Lucien’s First Take: Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle Official Trailer

I saw the new Spider-Man today.  Awesome movie.  Just did a review on it.  But before that I had to suffer through a TON of ads for films that look just…awful.  Sony REALLY needs to get out of the movie industry, because they are producing some of the biggest shit imaginable.  I had heard that there was a sequel to Jumanji being done.  The classic film with Robin Williams, practical effects that still hold up, and CG that has aged terrible.  I had heard that it was going to involve The Rock and be set in a school.  So, some kids find the game and then it ends up having animal hijinks all around the school?  Okay, this sounds like it has potential.  Not much, mind you, but potential.

Oh, if only it had been that.  When the trailer for this film began, I was in awe, in absolute awe of how utterly stupid it is.  Let’s take a look.

So we have the breakfast club, circa 2017 being put in detention.  Glad to see the film wasted no time ripping off infinitely better films (something you’re going to learn that this film does a lot of).  So they find the game board down in that room?  You know, that iconic game board with all the really trippy effects and riddles telling our hapless characters what sorts of nightmares they unleashed?  This should be fun!

Oh, right we don’t have that.  Instead, we get their version of a Super Nintendo where it’s a video game now!  Because…modern?  Oh god, this film wastes no time trying to pander to the millenials who are NEVER going to like it anyway.  I just don’t get why they chose to do this.  Part of the charm of the original film was the understanding that it is retro.  Even for the 90’s, board games were passe.  But this game called to you.  It played drums and creeped you out.  There was real presence to that creepy board.  But now we have it just some game console that they found.  Were there even drums?  I didn’t hear anything, so I guess not.  Groj is this stupid.  This is so fucking stupid.

They start up the game, pick their characters, and then are sucked into the game.  Wait, really?  So all that stuff about the animals from the game fucking around in the real world?  That’s just, what, gone now?  Once they end up in the game’s reality, we see them all as different characters.  The really germophobic nerd is in The Rock’s body.  So, is this film ripping off Heavy Metal now?  That’s a weird choice.  Does that mean he’s going to bone some naked babes?  I bet that would make this film more interesting.  The black guy is in Kevin Hart’s body.  Oh boy, I can’t wait to see what unfunny comedy comes out of him.  The nerdy girl is a hot girl’s body now.  Okay.  But the thing which made me grown the loudest was seeing the hot girl now in Jack Black’s body.  Did this film really rip of The Hot Chick?!  You know, that film where Rob Schneider is put in the body of a hot girl?!  That film which fucking sucked?!  Unbelievable.  The premise just gets stupider and stupider.

Does anyone remember the way Robin Williams described the jungle world in the original film?  It sounded like a terrifying place, didn’t it?  A world where every day is a constant fear of if you will be eaten.  Where it’s full of darkness and nightmarish monsters that you can’t begin to comprehend.  And even the humans are killers who hunt other human beings.  That description really fucked with me as a kid.  But I guess in this film it’s a bright and colorful place, full of mirth and laughter and hilarious hijinks!  The montage that follows seems to suggest as much.

I’m just gonna cut to the quick on this, because talking about this trailer is pissing me off – this movie looks fucking retarded.  It’s not being faithful to the original.  It’s desperately trying to cash in on the hipster millennial crowd while also trying to be a family film.  Though, I guess these idiots are now old enough to have children, so maybe that works.  It’s ripping off other movies, and in the process looks even more pathetic.  Especially when the films it is ripping off starred the cinematic abortion known as Rob Schneider!  Fuck this movie right up its asshole!  Yet-another reboot that we can add to the pile of reboots that just fucking suck.  And, thankfully, the consensus on this seems to be pretty solid, so I hope this film bombs to the point that Sony can finally get the picture about how badly they need to get out of the movie industry.

Initial Verdict
3 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

RAB: A Twilight Reboot

I’m finding it hard to find things to write about.  My life is not in a great place right now.  Got this job, and it’s pretty cool.  At least it pays well.  But it’s a job where I get to be yelled at by people who hate my guts purely by association of who I work for.  Because anyone who calls me is either getting their money taken or late getting their money from us and is pissed about that.  It’s a job where I get to be told what a dick I am because I can’t help the person in the way that they want.  It’s exhausting.

