1967’s The Jungle Book was the last animated feature fortunate enough to have Walt Disney’s classic inspiration. As with all his works, Disney strived to create characters we all cared about and could identify with. In human or animal form. Thankfully, that sacred tradition has been maintained by the studio rightly after Walt’s passing in 1966. This December 15th will mark the 50th anniversary of his death, commemorating a legacy of dreams and magic for kids and adults.
Iron Man helmer Jon Favreau makes a gallant attempt to remake the classic, along with all the inherent magic, delightful characters, and especially one familiar song many of us still know and love. And the best part is, he succeeds. Applying the modern miracles of life like computer genera-tion and photo-real technology, Favreau and the geniuses at Weta Digital (The Lord of The Rings) have seamlessly combined one first -rate live performance with that of human like jungle denizens.
Remarkably akin to the animated classic (I watched it again before see-ing this one), with a few adept nuances, The Jungle Book opens over the highbrow voice of Sir Ben Kingsley as Bagheera the black panther. He tells us of the many stories there are in the jungle, but none quite like the story of Mowgli the man-cub. Finding the small infant boy in a lowly cave, Baghee-ra, after some mental conflict, decides to take the boy to Raksha (Lupito N-yong’o) and her wolf pack to be raised by her, and pack leader Akela (Gian-carlo Esposito).
Mowgli grows with his new “family” as a beloved son and brother to his wild four legged siblings. You assume he knows he is human, although he probably considers himself a wolf because of his upbringing. Unluckily, the vicious Tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) considers Mowgli as human, not fa-mily, asserting angrily during a periodic truce at Peace Rock, that humans are forbidden, and because of a certain bad experience with a human, wants our man-cub dead. It’s not rocket science, even for animals to realize that Mowgli is no longer safe in the jungle, and as heartbreaking as it is to Rak-sha, her “son” must leave.
Kids, real or imaginary, no matter what age, or upbringing can be stub-born. And our man-cub is no exception. After all, when all you’ve known all your pre-teen life is being like a wolf, adjusting to a human environment may not only be difficult, but actually repulsive. So it’s certainly not surpri-sing for Mowgli to argue with Bagheera the entire way as he has graciously volunteered to take the young cub to the man village before Shere Kahn can find and slaughter him. It eventually leads to a parting of the ways between the inexperienced Mowgli and the the sage panther as the man-cub sets out on his own.
There seems to be no end to the “colorful” characters Mowgli meets along the way.
manhood that all women want, which is probably why their so appealing.
Popular comics writer Mark Millar does for secret agents in Kingsman: The Secret Service what he did for those makeshift superheroes in Kick Ass. Sporting a similar entertainingly serious atttude, Kingsman cleverly mana-ges to echo 007’s exploits, while avoiding a genuine parody of the character.
Gary “Eggsy” Unwin (Taron Edgerton) is kind of a bad penny, unem-ployed, yet talented, and using his best abilities in the worst ways.
Although many of us have never, and prayerfully will never experience the feeling, it’s more than reasonable to assume that deterioration of the hu-man mind is personally horrifying. Especially when there is nothing you can do about it. While you fight with all the mental faculties you possess in the beginning, it’s frightening to realize that sooner or later your memory will never be the same, and all intellectual abilities will vanish.
Julianne Moore serves as a perfect catalyst to draw one irrevocably in-to this realm of mental breakdown, playing linguistics professor Alice How-land in the emotionally driven Still Alice. She’s giving a special class at UCLA when she suffers an awkward lapse of memory, literally forgetting what she wants to say. Upon visiting a doctor along with husband John (Alec Baldwin) she learns the distressing reality that she has early onset Alzheimer’s Disease.
The Lazarus Effect
Hollywood producers, directors, and writers have always had fun with movies about playing God and the resurrection of the dead. From Frankenstein to the present, we have all been fascinated and extremely curious about the potential ability to bring back souls from eternity. And as always they all end up the same way. Something goes wrong every time you try to duplicate what the almighty has absolute exclusivity to. Life and death.
Director David Gelb’s debut feature “The Lazarus Efect” serves as a frightening