So, if you were like me and heard about the idea of Jumanji becoming a reboot, remake, sequel, whatever they were calling it back then, you were skeptical. Also, a little worried that they would try and update it and modernize it to appeal to the next generation and this is just one of those gems that can’t be updated with today’s audience. I guess I have to put my foot in my mouth because I was completely wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed this updated sequel to the 1996 version titled Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.
picture via Denofgeek.com
The Rock a.k.a. Dwayne Johnson took center stage leading a whole new cast into the world of Jumanji. This time instead of the jungle coming into our world, the movie took you inside of the game to the jungle where Alan Parrish spent 26 years in. Along for the ride are Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Jack Black, and Nick Jonas who play avatars in a video game version of the legendary board game. 4 teenagers who fit the clear tropes of any high school movie are sent to detention for their own growing pains getting in the way of school. In detention they come across the video game, choose their avatars and once they hit start they are whisked away into the game. Once there, they must work together and complete the mission of the game in order to return home.
From the people who brought you La La Land. It’s time for another musical to lift up your spirits and make you want to sing and dance. A complete 180 from the jazzy, slow, ballad filled academy award winning movie, this time around it’s a more fun, campy, catchy, and pop tone to the soundtrack telling the story of the man who brings us joy through the circus P.T. Barnum. In other words, the song “Another day of Sun” times 8.
picture via Billboard.com
Hugh Jackman plays the infamous Burnham. A man who since his childhood has always been the one looking in as he watches the glitz and glam of the world from the wealth. Looking for his opportunity to shine and get his peace of the pie his imagination guides him to entertain but to also earn a fortune and create a life for him and the love of his life Charity (Michelle Williams) by using oddities around the world to showcase for people’s enjoyment. Along the way his journey is not an easy one as he loses site of what his dreams truly is and the townspeople who are against having him in town with his band of “freaks” causes problems for him.
Love stories are told through film all the time in many different ways. Some are for fun, others are to bring a tear to your eyes, and Call Me By Your Name is one of those rare love stories that are just so real that no matter who you are, you know all too well the feeling of the first time you fall in love. Based on a novel by André Aciman, Writer James Ivory and Director Luca Guadagnino bring you an innocent love story told between two men Oliver and Elio played by Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet respectively.
picture via theedge.com
The story takes place in Italy, and let me just say that this movie makes you want to visit Italy just for the scenery alone. In 1983, Oliver comes to Italy for the summer as an assistant to Elio’s father. While there, Oliver stays with Elio’s family and that is where their bond grows awakening Elio’s sexuality as they bond over the beautiful Italy as well as their similarities in their Jewish faith. This is a beautiful story. Especially told in the 80’s you are given a bit of nostalgia with the music and the clothes worn throughout the film.
As far back as I can remember, I don’t think I have ever seen a monster movie that was an authentic love story as its main tone throughout the film. Well, now I can cross that off the list. While there is probably more out there with the same tone, Guillermo del Toro writes and directs a touching and social satire story surrounding the unique and different kind of people as they struggle to find their place in a world that looks at them different and navigate love along the way.
Out of all the famous iconic monsters or creatures Del Toro could have used, he chose the gil man. This is a very interesting choice because we don’t see much surrounding the monster as the vampire, Frankenstein’s monster, and the werewolf is more popular to use in a film. Synopsis provided by Imdb.com, In a 1960s research facility, a mute janitor forms a relationship with an aquatic creature. That mute janitor is played by talented actress Sally Hawkins (Blue Jasmine, Godzilla 2014) and the aquatic creature is played by the infamous Doug Jones (Hocus Pocus, Hellboy) who is known to cover his face with makeup to make any fantastical creature come to life and he just brings that creation to life on screen so perfectly every time.
picture via collider.com
That moment when you feel guilty for laughing at a time that should be a sad or real moment. There were a lot of those moments in this hardcore and raw drama set in Ebbing Missouri. I had to look it up on imdb.com if this was under the category of a comedy. Believe it or not, it is considered a comedy, crime, and drama. That relief I felt finding that it was okay to laugh when I shouldn’t, was great. If any of you decide to go see this movie in theatres, for any reason than award considerations, you are in for a mixed emotion thrill ride with a A+ cast as you guide.
picture via athenacinema.com
The amazing Frances McDormand takes us on an emotional journey into the life of tough as nails Mildred Hayes who is having a tough time handling the death of her teenage daughter who was murdered by an unknown criminal. The case unfortunately was never solved which doesn’t give her any closer. I mentioned earlier that Mildred is tough as nails so she decides to challenge the local police and put a fire under their asses to solve the case after time has passed by posting a blunt, straight to the point, and to some graphic message on three distinctive billboards close to her home, to the chief of the town and lead on the case Chief Willoughby, played by the brilliant Woody Harrelson. This starts a spiraling reaction to not only the police but the whole town of Ebbing with people who agree and disagree with her tactics to obtain justice.
Wonder is one of those movies that reminds you to love the little things in life. Based on the New York Times bestseller, Wonder is full of heart, it’s inspiring, and just makes you feel good to be alive when you walk out of a theatre. There are many ways escapism works when you go to the movies and this film provides you with a reminder that even through the hard times we could be facing in our world today, it is possible to be happy and that positive attitude can be contagious to others.
This feel good movie involves Jacob Tremblay (Room) as Auggie, a boy who is entering the fifth grade after being homeschooled by his mother, Isabel, played by Julia Roberts. This is his first time going to a public school which should be exciting for a kid but Auggie is a unique individual who has facial differences. Auggie and his family also including his Father, Nate (Owen Wilson), and sister, Via (Izabela Vidovic) are concerned with how people will receive him because he looks different.
How could I not write a review without comparing both movies. They are practically the same movie, similar premise, just a different gender focus. It is November and even though Thanksgiving is a solid recognized holiday, it seems that it’s time for the Christmas movies to start rolling in. While I would like more Thanksgiving themed movies to come down the pipeline, it is what it is. Two movies, both Christmas movies, and both sequels. How did they do?
First off, I should point out that this review is coming from someone who enjoyed the first entry of both movies. Daddy’s Home received a better score of 4 ½ out of 5 while Bad Moms received 3 ½ out of 5 on my entertainment scale. This time around I actually enjoyed A Bad Moms Christmas more than Daddy’s Home 2.