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February 25, 2019 Anniversary Wishes 3 comments

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The Disney film tackles the conflicts of self-doubt, actualizing potential and escaping reality.

Disney has been releasing live action versions of their animated classics recently and this year’s slate will have some of its heaviest hitters; including The Lion King, and Lady and the Tramp. Butperhaps the most ambitious will be the remake of 1992’s Aladdin. Aside from the music, the hilarious ADHD genie, and still impressive animation, the real gem of the film is the poignant and universal struggle of the title character that drives the story. When a lowly thief falls for a princess, will the magic of a genie make him worthy?

The film tackles the conflicts of self-doubt, actualizing potential and escaping reality, all inner conflicts each and every one of us wrestles regularly. There are three specific moments in the film that distinctly illustrate this theme.

A Diamond In the Rough

When we meet Aladdin, we’re introduced to a poor thief employing advanced acrobatics and a lyrical rhyme scheme to evade Agrabah guards and obtain a loaf of bread for breakfast. But as the musical number One Jump Ahead informs us, Aladdin is regarded as; “riff raff, a street rat, a scoundrel,” and “has clearly hit the bottom.” Despite these labels, Aladdin seems to let insults roll right off of his back. Then we get a glimpse of another side of Aladdin when after all his efforts, he gives his stolen bread to two starving orphans. No wonder Jafar, the sorcerer and film’s main antagonist, divines that Aladdin is in fact a diamond in the rough.

It’s this duality between the way people see us and our capacity for greatness that we know exists inside of us that resonates with our own profound struggles.

Prince Ali, Fabulous He

When Aladdin survives the cave of wonders fiasco, he comes away with the exuberant genie and can request anything his heart desires (save a few restrictions.) With the wish to become a prince, Aladdin is now eligible to court Princess Jasmine. But the wish grants him more than a title, as we’re shown in the song Prince Ali. The song details just how much stuff Aladdin now has: “Seventy five golden camels. Purple peacocks, he’s got 53.” Yet, even with all this wealth and luxury at his disposal, Princess Jasmine rejects him.

It takes Aladdin sweeping Jasmine away on a magic carpet ride to win her over while they share a serene moment. It’s there Jasmine tricks Aladdin into slipping up, revealing he was indeed the impoverished boy from the market after all. Even though he has proven himself in the personal intimate setting, he is unable to be vulnerable and expose his true identity. He has everything he needs but is blind to recognizing it. Aladdin could come clean completely but instead makes up another lie.

Be Careful what you Wish for

Having “won” Jasmine’s heart Aladdin is on top of the world… for about 2 minutes of screen time. A new crisis arises when he learns that once he marries Jasmine, it won’t be long before he will become sultan! “No they want Prince Ali to be sultan.” Aladdin feels trapped, a victim of his own success and way in over his head. Because of his lack of confidence, he breaks his promise to the genie that he would use his last wish to set him free. In doing so he allows the lamp to be stolen by Jafar, giving the villain nearly unlimited power and making his own problems exponentially worse.

Living in Reality

To recap, we have three problems. 1) Feeling we are greater than how people treat us or the way we see our station in life. 2) Pumping ourselves up, pretending to be greater than we are on a superficial level. 3) When we do get some recognition, feeling we’re not worthy of the responsibility and not capable of solving the challenges that come with them.

In Rabbi Noah Weinberg’s 48 Ways to Wisdom (Way #41) he gives us a clear strategy of how to deal with these issues. We need to live in reality. It may frustrate us that others look at us “less than we are”, but are other people’s perceptions reality? A marketing expert might say yes, but the truth is you can always decide how you act and react. Even though Aladdin may be living in slums disregarded by society, he still gives his food to the children that are less fortunate than he is. It’s because of this moral character he is, in actuality, the diamond in the rough. When we engage with people authentically, that speaks far more profoundly than putting on the show of what you think they want to hear.

