4K Review: Disney’s Aladdin (1992)
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Aladdin (1992)
4K Ultra HD | Blu-ray
Director: Ron Clements, John Musker
Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio
Cast: Scott Weinger, Robin Williams, Linda Larkin, Jonathan Freeman, Frank Welker, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale
Distributor: Walt Disney Studios
Rated G | 90 Minutes
Release date: September 10, 2019

Disney adapting their animated classics into live-action films are sometimes predicated on the critical and commercial success of the predecessor, though the studio’s recent wave of live-action adaptations has been met with varying degrees of success. But what matters most is how these films perform at the box office, and as long as they at a hit, the studio will come out with more and more. And, of course, none of these live-action films would be here without their animated origins.

Take, for instance, 1992’s Aladdin, before we can get into reviewing the live-action film from Guy Ritchie (to come soon), we must look back at the animated film by Ron Clements and John Musker. Considered to be one of the best from the Disney film era known as the Disney Renaissance, Aladdin is a beautifully animated musical that continues to hold up well. But with new technologies and televisions bringing us higher definition and better picture quality, it was only a matter of time before Disney started to go back in their vaults to release upgraded versions of their greatest hits.

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Movie Review: Transformers: The Last Knight
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Transformers: The Last Knight
Director: Michael Bay
Screenwriters: Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan, Art Marcum
Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Isabela Moner, Jerrod Carmichael, Jim Carter, John Goodman, Ken Watanabe, Omar Sy, Peter Cullen
Distributor: Paramount Pictures
Rated PG| 149 Minutes
Release Date: June 21, 2017

Transformers: The Last Knight continues the franchise’s long line of large-scale visuals, epic explosions, poorly written scripts, and lack of care for its own continuity. Even after four of these films, the new Transformers installment fails to learn from any of the previous lessons, and instead, chooses to double down (or should I say quadruples down) on them. So let’s not stand on ceremony and just say what we already know: Transformers: The Last Knight is just another two and half hours’ worth of explosion porn fest with a nonsensical script that has plenty of sexual overtones and characters that play to their racial stereotypes. Oh, and let’s not forget all those explosions and shouting matches. Check out my full review below.

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Blu-ray Review: Disney’s ‘Aladdin’ Diamond Edition
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Diamond Edition Blu-ray/DVD Combo Pack
Directors: John Musker and Ron Clements
Cast: Robin Williams, Scott Weinger, Linda Larkin, Gilbert Gottfried, Douglas Seale, Frank Welker
Music: Alan Menken; Lyrics: Howard Ashman
Walt Disney Home Entertainment
Release date: October 13, 2015

Disney’s Aladdin was part of the studio’s great animated musical boom in the 1990s that saw massive hits with Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King, and The Little Mermaid (released November 1989). While Walt Disney Pictures’ animated wing had cornered the market previously with classics like 1939’s Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs and 1940’s Pinocchio, Aladdin began a new trend that would propel the studio even further — signing on major celebrities to their voice cast. In this case, they snagged the great comedic actor Robin Williams.

For Aladdin, Williams, who had had recent success with dramatic roles in Good Morning, Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Awakenings, and The Fisher King, voiced Genie, a spirit with phenomenal cosmic powers, and as we learn, itty bitty living space (he lives inside a magic lamp!). What could have been just another retelling of a classic tale — for this, the story of Aladdin in the Arabic folktale One Thousand and One Nights — accompanied by catchy tunes, was instead transformed into something much more captivating, humorous, and lovable thanks to Williams’ voice work.

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DVD Review: GI Joe Season 1.1
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G.I. Joe
A Real American Hero: Season 1.1
Starring Chris Latta, Michael Bell, Frank Welker, Arthur Burghardt
Shout! Factory
Released July 14, 2009

GI Joe is the codename for American’s daring highly trained special mission force.

Its purpose, to defend human freedom against Cobra — a ruthless, terrorist organization determined to rule the world.

If I had to list my favorite cartoons when I was a kid, one of the shows that would show up on that list would be GI Joe. I can fondly remember waking up before school, getting a bowl of healthy cereal (because my Mom would never let us have the sugary stuff), going downstairs, and watching GI Joe and Transformers. It was a great ritual for me, and thanks to the magic of DVD, I can relive those days. GI Joe has been released on DVD before, but the old sets have been long out of print. Fortunately, there’s a new movie to cash in on, so the show is coming back into DVD.

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