Jon Favreau’s “The Lion King” is very much like Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho.” It’s a glossy, new setting, with a bold new cast, but when you cut right through the nostalgia lenses, it’s basically the same movie all over again. “The Lion King” doesn’t leave a lot of room to surprise its audience, as it basically plays it safe and copies the original film almost verbatim. Why watch a remake of “The Lion King” when you can simply stay home and watch the 1994 original? I can’t think of much of a reason, save for the all star cast.
“The Lion King” is still one of the most entertaining movie going experiences of my life and one of the most moving animated films I’ve ever seen. With the anticipation of the live action remake growing, Disney has granted fans a new release with their Signature Edition. This new edition packs in the DVD, a Digital copy, and of course the new Blu-Ray with changes that are interesting and more geared toward meticulous hardcore fans of the film more than anything. It’s certainly worth a double or triple dip, especially if it’s your favorite of the Disney animated library (and on your top ten), as it is mine.
After seeing the trailer for Morgan Spurlock’s documentary “Rats,” I was expecting so much more. I guess not so much more, so much as a point. Rats are gross! Rats are icky! Rats are intelligent! Rats are in the city! And…? So, what is the statement or hypothesis for “Rats”? The message behind the documentary Spurlock films is so jumbled and confused that it comes off so manipulative and sensationalized. One moment we’re watching Indian man smashing the heads of rats with sticks, and the film ends on an Indian sanctuary for rats where locals worship the little animals. What is Spurlock even trying to convey to the audience? Spurlock films lot of money shots of rats crawling through pipes, and swishing around sewers, and jumping out of garbage bags, all set to ominous music. Subjects interviewed in the film, meanwhile, throw around buzzwords to make us feel grossed out or threatened.
Whether Disney did or didn’t plagiarize Osamu Tezuka’s “Kimba the White Lion,” we’ll never truly know. What I do know for certain is that “The Lion King” is still one of the best cinematic experiences I’ve ever had, and my number two animated film of all time. It’s a bold mixture of 2D animation, and amazing CGI that combines to tell a rather adult and complex tale about revenge and destiny.
It seems like ever since the death of Chris Farley there almost has to be a slot open for a funny fat man who bumbles and stumbles. Except Farley wasn’t just a fat man, he was much more than obesity. He had actual comic timing and every person since his death to take up the mantle has sine failed to replace him. Take one Kevin James, a man who fails at even holding Farley’s shoes but has sought out to be the current funny fat guy since his introduction in “Everybody Loves Raymond.” And since then he’s failed to hold a candle to the cliché fat guy comedy mold that has garnered him massive success because he is just so utterly one note and uncharismatic.