The next step to understanding reality is to know what you really want. When most people are asked what is more important, money or happiness, they will answer “happiness!” But what do most people spend their time pursuing? Money. When we understand ourselves, we understand what our desires are really all about. Why do I need expensive clothes and cars? I want to be respected by my peers. Why is that respect so important to me? So I can do the type of work I want to do. Why do I want that work? So I can feel secure. Is there a more productive way to feel secure?

If Aladdin understood himself better, he’d recognize that Jasmine was most attracted to him when he opened up and shared himself with her. His white robes and elephants made very little impact.

The last and probably most difficult step for understanding reality is keeping a sane mind when things get difficult. Aladdin is overwhelmed when he realizes a mountain of responsibility is about to be heaped upon him. “I can’t be sultan.” Whether you’re getting promoted or becoming a parent, everybody doubts themselves at one point or another. Even Saul, first King of Israel, had a freak out and hid in a closet before his coronation. But when we understand reality, that God is running the show, it means that we are exactly where we need to be at all moments.

Our problems are far scarier in the abstract. When we look at and break them down step by step, it’s much easier to tackle them. If we freak out and run from them, that’s when the problem gets worse. We have to stop, know that the Almighty has put us in that situation for a reason, and do our best.

Anything else is living in a fantasy world and no amount of wishing is going to bring us to that happy ending.

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Every day around the world, a child battling a critical illness will receive a wish. During a family's darkest days, wishes can inspire hope, build strength, uplift.

Come on England: 101 former cricketers wish their team good luck ahead of World Cup 2019 final

win a wish new world


Richard Crouse, Special to CTVNews.ca
Published Friday, May 24, 2019 7:00AM EDT
Last Updated Friday, May 24, 2019 10:45AM EDT

ALADDIN: 2 STARS

Coming hot on the heels of Disney live action reboots of classics like "Cinderella," "Beauty and The Beast" and "The Jungle Book" comes "Aladdin," Guy Ritchie's reimagining of the all singing, all dancing, all powerful Genie made famous by the late, great Robin Williams.

The story begins when "street rat" and thief Aladdin (Mena Massoud) helps a beautiful woman (Naomi Scott) he believes is a handmaiden to the daughter of the Sultan of Agrabah (Navid Negahban), escape from the police after a misunderstanding in the market. After a wild chase — part musical theatre, part parkour — they spark, bonding over the vagaries of their own circumstances. She's trapped by palace life, he by a life of poverty. "It's kind of sad having a monkey as the only parental authority in my life," he says of Abu, his kleptomaniac pet monkey and constant companion.

She is, of course not the handmaiden, but the Princess Jasmine, a woman who longs to take over for her father but is stymied in her ambition by tradition. The law says she cannot take the throne and must marry a prince. When one royal suitor compliments her on her beauty she says, "We have the same titles but are never described the same way," before dismissing him.

Meanwhile back at the palace, the Sultan's power-hungry adviser Jafar (Marwan Kenzari) also has his eye on the throne. Using hypnotism he controls the ruler, but wants more. More, in the form of a magic lamp hidden deep in the Cave of Wonders. "Once that lamp sits in my hand I will sit on the throne," he cackles. Trouble is, everyone who ventures into the cave dies. Jafar needs someone with serious skills to get in, grab the lamp and get out. When he meets Aladdin, he uses his access to the princess to strike a deal. "Retrieve the lamp from the cave and I will make you rich enough to impress a princess."

The perilous journey to the lamp reveals the star of the show, a magical blue Genie with the power to grant three wishes to the keeper of the lamp. There are some catches though; he can't make anyone fall in love with him or raise the dead. He also cautions against wishing for wealth and power the very two things Jafar and Aladdin covet.

