I’ve have been watching “ I’m Just Ken” song from the Barbie movie a lot lately. Mostly for catharsis but the song is great and the scene is so much fun.
“I’m Just Ken” is a great example of a musical sequence that prioritizes emotion over technicals or “singing pretty.” Ryan Gosling is a competent singer but he is more focused on the feelings of the song rather than diction or other vocal techniques.
So now I want a movie musical with Ryan Gosling, Ewan McGregor and Adam Driver. All three are actors who can sing well enough but they also can tap into the emotions of a song. McGregor performance in Roxanne in Moulin Rouge is utterly heart-breaking. Adam Driver should be in more movies. He did sing in Marriage Story which again was more about the emotion than the technicals.
A Hunchback Musical?
Since this a hunchback niche blog, let’s just consider a Hunchback movie musical, which hasn’t happen in a live-action version yet.
Casting these actors for a musical Hunchback musical version is tricky because any of them could play Quasimodo, Frollo or Phoebus. Based on ages & vibe Gosling casted as Phoebus, Driver as Quasimodo and McGregor as Frollo. But you could switch the casting and might still work, like Driver as Frollo could work.
As long this musical movie is melodramatic with a lush production design and well-crafted songs and orchestration. I’d rather see a musical developed for a movie rather than adaptation of a stage show but also I doubt these three will ever be in a film together let alone a musical, it hardly matters.
I know there are other actors out there who are good singers that could fit the bill. Honestly Gosling, McGregor and Driver were the first ones I thought of for this musing.
I was so sad when I got the email back in April that Netflix was discontinuing the red envelopes. I still had the service for many reasons. So it’s bittersweet now that it’s over.
Around the time of Netflix’s announcement, I was getting DVDs of a show. I had to get the discs from Netflix because the show was removed from HBO’s (Max) online catalogue. Oddly I had an impulse to to watch it back in 2020 but due to very personal issues I didn’t feel like mentally I could handle watching the show then because I saw one weird/violent clip from season 2 and deemed it too much for me then but not in December 2022 when I was ready but it was taken off the site. Not sure why I’m being cagey about which show, it’s obvious. And to make it more obvious I only watched the first two seasons……
So basically around early summer I tried to rent the backlog of DVDs that had on my queue that had been sitting there for years. There wasn’t that many but I’m sad to say I didn’t get to all them I missed out on four movies but two are easy enough for me to stream, at least for now.
So here are my very brief thoughts on the last 6 DVDs (roughly) I got from Netflix. I’m not including one that is for another post, or the final DVD since I got that as one intended to keep or the single bonus disc I got which oddly I added super last minute. I am grateful that I even got a bonus disc since I saw on reddit that many people didn’t but I was hoping for more.
The Movies I watched…
Let me know if you have seen any of these titles…
The Sea is Watching – The was screenplay was based one written by Akira Kurosawa before he died. It’s a Japanese romance drama about two prostitutes who work at a brothel by the sea. Both ladies have very different attitudes and hopes about men and relationships. I did not love this movie but the ending did have some gorgeous and nearly poetic imagery so that is a plus.
Persepolis – A friend of mine recommended this one to me. It the movie is based on graphic novel. I really could beat myself up for not watching this one sooner because I loved this movie. The animation is stunning and the story is poignant and bittersweet.
Cleopatra (1934) – I watched this for costume reasons since Cleopatra’s costume in movie are so fabulously Art Deco. The story is pretty simplistic but the production is over-the-top and very theatrical.
The Well-Digger’s Daughter– This one was recommended via a comment I received in 2022. This movie shocked me. I have seen quite a few French movies set during WWI and I have never seen one that has a happy ending. I enjoyed this movie but I was ready for this movie to be depressing or at best have a bittersweet ending and it did not.
Princess Raccoon– Also known as Operetta Tanuki Goten. I can’t even recall how this movie got on my list. It was a type of movie that would have added randomly like decade ago though. But how did current me like it? This movie is beyond weird but very delightfully weird. It’s a very surreal musical with very symbolic approach to its visual style. It’s like an inscrutable dream. I throughly enjoyed it. I might just have a soft spot for overly theatrical stylized movies….. screw verisimilitude. I kid, verisimilitude has its place in cinema.
