe your sassy behavior”. There are minor missteps for Donald Glover as adult Simba (there were times when he sounded really lazy or weak in his delivery) and Seth Rogen as Pumbaa but they’re not glaring to me. If I had to choose over which Simba I’d rather spend a whole movie with though, I’d pick little Simba because while I didn’t always believe the personality we’re told about Simba and the voice acting, he was more likable then. Which is funny because I don’t quite think you’re supposed to like Simba that much anyway? Is that just me? lol
Photorealistic Animation. Yes, it is STUNNING. But it kind of sucks because the characters don’t get to connect the way they probably should. For example, there are plenty of times were the lions do little things they do in real life, like the flick of the ears, and the shake of the head. Other animals do it too, like how Timon moves, I think it’s great. These animals move the way they do in real life and that’s super cool. But I think the problem comes with the fact that they don’t react much at all. I don’t think it has to be “human reactions” like in the cartoon film because of course there is so much that can be done with hand drawn animation but animalistic reactions. For example, during the stampede, when Simba was running from the wildebeest and then hanging on for dear life to the tree, he doesn’t look afraid, he looks indifferent. There are times when they do little things with the eyes, but it’s very few times when that happens. It just sucks.
Soundtrack. Soooo this refers to really only TWO songs. One being “Can You Feel The Love Tonight”, first of all, it’s mostly during the day but the song says “tonight?” I mean, it’s a small thing but still a glaring continuity issue. Secondly, I rolled my eyes hard when I saw the teaser that included this song and I heard Beyoncé’s super extra runs. Listen, I don’t like all the extraneous riffs and stuff in these songs because it doesn’t sound good and with the arrangement of the music is irritating. This is like showtunes, the sound should have the feeling and sometimes the riffing just bothers me. Plus it wasn’t as romantic and it should have been. That’s the other problem. Even when JD McCrary did it in “Just Can’t Wait to Be King”, I didn’t like it and his voice is just so pure. The only time I was okay with it was when Donald Glover did it during “Hakuna Matata” because Timon joked about it. “Oh, he’s riffing again” and it was cute but when it happens the other times. Ugh. Also, the new song, “Spirit” or whatever, it’s a nice song but grossly out of the place in the film. It’s playing during Simba and Nala’s run back to the pride lands and it just does not work there. It should have just been instrumental music. That song should have been exclusively for the soundtrack or in the credits. I also wanted “Endless Night” and/or “Shadowland” because they’re both my favorite songs from the Broadway show and I think Donald Glover could have really showed his singing chops in that song. They even played the opening from the song and didn’t play it! Same for “Shadowland” THEY PLAYED THE OPENING! I WANT THE SONG! This is why I didn’t want Beyoncé for the part because I also don’t think she could have sang the song the way it needed to be sung.
Tension. This probably leads right into the next point, but most of the tension you’re supposed to feel, that’s built up doesn’t land that well. The elephant graveyard is supposed to be a tense scene, almost scary because these hyenas take no prisoners and you know it’s coming. Plus, as Simba and Nala walk through the graveyard, it’s a very well animated and put together location and Nala following Simba, clearly unsettled and all that but I was like ‘I’m not quite feeling it’. Same with Simba and Nala’s argument. It was too subdued for what they were talking about it. I don’t even think the dialogue was strong enough either. I’m not saying they had to be yelling at each other, but Simba was dismissive, which was fine, but Nala wasn’t trying hard enough to convince him and her “meh” energy ended up transferring to Simba and their conversation ended up on a “meh” and then it led into a good scene with him meeting Rafiki but it should have been strong the entire way through. It should have ended on a super high note where Simba is frustrated, even more confused because his entire world just got messed up again. When he was a kid, it got messed up and then Timon and Pumbaa put a bandaid on his wound only for Nala to open it again with reality… which is why Rafiki’s timing always work. But here, she didn’t nearly mess up his world enough for the “He Lives In You” scene to really land. They didn’t have to yell at each other but the dialogue definitely should have been stronger.
Emotional Stakes. It’s really hard to go into this but we all know this story and there are a ton of emotional hits in the story. Mufasa’s death, Simba running away and feeling guilty for what he think he did, Simba going home, having that whole conversation where he reveals he’s responsible for Mufasa’s death and all that. That stuff is intense and it hits really strongly, especially whenever I think about it. BUT it doesn’t hit the way it should in this film. Mufasa’s death is sad and I always cry but I didn’t in this at least not from what I saw but more for what it means and what it meant to me. Mufasa’s death is sad, yes but the emotions come from when SIMBA sees him and his reactions. He tries to wake his dad, he’s not quite understanding what’s going on, and this goes on for a while. THAT is why people get effected because of Simba’s reaction. It just came and went here. I need the dialogue, I need to sit in the moment, let me feel his pain. Scar came up too quickly. If anything, let Scar stand in the background like a shadow while Simba is breaking down. There are a lot of moments that are supposed to have a strong effect but they fall short. They don’t hit the way they should. Even if I’d never seen the animated film, I got the point and what it meant for Simba but as an audience member, I was like “meh okay.”
Overall, if you’ve never seen the original film then I’m sure you’ll really like this film. There’s a lot to like in it and if you’re not nostalgic then it should be fine. I even think if you love/like the original then you could like this fine. I like it fine. Don’t go into it expecting to hate it, just go into it to have a new experience and to marvel at the animation. The voice acting was good overall for the most part, and the characters are good and likable. The musical score is probably a highlight considering how GOOD it is. This film is also stunning to behold. I mean STUNNING. The soundtrack is good overall, and Timon and Pumbaa are standouts due to great dialogue and really good voice acting. The story is also recognizable and relatable. On the other hand, I think some of the voice acting is consistent, the realistic look of the animals prevent real emotions to pass through so the voice acting and the characters on the screen don’t quite match up. Also, the emotional stakes don’t quite hit. The movie tries to hit them and make them important but it’s not as important as it should be. The Lion Kingis fine. It doesn’t ruin the original film and if you don’t want to see it because it’ll “Ruin your childhood” then don’t see it, but don’t ruin it for those who want to see it and don’t shame the people who really like it. It’s good.
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars.
Have you seen The Lion King? What did you think about it? Be Honest. What do you love about the original? What is your favorite Live Action remake so far?
Let me know in the comment section below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to keep an eye out for more review like this!
My Disney Remake Lineup so far. It could change as we get more of these and when I rewatch.
  1. Aladdin
  2. The Jungle Book
  3. Beauty andthe Beast
  4. The Lion King
  5. Cinderella
  6. Pete’s Dragon
  7. Maleficent
  8. Dumbo
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Anticipated Movies of 2019