Despite all its pomp and circumstance the live action remake of the beloved animated "Aladdin" does not exactly transport us to a whole new world. Ritchie fills the screen with colour and pageantry, staging large scale Bollywood-style dance numbers and, in the case of the Genie's signature tune "Friend Like Me," a maximalist CGI orgy that gives Flo Ziegfeld a run for his money. Even when he is more restrained, he isn't that restrained. The rendering of Princess Jasmine's big solo "Speechless," one of the new songs by the "Dear Evan Hansen" composers Benj Pasek and Justin Paul, plays like a Bonnie Tyler power pop video from the 1980s.

Style has never been Ritchie's problem. His camera is always in motion, caressing the screen with acrobatic shots and tricky editing. His movies make your eyeballs dance but often at the expense of the characters who get lost in the theatricality of the presentation.

He's in fine form in "Aladdin" although overcooked CGI overwhelms the finale in a rush of animated imagery. The characters work hard to sparkle but get lost amid the ruckus and with them gores much of the film's heart. The ending is loud and large but fails to make an emotional impression. Sometimes less is more.

As Princess Jasmine, Scott has more to do than in the original and does so in much more modest clothing. No animated bellybuttons here. Massoud gives the social climbing Aladdin a certain impish charm in an energetic performance. More baffling is Kenzari as the monotone villain Jafar. All scowls and surly attitude, he's the least interesting villain on Ritchie's resume.

The screen is filled with people but, let's face it, the character everyone is most interested in is the big blue Genie. He's the star of the show but in many ways it's the film's most thankless role. Robin Williams made the Genie his own in a performance that still sparkles with life more than twenty-five years later. Smith battles against some unfortunate CGI and the memory of Williams to make the character his own. He's part match-maker, part magic-maker and part mirth-maker. Fortunately for Ritchie Smith's charisma elevates the performance from merely mimicking his predecessor.

"Aladdin" is not so much a remake but an up-dating for a new generation. Some of the revisions are welcome. Jasmine is a now fully rounded character and some unfortunate lyrics, like "It's barbaric but hey, it's home," have been removed. Other changes don't work as well. Can someone explain why Iago (voiced by Alan Tudyk), a comedic highlight from the 1992 film, has been reduced to a few squawks and repeated phrases?

Despite the updates and the pomp "Aladdin" feels underwhelming by the time the end credits roll. The songs frequently interrupt the flow of the story, creating a stop-and-go feel that sucks some of the film's momentum away.

BOOKSMART: 4 ½ STARS

Four hundred years ago when Shakespeare wrote, "To thine own self be true," he could not have imagined that his words would provide the bedrock of a raucous teen comedy and yet here we are. "Booksmart," Olivia Wilde's feature directorial debut, is both high and low brow, touching and sentimental in its look at female friendship.

Molly (Beanie Feldstein) and Amy (Kaitlyn Dever) are best friends. Inseparable, they are class president and vice-president, Michelle Obama acolytes who listen to self-empowerment tapes. "You've worked harder than anyone and that's why you are a champion. Stand at the top of the mountain of your success and look down on everyone who has ever doubted you." Molly is a perfectionist who corrects the grammar on bathroom wall graffiti while Amy is off to Botswana to "help women make tampons."

On the eve of their high school graduation, they have Yale and Columbia in their sights but when Molly realizes her slacker schoolmates are also going to Ivy League schools she isn't happy. "We chose to study so we could get into good schools," she says. "They didn't choose." After semesters of prioritizing academics over socializing they attempt to cram four years of fun into one night. "Nobody knows we are fun," Molly says. "We are smart and fun. What took them four years were doing in one night."

There's only one big problem; they don't have the address of the hip graduation party and no one is answering their texts. "We have never hung out with any of these people except academically," Amy says. "They probably think we're calling about school." After some misadventures on a tricked-out yacht and at a murder mystery party they use their academic skills. "How will we find out where next party is? By doing what we do best, homework."

"We are 8A+ people and we need an A+ party."

The plot synopsis of "Booksmart" sounds like it could have been lifted from any number of other high school comedies but director Wilde simply uses the of high school graduation party set-up as a backdrop for her hilarious study of female bonding. The premise may be familiar but the charm of the movie is all in execution and the connected chemistry between the leads.

