Category Archives: Movies

Is It Just Me or Is ‘Black Panther’ and ‘The Lion King the Same Movie?

Black Panther has become the movie craze of the year so far as it has generated the most social buzz for a movie ever, has people yelling Wakanda Forever around the globe, and has become the highest grossing superhero movie of all time!!! And while all of this is absolutely spectacular I have discovered a huge conundrum with this film and it has something to do with The Lion King.

This past Friday I watched The Lion King after not having seen it in years and as I watched the movie I realized, to my great shock, that the story of Simba’s rise to becoming a king was nearly identical to T’Challa’s journey to becoming king of Wakanda. So, after discovering the stunning parallels to the two movies I had to write a post about it. Enjoy!

Both Simba and T’Challa’s Fathers Died Tragically

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For young Simba he had to witness his father Mufasa fall to a grisly death after Scar secretly killed him. For T’Challa his father was caught in a devastating explosion that ended up taking his life. Both Simba and T’Challa deeply loved their fathers and looked up to them as they were raised. The only difference between the two future kings was Simba ran away in fear while T’Challa plotted his revenge to kill his father’s murderer. And that leads me to my next parallel between the two characters.

Both Characters Saw Their Fathers in the AfterLife

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For Simba and T’Challa they had unique rites of passage that let them come into contact with their fathers in the afterlife and both moments for these characters were pivotal to their stories. Simba, after seeing his father again, decided to turn his back on the leisurely life he was living to pursue his title as King of Pride Rock. T’Challa, after his final encounter with his father, decided to open Wakanda to the world after learning the terrible truth his father had tried to keep from him that he had killed T’Challa’s uncle and left his nephew stranded and orphaned in the United States. That decision to leave Erik behind almost led to the doom of Wakanda.

Simba and T’Challa Were Both Thought To Be Dead

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One of the major story lines in Black Panther and The Lion King was the disappearance of Simba and T’Challa when their countries needed them most. For Simba he ran away as a child after his father’s death, leaving the lionesses and the other animals within the region under the tyrannical reign of Scar. T’Challa was presumed to be dead after his confrontation with Erik Killmonger and Killmonger assumed the throne, casting Wakanda into a dark time indeed. And that leads to yet another parallel between the two movies.

The Main Villains of Both Films Were Family Members

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In The Lion King Simba’s arch nemesis was his uncle Scar who wanted control over Pride Rock and the throne for his own selfish gains. In Black Panther T’Challa’s main foe was his African-American cousin, Erik Killmonger, who wanted to take the mantle of king since he felt it was his rightful place as second heir to the throne. That’s a very blatant parallel between the two films.

These four topics are the most blaring similarities between the two movies. Black Panther is, of course, the much better told story of the two as it is crafted for older audiences and presents ideas and topics that really resonated with the world and its internal struggles today. And besides, it’s a fun Marvel film. You can’t beat that. But it’s kind of disappointing to find out this incredible superhero flick that I thought was so original was just a ripoff of an iconic Disney film that came out two dozen years ago. Both films had their slight differences but each film’s main gist was nearly identical! I couldn’t believe it!

It also feels a little strange considering The Lion King was a fictional Disney movie based in Africa through the story of Africa’s animals and over two decades later another Disney film has arrived starring a superhero’s journey out of Africa and it was basically the exact same story. They really couldn’t make a fantastic Black Panther film with an original plot? Does this mean we’re going to have another Disney movie set in Africa twenty-four years from now in 2042 that’ll be an updated version of Black Panther‘s story? I guess Disney’s logic was this; if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. *shrug*

I still love Black Panther though. I’m just surprised at how unoriginal the movie actually is.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a magnificent day.

The Ten Characters That Should Have Their Own ‘Star Wars’ Story

When Disney bought Star Wars and announced they would be making new movies I could’ve never imagined the concept of Star Wars stories. With the addition of these new standalone films in LucasFilm’s repertoire they can tell stories in even greater detail by focusing on certain characters and events and bringing those personal tales that normally wouldn’t have been told to life. Rogue One was the first of these Star Wars stories and it showed me how versatile the Star Wars franchise has truly become as it conveyed a story that had been hinted to us but never fully realized until now. Now Solo: A Star Wars Story is coming out in little over a month and that movie is going to provide us an in-depth look into how Han became the charming rogue that he was by the events of A New Hope. Yay? And it seems that Obi-Wan Kenobi will be getting his own standalone film in the coming years.

But there are so many more fascinating stories that can be told, stories that transcend just the timelines that we know and move beyond our recollection of Star Wars knowledge to tell brand new tales waiting to be seen. Of course, those stories probably won’t be portrayed anytime soon but there are a bunch of characters in this stretch of the Star Wars timeline that need their own movies to tell their stories. So, here are ten characters who I think LucasFilm should definitely consider taking a crack at in the near future. Enjoy!