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2019 is going to be an amazing year, that’s what they all say. I’m interested in seeing the number of movies that come out this year. 2018 was a great year for movies but it was a weird year for ME seeing them lol. I hope I can do even better this year and see the ones that I really want to see.
I’m sure there is also going to be a lot of movies that pop up during the year that won’t be on this list but that’s fine because this list contains the movies that I know about.
So, just like last year, I’m going to do my most anticipated movies by month.
January
Glass- January 18: Security guard David Dunn uses his supernatural abilities to track Kevin Wendell Crumb, a disturbed man who has twenty-four personalities. I still have to watch Unbreakable, but Split was legit so I’m down for this movie.
February
What Men Want- Feb 8: A woman is boxed out by the male sports agents in her profession but gains an unexpected edge over them when she develops the ability to hear their thoughts. This has Taraji P. Henson in it, and it’s like What Women Want, which I really enjoy lol. I hope it’s good since 2018 wasn’t very nice to Taraji with those other two movies.
Happy Death Day 2U- Feb 14: Tree Gelbman discovers that dying over and over was surprisingly easier than the dangers that lie ahead. I thoroughly enjoyed the first one so I’m down for this one.
How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World- Feb 22: When Hiccup discovers Toothless isn’t the only Night Fury, he must seek “The Hidden World”, a secret Dragon Utopia before a hired tyrant named Grimmel finds it first. The first two are fantastic movies, so I would imagine that this would be the same. The animation looks better than ever and I’m excited!
March
Chaos Walking- March 1: A dystopian world where there are no women and all living creatures can hear each other’s thoughts in a stream of images, words, and sounds called Noise. Apparently, it’s based on a YA novel, these don’t usually do well when they’re “dystopian” at least not consistently, but Tom Holland is in it sooo I’m there.
Greta- March 1: A young woman befriends a lonely widow. I saw this trailer on YouTube and it looks bonkers! I’m down.
Captain Marvel- March 8: Carol Danvers becomes one of the universe’s most powerful heroes when Earth is caught in the middle of a galactic war between two alien races. Need I say anything more? I’m excited. I just hope Brie Larson kicks butt in the role because I love her, and I think she’s a great actress, but the trailers don’t do anything for her acting ability.
Us- March 15: A mother and father take their kids to their beach house, expecting to enjoy time with friends, but their serenity turns to tension and chaos when some visitors arrive uninvited. But Alyx, I thought you didn’t like scary movies… I don’t know. However, I want to support the culture lol and it looks interesting. Sooooo I’ll be there… scared, watching through my fingers.
Dumbo- March 29: A young elephant, whose oversized ears enable him to fly, helps save a struggling circus, but when the circus plans a new venture, Dumbo and his friends discover dark secrets beneath its shiny veneer. I know people don’t like these “live action” Disney remakes but I’m optimistic and open to them. I have always loved Dumbo the animation movie so I’m excited about this one! Dumbo is so precious!
April
Avengers: Endgame-April 26: The Plot is unknown. Listen, Infinity War kicked me in the stomach so I’m ready. I don’t even care if they have the Care Bears come down and do a Care Bear stare, I’m there.
May
John Wick: Chapter 3- May 17: Plot Unknown but it’s the third installment in the series. John Wick kicks ass and I’m there.
The Sun is Also a Star- May 17: A teenager finds love at a difficult time in her family’s life. I really loved the book so I’m looking forward to the film. I wasn’t too impressed with the casting (I like Yara Shahidi but Natasha is Jamaican and described as having darker skin). Plus, Everything, Everything the film was okay so I’m like hmmm but I am optimistic.
Aladdin- May 24, 2019: A live-action retelling of the 1992 Disney film of the same name. I AM SO OPTIMISTIC! I’m curious because Guy Ritchie has a certain style and I wonder if it’ll fit this kind of movie. I really hope it’s good and I’m there.
June
