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Sleeping with Other People (2015)
Sleeping with Other People (2015)
2015 | Comedy
7.0 (5 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Old Movie Revisited: Sleeping with Other People. Yea most rom coms suck balls, but this one did not. It's an IFC production so that might explain some of it. I dunno, a good cast might help a tad too. First and foremost it stars Alison Brie, and fuckin A, she is hott! Also stars Jason Sudeikis, Amanda Peet, Jason Mantzoukas, Andrea Savage, Adam Scott, and a bunch of smaller pop ins from a bunch of todays funny people: Adam Brody, Billy Eichner, Natasha Lyonne, but anyways...Sudeikis and Brie play friends who a long time ago at college they lost their virginity to each other, and seperated ways and only bumped into each other years later at a sex addicts meeting. And so its about them finding friendship and not falling into bed together, and this is a rom com so you can see the ending a million miles away, but it's the journey that counts...and this journey includes Alison Brie being scantily clad, several times, so for that alone its worth it. Go ahead watch it!
The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Family
Listen. This might be controversial, but I LOVED this film. I remember when it first came out and I was unsure about whether or not I wanted to see it in theaters because critics were all over it and so upset - it seemed like a letdown.

So it finally came out on Disney+ and I have kind of been putting it off - along with the live-action Aladdin. I am so happy that I waited, but I really did love this film. The main comment I saw from critics was the lack of emotion or animation in the faces of the animals and truthfully I didn't mind it, nor was it something I was actively searching for. I thought that the lines were so powerfully delivered that the emotion was there, regardless.

The one downside of this film were some of the lines. I felt like they were unnecessary or just bad. Like when Simba confronts the hyenas and Scar attacks him and Nala says, "Lions, attack!" I just felt like that was bad. I feel like a roar would've done it or no line at all and just the action. That's the example that is most prominent in my head after finishing the film but I know I felt it in other spots too. The other downside, I felt, was this disconnect in chemistry between Donald Glover and Beyonce. It felt obvious - to me at least - that they recorded separately. I didn't feel like that love I know it's supposed to be.

I promise as much as I'm talking about things I didn't like, I really did love this film. Seth Rogan and Billy Eichner were the best throughout the whole film. They always made me laugh and when they started singing Be Our Guest? I died. I thought that was great.

I loved this cast. I love Jon Favreau as a creator. I love this story. I love Disney. I love this film. I don't think anyone will ever change my mind.
The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Family
Middle of the Road
I have to give the Walt Disney Company credit, with their Live Action remakes of their classic animated movies, they have developed a very lucrative profit stream with properties that they already own - and are well known to audiences. Some are successful (THE JUNGLE BOOK, ALADDIN), some are not quite so successful (DUMBO, ALICE IN WONDERLAND).

And...somewhere in the the LION KING.

Directed by Jon Favreau (THE JUNGLE BOOK, IRON MAN), this Lion King is a fairly faithful reproduction of the animated movie - and that is a blessing and a curse - and it, ultimately, keeps this remake squarely in the middle in terms of quality, interest and achievement.

What works: the CGI animation of the animals and scenery. Favreau shot CGI-fest films like THE JUNGLE BOOK and IRON MAN, so he knows how to do these things and they work here in a very workmanlike way. The are all professionally done - there's not a bad shot in the film. But the "wow" moments are few and far between in this film as well

The story is a timeless classic (kind of an "animal adventure Hamlet") and that works as do OME of the voice cast (more on that later)...and...of course...the songs - especially the faithful recreation of the CIRCLE OF LIFE opening - one of the best opening musical numbers in movie history.

What doesn't work: The first 1/2 of the film's pacing. It drags pretty badly early on and the songs in that part of the film (like I CAN'T WAIT TO BE KING) just don't have the energy and pizzazz that is needed. And SOME of the voice work is just plain bland and boring and (in one case) I found irritating.

