The Meg is Closer to ‘Jaws’ Than ‘Sharknado’

MOVIE REVIEW When Steven Spielberg’s Jaws opened in theaters in 1975, it took the world by storm. Not only was the movie hugely popular as it was genuinely scary, it actually affected society in a strange way. Audiences began to have an irrational fear of sharks even when swimming at a lake. When Jaws 2 came to theaters three years later, everyone knew the catchphrase, “Just when you thought it was safe to go back into the water…” Since then, it’s been hard for movie studios to be able to drum up the same excitement with their own Jaws knock-offs. Shark movies became a joke. Even Jaws 3 and Jaws: The Revenge were met with disdain (and with good reason). But sharks are still a popular subject, just not one that we take very seriously anymore.
This brings us to next big shark movie, The Meg which judging from the trailers alone, looks like another campy knock-off movie and while it indeed is campy, it isn’t as much as you would think. When comparing movies, The Meg is closer to Jaws tha…

This Day in Pop Culture for November 22

"Beauty and the Beast" opened on November 22, 1995.‘Beauty and the Beast’ Waltzes in Theaters

Walt Disney wanted to create an adaptation of the Beauty and the Beast story during the 1930s and again in the 1950s, but it didn’t happen. However, it was on this day in 1991 when the film was released as Walt Disney Pictures’ 30th animated feature. Considered the third film during the “Disney Renaissance Period” (which includes The Little Mermaid and Aladdin), the movie was based on the French fairy tale of the same name by Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont. The story centered on a spoiled prince (voiced by Robby Benson) who was cursed to become an ugly beast who could only change back after he found true love. The “beauty” of the story was Belle (Paige O’Hara) who volunteered to be imprisoned by the Beast in exchange for her father’s freedom. Add a few animated household objects like a teapot, clock and candlestick (Angela Lansbury, David Ogden Stiers and Jerry Orbach) a happy ending, and a few songs and you got yourself a classic. After the success of The Little Mermaid, plans for the un-musical story were changed. The film was directed by Gary Trousdale and Kirk Wise, the screenplay was written by Linda Woolverton, Alan Menken wrote the songs and Howard Ashman wrote the lyrics. During the film’s first release, it made over $425 million on a $25 million budget. The film won the Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture that year and was nominated for an Oscar for the same category as well. Though it didn’t win the Academy Award for Best Picture, it did win for Best Original Score and Best Original Song. In 1994, the movie was adapted into a Broadway stage musical and the live-action remake of the film was directed by Bill Condon was released in March of 2017.

"Toy Story" opened in theaters on November 22, 1995.

Pixar's First Full-Length Picture Opens

With recent news that Toy Story 4 will be released on June 21, 2019, it is hard to believe that the franchise was first introduced to theater goers on this day in 1995. Directed by John Lassester, Toy Story was Pixar’s first computer-animated film and the one all of the others that followed are measured by. Pixar, who was known at the time for being masters of short films and TV commercials, were approached by Disney to create a new feature-length film. There were many revisions for the film as well as the characters to star in it since Disney’s team (lead by Jeffrey Katzenberg) and Pixar’s team (Lead by Lassester) couldn’t see eye-to-eye. Disney’s animators were resentful that “outsiders” came in to do their work. Rumor has it that Katzenberg wanted an edgier story with adult references and the character of Woody appear to be much more of a jerk. In the end, Lassester was given the green light to produce the film that he wanted to make and the rest is history. Toy Story went on to earn over $361 million and the reviews were almost completely positive. It is considered to be one of the best animated films ever made.

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