Dark Phoenix-  June 7: Jean Grey begins to develop incredible powers that corrupt and turn her into a Dark Phoenix. Now the X-Men will have to decide if the life of a team member is worth more than all the people living in the world. I’m optimistic lol, I don’t think X-men Apocalypse was that great but there were parts of it I liked. The last time dark phoenix was done it wasn’t very good, so we’ll see how this turns out. I mean, the promo photos were pretty great so… optimistic.
Toy Story 4-June 21, 2019. When a new toy called “Forky” joins Woody and the gang, a road trip alongside old and new friends reveals how big the world can be for a toy. Do we really need another Toy Story film? Not really… but will I be watching it? Most definitely.
July
Spider-Man: Far from Home-July 5, 2019: Peter Parker and his friends go on summer vacation to Europe, where Peter finds himself trying to save his friends against a villain known as Mysterio. I AM SO EXCITED! I really enjoyed Tom Holland in Civil War and I thought Homecoming was great, so I hope they keep that vibe they had in the first movie and make the sequel even better.
The Lion King- July 19, 2019: CGI re-imagining of the 1994 Disney classic. I wouldn’t call it “live action” it’s a CGI remake and I’m there. I thought the teaser was lovely, Simba was so precious and I’m curious to see how they’ve updated it. I’m into it.
Once Upon a Time in Hollywood-July 26, 2019: A faded TV actor and his stunt double embark on an odyssey to make a name for themselves in the film industry during the Helter Skelter reign of terror in 1969 Los Angeles. This has a great cast.
August
The New Mutants-August 2, 2019: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves. Another year and no movie, so I’m still waiting to see it!
September
It: Chapter Two-September 6, 2019: Twenty-seven years later, the Losers Club have grown up and moved away, until a devastating phone call brings them back. I loved the first one…. another horror lol I know, I might even go past my “3 a year” quota if there are some I want to see, and I want to see this one. Great cast (though I still don’t like Chastain as older Beverly) and I’m interested to see how our adult Losers Club takes down Pennywise.
October
Zombieland 2- October 2019: Columbus, Tallahassee, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family. I LOOVE the first one and it seems like the original actors are back so I’m there!
November
Kingsman 3-November 8. Plot unknown. I loved the first one, the second one was just okay, so I hope this one brings the trilogy back to being solid.
Frozen 2-November 27. Elsa, Anna, Kristoff and Olaf are going far in the forest to know the truth about an ancient mystery of their kingdom. I don’t even care, I love the first one. It doesn’t bother me at all nor is it annoying so I’m ready to see what happens next. The only thing that annoyed me was them playing that super long Olaf Christmas short in front of Coco. That was uncalled for.
December
Jumanji 2- December 13. Plot unknown. I really liked the first one to my surprise so I’m curious to see what they do for the sequel.
Little Women-December 25: Four sisters come of age in America in the aftermath of the Civil War. I LOVE Little Women and I’m excited for this adaptation. I love Emma Watson, Saoirse Ronan and the other great acting talents in this film. It’s also being directed by Greta Gerwig who did Lady Bird which I loved so yeah, exciting.
Star Wars: Episode IX-December 20. Plot unknown. I have come to terms that I am not a big Star Wars fan. I enjoy the movies and I have enjoyed the new trilogy, so I’m interested in seeing the last one.
Not really Anticipating but want to see: 
January
The Kid Who Would Be King- Jan 25: Looks like it’s about King Arthur. I mean, it might be terrible, but the trailers seem fun.
Serenity- Jan 25: I have no idea what this movie is about, but I like Anne Hathaway and Matthew McConaughey.
February
Miss. Bala- Feb 1: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film. It reminds me of all the other films that are similar to this but it looks nice and I enjoy Gina Rodriguez.
The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part- Feb 8: No idea what this movie is about but the first one is cute so why not.
Alita: Battle Angel- Feb 14: The trailer seems interesting, it reminds me of Astroboy… I mean if anything the graphics look good.
March
