Starring: Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, Tim Matheson, Colin Hanks, Nick Jonas, Bobby Cannavale, Rhys DarbyRuntime: 1h59mTrivia: The film is set in the same town as the original Jumanji.Plot: 4 people must put aside their differences to beat Jumanji... before it's too late!!Review: So I'd like to preface this entire review by saying I really loved the 1995 Jumanji. I love Robin Williams, am in love with Kirsten Dunst, thought it was a blast of a movie. So when I heard about this movie being made 22 years later I was angry. More than angry, I was like... livid. But that cooled off as I am trying to be a more mature human being with movies and not trying to hate a lot of things, so when I was sitting home one night and heard that it was really good and fun. Needless to say I was skeptical of the movie, but willing to give it a go.Man, this movie did not disappoint. While the acting was not overly great (save for Jack Black who absolutely crushes playing a 17 year old girl), everything else was super fun. I didn't even dislike Kevin Hart, which was shocking to me as I normally find him less than funny. The Rock is always a pretty fun actor and brings it, as The Rock does. Karen Gillan as the awkward nerdy girl was very fun as well and Rhys Darby from Flight of the Concords is the main helper in the game.So, as always, I'll do my best to not spoil anything, but will go into some parts of the movie:The movie starts in 1997 with someone finding Jumanji in the sand and bringing it home to their son, who immediately discards it as "no one plays board games anymore" and proceeds to pick up a video game. So the game, I assume some sort of sentient being, more or less watches the kid play video games and can alter its own form into being a video game instead of a board game. I wasn't really upset with the way that the movie makers did this, but I was a little upset with the fact that the game seemingly turns itself into what looks like a Atari 2600 game, which kids would likely being playing less than board games in 1997. But that's not really an issue, just a bit weird for me.From there we zip twenty years ahead and 4 teenagers have to go to detention for various things and in detention they find said video game and decide to play it rather than do their detention. That's where things go wrong... for them, not us. For us, that's where things go very right.They did some changing of what I know as Jumanji the place from the first movie, but that doesn't bother me. We don't really see any updated versions of the crappy monkeys or spiders from the first one, but we do see them in a massive, rain forest like jungle. It wasn't the dark, dank place from the 1995 version that had Robin Williams explain that there are things that will kill you that you can't even see, but it was a jungle.I thought they captured the video game concept pretty well, the Jumanji music would chime in when they had certain tasks ahead of them and it seemed very much so like an Uncharted type game, so that was kinda cool.There were a couple good throwbacks to the 1995 movie, though none too in your face... except the giant "Allan Parrish was here" scraped into the side of a wall, which was pretty funny. The villain of the movie is named Van Pelt and he's the hunter from the original as well. They didn't use the classic symbolism of having the villain be anyone's father or anything, just a guy in a video game, which was nice to be honest. No need for symbolism in a movie like this.While it's a very linear movie that can be predicted pretty easily and the video game seems like it would take them a matter of minutes, it's a really fun movie and I think people should see it. That's really all I've got for it. Give it a go and enjoy the Rock being somewhat of a baby and Karen Gillan being an awkward "unpretty" (I say that because the character that is being the avatar doesn't see herself as being pretty, though she is, in all accounts, kinda cute too) rather than exceptionally gorgeous.
Starring: Auli'i Cravalho, The Rock, Jemaine Clement, Alan TudykRun time: 103 minutesPlot: A young Polynesian girl must go on a quest to save the world before her island gets ravaged.Review: A weird mix of Mulan meets Fern Gully meets the ocean, Moana was a pretty good movie, albeit slightly predictable. It was the 56th movie from Disney pictures and certainly did not disappoint in any way, the writing was good, the songs were good, the animation (as always) was amazing. I just had difficulty watching this and thinking it so amazing after seeing Kubo and the two strings earlier this year.The Rock plays Maui, a demigod who does everything he can to get adoration from the people, which seems almost too on point for me, but very well done. I would say the animation of his character is super unrealistic, but looking at him lately he is basically the same as his character in that he has no neck and is the size of a small house. But the character has a lot of hair and The Rock hasn't had hair since his days of being Rocky Maivia.As with my thinking of Doctor Strange, it's nice to see actors (or hear them as it were) in movies that aren't super well known. The young lady, Auli'i Cravalho hasn't been in any movies, so this was obviously a massive break for her should she choose to take it, but we also hear the fantastic, melodious voice of Jemaine Clement of Flight of the Conchords fame. He's been in a fair chunk of movies, but it's always nice to see him in more things to get more exposure. His song was also far and away the best part of the movie.The movie moves in a pretty linear fashion and doesn't really stray away from taking you exactly where you're supposed to be, which isn't bad as it's a kids movie, but I had hoped for a bit more to be honest. I did enjoy the movie, but felt they could have taken it to a different place, which may have been good or bad, I'm not sure.For the most part the movie is based around just the two people in the Rock and Cravalho, so there isn't too much to talk about really. I also have no intention of spoiling any of it as it's only been out 4 days.See the movie, especially if you have kids... there's a lava monster and giant crustacean that may scare them a bit, but it's certainly enjoyable from a child's perspective as I have the brain of a child and enjoyed it. Side note, if you have older children, buy Kubo and the two strings for them, that's a big one.
It's been a while since I did a Netflix series, so I thought I'd come back in with an action packed set of comedy, action and intrigue! Let's get right into it. Horror: Ghostbusters (1984): A classic horror comedy that I thought would be prudent to put on the list with the new one having come out this past Friday. While the new one isn't bad at all, it's almost impossible for me to say it's better than the original. The combination of Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis, Sigourney Weaver and Rick Moranis is phenomenal, even to this day. Will run you close to two hours, but well worth it.
Comedy: The Great Outdoors (1988): Alongside Ackroyd, we get comedy legend (and I don't use that word often) John Candy in this super fun movie about two families out in the wilderness trying not to kill each other, with hilarious results. Shorter than Ghostbusters, but not as fantastic to me.
Action: The Rundown (2002): The Rock in a breakout role with Seann William Scott and Christopher Walken, it's an action movie that has the Rock chasing after Scott, whose father put a bounty on his head... dead or alive! Just kidding, alive. Very fun, some great scenes filled with action and comedy. The fight scene between the Rock and Ernie Reyes Jr. is fantastic. Also, it only runs about an hour and a half.
Drama: The Big Short (2015): A great movie by academy standards and by general standards, it has Steve Carell, Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale. A veritable who's who in the movie world about a group of businessmen who bet against the banks... and win? Over the two hour mark, still a worthwhile venture.
Romance: About Time (2012): Domhnall Gleeson and Rachel McAdams star in this romance movie about a man who can travel through time. But he finds there are consequences to his acts. Over two hours, but one of my favourite romance movies ever.
Random: Dawn of the Dead (2004): An awesome remake of a classic horror film has a group of people lead by Sarah Polley trying to survive the zombie apocalypse in a mall. Under two hours and really just a great horror movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat the entire time. Enjoy!