So not much even gets my attention anymore.  It’s a depressing life I lead.  But adulthood is a miserable hunk of shit until you die.  Gotta wait for that last part.  However, there was one thing that got my attention recently – news about a suspected Twilight reboot.  Now it seems that there is some growing evidence that it’s happening.  This should make me rage, but it doesn’t.  Instead, it makes me groan.

Hollywood needs to just admit that they’re out of ideas.  No, really, we need to just admit it.  All the endless remakes and reboots, I am getting so bored of movies.  Then there is the endless parade of superhero movies, more and more of which are blending into the background.  Now Disney is going to have their chance to drive Star Wars into the ground.  And they will, because that company will try and squeeze money out of a corpse if it’s there.  That company is evil with a capital E.  But it’s getting boring to see ads for movies anymore, because I honestly feel like I’m wasting my time going to see them.

What’s more, it’s just insulting how they want to remake or reboot certain movies.  Like how it is confirmed that The Crow reboot is in production.  Brandon Lee gave his life for that movie.  Now we get some stupid-ass reboot that will most-assuredly suck.  Why?  Or they are rebooting Jumanji.  A movie that had laughable CG, but did have some pretty good practical effects to balance it out.  Not to mention Robin Williams during his best years.  Why do this?  Oh, right, because this is Hollywood.  And Disney aren’t the only ones trying to squeeze money out of a corpse.  They want to squeeze money out of Brandon Lee and Robin Williams’ corpses too.

The worst part about the fact that all of the major productions are just this remake and reboot crap is the fact that ideas that could actually be interesting are being spurned.  Because Hollywood is too pussy to take some of the money they invest in the latest shit-tastic reboot and maybe spread it around to smaller projects.  It’s taking directors who are willing to go to insane extremes to make good movies anymore.  Or, in the case of Deadpool, willing to take pay cuts and have slashed budgets and be released in a shitty time of year.  Twentieth Century Fox made the disdain for the film they were making no secret.  They were so sure that it was dead on arrival that they did everything they could to prove themselves right.  But it wasn’t.  You’d think that would be a clue.  That audiences are tired of the same recycled shit, over and over again.  That was my problem with the new Star Wars movie.  I’ve seen it before!  Only last time, it was done much better.  And it didn’t have a villain who was the gayest villain I have EVER seen.  No joke, with his Dumbo ears and his temper tantrums, I was beyond unimpressed.  That movie couldn’t have disappointed me more if it tried.  Not even going to see the next one of that series in theaters. Will see Rogue One, but that’s just because the director of that film has perspective and likes to make movies that are focused on characters.

I hate movies these days.  They’re boring, predictable, and it honestly is tiring trying to figure out if I am going to see the latest comic book whatever or if some whatever reboot is worth my time.  Fuck all this.  Which brings me back, finally, to Twilight.

Whose brilliant idea was it to reboot that?  It’s not even nostalgic!  It never will be!  It’s fucking garbage!  The ONLY reason those films were popular was that they were cashing in on the teenage girls and creepy moms who liked it.  But they’ve moved on now.  They moved on to books like “Fifty Shades of Grey.”  But they moved on from that too.  Heard they are making a sequel to that boring-as-fuck movie.  Their money to lose, I guess.  Now they have moved on to whatever gets the vaginas of middle-aged women greasy these days.  So this reboot won’t make any money.  But don’t tell the Hollywood executives that.  If we have learned nothing else, it’s that these people can’t read what people want to save their lives.  They never have, and they never will.

How much money are they going to throw at this shit that could have gone to something better?

Until next time, a quote,

“Hollywood wishes they could be this cool.” – Rebecca “Revy” Lee, Black Lagoon

Peace out,

Maverick

Lucien’s Retro Review: Jumanji

JumanjiFor those who didn’t know, the years 1983-1995 were awesome years for movies when you were a kid.  They were also the years when people like Robin Williams was at the top of his game.  The early-mid 90s were awesome for this man.  In my opinion, they were the years when he was at the top of his game.  The day that he passed was a sad day indeed, especially given how his acting career had taken something of a nose-dive in the early late 90’s.  For whatever reason, he just kept being in terrible movies.  When I think of the films that Robin Williams was at his best in, one of the first the comes to mind is this movie.  One of the most exciting and eerie kids movies ever made – Jumanji.  A film about a board game that can REALLY mess up your day.

