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The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998)

The Jungle Book: Mowgli's Story (1998)

It's a classic! Well, maybe not. It's not the animated version, it's the real life version - the third one not counting sequels, and though the animals are all well-trained, and everything is well-filmed, and the setting a realistically jungular one, it's not really on par with the animal work in say the original Jumanji movie, or George of the Jungle, or all of the other classics.

Though the story and atmosphere does all stay true to the original Jungle Book story it somehow doesn't really capture the essence of it, but ends up more entertaining than inspiring. It's not bad, and it's definately better than this one, It's just all a little tame and obvious.

The animals don't always look like they're really talking or interacting either, which in the end maybe make this one stand out as the coziest of the three. The animals feel a bit more harmless than they do in the others. Fuzzy. Soft. Just hanging around the main character waiting for a hug. It's a different kind of atmosphere than the others, a little brighter, and I like this too even if it just doesn't make for as much excitement.

A movie like this in modern day though, with real animals, and without special effects? That would've been interesting to see.

 rated 3/5: not bad

The Jungle Book (1994)

The Jungle Book (1994)

The Jungle Book?! It's really not. It's more like Tarzan if anything. The little (as in young) Mowgli doesn't look like Mowgli, and the new one looks neither like Mowgli nor like the little Mowgli. Nor is the story true to the original one at all.

What makes it even weirder is that both the sequel to this, and the new one that came after that, and the newest one that came this year are all true to the original... in their own ways. They all feature a different Mowgli however, and all tell the same tale with a few different touches.

If you're looking for a chronological Jungle Book adventure it seems it's just not possible to get one, but I'd recommend the second Jungle Book movie from 1997 over this, and second to that: the newer ones.

The props are good here. The jungle's good. The characters are good, the treasure, the lightning, it's all filmed in a dreamy and genuine way - yet the battles look incredibly fake, the tension's never there, the animals look tame and the main actor (Jason Scott Lee) doesn't make for a real life-like Mowgli at all.

Not to mention the jungle feels like a very closed in place, like a stage more than anything, and in all these areas both of the ones after this were better. This whole thing feels more like a Shaw Brothers take on a classic film, similar to this old thing.

It's not a bad movie per say, but it just doesn't capture the atmosphere, the characters, or the continuity you need for a good film. The stereotypes also all feel outdated, and I don't think it's only because Mowgli's all grown up.

Props on the good people doing a good performance despite the bad movie, and it's always fun to see John Cleese play a part, but this definitely wasn't one of his stronger roles. Nor Jason's.

The alternatives do this particular title better justice.

 rated 3/5: not bad

Musicalish #281

Green Day special! Courtesy of SuperPCGamer.

(more…)

Reefer Madness (2005)

Reefer Madness (2005)

The Musical.

It's amazing what you can get when you add a little music! And a little modern flare. It both looks and sounds good, and they handled the musical bit of it all really well too.

It does the original justice, some times, and other times parodies it excessively, and in the end I'm not sure if it was a parody entirely or if it was more of a half-assed attempt at bringing the old message into the new age, with a more Christian undertone to it...

Well, it's more like an overtone sometimes. But I did like it. It has flare. It has crazy. It has Amy Spanger and Christian Campbell, among others. And God, the Devil; lots of others. The main duo were just perfect too, and so truthful to the originals, as was John Kassir. Some of the others... well, they're not perfect, but all in all it's all well-worth watching.

As long as you like music.

And as long as you don't mind a little over the top, and you don't have any preconceptions as to the message it's here to present.

It wasn't perfect, and I did have my doubts when it started out, but in the end I'm satisfied. Musical bits and madness make up for dubious message, and whatever else it might be lacking to reach that more solid, undeniable:

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

Surf Ninjas (1993)

Surf Ninjas (1993)

Now this was just a genuinely fun movie! Funny? Not always. Lots of surfing? Lots of ninjas? Hmmmm not really. It's the nineties after all, and it's America, so don't expect too much. But some flashy fights, some good music, a grand adventure... you do get those! It's not bad after all.

The main character isn't the best worded one, and it's surprisingly easy to convince the main trio that they're royalty, but apart from small details that might've bugged you wasn't it just that type of movie where those things don't so much matter: I have no complaints. It was a blast from start to finish, and refreshingly spontaneous compared to the movies of modern time. In terms of props and stages you have to say they put up a decent set, too. Maybe not worth a four, but props for doing what they're doing! Bonus points for different and just plain simple fun. And Leslie Nielsen as a Cybernetic Samurai Commander with a weakness for water! What more can you possible ask for? Quality and continuity, you say? Pfff...

Also props Ernie Reyes Jr. and Rob Schneider on, although they might not be the best, at least always entertaining.

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle

The Green Inferno (2013)

The Green Inferno (2013)

Can't say this movie didn't have any redeeming qualities after all! It may not have been the most realistic, the CGI might have been trash, and the whole SJW movement (not to mention Alejandro) might have been more disturbing than the natives, but the blood looked real and the creepiness... you can't take away that creepiness. You really can't.

It's a movie about a group of student activists [who] travel to the Amazon to save the rain forest [yet] soon discover that they are not alone, and that no good deed goes unpunished.

A good buddy recommended I didn't watch this... but although I definitely won't be watching it again I am glad I did. It had its moments, shock and visual appeal, and it went out with a good message, not just regarding the saving-the-world thing but also that it's not all black and white, and you'd better be wary of what you choose to risk your life for. There are different ways to make a difference. And there are different differences you can make. Something like that? Good message but... could have been better.

 rated 2/5: decent

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