Tag Archives: music

[Memoir] Being “Me” During Self-Imposed Quarantine: Sanity, Where are you?

In the beginning, I played the guitar; in the end, I watercolored.

I am almost hitting the month two threshold during the piece of the pandemic that is my own. To elaborate, I’d like to think that I am experiencing the pandemic my own way, and you are living through it the way you know best. So, here is what is going down in my world (I sprained my wrist vacuuming so I’d like a set of claps right about here for persevering through it and writing).

A moment for claps.

Let’s try it again. So, here is what is going down in my world: My sleep has been good until right about a few weeks ago; as of now, I genuinely struggle and talk to the little voice in my head and try to think of the reasons why I am a good person, and hence, I should find my way to heaven after a few God-time-measures spent at a blank space (preferably white but I am almost sure it will be black). God forgive my sins for what I have written. Next? I have been fasting for religious purposes (Hey! Here is an article), and mostly feeling guilty for the days I skip a few days for no specific reason except the bloaty feeling I get every evening when we break the fast. I could spend time explaining it to you, but I probably should go off on another tangent before I hit the wall. I clearly have a lot of headaches; I am not sure if it is because of fasting or the bad air inside my house. I swear fresh air feels different. Yes, I open my windows regularly and it is not the same. I recently listened to a quaran-tune (see what I did? Patent that shit) by Justin Bieber, frankly that is not a convincing cause of the condition for my doctor that I cannot visit.  I kind of want to say thank you for listening and leave now because I poured out all the funny in me and I think that was all.

Gee, tough audience.

On a serious note, I wanted to check in with you (Hey! Here is a two-minute survey for students and grads) and see how you are doing in these challenging times. It isn’t always easy to stay still physically, but it is another deal to be still mentally. I am not doing all that great… I am just about surviving. Please reach out if I can help you in any way.

[Review] The Lion King: How Simba Changed the Fate of Disney’s Live-Action Remakes 

In case you live in a cave and did not notice—Disney is on a roll with the live-action remakes of our favorite stories. It all started with Alice in Wonderland (2010) which had its strong cast bring over a billion to Disney’s thick wallet, entered a decline phase with The Jungle Book (2016) due to its odd tone and mixed reviews, and in my personal opinion, Disney hit rock bottom with poor casting and several other issues by releasing Beauty and the Beast (2017) and Aladdin (2019)The Lion King (2019) directed and produced by Jon Favreau, however, helped Disney’s magic to reach our hearts, again, just like the 90s. Here, I will explain how Disney finally stopped failing the audiences.

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Realism. Once I wiped off my tears coming out of the theatre, I decided to pay my respects to The Lion King (1994) at home and figure out why this animated documentary-like feature film worked so well. The first thing I noticed was Favreau’s attention to detail, and I assure you, he made sure we, as the audience knew about this. Favreau spent valuable effort to walk us through our surroundings, identify the appearance of species of all kinds, and appreciate one of the best (and likely leading) Virtual Reality production techniques within the film industry. Compared to the 1994 version, I could easily appreciate the 2019 feature for its identical yet heightened visuals. As Favreau explains, realism is what makes the film so unique. Ironically, it also produces the magic the previous films missed.

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Music. Better yet, the voice actors have done exceptional work: Donald Glover (AKA Childish Gambino) gave us the hurt and careless Simba at the same time. Chiwetel Ejiofor’s vocals (as Scar) were the closest thing to a brilliant Broadway performance. But, the real star in the voice work was Seth Rogen who made us all adore a warthog. Despite the never-ending coverage about Beyoncé’s casting on top of her new album inspired by The Lion King, her voice did not shine in the production. I think we are so used to hearing Beyoncé’s strong vocals that Disney music seemed a bit toned down for her vocals. Nonetheless, Favreau managed to awkwardly insert a short section of Beyoncé’s new original, “Spirit” in the film. If you catch the scene, I am sure you will agree that it just seems like a poor editing job rather than an integral part of the movie. Continue reading