My stepmum was murdered by her evil boyfriend who beat her with an iron, poured paint down her throat and set her on FIRE – The Sun

THEY may not have been blood relatives, but Daisy Lyons was always close to her stepmum and considered Andraya her best friend.

The admin assistant, 22, from Swindon, was devastated when the 39-year-old was murdered by her boyfriend in December 2016 – just hours after dumping him.

Evil Anthony Porter, now 34, broke into Andraya's home, beat her with an iron and poured paint down her throat before setting her on fire.

Daisy, who had known Andraya since she was four, is now speaking out to encourage other women to leave their abusive relationships before it's too late.

Speaking exclusively to Fabulous Digital, she said: "Even though she was my stepmum, I looked up to her. We did everything together, from shopping to cooking. We were joined at the hip.

"Andraya was like my best friend. As a teen, I confided in her about boy troubles. When she split with my dad, in April 2015, I moved in with her."

Five months later Andraya, who's mum to Daisy's two half-brothers, met her killer Porter at a neighbour's party.

Daisy said: "She was so excited for their first date. But when I met him, I had a bad feeling about him. He was really friendly, a bit too nice.

"Then one evening, after he’d been drinking, he lost his temper at Andraya – telling her she was letting herself go because he could see her grey hairs."

Soon, he was snapping at Andraya over the smallest things, like not cleaning the dishes, and started to isolate her from her friends.

Daisy said: "I hated her being treated that way, so I warned her off Anthony. But she insisted she loved him.

"I avoided him as much as possible, refusing to be alone with him. When I was 18, I moved out and got a place of my own."

Hearing how Andraya died made me feel physically sick

In December 2016, Daisy was invited over to Andraya's for dinner.

Little did she know, her beloved stepmum would be brutally murdered the very next day.

She said: "Andraya was excited for her work Christmas party the following night."

Two days later, the morning after the staff party, Daisy woke to dozens of missed calls and texts from friends and family members.

She said: "I called Andraya’s friend Jenny*, who told me there’d been an accident.

"She picked me up and took me to Andraya’s, where police and fire engines swarmed the front garden.

"There was a streak of black up the front of the house so I knew there’d been a fire.

"I rushed to a police officer and asked where Andraya was, but he told me that she was dead.

"I couldn’t believe it. I was devastated. Police told me Anthony had handed himself in."

Daisy later learned Porter had joined Andraya at her Christmas party. But he got drunk and shoved Andraya, so she broke up with him.

Her work friends begged Andraya to stay with them, but she refused so they called her a taxi home.

Later that night, Porter broke in and attacked Andraya – punching, kicking and stamping on her. He even beat her with an iron.

In a final act of menace, Porter poured paint down Andraya's throat and set her on fire – before running away.

Smelling smoke, neighbours called the police and the emergency services discovered Andraya.

A post-mortem found she had 45 separate injuries from the brutal attack.

Daisy said: "Hearing how Andraya died made me feel physically sick.

"She was a gorgeous woman inside and out. Now I’m focusing on my little brothers who are lost without their mum."

Where can you get help?

You don't have to suffer in silence.

If you are experiencing domestic violence or someone you know is there are groups that can help.

Refuge runs a free, 24-hour helpline on 0808 2000 247

You can also visit the website or contact Women’s Aid.


In May 2017, Porter was jailed for a minimum of 17-and-a-half years at Bristol Crown Court, after pleading guilty to murder.

In court, his defence barrister read a letter Porter had written.

It said: "Even when I get released I’m going to go to sleep thinking about what I have done.

"The guilt that I have taken the boys’ mother from them, it eats me up every time I think about them."

Daisy hopes lessons can be learned from her mum's cruel death.

She said: "If you’re in a violent, controlling relationship, please leave.

"It was too late for Andraya, but hopefully people will hear her story and pluck up the courage to get out, before it’s too late."

Yesterday, we spoke to a woman whose boyfriend beat her unconscious and shot her in the head – because she refused to abort their baby.

Source: Read Full Article

Heavily-drugged baby leopards and tiger rescued from ‘black market smuggler’

Two were baby leopards, just six weeks old and recently taken from their mother.