Ram-Leela – I used to enjoy Bollywood movies but the last few I tried to watch I quit mid-way through and Ram-Leela was no exception. I vastly disliked it. Listen, we all have a finite amount of time on this blue marble hurtling through space, so do not waste that time on movies that you do not even slightly enjoy. And owing to that one truth I turned off this movie and got it away from me. It was empowering!
Farewell sweet red envelopes. I will miss getting them and then ignoring them for months.
No Spoilers. (If you want a more in-depth spoiler review leave comments)
When this project was first announced in November 2021, it was promoted of satirical take on Hugo’s The Hunchback Notre Dame. This would have seemed novel to those unfamiliar with the 1999 parody of the novel, Quasimodo del Paris and thus an interesting take for an adaptation. When the first trailer dropped it seems like the project was Broken Lizard’s attempt to be Monty Python with a Hunchback named Quasi through in. It didn’t seem like a parody of novel or the character. And after watching the movie it still doesn’t.
Quasi Versus The Book
The first thing the movie tells you, is that you the viewer don’t know the story. You didn’t read the book. A bold assumption since most people have a basic bit of knowledge, even if from the Disney version.
The movie also sets the story in 13th century so it’s doubtful the viewer or anyone on the production read novel or went to the novel’s wiki page. The novel is set in 1482. So either they didn’t know that or the production was confused on how the dating system works. This movie sets the story in the 13th century or the 1200s.
Is this Movie REALLY a Parody?
Aside from Quasi, whose full name is Quasi Modo, having a hunchback is there anything within the movie that makes it a parody of the novel or any previous movie versions? Quasi mentions that he grew up in a bell-tower and there are bell related jokes. Are there any mentions to any characters from the book? No. It’s just the hunch and bells. Though there is a character named Claude who is Pope’s man but that is more incidental than anything.
Oddly the movie does have similarities with common with the Enchanted Tales version and The Magical Adventures of Quasimodo involving Quasi’s backstory.
A Style of Humor
As far of the humor goes, it’s subjective. If you like the Broken Lizard style of humor maybe you will like Quasi. There are some instances that were almost funny but not much landed. Brevity was needed. There is a lot about oysters. Like a lot lines of dialogue about oysters. Just so much about Oysters.
Is it an Actual Satire?
The satirical aspect is more about medieval power structures but the film does nothing interesting, clever or funny with it. There was little of that in the book especially since the King Louis was very hands-off with governing and only cared when he thought the mob was attacking Notre Dame. There is more in the book about the court system and it seems disingenuous to the character that Quasimodo would go into practice of torture as a profession. But remember no one read book, the prologue made that clear.
As far as parodies or satire go, Quasi misses the mark for being one for Hugo’s novel. It states that no one read the book as a a get out jail free card which doesn’t work. The novel has been retold so many times, even by Hugo himself, that no one really cares if a version is by the book or not. Saying lines like that just puts itself in opposition with viewer. At most, it’s referential to the novel since it a slight knowledge of it but really this version is a protracted comedy sketch.
If you are already a fan of Broken Lizard and you want something to watch, go for it. Most of the reviews say if you turn your brain off for 90 minutes it’s alright. Though they’re more entertaining movies if you want to shut your brain off.
If you have ever slightly enjoyed any Hunchback version in the past do not watch. It’s a hard pass. It’s only nominally a version of the story.
.5 out 10 Bells
Side note – This movie did make me curious about the history of oyster consumption, so I guess that is a point in it’s favor. Because Oysters! It’s still weird even after watching this movie.
Over the years there has been a few new adaptations announcements about Hunchback movies/series in development with the most recent announcement being the next to release on April 20th 2023.
Aside from one version, all announcements centered around an actor leading the project with the expressed casting themselves as playing Quasimodo.