So...let's talk about the voice cast. James Earl Jones (reprising Mufasa) is terrific (of course) as is John Oliver's Zazu (a much bigger presence in this film than the animated film), Chiwetel Ejiofor's Scar is appropriately menacing, if a bit bland, but "good enough" as is Beyonce's grown up Nala. I would have liked to see/feel a bit more of her "presence" in this character's voice, but that might be a Director choice and not an actress choice. John Kani's Rafiki is quite good as is the always steady/credible Alfre Woodward as Sarabi.

What doesn't work is the two voice actors cast to play Simba. Donald Glover (TV's ATLANTA) is just too bland and boring as the adult Simba. He doesn't really bring anything interesting to his voice work of this character (but does hold his own in the musical duet "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" opposite the great Beyonce).

I usually don't comment on child performances that I don't like (they are kids after all), so I won't really comment much on JD McCrary's voice performance as the young Simba except to say I didn't really how much MORE the young Simba is in this film as opposed to the older Simba - or at least it felt to me that the weakest voice performance in this film was on screen for far longer than I remembered from the animated film.

As for the best voice performances in this film - that is easy - Billy Eichner and Seth Rogan's performance as Simba's pals Timon and Pumbaa. They had big shoes to fill in comparison to the voice work in the animated film from Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella, so they did the smart thing - they didn't even try. Much like Will Smith not trying to imitate Robin Williams in the live action ALADDIN earlier this year (another voice performance that worked well) Eichner and Rogan make these characters their own and succeeded well - these two characters/performances are the high point in the film and bring much needed life and energy to a movie that was sagging under it's own weight by the time they show up.

This Lion King will be THE Lion King for this generation - and that is "fine" - if the youngsters in my life want to watch this, I won't complain. But... I will try to steer them towards the much better animated version of this film from the 1990's.

Letter Grade: a solid B

7 stars (out of 10) and you can take that to the Bank(OfMarquis)
The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Family
It's difficult to know where to begin. I have strong feelings about Disney remakes in general, I was open to the idea until I saw some. I can understand remaking some that stand a chance of being mainly actual live-action like Cinderella and Beauty & The Beast, and I'm looking forward to Mulan despite its lack of Mushu... but... remaking something as "live-action" with realism when you have to include things that aren't realistic (talking animals) it seems pointless to me.

As the film started I was taken aback by the beautiful scenery shots, animation studios really have nailed realistic water. As the animals started to appear I was encouraged for the most part. The zebras and antelope looked wonderful and the movements were spot on, but the larger animals didn't quite have the same elegance. Watching it all was fine though until you noticed something, then it was difficult not to spot something else.

I really disliked the animation of Scar, I know he's supposed to look like the typical alpha male of the pride, but his look in the original and now has never been very in keeping to me.

The best piece of animation in the whole thing was Timon. That little meerkat was spot on through the whole thing for me, edgy and darting, it was perfect. The only drawback was the voiceover by Billy Eichner, he doesn't encapsulate the personality of Timon, but then he did have some big boots to fill.

With Timon as the best of animation, it was only fitting that Pumbaa filled in the other side by being the best of the voice cast. Seth Rogen was born for this role, he's fantastic. I absolutely loved him. Perfect comedic timing, maybe not the best singing voice but once it mixed in with everything else you couldn't tell.

Dare I say that I wasn't a fan of the songs? I didn't like the modern take on them... I'm not sure if I'd really classify it as a modern take, everything just seemed to be taken much more seriously than before. I actually quite enjoyed Be Prepared, while it wasn't really sung it probably plays better to Chiwetel Ejiofor's strengths done this way. The really dubious addition was the song "Spirit" by Beyoncé. It was barely included and if it was in there more then it really didn't stick out. The only bit I noticed was "spirit, spirit" being bellowed randomly. I've watched the video and full song on YouTube since the film, I can only assume that it's an attempt at best original song awards but I don't think it has that goosebump impact that Disney epics should. Those high notes should probably be left to Mariah.

