The Jungle Book (2016)

Director
Jon Favreau
Runtime
1 h 46 min
Release Date
7 April 2016
Genres
Family, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
Overview
A man-cub named Mowgli fostered by wolves. After a threat from the tiger Shere Khan, Mowgli is forced to flee the jungle, by which he embarks on a journey of self discovery with the help of the panther, Bagheera and the free-spirited bear, Baloo.
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  • “The Jungle Book”

    Fantastic! Take your kids to see this one for sure. Absolutely gorgeous animation and a worthwhile reboot that brought something new to the experience while staying true to what made the original great. Very tough balance, but Favreau did it.

    The only reason the Affirmative Action ratings have points is because after watching the movie, I watched the voice actors. A good chunk of the main characters are “people of color.” But you would have never known it was the case since everyone has an animal avatar. There were no sassy black stereotypes or victim narratives, just charming British accents with baritone vocal chords. And of course, it makes perfect sense for the main character to be Indian due to the setting of the movie and its original character. Both SJWs and rightwingers can be pleased with the casting choices on this one.

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Crosswalk3
Cross Walk



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Missteps Aside, Disney's Jungle Book Remake is CGI Done Right
    Movies Different in tone from the 1967 original, and nowhere near the bar set by 2015's Cinderella remake, The Jungle Book charges full-speed toward one central theme: survival. The Odyssey-like structure is easy to follow for young viewers, while the darker and more mature elements hold the attention of parents. 3 out of 5. Want Another Take? Watch Our Video Review of The Jungle Book   Synopsis The latest installment in the Disney remake saga is a vast, sweeping, adventure. Wise, rule-following panther Bagheera (beautifully voiced by Sir Ben Kingsley) begins by telling us the story of the Man Cub Mowgli. Abandoned in the jungle when just a baby, Mowgli (newcomer Neel Sethi) is taken under Bagheera's care and then placed with a wolf pack. He grows up among the pups of strong she-wolf Raksha (Lupita Nyong'o) but always knows he is very different from his canine brethren. He makes up for his slower speed and lack of claws and teeth, however, with his "clever tricks": tools and inventions like cups, spears, and ropes. This incites suspicion from other animals in the jungle, but Mowgli maintains his ingenuity nevertheless. Trouble begins when the animals peacefully gather for a "water truce" during an intense drought, and vicious tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba) shows up, his face bearing deep scars of man's "red flower" (fire). Khan sneers at Mowgli and reminds alpha wolf Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) that Man Cubs become Men, and men are not allowed in their jungle. Khan vows to hunt and kill Mowgli once the rains return, and he proves true to his word. Will Mowgli find a way to balance his desire for the jungle and his uniquely human gifts, or can he only find safety by abandoning the jungle forever to rejoin those of his own kind?  SEE ALSO: Still Plenty of Magic Left in Cinderella's Glass Slipper googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); What Works? The film is certainly a visual feast. Lush jungle landscapes provide the perfect backdrop for adventure. And unlike previous CGI-fests (like Disney’s garish Maleficent), The Jungle Book's graphics don't frantically compete with its characters for the viewer's attention. The structure works well for children: the locations drive the action, and each new place provides a fresh challenge for the young hero. Most importantly, director Jon Favreau provides an interesting angle on the Man vs. Nature motif. Many films pick a side to champion, and then vilify the other. Rather, this story shows that, just as each animal in the jungle has its own beauty and strength, there is something unique and special about humans too, including our ability to make choices based on more than mere instinct.   What Doesn't? A few things keep this new Jungle Book from reaching its full potential. While Sethi works hard, one wishes he'd had more to interact with than computer generated creatures; there is no substitute for that spark of human connection on screen to evoke moving performances. Additionally, the movie could have been significantly more coherent had it not been tied to the shadow of the 1967 film. While it isn't too far fetched to see Bill Murray's Baloo break into The Bare Necessities, that was nothing to the bizarre, unsettling rendition of I Wanna Be Like You, performed distinctly out of nowhere by Christopher Walken as King Louie of the Monkey Kingdom. Many Disney remakes seem to falter in deciding what to do with the beloved songs of the original animated versions, and understandably so. But homages truly do nothing positive for this new rendition. The ending also comes abruptly; Mowgli's imminent connection with the nearby human village was not given its due, something that could have helped conquer the lack of human chemistry here.  SEE ALSO: Jolie is Scary Good in Maleficent Christian Worldview Elements / Spiritual Themes Mowgli struggles to find his place in a world where he doesn't belong, but his friends and adopted family members show him patience, grace, love, and selflessness. Teaming up with Baloo shows Mowgli how two very different people can still be friends and accomplish much. The introduction of the predatory serpent Kaa (Scarlett Johansson) is a reminder of the dangers of the world, especially when we try to go it alone. Elephants are given almost god-like respect by other creatures, and tales are told of how they "created" the jungle. See also: The Jungle Book and the Doctrine of Adoption   CAUTIONS (may contain spoilers) MPAA Rating: PG for some sequences of scary action and peril  Language/Profanity: None. Sexuality/Nudity: None. Violence/Frightening/Intense: There are several situations of peril that may frighten younger viewers. Animal violence is shown in several scenes. One animal is killed by another, and a man is killed by a tiger, although nothing graphic is shown on-screen. A snake hypnotizes a boy and nearly eats him. Drugs/Alcohol: None.   The Bottom Line RECOMMENDED FOR: Kids (especially animal-lovers), fans of excellent CGI animation, and those able to withstand a few less-than-stellar elements for high-action exploits and a pleasing story. NOT RECOMMENDED FOR: Pickier film buffs, those looking for something to break new ground in directing or screenplay, and anyone sick to death of Disney remakes. The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, opened in theaters April 15, 2016; available for home viewing August 30, 2016. It runs 112 minutes and stars Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong'o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito and Christopher Walken. Watch the trailer for The Jungle Book here.   Debbie Holloway is a storyteller, creator, critic and advocate having adventures in Brooklyn, New York. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Publication date: April 15, 2016 ]]>
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  • 'The Jungle Book' and the Doctrine of Adoption
    Movies This Saturday, my five sons and I took in Disney’s new live-action version of The Jungle Book. The story is a familiar one—from Rudyard Kipling’s book to the Cub Scout oaths to Disney’s previous cartoon film—but the visual representation is stunning, especially in 3-D. My sons—from ages fourteen to four—were riveted, and so was I. But I’ll admit I squirmed a bit through parts of the film, as I knew I would. Two of my sons were adopted as babies, and I wonder through every version of this story how my family will process the subtext of identity and belonging. Related: Read Crosswalk's Review of The Jungle Book For those of you not familiar with the tale, Mowgli is a “man-cub” who is found by a panther as a toddler and raised by a family of wolves, within a larger pack. Mowgli clearly doesn’t belong because (spoiler alert) Mowgli is not actually a wolf. He is warned to stop using his “tricks” (use of tools) because they demonstrate how he doesn’t belong. Seeing how he becomes a danger to his pack, he begins a self-imposed exile from his family, hovering just on the periphery of the “man-village,” wondering if he could ever belong there. By the end of the film, I was convinced that this Disney rendering of Kipling was profoundly pro-adoption after all. Mowgli eventually sees his differences not as a sign that he doesn’t belong, but instead as a new way to belong, to contribute uniquely. He discovers, in other words, what it means to be part of a family.  googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-1'); }); That message isn’t just one my children need to hear. It’s one I need to be reminded of often. The question of identity and belonging is, after all, the struggle of every Christian. None of us “naturally” belong in the household of God. We are all here through the spirit of adoption, which found us when we were strangers and has made us now children of God, indeed heirs and co-heirs with Jesus himself (Rom. 8:14-17). That’s true of all of us, regardless of our backgrounds. The early Jewish Christians had a great heritage in the story of Israel, but the story of Israel is itself one of adoption (Rom. 9:4). Israel’s story starts, after all, with Abraham and Abraham wasn’t born Jewish. He wasn’t even born Abraham. Abram was adopted into the family of God, given a new name, a new tribe, and a new inheritance. Our adoption means that all of us now are attached to Christ Jesus, the obedient Israel of God and the firstborn heir of all of God’s promises (Col. 3:11). We are all now “no longer strangers and aliens” but “fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God” (Eph. 2:19). Our trouble is that we don’t feel like it. The Bible is continually reminding us of who we are. We must then “not longer walk as the Gentiles do” (Eph. 4:17). All our lives, we are learning to grow into our new self, as part of the people of God, who walk not according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. That doesn’t feel “natural” to us, which is why we need the Spirit, joining us to Christ in heaven. That’s why I smiled at the resolution of this version of The Jungle Book. Mowgli does not see his connection with his pack to be artificial, but at the same time he does not deny what makes him different. That resonates with something Christians should know to be true. Your background—whatever it was—is of no surprise to God the Father. He sought you out; He really wants you in his household (Eph. 1:11-14). Your adoption does not eradicate your personality and your uniqueness but instead reshapes and re-commissions them. The Apostle Paul considered his background as “rubbish” when it comes to glorying in any of it (Phil. 3:1-11). But it was not a waste. God used the training under Gamaliel, which Saul had used to argue for persecution of the church, to form the vast biblical knowledge from which Paul would write Romans and Galatians. Do we not often see this within the church? The woman whose organizational know-how was once used to run a strip club prior to her conversion now organizes skillfully the pregnancy resource center. The man who was a drug-dealer pre-conversion now is on the same street corner preaching the gospel. This shouldn’t surprise us. In an adoption, the child doesn’t just find a new place to belong. He or she also enlarges and enriches, and changes, the family. The doctrine of adoption doesn’t just mean that the church is our new home. It means that each part of the Body is intended by God as a gift to the church, deepening the church with more and more diversity of gifts (1 Cor. 12:12-31). The church defines each member, and each member defines and builds up the church. That’s why I smiled when I heard Mowgli say, “The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack.” That’s something to which all Christians, all of us ex-orphans and now beloved children, can say “Amen.” googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-2'); }); if (gptClientWidth >= 992 && gptClientWidth <= 1000000) googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('gpt-ad-3'); }); Publication date: April 19, 2016 ]]>
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  • Favreau's Jungle Book Deeper, Scarier, but Not Quite Definitive
    Movies Another Disney live-action + CGI remake is here! The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau, does some amazing things which are sure to please both kids and parents. But that doesn't stop Crosswalk's Shawn & Steve from wondering: why so many tie-ins to the 1967 animated version?]]>
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John Hanlon6
John Hanlon Reviews