The Bengal tiger cub is around ten weeks old, and had suffered from malnourishment, say zoo experts in Krasnodar, Russia.

Heartbreaking pictures show the animals which were found in small plastic containers hidden inside luggage.

All had catheters in their paws, used to heavily sedate them ahead of a planned flight from Krasnodar to Tashkent, the Uzbekistan capital.

“Experts confirmed that the cubs were parted from their mothers not long ago,” reported Kuban News.

They are now in the care of a Krasnodar zoo called Safari-Park.

The zoo’s director Mario Aburmailekh said: “The vets found medical catheters in the paws of the cubs – the owner used them to inject sedatives, keeping the animals calm in order to go through customs.

“They were almost motionless and did not react to anything.

“The tiger cub is relatively small for his age, and is one and a half times smaller than needed.

“Vets have flushed their stomachs and are monitoring them.”

A criminal investigation has been launched.

The alleged smuggler faces up to seven years in jail if convicted.

This comes after a furious teenager publicly disowned her dad for hunting a lion.

And a conservationist warned that fake “orphan” big cat cubs were being bred to con animal-loving tourists.

Source: Read Full Article

Piers Morgan: ‘Ridiculous decision’ Good Morning Britain host slams BBC for axing show

Piers Morgan, 54, appeared on the last episode of BBC’s This Week last night, after it was announced Andrew Neil had decided to step down.

The Good Morning Britain host said he was going to send the presenter off “in style” as he voiced his opinions in the final instalment, following 16 years on air.

Those watching enjoyed Piers debate on key issues in a different format away from the ITV show, with one person tweeting him: “Enjoying @piersmorgan on #bbctw. Seems this format suits him quite well.

“Another reason it’s incredibly annoying it’s ending! Don’t get me wrong, Ive disagreed with views often over the years, but I absolutely love the show and @afneil better remain at the heart of BBC Politics.”

Ridiculous decision by the BBC

Piers Morgan

Piers wrote back: “Thanks, and I totally agree – ridiculous decision by the BBC.”

Before arriving at the studio, the father-of-four said it seemed “extraordinary” the show will no longer be aired.

Alongside a picture of him and Andrew Neil, Piers wrote on Twitter: “On my way to take part in the great ⁦@afneil’s final ⁦⁦@bbcthisweek show.”

He said: “Seems extraordinary to me that it’s coming off air after 16yrs when the host is at the peak of his political analyst/interviewer powers.

“But anyway, we’ll send him off in style.”

Neil has fronted the show since it began in 2003 and regular guests included former Conservative MP Michael Portillo and shadow home secretary Diane Abbott.

The BBC decided to axe the programme following Andrew’s decision to leave earlier this year.

In a statement, Fran Unsworth, BBC Director of News, said in February: “We couldn’t imagine This Week without the inimitable Andrew Neil, one of Britain’s best political interviewers.

“After 16 years, Andrew is bowing out of late-night presenting on the show, at the top of his game.

“We want to keep Andrew at the heart of the BBC’s political coverage.”

They concluded: “He continues to present Politics Live on Thursdays and we look forward to developing future projects with him.”

Elsewhere, Piers enjoyed the annual summer ITV party on Wednesday night and shared an image to his Instagram page, which didn’t go down well with his wife, Celia Walden.

The controversial host uploaded a picture of himself in between this year’s Love Island 2019 star, Lucie Donlan, and Hanna Miraftab from Real Housewives of Cheshire.

He captioned the photo: “The ITV summer party kicking off nicely… @hannamiraftab @lucierosedonlan #Bev.”

Piers’ wife, Celia Walden, certainly had something to say about the cosy photo with the reality stars, and light-heartedly wrote: “Right. That’s it. Getting the pool boy back in.”

Piers has long been a critic of Love Island and regularly hits out at them for having “no brain-cells”.

Source: Read Full Article

Dear White People season 3 is one of the best shows of the year

Dear White People captures the boundless mood of college life better than any TV series I’ve ever seen.

To be clear, this witty satire pinpoints a hyperspecific bubble in a bubble, living within and around multiple black communities at an Ivy League college. The eye-popping costume design suggests everyone has palace-size closets. But in the astounding third season, creator Justin Simien pushes his characters toward thrilling new beginnings.

