Disney’s Latest ‘Aladdin’ Re-Issue Offers More Magical Fun For The Whole Family

Walt Disney Studios’ modern classic movie Aladdin is coming back to Blu-ray and DVD again.  The animated feature, originally released in 1992, is set to be re-issued Sept. 10 alongside the home release of Disney’s live action/CG reboot of that movie.  The upcoming Signature Collection re0issue of Aladdin is an interesting new presentation of the movie in large part because of its bonus content, which will be addressed shortly.  The story at the center of the movie strengthens the re-issue’s presentation even more.  The movie’s average price point rounds out the most notable of the movie’s elements and will also be addressed later.  Each item noted here is important in its own way to the whole of Aladdin.  All things considered, they make this latest re-issue of Aladdin a piece that is while not perfect, still a positive new re-issue of what is one of Disney’s most timeless movies.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming Blu-ray/DVD re-issue of Aladdin (1992) is a mostly positive new presentation of the movie.  That is due in part to the bonus content featured with the movie.  The bonus content is being addressed first in that the movie’s story itself is obviously not changed from its original 1992 presentation.  The bonus content featured in this latest re-issue (which comes approximately three years after the release of the movie’s Diamond Edition re-issue) give viewers a little something old and something new.  The old content carried over to this re-issue are the features about Aladdin’s life on stage, the brief segment featuring Robin Williams’ genie outtakes and the Disney Channel special “Unboxing Aladdin.”  The new extras introduced in this re-issue, the singalong version of the movie, star Scott weinger’s retrospective on the movie and the introduction of two alternate endings that never made the final cut.  For those who have never seen the bonus features from the previous Diamond Edition re-issue of Aladdin, the focus on Aladdin’s stage life is interesting considering its worldwide success.  As is revealed in this feature, the musical almost didn’t happen because of the growing pains that it (and its cast) endured.  Viewers learn that that play didn’t start on Broadway, but went from Seattle and on to Toronto before finally making its way to Broadway.  Seattle and Toronto were used as test markets for all intents and purposes for the play.  The extensive discussions with the lead cast and the musical’s creative heads give a lot of insight into the growing pains that were endured on stage and behind the curtains, such as the evolution of the flying carpet aspect and how to address the comparison between James Iglehart’s Genie and that of Robin Williams.  Viewers will be interested to learn that Alan Menken and his creative partner Howard Ashman originally had plans to make a character for Genie more in the vein of a Cab Calloway/Fats Waller hybrid for him instead of the portrayal that Williams brought to the character.  That approach is what was used for the stage Genie, and ended up proving successful.

The Genie Outtakes segment is brief, but still entertaining, especially for older viewers who will get the references.  Viewers see firsthand here, the many impersonations that Williams did during the movie, but ended up on the cutting room floor.  There are impersonations of Richard Nixon, John Wayne, Elmer Fudd, Wolfman Jack and Michael Jackson just to name a handful of famous figures spoofed throughout the movie, which ended up being removed or replaced.  It serves to show even more, Williams wide range of talent in terms of comedic impersonation.

In terms of the movie’s new bonus content, one of the most notable new features is Scott Weinger’s retrospective “Aladdin on Aladdin.”  Weinger, who was the speaking voice of the movie’s titular character, talks with his fellow cast mates from the movie, as well as his mom and the movie’s creative heads (including Alan Menkin) about the movie’s creation, everyone’s roles and their favorite memories of making the movie.  Viewers will be interested to learn through this bonus that Weinger audition for Aladdin’s speaking voice and his singing voice, but failed the singing audition.  Jonathan Freeman, the voice of Jafar jokes about having wanted to voice a villain for many years before taking on the role of Jafar while Gilbert Gottfriend talks with Weinger via phone and jokes about taking on the role of Iago.  By connection, Ron Clements, one of the movie’s co-writers reveals that Gottfriend was not the first choice for the role.  He reveals Iago was originally going to be British, but after Gottfried auditioned, that all changed.  As if all of that is not enough, Weinger’s discussion with Menken reveals the song which Weinger auditioned and failed.  That song was Howard Ashman’s “Proud of Your Boy,” Which was cut from the final movie, but is featured to this day in Aladdin’s stage presentation.  This is where the bonus content turns somewhat downward.

There is so much discussion in the bonus features about the song in question – “Proud of Your Boy – but the song itself is not featured in whole as a bonus this time.  It is presented however, in the movie’s 2015 Diamond Edition re-issue along with a group of other songs cut from the final presentation.  With all the talk of that song and its impact on the movie’s cast and crew, it would have made so much sense to have included that as one of the carry-overs from the 2015 re-issue.  To that end, it makes no sense why it and the other deleted songs were not included in this re-issues bonuses list.  Hopefully they will be brought over with the next re-issue whenever it is released.