Now this isn’t new, Lon Chaney (1923) and Patrick Timsit (1999) both more or less lead their respective projects. It does seem inevitable that Josh Gad will play Quasimodo in 2024 Disney Live-Action version and Kevin Heffernan with Quasimodo in the Broken Lizard version, Quasi. But the question is, Is this really a bad thing?
Quasimodo is a unique role for actors. One has to combine physicality with pathos which is more or less the dream combination for many actors. And one does not have to be “Leading Man Handsome.” In fact it works to an actor’s advantage not to be “that type” for a certain believability. Just think of the most “handsome” or “hottest” actor you can think of. Can you really imagine them playing Quasimodo? Maybe you can and maybe can’t.
So take an actor like Josh Gad, he does not have many lead roles. He is most known for voicing Olaf in Frozen, a side-character. A memorable side-character from very well loved movie but still not a starring role. In that same vein he also played LeFou in the live action version of Beauty and the Beast.
Now this is just an opinion but given that Gad is producing both the 2024 Hunchback remake and the Beauty and the Beast series, which follows LeFou and Gaston, my guess that he trying to make opportunities for himself within the system. He has already played LeFou and a Hunchback remake was inevitable given the Disney film making landscape right now. Coupled with the allure of playing a role like Quasimodo which was more or less up for grabs given a chance. A chance that he may not have gotten had he not jump at producing the project outright.
So is it a bad thing for actors to create projects where they can cast themselves in the leading role? It defiantly speaks to a self-serving privilege BUT I don’t think it bad. Given that seven announced Hunchback projects that were actor-lead that have been announced since 2010 and only two of them have release dates, it doesn’t mean that said actor who leading the project will even get to play the role. The other projects may have fizzled out or be stuck in-development-hell.
So while Gad wasn’t high on my casting picks for Quasimodo he may bring an earnest to the role that the Disney animated version possessed.
(disclaimer – This came out before IX even had a name so that date this theory/prediction and yet it still could happen if the story group wants it to happen since there was no plan and backstories change all the time in regards to the sequel trilogy)
Today I got a theory/prediction for Star Wars episode IX because everyone else does. I’m posting it here because I don’t have a reddit account and 4chan scares me so here we are.
For the record, I, 110% totally believe this will totally happen in episode IX***
This theory deals with the reveal of Finn’s father and it’s not Lando. Clearly the sequel trilogy is having Finn follow Darby’s characterization from Space Janitors. For those of you who don’t know what Space Janitors is, I feel so bad for you. Go watch it. Or don’t, live your life, doesn’t matter. It’s all good.
Space Janitors was a web show that had three seasons, they are all on youtube. It was about Janitors working for the empire who work on a death star like space station. Darby, the main character, wants nothing more than to be a type of person who the rebels would want to fire at, IE he is so low in the ranks the rebel ignore him.
Warning spoilers ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………at the end of the first season Darby learns the truth of his linage, in that he is the son of a high ranking rebel leader and his DNA code was change to protect him making him look human. In the third season Darby and his friends defect to to the rebels.
An imperial janitor who defects to the rebels???? The sequel trilogy clearly copied this, just like the copied stuff from Space Balls in Last Jedi.
It will be revealed in Episode IX, that Finn is actually like Darby, an ectomorph, or an Alien whose DNA has been changed to make them look human.
In Episode IX this was done by the First Order to adhere to conformity. This is why there are no Aliens in the First Order except for Snoke because he needed to feel special. Finn’s father was a head of Resistance and thus he wasn’t lying when he said he was a big deal in the resistance. It’s too perfect not to happen.
Who is Finn’s father? Watch Space Janitors, I don’t want to spoiler everything. Darby’s father is analogous to an awesome character in Star Wars and that is who Finn’s father truly is.
***No I don’t this will happen, this is a joke. Please do not take this seriously. Although Space Janitors is quite good, watch that instead of Episode IX.
Also Episode IX didn’t disprove this theory either since Finn has been given no backstory other than as a former storm trooper.
Seeing as last week we got an announcement that Disney is remaking The Hunchback of Notre Dame as part of their live action remake movie trend, I thought it would be a good time to do a check on all the differen versions of Hunchback that have been announced in recent memory.