Take Sam (Logan Browning), who’s ditched radio activism to work on her thesis film. It’s an ambient look-at-the-flowers documentary she calls “an exploration of humanity and beauty and people and places.” So she’s struggling, and everyone else is also trying something confusingly new. Lionel (DeRon Horton) gives up investigative muckraking to explore Winchester’s gay culture. Joelle (the wonderful Ashley Blaine Featherson) couples up with Reggie (Marque Richardson), but he falls under the sway of magnetic professor Moses (charisma supernova Blair Underwood). And Troy (Brandon P. Bell) worries he’s the Get Out of Racism Free card for the white-dude staff at a humor magazine.

I initially feared this season was all over the place. Previously minor characters receive major showcases, and the nonstop banter (“That man is moodier than an Eminem comeback album!”) can sound overwritten. But Simien is telling an elaborate, expansive story here, working with some truly ace collaborators. (Cinephile alert: Kimberly Peirce and Cheryl Dunye are episode directors!) Throwaway dialogue and background E-plots intricately weave a larger saga.

In the premiere, one of the worst people on campus says: “There’s always a moment when you have to choose between being who you are and getting what you want.” That line lingers, as several characters struggle between individual ambition and something like the greater good. Dear White People really is an exploration of humanity and beauty and people and places, damn it. They should teach it in college. Grade: A

Dear White People season 3 launches Aug. 2 on Netflix.

Related content:

  • Dear White People celebrates Juneteenth with season 3 premiere date reveal
  • Dear White People season 3 renewal announced by Giancarlo Esposito
  • Dear White People creator breaks down season 2’s game-changing twist

Dear White People

  • TV Show
  • 3
  • Comedy,
  • Drama
  • 04/28/17
  • Justin Simien
  • Logan Browning
  • Netflix
Complete Coverage
  • Dear White People

Source: Read Full Article

Tottenham want Fernando Llorente on free transfer… just three weeks after releasing him – The Sun

TOTTENHAM could sign another striker before the transfer window closes…er, Fernando Llorente.

Yes the club could re-sign their former Spanish striker on reduced terms after he left on June 30.

The hitman, 34, is a free agent after his £100,000 a week contract with the North Londoners expired.

Spurs have offered him a deal on less money and he is considering it while they are on their pre-season tour of the Far East.

Italian club Fiorentina are also interested in taking him.

The prospect of Llorente returning will not leave many Spurs fans drooling with excitement.

The World Cup winner, who is also open to a return to Spain, scored just twice in the Premier League in two seasons following a £15million move from Swansea.

But he did bag crucial goals against Borussia Dortmund and Manchester City in Tottenham’s run to the Champions League Final last term.

Tottenham broke their transfer record to sign France midfielder Tanguy Ndombele from Lyon in a deal that could be worth £65m, while winger Jack Clarke was signed from Leeds before being loaned back to them for the season.

Right-back Kieran Trippier joined Atletico Madrid for £21.7m this week.

Manager Mauricio Pochettino, speaking in Singapore ahead of their friendly against Juventus on Sunday, said: “I told Daniel during the flight from London that I will be happy with the squad that you are going to provide me to work with.

"I'm always happy. I'm a happy man, working with 25 players, always.

“We are going to have 25 players to work with. Always I was happy and I'm going to be happy. That is my nature.”

Source: Read Full Article

Cringing GMB fans slam ‘sexist’ half-naked strippers gyrating against presenters

Good Morning Britain viewers were left cringing into their coffees this morning over an incredibly awkward segment involving three half-naked male strippers.

At the early time of 7am, the men donned in blue jeans gyrated against presenters Ben Shephard, Kate Garraway, Charlotte Hawkins and Richard Arnold.

Oiled up, the men each found a different target as they began thrusting their hips and dancing sexily.

Kate was left stunned as one began twerking in front of her and put her hands in front of her face.

Meanwhile Ben just looked utterly confused as the topless man began rubbing a hand down his abs.

But viewers weren't too impressed with the display so early in the morning and branded it "sexist and hypocritical".