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Jungle Book
    This weekend, site Melissa McCarthy’s newest comedy The Boss opens in theaters nationwide. The Oscar-nominated actress stars as a successful businesswoman who is forced to start over after she’s convicted of insider trading and loses...
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  • “The Jungle Book” Reviews: Critics take on the remake
    This weekend, viagra order director Jon Favreau’s remake of The Jungle Book hit theaters nationwide. Adapted from the Rudyard Kipling book, more about the film features Neel Sethi  as the young Mowgli but all of the animals who surround him are computer-generated...
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The Federalist Staff4
The Federalist



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • A Child's Search For His Father Transcends 'Jungle Book's' Racism
    This spring brought Rudyard Kipling back into the news—or, at least, into a brief moment of notice by the chattering classes—as Disney attempted to revive its “Jungle Book” franchise by releasing a half live-action, half CGI film of Kipling’s stories about a boy named Mowgli, growing up in the jungles of India. The commentary was pretty much what you would expect. Back in the first half of the twentieth century, the intelligentsia elected Kipling to stand as official apologist for the British imperialism it despised. Mid-century saw a number of highbrow efforts not exactly to defend Kipling but at least to point out that his work was far more sophisticated and literary than allowed by the smug attack of the right-thinking: T.S. Eliot, George Orwell, Lionel Trilling, and Randall Jarrell, for example, wrote essays on the topic. But it was all to little or no avail. The extraordinary mixture of poetry and fiction in his books, the fact that he was (and remains) the youngest winner of the Nobel Prize for literature, the endless quotability of his verse, the strangely perfect construction of his short stories (especially after the death of his son in the First World War): None of it could stand beside his Big Englandism and support for the Empire. Trot Out the Accusations of Racism European empires being thin on the ground these days, the twenty-first-century version has Kipling as a prejudiced despiser of all who are not British. Or, as an iO9 headline put it last month: “Reminder: Rudyard Kipling Was a Racist F—ck and The Jungle Book Is Imperialist Garbage.” Or, as Slate chimed in, it’s fine to like Disney’s new ​“Jungle Book” movie, but only because it “Subverts the Gross Colonialism of Rudyard Kipling.” The i09 attack ends up suggesting little more than that all the past was bad in a racist way, and thus Kipling, as representative of his age, was bad. Kipling has no chance to escape being labeled politically incorrect these days, nor does he deserve to, in some ways. The i09 attack ends up suggesting little more than that all the past was bad in a racist way, and thus Kipling, as representative of his age, was bad—which is about as unsophisticated as a literary attack can get. Kipling was far more intelligent about it all, but that has the unfortunate consequence that, when he put thoughts that modern taste finds unpalatable, he directed his genuine intelligence toward those thoughts and made them even worse. Still, the current set of easy attacks on the man miss the center of his “Jungle Book” stories. You think his supposed racism is bad? His supposed imperialism a disgrace? The most politically incorrect things about Kipling’s stories for children actually derive from his intense feeling of being an abandoned child, sent home from India to live in a boarding school at age five. The subtext of nearly every one of his children’s stories is a boy’s desperate need for a father—and the fantasy in all those Kipling stories is an abandoned child’s hunger for multiple fathers, each fulfilling one of the archetypal roles of a father. A Boy Hungers for His Father In his boy spy and adventure novel “Kim,” for example, the hero is an orphan castaway—a trickster, hustler child lost on the teeming streets of Lahore. Little Friend of All the World, he’s called sometimes, but he knows he is lost. “Who is Kim – Kim – Kim?” he chants himself into self-hypnosis. “Who is Kim? What is Kim?” This is an author so eager for a father that he cannot write about a boy without casting every older male in a father role. What he finds through the story is a set of fathers to help him be many things. Mahbub Ali, a Pashtun horse trader, becomes the mature figure of worldliness for the boy. An elderly Tibetan Lama becomes the father of his spiritual unworldliness. Lurgan Sahib, guiding him through the memory techniques of Kim’s Game, takes the role of father as teacher, and a British officer, in the Great Game of espionage, becomes the father figure who calls the boy to a high political purpose. If “Kim” can be read as a book about a boy’s hunger for fathers, Kipling’s wish-fulfillment in “Jungle Book” is even more consuming. The figure of Kaa, the giant python, is given a sultry voice by Scarlett Johansson in the new Disneyfied movie version, and Slate’s Katy Waldman sneers at Kipling for having envisioned the character as a male. But, except for Raksha, Mowgli’s Mother Wolf, all the figures who look after Mowgli are males—because they have to be. This is an author so eager for a father that he cannot write about a boy without casting every older male in a father role. The bear, Baloo, is father as kindly but learned teacher. The panther, Bagheera, is father as attractively dangerous and mercurial. Wolf pack leader Akela is father as clan lawgiver. Kaa is father as source of ancient memory and possessor of mysterious powers. Even Mowgli’s enemy, Shere Khan the tiger, is father as threat to the young. Losing the Lost Boy You’d think that all this would be gobbled up these days, in an era in which filmmakers are so desperate to find mythopoeic material that they have raided nearly every comic book ever published. But Disney went off the tracks all the way back in 1967, when it produced its first cartoon version of the Mowgli tales that Kipling had scattered through the two short-story volumes he called “The Jungle Books.” Along the way, they lost the plot, and although the boy accepts fathering, he no longer needs it, deep in his psyche. As the