Spoiler warning: I saw Lion King today. I’m going to reflect on it halfway through the post. If you’re planning to see it and have avoided all discussion/criticism of it to this point and don’t want my opinions coloring your view heading in, this is your heads up.
Whoops, forgot it was Sunday and I owed you an update post. That’s what vacation brain will do to you. I mentioned in the last couple posts how I am taking a mini vacation from work these next few days and with the heat it has been full blown lazy time. It’s our second wedding anniversary tomorrow. Last year we rented a tiny cabin in the Finger Lakes and did a bunch of winery tours. This year we decided to do a staycation.
It’s been pretty chill (metaphorically speaking, have I mentioned I’m melting?). I mentioned the tennis tournament we went to on Friday. That was a beautiful day. Yesterday spent most of the day inside trying to stay cool. He had homework to do for his online graduate class so he spent most of the day working on that. After I wrote my prompts, I spent the evening in the living room a/c playing Heavy Rain.
What a fantastic game. The story telling was phenomenal. I never suspected who the killer was up until the reveal. And the choices you had to make! There were so many intense scenes and much like when I watched the season three finale of Stranger Things I kept crying “I don’t like this!” Mostly because a lot of the pivotal sequences were quick time events, which I am terrible at. My reactions are not fast enough with the PS controller. But I managed to get the best possible endings for all the characters on the first playthrough so I’m happy with that.
Today was even hotter than yesterday so we decided to spend the early part of the afternoon at the movies. We went to see the “live action” Lion King because the 1994 classic was the very first movie I ever saw in theaters and I have seen it every time it’s been back in theaters. I was… less than satisfied with it. I avoided reading much of the early criticism, but I wasn’t entirely unaware of the issues. The biggest thing being that the CGI characters cannot carry the same emotional expressions as the animated characters.
While I agree with that sentiment, I would take it one step further. Despite stellar casting, the voice acting left much to be desired. Some dialogue was changed from the original, which was fine, and some things were added, which overall I liked, but the delivery fell flat from every character except Timon and Pumbaa (and I guess the unnamed Hyenas, who were likely based on Bonzai and Ed, too).
It was most jarring in Mufasa’s scenes. James Earl Jones reprised the role, but the same lines that were so powerful in the animated film carried no weight in this new version. It wasn’t even that the photo-realistic lions couldn’t emote the same way as the animated lions. It was all in the delivery. Had they reused the audio from the animated film, it wouldn’t have seemed odd.
The pacing was weird too. They extended scenes and added some new stuff, which lengthened the movie by a good twenty minutes, which also wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. As I said, I actually liked a lot of the little adds they put in. But when it came to pivotal scenes and character interactions, they rushed things.
Honestly it was the things they cut that made no sense to me. Most notably, when Simba faces his father’s spirit. The whole scene with Rafiki “knocking sense” into him is nonexistent. In the animated film, that was when Simba realized what he had to do and took the step forward (growth). In this one? There’s none of that emotional buildup and payoff. Mufasa tells him to remember. Simba groans that he can’t. Rafiki says “who are you?” and then Simba says “I’m Mufasa’s son” and turns home. Two seconds after saying he isn’t his father’s son. Bing bang boom. It didn’t feel earned.
I don’t regret seeing it, though I probably won’t watch it again. Cub Simba was the cutest and reminded me of my fur baby, Tony. And it was visually stunning. I had fun singing along to my favorite songs and I got out of the heat for a couple hours. Not the worst way to spend a hot afternoon.
And it was National Ice Cream Day! So of course we went and found some local ice cream afterwards. And then we took a leisurely drive and found a pull-off for a waterfall. It was a little bit of a hike, not too long or steep, but long enough without proper footwear or water in today’s heat. The whole thing took maybe 40 minutes and we cooled off under the trickle once we found it. It’s been pretty dry so I wasn’t surprised it wasn’t roaring. Maybe we’ll go check it out again after a good rain. And wear proper shoes next time!
Anyway, here are some prompts for the week!
291. If you had to do it all over again, how would you reinvent your life?
292. Do you like horror stories? What is the best one you have heard?
293. Is there one of the arts you just do not understand? Which one?
294. Describe one summer adventure from your childhood.
295. Write your own eulogy.
Those are some good ones! I might try my hand at another horror story for Tuesday’s prompt, channel my inner Stephen King again. Or maybe I’ll chicken out and just tell you about my favorite King stories.
That does it for me tonight. Can’t wait for the heat to break tomorrow so I can spend some of my vacation outside in the yard. At least, before the rain starts. And I guess I should figure out what we’re doing for our anniversary tomorrow, haha! Have a great night! I’ll see you then!
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