Five Feet Apart-Mar 22: A pair of teenagers with life-threatening illnesses meet in a hospital and fall in love. I’m not to sure if I think it’ll be any good, but I want to see Cole Sprouse not in Riverdale and I wonder if it’ll make me cry.
April
Shazam! – April 5: We all have a superhero inside us, it just takes a bit of magic to bring it out. In Billy Batson’s case, by shouting out one word – SHAZAM! – this streetwise 14-year-old foster kid can turn into the adult superhero Shazam. I’m not really anticipating this one, I’m just interested in seeing it because it looks fun.
The Best of Enemies- April 5: Civil rights activist Ann Atwater faces off against C.P. Ellis, Exalted Cyclops of the Ku Klux Klan, in 1971 Durham, North Carolina over the issue of school integration. I saw this trailer when I saw The Hate U Give and it looks good and Taraji P. Henson is in it so even more reason to see it.
Little- April 12: A woman is transformed into her younger self at a point in her life when the pressures of adulthood become too much to bear. I’m definitely going to see it to support! Plus it looks like it’ll be a good time.
May
Pokémon Detective Pikachu- May 10: In a world where people collect Pokémon to do battle, a boy comes across an intelligent talking Pikachu who seeks to be a detective. I just want to see what happens, plus I think the Pokémon designs are pretty dope.
Rocketman- May 17: The story of Elton John’s life, from his years as a prodigy at the Royal Academy of Music through his influential and enduring musical partnership with Bernie Taupin. Taron Egerton is playing Elton John… sure lol. I like Taron, so why not.
Godzilla: King of the Monsters-May 31: The crypto-zoological agency Monarch faces off against a battery of god-sized monsters, including the mighty Godzilla, who collides with Mothra, Rodan, and his ultimate nemesis, the three-headed King Ghidorah. I enjoyed the first one minus the boring human stuff but this one seems interesting.
June
The Secret Life of Pets 2-June 7: Plot unknown. The first one is cute so I’m into seeing the second one.
July
August
Hobbs And Shaw- August 2, 2019: A spinoff of The Fate of the Furious, focusing on Johnson’s US Diplomatic Security Agent Luke Hobbs forming an unlikely alliance with Statham’s Deckard Shaw. I like both characters in the franchise, they were both fun in The Fate of the Furious, so this should be fun to watch.
Artemis Fowl- August 9, 2019: Artemis Fowl II, a young Irish criminal mastermind, kidnaps the fairy LEPrecon officer Holly Short for ransom to fund the search for his missing father to restore the family fortune. I read the book in middle school and I remember liking it, so I’m curious to see how the movie holds up. I will read the book again to truly compare but I can’t help but think this will be another A Wrinkle in Time mess.
September
Spies in Disguise- Sept 13: When the world’s best spy is turned into a pigeon, he must rely on his nerdy tech officer to save the world. Voice talents of Will Smith and Tom Holland, and the trailer was charming so sure, I’ll watch it.
October
Gemini Man- Oct 4: An over-the-hill hitman faces off against a younger clone of himself. It’s basically like Looper with Bruce Willis and Joseph Gordon Levitt it seems like, but I’m interested in seeing it.
Joker- October 4. A failed stand-up comedian is driven insane and becomes a psychopathic murderer. lol sure, why not.
The Addams Family-October 11. An animated version of Charles Addams’ series of cartoons about a peculiar, ghoulish family. It has a great cast being led by Oscar Isaac who is always a win in my book… but I’m not like off my seat for it even though I really enjoy The Addams Family. I’ve always thought that if they ever did anymore live action films Oscar Isaac should play Gomez Addams.
November
Charlie’s Angels- November 1. Plot Unknown. LOL sure. I’m curious.
Sonic the Hedgehog-November 15. A cop in rural town of Green Hills will help Sonic escape from the government who is looking to capture him. lol I’ve always liked Sonic… I think he looks a little weird on the poster, but I will wait to pass judgement when it’s released.
December
I’m sure there are movies that will pop up throughout the year that won’t be on this list but I’ll probably add more as I discover more.
What movies are you anticipating this year? Let me know in the comments below!
Thanks for reading and be sure to follow this blog for more posts like this one!