film was being developed, the dying Walt Disney—or, more probably, his corporate staff, determined to preserve the Disney image—fired the screenplay’s writer and composer for keeping too close to the dark and dangerous elements of the original stories. The new staff made it instead a musical comedy (and introduced a new racism into the Bander-log monkeys). Along the way, they lost the plot, as the expression goes, and although the boy accepts fathering, he no longer needs it, deep in his psyche. Jon Favreau, director of the new live-action/CGI version for Disney, faced what was probably an insoluble problem with “The Jungle Book.” He couldn’t make it deeper, couldn’t return to the mythopoeic original, without betraying the brand. But he couldn’t just let it rest with the light comedy of the cartoon. Casting Bill Murray as the voice of Baloo meant the bear would return to his teacher role, so he was left with Ben Kingsley, as the voice of Bagheera, to act as the father. It’s an inconsistent bit of writing, since one character cannot fulfill all those roles, but, worse, it comes in a modern script that actually doesn’t much believe in fathers. Or, at least, doesn’t believe boys much need fathers to act as mentors, guardians, teachers, spiritual guides, deposits of cultural memory, and lawgivers. Yes, Kipling deserves many of the politically correct epithets tossed his way on the occasion of a new “Jungle Book” movie. But he deserves another for a view no one seems to be mentioning: Boys need fathers—deep, deep in their souls. ]]>
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  • Disney's 'Beauty And The Beast' Teaser Proves They've Given Up Trying
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Disney’s ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Teaser Proves They’ve Given Up Trying May 23, 2016 By Bre Payton Disney isn’t even trying to give us anything new anymore. Here’s the 90-second teaser trailer for the upcoming live-action version of “Beauty And The Beast” which debuted Monday on “Good Morning America.” In the trailer, Lumiere and Cogsworth are overheard whispering to one another. Lumiere: ‘Look, a girl!’ Cogsworth: ‘Yes, I can see it’s a girl, you fool!’ Lumiere: ‘What if she’s the one?’ Sound familiar? Oh yeah, maybe because that’s literally the exact same exchange these two had in 1991. Hmm, that torn painting sure looks like something we’ve seen once before. OH WAIT. Give the music a listen — Disney is re-using the exact same music from the old prologue! I mean, why fix what isn’t broken, right? Here’s how the conversation probably went down among the Disney big-wigs. Studio Executive 1: “Hey boss, I have an idea that’ll make us a boatload of cash next year.” Studio Executive 2: “Re-release ‘Beauty and the Beast’ from the Disney Vault?” Studio Executive 1:”Even better, we will REMAKE that movie, only this time we’ll use actual actors instead.” Studio Executive 2: “Go on.” Studio Executive 1: “We’ll use the exact same script, no need to re-record the soundtrack, because we already have it. We just need a big castle to film at. And now that ‘Downton Abbey’ is over, I think we can use Highclere Castle at a discounted rate.” Studio Executive 2: “Love it!” Pirating their older films seems to be all that Disney does anymore, and a quick glance at some of biggest upcoming films — “Finding Dory,” “The Jungle Book,” and “Pete’s Dragon,” to name a few — drives that point home. I’m not knocking all remakes. Some can be good — Disney’s live-action version of “Cinderella” starring Lily James has plenty of fans among Federalist writers. In the newer version of the story, there were some significant plot-line variations. For example, we know what happened to Cinderella’s mother, why her father was so elusive, and we get a closer look at those glass slippers. The teaser trailer for “Beauty and the Beast,” however, doesn’t indicate the remake will add anything of significant value to the story, and I’m not alone in this thought. Fairy tales are made to be retold. But a "same characters, same songs" remake isn't a retelling, just a cash-in: https://t.co/hSsp7btzIa — Ross Douthat (@DouthatNYT) May 23, 2016 Maybe my hunch is wrong. Perhaps Belle’s preference for getting it on with not-entirely-human creatures will get explored further, or details about the Beast’s family will come to light. Who knows! But that’s not what they’re selling. Disney isn’t promising to give us answers to important questions or add additional backstory to the characters we’ve come to know and love. They’re attempting to profit off nostalgia by marketing the film as being exactly the same as the original — and that ticks me off. Bre Payton is a staff writer at The Federalist. Follow her on Twitter. Photo YouTube/Disney Beauty and the Beast Belle Disney Disney princess Emma Watson Hot Garbage Remakes Sequels Copyright © 2017 The Federalist, a wholly independent division of FDRLST Media, All Rights Reserved. googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display('div-gpt-ad-1463670073398-2'); }); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({mode:'thumbs-2r', container:'taboola-below-main-column-mix', placement:'below-main-column', target_type:'mix'}); window._taboola = window._taboola || []; _taboola.push({flush:true}); 0 Comments /* * * CONFIGURATION VARIABLES: EDIT BEFORE PASTING INTO YOUR WEBPAGE * * */ var disqus_shortname = 'thefederalist23'; // required: replace example with your forum shortname /* * * DON'T EDIT BELOW THIS LINE * * */ (function() { var dsq = document.createElement('script'); dsq.type = 'text/javascript'; dsq.async = true; dsq.src = '//' + disqus_shortname + '.disqus.com/embed.js'; (document.getElementsByTagName('head')[0] || document.getElementsByTagName('body')[0]).appendChild(dsq); })(); Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus. comments powered by Disqus ]]>
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  • Beyond-Parody WaPo Article Insists ‘The Lion King’ Is Racist, Fascist, Blah Blah Blah
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Only a person with a few screws loose would think after watching 'The Jungle Book' that he should follow Mowgli into the jungle and make friends with wolves, panthers, and bears. This guy treats 'The Lion King' similarly.
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Plugged In15
Focus on the Family



