Movie Quarantine Chronicles: Part IV

If this is your first time reading this blog, I think it’s obvious that I like to watch movies. However, the Coronavirus pandemic washing over the globe has created a sudden drop off in the number of new movies for not just mine, but others’, viewing pleasure. As many studios are moving their blockbusters to future dates or forgoing the silver screen to the flat screens of homes, it’s difficult to find new material to write about. Given that reality, I’ve turned to the streaming services and many decades of cinema preceding us for my viewing. While I am tempted (and will) go back to familiar favorites, I challenge myself to dive headfirst into films I have never seen. Sometimes that consists of a film in the last five years, ten years, maybe forty years! For the duration of this crisis, I’ll be keeping all my fans of the quality films that I’ve seen since being stuck at home. 

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The Anticipation: 10 Films I’m looking forward to

2020 is now a full week in. The confetti and streamers have been cleaned up and we’ve all gotten adjusted to the new year and a new decade. The year where our patience finally pays off has arrived. The movies offered in 2020 have been some that we’ve waited to land on the movie screen for some time. Long awaited follow-ups to Bad Boys and Coming to America arrive while the Wyld Stallyns reunite in Bill & Ted Face the Music. It’s not all sequels and reboots though, we’re getting a new musical with Lin-Manuel Miranda’s In the Heights coming to the big screen, courtesy of Crazy Rich Asians’ director Jon M. Chu. There’s a new slew of thrillers, horror films, colorful animated treats, action-adventures, and more. It’s never too early to get excited about movies so start marking these titles on your calendar.

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Life-Like: What’s the next Disney reimagining?

With the upcoming launch of the Disney+ streaming network on November 12, the Mouse House put out trailers and news for upcoming original content that can only be found on their service.  One trailer that debuted is the upcoming retelling of Disney’s classic, Lady and the Tramp.

With Disney banking on the success of modern retelling of their animated classics, what’s the next animated film to get a fresh paint of live-action?

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The official synopsis: “This timeless retelling of the 1955 classic about a pampered house dog and a tough but lovable stray embark on an unexpected adventure and, despite their differences, grow closer and come to understand the value of home.”

Out of all the movies of my Disney collection, I still view this one as an underrated success. The fifteenth Disney animated feature film was released in 1955, nestled between other classics such as Peter Pan and Sleeping Beauty. However, not a lot of people talk about it as one of the studios’ all-time greats. That doesn’t mean that this tale about home, friendship, and unexpected love should be forgotten.

I would have thought this live-action movie would have been made for the big screen and, considering the cast, it should be; Tessa Thompson voicing Lady, Justin Theroux as Tramp, along with Sam Elliott, Janelle Monae, and Benedict Wong is enough to get an audience into seats. Since launching your own streaming service needs to have a big opener, it makes more sense to have Lady and the Tramp be a headliner.

I’ve enjoyed Disney’s current run of live-action remakes. They all haven’t been classics, but I appreciate that they want these stories retold for a new time and generation to enjoy.  They have cranked out their greatest hits with Beauty and the Beast, The Jungle Book, and recently, Aladdin and The Lion King. There has even been an updated retelling of Winnie the Pooh that relates to children and adults with Christopher Robin! With Mulan scheduled for next year and The Little Mermaid currently in the works, it looks like the remake train will continue to roll. My only concern now is that Disney might have painted themselves into a corner as far as what other stories to retell from their deep vault.

Here’s my short list of what could possibly be next to hit theaters or Disney+.


The Fox and The Hound

Another underrated classic could find its path laid out, depending on the success of Lady and The Tramp. While I like this movie, I found it to be average; I’ll watch it if it’s on but I’m not going to go out of my way to put it on. Despite its charm, The characters and story felt too formulaic to me as I look back on it. Maybe a CGI-adaptation is what this movie needs to reclaim some Disney magic.

Hunchback of Notre Dame

The Hunchback of Notre Dame

One of my absolute favorites from the dark corners of the Disney Renaissance, this animated version of Victor Hugo’s novel was one of Disney’s first films to explore mature themes such as lust, damnation, sin. Despite the changes to the original source material to give it a G rating in the late 90’s, one can guess that the story of Quasimodo and his quest for acceptance will have a modern touch on the Disney+ streaming service or theatrical release, still addressing those mature themes and being family-friendly.