Fans flocked to Twitter to comment in shock.

One tweeted: "What was the point in the male strippers? So random and awkward! Not sure what Ive just watched! Who the hell signed this segment off #GMB."

While another commented: "@GMB Can we have women strippers next? No, thought not #gmb."

A third remarked: "What the f*** am I watching #gmb."

"Imagine if they got women doing this. There would be outrage and the programme would be pulled from TV. #GMB," another suggested.

One remarked: "Bit sexist #GMB."

"What has this show descended into ?#gmb," a fan tweeted.

Another fumed: "Imagine the uproar if that was women gyrating on tv. #GMB"

Mirror Online has reached out to ITV for comment.

*Good Morning Britain airs weekdays at 6am on ITV

Source: Read Full Article

‘Top Gun 2’: Everything we know about ‘Maverick’ after Tom Cruise drops first trailer

Tom Cruise has flipped on the jet engines for “Top Gun: Maverick,” surprising Comic-Con fans with an appearance Thursday and dropping the first exhilarating trailer.

The rocking trailer will even give critics, concerned about a “Top Gun” sequel 33 years after the original, the need for speed.

Cruise, 57, looks as if he just walked off the original, flashing that smile, still wearing those Ray-Bans and that bomber jacket — and continuing his knack of chasing jets on his motorcycle (without those silly helmets, as we see in the trailer).

With our biggest trove of information, here’s what we know about “Maverick,” due out June 26, 2020.

‘Top Gun 2’:Everything we know about ‘Maverick,’ now delayed until June 2020

Tom Cruise surprises Comic-Con crowd: Reveals epic first ‘Top Gun: Maverick’ trailer

The poster for "Top Gun: Maverick." (Photo: PARAMOUNT)

The flight footage is going to flat out kick butt

Jon Hamm, who clearly plays a hardened Naval officer by the stone cold looks in the trailer, was going nuts about the aerial footage Thursday, telling Collider it’s “mind-blowing.”

“And it’s mostly practical. There’s not a lot of CG,” Hamm said. “Those guys are really up in planes and getting thrown around in multiple Gs.”

Cruise, known for his own incredible stunts, puts Captain Pete “Maverick” Mitchell in the cockpit during the jet’s catapult launch and shows impressive formation flying.

Amid the aerial splendors, there is also a glimpse of Maverick donning a mysterious high altitude pressure suit, which raises the flying stakes.

Grizzled Ed Harris tells Maverick, now a flight instructor, that he’s a dying breed. “The end is inevitable, Maverick, your kind is headed for extinction.”

This is perhaps an allusion to the reported drone theme meant to take humans out of flight warfare.

But Maverick responds “Maybe so, sir, but not today.”

Cruise calls the sequel “a love letter to aviation…I really wanted to give you all an experience of what it’s like to be in that aircraft.”

Maverick will team up with Goose’s son, played by Miles Teller

Miles Teller in "Whiplash." He's now got Tom Cruise telling him how to fly. (Photo: Courtesy of Sony Pictures Classics)

“Top Gun” focused on risk-taking pilot Maverick and his family-oriented wingman, Nick “Goose” Bradshaw (Anthony Edwards). The bromance ended tragically, with Bradshaw dying after ejecting from their stalled jet. Maverick never got over it (we see a picture of Goose hanging in his locker in the trailer).

We caught glimpses of Goose’s son in the first movie during the “Great Balls of Fire” performance in the barbecue joint. Bradley’s all grown up now, played by Miles Teller, who beat out Glen Powell and Nicholas Hoult for the coveted gig.

In the trailer, we get a view of Teller banging the piano keys just like dad (we can guess the song) and in an argument with another trainee. Looks like he’s got Maverick’s temperament.

The pilots are more diverse, with a female fighter pilot busting up the boy’s club

Martina Tolot will star as a pilot for "Top Gun 2." (Photo: Martina Tolot)

The all-white, all-male fight crew from the original is extinct. “Maverick” brings the first female pilot on board with “Chicago Justice” star Monica Barbaro.

Barbaro will also play the love interest to Miles Teller’s character, a pilot in training. We get a view of her donning the flight helmet in the trailer and a scene of the significantly more diverse cast.