The great thing about this movie is how it comes right out of the gate building suspense.  The best things about the first act are how this movie keeps building and building as you go along.  You have two boys looking to bury a box with an unknown piece of cargo.  You don’t know what exactly it is, but you know that they are terrified of it, and eager to be rid of it.  The mystery of this strange box is made all the more potent when the drums start playing.  The sound clearly is meant to be something to fear, and this movie makes sure you understand that.  Fast-forward 100 years later, and a boy named Alan finds the game.  Him and his lady-friend decide to play, which ends in him being sucked into the game, and the girl fleeing in terror.  Fast-forward again 26 years later and you have the house the family owned being bought by someone else. It’s a woman who is caring for her late brother’s two children.  The drums come back again as the game calls out to the children to play.  Now, the children are forced to finish a game started almost 26 years ago, and there are more than a few surprises.

What to talk about first.  Let me just say that I love this films use of minimal effects to get tension across.  The way that you know to fear the game is due to the sound of the drums.  This movie establishes that sound as threatening the moment you hear it.  That’s awesome!  Then you have the way that you know what new threat is coming – by looking at the center of the game.  The way that the text is displayed, with that eerie music that always gets played with it.  That is brilliant!

Then there’s the effects.  Now, the CG in this film is REALLY dated.  However, this film treats it like it knows that,  It knows that the CG doesn’t look great.  But they have a nice way of getting around that – by having a lot of practical effects integrated!  If only modern movies could remember that.  It goes a lot further than you think.  Some of the practical effects are just awesome.  And some of them are downright creepy.  The spider scene still freaks me out.  When the effects are silly, they are REALLY silly.  But the practical stuff is beyond impressive.  At the time this movie came out, CG was still very new.  So most directors were mixing practical effects at the time, and it helps in a big way.

But the thing that stands out the most are the characters.  There was no reason that this movie should have been anything other than stupid.  It was made based on a very short book that had some amazing illustrations. In fact, a lot of the designs of the animals kept to that.  Though this film took it up more than a few notches.  For something that had this amount of simplicity, it is beyond me how they ended up telling a rather engaging story about a board game and the people who played it.  You have all these characters, and the town itself has some character.  After he was sucked into the game, Alan’s father ended up falling apart.  The shoe factory, which was the town’s chief industry, died out.  Now the town died out with it.  This movie tells a rather grim and slightly depressing story about how a town died, and these people playing the game.  There was also a lot of quiet time in this movie.  Man, it’s so weird watching films like this now, when I think of how loud and unending the loudness is in movies nowadays.

Naturally, Robin Williams stole the show here.  I’m so glad that the director of this movie knew that the best way to have Williams in a film is to let him breathe a little.  Longer shots that gave not only some time to develop atmosphere, but let Williams show his stuff.  But the rest of the cast ain’t too bad.  Kirsten Dunst plays the older of the two kids, Judy.  Some of her endless lies are pretty fun to listen to.  The younger brother is a little coward, but he still gets some time to shine.  Then there was Alan’s friend Sarah, who is all grown up being forced to play the game again.  Every role in this movie had character.  Again, so odd, considering that this movie could have so easily been total garbage.

Which is really the best point to make about this movie.  The idea is vaguely interesting.  A magical board game that can make a jungle come to life.  But thanks to some great acting and cool effects, this turned into a movie that was about interesting characters and the insanity that comes from this demented game.  So remember, whenever you hear tribal drums in the middle of nowhere, that’s probably a good sign to run.  Unless you’re insane like me and want to see what kind of mischief you could get up to in this game.

Final Verdict
8 out of 10

Peace out,

Maverick

SIONR: Remakes and Reboots

I recently saw the remake to Poltergeist at the behest of a friend who said that we could smuggle in booze and get some laughs.  Because something had to be funny, right?  Wrong.  There was nothing funny.  It was boring.  It was a bad movie.  One of the worst that I’ve seen in a while.  It was a total waste of time.  Wondering why I never did a review?  That’s simple – I walked out.  My friend and I finally got too bored to be there, so we walked out and asked for our money back just before the third act.  It wouldn’t be fair to do a review of a movie where I didn’t even get to the end of it.  This is something that I have been seeing a lot lately.