As much as Weinger’s retrospective does to make this latest re-issue interesting for viewers, it is just one of the re-issue’s most notable extras.  The two brief alternate endings included as extras are important in their own right.  That is because they actually serve to make the initial opening for Disney’s 2019 Aladdin reboot make sense.  What’s more, they are certain to lead viewers to discuss whether they would have added anything to the 1992 movie had one or the other been included.  On the one hand, they might not have, but on the other hand, either one could have put even more of a period to the story.  To that end, it is nice to have those alternate endings.  Between this brief extra and the more in-depth retrospective from Weinger and company, these two new bonuses and the inclusion of the previous bonuses collectively make a strong foundation for this latest re-issue of Aladdin.  Sure, they leave viewers thinking they will probably have to keep the Diamond Edition (if they already own it) if only for the deleted songs feature, but that aside, they still make this a positive new collection of bonuses that audiences will enjoy.

The engagement and entertainment offered through the bonus content featured in Aladdin’s latest re-issue is just one part of what makes this presentation so appealing to the movie’s key viewers.  Its story adds to that engagement and enjoyment.  The story, presents plenty of comedy, action and romance for viewers of all ages.  It’s a buddy comedy thanks to Aladdin’s friendship with Genie.  It is also a coming of age story for Aladdin, and also a story about letting go of tradition that even promotes female independence and self-confidence.  This aspect of Aladdin is a big part of the story’s success in its own right.  That is because while it was presented in subtle fashion, that subtle approach of giving Princess jasmine such confidence and inner strength makes it that much more powerful.  It is what Guy Ritchie’s re-write got wrong.  Where Jasmine in the ’92 version was already a great role model for women (especially young women) everywhere, the Jasmine presented in the 2019 version was a way over-the-top, hear me roar, preachy Jasmine who was clearly a response to the MeToo movement.  There is nothing wrong with female empowerment.  Female empowerment is wonderful.  However, the extent to which that empowerment went in Guy Ritchie’s version was far too extreme.  It made her seem more like an uber feminist than just a straight out, strong, confident woman that viewers saw in the 1992 version of Jasmine.  It makes this aspect of the ’92 version’s story that much more integral to its success.  Even as Jafar reveals the true identity of Prince Ali and casts him to the ends of the earth, that is a big moment, but it is not so dark that it might be unsettling, so it is nice to keep that in mind, too.  Simply put, every element of this movie’s story and how each plot element interweaves with one another makes this story unforgettable and honestly timeless.  When this is considered with the importance of the re-issue’s bonus content, that primary and secondary content collectively makes for plenty for the movie’s target audience to appreciate.  It also makes the movie’s average price point such that the noted viewers will find no problem paying that price.

The average price point of Aladdin is $27.99.  That price was obtained by averaging prices at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Amazon and Books-A-Million.  A the time of this review’s posting, the movie was not listed at Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ online store.  The price listed at Walmart, Target, Best Buy and Amazon is $24.99 while Books-A-Million’s price is  the most expensive at $39.99.  In other words, save for that one listing, viewers will find the re-issue’s price the same at each of the other noted outlets.  Those prices are all below the movie’s average price and on par with so many of Disney’s other home releases in recent years.  To that end, the movie’s price is money well spent by its most devoted audiences, considering that price comparison and the collective primary and secondary content featured in the movie’s new re-issue.  When this is all considered together, the whole of Aladdin in its new Signature Edition re-issue proves to offer its own enjoyable magical spell for the whole family even despite the lack of one key bonus feature.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment’s upcoming re-issue of Aladdin (1992) is a positive new presentation of the modern classic musical movie.  That is due in part to the collection of new and old bonus content featured in the movie’s new re-issue.  There is one bonus not carried over that really should have been carried over from the movie’s 2015 Diamond Edition re-issue, but it does not kill the presentation.  It cannot however, be ignored in its absence.  The movie’s story is far more enjoyable than that of the movie’s new 2019 live action/CG reboot, and simply cannot be improved upon (or duplicated.  Yes, that Robin Williams reference was intentional).  The whole of the movie’s primary and secondary content makes the movie’s average price point, which is on par with Disney’s other home releases, money well spent by the most devoted fans of Aladdin.  Each item is important in its own way to the whole of this re-issue’s presentation.  All things considered, they make the movie a presentation that casts its own wonderful magic for the whole family.  It will be available Sept. 10 on Blu-ray/DVD combo pack.  More information on the movie is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyAladdin

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin

 

 

 

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‘Aladdin’ Reboot Home Release Is A Wish Fulfilled For Disney’s, Movie’s Most Devoted Fans

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Fans of Disney’s Aladdin will get their wishes granted very soon with the home release of the movie in two formats.  Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment will release the live action reboot of the classic 1992 movie on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack on Sept. 10 alongside a Blu-ray/DVD combo pack re-issue of the noted modern animated classic.  The live action/CG reboot was originally planned for an Aug. 27 release, but that date was later pushed back to Sept. 10 to coincide with the re-issue of the animated feature instead of separating the pair into two separate release dates.  The upcoming home release of the reboot is a presentation that will appeal to the most devoted fans of the original offering.  That is due in part to its story, which will be addressed shortly.  The bonus content featured with the movie’s home release also plays into that appeal and will be addressed a little later.  The movie’s average price point, considering the story and bonus content plays its own part in the whole of the movie’s home release and will be addressed later, too.  When it is considered along with the noted content, the whole of said content and pricing makes the new live action/CG reboot of Aladdin a presentation  that while maybe not totally magical, still a wish fulfillment for the most devoted fans of the movie.

