The Lion King (2019)

The Lion King
Director: Jon Favreau
Writer: Jeff Nathanson
Remake of: The Lion King
Cast: Donald Glover, Beyoncé, Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, John Kani, Alfre Woodard, JD McCrary, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Penny Johnson Jerald, Keegan-Michael Key, Eric André, Florence Kasumba, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner, Amy Sedaris, Chance the Rapper [I saw the German dub, though]
Seen on: 9.8.2019
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Plot:
Mufasa (James Earl Jones) rules the lions and the other animals in his valley. He has a son, Simba (JD McCrary), who is poised to inherit everything. But Mufasa’s brother Scar (Chiwetel Ejiofor) is plotting against both of them – and succeeds. And so, Simba finds himself exiled and what used to be his kingdom taken over. Will he find the courage to fight for his people?

The original Lion King was “my” Disney movie – probably my favorite, certainly a very formative one – it just hit me at exactly the right age. Given this fact and the fact that I find these remakes mostly unnecessary, I was pretty much decided to not watch this film at all. But then I had a cinema date with my nieces and they chose this film and I ended up seeing it anyway (and in German to boot, though since I knew all the songs and so on in German anyway, that’s not that much of a deal in this case). This is all to say, I went into the film with trepidation and I left it very impressed by the visuals.

The film poster showing Mufasa standing with small Simba on a rock as the sun sets.
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Us (2019)

Us
Director: Jordan Peele
Writer: Jordan Peele
Cast. Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Anna Diop, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon
Seen on: 26.3.2019
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Plot:
The Wilson family – Adelaide (Lupita Nyong’o), Gabe (Winston Duke) and their children Zora (Shahadi Wright Joseph) and Jason (Evan Alex) – are heading to a beach house for their vacation. There they meet their friends, the Tyler family (Elisabeth Moss, Tim Heidecker, Cali Sheldon, Noelle Sheldon). But instead of spending a relaxing time, Adelaide is reminded of the time she got lost at an amusement park when she was a child, when Jason wanders off himself. And then at night, when things seem to have calmed down a little, The Wilson family finds themselves facing another family that looks just like them, but isn’t in the slightest – and they have come to take their place.

Us really is a fantastic film. Both honestly scary and funny, it uses its talented cast to its full advantages and is definitely a worthy follow-up to Get Out for Peele.

The film poster showing Adelaid/Red (Lupita Nyong'o) with horrified eyes, tears streaking down her face, holding a mask of her own smiling face.
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