The Jungle Book Review

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     This is what I’ve wanted Disney to do the whole time. I was getting fed up with this “revisionist” shit that most studios do with their fairy tale properties. This is basically what I wanted; a live action remake of the cartoon, because you can do that now. The crazy fucking thing is that this movie actually works. 
     I think we all know the story of the man cub Mowgli (Neel Sethi) who must journey to the man village because Shere Khan (Idris Elba) is going to murder his ass. So, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) joins Mowgli and along the way meets Baloo (Bill Murray), where the man cub has to stop running and face his future.
     I’m fucking astonished that this movie worked. I mean on an emotional level, which on the other hand means that the visual effects even worked. It’s like a crazy balance that could have been fucked up royally. I believed that the animals were real, even when they were doing extraordinary things.
     The voice acting was so on point across the board. Scarlett Johansson as Kaa had this menacing seduction that gave the scene a whole new meaning. It was frightening. And I shit you not, you haven’t lived life until you hear Christopher Walken as King Louis singing I Wanna Be Like You. I never realized how complete my life would be after seeing that.
     Bravo to director Jon Favreau for pulling off the impossible. An actual adaptation that made me feel. Not hatred, but genuine joy that did make me think of the original Disney cartoon, and I wasn’t pissed off. The two versions coexist beautifully together, and that shows that Favreau is a master of his craft. Easily, one of the best movies of the year.

    

Zootopia Review

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     I don’t recall much buzz about Zootopia before it came out. I know that it’s a Disney film, but I must admit that if it’s not Pixar, then I really don’t give a shit what Disney Animation puts out. So to say that this movie was a complete surprise would be an understatement.
     In a world where animals of all different types can now somehow coexist, little bunny Judy Hopps (Ginnifer Goodwin) dreams of becoming a police officer, but she’s literally a bunny. Would you take a bunny seriously as a cop? Yeah, neither would every other animal from lions to tigers to rhinos. But that doesn’t stop her and actually achieves her goal. Yay!
     But the real world can be a fickle bitch, and not even her own boss, a bison (Idris Elba) takes her serious. She’s basically an Affirmative Action hire. Soon, she meets a con artist fox (not making this shit up) named Nick (Jason Bateman) and the two are forced to work together to uncover an unsettling conspiracy.
     By all accounts, Zootopia shouldn’t have fucking worked. Read that summary again. It’s fucking crazy! I’m  telling you, John Lasseter, the head of Pixar, really did a number at Disney. In recent years the output of films are not only funny, but really emotional.
     I can’t even remember the last  time I laughed out loud this much during a Disney flick.
     The DMV sloth scene is the obvious standout here, and is the key to the movies success. As adults, mostly bringing the kids, that scene is way too fucking real. Kids would find it funny because of the absurd exaggeration, but parents know that its not. The kids are entertained, the parents are also.
     Going back to the emotional side of things, the message of the movie, don’t underestimate anyone or their dreams, is just simply a wonderful one to see in a kids film. Really think about your favorite films growing up; they all had some message that helped you out in life. It just makes me happy that the studio hasn’t lost sight of the fact that life is hard, especially when it comes to your dreams, but that all difficult things are worth doing when it’s your passion. Shit, I know some adults that need to be reminded of that.

    

The Magic of Midnight Movies

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     I have never been to a midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show, but I’ve been to The Room, and it’s every bit as crazy as I could have imagined. These types of screenings are the stuff of myth, usually discovered by a friend, or stumbling on the information within the obscure corners of the internet.
     The midnight movie started in 1970 with the release of Alejandro Jodorwosky’s El Topo, this odd, very surrealistic western.

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     There’s really no way to describe it, except as “weird as fuck!” The picture ushered in an era of oddities in cinema that couldn’t be shown during conventional showtimes. Basically, you were going to smoke a shit ton of pot (usually secondhand) and go on a fucking trip.
     But the midnight movie was forever changed with the release, and subsequent flop, of one little musical that everyone assumed would disappear.

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     Yep. This movie. It’s in the Guinness Book of World Records as the movie with the longest theatrical exhibition at over 40 years. What made it endure all these years has been the audience participation. People bring props, recite dialogue, do the Time Warp (again), you name it. Somewhere in the world, the film is playing at midnight.
     As I mentioned earlier that I’ve never been to a Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight, but The Room I just experienced over the weekend. I didn’t see the movie, I fucking experienced it. The recitation of dialogue, talking back to the characters, and noticing things that I never saw before (nobody shuts the goddam door!) are just some of the hilarious things that you get to witness. The fact that ten minutes into the movie, my friends and I are laughing so hard we develop headaches, and try to calm ourselves. Shit, I got hit in the head by a plastic spoon (no, this isn’t a joke or exaggeration). Has that happened at your latest Marvel screening? Didn’t think so.
     I know that the casual movie goer thinks they have been to a midnight screening, but not really. I’ve experienced three different kinds: Mainstream, Obscure, and Cult. The first being shit that a studio puts out, usually a new release. The second being an oddity, like Motel Hell or Brain Damage, where fun and laughter occur. The third one is something like no other, where the people at these screenings are legitimate fans. Like, fucking crazy. If props are involved, then you’re at a cult screening.
     Trust me on this, go to a Cult midnight screening at least once. You’ll never be the same again.