Maverick may have a new love interest

Jennifer Connelly stars in "Top Gun: Maverick." (Photo: Jemal Countess / Getty Images)

We get a good look in the trailer of Oscar-winner Jennifer Connelly, who will star alongside Cruise in the female lead role. She’s described as a single mom who owns a bar near the base. Cruise confirmed the casting, promising Connelly will be “amazing” in the movie.

In the original film, Maverick was famously involved with astrophysicist and civilian Top Gun instructor, Charlotte “Charlie” Blackwood (Kelly McGillis). It’s looking like things didn’t work out.

‘Ice Man’ is in the movie, but no sign of him

A classic exchange between 'Top Gun' stars Val Kilmer and Tom Cruise. The movie marks its 30th anniversary on May 16, 2016.

Cruise’s main “Top Gun” adversary, Tom “Iceman” Kazansky (Val Kilmer), will be back. Kilmer, who has battled throat cancer, has even hinted on Facebook that we’ll see a replay of the infamous beach volleyball game.

“I can’t comment on the screenplay, but we all know what we want to see!” Kilmer wrote.

He was joking. But the trailer does show an impressively pumped up Cruise playing volleyball.

Cruise told “Extra” that working with his former screen rival was “special.” But no sight of the co-star in the trailer. However, there is a flash of a mysterious, pilot funeral scene.

Source: Read Full Article

Wendy Williams Reveals Medical Condition: What Is Lymphedema?

Wendy Williams is known for being loud and unafraid to voice her opinion about the world around her, and she has often had to turn that brash personality toward critics and fans alike when it comes to questions about her own life. In the past few months, Williams’ life has been under the public microscope as her long marriage to Kevin Hunter unraveled when his mistress gave birth to his child. 

While this dramatic turmoil unfolded, Williams put her popular talk show The Wendy Williams Show on hiatus, citing struggles with her own health that were exacerbated by the stress of her love life.

Wendy Williams’ health issues

As Williams struggled with her own sobriety, she was unafraid to keep publicly speaking out about her husband and his affair. After all, Williams’ image and public persona is all about exploring other people’s lives, so it makes sense that she would be so open with her own. 

Now Williams has revealed even more about her life.

She used some of her on-air time on The Wendy Williams Show to dismiss rumors about a potential new relationship with Marc Tomblin. While reacting to photos of Tomblin and her holding hands, she opened up about a diagnosis of lymphedema: “So Marc is new to New York and he’s having panic attacks,” Williams told viewers. “I’m unsteady on my feet. I’ve got the vertigo. And lymphedema, by the way. I’ve been diagnosed.” 

Just what is lymphedema and what does it mean for Williams and her career? 

What is lymphedema?

As the Mayo Clinic explains, lymphedema is the term used for swelling in the arms or legs. This swelling can occur in both arms and both legs or in just one limb. It is most commonly diagnosed following the removal of the lymph nodes during cancer treatment, but it can also occur after an infection or due to complications from surgery.

When these nodes are damaged or missing, lymph fluid builds up and causes swelling. 

The symptoms of lymphedema vary quite a bit. Some people will just have a slight swelling that makes that arm or leg appear slightly larger. Other people will experience symptoms so severe that they have difficulty using the affected arm or leg, impacting mobility. Those with lymphedema may also have recurring infections and aching or discomfort in the impacted limb. 

While there is no cure for lymphedema, there are treatments and preventative measures people who have a diagnosis can take in order to protect themselves from the worst of the symptoms. Avoiding tight clothing, resting the impacted limbs, and taking care not to cut or injure the arms or legs can help reduce the risk of severe reactions. 

Williams’ lymphedema treatment

During her reveal, Williams mentioned that she uses a “machine” for 45 minutes a day. She is likely referring to a treatment plan that involves a compression device. Some people with lymphedema wear special clothing that provides compression to the affected arm or leg, and others use pneumatic compression.

In pneumatic compression, the sleeve that slips over the impacted limb is hooked up to a pump that inflates the sleeve, putting pressure on the limb that pushes the built-up fluid. This treatment can help alleviate the painful symptoms of the disease and provide some relief and improved mobility. 

