Tag Archives: Jack Black

Cinema Dispatch: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle

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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle and all the images you see in this review are owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

Directed by Jake Kasdan

So I guess the nineties nostalgia train is just gonna keep on rolling until it either runs out of steam or derails horribly (the latter probably if someone gets the idea to do a Cartoon Network Cinematic Universe), and this latest stop on that journey might be the most baffling yet.  Sure the original film is a straight up classic (don’t yell at me!  It is!), but did it really have the kind of cultural impact to make what I GUESS is supposed to be a sequel some twenty years later?  Maybe that’s why they got one of the most reliably bankable stars right now to take the lead, which to be fair is EXACTLY what they did in the original.  Either way, does this manage to live up to the fantastic film that preceded it, or is this yet another soulless cash grab desperately pandering to millennial nostalgia for a quick buck?  Let’s find out!!

The movie follows the story of a group of kids stuck in detention for various reasons when they JUST SO HAPPEN upon a video game console that looks kind of like a TurboGrafx-16.  Inside there is only a single cart called Jumanji which they decide to play because apparently detention in this school goes unsupervised; especially when its being served out in a storage room full of all sorts of precariously stacked sports equipment and I guess haunted video game consoles.  The four kids, Spencer, Bethany, Fridge, and Martha (Alex Wolff, Madison Iseman, Ser’Darius Blain, and Morgan Turner) get sucked into the video game and turn into three character actors and a leading man in the process and now have to find a way to beat the game in order to get back to the real world.  Dr. Smolder Bravestone is Spencer’s character (Dwayne Johnson) takes point due to his video game knowledge and brand new smoking bod, Franklin Finbar is Fridge’s character (Kevin Hart) is the animal expert with an infinitely deep backpack, Ruby Roundhouse is Martha’s character (Karen Gillan) as a Playstation 1 era female protagonist, and Professor Sheldon Oberon is Bethany’s character (Jack Black) who knows how to… read maps I guess?  Anyway, the four of them have to work together in order to complete their mission of getting some sort of jewel back to its sacred resting place before the EVIL Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale) shoots them all in the head and takes the jewel for himself.  Will these four brave (or at least sort of brave) heroes manage to put aside their differences and work together to escape this CryEngine tech demo?  What secrets are hiding in this jungle, and will those secrets contain references to the previous film?

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Cinema Dispatch: Goosebumps

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Goosebumps and all the images you see in this review are owned by Columbia Pictures

Directed by Rob Letterman

Well if Nineties Nostalgia is going to be a thing now, I guess we’ll be seeing movies like this pop up from time to time.  Hell, they’re making a Power Rangers movie, so why not a Goosebumps creature feature (which will hopefully be followed by an Are you Afraid of the Dark reboot)?  The trailers for this were pretty bad though with Jack Black doing his usual shtick, which I tend to like but can also be way overdone, and a story that feels like it’s been pulled right out of the hack’s guide for easy movie adaptations.  So does this turn out to be a Halloween kid’s classic like Monster Squad or Hotel Transylvania, or is this another marketing exercise gone horribly wrong like The Smurfs or Alvin and the Chipmunks?  Let’s find out!!

The movie is about “young” Zach (Dylan Minnette) and his mother who have just moved to Derry Maine… no wait, Madison Delaware.  They’ve just moved from New York so that his mother can be the principal of the local high school that he will be attending which I guess is embarrassing or something.  Anyway, Zach’s neighbor is a reclusive dude (Jack Black) living with his daughter Hannah (Odeya Rush) and the both of them seem rather strange.  He and his new friends Champ (Ryan Lee) eventually find out that the mysterious dude is legendary writer RL Stine and that his original manuscripts contain all the monsters he has ever written about.  They find this out to late however as some of the monsters have escaped including one who seems to be pulling the strings as it were.  Can Zach, Champ, Hannah, and Mr. Stine stop these creatures from destroying the town?  Will Zach win the heart of Hannah because every movie has to have that subplot?  Can this please be a hit if for no other reason than to get Jack Black enough clout to try and make a Tenacious D sequel!?

“We’re gonna call it… The PICKS of Destiny!  See, it’s a sequel… so now there are TWO picks!”

“We’re gonna call it… The PICKS of Destiny!  See, it’s a sequel… so now there are TWO picks!”

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