FILM

Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend of May 24

Watch Will Smith degrade himself with blue body paint in Disney's "Aladdin."

Welcome back to "Now in Theaters: 5 New Movies for the Weekend."

This week, Will Smith degrades himself with blue body paint for our amusement.

WIDE RELEASE:

Booksmart

BOOKSMART Trailer (2019) Lisa Kudrow, Olivia Wild, Teen Movie www.youtube.com

Directed by Olivia Wilde and produced by Will Ferrell and Adam McKay, Booksmart looks like a Gen-Z version of Superbad. The movie follows two high school seniors, Amy and Molly, who decide that the eve of their graduation is the perfect time to make up for "wasting" their teenage years on studying and achieving good grades. Early reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and the movie looks raunchy, edgy, and representative. Booksmart is easily my pick of the week.

Aladdin

Disney's Aladdin Official Trailer - In Theaters May 24! www.youtube.com

Disney's latest live-action adaptation is here, and like all the live-action adaptations before it, Aladdin looks...okay, I guess. Honestly, it's hard for me to understand the appeal of all these live-action Disney adaptations. They're technically fine, but considering the fact that animation brought so much of the inherent charm and magic to the originals, these remakes seem doomed to always come up short. Take Genie, for example. Animated goofball Genie is fun and awesome. Partially-CGI-blue-body-paint-Will-Smith Genie is just unsettling.

Brightburn

BRIGHTBURN - Official Trailer #2 www.youtube.com

What if Superman...was evil? That's pretty much the premise behind Brightburn, a superhero horror movie produced by James Gunn and written by his brother and his cousin. I love the idea of a horror movie that subverts superhero archetypes, but at the same time, the trailer looks surprisingly dull considering the subject matter. Ultimately, this might be more of a generic spooky boy flick than anything truly groundbreaking.

LIMITED RELEASE:

Diamantino

Diamantino – Official Trailer www.youtube.com

A Portuguese-language, genre-bending political comedy that made waves at Cannes 2019 (ultimately taking home the Grand Prize during International Critics' Week), Diamantino looks absolutely absurd. The plot follows a disgraced soccer star who sets out on a journey to find a new purpose for his life. The movie seems to involve incredibly bizarre imagery, including futuristic technology, galactic landscapes, and puppy fever dreams. If you appreciate bizarre cinema and can find Diamantino playing near you, I'd highly recommend checking it out.

Isabelle

Isabelle | Official Trailer (HD) | Vertical Entertainment www.youtube.com

If you ever watched The OC and wondered what Adam Brody is doing now, here's your answer. Isabelle is one of those horror movies that seems designed solely to pad Netflix's Halloween offerings. We've seen the premise a bajillion times––a couple gets haunted by some generic ghost girl––and outside of Ringu, I don't think it's ever been done well. I don't know what audience this movie is geared towards, but if it happens to be you, just go watch Ringu again instead.

Film News

The 'Aladdin' Trailer Looks Surprisingly Good

Will Smith's Genie is still super goofy, though.

We didn't have especially high hopes for Disney's live–action 'Aladdin' movie after the initial reveals, but the new trailer might be good enough to turn things around.

ALADDIN Trailer 2 (2019) www.youtube.com


Let's be straight; Will Smith still looks silly as the Genie. His head looks grotesque atop a big, blue, CGI body, like a goofed up version of Dr. Manhattan who pretends to know about YouTube. But in Will Smith's defense, living up to a beloved cartoon embodiment of Robin Williams is a very tall order, and it's not his fault Disney decided to splotch his real head on there instead of making the Genie fully CGI.

All that being said, 'Aladdin' looks surprisingly good. The two leads, Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott, are dead ringers for Aladdin and Jasmine. Even more impressive, their singing voices sound ridiculously similar to their original counterparts (at least judging from the tiny clip of 'A Whole New World'). This makes us especially excited for the musical elements of the live-action version, which up until now seemed like a potential bust.

The rest of your favorite 'Aladdin' characters are all here too. Abu looks adorable, Carpet looks like a carpet, but Jafar looks way too handsome. Just look at this guy.