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Jungle Book
    KidsAction/AdventureSci-Fi/FantasyDrama We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.Movie ReviewWhat does a toddler orphaned in the jungle need to survive and thrive? Why, just the bare necessities, of course! In the case of young Mowgli, those necessities consist of the jungle animals who've lovingly adopted him as one of their own. There's wise Bagheera, the sleek black panther who discovered the man-cub (as he's called) alone in the forest after his father was killed. Then there's a pack of noble wolves, led by Akela and Raksha, to whom Bagheera gave the boy to be raised. Mowgli knows he's not really a wolf. But as a beloved member of the pack, he runs with them and acts like one, even reciting the Law of Jungle with them: "Now this is the law of the jungle, as old and true as the sky. And the wolf that keeps it will prosper, but the wolf that breaks it will die. ... The strength of the pack is the wolf, and the strength of the wolf is the pack." Indeed, that very strength—exemplified by the loyal love of Akela and Raksha, as well as Bagheera—has kept Mowgli safe and sound throughout his boyhood years. But the jungle isn't safe. Lurking in its otherwise idyllic underbrush is a predator bristling with ferocity and bitterness, the tiger Shere Khan. That mighty feline lost an eye and suffered scars to his face in an encounter with a man who wielded fire (the "red flower," as the animals call it). Shere Khan has no sympathy for the suggestion that the man-cub Mowgli can grow up among the jungle's furry denizens without bringing calamity down upon them all. Thus, Shere Khan demands that the wolves turn the boy over to him … or else. As the pack debates whether or not to defend him, Mowgli makes a decision to go in search of his own people. It's his way of protecting the only family he's ever known. But Shere Khan doesn't merely want the boy gone. He wants him dead. If Mowgli is to avoid that fearsome fate—while also escaping the clutches of a hypnotizing snake and a gregarious ape—he's going to need more help than the wolves and even Bagheera can provide. Which is where a certain loafing, conniving, honey-loving bear named Baloo comes in. He's a bear who's going to be an absolute necessity for Mowgli's survival.Positive ElementsLove, loyalty and a willingness to sacrifice bind many of the jungle denizens together. Bagheera and the wolves long to protect Mowgli from Shere Khan's hatred, and they repeatedly place their lives on the line to do so. That said, Mowgli is horrified at the thought that anyone would be injured trying to shield him, and he decides on his own to seek out people like himself in order to spare the wolf pack from the wrath of Khan. His "mother," Raksha, is heartbroken by the decision (even though she understands that it's what must happen). As her adopted man-cub prepares to leave (with Bagheera dutifully volunteering to take him to a human village), Raksha tells Mowgli lovingly, "Never forget this: You are mine. … No matter where you go or what they call you, you will always be my son." Bagheera, for his part, acts as a father figure to Mowgli, trying to impart lessons and practical wisdom for the boy to internalize. Likewise, the wolves frequently repeat the Law of the Jungle, which emphasizes the interdependent relationship of each individual wolf to the pack and its greater good. As a human with opposable thumbs, Mowgli has a natural penchant for making tools—an ability that unnerves his animal protectors. Accordingly, the wolves and Bagheera (wrongly) discourage him from using what they dub "tricks." Baloo, on the other hand, encourages the boy to embrace his creative tool-making side. Baloo's got his own selfish, conniving motivation for doing so, of course. Still, the bear understands that Mowgli is fundamentally different from the jungle animals, and he encourages the boy to embrace who he is. It's an idea that Bagheera eventually warms to after witnessing the lad ingeniously using vine ropes to help rescue a baby elephant that's fallen into a pit. Baloo, as noted, is a self-serving character. But he does grow and change. He increasingly becomes more noble as he works with Bagheera to protect their young charge and discern what's best for him. In the end, many animals in the jungle, along with Mowgli, bravely join forces to challenge Shere Khan's wicked tyranny and murderous threats.Spiritual ContentBagheera and Mowgli encounter a group of elephants, and the panther instructs the man-cub to bow as a sign of respect because the "elephants made everything but you." King Louie (the ape) and his myriad minions live in the ruins of a massive temple with Hindu iconography inside. The snake Kaa's mesmerizing eyes depict a flashback vision of the death of Mowgli's father. And speaking of Kaa, parallels can be drawn between the way he "seduces" Mowgli—promising him everything that's good while he's really just preparing to eat him—and the way Satan interacts with humanity.Sexual ContentNone.Violent ContentIntense and suspenseful conflicts turn up throughout. Shere Khan brutally and unexpectedly kills one creature, and we see the animal's body flung mercilessly off a cliff. The striped feline tangles repeatedly with Bagheera, Baloo and the wolves. Animals on both sides of those battles are nastily bitten, knocked down, rammed and raked with sharp claws. A flashback shows the battle between a human and Shere Khan in which the big cat is badly burned and the man is killed. Baloo and Kaa fight; Baloo and Bahgeera brawl with King Louie's lackeys; Mowgli tries to fend off Shere Khan and ends up on the receiving end of the tiger's claws, which cut his chest. Mowgli is perpetually in some kind of peril it seems. Shere Khan chases him. Kaa comes very close to making a meal of him after mesmerizing and squeezing him. Louie and Co. kidnap him and play catch with him in the upper limbs of trees. Then, when the boy makes a run for it (with Baloo's and Bagheera's help), let's just say that Louie's pursuit brings down the house all around them. Mowgli's stung by bees, nearly trampled by a herd of stampeding water buffalo and almost drowned by a torrential rain that creates a massive mudslide Mowgli tries to avoid by jumping into a raging river. (Mowgli, who wears only a loincloth, is covered in scratches and cuts.) The man-cub unintentionally sparks a hungry forest fire that gobbles up quite a bit of ground and results in even more peril for the animals (claiming the life of at least one).Crude or Profane LanguageOne use each of "oh my gosh" and "what the heck."Drug and Alcohol ContentWhen Mowgli nearly decides to join a village of humans, they're depicted as raucously laughing and drinking around a raging fire. Other Negative ElementsMowgli seems intimidated by the humans' actions, or is perhaps repulsed by what he witnesses. So he steals a torch and runs away from the village. Elsewhere, it's said that the humans' use of fire gives them the power to destroy. It's a true statement, of course, but humans are clearly being vilified here. Indeed, it's suggested that nothing comes from humanity except death and destruction. Bagheera rightly calls out Baloo as a "con artist" for the way he manipulates Mowgli into securing food for him. Baloo licks honey off a pig who exclaims rapturously, "Oh yes, exfoliate me!" After Mowgli is inadvertently pricked by a porcupine's quill, the embarrassed creature tries to make it better, saying (among other things), "I could pee on it."ConclusionDoes a lot of what you've just read feel familiar? It should. The Jungle Book is an audacious—and kind of awesome at times—update of the Rudyard Kipling-written, Disney-appropriated classic tale of the man-cub Mowgli and his jungle animal friends (and enemies). Violent clashes between both beasts and man—shown as if "for real" here, instead of as a cartoony catastrophe—will overwhelm and frighten younger or more sensitive moviegoers. (As might Kaa's misty, creepy, swampy abode.) There's a small handful of twisted-up worldview concerns to navigate as well. But just as the Mouse House did with the live-action reboot of Cinderella in 2015, this 2016 iteration of The Jungle Book delivers a rollicking, breathtaking update to a beloved story about a boy and his remarkable—unlikely—companions. (They're brought to life with computer animation.) And their adventure reinforces important themes about what it means to be family, love one another, resist temptation and sacrifice our own desires when necessary for the good of others.Pro-social ContentObjectionable ContentSummary AdvisoryPlot SummaryChristian BeliefsOther Belief SystemsAuthority RolesProfanity/ViolenceKissing/Sex/HomosexualityDiscussion TopicsAdditional Comments/NotesEpisode Reviews]]>
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  • Will the New Disney Movies Become Timeless Classics?
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    I grew up on the ’80s and ’90s Disney classics. I wanted to flip my fins like Ariel, run through the hidden pine trails of the forest like Pocahontas and live in a tale as old as time like Belle. If you were to look back into my childhood, you’d probably find me outside in […]

    The post Will the New Disney Movies Become Timeless Classics? appeared first on Plugged In Blog.