In her feature debut Wilde is so self-assured, staging big party scenes, a dance number and even car chases but never allows the focus to drift from Molly and Amy. Even when the supporting cast—the cosmically free-spirited Gigi (Billie Lourd), rich kid Jared (Skyler Gisondo), the much-talked-about AAA (Molly Gordon) or the very theatrical drama club members Alan and George (Austin Crute and Noah Galvin)—gets showcased in increasingly outrageous ways Wilde never lets their humanity trump the humour. In other words, it's funny because it's based in truth; real human behavior.

Feldstein and Dever are the film's beating heart. Both have crushes on other people—Molly likes party boy Nick (Mason Gooding), Amy has her eye on skater girl Ryan (Victoria Ruesga)—but deep down they are soul mates. They click, whether it is through their banter or the knowing looks they exchange, and by the time "Unchained Melody," that ode to unconditional love, spills from the theatre's speakers there's no doubt that Molly and Amy are bound to be connected forever, or at least until adult life gets in the way.

Like its main characters "Booksmart" is an overachiever that knows how to have a good time.

GORDON LIGHTFOOT: IF YOU COULD READ MY MIND: 3 ½ STARS

Music documentaries often veer into hagiography, looking back with rose coloured glasses at their subject. There are heaps of high praise in "Gordon Lightfoot: If You Could Read My Mind," a new career retrospective from co-directors Martha Kehoe and Joan Tosoni, but right from the outset it displays an honesty rare in authorized bios.

After a few bars of his chauvinistic '60s hit "For Lovin' Me" Lightfoot, watching vintage footage, demands it be shut off. "That's a very offensive song for a guy to write who was married with a couple of kids," he says before adding, "I guess I don't like who I am."

It's a startling beginning to a movie that uses his music and a series of celebrity talking heads like Steve Earle, Sarah McLachlan, Geddy Lee, Anne Murray and Alec Baldwin, who helpfully adds, "This was a guy who sang poems," to tell the story. Traditionally Lightfoot's enigmatic approach to his biography has left many questions unanswered in the media. That doesn't change much here, although he seems to have allowed open access to his home and is occasionally candid in the contemporary interviews. "I regret a lot of things," he says near the end of the film. "I caused emotional trauma in people, particularly some women, the women I was closest to. I feel very, very badly about it."

"If You Could Read My Mind" doesn't skip over sensitive biographical points. His relationship with Cathy Evelyn Smith, a woman he loved who was later accused of killing John Belushi and the infidelities that marred his personal life are examined, although with a light touch that respects his privacy.

Supporting the storytelling are interestingly curated images. From rare clips of his early performances on the CBC and on the stages of Yonge Street taverns and Yorkville coffee houses and archival photos of the legendary, star-studded parties he threw at his Rosedale home, to old footage of his parents and behind-the-scenes images of his acting debut in Desperado — "You'll never win an Oscar," said co-star Bruce Dern, "but you're fun to work with" — the doc offers a comprehensive visual essay of Canadiana, Gordon Lightfoot style.

Ultimately the best documentary of Lightfoot's storied life is his work, tunes like "Sundown" and "Rainy Day People" that suggest everything he has to say is in his songs. "Your personal experience and your emotional stress," he says, "finds its way in by way of your unconscious mind over into the mind of reality and translates itself into your lyrics. And you don't even know that is happening."



WATCH THE VIDEO ON THEME: Morissette, Darren Espanto - "A Whole New World" LIVE on Wish 107.5 Bus [REACTION]
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37 of the biggest differences between the live-action 'Aladdin' and the animated movie

win a wish new world

Young Filipino singers Darren Espanto and Morissette Amon were picked by Disney to sing the theme song of the live action film version of Aladdin.

The revelation was made during a media briefing held for Aladdin which started screening in the Philippines on May 22.

