my TLK'19 viewing party and review

my TLK'19 viewing party and review

Postby Gaze » July 28th, 2019, 5:09 pm

hey all, I'm super late to the party here, but wanted to finally drop in to share my thoughts. I'm making my own thread as I didn't want to clog someone else's with the excessive amount of words and pictures. please enjoy my TLK 2019 Premiere Party Trip Report

it was a small gathering consisting of my partner, our bff, our roommate, and two of my dearest furry friends from out of town. for the pregame party I gathered up some Party City decor and readied the living room coffee table, complete with organic Cheddar Lions and some Cheetos Paws to stay on-theme. 2019 realistic Build-a-Bear Simba, 90s cub Simba, and off-brand cartoony lion plush from the Goodwill bins all set aside their differences and stood watch over the snacks and TLK VHS tapes that awaited my lucky guests.

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the themed refreshments didn't stop there, though. for ultimate pre-gaming I thought it necessary to mix up some themed cocktails. on the left: the "Circle of Life", aka the "Pridelands Sunrise" (I couldn't settle on a name), a tropical pineapple brew. center: the "Be Prepared", an extremely sweet green apple and lime concoction. and on the right, a terrible low quality photo of dessert - some homemade dirt cups, because insect themed food clearly had to be part of the spread.

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the party was a little late getting started due to a late Greyhound bus and we only had time to watch the TLK VHS - SP had to wait til the next day. for the main course we ordered some pizzas but there was some sort of dilemma where they still hadn't arrived past the time they were supposed to and a call to the restaurant informed us they were on the way and would be there in like ten seconds. but they did not arrive in time!!! so I had to leave a note on the door telling the delivery driver that we had to leave to see The Lion King 2019 and that I didn't mind at all if they would just leave the pizzas on the doorstep. lol

as soon as we got to the theater and sidled up to the snack bar, the large quantity of Lion King Themed Cocktails in my system quickly encouraged me to waste money on whatever TLK cash grabs were available. I enjoyed a "Matata Shake" (chocolate and banana) while my less fortunate friend went for the "Hakuna" option (mango and vanilla). I loudly complained to my gf about the cost of the tin TLK themed popcorn bucket ($12), prompting a smiling employee to tell me that the purchase would include a free popcorn refill. apparently that was enough to immediately sway me. I didn't finish the popcorn or get the refill. LOL. my roommate found one last Funko Ed plush available among the merchandise and I excitedly bought him too.

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all our movie viewing companions, ready to see the film (guest starring: my roommate)

and so, all of us, plus the WDW Sarabi beanie, purring Kovu plush, 90s cub Nala, Funko Ed, plush version of the cat goddess Bast, and $12 TLK popcorn tin headed into the theater. the sheer joy of sitting in the soft reclining seats with so many friends, snacks, plushes, and shots of liquor coursing through my system was truly divine.

as questionable as the movie looks, I loved seeing the trailer for the upcoming CATS movie in the theater. TLK and CATS are two of my favorite media properties since childhood and it's cool to see fresh stuff being attempted with both of them.

so, my review of the movie!! overall: I liked it way more than I thought I would. I very sincerely clapped at the end along with many others in my theater, LOL. I'm hoping to go see it again ASAP because I'm not sure how much of my opinion about the film was swayed by the general merriment of the day and the TLK Themed Cocktails. maybe on the second viewing the things I didn't like will pop out to me more. who knows! but for now, here are my impressions:

POSITIVE:
  • as I'd thought might be the case, reports of the movie being a completely shot-for-shot remake were not true. loved the additional scene of Nala leaving the Pridelands. I appreciated the subtle but effective changes. Scar's desire for Sarabi added more dimension to his rivalry with Mufasa, and the implication seemed to be that he got his scar from a fight with Mufasa over this. those little touches made the movie a lot more interesting.
  • THE MUSIC! it wouldn't be the same without Zimmer and Lebo M and I'm really glad they were involved. thought the Beyonce song was really good and fitting with the scene.
  • the lack of color and emotion was not nearly as big an issue as I expected. I think some of the scenes look weird out of context, but once you're watching the whole film and are immersed in its world, it works pretty well. the facial expressions etc are super subtle but not totally nonexistent.
  • Timon and Pumbaa were funnier in this than the original IMHO. I was worried they'd have too much annoying dialogue attempting to appeal to a 'modern' sense of humor, but the only thing I thought was irritating was the prolonged "I can't" joke.
  • in general, I laughed aloud much more than I expected to.
  • loved the hyenas
  • the additional/changed dialogue in the Mufasa's ghost scene really effectively increased the emotion

NEUTRAL:
  • I thought it might be a possibility that this version of TLK would get rid of the Pumbaa farting gags in an effort to take on a more serious tone, and I was kind of hoping for that. I don't think they went overboard with it, though. didn't take away from the movie very much if at all, but it would've been interesting if Pumbaa and/or Timon were given more interesting backstories instead
  • the extended sequence of Simba's fur flying towards Rafiki. idk how I feel about that. I think I would have preferred if that extra time was used to give more spotlight to Rafiki himself. maybe a more in-depth sequence of him doing a spell/ritual to determine whether the hair belonged to Simba?

NEGATIVE:
  • I can't help but feel sad at all the MISSED OPPORTUNITIES! so many chances to expand upon characters, emotions, and themes, that weren't taken to the fullest possibilities. Sarabi deserved more screen time. I want to see more of what it was like for her to deal with the deaths of her husband and son. a closer look into Simba's mind as he represses his trauma over the years. more insight into Scar and Mufasa's damaged relationship. I really think the creators could have gotten away with making this movie even longer and going all out on the lore/backstories/etc
  • I wasn't a big fan of the Be Prepared sequence, which ties into my point above. it seemed like Scar was able to convince the hyenas of his plan a little too quickly, considering that the 2019 version of Shenzi is a stronger and more serious character who wouldn't just let Scar take control of her pack at the drop of a hat. I think it would have been cool to see more development in the alliance between them, even just a little bit.
  • Rafiki is probably my favorite character from the original, and I think in this version he had a lot of his personality and charm erased.
  • they held back too much on the visuals for the Mufasa's Ghost sequence. I get that they were aiming for a more 'realistic' version, but I think if you're already making a movie about talking and singing animals capable of being visited by the spirits of dead royalty, you have room to get a little crazier in your visuals. I overall wish the focus had been more on making something visually exciting than something 'realistic', and this scene stands out to me as one that suffered the most because of that choice.
  • like I said, the subtle facial expressions did not make as much of a negative impact as I thought, but I do maintain that the movie would have benefited from more expressive characters. what confuses me the most is that it seems animalistic body language was hardly even used to its full potential. like, if cub Simba would have just flattened his ears in fear before his stern lecture from Mufasa, or after being banished by Scar....
so yeah, overall....I wish the film was longer and had deviated more from the original, but what we got is still a really entertaining and often beautiful movie that exceeded my expectations. after reading reviews and seeing certain clips, I was so worried it would be absolutely terrible that I was losing all excitement to even see the thing. but I ended up enjoying it the most out of everyone I saw it with, haha.

and to close this very long post: for those wondering, yes, the pizzas DID come while we were gone.

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Gaze
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Re: my TLK'19 viewing party and review

Postby SimbasGuard » July 28th, 2019, 9:11 pm

Glad to see your evening out went (for the most part) as planned. I'm glad you still got your Pizzas 8-)
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