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Monthly Archives: July 2019

The Lion King (2019)

DIRECTOR: Jon Favreau

CAST: voices of Donald Glover, Beyoncé Knowles-Carter, Chiwetel Ejiofor, James Earl Jones, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, John Oliver, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, Florence Kasumba, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric André, J.D. McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph

REVIEW:

Considering Disney’s recent noxious trend of remaking its own animated classics with less-than-classic scene-by-scene regurgitations, it was virtually inevitable that The Lion King would be included. The Lion King is generally considered the “king” of the Magic Kingdom’s fleet of animated movies, arguably only rivaled by Beauty and the Beast, and now, following Kenneth Branagh’s Cinderella, Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast, and Guy Ritchie’s Aladdin, the lion roars again, this time in CGI rather than hand-drawn animation form. Of all these remakes, The Lion King is probably the best, partly simply because it’s a remake of the one that had the best story in the first place, partly because it is visually splendorous. However, a surfeit of eye candy can’t entirely overcome a slightly hollow feeling, like a competent but uninspired cover of a classic song.

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

DIRECTOR: Jon Watts

CAST: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Samuel L. Jackson, Jon Favreau, Cobie Smulders, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Marisa Tomei

REVIEW:

Coming on the heels of The Avengers: Endgame (it arrives with the other film still in theaters), Spider-Man: Far From Home (the third MCU installment of the year) serves as both epilogue and new jumping-off point, while also giving Tom Holland the chance to swing back into theaters in his second solo outing. To the second point, Far From Home is half of a tedious high school comedy and half of a worthy Spider-Man adventure. The first half leans hard into the weakest elements of 2017’s Homecoming, but the second half surpasses it.

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