Williams assured fans that her diagnosis of lymphedema wasn’t fatal, and her ability to make jokes about the disease suggests that she is taking it in good humor.

While a diagnosis of lymphedema certainly comes with some real consequences and a likely lifelong treatment plan, fans can expect to see Wendy Williams to continue working on her goals and successful career in the spotlight. 

Source: Read Full Article

Star Wars 9 Rise of Skywalker leaks: This shock legacy character DEATH will devastate fans

Will JJ Abrams really kill one of the last remaining iconic characters? Han Solo and Luke Skywalker are already (somewhat controversially) dead. Leia is not but can only be shown using re-purposed cuts from the previous two films, following the loss of Carrie Fisher. Billy Dee Williams exciting return as Lando Calrissian is also rumoured to be little more than an extended cameo. Apart from two rather lovable droids, this means there is only one other legacy hero who can provide a powerful death. 

How do you say “Noooo” in Wookiee?

A new leak says concept art descriptions are “worrisome” for one of the most beloved characters. And yes, leaks must always be taken with a giant pinch of salt, but they often provide tantalising clues or simply insights into fans’ biggest hopes or fears.

One in particular apparently shows: “Rey, Poe and Finn defending the Millennium Falcon on a First Order battlefield against an army of Sith troopers who use heavy automatic blasters. Additionally, it is sad one of the scenes involves Chewbacca coming in by surprise and using his bow caster against the Sith troopers to protect Rey and her crew.”

And then there appears to be a moment of heartbreaking heroism.

The leak adds: “One of the scenes is said to involve Chewbacca turning around and telling Rey to duck down when a Sith trooper uses a projectile explosive that causes and explosion where Chewbacca flies backwards onto the ground.

“Chewbacca is hurt badly. In order to move Chewie, Poe and Finn gran his arms while Rey and Dominic Monaghan’s character lift up this legs and quickly get him on board the Falcon where they are all circled around him and Rey is resting her head on Chewbacca’s chest.”

It sounds suitably dramatic but it is really a fitting end to 42 years on the big screen?

If Chewbacca must join Luke and Han, surely he could do it in a rather more glorious and exhilarating moment?

Han and Luke’s deaths were both powerfully but particularly muted. Give Chewie one final magnificent roar.

It’s also safe to say many fans would rather see the back of certain other characters…



Source: Read Full Article

Does Disney's 'The Lion King' Remake Have a Post-Credits Scene?

Jon Favreau’s live action take on the 1994 animated classic is very faithful — does the new film have any new extras after the story ends?

Over the last decade, Disney has found itself dipping increasingly into its own well of nostalgic favorites. Specifically, they’ve been taking their beloved animated classics, remaking them in live-action (or mostly live-action), and producing one blockbuster smash after another. Let’s take a look at all of the live-action remakes of Disney’s animated classics, going all the way back to the 1990s, to explore which films improved on the original and which ones came up short.

  • 15. “The Jungle Book” (1994) 

    The first live-action Disney remake of an animated Disney classic is, somehow, still the worst. Stephen Sommers (“The Mummy”) directs this frustratingly inert take on Rudyard Kipling’s stories, which strips the animals of their characterizations and highlights instead the bland experiences of British colonizers, who condescend to Mowgli (Jason Scott Lee) at every turn. Some of the supporting performances, especially by Cary Elwes and Lena Headey, are noteworthy, but the rest of the movie is a sloppy throwback to a mercifully bygone era of adventure filmmaking, full of backwards mentalities and underwhelming action.

  • 14. “Christopher Robin” (2018) 

    The beloved stories of A.A. Milne have been previously adapted by Disney into several beautifully animated and heartwarming motion pictures. So it’s especially cloying that Marc Forster’s “Christopher Robin” just plops these timeless characters into a tepid and cookie-cutter family flick about a dad who — gasp! — spends too much time at work, and rediscovers his inner child thanks to the return of his old, magical friends. Ewan McGregor shines as the adult version of Christopher Robin, but the melancholy cinematography, underdeveloped screenplay and creepy VFX renditions of Pooh and his friends make “Christopher Robin” a rough slog.

