ABC Film Challenge – Romance – J – Aladdin (2019) Movie Review

This is under J because it is about Aladdin trying to win Jasmine’s heart.

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie, John August (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott, Marwan Kenzari, Navid Negahban, Nasim Pedrad, Billy Magnuessen

Plot: A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

Tagline – Choose wisely.

Runtime: 2 Hour 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lacks the Magic

Story: Aladdin starts as we meet the street urchin Aladdin (Massoud) who is always looking to make his meal ticket with his quick hands, saving Jasmine (Scott) who is pretending to be a local, escaping from her strict father’s (Negahban) rules, experience the thrill of the city. Jafar (Kenzari) is scheming to make his own plans for when the Sultan is gone, waiting for make his own move on Princess Jasmine, against her own mother’s kingdom.

After being caught in the act by Jafar forces Aladdin on his own search for treasure, in search of the lamp with will give him power, only Aladdin keeps the lamp for himself, where he meets the Genie (Smith) who grants him wishes, where he must master the power behind it.

Thoughts on Aladdin

Characters – Aladdin is a street urchin that has quick hands which keeps food available for him, he gets a chance meeting with the rebellious princess, falling in love, showing his honest ways, only he is too poor to be considered anybody that could be with her. He gets forced to steal the magic lamp only to be betrayed and left for dead. Once he learns the power of the lamp, he tries to use it to win Jasmine’s heart, whatever the cost, not being like the other princes that try to win her heart. Princess Jasmine has been held away from the world by her strict father who is scared for her life until she marries a prince, she doesn’t want to just marry royalty, she wants to become her own leader to the people of her city. Genie is who comes out of the lamp to offer Aladdin the three wishes, he does explain how the wishes unfold and wants to help Aladdin create the best wishes, using her natural charisma. Jafar is the second in command of the city, he is planning his own rise to rule the city, with or without Jasmine on his arm.

PerformancesThis movie does have a string of performances that have glimpses from Naomi Scott and Will Smith, only we don’t see everything we could about them, while Mena Massoud lacks the spark for the Aladdin we have known, while Marwan Kenzari just doesn’t come off as evil as he should.

StoryThe story here follows a street urchin who finds a magical lamp and uses it to hopefully win the heart of the princess of the kingdom, where he must learn his own responsibility about life isn’t just about the power of three wishes. Being a remake of the animation, we know where the story will go and it doesn’t differ to any major levels and does continue to show the important message, power and money won’t by you happiness, while showing strict rules that could be broken for somebody to have their own happiness when it comes to position in power.

Fantasy/RomanceWe do get the fantasy side of this film follows the idea of a genie granting wishes, which is interesting, only not fully expressed, while the romance is there and is more about breaking down the walls over anything.

SettingsThe film does us the settings to show us the different world that Aladdin and Jasmine are from, with the cave being such a wonderful location too, only we don’t spend enough time there.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film have moments looking amazing, only for them to not look that great all the way through.

Scene of the Movie – The cave.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Aladdin and Jafar just aren’t interesting enough.

Final Thoughts This just is just like a glossy remake that just doesn’t have the magic it should leaving us feel like we have missed out on something bigger and better.

Overall: Simple and not enjoyable.

Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot (2020) Movie Review

Director: Giles Alderson

Writer: Simon Cotton, Jonny Grant (Screenplay) Giles Alderson, Simon Cotton, Jonny Grant (Story)

Starring: Richard Brake, Richard Short, Ronan Summers, Stella Stocker, Olivia Bernstone, Joe Egan

Plot: A much older King Arthur returns home after fighting the Roman Empire. His illegitimate son has corrupted the throne of Camelot. Now King Arthur must reunite with the wizard Merlin and the Knights of the Round Table and fight to get back his crown.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Game of Thrones the Arthur & Merlin Edition

Story: Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot starts as Arthur (Short) has led battles across the land, leaving his illegitimate son Modred (Phillimore) ruling Camelot, Arthur learns the news of Modred’s new ideas and must return with his most loyal men Merlin (Brake) and the knights of the round table to reclaim his throne.

We follow the journey Arthur and his men take, filled with visits from characters who might help or hinder the mission to take back the throne, while Modred is doing everything he can to make sure, his reign will be remembered.

Thoughts on Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot

Characters – Arthur has been fighting for the land of England, he leads his men into battle only to learn his illegitimate son has bought a new rule to England. He leads his most loyal men in a plan to reclaim his throne. Merlin visits Arthur when he needs him most, providing his wisdom in his time of need. Most of the familiar names from the round table are here too, only they don’t seem to do much else in the story, while Modred is the evil ruler who is trying to use his new power to change the land for his own gain against his father’s wishes.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are not the strongest, with most of the cast struggling to make their character feel like they are reaching the bigger impact.

