Movie Review | ‘Out’

Disney and LGBTQ+ theme content has not always been positive. The “Love, Simon” spin-off was shipped off to Hulu instead of Disney+ due to feeling that it wouldn’t appropriate for families to watch with their children. While I rolled my eyes hard at this, their subsidiary Pixar produced an LGBTQ+ for their short film series on Disney+ streaming platform just in time for Pride month.

“Out” is a nine-minutes short written and directed by Steven Hunter, who is best known for animating “Finding Nemo” and “Wall-E.” It’s the first Disney and Pixar movie to feature a gay main character and on-screen same-sex kiss. The short is apart of Pixar’s “SparkShorts” series on Disney+. The series is a program present by Pixar employees where they have six months and a limited budget to produce short films. These short films are personal and based on personal experiences. “SparkShorts” and the program was created to produced new filmmakers.

“It’s somewhat based on my coming-out story, and yet it’s nothing like my coming-out story,” Steven told Entertainment. Weekly, “I was trying to make a film for my 17-year-old queer self, the guy who needed to see something of himself in a film,” 

The film follows Greg as he and his boyfriend Manuel are boxing up Greg’s home for a move. Greg’s parents surprise him by showing up at his doorstep. Greg hides his life with Manuel as Manuel leaves through the backdoor due to him not being out with his parents. As he tries to keep his parents from finding out that he’s gay, he and his dog end up switching places due to a magical cat and dog.

This film is adorable. When I first watched it, I wasn’t too sure about it because of Disney’s past with LGBTQ+. The story is something that hit homes for everyone LGBTQ+ has to deal with – Coming out. It deals with it sweetly. Because it’s an animated film, the director was able to take a different approach to the coming out theme. We have never seen a “Freaky Friday” take to it. I mean, there are not that many films to deal with coming out, but that is beside the point.

My biggest complaint with it isn’t with the content of the film but rather how it sugar-coated for Disney. The film has a PG rating. The rating is because of the fact two men kiss in the movie. I don’t see how why parent guidance would be needed just because of the kiss. There are many worse animated things that Disney has on Disney+ than two men kissing. Frankly, the film is more of a G rating.

The PG rating just perpetuates the notion that being LGBTQ+ isn’t right. You don’t need to have a conversation with your kids about being gay unless they are. It’s not something you need to talk about like it’s a lesson. Now if they are being homophobic, then that is something that needs to be addressed. But treating two people of the same gender as something parents need to discuss with their children is wrong. While Disney made a step in the right direction with “Out,” the rating isn’t.

There is also a pacing issue with the film. It is trying to get much information and tell the store in under 10 minutes. The film starts well, and then it kind of rushes in the middle and once Greg switches bodies with his dog. It is not a big pacing issue, but it seemed like they wanted to spend more time with Greg in his dog’s body but ran out of time and had to wrap it up. I also want to know more about the magical dog and cat. That was just random. There is probably no meaning behind them besides just being a plot device to how Greg and his dog traded bodies.

Verdict

“Out” is an excellent short film that I think everyone needs to watch, whether they are LGBTQ+ or not. It is just a sweet film that we need more of it in the media. I hope that Disney and Pixar do more LGBTQ+ movies/series, only without the slightly problematic rating. I do wish that the film was longer because it has a slight pacing issue. “Out” is currently available only on Disney+

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

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It’s a whole new world with the new ‘Aladdin’

In the fall of 1992, Walt Disney Pictures released the animated feature film “Aladdin.” Based on the Arabic folk tale “One Thousand and One Nights,” the film went on to become the highest-grossing film of the year, as well as have an animated series, two direct to video sequels, and a Broadway adaptation. And like everything in this world, it’s time that to remake the classic Disney film that made an estimated $504 million in the box office because of money.

A Whole New World

“Aladdin” was directed in Guy Ritchie (“Snatch,” “Sherlock Holmes,” “One of Madonna’s ex-husbands”). Guy also wrote the screenplay with John August (“Charlie’s Angels,” “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”). Like stated and mocked above, this is a remake. While I wouldn’t call it a modern retelling, it is a different version of the movie that we have gotten. There’s a lot of what we loved about the original film, as well as some updated elements that help add more depth to the story.