  • 13. “Alice Through the Looking Glass” (2016) 

    James Bobin’s sequel to “Alice in Wonderland” certainly looks like an improvement on the original, with vibrant production design and weird visual effects, and a tone that’s mercifully less grim. But the time-travel storyline, which sends Alice back to the early days of Wonderland (sorry, “Underland”) to become the cause of all its miseries (including a genocide), retroactively injures the original film, which had a boatload of problems in the first place.

  • 12. “Beauty and the Beast” (2017) 

    Despite the excellent source material and a decent cast, Bill Condon’s remake of “Beauty and the Beast” has the unfortunate distinction of being the only live-action Disney remake that has absolutely no new interpretation of its material. It’s just the exact same story but longer, and only because of unnecessary additions that arbitrarily pad the running time, confuse the characters’ motivations, and shoot holes in the already thin plot. Add in some ugly character designs and an utterly forgettable new song, and you’ve got a film which made Disney a lot of money, but artistically has no particular reason to exist.

  • 11. “Alice in Wonderland” (2010) 

    Tim Burton’s blockbuster retelling of “Alice in Wonderland” is unnecessarily murky and violent, and — worst of all — devoid of Lewis Carroll’s signature wit. Mia Wasikowska stars as Alice, who has forgotten all about Wonderland (sorry, “Underland”) and returns years later, only to find it taken over by darkness, a problem that can be solved only by more war. The film comes across like a cynical attempt to make a classic story edgy and marketable, but at least there’s an interesting attempt to transform Alice into a modern and active heroine, and the film’s ensemble cast boasts some real highlights, including Helena Bonham Carter as the Red Queen, Anne Hathaway as the White Queen, and Stephen Fry as the Cheshire Cat.

  • 10. “102 Dalmatians” (2000) 

    Kevin Lima’s sequel to the hit “101 Dalmatians” remake is strange and cartoony but, in its defense, completely unapologetic. Glenn Close returns as the despicable Cruella de Vil, now rehabilitated via brainwashing and eager to rescue puppies instead of murdering them. When her programming wears off, she resumes her wicked ways. There’s not much more to it than that, but the film’s astounding costume design and Close’s pitch-perfect performance make “102 Dalmatians” an amiable, if shallow, piece of children’s entertainment.

  • 9. “Maleficent” (2014) 

    Disney’s “Maleficent” isn’t so much an adaptation of “Sleeping Beauty” as it is quasi-family-friendly riff on Abel Ferrara’s “Ms .45.” Angelina Jolie stars as a fairy who gets betrayed and violated by her human lover and left physically and emotionally scarred, so she plots her revenge against him by cursing his daughter, played by Elle Fanning. The cinematography is hard to make out a lot of the time — and once you do get a good look at some of the CGI creatures, you’ll wish it stayed that way — but the bold new interpretation of the source material and Jolie’s exceptional performance elevate “Maleficent” above its shoddy VFX and extremely sloppy storytelling.

  • 8. Aladdin (2019)  

    Guy Ritchie’s remake of “Aladdin” sucks out all the personality the filmmaker could have possibly brought to the project, instead simply rehashing the original in a mediocre but mildly enjoyable way. Mena Massoud and Naomi Scott are wonderful as Aladdin and Jasmine, and Will Smith plays the Genie like he’s the ultimate fantasy wingman. It’s like watching the original “Aladdin” acted out in the middle of a parade: Cheerful, well-intentioned and fleeting. 

  • 7. “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” (2010) 

    Except for an obligatory scene with some dancing mops, Jon Turteltaub’s “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” has very little in common with the classic Mickey Mouse segment from “Fantasia.” Jay Baruchel stars as a young science nerd who is destined to become a sorcerer, and Nicolas Cage has to train him before evil sorcerers can raise an army and take over the world. It’s a perfectly watchable fantasy adventure, but nothing about “The Sorcerer’s Apprentice” makes a lasting impact. It’s practically the textbook definition of “average.”

