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The Disney Movie Review

The Disney Movie Review takes a 360 degree look at recent Disney, Pixar, Marvel, and Lucasfilm movies to give a more complete look at what’s going on in the wonderful world of Disney. We dive into the news and rumors and tell our readers and listeners which movies are worth your time and money–and which ones aren’t.
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The Disney Movie Review is your source for news and reviews on Disney, Pixar, Marvel and Lucasfilm movies. If you love all-things Disney, you've found the place to geek out over Disney movies. Connect with us online on Facebook, follows us on Twitter @DSNYMovieReview, and at our website www.TheDisneyMovieReview.com.

Apr 14, 2019

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We finally know when we can binge Disney films to our heart's content. Mark it on your calendars - Nov. 12, 2019. We will never leave our couches again.

Investors were so excited they pushed Disney's stock to a record $129.85. It helps that the price is pretty manageable at $6.99/month or $69.99/year.

At launch, Disney plans to have 18 Pixar films, all the animated classics - including 13 classics that have previously been locked inside the Disney vault, all the Star Wars films, Marvel titles like Black Panther and Captain Marvel, more than 250-sum-odd hours of National Geographic programming, 100+ Disney Channel Original Movies and nine exclusive originals.

Not to mention all 30 seasons of The Simpsons--the exclusive streaming source. And that's just the tip of the iceberg.

The Rise of Skywalker

Disney treated us to our first look at Star Wars: Episode 9 - The Rise of Skywalker. It looks like Rey has definitely completed her training and it set to open up a whole can of force whoop a$$. What's more, the team at Lucasfilm gave the film a title that tells us we may not have gotten the full story of Rey's legacy in The Last Jedi.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=adzYW5DZoWs

Speaking of the Last Jedi, I know some of you are still mad at Lucasfilm. Heck, it's not my favorite movie. But, I do think we should give Lucasfilm head Kathleen Kennedy a chance to tell a complete story. Right now, we are only 8/9ths into a saga. If you hate episode 9, then feel free to burn you Star Wars flags in your mom's basement. Until then, realize that you can't judge a full saga by only a few episodes. 

The Lion King Full Trailer

Not a whole lot to say here that hasn't already been said. This trailer looks life-like and every single animator that worked on it deserves a raise.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7TavVZMewpY

Apr 8, 2019

This week Marvel broke the internet by putting Avengers: Endgame tickets on sale. It was a madhouse. We talk about our experiences and why Cameron hasn't bought tickets yet.

Then we dive into Disney's full slate for 2019. They added in the Fox films and will be dominating cinema this year.

Finally we dive into the controversy of the removal of certain strollers from Disney parks. Plus loose ice. And smoking, that's gone too.

Apr 1, 2019

Dumbo earned roughly $45 million in its opening weekend, which is about what we expected. Some of us loved it and some of us didn't, but none of us hated it. So they must have done something right. Listen to the full review where we break down the good, the bad and the ugly.

Check out the Dumbo tab on the Disney Movie Database website for more details on the movie.

Mar 25, 2019

This week Disney finalized the deal to buy Fox. We've mentioned Fox at least once in almost every episode for nearly a year, but now it is finally here. And the layoffs have already started. We dig into what Disney has already closed and why they might have done it. (For some of our more in-depth episode on the Fox merger check out episodes 157, 161, 189, 192 and 194)

Toy Story 4 got a new trailer this week, and we dive into that. And Avengers: EndGame directors Joe and Anthony Russo admitted to creating fake footage to put in their trailers.

Plus, we finally get a chance to talk about the changes to Annual Passes at Disney World and Disneyland. 

Mar 18, 2019
In a surprise move, Disney has agreed to rehire Jame Gunn to direct Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3. They also dropped a new trailer for 'Aladdin' and 'Avengers Endgame', but no ticket announcements yet.
 
Meanwhile Captain Marvel blew the lid off the competition and Kevin Feige talked about the future of the MCU with Fox in this interview. 
 
Oh and (in my best Woody voice), Disney's opening of Galaxy's Edge has been moved to today. Not really, but basically. That and the Fox deal that closes this week, all on episode 224.
Mar 11, 2019

This week Disney released the last Marvel film before Avengers: EndGame. It just also happened to be Marvel's first movie that was lead by a female super hero and they knocked it out of the park. Take a listen to our thoughts on the origin story for the most powerful character in the MCU.

