The Lion King review

I’m going to be honest here and say that like Nostalgia Critic I do find The Lion King overrated even as a kid. I also agree that the lesson about confronting your past even though Simba didn’t actually kill Mufasa feels very mixed. So now with this remake I was discouraged because unlike Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin, The Lion King was an original story (come at me Kimba fans). I guess it makes sense to have Jon Favreau direct this since he also did the 2016 remake of The Jungle Book. However due to it being more realistic, the characters just don’t have the same emotional facial expressions they had in the original.

The biggest problem to me is that this movie is pretty much a shot by shot remake. Every scene plays off exactly like from 1994 with some added fluff like a scene with a mouse is traveling around pride lands before being caught by Scar. The Jungle Book at least changed the structure of story to make it feel like its own movie. All the songs sound exactly the same from the original except Be Prepared though it doesn’t sound that good. At least in Beauty and the Beast and Aladdin the songs did sound different enough to tell them apart while here it’s like listening to karaoke but with the voices. Also Hans Zimmer’s wonderful score is pretty much unchanged too.  It just doesn’t have the same heart it did in 1994.

The casting is honestly the only good thing about this movie. Actors such as Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner feel like good choices to play Timon and Pumba. Hearing James Earl Jones reprise his role was also nice too. However the only one that didn’t feel right was Chiwetel Ejofor as Scar. The original Scar was malicious, manipulative, and cunning, here he seems too bombastic and Shakespearian. Why didn’t they just get Jeremy Irons back? I heard has was surprised that he wasn’t asked to reprise his role as this great Disney villain.

I guess the only other good thing about The Lion King was a funny reference to Beauty and the Beast near the end of the movie. 2019’s The Lion King feels like Disney has two agendas. One was to try to capture the same magic of 1994 for a new generation and the other is to just get money. It’s managing to succeed in one but unfortunately the wrong one. This was a lifeless and unnecessary remake that recycles more than Disney movies directed by Wolfgang Reitherman.

+ Voice cast
– Chiwetel Ejiofor as Scar
– Songs and music
– No heart
– Shot by shot

Score: D


Amphibia review

Star vs the Forces of Evil may be done but Disney still has plenty of new shows coming. Amphiba is a show about a 13 year old Thai girl named Anne played by Brenda Song who you probably remember from The Suite Life of Zack and Cody who after opening a magical music box ends up in a world of frogs. She meets Sprig who become close friends throughout season 1 and now Anne must find a way to get home.

The world of Amphibia is a really good setting and manages to have good world building too. The character designs, backgrounds and color scheme was very well done. The animation and character designs remind me a lot of Gravity Falls though that’s probably because the creator Matt Braly was a director on Gravity Falls. Anne is a very likable main character and I’m glad she wasn’t just a stereotypical teenage girl character that we’ve seen a million times. She has a lot of character development due to her friendship with Sprig who’s also very likable. Polly is enjoyably crazy and Hop Pop is kind of the show’s Grunkle Stan. The other supporting characters are likable too except the mayor.

I admit that the show isn’t quite as story driven as Gravity Falls or Star Vs the Forces of Evil in fact you can watch some of these episodes out of order and there wouldn’t be much difference. It’s also never explained what happened to Anne’s other friend Marcy, maybe season 2 will explain where she is.

Fun fact my brother was a huge frog fanatic as a kid so if this show came out back then this would’ve probably been my brother’s favorite show of all time. Season 1 of Amphibia was a great start to this great show and anyone who love Disney and or frogs will love this show.

Spider-Man: Far From Home review

I figured Spiderman wasn’t completely dead since the sequel was announced but I was concerned that marketing this movie could lead to spoilers, fortunately it didn’t. How fitting that this movie’s premise is about the hero taking a vacation because this isn’t just a vacation for Peter Parker but also for the fans of the MCU considering we just came off from the climax to the Thanos saga.

Tom Holland as usual is great as Peter Parker. I always knew that Peter would deal with the aftermath of Infinity War but with Tony Stark’s death and becoming the next Iron Man this puts more layers on his arc. I do think the love triangle plot between him, MJ, and that other guy wasn’t really that interesting even though both characters are enjoyable. Tom Holland’s co-star Jake Gyllenhaal is great as Quentin Beck/Mysterio. Spoiler: While I wasn’t surprised that Mysterio was the villain (if you know the character from the comics it’s not really surprising) Jake Gyllenhaal has so much fun being the bad guy. While the Vulture just wanted to provide for his family Mysterio just wanted to be the next Iron Man. He’s pretty much a mustache twirling villain.

This movie’s humor is really great again something we needed after Endgame. One of my favorite gags is in the beginning where we see people disappearing during a basketball game due to the Blip and then five years later during another game reappear and start crashing into the people. The action scenes are better here than in Homecoming. In the previous movie we has New York City (as usual) and Washington DC. Here we travel to different locations such as Venice, Prague, and London. This provides more interesting set pieces and a change of pace. There’s also a great action scene involving illusions that also dives into Peter Parker’s psyche.

Bonus points to this movie for the reprisal of J.K. Simmons as Jonah J. Jameson. Spider-Man: Far from Home has a great hero, great villain, and great action scenes. Pretty much everything a great superhero movie should have. For a final movie in the MCU (for now that is) this was a great way to start our vacation.

+ Action scenes
+ Humor
+ Mysterio
+ Tom Holland of course
– Love triangle

Score: A