The Great Mouse Detective

The Great Mouse Detective

Personally, I wouldn’t mind seeing a CGI-animated re-telling of this lost gem. Before the time of the Disney Reniassance, Walt Disney studios struggled to find its footing in 1986 after the under-performance of The Black Cauldron a year prior. Based on the book series, Basil of Baker Street by Eve Titus, Basil consciously emulates Sherlock Holmes in this caper film that doesn’t get enough respect. If it’s not getting a theatrical release, put this film on Disney+!


The Aristocats

From mice to to their larger rivals, The Arisocats have been LONG overdue for a re-telling. The musical romantic film about a family of aristocratic cats crossing paths with an alley cat after their butler kidnaps them for a fortune is fun and energetic, filled with great music and adorable characters. Despite not being one of the films frequently talked about in casual Disney circles, these cats deserve their time to roam and dance around in the digital age.


Oliver and Company

I don’t think I could champion this story any better. The adaptation of Oliver Twist with dogs was brilliant and has aged well enough to deserve a re-telling. The classic story of the orphan child is one that has withstood the test of time, getting re-telling after re-telling over the years. I think we’re overdue for another, but Disney should get the nod this time around to tell the story. Despite mixed reviews during its initial release (Seriously, it went against The Land Before Time), it remains beloved among the adults who grew up in the early days of the Disney Renaissance.

Even though Disney would be adapting B, or even C, level animated movies, and dusting off lost gems, these films should be up for remake consideration after the A-List films have their time in the sun. These movies might not be totally well-known, but deserve to be shown to a new generation of film-viewers.

Thanks for reading, everyone! 

What are your thoughts about Disney’s live-action remakes? Is there a movie I missed that should be on this short list? 

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The Lion King at 25


The Sun rising over the Pride Lands of Africa is one of the most iconic beginnings of a film — animated or live-action — in history. When you see that shot, you know what movie you are about to see. It might be hard to believe that a quarter of a century has passed since The Lion King hit the big screen for the first time on June 15, 1994. It holds a special place in my heart as one of the first films I watched in a theater. After all this time, it’s still worth talking about.

Disney is releasing a CGI remake version of this family-favorite this summer, which will bring old and new fans into the reclining seats. As Disney moves out with the animated old and in with the computer generated new, it seems that the circle of life is still in motion. With the July 19th release date approaching and fter reading a retrospective from Movie Babble, it feels like the perfect time for an affectionate look back at one of my favorite films of all time.

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Why I’m approaching the live-action ‘Aladdin’ with cautious optimism.

Aladdin is one of the Disney’s best animated classics. Released in 1992, it was one of the leaders during the Disney film era known as the Disney Renaissance. Following the story of Aladdin, an Arabian street urchin, he comes across a magic lamp that contains a genie, voiced by the late, great Robin Williams. After that, he embarks on an adventure to not only save the princess but also the entire kingdom of Agrabah.

Now that a new special look trailer dropped last night during the Grammys, I’m still excited to see the live-action adaptation, but now with more caution thanks to a mega-star in blue.

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My most anticipated movies of 2019

New year, new movies. Now that the fireworks have faded and the first week of the 2019 is in the books, let’s look to the rest of the year.

Some franchises are closing their current chapters like the Marvel Cinematic Universe and the Star Wars sequel trilogy. Disney looks to continue their silver screen dominance with live action retellings and there will be those small films that aren’t making much noise for now that will roar with larger crowds through audience word of mouth. These lists are always fun to predict what could be really good and what could potentially bomb (I really hope nothing on this list does).

So without further ado…

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2018’s Best

When I look back at 2018 in film, I will remember a few things: this was a great year for documentaries; foreign and world cinema are on the rise; smaller studios are creating the majority of original content and interesting projects right now; the superhero genre continues to grow and still has the ability to break the hearts of their fans, both positively and negatively. Overall, I’d like to think that 2018 was a very strong year for film – filled with its ups and downs, successes and failures. Many studio films balanced monetary and critical success excellently and smaller films challenged many perceptions we have and placed them under a sometimes uncomfortable microscope.

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The toys are back in town in the first teaser trailer for ‘Toy Story 4’

In 2010, I was still in college but I felt like a child again as Disney/Pixar created another installment in the franchise that began their partnership in 1995. Toy Story 3 was an animated masterpiece. It brought tears to my eyes as I reflected on that time in all our lives where we have to let our action figures or dolls go as we grow up and move on to bigger adventures. It was the perfect ending to the Toy Story franchise.

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