Andrew Garfield, Mahershala Ali, Ruth Negga, and five others received their first-ever acting nominations for 2017. While these actors are new to the Academy Awards, you may recognize them from their earlier work.
Bad, but I have seen far worse from the Sci-Fi Channel
I hate a vast majority of the Sci-Fi Channel movies with a passion, but I still watch them because there is something compulsively watchable their awfulness. Aladdin and the Death Lamp as far as Sci-Fi Channel movies go is a bad movie, but it is not a truly terrible one, at least to me. It does have some good things, Eugene Clarke is commanding and his voice has the ability to boom out in the most majestic of ways and Kandyse McClure has a sensual beauty that is at its best in the ending. The opening song set the setting and tone of the film well and the scenery was striking. Conversely, Aladdin and the Death Lamp does suffer from a lot of the general problems that Sci-Fi Channel movies have. The special effects look half-finished and don't mesh well at all within the surroundings, the genie creature is little more than a blurred giant lizard. While I liked the opening song, I do think that generally Aladdin and the Death Lamp could have utilised the incidental/background scoring better and made it more interesting than it was. Again, not terrible, just nothing special at the same time. At least the costumes have some authenticity, though some like McClure's are so ridiculously over-sized that they make their bodies/figures unflattering. The dialogue doesn't sound very natural in how it flows either and is so cheesy that it is unintentionally funny, Khalil's warning(s) for example is/are incredibly vague.
On top of that, the story(no matter how seriously or not you're taking it) is a bunch of nonsense, the premise with the lizard genie is a decent one but never expanded on how and why it came to be that way, and there is even a scene where the hero is hitting the genie with his sword and it just looks ridiculous. I wouldn't say it was a dull movie, but it is a rather predictable one and one that has a lot of unintentional humour, and I was also struck by how little children were in the orphanage and how lame the hiding-place of the genie was. The characters are too bland or obnoxious to really care for them, and you never learn that much about them. The lizard genie had potential, but nothing is done with it. Khalil was the only one that came close to being remotely likable. Aside from Clarke and to a lesser extent McClure, the acting is really stiff. Some like Darren Shahlavi are too serious and over-earnest and give the feel that they're way out of their comfort zone(seeing as Shahlavi specialises in martial arts he was definitely out of his depth here). And then there is George Ghali, who overacts so badly that he looks and sounds as though he's in a different movie altogether. Overall, Aladdin and the Death Lamp(strange title don't you think?) is bad, but not enough to be bottom-of-the-barrel quality. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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