Now in my tenure of running this blog, counting the new Disney/Josh Gad version there has been SIX “new” versions that have been announced and nothing has gotten made as of yet.
The first one was the Josh Brolin version. This was to be a “jazzy” version with Zhang Yimou slated to direct. Now Brolin has been on and off with this one since like 2011. Back in May 2018 he said he was still trying with this version but a New York Times article back in June of 2018 used the word “jazzy” in reference to Brolin’s Hunchback. But who knows? I’m not holding my breath for this version.
Then we have the Max Ryan version which was to be directed by Chuck Russell. This one I believe was announced in 2014 with the news of Russell directing being announced in 2015. I think had a 2018 release date. But in so far nothing has come out about it.
This version actually has a bit of a history since in was based on script from 2007 that had a cast mentioned with it. Most noticeably Monica Cruz as Esmeralda and John Rhys-Davies as Frollo. This is also the version with character called “Figment.” Which I think for a while was on the IMBD page. You can read more for a bit of a summary of that 2007 concept here. Because it’s very weird Anyway still no news on this version.
Then there is the lesser known Peter Chernin version. This was one was announced in 2015 as an Esmeralda POV movie. The idea was originally announced in 2013 a idea for Once Upon a Time. There has been no news of this version since 2015.
Then we have the Charles Dance and Peter Dinklage TV collab. This news was reported back in October 2017. So it’s still fairly new and there was a report back in May 2018 that mentioned the project. So I assume it’s still in the works.
Also back in May of 2018, Idris Elba announced he was going to take on a Hunchback version for Netflix. This was the most recent project till last week. Again not a big deal that we haven’t gotten any follow-ups yet, it’s still pretty new.
That brings us to the Live-action remake with Josh Gad. I looked at Gad’s twitter and he has two posts (at the time I looked at his feed) that hinted Hunchback. One of him reading the Disney version’s art book and one him outside of Notre Dame with text that said “Bells bells bells” etc.
I do find a little interesting since Gad was already in a Live action Disney remake as Le Fou and he voices Olaf that maybe this version is a bit of a passion project. That Gad is the one who convinced Disney to do this and not the other way around. I could be wrong, I’m probably wrong. We will have to see.
So we have a race on our hands. Which Hunchback version will be the first to get released to a general audience? Or at least announces some casting news first? Only time will tell.
This is the exact reason I still have Google Alerts.
Disney announced today that Hunchback is the next film in their roaster to get a live-action remake. I have been waiting for this day for a long time.
Here is what is know so far. Josh Gad is produce the film. Just a quick note back in late 2015 I did a post which discussed a fan casting that appeared in my google alerts and Josh Gad was their pick for Quasimodo you can read it here
Now I couldn’t see this casting pick at the time but Gad is an actor so if he DOES follow suit like so many men who have played or have aspired to play Quasimodo to showcase their acting prowess and have a hand in the production, he might be fine in the role. Just a note, he may not play Quasimodo but there is a trend that men spearheading Hunchback versions do so to play the role, Gad may just want to produce, we will have to wait and see.
Another piece of information we have is they Tony- winning Playwright David Henry Hwang is writing the screenplay and the film will simply be called Hunchback. Like the 1997 version.
Hwang’s work include Chinglish, Yellow Face, Kung Fu, Golden Child,The Dance of the Railroad. He also has worked on Aida, Flower Drum Song, Disney’s Tarzan and M. Butterfly.
It would seem that the remake will take its cue from the 1996 movie and the book and not the stage production.
Also this version will be a musical with Menken and Schwartz heading the music. So that is good.
What do you think? Are you over the Disney live-action remake trend? Are you excited? Are you afraid Disney is going to ruin it? Thoughts and feelings welcome.
I’m just going to discuss Jasmine’s and Aladdin’s costumes. The costumes were designed by Michael Wilkinson. He has designed costumes for Sucker Punch, Twilight Breaking Dawn parts 1 & 2, 300 and American Hustle and Batman V Superman.