Walt Disney Studios’ upcoming home release of its live action/CG Aladdin reboot is a presentation that is not as magical as its source material.  It is however, a wish fulfillment for the most devoted fans of that property.  That is due in part to the story at the center of the movie.  The story does keep some of the elements of the 1992 animated feature from Disney, but it also features a number of changes from that source material.  Whereas the ’92 version offers plenty of back story and development early on in its 90-minute run, this story ignores all of that background, opting instead to open in the market scene in which Aladdin and Jasmine first meet.  On one hand, it detracts from the story significantly in that it gives the story a decidedly abrupt feeling.  At the same time, Director Guy Ritchie and co-writer John August – the pair wrote the movie’s screenplay — somehow manage to make the situation work despite the abrupt feeling.  Another notable change to the story finds Aladdin going to the cave of wonders with Jafar out of costume.  Unlike the case in the 1992 movie, Jafar does not try to hide his identity in this story.  He instead opts to try to seduce Aladdin with promises of power if he helps him.  Why Ritchie and August chose this route is anyone’s guess.  There is no discussion on this choice in the movie’s bonus content, which does not even feature any bonus commentary.  Oddly enough, despite being so clearly different, the change does still manage somehow to work in its own right.  These are just a couple of the changes that are evident throughout the course of this reboot.  There are lots of others that viewers will find themselves.  For all of the changes that fill the story, there are some moments that remain mostly the same.  The moment when Aladdin reveals to the sultan that Jafar has been controlling his mind is still there, albeit in a slightly different way the famed cave of wonders sequence finds some slight variances, but is still largely the same, as is the market scene.  To that end, the story does present a variety of changes, but for all the changes, they are balanced out with elements from the ’92 Aladdin’s story, making the movie worth at least the occasional watch.  The balance of the original story elements and the altered elements is just one element that will appeal to the most devoted fans of Aladdin.  The bonus content that is featured with the movie’s forthcoming home release plays into the movie’s presentation just as much as the story.

The bonus content featured with the movie’s upcoming home release are the standard behind-the-scenes making of featurette, a discussion with Ritchie about the movie’s genesis and creation, a discussion with Will Smith about taking on the iconic role of the genie, a collection of bloopers and deleted scenes, and a song that was cut from the movie.  The making-of featurette gives the relatively commonplace element — that is included in almost every movie ever released – a new twist by presenting it through the use of a smart phone.  That approach doesn’t really do much to add to the feature’s appeal, but the revelations of how each of the movie’s key sequences were made will interest viewers.  Case in point is the carpet ride sequence.  Viewers learn how it was made using a hydraulic rig, blue screen and video screens so that stars Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott would be able to coordinate the song’s verses and choruses with the different scenes within the sequences.  Audiences also learn about Massoud’s Jordanian heritage as the post-Cave of Wonders scene is shot in the Wadi Rum valley in Jordan.  Massoud openly talks about the emotional impact that shooting in the valley had on him.  It is an interesting aspect that is certain to engage viewers.  There is also a light hearted discussion in this featurette about the making of the Prince Ali introduction sequence that features comments from Scott and Massoud’s co-star Will Smith.

Ritchie’s discussion about the movie’s genesis and creation is even more certain to engage and entertain viewers than the “making of” featurette because it offers comment from Ritchie himself about his role in the movie.  He states in his interview that he decided to join on the movie because he is a family man, saying, “I live within a world of children. I want to make films my family can see.  So I was driven to remake this movie.  Creatively most engaging is that it is a musical within this fantastical world.”  Smith adds his own comments, noting, “Once I heard how he [Ritchie] was going to shoot some of these sequences, I said ‘Yes, ok, I’m in.”  The movie’s musical creative heads add their own comments to the segment, as do Scott and Massoud.  All things considered here, the whole of this segment proves to be one of the movie’s most notable bonuses.

Another of the most notable bonuses is the discussion on Smith’s role as the genie.  One of the movie’s most important roles, Smith talks here about his trepidation about taking on a role that – as he said himself – Robin Williams made so iconic.  It shows that Smith knew it would be difficult to live up to Williams’ legacy as the beloved character, but still tried to do just that while also honoring the work that Williams did in the role.  Given, Smith does not live up to that legacy, but knowing that he wanted to pay tribute to Williams and his work while also doing his own thing does create a new respect for Smith in this aspect.