Mena Massoud (“Jake Ryan”) stars as the title character Aladdin, a young thief from the right side of the tracks that end up falling for Princess Jasmine, played by Namoi Scott (“Saban’s Power Rangers,” upcoming reboot of “Charlie’s Angels”). Aladdin gets trapped in the cave of wonder after Jafar, Marwan Kenzari (“Ben-Hur,” “The Mummy,” the remake king), send him in after Aladdin meets the Genie, Will Smith (“Fresh Prince of Bel-Air,” “Men In Black”), and the Genie helps him try to win over Princess Jasmine’s heart before Jafar’s master plan comes into light.

Honestly, this movie isn’t horrible. It’s not the most magnificent remake in the world, especially went it’s compared to the source material. “Aladdin” is overall little over two hours and ten minutes or 128 minutes. 1992 “Aladdin” is about an hour and a half, or 90 minutes. That’s about 38 minutes longer than it needs to be. I get that it’s different when it comes to live-action vs. animated. If they could have chopped off 10-15 minutes, then it wouldn’t have dragged toward the end. Most of that is more depth in parts to add to the plot. Some of that does work, but a lot of it doesn’t work. It just feels out of place and drags the movie.

The acting in the movie is excellent. Everyone in the film does an excellent job as portraying the characters. I’m not a big fan of Will Smith as the Genie, but that was always going to be a hard act to follow. I’m also sad that Gilbert Gottfried didn’t reprise his role as Iago, but it works as Iago didn’t have that big of a function like in the animated works. The music in the film is also well done. It’s all the songs from the original movie, plus one new song that honesty is everything. Mena, Naomi, and Marwan are the ones that shine the most in their roles.

Production-wise, this is a beautifully shot and produced film. Some of the directing is a little wonky at times, but you can look past it at how they brought this film to life. Parts of it was produced in Jordan, and those deserts scenes are what really make it feel like “Aladdin.” The CGI is okay but for a Disney film in 2019, it could have and should have been better.

Verdict

“Aladdin” isn’t a bad movie; if you didn’t know it was a remake, it would be a fun Disney movie. As a remake, “Aladdin” doesn’t stack up to what we got with the “Beauty and the Beast” remake. While I appreciate them trying to add to the overall plot and story of “Aladdin,” the changes don’t do anything for the movie. I do recommend checking out the film, because like I said, it’s a good movie on its own merits. But as a remake of a beloved classic, it falls short of being in the same class.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5

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5ive Disney movie reboot pitches that need to happen

You get a reboot! You get a reboot! EVERYBODY GETS A REBOOT!

I don’t know about you because I’m frankly sick and tired of all these reboots. It seems like that’s all we get anymore. Hardly any original movies. Those original movies are geared towards our youth. I think it’s time to turn the classic Disney movies into harden reboots that would make Mickey Mouse blush. 

Because I’ve already done gritty Disney Channel reboots, I thought it was time to tackle the long list of Disney movies. Here are 5ive Disney movie reboots. I believe that these are created by me. If someone else thought of these ideas before me, then I’m sorry for all the things that go through your head. Oh, there’s no pictures because you need to use your imagination. Also, it’s late and I’m tired.

Lady and the Tramp

In this reboot, a couple gets turned into dogs after the boyfriend gets caught cheating. If they wish to return back, they must find true love within three days. Okay, so this one has nothing to do with the original premise but let’s be real: that movie had no real premise. It was about two dogs falling in love. Sure, it was sweet but c’mon. This sounds way better. Oh, the spaghetti scene is still in there but it’s PG-13. We could also make this into a movie involving furries but I think that’s too soon.

Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

This one is going to be a gritty reboot because why the hell not! So the Evil Queen is really Snow White’s mother. Queen is jealous that Snow White is young and beautiful. The Evil Queen is only getting older. She hires a hitman to seduce and kill Snow White so she can collect the insurance money to get some plastic surgery. A little lipo and facelift will make her look younger. Plastic surgeons are pretty much like fairy godmothers. Anyways, the hitman seduces her but fails to kill her because she’s talented. So he puts her in the hands of the witness protection until they can catch the evil queen. They stick her with the seven dwarfs, who are like their cartoon counterparts but more messed up. Doesn’t this sound like a quality movie? Oh, the prince is actually the hitman handyman/lover. He swings both ways.