10. General Hux

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Okay, I know it sounds a little odd imagining a Star Wars story involving General Hux, a character that I’m pretty sure isn’t an ultimate fan favorite, but just hear me out. Hux isn’t a major character by any means in this current trilogy but he does have a rather interesting back story that conveys how he became the ruthless General that he is in the first place.

His father, Brendol Hux, had an illegitimate son (baby Hux) with a mistress and as a result he treated his son poorly. Younger Hux grew up with immense disdain for his father as he slowly grew higher in the ranks of the First Order. By the time he was a young man he ended up having Captain Phasma, his newfound ally, assassinate his father, Brendol Hux, and in the process obtained the rank of general. Hux looks like someone who can be manipulated and easily run over but there is a lot more calculation and ruthlessness to the young officer than meets the eye. (I learned all of that interesting stuff about the First Order general through the book, Phasma.)

I think it would be fascinating to see his story in greater detail because of a couple of reasons. One, it’ll be an excuse to bring Phasma back into another Star Wars movie. 🙂 And two, there’s never been a Star Wars movie that has focused on the political inner workings of an organization. That could provide a refreshing change of tone in what we’ve come to expect from a Star Wars movie. There probably will never be a Hux Star Wars story but it’s still an interesting idea.

Continue reading The Ten Characters That Should Have Their Own ‘Star Wars’ Story

Here’s the Marvel Movie Lineup to Get You Ready for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

It’s only ten days away until Avengers: Infinity War comes out and I kind of can’t believe it. For so long it felt like this Avengers movie was so far away but now that it’s a little over a week until it premieres worldwide I am just ecstatic. So today to celebrate the start of the ten day countdown I am here to share with you the movies that you should watch to start getting pumped for this highly-anticipated premiere. Enjoy!

Avengers: Age of Ultron

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While Avengers: Age of Ultron isn’t one of the greatest Marvel movies to have been made in the past ten years it is one of the most essential to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) as it introduces some fascinating new characters and story developments to the entire mix of things that continues on through the later films such as the introduction of Scarlet Witch.

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This is the first movie that she appears in and it’s the film that provides her the most character development as we see her turn from a Sokovian science experiment looking for revenge to a bonified Avenger ready to save the world. This movie also introduces Vision, one of the most important characters in the MCU to date.

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While Vision hasn’t played any major parts in the films that he has appeared in he is central to the story of Avengers: Infinity War considering that he has an Infinity Stone in his forehead! (Which Thanos is hunting for. Uh-oh Vision. You are in trouble.) This movie also presents how incredibly powerful he is as it highlights the fact that he’s the only other Avenger who can pick up Thor’s hammer. That’s something you’ll definitely want to know.

There’s also the more personal character developments that are important to a couple of the character’s stories such as the blossoming romance between Black Widow and Bruce Banner/The Hulk and the reveal of Hawkeye’s family. These are topics that should be known going into Avengers: Infinity War so viewers will have a better grasp on what matters to these characters and what they’re truly fighting for.

Continue reading Here’s the Marvel Movie Lineup to Get You Ready for ‘Avengers: Infinity War’

Is it Bad That I’m More Excited To See Lando In ‘Solo: A Star Wars Story’ Than Han Solo?

When I heard that Disney was going to make a Star Wars story about a young Han Solo I was skeptical but also a tad excited as well. And then when they announced that a younger Lando would also make an appearance in this film I was definitely worried. Who could possibly replace Billy Dee Williams as the cool, smooth talking smuggler, Lando Calrissean? Well, I am no longer worried because Donald Glover has taken the character of Lando to the next level! Ever since I saw his version of the suave smuggler in the first teaser I knew I was going to like this new Lando a LOT but after this latest trailer it’s pretty much confirmed that he’s going to be the coolest character in the movie. But isn’t that bad? The last time I checked this movie was called Solo: A Star Wars Story, not Lando, the Coolest Dude in the Galaxy: A Star Wars Story and that’s terrible because I feel like the only reason why I’m excited to see this movie is because of Lando, not the main character.

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I mean, he’s got himself one of the coolest droids I’ve ever seen in L3-37, he’s the rightful owner of a rather clean and pristine Millennium Falcon which is really cool, he’s got the finest outfit of the bunch, even Qi’Ra, and he’s just downright really awesome looking.

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I think another reason why I’m so excited to see Lando in this movie is because he was such a small character in the original trilogy and yet he was so intriguing. I’ve always wanted to know a little more about him but until now that wasn’t possible, from a movie standpoint anyway. With this film I’ll finally get a crash course on who Lando was before we find him as the governor of the Cloud City and I’m SO excited!

