aladdin

DIRECTOR: guy ritchie (the man from uncle, king arthur: legend of the sword)
starring:
mena massoud, naomi scott, will smith, and Marwan Kenzari

 

REVIEWER: emily carter

★★★★

Aladdin embarks on a magical adventure after finding a lamp that releases a wisecracking genie.

It's a whole new world of wonders for this kid's classic come-to-life. 90s kids unite and feel the magic all over again!

 

When you remember the lyrics to a soundtrack from a movie released in 1992, I think you can call that movie a success, right? Aladdin was one of those integral-part-of-my-childhood, don't-even-try-to-beat-it kind of films. The kind that makes your 5 year old self nervous when you hear they're gonna do it over again in 2019. But let me allay your fears and tell you that it's just as magic as the first time you saw it.

 

With breath-taking colours, markets and structures, it's a feast for your eyes. But perhaps don't expect a completely authentic "Arabian night" with thick American accents and a touch of Hollywood in every costume.

 

I was however pleased to hear those original songs again, performed brilliantly by Jasmine (Naomi Scott) and Aladdin (Mena Massoud), plus a couple of newbies equally as catchy. Depending on your allegiance to Robin Williams' Genie, you will either be impressed or let-down by Will Smith's interpretation. I'll just say Will Smith had a hard-to-impossible task recreating the beloved blue guy. Put him in a class of his own and he's a fun watch - even garnering applause from the cinema audience with his song and humour.

 

I thought Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) absolutely dripped with sneaky evil, the perfect bad guy we love to hate. Scheming and slimy, Kenzari's Jafar was a real treat.

 

I think director Guy Ritchie got it right staying extremely close to the original's story, songs and character, throwing in just enough "newness" to capture the next generation of Disney lovers. However, you probably wouldn't know it was Guy Ritchie in the director's chair with this decidedly un-Ritchie creation.

 

With sparkle and magic in all the right places, Aladdin is visual confectionery and gorgeous nostalgia all wrapped up in another gem for Disney.

★★★★

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Aladdin is available on DVD, Blu-ray, 4KUHD and digital from all good disc and digital retailers. 

SPECIAL FEATURES (BLU-RAY)  ★★★

Not unlike the three wishes that the Genie gives Aladdin, the special features contains three main features.

The first is an on set video diary shot by Mena Massoud who plays Aladdin himself. From singing to shooting in the desert we see it all play out as they craft Aladdin. 

Guy Ritchie, an interesting choice to put in the directors chair for Aladdin, shares his process and vision for the new take on the classic tale in a short doco A Cinematic Genie

Finally in A Friend Like the Genie Will Smith delves into the overwhelming task to fill Robin William's shoes when taking on the role of the Genie. Instead of trying to 'replace' Williams he decided to give his own take on the role and he explains his process.

There are also some deleted scenes and a deleted song, the music videos, and some bloopers as well. 

For a movie the size of Aladdin and the fact that its a Disney release its surprising that there weren't more special features. But overall its definitely worth the magic carpet ride! 

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