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  • Culture Clips: Nostalgia Cuts Both Ways
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)

    Nostalgia is big business. If it’s been a hit in the last century, whether on the big screen or small, someone in Hollywood is figuring out a way to reboot, repackage or relaunch it. That’s because familiar entertainment properties from the past pack built-in marketing muscle, full of yesteryear’s fond memories. Disney, of course, has […]

    The post Culture Clips: Nostalgia Cuts Both Ways appeared first on Plugged In Blog.

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  • 2017 Plugged In Movie Awards: And the Award Goes To …
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Yes, ladies and gentlemen, after long and arduous deliberation (involving an occasional round of fisticuffs) and painstaking vote counting, it’s time to unveil the winners of our fourth annual Plugged In Movie Awards. Alas, due to budget cuts, we had to cancel our typical star-studded banquet in Hollywood. Perhaps next year. BEST MOVIE FOR KIDSThe Nominees: Finding Dory, The Jungle Book, Moana, Pete’s Dragon, Sing!Plugged In’s Pick: Pete’s DragonYep, this category was pretty competitive, what with the strong, empowering messages in Moana to Dory’s poignant search for her parents. But Pete’s Dragon, with its fantastical, touching tale of an orphaned lad and his invisible dragon pulled enough heartstrings to come out with the win.Reader’s Pick: Tie, The Jungle Book and Pete’s Dragon“Why didn’t you nominate Zootopia?” came the cry. “Zootopia was great!” Yes, it was pretty great, and come Monday, it might well be an Oscar winner. But given the nominees on the docket, you just couldn’t decide from the sweet, powerful story of The Jungle Book and Disney’s live-action resonance of Pete’s Dragon. Oh, by the way, four of the five nominees were Disney films. Go figure. BEST MOVIE FOR TEENSThe Nominees: Captain America: Civil War, A Monster Calls, Queen of Katwe , Race, Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryPlugged In’s Pick: Queen of KatweIn a category filled with CGI bombast and monster blockbusters, Plugged In chose a quiet, beautiful film that few people saw but almost everyone should. Queen of Katwe, the well-crafted story of a girl raised in one of Uganda’s worst slums who becomes a teenage chess whiz, is filled with great messages involving faith, family and perseverance. Oh, and by the way, it’s an outstanding film aesthetically, too.Reader’s Pick: Rogue One: A Star Wars StoryY’all had a tough time choosing between two of the year’s biggest blockbusters, Rogue One and Captain America: Civil War. But in the end, this Star Wars spinoff, with its cadre of courageous, sacrificial heroes, won the day. Princess Leia would be proud. BEST MOVIE FOR ADULTSThe Nominees: Arrival, Hacksaw Ridge, Hidden Figures, La La Land, LionPlugged In’s Pick: ArrivalThis was tough. Lion’s resonant narrative about a kid taken from his family and, as a man, tries to find it again, offers some great messages in a powerful, poignant package. But in the end we chose Arrival, a surprisingly poignant movie about one woman’s attempt to communicate with aliens … and makes some difficult but incredibly impactful choices along the way.Reader’s Pick: Hacksaw RidgeThis Mel Gibson-directed war drama almost didn’t make it past the nomination stage, given its bloody trappings and R rating. But the message was just too strong to ignore, and the movie itself was strong enough to earn itself your nod for best adult picture. La La Land, Oscar’s likely Best Picture darling, came in a fairly close second. BEST CHRISTIAN MOVIEThe Nominees: Ben-Hur, I’m Not Ashamed, Miracles From Heaven, Risen, The Young MessiahPlugged In’s Pick: RisenAs we’ve said before, Christian movies have never been better. This was an incredibly difficult choice, but Risen came with the whole package: A powerful message, a crowd-pleasing story, an A-list actor and top-shelf filmmaking. It’s the sort of craftsmanship we’d like to see more of.Reader’s Pick: RisenDespite a surge by fans of both Miracles From Heaven and I’m Not Ashamed (many of which, alas, came after our Feb. 20 deadline), Risen took home the reader’s choice award as well.   ]]>
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  • Plugged In Movie Awards: Best Movie For Kids
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Ladies and gentlemen, it’s time to dust off your finest tuxedo T-shirt, sprinkle glitter on your hair and metaphorically walk down that red carpet with me (or whatever carpet/wood/tile/linoleum that might be nearby). It’s time for the fourth annual Plugged In Movie Awards! Or, at least, the nominations for said awards. Let’s not be too hasty. Over the next few days, we’ll unveil our top cinematic picks in four categories. Obviously, Plugged In uses a slightly different criteria than that other awards show. Rather than look at simply the aesthetic qualities of a given film, our esteemed panel of judges also looks at its values, too. What does a film teach us? Does it honor God? Does it try to steer clear of problematic content? Our top films must cater to the soul, not just the heart. Now, just because a movie lands on this list doesn’t make it a perfect, rush-out-and-see-it flick. Every film has its issues, and some of these have significant ones. We’d advise you to check out our full reviews (as always) before watching any of these films. Also, once you’re done reading our selections, we’d love it if you joined the process. We encourage you to vote for your own favorite movies amongst the ones we listed in each category, either down below or on our Facebook page. On Feb. 20, we’ll close the voting. And on Feb. 24, we’ll announce the winners—both our selections for the best movies of the year and the films that snagged the most of your votes. Now, with that lengthy preamble out of the way, let’s launch into the lists, shall we? We begin with Plugged In’s Best Movies for Kids. Finding Dory: This fanciful yarn isn’t so much about finding a certain blue tang fish with short-term memory problems as it is about helping her find her loving mom and dad. It turns out that Dory lost them when she was but a mere minnow. After dredging up a strange snippet of caught-in-the-undertow memory one day, she’s suddenly certain that she can locate her lost loved ones. So she gently tail-twists friends Marlin and Nemo into joining her in the search. This sequel to the beloved Pixar pic Finding Nemo may not quite be everything that the original was, but it certainly packs the same endearing and colorful animation splash. There are a few moments of light peril that parents should be aware of, but overall, this is a film that lauds loving families and dear friends. It even talks about the life-shaping impact parents can have on kids with special needs. The Jungle Book: The man-cub known as Mowgli is back in Disney’s latest live-action remake of a beloved animated classic. And as was true the first time around, this boy orphaned in the jungle and raised by wolves has lots of friends … and a couple of seriously wicked foes. Eye-popping CGI action abounds here—so much so, in fact, that the littlest viewers might find this one a bit on the intense side. But for slightly older kids on up, The Jungle Book invites us on a rollicking adventure that packs in plenty of lessons about love and loyalty, friendship and sacrifice along the way. More, one might be tempted to say, than just the bare necessities. Moana: An island teen named Moana has long heard the tales of a shapeshifting demigod named Maui. That magical trickster is said to have long ago stolen the gem-like heart of Te Fiti, the Mother Island goddess. Since then a corruption has slowly spread through the Pacific, causing the region’s lush tropical forests to turn brown and coconuts to rot on the trees. Moana takes it upon herself to find Maui and force him to right his wrongs. It’s no surprise that Disney’s latest animated musical is bright and colorful. But this time the House of Mouse shifts away from its typical focus on princess fairy tales and love stories and instead gives us a blend of Hawaiian myth and sun-splashed ocean adventure. There’s definitely a lot of magical, mythological stuff in the musical mix. But with help and guidance from Mom and Dad, we believe that most young Disney fans will be able to sail through this colorful story just fine. Pete’s Dragon: Five-year-old Pete becomes an instant orphan when he loses his mom and dad in a fatal car crash at the movie’s outset. The young boy is remarkably unhurt, but stranded in the woods and about to be attacked by a group of wolves when he’s rescued by a mysterious shadowy creature. Skip ahead six years, and Pete is living every kid’s dream—rollicking through the forest with his very own pet dragon. But this dragon, whom he’s named Elliot, is a big, cuddly monster in green fur—a giant, friendly, puppy-like pal who can camouflage himself and stay hidden from spying eyes. This remake of another Disney classic is a magical mixture of whimsy, action/adventure and kid-friendly charm. It packs in positive messages ranging from the value of friendship and the joy of family to the importance of protecting the forest. The only caution is for a bit of gun-waving and fire-breathing peril late in the adventure. Sing: Buster Moon is a koala bear theater owner who’s trying to make ends meet and keep his life’s dream from being repossessed by the bank. So he scrapes together the last of his cash and brainstorms a big singing competition, offering a $1,000 prize to the winner. Unfortunately, his elderly lizard assistant, Miss Crawley, accidentally adds some zeros to the fliers, and she lets them literally fly out the office window announcing a $100,000 prize instead. Oops. This is one of those fun animated pics that gives you pretty much exactly what you go in expecting. The anthropomorphized singers have dreams to dream and mostly inspiring songs to sing. Like many animated flicks these days, there’s a whisker of bathroom humor and a hair of  suggestiveness in the tunes and some visuals. That said, there’s still a lot here to sing the praise of. Movie synopses by Adam Holz and Bob Hoose. ]]>
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Counter Currents Staff1
Counter Currents Publishing