The collective bonus gag reel and deleted scenes are interesting additions to the whole of the movie’s presentation.  The gag reel is brief, but will put a smile on viewers’ faces.  The deleted scenes are important because audiences see for themselves that some scenes were wisely cut while others, such as Aladdin and genie’s talk immediately after Prince Ali’s introduction should have been included in the movie.  It is a great, light hearted moment that while brief, would have added more enjoyment to the movie. Keeping this in mind along with everything else noted, it becomes clear that the bonus content featured in Aladdin’s home release plays its own key part in the movie’s overall presentation.  When it is considered along with the balance of the movie’s new and old story elements, the two together make the movie worth the cost for the movie’s most devoted fans and the most devoted Disney fans.

The average price point of Aladdin is $27.05.  That price is obtained by averaging prices at Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  Amazon had the movie listed at the time of this review’s posting, but the listing did not feature prices for any of the movie’s platforms.  Disney’s shop links back to Walmart, Target and Best Buy.  Barnes & Noble Booksellers’ price of $30.32 is well above the average, while Best Buy is, in this case, the best buy with a price listing of $24.99 along with Target, which lists the same price.  Books-A-Million’s price listing of $22.99 is just below that of Barnes & Noble, but is still well above the average.  Walmart lists the movie at $24.96, so is it below the average, just like Target and Best Buy.  Keeping in mind so many of Disney’s movies tend to list in store in the area of $24.95 – and very close to that number – the noted prices are right on par with those other noted Disney flicks.  To that end, consumers won’t feel that they are getting ripped off when they purchase this movie, especially considering the balance of the story’s old and new content and the bonus content.  All things considered, those elements and the pricing make this presentation of Aladdin one that the most devoted Disney and Aladdin fans will appreciate.

The upcoming home of Disney’s new Aladdin reboot is an interesting work.  It is certainly a work that will appeal to a very target audience.  It is not for everybody.  That is due in part to a story, which presents a variety of changes to the story presented in the movie’s 1992 presentation.  That alone has made it a very divisive presentation.  That being the case, it will appeal largely to those most devoted fans of the movie and of Disney.  Those same viewers will appreciate the bonus content featured in the movie.  The movie’s average price point and separate price listings are in range with those of other previous releases from Disney.  Keeping all of this in mind, the movie’s upcoming home release gives the most devoted Disney and Aladdin fans something in this presentation to enjoy at least occasionally.  More information on Aladdin is available online now at:

 

 

Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin-2019

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyAladdin

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin

 

 

 

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Disney Announces Release, Re-Issue Dates, Specs For ‘Aladdin’ 2019 and 1992 Presentations

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Fans of Disney’s Aladdin are getting their wishes granted next month with new releases of the movie.

Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment is scheduled to release the recent live action/CG reboot of its classic animated movie on Aug. 27 on DVD/Blu-ray combo pack.  The movie stars megastar Will Smith as the Genie, Mena Massoud as the movie’s titular character and Naomi Scott as Princess Jasmine.

Disney’s updated take on the modern classic makes some changes to that movie, including new story elements and musical numbers, along with lots of computer generated elements.

Among the extras featured in the forthcoming home release of Aladdin, are featurettes examining Aladdin’s first meeting with the genie, Jasmine’s new pro-feminist song and  director Guy Ritchie.  There are also deleted scenes and the inclusion of the deleted song, “Desert Moon.”

The full list of bonus content is noted below.

DIGITAL PRESELL BONUS:

  • MAKE WAY FOR PRINCE ALI – Take a look at the gigantic design extravaganza that came together for this scene of Genie-sized proportions.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE BONUS:

  • “SPEECHLESS”: CREATING A NEW SONG FOR JASMINE – Follow the story of Jasmine’s inspirational song “Speechless,” written by Alan Menken, Benj Pasek and Justin Paul especially for this version of “Aladdin.”

BLU-RAY & DIGITAL BONUS:

  • ALADDIN’S VIDEO JOURNAL: A NEW FANTASTIC POINT OF VIEW – Watch behind-the-scenes moments captured by Mena Massoud (Aladdin) in this fun, fast-paced look at his personal journey.
  • DELETED SONG: “DESERT MOON” – Experience a moving duet performed by Jasmine and Aladdin, fully shot and edited, with an introduction by Alan Menken.
  • GUY RITCHIE: A CINEMATIC GENIE – Discover why director Guy Ritchie was the perfect filmmaker to tackle this exhilarating reimagining of a beloved classic.
  • A FRIEND LIKE GENIE – Discover how Will Smith brings talent, experience and his own personal magic to the iconic role of Genie.
  • DELETED SCENES
    • Falling Petals Into OJ
    • Jafar’s Magic Orrery
    • Anders’ Gift
    • Wrong Wishes
    • Silly Old Fool
    • Post Yam Jam Debrief
  • BLOOPERS – Laugh along with the cast and crew in this lighthearted collection of outtakes from the set.
  • MUSIC VIDEOS
    • “Speechless” – Music video performed by Naomi Scott
    • “A Whole New World” – Music video performed by ZAYN and Zhavia Ward
    • “ A Whole New World” (“Un Mundo Ideal”) – Music video performed by ZAYN and Becky G.