Espanto and Amon covered “A Whole New World” originally recorded by Filipino Disney Princess Lea Salonga.

READ MORE about Tony winner and Grammy nominee Lea Salonga.

Darren and Morisette singing the Aladdin theme now has a studio version. Credits to @itsmorisette.

Darren Espanto and Morisette Amon singing Aladdin’s “A Whole New World” can be streamed on iTunes and Spotify.

WATCH & LISTEN to Darren Espanto and Morisette Amon cover Aladdin for Wish Bus now trending then TELL US what you think in the comments below!

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Australian and New Zealand residents who are aged 18 or over who will each win the Wish Prize. b) Individuals must retain the golden ticket.

Full 'Aladdin' Trailer Shows It's a Whole New World for Disney Remakes

win a wish new world

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

1. What is the “Tim Tam 3 Wishes” Promotion?

During the promotional period, Tim Tam are giving consumers the chance to win 1 of 3 wishes worth $100,000 (referred to as the “Wish Component”) or a $100 Visa Gift card hourly (referred to as the “Daily Prize Component”).

2. When will “Tim Tam 3 Wishes” Promotion commence?

The Promotion will open at 12:00am AEST on 27/05/2019 in both Australia & New Zealand

3. When will “Tim Tam 3 Wishes” Promotion close?

The Promotion will end at 11:59pm AEST on 19/07/2019 in both Australia & New Zealand.

4. What are the requirements to enter the “Tim Tam 3 Wishes” Promotion?

Purchase a specially marked packs of Arnott’s Tim Tam product in Australia or New Zealand from any stockist of Arnott’s Tim Tam biscuits (including online) between the 27th May – 19th July and keep your itemised purchase receipt.

5. What are the participating products?

Specially marked packs of Arnott’s Tim Tam include: o Original 200g o Classic Dark 200g o White 165g o Chewy Caramel 175g o Double Coat 200g

Specially marked packs will be available from 27th May – 19th July whilst stocks last and subject to individual store availability. Note only specially marked packs are valid for entry purposes.

6. Where will the competition run?

The promotion will run anywhere that specially marked Qualifying Purchase products are sold in Australia & New Zealand (including online).

PARTICIPATING

7. Who can enter the Promotion?

Australian and New Zealand residents who are aged 18 or over who buy a specially marked pack during the promotional period and can provide a receipt as proof of purchase.

8. How can I win?

Entrants can win one of two ways.

Wish Component: By finding one of the three (3) Golden Tim Tam packs, each pack containing a golden lamp inside including completing the requisite information to satisfy entry.

Daily Prize Component: By entering online at www.timtam3wishes.com and submitting a completed entry form.

9. How do I enter the promotion?

Purchase a participating product during the promotional period.

To enter the Wish Component: a) There will be a total of three (3) specially marked packs of Tim Tam that will contain a winner ticket inside the pack. Individuals that find a Golden Tim Tam Pack during the Promotional Period, will each win the Wish Prize. b) Individuals must retain the golden ticket inside their Golden Tim Tam Pack and follow the instructions provided to claim their prize, this will include sending the golden ticket and receipt to the Promoter for verification.

To enter the Daily Prize Component: a) Visit www.timtam3wishes.com and follow the prompts on the entry page & submit the fully completed entry form. b) There will be one (1) draw for each hour between 12:00am AEST and 11:59pm AEST on each day of the Promotional Period. c) Each Hourly Draw will draw one (1) Hourly Winner from all entrants received (from either Australia and New Zealand) within that hour to which the Hourly Draw relates. d) Make sure you keep your itemised purchase receipt! We will need this to validate your claim. e) Each entry submits you into the draw FOR THAT HOUR ONLY. Each pack can only be entered once. You can enter up to 3 times a day with 3 separate Tim Tam packs purchased during the promotional period.