My Thoughts: Disney Remakes

I love Disney, I have always loved Disney and I will love Disney FOREVER! I think their movies are great, sure there are some misfires but overall, Disney is solid. So there are a nice amount of Disney remakes coming up, they are live action remakes of some of their animated features.
Maleficent (Sleeping Beauty)

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I remember when they announced this, it seemed to take a while since I think Angelina Jolie got sick around that time. But, I was excited. I never really liked Sleeping Beauty like that, however, I started a Disney animated marathon (didn’t finish) and I have a new appreciation of that film. It’s a beautifully animated film. Man. Anyway, I expected more, I left disappointed. I didn’t mind the fact they tried to give Maleficent a reason to be angry other than “not being invited” but a few things I didn’t like:
  • The fact that her name was Maleficent as a child, her parents set her up for failure.
  • The fact that she mended her curse instead of allowing the fairies to give a loophole.
    • The curse is supposed to make “Aurora prick her finger and DIE!” and Merryweather uses her gift to make her fall into a “death like sleep”. In Maleficent, the King begs and she changes it herself. Meh.
  • The fairies were stupid. If anything, Sleeping Beauty is the fairies’ movie and I did not like how they were turned into twits just to make Maleficent look good. Meh.
Anyway, this is not a review but I’m just saying. Maleficent was okay.
Cinderella (Cinderella)

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I actually liked this one, I wasn’t sure how I felt about her dress because of the butterflies but once I saw the movie, the transformation, while long, was beautiful and I understand why the butterflies were there but I still didn’t like them.
I appreciated that Cinderella and the Prince (Kip) met before the ball and their relationship continued and that it wasn’t just a one night thing. I know in some versions of the story, it’s a three night festival but ya know Disney cut it into one. I also appreciated how Prince Kip received a story line instead of just being Prince Charming. The stepsisters of course were there and were funny but not important. Cate Blanchett was wonderful as the Stepmother and I did really like Ella’s character.
The only “negative” thing, I can think of right now is that it didn’t seem like Ella really had a reason to stay… she left and that’s how she met Kip in the first place. She said she didn’t leave because she wanted to protect her house or whatever, but then she marries the prince and leaves the house anyway. So, it didn’t really seem like she didn’t have a choice to stay compared to the animated film where Cinderella really seemed locked into her life… I don’t know, just something I noticed.
Cinderella was really good. Beautiful movie and the music was lovely.
The Jungle Book