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

More information on the upcoming home release of Aladdin is available online now at:

 

Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin-2019

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyAladdin

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin

 

 

Courtesy: Disney/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment/ Walt Disney Studios

The same day, the 1992 animated take of the movie will be released on 4K Ultra HD/BD combo pack. Two weeks later — Sept. 10 — the movie will be re-issued on BD/DVD combo pack for the most devoted fans of the movie.  The upcoming re-issue of the movie’s 1992 edition is the newest addition to Disney’s Signature Collection — the 10th movie to join the studio’s Signature Collection.

The upcoming 4k combo pack re-issue of Aladdin will feature a handful of new bonus content, such as a new sing-along version that includes on-screen lyrics, an interview with Aladdin’s original voice actor Scott Weinger (Full House) and a series of alternate endings.

The full list of the movie’s extras is noted below.

BONUS FEATURES ON BLU-RAY & DIGITAL: *

NEW BONUS

  • Sing Along With The Movie – Sing along to your favorite tunes as you watch the film. With magical on-screen lyrics.
  • Aladdin on Aladdin – Join the speaking voice of Aladdin, Scott Weinger (“Fuller House”), as he reflects on almost 30 years of being Aladdin.
  • Let’s Not Be Too Hasty”: The Voices of “Aladdin” – Take your seat in the recording booth and watch as the voice actors of “Aladdin” work their microphone magic.
  • Alternate Endings – Enter the realm of “what if” and see just how differently the movie could have ended.

DIGITAL EXCLUSIVE

  • Drawing Genie – Join prolific animator Eric Goldberg as he draws and reminices about the Genie.

CLASSIC BONUS – Revisit over 40 exciting bonus features from previous releases including:

  • The Genie Outtakes
  • “Aladdin”: Creating Broadway Magic
  • Unboxing “Aladdin”

*Bonus features may vary by retailer

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios/Walt Disney Studios Home Entertainment

More information on the upcoming re-issue of Aladdin (1992) is available online at:

 

Website: http://Movies.Disney.com/Aladdin

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyAladdin

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyAladdin

 

To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it.  Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment news and reviews in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Disney’s ‘Dumbo’ Reboot Will Appeal To The Movie’s Most Devoted Audiences

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

Walt Disney Studios is bringing its reboot of its animated classic Dumbo to DVD and Blu-ray later this month.  The movie is scheduled for release June 25, just under three months after the movie made its theatrical debut.  The movie was met with lackluster reactions from viewers and critics alike during its theatrical run, according to figures from Rotten Tomatoes and Box Office Mojo.  The lackluster reaction is justified, considering the reboot’s story.  This will be addressed a little bit later.  The bonus content that is featured with the movie’s home release does make up at least a little bit for the problems posed through the movie’s story.  It will be discussed shortly.  The movie’s average price point in its home release is another notable element to consider in examining its whole.  Each item noted here is key in its own way to the whole of the upcoming home release of Dumbo.  All things considered, the movie’s home release is a presentation that the most devoted Dumbo fans will appreciate.

Walt Disney Studios’ forthcoming home release of its reboot of Dumbo is a presentation that will appeal mostly to the most devoted fans of the classic movie.  That is due in part to the bonus content that is featured with the movie.  Among the most notable of the featured extras that make up the movie’s bonus content are featurettes that examine the movie’s costumes, set design and story.  Audiences learn through the bonus content, the train used in the update was in fact a real, scale model of the train featured in the animated 1941 movie.  There is even footage showing the train in front of a green screen to prove the train is real, and not just another CG item.  Viewers also learn through the noted features, the amount of work that went into making the movie look as close to the period as possible in which it was set.  That includes the costumes and the look of the train and sets.  That adds a certain level of appreciation to the movie, if only a little.  Another interesting addition to the movie’s bonus content list is a group of interviews with the movie’s cast and director Tim Burton (Beetlejuice, Batman, Batman Returns).  Burton reveals in his interview segments that he had not in fact worked with Michael Keaton (Batman, Batman Returns, Spiderman: Homecoming) and Danniy DeVito (Matilda, Batman, Batman Returns) since the trio last worked on Batman Returns (1992).  That is a long span of time apart.  DeVito and Keaton do share their own entertaining anecdotes about the comparison of that movie to Dumbo, joking about how the roles have changed and how Keaton loves elephants in reality, and its role in his acting.  Fellow Dumbo co-star Eva Green (Casino Royale, Penny Dreadful, Kingdom of Heaven) reveals an equally intriguing note of her own fears and how they were connected to her inexperience in acrobatics in her own interview.  That is just one more item that makes the bonus content so interesting here.  All of the items noted here will certainly engage and entertain audiences when Dumbo makes its home debut later this month.  They are just some of the interesting commentaries featured in the movie’s bonus content.  The note of Burton’s attention to detail with the sets and costumes adds its own interst, as the discussions lead to thoughts of another of Burton’s works – Big Fish.  The movie is not mentioned directly, but the latent effect is the noted thoughts and comparisons of Big Fish.  Stylistically, one cannot help but make a comparison between the movies.  To that end, audiences – even those who might not like this latest take on Dumbo – will appreciate the look of Dumbo.  Keeping that and everything else noted here in mind, the bonus content featured in the upcoming home release of Dumbo proves to be the movie’s saving grace, and more proof of the importance of a movie’s bonus content.  Staying on this train of thought, Disney’s updated take of Dumbo leaves a lot to be liked in terms of its story, the movie’s most prominent negative aspect.