There are countless remakes and reboot films that are being made.  And here’s something that almost ALL of them, with the unfathomably-rare exception, have in common – they all suck.  No joke, they are shit.  Absolute shit.  Total fucking garbage that spits in the face of the films that they are so uncreatively attempting to cash in on.  Remember the fear and disturbing imagery from the original Nightmare on Elm Street?  Well, don’t you worry!  They will recreate that with shitty CG and cardboard characters (save Freddy, who I will give credit.  Jackie Earl Hailey was trying his best to make that role good, but he was given nothing to work with) that leave you feeling like you are watching cutouts die in gruesome ways.  Did you like the campy and goofy horror of Evil Dead?  Well don’t you worry!  We’ll turn it into gore porn and then make it not even the tiniest bit frightening.

One of my favorite movies of all time is getting a remake.  It is The Secret of NIMH.  Originally one of the greatest animated films of all time, from director Don Bluth.  Now, it is going to be a mixture of CG and live action.  Here’s something else – it’s gonna suck.  That’s a fact.  How on Earth can you possibly make that good?  Unless the set designs for the film mix some brilliant live action environments that have really clever use of props, this is going to be a CG mess with some crappy live-action integration.  It’s gonna suck.  That’s a fact.  Not to mention, I can’t think of anyone who can capture the terror and courage of Mrs. Brisby the way that Don Bluth’s film did.  Yeah, it’s gonna suck.  That is infuriating enough, but just today, I found out that it gets worse.

Remember the film in the 90’s called Jumanji?  It was a classic Robin Williams movie, combining brilliant practical effects with laughable CG and some fantastic acting.  The film was made by Robin Williams’ character, and it’s part of the reason that I love it as much as I do.  It’s a classic piece of cheesy kid’s film, with some fun effects and memorable characters.  Guess what Hollywood, in all their wisdom, is doing?  Remaking it, of course!  Because let’s shit on the legacy that Robin Williams left with a film that is so OBVIOUSLY going to be cash-grab that is drowning in CG!  It’ll be like Jurassic World!  Only minus even half of the lacking creativity in that film.  This is so annoying!  Why does Hollywood have to take good movies and then ruin their legacy by having a shitty remake?!

Oh, and you remember The Crow?  That absolutely awesome movie starring Brandon Lee, who tragically died in the making of it?  Who died before he clearly could have become an awesome action star?  That movie?  I think you know where this is going.  Hollywood is remaking it!  Let’s just shit on the immortal legacy of someone who gave their life to create a work of timeless art.  Let’s just shit on that!  That’s totally cool, right?  One of the greatest and darkest superhero movies of all time, let’s just turn that into CG-filled schlock.  Hey, maybe you can get the guy who directed Daredevil to make it!  Is Brett Ratner doing anything these days?  Yeah, let’s just take a giant fucking dump on classic films.  It’ll fill seats in movie theaters, after all!

That’s the truth behind this.  These films are being made to cash in on nostalgia.  And it makes me sick.  Movies that stand the test of time should be left alone.  But Hollywood can’t do that.  They have to fuck it up, because there’s money to made!  Because if good and original ideas can’t be put into films, at least we can make a cash-grab and get people in theaters, right?  Wasting money that could potentially go to something truly creative?  No?  Okay.

Maybe I’m the only one who feels this way.  That’s totally possible.  I am something of a pretentious pseudo-intellectual who over-analyzes things.  But it just seems downright disrespectful to spit on the legacy of great actors and great films to make a stupid cash-grab that is almost-guaranteed to suck.  I can’t be the only one who feels this way.  There have to be more of you out there.  And we have to make our voices heard.  It’s time that we demanded some new stuff!  Honestly, the comic book films were fun, but now it’s getting kind of old.  These remake and reboot cash-grabs are no better.  They’re remaking Gremlins, after all.  A film that was praised for its brilliant practical effects, they’re going to turn it into a CG filled clusterfuck.

The great works of fiction stand the test of time based on their own merits.  But Hollywood seems to disagree.  They legitimately seem to believe – remember that awesome movie that you still love?  We can make it even better!  Here’s hoping that they learn their lesson before they ruin anymore of my childhood favorite.  Though, that’s not a stretch.  Disney already ruined my favorite of their films, Fantasia, with a shitty Kinect game.  So yeah, all hope is lost.  Forever.

Until next time, a quote,

“You killed her!”  – Peter Shepherd, Jumanji

Peace out,

Maverick