These costumes are bad. They don’t read as for a major movie with a budget. They look more in keeping with a Disney on Ice show. Let’s just talk about the lack of midriffs. I didn’t think I would miss such an element but the way Jasmine’s costume is cover with a flesh tone fabric over her midriff looks weird. Like she was in an ice show and needed to keep warm or if the actress was extremely modest. Or were they trying to go for a meld of cultural/historical authenticity? Because it would be weird for Disney to start now, with Jasmine’s midriff as a point of contention. It’s just a weird choice. I don’t get it and I hate it.
Also all the details is just more on more with just more. When it’s that much it starts to look cheap. Removing a few details would have help Jasmine’s costume. Like that gold thing down her bodice. What is that? Or the other gold edging on her bodice. Or those circle details that are on the nude part. I hate it.
Her jewelry is also so bad looking. I’m not even sure what the basis for the design was because it wasn’t Jasmine’s jewelry or existed jewelry from the Middle East or even India. It looks really modern to me. Like the got this from a Walmart and made a crown to match. I hate it.
Then there’s Aladdin’s costume and oh boy what is going on here? He’s in a pinstripe shirt with red vest. With striped pants and shoes. Also his pants have a little button at the cuff. What? Why? At least he has his fez. If he didn’t have his red fez I wouldn’t have know it was him. No scratch that, if it wasn’t for the fact that they said it was Aladdin I couldn’t have known it was the same character.
Maybe this is Aladdin’s costume later in the movie, after he meets the Genie and he gets a new outfit and shoes. I don’t know but hate it.
I will say that I don’t hate the textures of the fabrics, which is a weird thing to say but they look nice.
The costumes in Once Upon a Time for these characters were so much better. These one are just confused and tacky. I hate them.
It is bad that I hope maybe they will look better in the context of the movie? I mean they could. Here’s Hoping.
Instead of being mad that this remake seems content to enjoy its false advertising or some how trying to redefine ‘what is live action’ let’s justconsidered how this movie might incorporate the “live” aspect without anyone knowing so Disney can continues to capitalize on this trend.
Disclaimer – This post is meant as joke.
So stupid idea number, this movie DOES have “live action humans” in it. Like the story is actually a nature documentary and there are humans off in the background or foreground trying to get those iconic cinematic shots and making commentary, like the narration in the Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty remakes .
Also these humans can harp on those plot-holes that were in the original that people on the internet like to point out all the time. Like the logic of King’s impact onthe weather and ecology, Nala’s dad and the incest that it implies, though watch this remake address that Nala’s mother was taken in from some other pride so there is no incest. Don’t worry about it because Disney fixed it. Other plot-holes may include the elephant graveyard, Simba surviving on bugs (though Film Theory covered that ) and so on and so on. Disney will fix it, it will fix them all and create new ones but that will be the remake of the remake’s problem.
Or perhaps maybe one of the animals is a real Animal hidden amongst the CG animation. You will have to watch the movie 100 times to spot it. And it will be in the background and it will like a tiny lizard or something. Maybe one of the bugs Simba eats. Likes it’s a Metaphor for how CG is taking over. But only TRUE DIE HARD DISNEY fans will spot the “live” animal in this remake.
The reasons for these remakesexisting, besides more money, does seem to be pushing the computer animation tech (which people are bored with at this point) AND to correct plot-holes from the originals because imagination is hard and people need things explained more. Like with Beauty and the Beast and logic of a curse and a magical castle. So now they need it with CG Lions meet Hamlet.
I hope this movie does actually shoe-horn in humans or one real animal just for the word usage of “Disney Live Remakes” but I also can’t WAIT for how people in interviews will BS some reason for how it’s “Live” or why it doesn’t matter. Then again does Disney actually use the term “Live Action remakes?” Is this even a problem?
Ultimately I do not care, Disney needs its money and repackage nostalgia is a safe bet to get that money. Though if people really wanted Disney to stop with these movies collectively we need to stop paying attention and sending money on them but we won’t so here we are with four “live action remakes” coming out in 2019.