The story at the center of Disney’s new Dumbo reboot is a near complete re-imagining of the 1941 movie.  In place of the original story in which Dumbo has to learn to believe in himself rather than luck, is a story that finds Dumbo basically being used by two businessmen for their own selfish purposes.  Given, DeVito’s Max Medici does ultimately prove to have a good heart, but he has to go through his own personal lesson to get there.  To that end, Max and V.A. Vandevere are both really just money-grubbers.  Max is just the lesser of two evils.  Add in the unnecessary romance subplot between Holt (Farrell) and Colette (Green) and things get even worse.  Things get worse not just because of the unnecessary romance subplot, but the very fact that said plot was so predictable.  It did not take a genius to know from early on that Colette’s character turn would happen.  As if this is not enough, the very fact that Dumbo knew just which knobs to turn and levers to pull (and could even do the noted tasks) to shut down Dreamland is just not believable.  The overly preachy animal rights message at the story’s end, and the overly preachy female empowerment messages also tied into the story do little to help the story.  That is not to say that female empowerment is a bad thing.  In fact it is a very good thing.  However, the way in which that message was delivered here was a bit more preachy than powerful, if that makes any sense.  When all of this is taken into consideration, the reality sets in that the story at the center of Disney’s new Dumbo reboot does a lot to detract from its presentation.  Keeping that in mind, it makes the movie’s average price point quite important to consider.

The average price point for the upcoming home release of Dumbo is $26.88.  That price is obtained using prices at Amazon, Walmart, Target, Best Buy, Barnes & Noble Booksellers and Books-A-Million.  At the time of this review’s posting, the movie was not listed at Disney’s official store.  The movie’s listing at movies.disney.com links to Best Buy, Target and Walmart.  While the average price point is almost $30, the movie’s pricing is right on par with every other movie that Disney has released in recent memory.  Its most inexpensive listing is through Amazon and Walmart at $24.96 while Barnes & Noble Bookseller’s price of $31.32 is the most expensive.  The continuity (of sorts) of the movie’s price in comparison to Disney’s other movies is something that viewers will applaud, especially considering the problems posed by the movie’s primary content versus the positives of its bonus content.  Keeping that in mind, while the primary content featured in Disney’s reboot of Dumbo is problematic, the movie’s most devoted fans will find it worth at least one watch.  Its bonus content does at least a little bit to make up for the story’s problems.  The pricing, for those noted devotees, is right in the same price range as Disney’s other home releases.  To that end, the movie in whole proves to be a release that will certainly appeal to a certain targeted audience

The forthcoming home release of Disney’s Dumbo reboot is an intriguing new offering from Disney.  Its bonus content is certain to keep audiences in general engaged and entertained.  Its story, on the other hand, will appeal to a much more specific viewer base.  Keeping all of this in mind, the average price range for the movie’s home release – which is in keeping with the range of Disney’s other home releases – proves to be its own positive for the movie.  Keeping all of this in mind, Dumbo’s upcoming home release will certainly appeal to a very distinct group of the movie’s audiences.  It is scheduled for release June 25.  More information on Dumbo is available online now at:

 

 

 

Website: http://movies.disney.com/dumbo-2019

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DisneyDumbo

Twitter: http://twitter.com/Dumbo

 

 

 

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“POTC 5” Is A Welcome Return to Form For Disney’s “Pirates Of The Caribbean” Franchise

Courtesy: Walt Disney Studios

More than 14 years ago, Disney brought to audiences what was one of the company’s biggest and best movies of its rich, decades-long history when it released Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl. That nearly two-and-a-half-hour movie, based on a ride at one of the company’s theme parks, proved to be its own enjoyable and successful action packed cinematic ride. In the years since its July 9, 2003 theatrical debut, the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise has become less enjoyable with each entry. It fell so far from the glory of that first movie that when it was originally announced that Disney would make the franchise’s fifth film, Dead Men Tell No Tales, much speculation was raised along with plenty of eyebrows. Every bit of that speculation was justified considering the problems with the franchise’s second through fourth installments. The reality of the franchise’s latest (and hopefully last) installment is that it proves to be a surprisingly enjoyable addition to the series. that is due in part to its story, which will be discussed shortly. The movie’s stylistic approach is just as important to note in examining this movie as the story itself. It will be discussed later. The work of the movie’s cast puts the finishing touch on its presentation. Each element is important in its own right to the movie’s overall presentation. All things considered, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales proves itself a treasure in its own right even with its problems.