Now, I don’t know how heavy his involvement in this movie will be and that’s saddening because I’m really digging this character WAY more than Han Solo. But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe Disney will see all of the positivity surrounding this new Lando and give him his own standalone film asap because he totally deserves one already. Whatever the case, I’m just hoping he’ll remain in the movie for at least an hour of the film’s time because that will make me very happy. 🙂

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a great day. May the Force be with you.

 

Ranking the ‘Star Wars’ Movies By Their Visuals

Star Wars has been a fascinating franchise since it came out in the May of 1977 and since then, with nine movies and several different directors and creative minds behind these films most of these Star Wars flicks have had their own, unique, artistic spin to them. So today I’m going to share with you how I rank these movies by their visual prowess or lackluster effect in the aesthetic department. Enjoy!

9. The Phantom Menace

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The Phantom Menace isn’t my least favorite Star Wars film but it definitely is the least pretty. The cinematography is boring and unimaginatively straight forward. There aren’t any stunning shots or breathtaking visuals. It’s just a Star Wars movie.

8. Return of the Jedi 

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A New Hope and The Empire Strikes Back were such great films and Return of the Jedi, for me, has become kind of boring in comparison in nearly every department. This film has its exciting moments but none of those moments are accentuated by any visually jaw dropping shots.

7. A New Hope

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When A New Hope came out it was simply ahead of its time in imagination, creativity, and even special effects but, of course, now many of the Star Wars films have just gotten better at being visually enticing. But that doesn’t diminish A New Hope in the slightest. There are still some fascinating shots that have come with this movie like for example; Princess Leia putting the Death Star plans in R2-D2, Luke staring at the binary sunset, etc. I wouldn’t be an avid Star Wars fan if it wasn’t for this movie and that’s why it will always have a special place in my heart.

Continue reading Ranking the ‘Star Wars’ Movies By Their Visuals

The Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is a Beautiful Take On A Fairy Tale Classic

Today I finally watched the live-action version of Beauty and the Beast and I can honestly say I highly enjoyed it. Here’s a rundown on what I know of Beauty and the Beast. I never watched the animated Disney Beauty and the Beast film, I missed that bandwagon, but I did own a book of the fairy tale when I was a child and I LOVED it. I read it over and over again and so to see the movie brought back all of that nostalgia from when I was little girl.

When this movie was coming out last year there was so MUCH publicity surrounding the film I didn’t want to watch it but now that it’s been just over a year since it burst into theaters I’ve finally seen it and I am very happy that I did. I tried to watch Cinderella and couldn’t finish it but Beauty and the Beast was much better and I am here to share with you my review of the movie. Enjoy!

Continue reading The Live-Action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Is a Beautiful Take On A Fairy Tale Classic

‘Moana’ Is a Beautiful Movie For the Empowerment of Young Girls

I watched Moana yesterday because I’ve been wanting to see it for two years straight. I had, for a while, lost interest in Disney movies but Frozen reawakened that excitement. I literally own Frozen, I enjoyed it that much. I know most of the songs by heart and the story was just superbly told. It was unlike any Disney princess movie I had seen before it and it really made me excited about animated Disney films again. So, since then I watched Zootopia, which I loved, and Inside Out, which I actually didn’t like that much if I’m being honest but I had never gotten around to watching Moana. Well, I’ve finally seen it and I can honestly say, it’s a beautiful movie.

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There is a lot of heart to this story and what made it such a fantastic film for young girls to see is the fact that it truly stayed front and center on Moana through the entirety of the movie. The story never deferred from her, she was always the hero through the vast majority of the film, and it showed that girls can be just as heroic as the boys any day. Whenever she found herself in tough situations she used her wit and determination to get out of it and whenever she was at her lowest she found the inner strength to keep going. Moana isn’t a story about a princess falling in love with a prince but rather a young woman wanting to save the world and that is a powerful change to the narrative of girls in Disney movies.

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This film had plenty of laugh-out-loud moments, some fun action sequences, a couple of chill-inducing songs that are worth memorizing, but most importantly it was just a sweet movie. Dwayne Johnson as the buff demigod of the wind and sea, M’aui, did a marvelous job and Auli’i Cravalho brought a sparking personality to Moana that made me love her as soon as she appeared in the movie. Their companionship through the film was refreshingly non-romantic and very fun to watch and it showed that Disney is really evolving the picture of what we have come to expect in a Disney princess which is great.

My Conclusion of the Film

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Moana is a beautiful movie, no doubt about that, but after a while it does happen to lose that magic that Frozen was somehow able to find and contain through the entirety of the movie. The story for Moana was good but easily predictable, one of the songs was a little off putting, and it did dabble in the corny department near the end of the film, but it’s a lovely movie and if you happen to have little girls this is definitely the flick to show them.

I’m giving it 3.8 out of 5 stars and an 87 out of 100. The movie isn’t exactly bad but it lost what made it great during the looong back half of the film and that is a shame.

I thank you for reading and I hope you have a fantastic day.