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

⚠️ EDGY 🔥 CONTENT 🔥 WARNING 🔥 (NSFW?) ⚠️

🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻🔻


  • The Jungle Book

    [1]1,652 words

    Disney has released yet another Jungle Book movie, for a total of at least five which Disney has been involved in, plus a few more [2] from other sources. Why they would produce another adaptation of the writings of an imperialist white supremacist in the current year is unclear. In any case, watching the film in comparison with its earliest Disney incarnation still provides an interesting insight into the changing sensibilities of the audience to which the producers were presumably catering. There is a darker general mood including less harmony between species and a more negative portrayal of the most “racist” characters.

    In terms of multiculturalist propaganda, the current film was a relief from Zootopia, another recent Disney film which deals with race relations in a manner about as realistic as its title would imply. In the current Jungle Book, peace is not taken for granted between different animals; some are predators and some are prey, and there is only a temporary truce between them on account of a shortage of water. Communication is not universal either. Some of the animals, such as the apes and monkeys who serve King Louie, have lost the ability to speak over the past 50 years.

    The film is less egalitarian than one might expect, despite the ultimate solidarity between the diverse jungle animals in support of Mowgli. There is no pretense of equality among all animals. Fifty years ago, the elephant leader’s wife made the claim that the “man cub” was no different from their own offspring. Today this particular rejection of in-group preference is absent, while the largest species are seen as aristocracy or deities.

    Other animals cannot be in the elephants’ presence without bowing to them, let alone speak to them, and they credit them with the creation of everything in the jungle. No one seems to see this situation as oppressive or unjust. This is a shift from the older version, in which although the elephants are portrayed as pompous military types, they are able to speak to others and with some coaxing are even willing to help search for a lost Mowgli.

    [3]

    Mowgli violates the established hierarchy, though, in that he is ultimately able to lead the elephants. He first gains their trust by using his own crude technology to save one of their offspring who is trapped in a pit. At the end of the film, although he still bows to them, he is able to command them. Riding on the back of the young elephant he saved, he directs the elephants to redirect a river to extinguish fires in the jungle.

    The current film has an overall darker tone. In an earlier era, the closest references to death were Kaa’s abortive attempts to eat Mowgli and Baloo’s brief faking of his own demise after being attacked by Shere Khan. Today’s film is more violent, although not as harsh as Kipling’s 1894 work. Shere Khan murders the wolf leader Akela and ultimately dies in conflict with the “man cub,” while King Louie is crushed under the wreckage of his own temple after destroying its supports in pursuit of him.

    [4]

    The modern film has also lost many bits of humor, such as the incompetence of the elephants or the mockery of Baloo by the monkeys. Baloo makes no attempt to pass himself as a female ape to distract Louie today; presumably this would offend the transgender lobby. Although there is certainly still humor in the film, the villains are no longer amusing.

    In 1967, King Louie was actually voiced by the Italian-American singer Louis Prima, but he spoke like a “hip” black man and moved like a “racist” caricature of a jolly Negro. The modern King Louie has the mannerisms of a New York crime boss; he is hardly a cheerful buffoon anymore. This is reflected not only in his more menacing appearance but also in his music. Louie’s song now has a lonelier sound, lacking any accompaniment from his underlings.

    [5]

    King Louie

    A jab at “racism” or “xenophobia” comes in the form of Shere Khan, a lone predator who terrifies all the other jungle animals, and who is far less charming here than in the animated version. He regales a few wolf cubs with a story about the cuckoo bird, the ultimate origin of the now popular epithet “cuck.”

    Shere Khan explains that the cuckoo’s target, busy taking care of the cuckoo’s young, allows its own to die starving and neglected. The implication is that the wolf pack is cucked by Mowgli, and as Khan makes more explicit elsewhere, that Mowgli by his nature poses a threat to the lives of jungle animals. Khan’s view is portrayed as particularly unreasonable, as he wants revenge on Mowgli due to what he suffered at the hands of Mowgli’s father.

    [6]

    Shere Khan

    In both films Shere Khan’s view of Mowgli as a threat from the beginning is portrayed as irrational, perhaps even “humanophobic.” In the current year Mowgli even deliberately distances himself from the threatening image Shere Khan has of him; he throws away his torch when the tiger hopes that he will use the fire as a weapon and thus confirm the jungle animals’ fear of man.

    In the original Kipling book, though, Shere Khan is quite right to think of Mowgli this way; the “man cub” beats Shere Khan with a flaming branch and explicitly vows to kill him. Presumably Kipling had a more “racist” view of man than the Hollywood screenwriters.

    Both Shere Khan and King Louie express the “racist” view that Mowgli’s species alone gives him a great power and attempt to act on this to further their own interests. Neither’s views are portrayed as reasonable; Shere Khan’s view is based on vindictiveness, and Louie’s is based on ignorance of fire.

    [7]

    Bagheera

    Bagheera, by contrast, for the majority of the film sees the boy essentially as a wolf and attempts to hold him to the “wolf way.” Although he does agree with Akela that Mowgli will be safer among his own kind, both discourage him from using primitive technology that only a human could have produced. Baloo, like the adoptive wolf family, is reluctant to return the “man cub” to humanity, and Mowgli himself expresses the view that he does not belong there.

    Thus the two most racially conscious characters are the villains Shere Khan and King Louie. Both are killed in conflict with the hero, directly or indirectly, so the worst “racism” is symbolically defeated.

    The change in endings between the two films is striking in terms of Mowgli’s nature and identity. A half-century ago, Mowgli ultimately followed Bagheera and the wolf pack’s advice to return to his own kind, following a singing girl into the village. Although he was still only a boy, the girl sang of finding a husband and Mowgli seemed quite infatuated with her, so the implication was clear. Not only did he accept his natural group identity, he followed the instinct to propagate his own kind. Kipling’s work also had Mowgli marry.

    In the current year, Mowgli does not return to mankind; instead he defeats Shere Khan and unifies the various species for the first time in history. The only contact he has with humanity is to steal a torch, a symbol of humanity which he quickly discards. Mowgli is referred to repeatedly as a man without a people, and for all we know, Mowgli’s line ends with him.