Mar 4, 2019

Kristin takes the reins this week as we dive into the new details of Black Spire Outpost, the Star Wars inspired areas coming to Disneyland and Disney World this year. But first we talk about Disney's historic Oscar Wins and the one glaring loss. Plus Rotten Tomatoes is trying to fix the parts of its scoring system that have been hijacked by trolls. And we talk about the Fox lawsuit that could really affect Disney's future creative efforts.

Feb 25, 2019

This week we dive into Disney's decision to pull its ads from YouTube over concerns of Pedophilia. But first, we talk about the interview Alan Horn gave to the Hollywood Reporter. And we bring back FastFlicks, with music and everything!

Feb 18, 2019

A little over one week ago, Disney debuted the genie that will take center stage in the live-action version of Aladdin. The blue version of Will Smith definitely broke the internet, but probably not in the way Disney was hoping for. 

Before we get there, we talk a bit about Ron Miller, the former Disney CEO who recently passed away. Then we jump into Frozen 2 and talk about why the teaser was so epic. That and much, much more!

Feb 11, 2019

This week we dive into the new footage we got from the Super Bowl, Pixar's new PG-13 short called "Purl", and we talk about a professor's accusation that Mary Poppins is racist.

Also, we're experimenting with video. Check us out on YouTube at this link: https://youtu.be/LMPv9ALkyZ8

 

Feb 4, 2019

This week Disney and AMC have partnered to give free tickets to Black Panther's re-release on the big screen. This got us into a discussion on the most useless film in the MCU and how Avengers: Endgame might change that. Before we get there, we dive into Bob Iger's claim that 40 percent of Disney's upcoming slate will be led by female directors. Plus Ed reviews the After Hours Event at Magic Kingdom.

Jan 28, 2019

We missed you last week and are happy to be back! A Disney film has (finally) been nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars, but all signs point to a loss. Plus Lee Unkrich is leaving Pixar after 25 years of making magic. And Kevin Feige uncharacteristically revealed a "spoiler" for Avengers: End Game.

Jan 14, 2019

Captain Marvel tickets are now on sale and they are going really, really fast. Unfortunately, Marvel's success is being overshadowed by John Lasseter, who recently got a new job as the head of Skydance Animation. We talk about what that means for Skydance and Disney.

Meanwhile, Bob Iger didn't do himself any favors with the fans by criticizing "nondescript coasters" in India. That and much, much more. For the week of Jan 14, this is episode 216 of The Disney Movie Review. 

Jan 7, 2019

Disney closed out the year in style, posting a domestic record at the box office. Meanwhile it looks like Emily Blunt is only earning half of what Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson is making for Jungle Cruise. And Netflix is making a lot of Disney fans very angry for leaving the Asian-American stars out of Mulan. That and much more for the week of Jan 7, 2019, this is episode 215.

Dec 31, 2018

This week we break down the year that was 2018. It was the second time Disney broke the $7 Billion mark at the box office, but do the movies live up to the hype? We give you the good and not-so-good parts of all the Disney movies from 2018.

Dec 24, 2018

This Week Emily Blunt did her best Mary Poppins impression for Disney's long-awaited sequel, Mary Poppins Returns. We review the music, the acting, the story and much, much more. Unfortunately, we had to shift our normal schedule this week, so Kristin couldn't make it. But we were lucky to get Stan Solo of the Grand Circle Tour podcast on the show. It's a fun discussion and I hope you enjoy it.

Dec 24, 2018

This Week Emily Blunt did her best Mary Poppins impression for Disney's long-awaited sequel, Mary Poppins Returns. We review the music, the acting, the story and much, much more. Unfortunately, we had to shift our normal schedule this week, so Kristin couldn't make it. But we were lucky to get Stan Solo of the Grand Circle Tour podcast on the show. It's a fun discussion and I hope you enjoy it.

Dec 17, 2018

It looks like Disney has shut down for year, because we had virtually no movie news coming out of the studios. But when has that ever stopped us before?

This week we make predictions on what movie will be the biggest in 2019, talk about Pixars newest film and we launch a contest where you could win the soundtrack to Mary Poppins Returns.