StoryThe story here follows Arthur and the knights of the round table as they look to reclaim the throne from a new toxic leader that wants to cause more war. This is like watching another version of Game of Thrones, we are watching the desire to regain power, while a new ruler is trying to bring a new conflict to the land. It is a battle for power, which does have plenty of side stories that just don’t come in complete connection to everything going on within the biggest story arc, not enough time is given to the small sides of things, while the action is held back more than you would have imagined for a story involving the iconic characters involved here. It is getting to a stage where the King Arthur storylines have been overdone and need to have a rest.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film shows the journey that Arthur and his men undertook to return to Camelot.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to take us back to the era the film is set in, with the massive castle being the target for the journey.

Scene of the Movie – The Lady in the Lake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough character about the characters.

Final Thoughts This is another one of those King Arthur storylines that tries to bring something new, only to end up feeling like it is just ripping off Game of Thrones.

Overall: Disappointing of Thrones.

Signature Entertainment presents Arthur & Merlin: Knights of Camelot on DVD & Digital HD from July 13th

The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands (2018) Movie Review

Director: Robert Lence, Aleksey Tsitsilin

Writer: Robert Lence, Aleksey Tsitsilin, Vladimir Nikolaev, Aleksey Zamyslov, Andrey Korenkov (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Laurie Hymes, Samia Mounts, Marc Thompson, Devin Bailey Griffin

Plot: After a powerful king traps all the world’s magicians in the Mirrorlands, Gerda battles to keep magic alive through kindness and friendship.

Tagline – All Gerda’s friends and even old enemy gather their efforts to protect magic world.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Family Film

Story: The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands starts as we meet Gerda a young woman who sees her whole family having magic abilities, only she has none, they are all kind magicians using their abilities fo the better of the people of the town. The King Harald wants to eliminate the magicians from his world, sending them to the Mirrorlands, where he has already exiled the Snow Queen.

Greda must go on her own adventure to free the magicians from the Mirrorlands including her family and stop the evil plan of the King.

Thoughts on The Snow Queen: Mirrorlands

Characters – Gerda is the youngest member of a magic family, only she doesn’t know her abilities yet, she helps in the small family shop, is kind to the residents of the city, she must find a way to rescue her family and friends after they are taken to a hidden realm, she travels the land to first learn her abilities and secondly save the locals from the evil king. King Harald is the evil ruler that wants to eliminate magic from his world, turning to scientist for the improvements in his life and his kingdom, imprisoning anyone who has magic abilities. The Snow Queen is considered evil to the kingdom, trapped in isolation in the Mirrorlands, she freezes other people who are sent there, only she isn’t the evil most people believe, she is also a victim of the King. We do meet the other characters that are trying to help Greda on her adventure to save the people that have become trapped in the Mirrorlands.

StoryThe story here follows Gerda, a young woman who is still waiting for her magical powers to be revealed, who needs to travel the land to save her family and friends from the king that wants to eliminate magic from the world. This is a story that focuses on needing to learn about your own importance to the world, with Gerda needing to wait for her powers to come out, while her good-nature will make her positive impact on everyone around her. This is part of a series, which might have references to previous films, which unfortunately I can’t tell you how important the last two were. It does have the clear message of seeing the world through other people’s eyes before judging them and accepting people are different in life.

ComedyThe comedy in the film does work well, with most being slapstick level, with how certain characters will always find themselves in situation they make mistakes in.

SettingsThe film does create a beautiful kingdom for the events to happen through, we see just how they different locations are crucial for the next chapter of the adventure.

AnimationThe animation through the film does look great, right up there with the best companies in the business today.

Scene of the Movie – Anders book.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not knowing if the previous films have plot points I would need to know about.

Final Thoughts This is a fun animated movie that could be enjoyed by the family, it has a nice runtime for the younger audience to enjoy too.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Snow Queen: Mirrorlands in Cinemas nationwide July 10th

The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn (2020) Movie Review

Director: Aina Jarvine, Federico Milella

Writer: Pamela Hickey, Dannys McCoy, Vanessa Walder (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Madison Mullahey, Jessica Webb, Olivia Manning, Sara Petersen, Marc Thompson, Gregory Max

Plot: Fantasy country of Bayala is on danger. Only twin sisters Surah and Sera can save it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: One for the Younger Audience

Story: The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn starts as we head to the kingdom of Bayala, here we have the sun elves and the shadow elves, with twin sisters Surah who was raised in the shadow world, and Sera who is a sun elf, the land is split as the evil Ophira is looking to control the land, with the disappearance of dragons to the land.

When a dragon egg is discovered, Surah, Sera and Marween must return it to the parents before Ophira discovered it and the magic is lost forever, the magic which could save the land.

