How Aladdin Should Have Ended. Spoiler Alert: With Honesty & Accepting That Monarchy Isn’t About Merit.

With the upcoming live-action/CGI Aladdin remake coming to theaters tomorrow, one of our favorite YouTube channels, How It Should Have Ended, has decided to tackle the 1992 classic animated film—and already made a better movie than the remake, to be honest.

Firstly, Jamie Costa does a fantastic job capturing Robin Williams’ Genie and his pop culture references. I honestly love how these videos address little narrative “plot holes” but do so in a way that pretty much highlights that we need characters to make mistakes because otherwise there’s no conflict. After all, should Aladdin have been more careful about just leaving the lamp hanging around for anyone to find it? Absolutely.

But, it also says a lot about him that he wouldn’t. He’s a street rat who steals for survival; he doesn’t have any real concept of “property,” not to mention the Lamp is Genie’s home and isn’t just a default “thing” to Aladdin because he doesn’t view Genie as a tool or weapon, and therefore wouldn’t treat his home in such a way. Also, yes, if Aladdin revealed that he was a Prince via magic to Jasmine and the Sultan, I doubt anyone would have made a big deal about it because wealth via magic is just as legitimate as wealth by any other means.

I made my feelings about the remake clear in my review, but even watching this video made me feel more nostalgia for Aladdin that sitting through a two-hour live-action adaptation. We have really given Disney too much power to be able to pull at our nostalgia strings like puppets when it comes to these movies. Tim Burton’s Dumbo remake crashed and burned because the collective nostalgia for the big-eared elephant has waned since WWII.

While Aladdin is certainly no Dumbo, they both suffer from the same problem: being unnecessary. We literally have too much available content to be spending this much money on these movies, and I’m sure it’ll make all its money back and we’ll get live-action Pocahontas and Snow White real soon. God, I hope Mulan is good, because at least it seems like they’re making enough changes to the source material that it can actually be its own movie.

Oh well, we ain’t never had a money-grabbing friend like Disney.

(image: screengrab)

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Xavier Dolan Rightfully Points Out the Different Ways Critics Talk About Films Centered on Gay Couples

CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Xavier Dolan attends the

There’s a problem in the world of film criticism that I know I’ve fallen prey to when talking about films centered on gay couples or characters. We as a community tend to refer to them as “gay love stories” or “gay films.” I do it because it’s an easy route to convey to LGBTQ+ readers that queer love is being depicted, since it’s still a rarity; others might do it for similar reasons or because they view these films as being a separate sub-genre. Director Xavier Dolan has had enough of that categorization.

“This film is not gay; it’s life,” Dolan told the press, as reported by IndieWire. “We never talk about heterosexual films. ‘Oh, I saw this great heterosexual love story.’ For me, it’s not a story of homosexuality or gay love. Ultimately, I don’t think that the two protagonists are aware that it is gay love. It’s love.”

When I read this quote, I took a moment for self reflection. I’m always here for normalizing queer characters and relationships through cinema and presenting them as just being relationships, rather than adding a descriptor to separate them from “normal” stories; this is something many critics who are also interested in social justice advocate for. So why do I refer to films as being gay films or queer films if they center on a relationship between two characters of the same gender?

There are certain kinds of stories that are inherently queer, in my opinion. If a story centers on a gay youth’s coming of age, or focuses on the struggle for equal rights, I would say that narrative is inherently tied to the identity of the protagonist. But if, say, a film is just about two men or two women falling in love, that doesn’t automatically make it a “gay film.” It just means it’s a film and a love story that happens to involve protagonists who identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community.

Back in 2017, Disney raised all sorts of noise about an “exclusively gay moment” in Beauty and the Beast, in which LeFou dances with another man. That is exactly the kind of title we need to avoid. The moment wasn’t “gay”; it was just weird and pandering. Compare it to Star Trek Beyond, which featured the reveal that Sulu was gay. They didn’t term it an exclusively gay moment or imply it was a “gay film” now. They just presented a major character as gay and let the character speak for himself.

This is a problem for a lot of films that don’t necessarily fit into the trope box of being about cishet, white, able-bodied men. Films about women used to constantly be called “chick flicks” or were written off as being too niche for major audiences. Films centered on Black protagonists or protagonists of color were seen as similarly being “niche.” There is a tendency to other any film not centered on what is perceived as being the norm.

