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Aladdin (2019) Quick View I Wish Disney Would Have a Soul Again Grade: D

Source: IMDB

Aladdin tells a story about a family on a boat traveling across the sea. One fine afternoon, the father of this small family felt it was a good time to retell the story of Aladdin (Mena Massoud), a skilled thief whom wants to win the heart of a Princess named Jasmine (Naomi Scott). Aladdin will go through an entire adventure, involving a genie (Will Smith). What purpose will the kids get out of this story from their father?! Hopefully to not support Disney Live Action remakes. I’m extremely proud I did not give this film a dime, I got a free rental from Red Box so yay me and boo everyone that supported another piece of garbage. Let’s go through the positives first. To start off it is less of an embarrassment than Lion King and less painful to watch than the stuffed animal horrors of Christopher Robin, so that’s a nice start. I did like the costume design, felt accurate towards the original cartoon and they looked nice. I liked the composed music in this, keep in mind a key word is “COMPOSED” not the Musical Number portion of the film, which I will get into. The CGI Monkey and Parrot were fine, of course both are downgrade compared to the original side kick protagonist and antagonist animals, the Parrot is barely a character, but at least they weren’t annoying as they had some nice moments. Lastly Naomi Scott and Mena Massoud chemistry together was fine as well, I did believe they liked each other. Oh boy... Within the first five minutes, I knew I was in for a rude awakening putting on this soulless cash grab piece of shit. The film opens up with one of the worst musical numbers, I’ve ever heard, as it my ears began to bleed of raging disappointment. Now keep in mind: My friend Aaron whom actually likes this movie, gave me a warning to skip the first five minutes... I wish I read that tweet earlier, because boy that was TERRIBLE. I have nothing good to say about any of the musical numbers in this film, every single musical number is dreadful to sit through. Noticeably bad autotune, the new songs added were annoying... I mean they butchered every classic song, you used to love as a kid from the original. Mena Massoud couldn’t sing to save his own life, at least he wasn’t unbearable during A Whole New World, even though him and Naomi Scott butchered that classic, as both of their singing were both displaying different keys. Anytime Will Smith did a musical number, I wanted to throw my TV remote at the screen... It’s so BAD. I mean first Lion King, now this?! Disney stop it, nobody is going to go back to listening to these classics anymore, because they’ll be reminded how you butchered them years later. I didn’t like the production design at all, majority of the sets look very cheap, it’s like all the money went to the CGI... At least try to make an effort making a presentable looking movie, God Forbid. The cast was meh. I understand why Mena Massoud was casted as Aladdin, the cartoon version and Mena look identical. The main problem is though Mena looks like Aladdin, he honestly can’t do anything else other than looking like him and I’ll give some credit some of his dance moves were fine. But where it counts is you have to display a good acting performance and you have to sing well too... This poor guy can’t do either, I feel bad for him but then again he’s getting a big pay day, so should I?! Sometimes his acting ability becomes laughable when it shouldn’t have been, it’s either him being a bad actor or the director rushed everything because who cares about making a good live action Disney remake!? Naomi Scott basically is the complete opposite from Mena: She has some talent, however I thought she was a poor casting choice as Jasmine. Never once did she convince me she was Jasmine, though her performance is not bad, it just doesn’t work. Her musical numbers were ok at best, the auto tune is mostly recognizable when she sings... Which isn’t a good look. Marwan Kenzari playing Jafar... Y I K E S. Jafar in the cartoon is a scary intimating antagonist, when you watch him in the original, you easily fear this man. Jafar isn’t intimating nor scary at the slightest, he’s just a dude with an attitude because he’s a man child... Great job Disney, great job. Marwan doesn’t fit well towards this character, like I said it could be poor direction or maybe he doesn’t know how to play a character like this one. Girls have complained Marwan was too good looking to play Jafar, so... There’s that. Lastly here comes Will Smith playing the Genie. So we all remember social media was outraged that Will Smith was going to potentially butcher Robin Williams classic portrayal, but then once the film came out people liked Will Smith’s portrayal. I don’t like Will Smith’s portrayal as the genie, he just plays himself and butchers every musical number he’s in. Do I think it’s disrespectful to the great Robin Williams?! Eh it didn’t offend me that much, I just don’t care for Smith’s portrayal as it just annoyed me. If you like this version of Aladdin, you’re fine as I say we can all be normal when we have different opinions... But I just want to know, how can one think this film was good?! Though there are a couple aspects I like, I do feel it does nothing well, it doesn’t improve on the original at any aspect. Though I can see how Aladdin can be adapted to live action, I just feel some elements you can’t recapture in live action form. For example the animals, the magic carpet, the Genie, the iconic scenes, the cities... There is charm in those elements you can only get in the cartoon form, that you can’t get in the live action form. The Parrot is barely a character like the cartoon, it’s just some dirty parrot now... The parrot in the cartoon is an iconic side kick character, by a legendary voice over performance from Gilbert Gottfried. Anytime the Genie turns blue, it’s absolutely disgusting to look at it... The Genie in the cartoon is iconic for a reason, the art work is fabulous and can only be presented well as a cartoon. So if iconic characters can’t develop well towards a live action format, why have the existence of the film at all?! It also feels like though this film is not doing anything new towards the story telling, the way the story is being told in this format felt like it became worst. Aladdin is suppose to be learning a lesson to love and be proud for who he is and not be insecure about himself. Apparently power is supposed to make Aladdin become more greedy as a person... But it feels like Aladdin hasn’t really change as a person, once he has become a pretend prince. He was still on board to give Genie his freedom, he was still being himself only he wasn’t wearing his street clothes... I would like to see greediness take control of Aladdin, but it never does. It’s also unclear how Aladdin magically got four wishes, the Genie just gave him an extra wish... So what are the rules exactly?! You get an extra wish if you’re nice to a Genie? Is that how it works? It also annoys me in this film, nobody recognizes that it’s Aladdin all along, only he’s in fancy clothing. During this whole time I thought Jasmine knew it was Aladdin, but then when it’s revealed it was just Aladdin only he’s in better clothing... Jasmine was absolutely shocked by this discovery as I’m like... Are you for real right now?! Jafar makes sense because he barely knows Aladdin, but Jasmine?! Girl please. Let’s talk about Jafar’s iconic snake staff accessory... Oh boy, if you didn’t get a good laugh out of that downgraded embarrassment, I don’t know what’s wrong with you. It’s like a toy you get out of a McDonalds kids meal, when Jafar is trying to hypnotize people with it, I thought it was a joke. The staff lights up like a toy, you see a small red line as I’m thinking to myself... This is hilarious. When Jafar got a snake staff upgrade in the third act, I said, “Oh boy, he just upgraded himself to a Mighty Kids Happy Meal toy, woooooo weeeeeee!” The entire third act is a CGI disaster, I mean the poor effects.... This is terrible, everything about it was hideous. This film like the last four Disney live action remakes I’ve watch makes me not want to watch another one, they’ve become so lazy, cheap, and unbearable to watch. It feels like someone is stomping on my childhood, though I’m not obsessive over the classics... I still really enjoy and admire those originals, because they had a heart and soul to them, it wasn’t made to be a careless cash grab. Overall, Aladdin (2019) sucks. Don’t bother watching this film, it’ll break your heart yet again like the others. Now if you excuse me: I’m going to every store containing the Aladdin (2019) soundtrack, as I’m taking a baseball bat to every single one of them... I don’t care if CD’s are outdated damn it, nobody should hear those dreadful musical tunes! -Mitch Smietana

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