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Review: Lion King in 3D

Some may say that this is a ploy to empty your pockets for the sake of nostalgia, only in 3D. I think it is more of an opportunity to introduce the children of today to the wonders of Disney’s past.

While we waited through the opening trailers, I remembered what had gone wrong with Disney. Showing soon was another movie about hamsters and yet another Air Buddies film for the incredibly long saga of sequels following Air Bud. This marks the fifth straight-to-DVD spin-off of that series.

So, to rewind back to the good ole days when Mufasa ruled Pride Rock on the silver screen, it was quite a treat. If any readers here want to feel especially old, you should know that The Lion King was the first movie I ever saw in theaters. It came out before I had turned one years old.

The Lion King, being one of my favorite movies, cannot fail but be good. I’m rather glad I hadn’t seen it in a while (years), so a lot of jokes returned fresh to me.  Just so you know, I will not recap the movie for you. Whether you like it or not, The Lion King is a must-see. I shan’t waste time recounting the plot. So, go watch it. Bonus points: if you’ve ever read/seen Hamlet, imagine that with lions and also a gassy warthog.

Watching it as an older human being, I realized a few things about the movie:

1.) Mufasa, while being such a great father figure, is sort of a jerk to his brother. I mean, imagine how much abuse Scar had to put up with before finally deciding to kill Mufasa? Also, at one point, he forces Zazu, his Tucan companion, to act as a target for Simba’s target practice. Now, I cry too every time Mufasa topples into the stampede of wildebeasts, but now at least I understand what embittered Scar so much. So, basically, even if you hate for me for saying this, Scar wasn’t so bad. Oppressed under his brother’s rule, the runt of the family, maybe his actions were at least understandable.

2.) The hyenas, portrayed as evil, comical minions to Scar, spoke with accents different from the rest of the cast (American or British). I read that this may be an underlying message of racism, to cast African Americans to voice the ignorant, evil characters.

3.) GASP! Sexual innuendos? Yeah, pretty much.

I’m glad, yet not glad The Lion King has been released in 3D. On one hand, it gives today’s children a chance to experience the movie as if it were only now coming out. With the avalanche of crap kids’ movies, this is a welcome revival.  Arriving in the theater, I was actually surprised that more children than teens my age had come to see the film.

The 3D was underused and horrible. The scenes “in 3D” were just pathetic. They could have marketed it as a normal movie and that would have been fine, but they insisted on 3D. So, basically, I had to pay an extra four dollars per ticket for lackluster 3D. I am obviously not a fan of 3D. In this aspect, the decision seemed simply to make more money on The Lion King‘s re-release.

If you have a child who has never seen the film before, I suggest you take them out to see it in theaters, to experience its full impact.

If you, like me, simply want to revisit your childhood, just pop in an old VHS, because it may not be worth the money.

What do you think about the film? Is it good to bring back old masterpieces to cinemas? Or is this just a ploy to pillage your purse?

The Lion King returns to theaters after being long dead. I guess, that’s the Circle of Life?

Media Travesty: {The Story of Troy Davis}

I have been thinking a lot about how we present media information, because Yahoo! happens to be my homepage. First, I thought about how we use headlines, but pondered on what news we tell.

On Tuesday, Troy Davis received the death penalty in Georgia, to die yesterday on Wednesday, September 21, 2011. He has now been executed. Before the trial ended, the defense’s case had all but fallen apart. Seven of the nine witnesses recanted or contradicted their testimonies, and one who didn’t was a man also convicted. Troy Davis received the death penalty for killing a police officer in 1989.

Now, this story began streaming on Yahoo! on Thursday morning, the day after he was put to death. The only reason I was kept up-to-date on the trial was because of Facebook. What bothers me is that the media doesn’t want to cover something until after the “thing” is over. What about yesterday when people were gathering outside of the prison? No news story for that? Instead, they put out stories about exorbitant muffins, Starbucks t-shirt designs, and houses built for cats.

What is less important about this trial than that of Casey Anthony? With so little evidence, the court still moved forward to execute this man. It was law, they said. It needed to be done, they said. I’m undecided on the innocence of Troy Davis, because I have not studied his case extensively. I do, however, believe his trial was handled with very little tact. The evidence fell apart. In the end, Davis was asked to “prove his innocence” rather than have the prosecution “prove his guilt” (something it could no longer do). This was a clear failure of our legal system.

Not only did we convict a man with little evidence against him, we killed him. We locked him in prison for 22 years, then killed him. As far as the death penalty goes, how can we even judge that other men can die? Simply: it’s cheaper. It’s cheaper to kill someone than keep them in prison. And so we twist arms and leap through loopholes, pushing men toward the execution chamber.

So, this post is affronting two things: the fairness of our legal system and the philosophy of media. Although the story was generally well-known, or even because it was, perhaps the story should have been featured in detail days ago, when first the spark began. When first Davis’ death sentence was being signed. I mean, there are people like me, not even born when this trial took place originally.

What are your thoughts on the Davis’ case? How do you think the court handled it?

Would You Read This?

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