This is similar to how any film featuring a protagonist who’s not a white, cishet man is labeled “SJW propaganda,” but in a more palatable way. It still others and separates the films, which is the opposite of what needs to happen. Not every film centered on a marginalized protagonist means that the film is centered on their identity. Sometimes, the hero just is the hero without the politics of identity playing a role.

Dolan is right to call out the tendency to say films are “gay films” just because they feature gay protagonists. If we normalize films about all sorts of characters and love, it will continue the path of inclusion far more successfully than if we continue to separate films by defining them by their protagonists’ identities. Inclusion isn’t a one-size-fits-all sort of thing; it’s a process, and with voices pointing out what needs to happen for film to reach equality, we, as a community, can grow beyond labelling films and instead embrace all sorts of stories without having to other them.

(via IndieWire, image: Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)

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First Teaser for Star Trek: Picard Shows Us What Became of the Starfleet Admiral!

The first moody trailer for Star Trek: Picard is here, promising that the end is only the beginning. Sir Patrick Stewart is back as the former Starfleet admiral, who has retired. What brought him into a civilian life? What has defined his legacy? These are questions that surely will be answered in the upcoming series, which might be Star Trek’s most hotly anticipated property.

The teaser shows Picard working at a vineyard, as the voiceover says that, fifteen years before, he led “the greatest rescue armada in history.” However, the “unimaginable” happened, and the voiceover questions if it cost Picard his faith. Why did he leave Starfleet?

The most likely option is that this centers on the destruction of the Romulan homeworld that sent both Ambassador Spock and Romulan Nero hurtling back into the past to create a separate timeline that gave us a Chris Pine-faced Kirk. We’ve never seen what happened in the Prime Timeline following the destruction, and the Romulans were one of Picard’s greatest foes. What happens when your greatest enemies become the people you’re trying to protect?

The series has a great political potential, and I hope the show leans hard into that social justice element. Regardless, it’s going to be great to see Picard back in action as well as the promise of a future that we haven’t really explored yet. I’m ready to boldly go where no Trek has gone before with the Admiral.

(image: CBS)

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Review: I Would Watch Rocketman Every Day for the Rest of My Life, That’s How Good It Is

Taron Egerton in Rocketman

**Spoilers for Rocketman, which is also Elton John’s real life, so, you know.** 

I’m a lover of movies, and a lot of the time, I find something to love in a movie even if it might not be the best film out there, but lucky for me, there was no need for searching when it came to Rocketman. I just truly loved every moment of the musical telling of Elton John’s rise to fame, and his fall to drugs and alcohol, before becoming the man we know him to be today.

To be completely honest, I didn’t know this was going to, essentially, be a stage musical in film form. I thought it would be something closer to Bohemian Rhapsody—but, hopefully, better executed. So, color me shocked when the movie started and I instantly felt as if I was watching the story of Elton John’s life being played out on the Great White Way.

From the visionary mind of Dexter Fletcher, there is something about Rocketman that has you on the edge of your seat, squealing with delight. Or, if you’re like me, you also want to spend time hugging Elton John (Taron Egerton) by the end of the film. The way the music is interwoven into the story both pushes Elton through the years as well as gives the audience as many classics as possible while fitting perfectly into every aspect of his life. We even get a brief glimpse of “Candle In The Wind,” minus the lyrics!

Taking the performative nature that Elton John brought to the stage and expanding it into a magical world of floating musical numbers, spinning time-lapse pieces with multiple costume changes, and a beautiful sequence of “dates” between Elton John and John Reid (Richard Madden), something about Rocketman just leaves you with a sense of appreciation for everything that Elton John gave us.

Starting with his life as a young boy, the film shows us the loveless childhood that Elton seemingly had (with the exception of his grandmother, played by Gemma Jones, who is constantly there to support Elton, unlike his mother and father). Going through his life, it’s clear that, while he has support from his lyricist, Bernie Taupin (Jamie Bell), even Bernie will leave Elton to go his own way.

Through drugs, sex, and alcohol, Elton begins to lose himself and his talent to feel numb to the pain he feels at everyone leaving him in his own loneliness. But, eventually, Elton finds his way out and becomes the activist and performer we still know him to be today.

With the entire cast singing classic Elton John songs themselves, this is also one cast recording that I cannot wait to have and listen to on repeat. Maybe Rocketman is just a perfectly uplifting and wonderful movie for 2019? At least, that’s how I currently feel.

