Monday, November 28, 2005
The Lion King vs. The Thomas Crown Affair
[Woken by Simba]
Sarabi: Your son is awake.
Mufasa: Before sunrise he's YOUR son.”
The Lion King opens with a wonderful scene of the various animals in the kingdom arriving to celebrate the birth of Simba, the Lion King’s son. Simba slowly grows up learning his place in the great Circle of Life. The main conflict in the story deals with Simba’s uncle Scar, who wishes to overthrow Mufasa to become the King. All pretty basic stuff here. We all have seen this flick so I don’t need to go to great details.
Since 2D animation is all but dead, this movie represents one of the last great traditionally animated films. I don’t think I’ve every met anyone who’s had a negative attitude about this movie. All of the voice talent here is solid, most of the songs really aren’t that bad (although this movie would be just as good without any of the songs), it contains a good mix of humor and dark/scary scenes for the kids…just all around good stuff.
- James Earl Jones as Mufasa
- The stampede!!
- Rafiki as a kung-fu monkey
- Cool iconography of the hyenas as Nazi’s
- In mid movie, Simba plops down on the ground and the dust and grass that rise up form the word ‘Sex’. Way to subvert the kiddies Disney! J
- Couldn’t they have written a line for Mufasa saying “No3, I am your father”? c’mon….
- Lion King doesn’t look as original as Disney’s claimed…check this out à http://www.kimbawlion.com/rant2.htm
Rob’s Take: Great movie that I’m not ashamed to admit I liked. The build up to the stampede and the dust settling after was really well done. That scene makes you truly believe directing animation is just as important as directing live action. The only negative would be the simplicity, there is absolutely no subterfuge. You know exactly who is good and who is bad, you just have to sit, watch it unfold, and wait for Simba to grow up. A lot of credit goes to making that wait enjoyable.
John: Tommy, that's a hundred thousand dollars on a goddam golf swing!
Thomas Crown: It's a beautiful Saturday morning, John... What the hell else have we gotta do?
The Thomas Crown Affair is one of those witty films that has these clever little twists and turns that everyone loves to try to piece together before the end. There are any number of these films out there but this one does it with style and flair. Pierce Bronsan plays the wealthy, (supposed) art thief, Thomas Crown, investigated by the elegant Rene Russo as insurance investigator Catherine Banning, and dogged by Dennis Leary as Detective Michael McCann. The film languishes a little as the characters are developed, but we are well served as this adds some needed depth that is all but left behind most movies of this nature. Just a note, this is a re-make, The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) starred Steve McQueen and featured a bank Heist, it was said to be innovative for its time with its use of splits screens and odd camera angles.
- Pierce Brosnan is perfectly cast as Thomas Crown
- Dennis Leary is adds his style to his minimal role
- Gotta love the execution on the heists, very well done
- This film takes itself a little to seriously.
- Slow in the middle (who the hell cares about character development anyway)
- A little unbelievable at times, but its all good fun
Jason’s take: This is a solid movie, but the last sequence in the museum is so cool, that it elevates this movie from good to fantastic! Solid acting all around.
Lion King is great, but i think Beauty & the Beast and Hunchback of Notre Dame are better.
I remember that Rene Russo (and her great haircut and color) made a big splash when this movie came out, proving that even "old" women can still ooze sex appeal. And Dennis Leary was great in what is most likely the deepest role of his career.
There are a few things that really bug me about this movie, though. There's one scene when Rene is downing a Pepsi One and does everything but look at the camera and say "ahhhh... nothing compares to an ice cold Pepsi". And WTF with the end? She's a strong, confident, take no prisoners kind of lady, yet she completely falls apart when she realizes she lost the guy, then is completed again when he shows up at the end. Blech.