    Although the “man cub” is no longer returning to his own biological group, he is still portrayed as something unique in the jungle. His actions are less in line with his nature, but he is still not just a member of a multicultural mass.

    On the contrary, Mowgli identifies not only with his human nature but also with those who have raised him and with the jungle he was raised in. Mowgli is not a “global citizen” but belongs to a particular place. His human understanding of technology, although discouraged by the wolves and Bagheera, had allowed him to save the young elephant and to build up a store of honey for Baloo. Ultimately Bagheera encourages Mowgli to embrace this knowledge and “fight [Shere Khan] like a man,” while explicitly telling him that he is not a wolf. During the same confrontation, though, he declares himself as “Mowgli of the Seeonee,” the Seeonee being the name of both the wolf pack and their native area of jungle.

    Shere Khan does not seem to understand Mowgli’s identity. In their confrontation near the end of the film, he informs Mowgli that he has no friends and is immediately proven wrong by the surrounding jungle animals stepping forward in his defense. Apparently the most “racist” character is out of touch and cannot understand the group identity of others between species. Despite the wolves having raised and protected Mowgli, Khan expected no solidarity between them in the face of a common enemy.

    The new film is not exactly an alt-right piece, but neither is it the creepy anti-racist propaganda that one might expect from a Disney movie about diverse species. Mowgli is somewhat less alienated from the animals than in Kipling’s original work, in which most of the wolves actually hate Mowgli and support Shere Khan killing him. Still, there is no implication that species is just a social construct, or that intergroup differences are simply cooked up by crooked politicians or interest groups. Bagheera’s conviction that Mowgli belongs with his own kind is not portrayed as hateful or hostile.

    Contrary to the dominant blank-slate narrative, Mowgli is unique due to his biological nature, including the intellect to teach himself the use of technology. Even Bagheera ultimately recognizes his biology and encourages him to act on it. The hero’s victory is a combination of his inherited capacities and his own agency in applying them, much like success in the real world. For the current year this is a relatively wholesome message.

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Michael Medved1



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • The Jungle Book
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Debbie Schlussel1
The New York Post



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Wknd Box Office: Everybody Wants Some!!, Criminal, The Jungle Book, The Adderall Diaries
    Blog Posts Movie Reviews The Adderall Diaries – R: This is just awful. A complete, extremely boring waste of time. This is yet another one of those movies, the idea of which is better than the execution. It’s boring, slow, and disjointed, on top of the fact that instead of delving into the plot, it focuses on artsy fartsy crap. And no wonder. This is one of those low-budget, arthouse flicks that belongs there. James Franco plays an author who writes about his childhood of abuse at the hands of his evil father. He writes of his life of drugs and homelessness and how he overcame it. He also wrote that his father was dead. The books sell, and he’s a successful, rising-star writer. But, one day, his “dead” father shows up at one of Franco’s public readings of his book. And, thus, his rising career as a writer is ended (or, at least, paused) because he’s shown to be a fraud. The father claims none of it is true–that he was a good father and did the best he could, while his son, the writer, was a very troubled kid and problem child. Who is telling the truth? The movie never really tells us, though there are a series of disjointed, sudden flashbacks throughout the movie–all of which are ambiguous, once the father appears. Anyway, because of the “dead” father’s appearance and claims that the book is a lie and defamatory, Franco loses all of his book and writing deals, but for one. He’s set to write monthly (or weekly?) articles for a publication, and he manages to hold on to that gig because he pitches covering a murder trial as the topic of the articles. A wealthy man is on trial for killing his missing wife, whose body has never been found. Franco has visions of becoming the next Truman Capote by covering the trial. He also believes the hubby is innocent. While covering the trial, Franco meets Amber Heard, a New York Times reporter also covering the trial. They begin a troubled romance that includes the use of drugs, including Adderall. Like I said, the idea of this was interesting. But the brief trial coverage and scenes of the accused murderer (and what eventually happens with that) seem like an afterthought. And the relationship with Heard is uninteresting and bland. Even the interaction between the author and his allegedly dead, allegedly abusive dad is banal and boring. This movie is pointless and a waste of time. And I struggled to get through it. You would, too, but I’m saving you the ten-bucks-plus and time you’d have wasted. Because now you’ve been forewarned. TWO MARXES ]]>
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Acculturated1
Acculturated



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Only a PC Killjoy Could Hate the New 'Jungle Book'
    The Walt Disney Company has long been a creative institution with a penchant for telling family-friendly stories through the mouths of talking (and often, singing) animals. Generations of Americans have grown up with their favorite anthropomorphic characters from such classics as Bambi, The Rescuers, and Ratatouille. One of the most beloved musically driven titles in the Disney catalog is 1967’s The Jungle Book—a lively animated version of the series of short stories by British writer Rudyard Kipling. Recently, Disney released a live-action version of Kipling’s children’s classic, which has been dominating the box office since its release:   The story is simple: an orphaned boy named Mowgli is raised by a pack of wolves, and eventually must do battle with the evil tiger that killed his (human) father and now seeks his demise as well. Along the way, Mowgli’s friends—Baloo the Bear and Bagheera the Panther—attempt to help their fish-out-of-water protégé find his proper place in the world. Directed by Jon Favreau (Elf, Iron Man, Chef), and featuring the compelling voice-over work of Bill Murray, Christopher Walken, and Idris Elba, among others, this Jungle Book is a technological masterpiece that captures much of the mystery, danger, and majesty of Kipling’s stories and their subtropical setting. Nearly every character seen onscreen, save the young boy portraying the protagonist, is the product of masterful CGI work. But this new iteration of the Jungle Book also delves deeper into Kipling’s original stories than earlier versions—and as result, has found itself mired in accusations of racism and colonialism. At its core, Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Book is a collection of stories about misfits and outsiders intent on proving that they are more than capable of surviving the harsh environments in which they find themselves. Mowgli is a human boy lost in a dangerous jungle who, thanks to the kindness and mercy of a handful of loyal pals, is able to survive among even the wildest of beasts; Rikki-Tikki-Tavi is a brave mongoose willing to risk his life to protect the human family that has welcomed him into their home and hearts; The White Seal—Kotick—is a rare, Albino seal that tirelessly (and thanklessly) searches for a new home for his fellow creatures where they can be safe from hunters. These are positive, uplifting messages of the type that any sane parent would want their kids to absorb and embrace. But there is a darker side to Kipling’s legacy—one that some bloggers have been only too happy to remind us of in recent weeks. In a post titled, “How Disney’s New Jungle Book Subverts the Gross Colonialism of Rudyard Kipling,” Katy Waldman of Slate had the following to contribute to the conversation: Well, Kipling was certainly a racist f**k—look no further than his novel Kim for a portrait of brave British spies and slavish, dark-skinned Buddhists—but The Jungle Book, which Kipling wrote out of a Vermont cabin in 1894, doesn’t showcase his bigotry so much as his uncritical reverence for power. Might makes right mesmerized Kipling; the more ruthless the subjugation, the better. He loved the panther Bagheera with his liquid menace (“his jaws shut with a snap, for he did not believe in being humble”), the terrifying python Kaa, and most of all Mowgli, who commands fire and possesses a gaze the beasts cannot meet without flinching. You might wince at the subtext of these characters’ dominance—for Kipling, whites were born rulers as surely as tigers were born predators—or point out the author’s lack of pity for the weak. You might furrow your brow at the way the Indian villagers succumb to supernatural babble and suspicion. But as far as pure and explicit racism goes, Kipling’s novel scores lower than Disney’s 1967 movie, which introduced a great ape called King Louie (after Louie Armstrong) who sang minstrel songs about his desire to get civilized. One would have to guess that the Disney Corporation and director Jon Favreau did not set out to promote imperialism, colonialism, or disrespect for those who have suffered under the yoke of foreign rule—but words and ideas and stories do matter. So what’s a conscientious, free society to do with such controversial, beloved stories? Am I contributing to 19th century crimes against humanity by singing the ballads of Baloo and King Louie while taking my morning shower? Should we start banning books and movies that Slate bloggers find offensive to their delicate sensibilities (on behalf of the ancestors of strangers half a world away)? Ought we to put F-bomb-laced warnings of “Pro-Colonialism Propaganda Contained Within!” on movie posters? Of course not. Nor, unless you are a politically correct killjoy, should you avoid taking your kids to see a movie whose origin story is tied to a racist, imperialist past. Instead, use the opportunity to talk about Kipling and the historical circumstances that inspired Mowgli’s fictional adventures (Hey! Teachable moment!). Unlike politically correct handwringing, these kinds of conversations might actually succeed in conveying to a younger generation a sense of the challenges faced by others in the past—as well as an appreciation of the progress we have made as we look ahead to the future.           ]]>
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Armond White2
The National Review / OUT