There’s a beautiful moment in the movie, when Elton is singing “Tiny Dancer,” that brings home the loneliness and isolation that would eventually lead to his drug addiction. Bernie, who lets Elton know that he loves him as a brother, still writes one of the best love songs of all time (“Your Song”), but then often leaves Elton alone to go off with women, and with that pain comes Elton’s sad reflection on himself.

I came out of that theater ready to defend Taron Egerton’s Oscar campaign because, to be completely honest, if Bohemian Rhapsody was seriously considered for Best Picture, then Rocketman should be a shoo-in. It’s a wildly fun, heartbreaking tale of Elton John’s career, and if I could, I would inject it into my veins and live in its visionary brilliance for the rest of my days.

Rocketman hits theaters this May 31st.

(image: Paramount)

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Things We Saw Today: So Long, Squirrel Girl! You Will Be Missed.

Squirrel Girl #45 cover

The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl is wrapping up, bringing an end to one of the most delightful, insightful, and surprising comics of recent years. The series was a gift, not least of all because it brought so many new readers–especially young women and girls–into the comics fold. The mailbag at the end of each issue was always a total joy, featuring stories of newborn fandom and pictures of kids dressed up in their Squirrel Girl finest. The series will be missed, but there’s a silver lining to this ending, and that’s that the series will be wrapped up on its own terms. This isn’t an abrupt cancellation, it’s a deliberate ending, and that’s what this character deserves.

Over at The AV Club, writer Ryan North, artist Derek Charm, colorist Rico Renzi, and editor Wil Moss discussed what they’ve loved most about working on the series. It’s a really sweet exit interview of sorts. They also have an exclusive preview of next month’s The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl #45.

What are your favorite Squirrel Girl memories?

  • An anti-groping app just launched in Japan. It lets users send a request for help to fellow train passengers and also activates a voice that yells “Stop it!” (in Japanese) at the attacker. This is a thing that should not be necessary, but I’m glad it exists. (via Jezebel)
  • Mike Schur has some answers to your burning Good Place questions going into season three! (via Rolling Stone)
  • This is all normal.

  • Hulu just announced a new animated show called The Bravest Knight, starring A Wrinkle in Time‘s Storm Reid and featuring an openly gay couple in major roles. (via EW)
  • The first teaser for the Back to the Future musical is here and it’s got major original trailer vibes. (via /Film)

What did you all see out there today?

(image: Marvel)

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New York City Finally Has Its Own Supervillain, Disrupting … Our Subway Rides?

Thanos as a supervillain, Iron Man as a New Yorker

Being a New Yorker and trying to get to work on time is hard enough, and now we have a “supervillain” who is making it his duty to disrupt our day-to-day activities. That is, his target is the MTA. For those who are not privy to the New York subway system, it is a mess. Essentially, you never know what time you’re going to get anywhere.

The train could stop just to stop or, in the case of our very first supervillain, it can stop because some monster is running around pulling emergency switches and making us all sit in a subway car for 3+ hours—an honest nightmare.

Here is my theory: It’s the Rat King come to rise up with his rodent-like minions. Under his command, the rats of New York City are forming into a human-like figure, sneaking to the emergency brakes and pulling them with their creepy tails and scattering before we can catch a glimpse of them—all under the Rat King’s watchful eye. Or, more likely, someone is mad about the MTA never being reliable, and this is their revenge. I like my Rat King theory better.

In actuality, this is terrible for a lot of reasons. Many of us rely solely on the MTA to get us to and from work, so if we don’t have the stability of what to expect (even with the normal delays we have come to know as a run-of-the-mill trip on the subway), then many can lose their jobs as part of the situation.

On top of that, when the train makes an emergency stop, it stops abruptly, jolting everyone forward and, if we’re not holding on to something, knocking us down. So if this Rat King/supervillain knocks me on the gross floor of the subway car, I will find him. I’ll become the Tony Stark of this situation.

As New Yorkers, though, many have begrudgingly began to make fun of this news because yes, it’s annoying and can be dangerous, but also, what? A man is just hiding in the subway tunnels and stopping train cars? Imagine this if this were an Avengers movie. Cap and Tony would laugh.

We must catch this villain because honestly, the MTA is bad enough as is.

