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Guy Ritchie
Will Smith, Mena Massoud, Naomi Scott
John August, Guy Ritchie

A kind-hearted street urchin and a power-hungry Grand Vizier vie for a magic lamp that has the power to make their deepest wishes come true.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio
French Dolby 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 128 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 9/10/2019

• “Aladdin’s Video Journal” Featurette
• “A Cinematic Genius” Featurette
• “A Friend Like Genie” Featurette
• Deleted Song
• Bloopers
• Deleted Scenes
• Music Videos
• Sneak Peeks
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
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-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Aladdin [Blu-Ray] (2019)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (September 4, 2019)

For the second of three theatrical remakes to come from Disney this year, we head to 2019’s Aladdin. As expected, it offers an update on the 1992 classic.

Set in the fictional kingdom of Agrabah, street urchin Aladdin (Mena Massoud) dreams of a more prosperous life. He works through a hand to mouth existence with only the friendship of his pet monkey Abu.

Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) acts as the advisor to the Sultan (Navid Negahban), but he craves greater power. Jafar believes a magical lamp resides in the Cave of Wonders, but only a pure of heart “diamond in the rough” can survive entry into this location.

Eventually Jafar realizes that Aladdin can do the job, and this sends our lead and Abu into the Cave. They find the lamp but the expedition goes awry and appears to trap them there.

At that point, Aladdin unleashes the lamp’s Genie (Will Smith) and gets three wishes. These lead Aladdin toward true love with Sultan’s daughter Princess Jasmine (Naomi Scott) as well as a battle against Jafar.

Though it takes a few liberties, the 2019 Aladdin holds pretty close to the source. It reworks some events – such as the nature of the Aladdin/Jasmine relationship – and makes the Princess a stronger personality.

The 2019 film also adds a few semi-prominent characters. In particular, Jasmine’s handmaiden Dalia (Nasim Pedrad) gets a fair amount of screen time, and Jasmine’s buffoonish suitor Prince Anders (Billy Magnussen) earns more space than any similar roles in the 1992 flick.

Nonetheless, don’t expect a lot of differences between the two, a fact that begs the inevitable question: what’s the point? Why remake a movie and stick so closely to the prior version?

As I suspect I’ll say for all these Disney reworkings, I know the answer equals “money, money, money”. Nonetheless, I’d still think the filmmakers would want to put their own stamp on things.

Like I noted, Aladdin 2019 doesn’t offer a shot-by-shot recreation of the source. With the new characters, it probably deviates from the original more than the 2017 Beauty and the Beast or 2019’s Lion King, though way less than 2019’s Dumbo.

Still, like Beast and Lion King, the 2019 Aladdin simply feels superfluous. It changes so little from its predecessor that it can’t find its own way.

Don’t expect much from the actors. All prove perfectly competent, but none can evoke much in the characters and add real life to them.

Except for Smith, that is. Going into the 2019 flick, he seemed the actor most likely to suffer from comparisons with his predecessor, as Robin Williams delivered a legendary take on Genie in 1992.

Back then, Williams essentially delivered a version of his comedic persona, and Smith also makes the Genie a riff on the “Will Smith character”. This means he delves into no new territory, but his natural charisma allows for the performance to work.

Smith becomes the best part of the movie, if just because he adds some much needed personality and charm. The movie's a tough slog until Genie arrives, and Smith immediately gives the film an infusion of energy.

Honestly, Aladdin offers a decent time at the movies, as on its own, it seems entertaining enough. It just doesn’t approach the heights of the original, so it suffers from these inevitable comparisons. Add to that its lack of originality and the remake feels semi-pointless to me – I’d rather just watch the 1992 version again.

The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio B+/ Bonus C

Aladdin appears in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a positive presentation.

Overall definition looked good. Virtually no softness materialized, so the film appeared accurate and concise.

I noticed no jagged edges or moiré effects, and edge haloes stayed absent. No print flaws cropped up either.

Aladdin offered a fair amount of amber and teal, though it included enough prominent reds and purples to break free from the trap implied by those dominant colors. The disc made the hues look solid.

Blacks were dark and deep, and low-light shots showed good clarity and smoothness. I felt pleased with this fine image.

Given its moderate action orientation, the film’s DTS-HD MA 7.1 opened up pretty well. Though the film didn’t include as many slam-bang set pieces as a typical action flick, it brought out some good sequences. When the track needed to expand during supernatural elements and the like, it used the full spectrum well.

Elements were properly placed and moved about the setting in a convincing way. The surrounds contributed a nice sense of space and involvement. Music depicted positive stereo imaging and the entire presentation offered a good feeling of environment.

Audio quality fared well. Speech was accurate and distinctive, without notable edginess or other issues. Music sounded full-blooded and rich, as the score was rendered nicely.

Effects showed good range and definition. They demonstrated solid low-end and were impressive across the board. Ultimately, this was a positive track.

Despite the movie’s success, the Blu-ray doesn’t come packed with extras, and we mainly focus on featurettes. Aladdin’s Video Journal runs 10 minutes, 39 seconds and includes footage shot by actor Mena Massoud.

The material offers some decent glimpses of the shoot, but much of it feels fluffy. Also, Massoud uses Portrait Mode too much of the time – tilt the camera for Landscape, dude!

A Cinematic Genius fills five minutes, 28 seconds with info from Massoud, director Guy Ritchie, composer Alan Menken, choreographer Jamal Sims, production designer Gemma Jackson, producer Jonathan Eirich, and actors Will Smith, Nassim Pedrad and Naomi Scott.

“Genius” looks at Ritchie’s work and choices on the film. Like “Journal”, we get a lot of happy talk, but a decent array of insights emerge.

Next comes A Friend Like Genie, a four-minute, 31-second reel with Smith, Massoud, Scott, Menken, Ritchie and co-lyricists Justin Paul and Benj Pasek. We look at the Genie character and Smith’s performance. This becomes a decent overview, with the inevitable emphasis on fluff.

In addition to a Deleted Song called “Desert Moon” (2:20), we find six Deleted Scenes (10:44). Introduced by Menken, “Moon” offers a tune Aladdin and Jasmine semi-share. It’s fairly bland and forgettable.

As for the cut scenes, they tend to add to existing sequences. The longest shows more of Prince Anders, and we also get flashbacks to “wishes gone wrong” Genie granted.

Much of what we get offers minor exposition and seems unnecessary. The Genie scene amuses, at least, as does Genie's dressing down of Aladdin's mistakes, but most feel pretty superfluous.

A collection of Bloopers spans two minutes, seven seconds. It shows the usual goofs and giggles, though some improv lines from Smith add amusement.

Finally, we locate three music videos. These come for Naomi Scott’s “Speechless” as well as two versions of “A Whole New World”, one by Zayn and Zhavia Ward and the other from Zayn and Becky G.

“Speechless” just mixes recording studio shots with movie clips, so it’s a lazy “video”. The other two are the same video except footage of Becky replaces Zhavia in the second one, and Becky sings her parts of the song in Spanish.

Neither rendition of “Whole New World” works for me, and the videos are boring as can be. They don’t include clips, which I like, but they just show the singers as they mope. Yawn!

The disc opens with ads for Maleficent: Mistress of Evil and Frozen II. No trailer for Aladdin appears here.

As a live-action remake, 2019’s Aladdin becomes a perfectly watchable adventure. However, it doesn’t compare to the pleasures of the animated original. The Blu-ray brings excellent picture along with very good audio and a smattering of bonus materials. Though one of the better live-action reworkings from Disney, Aladdin still lacks a lot of reason to exist.

Viewer Film Ratings: 1.5 Stars Number of Votes: 2
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