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I really really liked this one, probably my favorite live action remake out of the three we’ve gotten in recent years. I would need to watch it again to do a review, which I always planned on doing, just never got around to it. But the young actor who played Mowgli was great in his role, I appreciate his casting. The music is great, and I just loved how real the animals looked.
Pete’s Dragon

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I thought this was cute, I never saw the original but I enjoyed the movie. You can read my review for this film here.
So moving forward, we’ve had a few announcements about live action remakes. Up next is Beauty and the Beast starring Emma Watson and Dan Stevens which I am super excited about. Personally, I find Beauty and the Beast to be a masterpiece and to be Disney’s best animated film, so I have high hopes for the remake, it already looks promising. Next we’ve been told about The Lion King, Mulan and I think I saw rumors about Aladdin and The Little Mermaid, I’m not sure if the last two were confirmed but I’ll mention them anyway. I’m excited about them all honestly, yes the animated versions are amazing and are untouchable but that doesn’t mean we have to ignore anything else that comes out of them.
Mulan: Mulan 2
The Lion King: The Lion King 2, The Lion King: 1 1/2, a Broadway show, Timon & Puumba, and The Lion Guard
Aladdin: Aladdin: Return of Jafar,  Aladdin and the King of Thieves, Aladdin: Animated Series, Jasmine’s Princess Power Hour (it was a special thing with Ariel).
The Little Mermaid: The Little Mermaid 2: Return to the Sea, The Little Mermaid: Ariel’s Beginning, The Little Mermaid: Animated Series, Broadway Show.
So it’s not like these movies are “untouched” lol.
Mulan

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I think Mulan, if given a Pirates of the Caribbean treatment, could be awesome. Disney needs to give it an epic feel.
Cast: An all Chinese cast is imperative.
  • Eddie Murphy should reprise Mushu, if they bring him back. Excepton.
  • NO CRICKET.
  • Real horse for Khan but animate Khan’s expressions though.
  • I think Ming Na Wen should play Mulan’s mother, as she was the original Mulan voice.
Music: The music needs to be amazing.
  • “Make a Man Out of You” should actually be in the film.
  • “Reflection” could be instrumental in that scene, or be internal instead of outright sung.
The Villain: They should do a bit more with him because that dude is one of the “weaker” Disney villains. Very forgettable.
Mulan could be epic. Just imagine that avalanche scene in IMAX or even the scene where Mulan uses the fireworks to blow up the villain. I think it could work if they give it lots of care.
The Lion King

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It’ll be given the same treatment as The Jungle Book, which is fine with me.
The cast: Black actors. Do not ignore African actors.
  • Bring back James Earl Jones, Mufasa must be James Earl Jones
    • However, I will not be opposed to Samuel E. Wright voicing him. He was the Original Broadway Mufasa. Fun fact: he also voiced Sebastian in The Little Mermaid.
  • Heather Hedley could be Sarabi (Nala from original broadway cast).
  • Jeremy Irons should reprise his role as Scar, he would be an exception lol.
I think it would be nice to show Simba’s teenage years with Timon and Pumba.
Music: The Lion King has some of the most iconic music, and only three of them are technically sung by characters in the film.
  • “Just Can’t Wait to Be King” should be sung by young Simba.
  • “Hakuna Matata” obviously, though I was never a huge fan of that song.
  • “Be Prepared” I think that would be a cool scene.
I would like for some of the Broadway songs to be added:
  • “Endless Night” is such a beautiful song. I think that song could be part of the soundtrack, Simba doesn’t have to actually sing it, it could be an internal song.
  • “Shadowland” is great song for Nala and a nice introduction to her adult character.
  • “They Live In You” and “He Lives In You”
    • It’s been a while since I’ve seen the animated film, but perhaps the instrumentals of these songs are sort of there.
Thoughts on Rafiki: I am not against Rafiki being male in the movie, but I wouldn’t mind a woman like in the show and she can lead “Circle of Life”. We don’t have to see Rafiki singing it but the actress could sing it. I think it could be great! I’m excited lol.
Aladdin

