Flash Movie Review: The Jungle Book

When something that has only been created in a novel or been seen on television comes to life it can be a miraculous experience. Think about it, for those who saw Santa Claus sitting in his big chair with a line of children waiting nearby to tell him their wish list of toys; it had to be an amazing event. Depending on a child’s age seeing characters from their video games brought to life must also be a heady experience. I remember the first time I went to the zoo; having only seen household pets, squirrels, birds and a couple of farm animals; I was so excited to see all the exotic animals that were living in the zoo. My very first stuffed animal was a chimpanzee dressed in red overalls. Now I was seeing what I thought were all of his cousins jumping and swinging around in their own habitat. I have mentioned previously how I prefer reading afterwards the book a movie was based on, due to the author’s choice of words are usually better than the finished film project. With that being said I have to say there has been many times where I love seeing stories, historical events and folklore coming to life on the big screen. When done right, a movie can provide the voices of the characters one has made up in their heads of the ones in a novel. They can also bring to life an event that took place years ago but still has an importance in one’s life to this day. Today’s review is about a movie that brings new life to a classic story.   WHEN it suddenly became dangerous to stay at home the man-cub Mowgli, played by newcomer Neel Sethi; was taken by the panther Bagheera, voiced by Ben Kingsley (Learning to Drive, The Dictator), who would take him to a safer place. Mowgli’s journey would be life changing. This adventure drama was absolutely unbelievable to watch on the big screen; in fact, I may go back to see it in 3D because the CGI in this film was beautiful and realistic. Kudos to Neel Sethi because he was utterly believable as Mowgli; keeping in mind he was the only live person in this fantastical family film. Now that does not take anything away from actors such as Bill Murray (Rock the Kasbah, The Monuments Men) as Baloo the bear and Idris Elba (Beasts of No Nation, Thor franchise) as Shere Khan the tiger who were perfect voicing their characters. Having read the Rudyard Kipling book and seen the animated film years ago, I was totally taken into Mowgli’s world from my theater seat. I still love the first film but I have to tell you this version has every right to be considered a Disney classic on its own merits. It will not matter if you are familiar with this story or not because either way all the characters in this picture will draw you into their “real” world and you will be glad you were able to visit it.

 

4 stars

 

 

 

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About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on April 18, 2016, in Fantasy/Sci-Fi and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 22 Comments.

  1. I was looking forward to seeing this movie with my sons and now even more so. Thanks for your concise and helpful review. Finally – a good movie to see! And one that my kids and I can agree on (by the way, those sons are 19 and 25!). I’ll let you know how I like it – I’m certain I will, so I hope there won’t be a let down. 🙂

    • I too hope my review did not build it up too much for you and the film becomes a let down. Looking forward to hearing your review and thanks for the kind words.

      • Well, I saw it! It was definitely magical but a little strange to see so much realism and then contradictions like the huge gorilla and snake. It held my interest, though I think it was a little too long. My two sons went with me and my older son hated it. I didn’t expect that. I think his memories of the animated version and book just held more pleasure for him. But I still enjoy reading your reviews; it helps me understand more about the movies I’m seeing so I can form my own opinion. 🙂

      • Thank you for your comments. Would you mind telling me your son’s age who hated the film? It seems like such a strong reaction; but I can understand if a person holds close to their heart the animated film and book. Also I want to thank you for your kind words; especially the part about you forming your own opinion. I think that is great.

      • My youngest son (19) liked it – he didn’t vocalize any strong dislike. I know he loves Christopher Walken and enjoyed that part immensely. My oldest son (25) just hated the look and the little boy’s acting. He said that it felt really phony and boring.
        I think he expected more. I know you had given me some high expectations, but it was fine. I like movies that are sweet and not filled with a lot of noisy gun battles. It was fine! Glad that I could illuminate it with their ages. 🙂

      • Thanks for telling me and the first thing I have to say is how wonderful you were able to have a family date with your boys. I was expecting ages in the 5 to 13 age range. I am surprised at your oldest’s reaction to the boy; if I remember correctly the little boy is from a family of pharmacists who has aspirations to be a pharmacist. To me he seemed innocent and naive at the start. Once again I appreciate you taking the time to give the details to your experience.

  2. I do look forward to this, glad for the great review, YAY!

  3. A good review from you here.
    There were so many critics on this side saying it that we should not bring kids that is under 10 to watch this movie when it is also meant for kids even under 10. I don’t get it. Is it brutal?

    But I would love to go and see this with all of my kids. It is a classical children tale. I read Mogli since kindergarten and then later read a serious version when I was older. I love the old classic Mogli film too. But if you say that this one is fantastic, I would go there! For sure!

    • Critics are saying no child under 10? I disagree but very young like 3 or 4 may get scared with the tiger and a couple of the chase scenes. I did not hear anything negative from the children who were sitting in the theater where I saw this film. If you go see this movie I would enjoy hearing how you and the family liked it. Thanks for the comments.

  4. We took the kids to see this on Saturday (in 2D) and I still have not quite decided how I feel about it. I thought it was visually arresting, not just in terms of the incredible quality of the CGI but also the colours, the compositions, the little details. I also thought the anthropomorphism was spectacular – the characters were humanised just enough but never lost their sense of being wild animals. The voice acting was also totally on point – though if I ever hear Murray sing again it will be too soon. I thought the kid playing Mowgli was great too. But there is just something that niggles with me that I cannot quite put my finger on. I think maybe for all its amazing visuals and its immersive qualities, its incredible choreography of the action set pieces, it just lacked a bit of charm for me. It was still one of the best movies I have seen in the cinema for quite some time so I really am splitting hairs though. My four kids, on the other hand, all absolutely loved it.

    • Can I ask by chance were you judging the film compared to the animated one? I will say I was a little on the fence before putting 4 stars on this movie; but, the fact that it took me away from the theater tipped me over to 4 stars; plus I refused to think about the animated film or the book. I am thrilled the family had a great time watching this film and as always I appreciate you taking the time to write your comments. Thank you.

      • I think it was perhaps less a comparison to the animated film and more that I didn’t have the feelings I get from the warm glow of nostalgia when viewing that movie. It was my Grandad’s favourite. The fact my kids utterly loved it suggests it’s more my “movie baggage” that’s leading me to think it was lacking an X factor.

      • Interesting to hear; I appreciate you sharing your thoughts and feelings. Thank you.

  5. Wow! A trailer that gives me chills. Haven’t seen one of those in a long time.

    If I had seen this as a child, it would have given me nightmares for months. I think that parents should go see it first and then decide if their child is ready for it. 🙂

  6. Bonjour l’ami
    Dans un coin de mon cœur
    Ton amitié vit comme une fleur
    Avec un joli parfum de tendresse
    Ses pétales sont toutes colorées
    Les racines de cette fleur sont solides
    Voilà ,pourquoi , notre amitié dure depuis
    Des jours , des mois , des années
    C’est un lien très fort entre nous
    Je te souhaite une agréable journée
    Prends bien soin de toi
    Bernard , bise

    Un petit café ensemble ,tisane ou autre

    • Bonjour Bernard. I am quite touched that you took the time to leave your beautiful words here, it is much appreciated. I am pleased to meet you and may I say you have a wonderful site, keep up the great work. Best wishes to you.

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