Pirates of the Caribbean : Dead Men Tell No Tales is a treasure of a movie, looking at the overall picture of the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. That is because in comparison to the franchise’s second through fourth installments, its story brings the franchise full circle while also wrapping up the loose ends created over the course of the series’ previous entries. That includes its very first offering. This time out, Jack Sparrow has to evade yet another high seas villain who he wronged years ago all while trying to locate yet another powerful treasure. All the while, young Henry Turner (Brenton Thwaites — Maleficent, Oculus, Gods of Egypt) is trying to lift the curse on his dad, Will Turner, much as Will tried in previous movies to lift his dad’s curse. Henry ends up meeting his own love interest Carina (Kaya Scoldelario — Moon, The Maze Runner 1 – 2) very much in the same fashion in which Will and Elizabeth met in the franchise’s first movie). The twist that the writers put on Carina’s back story is a positive because it doesn’t just outright repeat Will and Elizabeth’s love story, but gives it new life so to speak. Henry trying since his childhood to lift his father’s curse is just one of the loose ends that this movie’s writers wrap up this time out. It is directly connected to the reunion of Will and Elizabeth, which is also addressed in this story, in turn bringing the entire franchise full circle. What is truly interesting to note in those attempts to tie the franchise together, the writers even acknowledge, albeit briefly, the events of Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides. That very brief mention of that movie is actually a good thing considering how…well…strange it was.Considering all of this, the story at the center of Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales forms a relatively solid foundation for the movie’s presentation.

Relatively is emphasized because there are some issues with the story that cannot be ignored. First and foremost is the fact that in the original trilogy, it was hinted that anyone who controlled Davy Jones controlled the seas. Yet in this story, anyone who wields Poseidon’s trident also controls the seas. It’s kind of misleading to have two separate ways to control the seas. Also of note is the number of scenes that likely could have been cut without harming the movie’s overall story. There was a handful of scenes throughout the two-hour, nine-minute movie that could have been cut, not only cutting down the movie’s run time, but also keeping the movie’s pacing from slowing at those points, too. The dual presentations of Salazar’s back story not once but twice is a prime example of material that could have been cut back. It would have made more sense to tell how Jack lured Salazar into the Devil’s Triangle when he was initially introduced rather than introducing him initially and then later telling his back story. Some of the early interactions between Carina and Henry could have been trimmed back, too. Given, two hours and nine minutes is not a bad run time for this installment of the POTC series, but the material that could have been axed made the movie feel almost two and a half hours, which became the series’ standard run time. Cutting the noted material would have easily cut the movie back to about two hours flat, but considering as quickly as the story already manages to progress, it would have progressed that much faster without losing anything along the way. Keeping that in mind, the movie’s story is not perfect, obviously, but it also is quite an improvement over the stories at the center of the series’ previous entries. To that end, this story forms, again, a relatively solid foundation for its presentation. It is not the movie’s only key element. The movie’s stylistic approach is just as important to note as its story.

The stylistic approach taken in this movie is so critical to note because it takes audiences back to the very first Pirates of the Caribbean movie. The action is there throughout along with the comedic timing, prat falls and more that made Pirates of the Caribbean so surprisingly enjoyable in its first outing. The over-the-top drama of the franchise’s second and third films were largely absent this time out, too, making this stylistic return to form quite welcome. Jack’s unlikely re-introduction and the early island fight sequence between Jack, his crew and the British soldiers are prime examples of what makes the movie’s return to form so welcome. The big high seas battle scenes between Salazar’s ship and crew and those of Sparrow also show how this movie stylistically returned to the franchise’s roots. There are also the liens traded between Jack and Henry as well as other dialogue that returns to form just as much. Between the lines and scenes noted here and so many others not noted directly, viewers will find that the movie’s creative forces went to great lengths to stylistically take viewers back to POTC‘s roots in a new setting and story. Those efforts paid off greatly here, strengthening even more the movie’s overall presentation. When those efforts are coupled with the work of the movie’s cast, the movie’s presentation proves even more why it is worth the watch.

Johnny Depp and company entertain audiences throughout the course of POTC 5 with their performances. That includes funny moments such as Jack and Henry’s first meeting and even Barbosa’s men as they discuss Salazar’s escape from the Devil’s Triangle with Barbosa as well as so many other moments. What audiences will note in these interactions is that even these moments are themselves another stylistic return to form for the movie. The same can be said of the more emotional moments between Henry and Carina. Audiences familiar with the series’ history will agree very similar chops were shown between Orlando Bloom and Keira Knightley in the original trilogy. Thwaites and Scodalerio are just as impressive as the pair’s characters slowly fall for each other. Rather than just go over the top, the growth is gradual, keeping audiences fully engaged. That subtlety in the pair’s acting shows experience beyond its years, and shows the promise for each actor’s future. Even Geoffrey Rush deserves his own applause as he has to keep himself from being run through by Salazar. He shows a side of Barbosa that rarely had to be seen in any of the franchise’s previous entries, and did so professionally, too. It made those moments just as interesting as any other from himself and his fellow cast mates. Those moments in question, when joined with the moments noted here, make even clearer why the cast’s work in front of the cameras just as important to the movie’s presentation as its story and its stylistic approach. Speaking of those elements, when they are joined with the cast’s work, the whole of the noted elements keeps Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales afloat much more easily than its predecessors, and makes it honestly the series’ best entry since Curse of the Black Pearl. keeping that in mind, Dead Men Tell No Tales sees Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise sail off in style, putting a positive final note to an otherwise doomed franchise.

Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales is a positive final statement for Disney’s otherwise sunken high-seas series. It takes audiences back to the glory of the franchise’s first film both in terms of the cast’s acting and the movie’s stylistic approach. While the movie’s story does have at least one plot hole — which is more powerful, controlling Davy Jones or Poseidon’s trident? — and suffers from some minor pacing issues related to unnecessary scenes, it still is a fun story that easily allows audiences to suspend their disbelief. Each item noted here plays its own part into the movie’s overall presentation. Good and bad considered side by side, this movie sees thankfully, Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean franchise sail off in style, putting a much-needed positive final note to the otherwise maligned franchise. It is available now in stores and online. More information on this and other titles from Walt Disney Studios is available online now at:

Website: http://www.waltdisneystudios.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/WaltDisneyStudios

Twitter: http://twitter.com/DisneyStudios

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Voiceplay Releases New ‘Moana’ Medley Video

Fans of Disney’s hit movie Moana have new reason to celebrate.

A cappella outfit Voiceplay has just released a video of the group performing a medley of songs from the movie’s soundtrack via Yahoo! Music.  The group was joined by Broadway star Rachel Potter (The Addams Family, Evita) for the performance.

Courtesy: Reybee, Inc.

Voiceplay member Eli Jacobson discussed the new medley and its partnership with Potter for the video in a recent interview with Yahoo! Music’s Lyndsey Parker.  He said during the interview that developing its take on the songs and bringing Potter on for the project was natural.

“The music is just truly inspirational and we individually felt connections to the characters,” Jacobson said.  “We also all share the dream of providing music and voicing for an animated film and knew that Rachel would have a great take on Moana.  The fact that our kids and families love the music is just really just a huge plus.”

Potter said she was just as excited to work with Voiceplay as the group was to work with her.

“I was just so elated to get to do a Moana medley with these guys,” Potter said.  “It really captures the emotions throughout the entire film in just a few minutes and it’s something Jude (Potter’s son) and I can enjoy for years to come.”

Potter’s collaboration with Voiceplay on its new medley is not the first time that she has worked with the group.  She also worked with the quintet on The Phantom of the Opera and Charlie Puth’s Attention.   Voiceplay itself has already crafted a medley of popular Disney showtunes including numbers from The Little Mermaid, The Lion King and Aladdin as part of Disney’s celebration of its 20th anniversary on Broadway.

More information on Voiceplay’s new Moana medley is available online now along with all of the group’s latest news and more at:

 

 

 

Website: http://www.thevoiceplay.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/thevoiceplay

Twitter: http://twitter.com/thevoiceplay

 

 

 

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CMG’s ‘Lured’ Re-Issue Leads Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues List

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

Courtesy: Cohen Media Group

It’s hard to believe but there are now only two weeks left in the year.  There’s still so much ground to cover before the year ends, too in terms of year-ender lists. This morning we move on again, staying still in the DVD and BD category, though.  On tap today we have the list of the year’s top new DVD/BD Re-Issues.

Included in this list are box sets and standalone DVDs/BDs.  So it’s a mix.  But it’s a solid mix.  Topping this year’s list of top new re-issues is Cohen Media Group’s re-issue of the 1947 thriller Lured.  The movie was one of star Lucille Ball’s very rare non-comedic roles, and she shines brightly in this movie.  The bonus commentary included in the movie adds even more to its viewing experience.

Speaking of bonus material, this critic took into account the re-issues’ bonus material as well as their packaging in assembling this list. It wasn’t easy.  But it is what this critic feels is a solid list nonetheless.  As a reminder, the list includes not only the Top 10 New DVD/BD re-issues but five additional honorable mention titles for a total of 15 titles.  That being said, here for you is Phil’s Picks’ 2016 Top 10 New DVD/BD Re-Issues.

 

PHIL’S PICKS 2016 TOP 10 NEW DVD/BD RE-ISSUES

 

  1. Lured

 

  1. Sudden Fear

 

  1. Return of the Killer Tomatoes

 

  1. Charlie Brown’s All-Stars

 

  1. A Boy Named Charlie Brown

 

  1. Peanuts: Snoopy Come Home

 

  1. A Scandal in Paris

 

  1. The Twilight Zone: The Complete Series

 

  1. Transformers: The Movie

 

  1. Bump in the Night

 

  1. Kingdom of Zydeco

 

  1. Hogan’s Heroes: The Complete Series

 

  1. The Andy Griffith Show: The Complete Series

 

  1. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs

 

  1. Beauty and the Beast

 

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