(image: Marvel Entertainment/Photoshop)

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Some Tired-A$$ Country Fans Want to Boycott Wrangler for Partnering With Lil Nas X

Lil Nas X managed to turn a 2-minute song into a cultural phenomenon, a crossover hit, a successful music video, and a big FU to the insular country music industry that wanted to deny him a place on their charts. It’s a lot, but he is an Aries, so we shouldn’t have expected any less. Still, despite all the success, some country fans are, let’s just say, nettled about his recent partnership with Wrangler jeans.

Some commenters were not so happy about this collab, with one person saying, “Really? Supporting an artist that so clearly is mocking country music and the lifestyle it represents? Bad move Wrangler.”

Another said, “This makes me not want to buy wrangler jeans anymore tbh, the cowboy spirit is nothing to be made fun of.”

As the composer, Mr. X, said himself on Twitter:

Yes, for some, it is that deep.

This idea that Lil Nas X is trying to mock or dishonor the “cowboy spirit” or “country music” is so humorous to me because the song does nothing to mock being a cowboy. Yes, there are trap beats in the song, but have you listened to Florida Georgia Line? Just because there’s rap in it doesn’t mean it can’t be a country song.

The music critic Todd in the Shadows already touched on this on his video about the song and its Billy Ray Cyrus remix, but when it comes to modern country music, most of it doesn’t sound like what we’d call traditional country. It’s just a ridiculous music industry elitist mentality that has trickled down to some country fans. It’s just disappointing because (a) I like country music, and (b) I hate this mentality that country music can’t include Black country artists.

Now, do I think Lil Nas X is a country artist or that this is a “pure country song”? No. Do I care? No, because the song is good and the only people making good country music right now are women, and country radio doesn’t play them, so screw it.

Also, there’s nothing political about this choice. Country radio just had a huge crossover hit. The video came out a week ago, and it’s already at 59 million views. This is just a good business decision by Wrangler, doing with their jeans the same thing that Nike did with Colin Kaepernick. They’re trying to attract the Black/young/urban dollar because they know we will spend money on this kind of stuff, especially if it makes us feel like we’re making a point.

Now they get to make more money by upping the price of this “collection.” It’s pure capitalism, and there’s nothing more country than that.

(via The Root, image: Screengrab)

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Jacqueline Jossa likes cryptic post saying ‘there’s never an excuse to cheat’ following Dan Osborne drama

What does it all mean?

Jacqueline Jossa has liked a cryptic post saying ‘there’s never an excuse to cheat’ following even more drama with husband Dan Osborne.

Jacqueline Jossa

A few weeks ago Dan, 27, was forced to deny rumours he had been ‘cosying up’ to Love Island star Alexandra Cane.

Life coach Jay Shetty posted a video about cheating partners that former EastEnders actress Jac, 26, promptly liked.

The post read: ‘Leave a raised hands emoji if you believe there is never an excuse to cheat.

‘Whether you have been cheated on or you have cheated, know this. Someone cheating on you has NOTHING to do with you.

More: Sam Gowland slept with Love Island star just days after Chloe Ferry split 

Dan Osborne and Jacqueline Jossa

‘You are good enough. You are beautiful. You are valuable. Someone cheating on you is more of a reflection of themselves than you.

‘And for those who have cheated, know that your actions create doubt in others. So be careful with the people you commit to.

‘Make sure you know that you are truly ready to invest in a relationship. We all make mistakes, we are all imperfect, but let’s be thoughtful of the people around us.’

Back in March fitness fanatic Dan was said to have been ‘all over’ Alexandra at a Manchester night club.

Dan furiously denied anything happened and insisted they were ‘just mates’.

More: Sharon Osbourne blasts Brooklyn Beckham: ‘What does he do for a living’

View this post on Instagram

My babe. 🖤

A post shared by Jacqueline Osborne (@jacjossa) on

Speaking of the drama surrounding his marriage, Dan told new magazine: ‘I feel like I can’t take any more. Back in the day I made mistakes, yes, and I get harassed for it non-stop.

‘Now it’s happening again when I’ve done nothing wrong. It’s really getting to me. If it weren’t for the kids… I honestly don’t think I’d be here.’

Jacqueline and Dan have two daughters, Ella, four, and Mia, 10 months.

Dan also has a son Teddy, five, from a previous relationship with Megan Tomlin.