It's difficult to know just how much my enjoyment of the original affected my feelings about the new one. It's not one that I grew up with, I rewatched it recently for what may have been the first time. Lion King is very much one of the Disney classics you can be aware of even without seeing it, that's the power of Disney.

Remaking a film as "live-action" when there's no human cast seems like the wrong choice to me. The realistic CGI will only work up to a point when you're trying to make animals speak. The films itself is still spectacular, and there are some amazing pieces of animation to see (I do love baby Simba, he's so cute), but I'm of the opinion that if it ain't broke don't fix it. When you look at it overall the voice cast isn't any better than the original, neither are the songs, with it being so incredibly similar with only the animation style being the major twist I'm left underwhelmed by the final cut.

Originally posted on:

Lee (2222 KP) rated The Lion King (2019) in Movies

Jul 20, 2019 (Updated Jul 20, 2019)  
The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Family
Disney's 1994 animated version of The Lion King was a huge hit. Not only did it win Academy Awards for original score (courtesy of the amazing Hans Zimmer) but also for original song "Can You Feel the Love Tonight" by Elton John & Tim Rice. It also won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy and went on to become a huge Broadway stage show in 1997, winning further awards and proving to be one of the most popular shows ever. Some movie sequels quietly came and went, along with a couple of TV series, but it's the original movie which is still loved by millions to this day. While Disney currently feels the need to rework their animated back catalogue, and with considerable advances in photorealistic computer animation technology, it was only a matter of time before The Lion King had it's turn in landing a remake.

Right now, I'm neither for or against this current wave of remakes. I don't think they're entirely necessary, but I've been pleasantly surprised by one or two of them so far, so I'm happy to give them my time for now. The Lion King is the third remake to emerge this year though, following the disappointing Dumbo and the not as bad as I was expecting Aladdin. The term 'live action' has been used to describe this version of The Lion King, although it's not really live - more of a CGI upgrade - and it's been getting a lot of negativity online too, more so than any other Disney remake so far. Most of the backlash appears to be down to the fact that this is a beloved film, with the remake being more of a shot by shot recreation than any of the others so far, supposedly rendering it unnecessary in the eyes of the haters. But, while I agree that the original is an incredible movie, that certainly didn't stop me, or millions of others, from going to view the stage show production of The Lion King - a retelling and re-imagining of the story and characters you know and love, just with a different set of tools to do the job. So, why not treat this new movie in the same way, at least until you've actually seen it? And, even if you do hate the new version, the original is still going to be there for you to enjoy afterwards.

The story here, as mentioned earlier, is the same as the original movie, with a pretty impressive cast lending their voices to the characters. We follow young lion cub Simba (JD McCrary), who is destined to succeed his father, Mufasa (James Earl Jones reprising his 1994 performance), as King of the African Pride Lands. But his uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) has other plans, murdering Mufasa and forcing Simba into exile where he meets a warthog called Pumbaa (Seth Rogen) and a meerkat named Timon (Billy Eichner). As an adult, Simba (now voiced by Donald Glover) reconnects with childhood friend Nala (voiced by Shahadi Wright Joseph as a child, Beyoncé as an adult) and mandrill Rafkiki (John Kani) and returns to the Pride Lands in order to take his rightful place as King. The circle of life, etc...

The visuals are incredible. Director Jon Favreau, who also directed the 2016 version of The Jungle Book, has taken what was done on that movie to a whole new level here. But the imagery is both the movies strength and it's weakness. As we sweep across the African landscape, in and around the animals as they go about their lives, you feel as though you are in a beautifully well shot documentary, the animals are that realistic. But that realism also means that animals cannot realistically convey human expressions or emotions, and there's a lot to be conveyed in the story of The Lion King - laughter, anger, sadness - and the majority of the voice cast cannot seem to stop it all from just feeling a bit flat and lifeless.