Jafar is supposed to be a gaunt, looming figure, the kind of guy who operates from the shadows. Marwan Kenzari is buff and attractive and not Jafar-esque.

Otherwise, we're looking forward to seeing what comes out of Agrabah next. 'Aladdin' will be in theaters May 24th, but before then you can watch the trailer above or check out this picture of Jafar's six-pack. Creepy.

pbs.twimg.com


Dan Kahan is a writer & screenwriter from Brooklyn, usually rocking a man bun. Find more at dankahanwriter.com



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Film News

"Aladdin" Trailer Is A Frustrating Reminder That Will Smith Is Not Truly Blue

90s kids everywhere had their trust so broken by the new trailer that we might as well go back in time and swallow Hot Wheels tires.

In 1992, Bill Clinton had just been elected as America's favorite stocky sax player, Michael Keaton was safeguarding the Batman franchise from the future ruin of George Clooney, and, most importantly, Disney released the original Aladdin.

Fast forward to 2019, however, and Bill Clinton keeps getting into shape to become the "First Gentleman" in the White House, Ben Affleck's Batman made George Clooney's look fine, and, as we all saw yesterday, Will Smith is too 3D to play Aladdin's favorite, blue life coach.

During Sunday's Grammys, Disney debuted the first full trailer for Guy Ritchie's live-action version of Aladdin, starring Mena Massoud as Aladdin, Naomi Scott as Jasmine, and Marwan Kenzari as Jafar. But it's Will Smith as a bloated, blue CGI Genie that's prompting fans to react as if human progress is a lie and this reality is an alternate ending to Aladdin after Jafar trapped us all in the lamp.

The breakdown of why we hate it:

1. He's just so blue

When the first teaser images of the film were released in October, people were put off by how much Will Smith-as-Genie resembled plain Will Smith. In response, the actor promised that the film would preserve the iconic face of the original character (voiced by the masterful Robin Williams) with CGI technology. So when Smith posted the full trailer on Sunday, he thought he'd made good on his word, "I told y'all I was gon' be Blue!! 🧞♂️ Y'all need to trust me more often! 😆 #aladdin."

But, in reality, that trust was so despondently broken by the new trailer that we might as well go back in time and swallow Hot Wheels tires.

2. Movement: Is Genie swol or exploding?

Even though he appears in only a few frames of the trailer, the jerky movements of Smith's Genie seem off. Part of the reason is how much extra work went into the CGI to make Smith appear as larger-than-life as his animated counterpart. As Slate's Sam Adams points out, the result is more bloated than godly.

3. Aladdin is set in the Middle East, topknots are Japanese, and Genie's hair doesn't exist anywhere

When the first stills of the movie showed Smith in Genie's human form, it wasn't just his lack of blue-ness that didn't look right. With a large hoop earring, bangles up and down his wrists, and a braided topknot perched on his head, the question is: how dare they? Even Smith's facial hair deviates from the Genie's pretty straight forward thin beard. One writer posted, "Will Smith's genie hair in the live-action #Aladdin is going to be a major source of anxiety for me in 2019."

But, as Cinemablend published Monday morning (after the roaring screams of the Internet had paused and we collectively buried our fond memories of 1992): "Wait, What Did You Think Will Smith's Live Action Genie Was Going to Look Like?" Simple: he's supposed to look as perfect as our imaginary friends but with Robin Williams' charisma.

Let this be a warning to Disney, who's taking a lot of risks this year with more live-action adaptations, from Dumbo to Lion King: they do so at their own peril. When Will Smith wasn't a blue Genie, we demanded a blue Genie, damnit! When Will Smith pretended to be a blue Genie, we were offended by this smurf imposter. All we want is our childhood perfectly crystallized in 2019's special effects so we can swallow it down like a nostalgia pill. Is that so much to ask?



Meg Hanson is a Brooklyn-based writer, teacher and jaywalker. Find Meg at her website and on Twitter @megsoyung.


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