Thoughts on The Fairy Princess and the Unicorn

Characters – Surah is a sun elf that was held captive in the shadow realm, leaving her with shadow wings, she is an outcast in the sun elf land with the power to save the land, in hope of getting to her friend, who still remains trapped in the shadows. Sera is the sun elf that has waited for her sister to return, going on the adventure to try and save her land. Ophira is the evil ruler of the shadow realm, she has trying to destroy the rest of the world, doing everything she can to stop the mission. Marween is the young else that discovered the dragon egg and has the ability to communicate with dragons, this will be her first adventure.

StoryThe story here follows elves as they must looks to defeat an evil that is trying to take over the land in a race against time to bring the light back to the land. When we see the idea of elves, magic and unicorns we know the audience we will be aiming for, this is a story that plays perfectly for that audience, with chuckles along the way, we are never put in any truly scarier peril with the light feeling about the journey being kept away from scaring the youngest audience members.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film does take the elves to different lands, which offers new dangers to the world for them to face.

SettingsThe film does create beautiful landscapes for the characters to travel through, filled with colours to bring to life the environment.

AnimationThe animation does look strong with the computer graphics bringing everything to life with ease.

Scene of the Movie – The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The generic other leader elves.

Final Thoughts This is a film that the younger audience will enjoy, it will give them plenty of joy with the positive message throughout.

Overall: Kids will love.

Signature Entertainment presents The Fairy Princess & The Unicorn in Cinemas nationwide July 4th

Valhalla: Legend of Thor (2019) Movie Review

Director: Fenar Ahmad

Writer: Fenar Ahmad, Adam August (Screenplay) Peter Madsen (Comics)

Starring: Roland Moller, Salome Gunnarsdottir, Patricia Schumann, Jacob Lohmann, Andreas Jessen, Lara Johanna Jonsdottir, Saxo Moltke-Leth, Cecilia Loffredo

Plot: The Viking children Røskva and Tjalfe embark on an adventurous journey from Midgard to Valhalla with the gods Thor and Loki. Life in Valhalla, however, turns out to be threatened by the dreaded Fenrir wolf and the god’s barbaric archenemies, the Jotnar. Side by side with the gods the two children must fight to save Valhalla from the end of the world – Ragnarok.

Tagline – Let the journey begin

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark Norse God Story

Story: Valhalla: Legend of Thor starts in a small village where children Tjalfe (Moltke-Leth) and Roskva (Loffredo) live, they get visits from Gods, with Thor (Moller) being one of the most regular, Thor offers to take Tjalfe and Roskva back to Valhalla, the home of the Gods, with his brother Loki (Al-Jabouri), where the two will have a chance to learn about the home of the Gods.

As the two children learn more about Valhalla, they find themselves separated, with Roskva learning she could be part of a prophecy that could bring about the end of the Valhalla, with the Ragnarok event happening, the two must work with the Gods to stop this happening.

Thoughts on Valhalla: Legend of Thor

Characters – Tjalfe is the mortal who is selected to go to Valhalla, he is taken and takes his young sister in this journey, where he starts to lose his faith in the gods, falling into the hands of the giants, the greatest enemies of the gods. Roskva is the younger sister who learns her place in the world, she is bigger than the gods believed, being a sign for the end of the world in Valhalla, proving herself along the way. Thor is guiding the mortals through Valhalla, he isn’t like anything we have seen in comic book movies, but he is a warrior that will step up to any challenge, Loki is calmer and smarter that his brother, he will fight when needed, but is always needing to be watched.

PerformancesWe have a strong cast here with both child stars Cecilia Loffredo and Saxo Moltke-Leth both showing the learning side, while the God characters played by Roland Moller and Dulfi Al-Jabouri working very well too, being different to anything we have seen before.

StoryThe story here follows two mortals being taken to the world of the gods, where they find themselves important parts of the battle for power between the gods and giants. When you hear the name Thor, you automatically think of the Marvel superheroes, plenty of flash, only the original origins of Thor, Odin, Loki and others comes from Norse mythology, this story dives into the Norse mythology for the story showing the heroes like warriors instead of superheroes, what we end up with is something that we have seen many legends, myth or fables of the past achieve in the battle to survive. It does show us how gods were seen from the history behind them, showing us a new way to understand the heroes of the past.

AdventureThe adventure takes the two children are taken to a new world where they are able to make an impact in a fight for the land, a position they have never been able to be in at their home.

SettingsThe locations used are beautiful, with the open spaces being truly breath taking, while the interiors showing the darker environment the characters would be in.

Scene of the Movie – Fenrir first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The contests.

Final Thoughts This is a much darker, but truer to the origin of the Norse gods mythology, it is an adventure that shows the reason for the connection between the two worlds.

Overall: Entertaining Mythology Movie.

Signature Entertainment presents Valhalla: Legend of Thor on DVD & Digital HD from June 29th