The Parent Trap

This reboot is about how two identical twin strippers meet while at an adult entertainment convention. After they cause a little mayhem at the convention, they decided to trade places to see what the other’s life is like. They want to know their actual other parent, as well as their mature play friends. Yep, I just turned “The Parent Trap” into what can only be described as a Disney porn. You are welcome for this gift.

Fantasia

This is pretty much just one big adventure into being high. It a requirement that you are high during this movie…okay, you can be fake high. It would probably only be enjoyable if you were high. That’s how trippy this movie is going to be.

Mary Poppins

Now, this has nothing to do with the sequel, “Mary Poppins Returns.” It’s about a strange lady that corrupts the minds of children into believing that she has magical powers. Once her work is done, she kills the children and leaves her minions in their place. Yep, “Mary Poppins” is a horror movie. If you really think about it, the movie was messed up, to begin with. My reboot isn’t doing anything that hasn’t been already done.

I hope that you enjoyed the plot for these reboots. They are going to hit theaters when Disney gets their act together and makes them. I estimate that in 2020.

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Movie Review: ‘Beauty and the Beast’ remake shines like a rose

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Tales as old a time

I know that I’m late on this train but I finally got around to watching the brand new live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” Like any movie that I watch, I’ve decided to write a review of it because as an avid fan of the original Disney animated movie, I have some thoughts that I want to share. And yes, I’ll also talk about this as well, like it really matters.

So if you have seen the original animated movie, then you have pretty much seen this movie. It’s literally just a copy and paste of the original movie script with some added new songs and scenes to help expand on the movie a little bit longer. They also changed some of the aspects of it because it’s live-actions. The cartoon aspects of it sightly wouldn’t have made sense in a live-action setting.

The story follows Belle, a smart headstrong girl from a little village, as she meets a snobby and stubborn prince that was turn into a hideous beast. The prince must fall learn to love and be loved before the petals of a magical rose fall off, or he will stay as a beast forever. Like the prince, his servants were turned into household items as they serve him. While being held captive by him, Belle begins to bring out the good and warm the Beast cold heart.

The live action movie is actually rather good. The length, while really long, allows it to expand on things that were hardly brought up in the movie itself. Like we actually see what caused the prince to be turned into the beast. It’s still the same opening monologue like in the animated movie, but instead of the stain glass pictures, it’s acted out in front of you. Other scenes like that were spliced in there, along with totally new scenes that just help tell the story more. It’s actually blended well with the original scenes, that you can’t even tell.

All of your favorite numbers from the animated movie are in the remake. They are all done extremely well. Emma Watson, who wasn’t particularly known for being a singer, pulled it off well. “Be Our Guest” and “Beauty and the Beast” were my favorite out of the all of the musical numbers. They really showed how much effort was put into make the film close to the animated one as they possible could.

The downside with this being a remake was the fact that it was literally just a word by word, scene by scene carbon copy of the 1991 animated film. While they shouldn’t fix what isn’t broke, it would have been nice to have there was a difference. When I was watching, it just felt like I’ve all ready seen this movie. It’s still a good movie, but it’s just extremely predictable because it’s just a carbon copy of the 1991 animated film.

Now let’s spill some tea on the homosexuality in the movie that had thousands of people freaking out instead of the fact that a women falls in love with an animal. Sigh. If you didn’t want this movie “turning your child too gay,” don’t worry-your child has more of chance to date your pet than that. There’s hints of it during the movie but there’s only like four seconds of any LGBTQ+ that is bluntly in your face. There’s no way that a few seconds of two guys waltzing and a guy wearing a dress and working it that will cause your child to become gay. So you can rip up your check for conversion therapy because “Beauty and the Beast” will not force you to start praying the gay away. Spoiler: it wouldn’t have worked anyways.

If you are looking a great movie to watch or you love the original movie, then “Beauty and the Beast” is the move for you. Sure, you’ve seen it before when it was animated, but the live-action version adds more to the story that the animated didn’t. It’s literally a carbon copy remake and that is where the films falls. If you seen the original, then you don’t really need to see this one. I do recommend seeing it as it’s a joy.

Rating: 4 out of 5

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