The first half meanders along, hitting all the right beats and songs from the original, but never really feeling like an improvement on it. And then Timon and Pumbaa arrive on the scene, providing much needed laughs and proving to be the movie's saviours. The film finds its feet, lightens up a little and becomes more enjoyable for its remainder, but it isn't enough. This is yet another remake where it's all style and not enough substance. Worth seeing, but certainly not better than the original.
Show all 3 comments.

Lee (2222 KP) Jul 20, 2019

Thank you @Andy K , really kind of you. At least somebody is reading them 😂


Andy K (10818 KP) Jul 20, 2019

Very thorough and detailed. Sometimes when I write I find it difficult to write more than a few paragraphs assuming nobody cares, but I think yours are well crafted and thought out. Well Done!

The Lion King (2019)
The Lion King (2019)
2019 | Adventure, Animation, Family
It seems recently that the Disney vault has exploded with the release of several of their classic animated films being remade. Unfortunately, the classics that have inspired these remakes have been redone with mixed results. The original The Lion King was released back in 1994 and it’s hard to believe that I was a junior in college when I saw it. Since that time, we’ve seen various iterations of the classic story, a few direct to VCR sequels and the awe-inspiring Broadway stage production (which if you are a serious fan of the movie I encourage you to see). It seems odd to discuss the plot of a movie that I’m certain everyone reading this has seen at least once (or a dozen times over). To the uninformed however, The Lion King is about a young cub named Simba (JD McCrary as the young voice and Donald Glover as the adult) who suffers the tragic loss of his father Mufasa (James Earl Jones) at the paws of his evil uncle Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor). Scar convinces Simba that he is responsible for his father’s death and that he must leave the pride and never return. With the help of his faithful friends Timon (Billy Eichner), the lovable warthog Pumbaa (Seth Rogen), the ever wise Zazu (John Oliver) and his budding queen Nala (Beyoncé’) he learns that true courage comes from within and realizes he must face Scar if he is ever to bring peace back to the Pride Lands.

Given the recent track record, I wasn’t sure if this was going to be a retelling of the story as I remembered it, or a re-imagining of the story as a whole (and yes there is a difference). Thankfully, I can say that The Lion King draws practically all of its inspiration directly from the animated classic. Director Jon Favreau (who had already wowed audiences when he directed The Jungle Book) brings the same heart-warming, tear jerk moments that we all know and love. While he certainly didn’t take any risks with The Lion King, that’s exactly what made it such a pleasure to behold. He understood that there was no need to change the story into something new or try to make it something it shouldn’t be. True, for those who have seen the animated film it will feel incredibly familiar, but I think that’s exactly what fans are looking for. Changes and risks don’t always make a movie better, and The Lion King is a prime example of not breaking something that works.

The real star of the show however isn’t the actors, nor it’s incredible director, but the technology that went behind bringing our favorite felines to life. Disney refers to this as a “photo real movie”. The technology behind it merges both new and old together to bring the animals to life, indistinguishable from their real-life counterparts. Utilizing VR, animation and mixed with live action film-making it is practically impossible to distinguish what is live and what is animated. The character models have come a far way from the original Jumanji, which was heralded back in 1995 for it’s use of computer animated animals that supposedly looked and felt like the real thing. While Disney has always made great strides to make their computer-generated animals look and feel real (much like the absolutely stunning Jungle Book) The Lion King takes this to an entirely different level altogether.
Disney has done what has seemed practically impossible lately, bringing a classic back to the screen without changing what made the original such a classic. Unlike some of their more recent attempts, The Lion King holds true to the source material which has delighted fans for over 25 years. While the story doesn’t bring anything particularly new to the table, the photo realistic lions and their supporting cast feel as fresh as they ever have. If you aren’t a fan of the classic animated movie, The Lion King won’t necessarily change that, however the imagery alone may be reason enough to see it. I hope Disney takes note of this movie in particular, that fans don’t need a re-imagining of the stories that captivated our youths to bring the magic back. The Lion King is a testament to how the Disney classic still holds up today, and how to make something old feel new again.