Dec 10, 2018

We dive into the Avengers: Endgame trailer to dissect all the hints and clues we got. And we speculate about what this title means for the MCU. And Black Panther is on the path to being nominated for Best Movie of the Year at the Academy Awards

Dec 3, 2018

With any luck, we'll have a trailer for Avengers by the time you read this. But as of 1:46pm ET on Sunday afternoon, said trailer has not arrived. So this week we dive into the Artemis Fowl teaser and ask whether Disney can make a successful young adult movie. Then we examine Fox's attempt to make Deadpool PG-13 in Once Upon a Deadpool and why the debate over the the "live-action" version of "The Lion King" is far from silly. Plus, will you still subscribe to Disney Plus if it has ads? Cause it will probably have ads.

That and much, much more. For the week of December 3, this is episode 210 of The Disney Movie Review

Nov 26, 2018

Six years ago we left the world of Wreck-It Ralph, humming along with owl city and asking "When can we do this again?" This weekend we finally got to go back to the world of Wreck-It Ralph and it didn't disappoint. Ralph Breaks the Internet is one of Disney Animation's funniest films in recent memory and a worthy sequel to one of their best films.

Nov 26, 2018

Apparently Disney released a Teaser

Nov 19, 2018

This week we talk about the legacy of Stan Lee and how he impacted the lives of millions of fans around the world. Then we dive into those two Toy Story 4 teasers as well as the emotional Dumbo trailer. Finally, Bob Iger gave us more details on Disney's plans for Hulu so we go into that as well. That and much more. For the week of November 19, this is episode 208 of The Disney Movie Review.

Nov 13, 2018

Spoilers Ahead: I'm not even gonna try to keep this spoiler-free. You've been warned.

I've sat through some truly awful movies since I started this blog. I've watched movies so terrible that I've begged God to grant me the strength to make it to the end credits while simultaneously writing an email to Bob Iger demanding a refund. Star Wars: The Last Jedi is not one of those movies.

Right now, fans are overreacting. As I write this, Star Wars: The Last Jedi has the lowest fan rating of any Star Wars film on Rotten Tomatoes. With a 56 percent, it beat the record of Atack of the Clones by one point. I've seen several Star Wars fans say that this film makes the prequels look good, which is possibly the worst insult a Star Wars film could receive. I think many of these fans would benefit from watching a truly terrible movie like The Good Dinosaur or The Lone Ranger.

The Last Jedi is not the worst Star Wars film ever made, but it is incredibly lazy.

The Lazy Jedi 

Those that like The Last Jedi praise writer and director Rian Johnson for taking a visionary look at the world of Star Wars. They write articles with headlines like "The Last Jedi Doesn't Care What You Think About Star Wars." Johnson burns down what we know about Star Wars by killing off Snoke, having Rey's parents be no names (which I still don't believe), and refusing to conform to the Star Wars you know and love.

There is genius in that strategy, but Johnson executes it in the laziest possible way. He doesn't just gloss over the explanations for characters from Episode 7. He obliterates the backstory for any character he introduces. The man with the Red Plume plays a central role in the story until he is deemed insignificant. How great would it have been in the man in the red plume only turned out to be the bodyguard for the woman beside him who was the real codebreaker? A move like that would take imagination and several revisions of the script. Or, you could be lazy and just write the characters into a prison cell with a person who has the exact skills they are looking for.

Or consider one of the crucial scenes when the rebel escape pods are leaving their doomed cruiser. An inventive script would have allowed the resistance to have an elaborate plan in the face of the First Order's ability to track escape pods. A lazy script would have a line of dialogue that shows the resistance "can't track" the escape pods for some nonsense reason.

Johnson didn't have the answers fans were looking for from Episode 7, but he also didn't have the answers we were looking for from Episode 8. How was Leia able to somehow revive herself in space and force fly back to the ship? What happened to the man in the Plume? If the Jedi order is over, why does Luke call Rey a Jedi? If you literally have a Jedi mater burn down the ancient texts of the Jedi order to start something new, why would you put those old texts on the Millenium Falcon to restart the Jedi order? How did Rose's ship not explode when she crashed full force into Finn? How are some people (like the kid at the end) able to use the force without any training while Luke, Anakin and everyone before them needed training to use the force? These are the questions a good script can answer, but The Last Jedi is a lazy script.

A Flawed Hero

Despite its faults -- and there are many -- The Last Jedi does have many good qualities that I feel fans are missing. The idea that Luke Skywalker still struggled as a leader after Return of the Jedi was refreshing and inspiring. An imperfect Luke Skywalker is much easier to relate to than an all-powerful Jedi. Yoda's rebuke of Luke's failure to pass on his failures to those he taught hit exactly the right tone. This was more impactful since Yoda was the one who pressed the button to burn the ancient texts. It was the past telling the present to let go so the future can have its time.