The post Jacqueline Jossa likes cryptic post saying ‘there’s never an excuse to cheat’ following Dan Osborne drama appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Sharon Osbourne blasts Brooklyn Beckham on Loose Women: ‘What does he do for a living?’

Ouch!

Sharon Osbourne has slammed poor Brooklyn Beckham, asking: ‘What does he do for a living?’

Sharon Osbourne

Shazza, 66, appeared on Loose Women today and was asked to give her opinion on celebrity news when Brooklyn’s name cropped up.

And the former X Factor judge wasn’t pulling any punches when it came to commenting on David and Victoria Beckham’s eldest child.

Host Andrea McClean asked Sharon about Brooklyn, 20, and his model girlfriend’s very public display of affection in Cannes recently.

‘What does he do for a living?’ Shazza fired back.

‘How does he go to all these bloody events? Does he have a job?’

More: Peter Andre and wife Emily look as in love as ever after Buckingham Palace trip

Brooklyn Beckham and Hana Cross

Andrea said the aspiring photographer, who quit college in New York last year and moved back to the UK, was a ‘model’.

‘For what?!’ a baffled Sharon went on.

The Talk host also came to the defence of Mel B when she was asked about Scary Spice’s recent revelation that she once slept with bandmate Geri Horner.

‘We don’t know the circumstances,’ she told the panel.

More: Fans beg Lauren Goodger to stop with the surgery 

Brooklyn Beckham and Hana Cross

‘If someone had done that to me and not told me, I think it would be [over], with me not giving my blessing to tell the story.

‘But maybe she did? We don’t know the circumstances.’

Brooklyn and girlfriend Hana confirmed their romance back in December, and haven’t been shy about parading their relationship in public ever since.

Posing on the red carpet in Cannes, the dapper duo put on a very touchy feely display in front of the cameras.

Brooklyn reportedly quit his prestigious photography course in New York, which cost $23,000 per term, because he was homesick.

The post Sharon Osbourne blasts Brooklyn Beckham on Loose Women: ‘What does he do for a living?’ appeared first on CelebsNow.

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Peter Andre and wife Emily look as in love as ever after Buckingham Palace trip

The couple were all suited and booted for the royal jaunt

Peter Andre and Emily MacDonagh

Peter Andre and his stunning wife Emily MacDonagh looked fabulous and smitten as ever as they were seen leaving the BBC Studios on Thursday.

Pete, 46, had earlier been at Buckingham Palace to present the Duke of Edinburgh gold award and Emily was there to support him.

Peter looked dapper in a sharp tartan suit and smart brown loafers while Emily, 29, was radiant in a figure-hugging mauve dress with frilly sleeves.

She teamed the classy look with plain heels and over-sized sunglasses.

Pete posted a picture of them both on Instagram with the caption: ‘What a lovely day at Buckingham Palace presenting the Duke Of Edinburgh gold awards to some very deserving people.’

The loved-up pair have been together for seven years and met when Emily was a medical student.

More: Geri Horner transforms into Ginger Spice as she shows off incredible transformation

They welcomed their first child Amelia in 2014 and their son Theo in 2016.

The pictures come as Pete’s dream of making it big in America may be under threat as Emily refuses to move.

Pete recently signed with a top US-based manager and has big plans to crack the States – but he may have to do it solo as Emily doesn’t want to uproot their kids.

Speaking to The Sun, she said: ‘I’m excited for Pete and I hope he’s getting work out there.

‘He is away on and off anyway with his job in the UK.

More: Fans beg Lauren Goodger to stop with the cosmetic surgery after she’s snapped looking unrecognisable 

‘Pete is very good, he always contacts us when he’s away. He is never away for more than a few days at a time.’

But when asked if she would move there permanently, Emily added: ‘No, we’ve got school age kids.’

Pete is in talks to do an American TV show, following in the footsteps of Mark Wright.

Speaking about his new mega manager, who also reps Piers Morgan, the Mysterious Girl singer said: ‘He’s done wonders for Piers on the shows in America.

‘He’s done jobs with Mark Wright, and all the gigs Mark’s done in America. So I really am in good hands.

‘We have actually talked about doing TV work so you know, it is one of the main focuses as well as film.’

Emily is also step-mum to Peter’s kids with his ex Katie Price – Junior, 13, and Princess, 11.

The post Peter Andre and wife Emily look as in love as ever after Buckingham Palace trip appeared first on CelebsNow.

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