  • 6. “The Lion King” (2019) 

    Unlike “The Jungle Book” — which has at least one human character — the new “Lion King” couldn’t even be considered “live-action” in the most generous use of the term, but for the sake of conversation we’ll include it anyway. This is an ambitious visual spectacle, re-creating the African savanna of the original 2D-animated movie in photorealistic CG detail as it tells the story of a lion cub who avenges his father’s murder and brings order back to the ecosystem. When Jon Favreau’s film works, it’s a visual marvel, but when it fails, it’s because the film’s literalist animation style is directly at odds with the arch, fantastical story and characters. Style may be the selling point but too often, it gets in the way of the substance.

  • 5. “101 Dalmatians” (1996) 

    Stephen Herek directed a trio of live-action Disney hits in the 1990s — “The Mighty Ducks,” “The Three Musketeers,” and “101 Dalmatians” — and they’re all satisfying family-friendly romps. Jeff Daniels and Joely Richardson play humans whose dogs fall in love and have oodles of puppies, and Glenn Close portrays Cruella de Vil like a pitch-perfect 1960s “Batman” villain. The film devolves into brainless, non-stop “Home Alone” slapstick in the second half, but it’s never less than fun, and Close gives such a gloriously unhinged performance that she’s practically Oscar-worthy.

  • 4. “Dumbo” (2019) 

    Tim Burton’s second live-action remake of a Disney animated classic is more clever, more emotional and significantly more subversive than his “Alice in Wonderland.” It’s still the story of a baby circus elephant with giant ears that help him fly, but this time his circus is purchased by a theme-park entrepreneur played by Michael Keaton, who proceeds to lay off most of the workers after the merger and to exploit his newly acquired IP beyond reason. Disney has often turned heartless capitalists into their villains, but in “Dumbo,” the studio seems to be pointing the finger at itself, giving Burton’s richly realized fantasy an unexpected and impressive sting.

  • 3. “The Jungle Book” (2016) 

    Jon Favreau’s “The Jungle Book” uses so much CGI that calling it “live-action” is probably a misnomer; there’s only one character who isn’t motion-captured, and even the realistic environments were digitally rendered. But either way it’s an excellent film. Favreau eschews the laidback, episodic structure of the original in favor of a more focused adventure, with Mowgli (Neel Sethi) gradually taking responsibility for rescuing the jungle from the deadly Shere Khan (Idris Elba). An all-star cast of mo-cap animal characters keeps the film lively, although Christopher Walken is a distractingly strange choice for King Louie.

  • 2. “Pete’s Dragon” (2016) 

    Another nebulously defined “live-action remake,” since the original “Pete’s Dragon” was a mostly live-action musical fantasy with one animated title character. David Lowery’s remake does away with all the classic songs (which ranged from adorable to weirdly violent) and also throws out the wackier storylines. Instead he highlights the emotionally sincere story of a lost boy whose only friend is a giant dragon. When Pete is discovered and brought back to the human world, his dragon, Elliot, comes looking for him. Lowery makes room for comic shenanigans, but he’s mostly interested in exploring our contemporary capacity for wonder. He transforms a formerly eccentric tale into something beautiful and, possibly, timeless.

  • 1. “Cinderella” (2015) 

    Disney’s original “Cinderella” is a masterpiece of animation, but it’s also a narratively thin piece of wish-fulfillment. Kenneth Branagh’s live-action remake keeps the original, classic storyline in place but amplifies the characters, giving the wicked stepmother (Cate Blanchett) a meaningful motivation for her treatment of Cinderella (Lily James), giving Cinderella a set of clearly-defined principles that justifies her every decision, and giving the prince (John Madden) enough time with Cinderella that they can actually fall believably in love. Romantic, beautiful and — from a story perspective, at least — an undeniable improvement on the original, “Cinderella” is the crown jewel of Disney’s live-action remakes. For now.

  • How does Jon Favreau’s “The Lion King” rank among the studios remakes of its animated hits?

    Over the last decade, Disney has found itself dipping increasingly into its own well of nostalgic favorites. Specifically, they’ve been taking their beloved animated classics, remaking them in live-action (or mostly live-action), and producing one blockbuster smash after another. Let’s take a look at all of the live-action remakes of Disney’s animated classics, going all the way back to the 1990s, to explore which films improved on the original and which ones came up short.

    Source: Read Full Article