There are several messages that the film tries to get across and sometimes it is incredibly successful. For example, Poe's lesson in leadership was heavy handed in the script, but it was still impactful. Sometimes there are situations you can't blast your way out of and if Poe is to become the leader of the new resistance -- hint: he will -- he has a lot to learn. It's as if Johnson was speaking directly to my generation as we begin to assume more leadership roles at work and in the community.

Not My Father's Star Wars

Perhaps the most important question that The Last Jedi raises is how far a franchise can go before it betrays itself. That is, how far can a movie bend or break the rules of a franchise before it becomes unrecognizable to the fans who loved it in the first place? Johnson attempts to answer this question by revealing the parentage of Rey.

For decades, Star Wars fans have known that the force runs in families. If Rey's parents are nobodies, how is she so powerful with the force? Johnson doesn't provide Rey with a simple line of dialogue that might help explain her abilities. Even Luke used to bullseye 2-meter wide womp rats in his T-16 back home before he used the force on the Death Star. Anakin was a pod racer before he became one of the greatest pilots in the rebellion. No matter how much raw ability you have, you will need training--whether professional or amateur--to compete at an all-star level. That's not just the way Star Wars works. That's the way life works.

Johnson wants to do away with that notion and that is part of the reasons fans are rejecting it. This isn't my father's star wars, but it's not even my Star Wars. It just doesn't make sense. Johnson is telling fans "Everyone is special," which is another way of saying no one is. In a galaxy like Star Wars, it's easier to write a world where everyone has a mastery of the force. Then you can explain away any unfortunate happening. Consider how Johnson has set up who is the most powerful with the force:

  1. Leia - apparently so powerful with the force that she is immortal.
  2. Rey - a Hall of Fame caliber Jedi with no training.
  3. Kylo Ren - a whiny, unstable dark lord of the sith.
  4. Supreme Leader Snoke - an overrated Sith
  5. Yoda - An incredibly wise Jedi but not powerful enough to be immortal or stop the rise of the Sith.
  6. Luke Skywalker - A flawed has-been from 30 years ago who was defeated by his apprentice Ben Solo (later Kylo Ren).
  7. Everyone in the galaxy - Because "everyone" is special.

If the list above were College Football rankings, Luke Skywalker wouldn't even make the playoffs. That is a huge rebuke of Star Wars as a franchise.

In my Star Wars, the Jedi are the most powerful with the force, but in Johnson's Star Wars the top two spots are not occupied by Jedi. In my Star Wars, Supreme Leader Snoke's mastery of the force would create a problem for even the most experienced Jedi, but in Johnson's Star Wars he can be dispatched before half the movie is over. My Star Wars is set a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. Johnson's Star Wars has Luke flip that dirt off his shoulders like Jay-Z. I wouldn't be surprised if he had him drop a mic.

Where Do We Go From Here?

Disney is kind of in a perilous place at the moment. They let Johnson have his take on the franchise without really letting him go so far that it can't be reeled back in. Will JJ Abrams follow his lead with Episode 9, or will we see something more conventional? My hunch is that Disney will play it safe. They want people to like Star Wars. They want people to come to Star Wars land in 2019 and stay in the $1,000 per night hotel. Too many films like The Last Jedi and the most hard-core fans may just stay home from the movies and the parks.

Fans have a much easier choice. Abrams will have plenty of room to tell a story as if The Last Jedi never happened. If he chooses to ignore the film, fans will have the right to do the same. If Abrams makes The Last Jedi crucial to Episode 9, fans will have to decide whether they identify enough with this new Star Wars to call themselves fans. For me, that is up in the air right now.

I don't need an explanation for everything, but I want the series I follow to make sense. I'm fine with some people being extremely special or even a lot of people being special, but I'll probably lose interest if Star Wars tries to convince me everyone is special. Because then no one is special. That's not Star Wars, it's just lazy.

Final Rating: 7.5/10

Nov 12, 2018

Which Disney movie had the best music this year? Which trailer left us wanting more? Who was the best director? Actor? Actress? And which film is the best Disney movie of the year?

We'll tell you this week on The Disney Movie Review.

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