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Will Smith Goes from Genie to Uncle Remus in Aladdin
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    May his daring at least get Disney’s closed minds to rerelease Song of the South.
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  • Fake Live-Action and a PC Agenda Ruin the New Lion King
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    A Dishonor Roll: Disney’s cast and crew peddle plenty of merchandise but miss the heart of this coming-of-age tale.
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kyle Smith3
National Review



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • Disney’s Live-Action Aladdin Remake Is a Tragic Carpet Ride
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Opting to play it safe, director Guy Ritchie, writer John August, and star Will Smith have produced a film unworthy of their talents.
    ...
    (Review Source)
  • Movie theater playgrounds are actually a great idea
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    kidsmovie theaters The scene: Casey Affleck, giving the performance of his life, is confronted by his ex-wife but can’t accept her attempt to reach out across the emotional gulf that separates them. The tragic loss in which he played a critical part is too great. Unable to meet her eyes, he says, “I can’t —” “ASHLEY HAS POOPY PANTS!” yells the toddler climbing on the monkey bars eight feet away from you. “NO, JACKSON HAS POOPY PANTS!” Ashley screams. It seems you’ll have to watch “Manchester by the Sea” somewhere else if you want to figure out what Affleck said in the scene that won him an Oscar. So it may go in the latest effort to destroy the moviegoing experience: A Los Angeles area chain called Cinépolis is testing the idea of having jungle gyms inside movie theaters so squirmy little kids can get up, run around and generally get their sillies out. Beanbag chairs will also be provided. Snooty cinephiles are horrified. But, as in the case of their love for “Moonlight” and nine-hour Swedish grain-harvesting documentaries, they are wrong. Because the jungle-gym-meets- “The Jungle Book” idea is awesome. An Entertainment Weekly piece considered the matter under the headline, “Cinema chain horrifies by building playgrounds in theaters,” asking, “Is a playground in a theater really a need? And can you truly fall in love with a movie while you’re stuck in a giant tube slide?” I’m betting those sentences were written by a nonparent. Listen, buddy, I’m not worried about whether my 5-year-old appreciates the genius of Gregg Toland’s cinematography in “Citizen Kane.” I just need a break. I need to get out of the house on Saturdays and my knees need to avoid crawling around on the floor with “Trolls” dolls to entertain my younger daughter. If you don’t want kids dashing around and spoiling the movie, here’s my tip: Buy a ticket for one of the other 40,000 movie screens in the US. (And, no, kid-friendly theaters aren’t going to show “Manchester by the Sea.”) Choice is a good thing, remember? No one is going to force you to see the next “Star Wars” movie in an indoor playground. As long as the theaters with the jungle gyms are clearly designated as being only for parents of small children, why would anyone else have a problem with them? As a film critic, the single most common remark I hear is “I never go to the movies anymore. Not since the kids came along. Now, let’s talk Netflix!” Lots of parents would love to take their small children to the movies, but can’t handle the annoyance and embarrassment of having little ones constantly getting up, making noise or otherwise disrupting things. If the entire theater is earmarked for child-related chaos, though, the guilt factor disappears: Hey, everybody else here has the same problem! Parents understand one another. The only thing that could be better than a movie theater with a playground would be a movie theater with a playground that serves beer. Share this:FacebookTwitterGoogleFacebook MessengerWhatsAppEmailCopy ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

PJ Media Staff1
PJ Media



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • What is the Best Alfred Hitchcock Movie? A PJ Lifestyle Poll
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Lifestyle var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Foreign Correspondent - Trailer (1940) Dir. Alfred Hitchcock', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); Ed has a great post about the Hitchcock movie Rope and a disturbing news story that parallels the thriller's premise.My question for PJ Lifestyle readers: what's Hitchcock's best movie?For my money my favorite period of Hitchcock films is the tail end of his British period and the beginning of his American career (1935-1946). Back in my film obsessive days in high school and the beginning of college (which preceeded my politics obsessive days which began in earnest circa the Iraq War) I acquired the Wrong Men and Notorious Women Criterion Collection box set. The collection includes fantastic editions of The 39 Steps, Rebecca, The Lady Vanishes, Notorious, and Spellbound. (Incidentally, the boxset is now out of print and retailing new for about four times what I originally paid for it. Cool. Not that I'd ever expect to get that given how much my box has been smacked around moving from here to there over the years.) Another Hitchcock from this period that I really enjoy is 1940's The Foreign Correspondent, particularly because it has a nice supporting performance from George Sanders, the British character actor with a really cool voice that most people recognize from his role as the tiger Shere Khan in Disney's The Jungle Book. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': '', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); This whole period of Hitchcock is wonderful because by and large the films are more upbeat and positive than the work he did in the '50s and '60s. I can respect and appreciate films like Vertigo, Rear Window, Psycho, Rope and The Birds but they're just not as enjoyable as the films in my boxset.If I had to pick a favorite right now I'd say Rebecca but I really need to give Notorious another viewing before saying for certain.Does anyone care to dissent? Am I wrong i holding this era of Hitchcock above all others? Please make your arguments in the comments section. var dataLayer = window.dataLayer = window.dataLayer || []; dataLayer.push({ 'videoName': 'Rebecca - Trailer', 'videoType': 'Curated' }); class="pages"> https://pjmedia.com/lifestyle/2011/7/20/what-is-the-best-alfred-hitchcock-movie-a-pj-lifestyle-poll/ ]]>
    ...
    (Review Source)

The Weekly Standard Staff1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)

  • About that Other Controversial BuzzFeed Story
    (”The Jungle Book (2016)” is briefly mentioned in this.)
    Over the weekend BuzzFeed published what it called "the definitive ranking" of Disney animation films. All 56 of them. This is, as my Substandard colleague Sonny Bunch would say, a garbage list. It's such a garbage list that I'm not even going to link to it, because I want to save you the anger and deny BuzzFeed the clicks. But I want to talk about the list just this same, because this is kind of my beat. Buzzfeed argues that Disney's top five animated films are: Beauty and the Be
    ...
    (Review Source)

Kelly Jane Torrance1
The Weekly Standard



(Reviewers' Site/Bio)


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