10. How can I find one of the 3 Golden Tim Tam packs?

Each Golden Tim Tam pack will be secretly randomly seeded by the Promoter. Buy any specially marked packs for a chance to find a Golden Tim Tam pack.

11. How will I know if I am a winner?

Wish Component: You are a provisional winner if you find a Golden Tim Tam Pack. Simply follow the instructions inside to redeem your prize.

Daily Prize Component: Within 48 business hours, if you have been drawn as a winner of the Daily Prize Component you will receive an email advising you that you are a provisional winner. You will need to follow the steps outlined in the email to validate your prize (including uploading your itemised purchase receipt). Once verified, you will receive your $100 Visa card within 20 business days at your nominated postal address.

12. How many times can I enter?

Multiple entries permitted, subject to the following: a) only one (1) entry is permitted per Eligible Product purchased; b) each entry must be submitted separately and in accordance with entry requirements; an c) a maximum of three (3) entries per person per day is permitted.

13. When will winners be announced?

Winners of a Wish Prize will be announced online at www.timtam3wishes.com on 15/11/2019 for 28-days. And all Daily Prize Winners names will be published online at www.timtam3wishes.com on 16/08/2019 for 28 days. For avoidance of doubt, only validated winners’ names will be published.

14. Who do I contact if I have more questions?

If you still have a question or need some help please click here to contact us.

PRIZING

15. What prizes are available?

There are two types of prizes available to be won.

Wish Component: There will be a total of three (3) specially marked packs of Golden Tim Tams that will contain a golden lamp inside the pack. Each wish prize consists of up to $100,000 towards fulfilling the winner’s wish or wishes. The Wish Prize amount will correspond to the local currency of the winner’s country of residence (AUD/NZD). The Promoter will work together with each winner to organise fulfilment of the winner’s wish or wishes. See terms and conditions for more information.

Daily Prize Component: There will be twenty-four (24) $100 x physical Visa cards available to be won each day of the Promotional Period, and a total of one thousand, two hundred and ninety-six (1,296) Visa cards to be won in total. For avoidance of doubt, entries received that are not deemed an Hourly Winner of that Hourly Draw will not be entered into future Hourly Draws but all entries will be entered into the second chance draw.

16. How long do I have to redeem my prize?

Wish Component:Wish prizes must be fully redeemed by the 18th October 2020.

Daily Prize Component: The prepaid Visa gift card must be activated within the date specified on the letter you receive with your gift card. To activate the gift card, you must go online to www.activateacard.com.au and enter in the card details. Once activated, funds are available by 12:00pm AEST the following business day.

17. If I win one of the 3 Wish Prizes, can I take it as $100,000 cash?

Yes, you can.

18. Are the Visa gift cards accepted everywhere?

Visa gift cards are valid until the expiry date shown on the front of the card and can be used for purchasing goods and services where ever Visa Prepaid cards are accepted for electronic transactions (excluding transactions at ATMs or over the counter at financial institutions). The Card is not a credit card and nor is it linked to a deposit account with us. Some merchants may choose not to accept Visa Prepaid cards.

The Card cannot be used to make transactions that exceed the available balance. For such a transaction you need to pay the difference by another method if the merchant agrees.

19. Can I load more funds onto my Visa gift card?

The Card is not reloadable. It is valid until the expiry date shown on the front of the Card and cannot be used after expiry. At expiry, the remaining available balance will be forfeited. We will not give you any notice before this happens.

20. Are there any transaction or monthly fees associated with the Visa gift cards?

A 2.99% foreign exchange conversion fee applies to transactions in any currency other than Australian dollars and is calculated on the Australian dollar transaction amount. This will be included in the total transaction amount debited to the Card. Due to this foreign exchange fee, all New Zealand winners will receive a Visa gift card with a pre-loaded value of NZD $103.

And such have been the heights of the world's glory Which I have climbed: ah! of those officers, and said to each of *hem apart,” I wish to make you my wife.

win a wish new world
Written by Aragis
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