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My third favorite Disney animated film.
Cast: People of color. That’s it. As the location is based on a few different places, it’s hard to say so just people of color.
  • Iago shouldn’t talk if in the live action film.
  • Abu didn’t really talk but he shouldn’t either (think the monkey from Night at the Museum).
  • Rajah should also be there, as I read that tigers (and monkeys) are a large population in Agra India.
Agrabah is based off Baghdad, Iraq and Agra, India. The Sultan’s palace is based off of the Taj Mahal.
The Genie: I think this would be a challenge as Robin Williams has passed and he was iconic in this role. I’m not sure how he would be handled. They shoud look at some genie or jinn mythology
  • A physical person, use technology to help his appearence, but I don’t think he should look exactly like his cartoon counter part.
  • They shouldn’t try to copy Williams’ performance with someone else as most of his lines were improvised and that version was written with Williams in mind.
  • “Friend Like Me” is hard to replicate without Robin Williams, as well as that particular version’s energy, comedic timing etc… but if approached different might be okay. Otherwise, leave it out. Or look, at the Broadway show for ideas.
The live action Aladdin could have an “epic” feel to it too. Give a chance for more story telling, character expansion, especially for Jasmine.
  • Explore Aladdin’s life a bit more before meeting the genie.
  • The Cave of Wonders could be kind of scary in certain aspects.
  • Aladdin and Jasmine should have a few more meetings before they decide they’re in love.
  • I think the final showdown between Aladdin and Jafar should be a bit more involved.
    • It’s great in the film of course, but let the people do some stunts!
Music:
  • Aladdin doesn’t have to sing “One Jump”, it can just play in the beginning, just to prevent from being too cheesy and too “musical”.
  • “A Million Miles Away” is a song from the show, it’s during the scene in Aladdin’s apartment after they meet in the marketplace. It’s such a great and sweet song, gives insight into both characters.
  • “A Whole New World” can stay in the same spot. Bring it!!
The Little Mermaid

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My favorite and I will be totally critical of this one, so critical. There is a version in works with Chloe Grace Moretz attached, but to be clear, her version is based on Hans Christian Anderson’s book, not the Disney film, which is why she will keep her blonde hair and her name will not be Ariel. While the Disney film is based from the book, the live action DISNEY remake will be on their own movie, not the book. So, just like with Mirror Mirror and Snow White and the Huntsman, there will be two The Little Mermaid movies.
Music: It’s such a big part of the movie and I think it should stay.
  • “Part of Your World” may be a challenge as it’s an underwater scene. It should remain in the movie but be handled carefully.
  • “Poor Unforntuate Souls” is the same, a great song and scene.
I think this one would require a ton of care due to the nature of the film. It’s not like mermaids can’t be done, we’ve see it, in Splash, Aquamarine, Hook, The Thirteenth Year, Peter Pan (2003), Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides and H20: Just Add Water, just to name a few. They all looked good in their respective movies and different, only thing would be with the talking underwater. Obviously, they wouldn’t really be talking underwater, but it’s just making sure it looks believable. So we’ll just have to see with this one.
So these are my thoughts, at the moment, on these Disney live action remakes. Considering what we have, I’m optimistic about what’s to come. I truly believe Beauty and the Beast will be wonderful and I think the others will be too, just as long as Disney takes my suggestions lol. Just kidding, but no seriously. I’m excited to see what they do with these upcoming films, I can’t wait to start pictures and I can’t wait for Beauty and the Beast.
Below are some links to songs I want to be included. Enjoy them, they’re all beautiful.

Aladdin: A Million Miles Away

The Lion King

“Endless Night” sung by Jason Raize (RIP).

“Shadowland” sung by Heather Headley.

“They Live In You/Reprise” Samuel E. Wright is Mufasa in this video and Rafiki is a woman here.