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SONY

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Jake Kasdan
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan
Writing Credits:
Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner

Synopsis:
Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

Box Office:
Budget
$90,000,000.
Opening Weekend
$36,169,328 on 3765 Screens.
Domestic Gross
$400,384,912.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Audio Descriptive Service
Portuguese DTS-HD MA 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Dolby 5.1
Thai Dolby 5.1
Subtitles:
English
French
Spanish
Cantonese
Chinese Simplified
Chinese Traditional
Indonesian
Korean
Malaysian
Portuguese
Thai
Vietnamese
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Thai
Cantonese
Korean
Portuguese

Runtime:
86 min.
Price: $34.99
Release Date: 3/20/2018

Bonus:
• “Journey Through the Jungle” Featurette
• Gag Reel
• “Meet the Players” Featurette
• “Surviving the Jungle” Featurette
• “Attack of the Rhinos” Featurette
• “Celebrating the Legacy” Featurette
• Music Video
• Previews


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RELATED REVIEWS


Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle [Blu-Ray] (2017)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (March 20, 2018)

Thanks to Blade Runner 2049, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle didn’t become the 2017 sequel with the longest wait since its predecessor. Still, 22 years brings an awfully extended gap between Jungle and 1995’s Jumanji.

In Jungle, high school students Spencer Gilpin (Alex Wolff), Anthony “Fridge” Johnson (Ser'Darius Blain), Bethany Walker (Madison Iseman) and Martha Kaply (Morgan Turner) end up in detention. As the kids clean out an old storage area, they find a circa 1990s videogame called “Jumanji” and play it.

This requires each teen to pick a character and play as those roles. Soon after the game launches, the students wind up literally sucked into it and they now resemble and take on the attributes of their characters.

Spencer becomes muscular archaeologist Dr. Smolder Bravestone (Dwayne Johnson), Fridge turns into diminutive zoologist Franklin "Mouse" Finbar (Kevin Hart), Martha winds up as sexy martial artist Ruby Roundhouse (Karen Gillan) and Bethany morphs into chubby cartographer Dr. Shelly Oberon (Jack Black). Stuck in these new bodies, the kids need to figure out how to win the game and escape back to their real lives.

When Jungle appeared on release schedules, I doubt many figured it’d do much at the box office. I suspect more assumed it’d flop than prosper, especially given that it came out a mere five days after the commercial juggernaut of Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

The year’s biggest moneymaker, Jedi indeed moved a lot more tickets, but Jungle boasted legs that the front-loaded Star Wars flick lacked. Jungle never enjoyed a single massive weekend of sales, but it chugged along with steady grosses that eventually allowed it to pass the $400 million mark in the US – or probably about $300 million more than anyone expected from it.

Why did Jungle become such a big hit? Good question, and one I can’t quite answer. I think the movie offers a pleasing experience but not one that stands out as anything really special.

To be sure, Jungle offers a clever update on the original. Though it connects to the 1995 film enough to qualify as a sequel, it feels more like a reboot, as it lacks the true through-line that one would expect if they called it Jumanji 2.

The choice to involve the players in a videogame rather than the original’s board game makes perfect sense, and it adds a new layer of creativity. Older viewers like myself will enjoy the connections to classic 80s/90s games and the film uses these elements in a fulfilling manner.

Jungle also benefits from a solid cast, and it plays to their relative strengths. Johnson gets to capitalize on both his physical attributes and his comedic talents, while Hart and Black also turn on their skills to create amusing characters.

Probably best known as Gamora’s sister in the Guardians of the Galaxy films, Ruby lets Gillan escape from all the makeup the alien Nebula demanded. She holds her own among her more famous co-stars and helps flesh out her butt-kicking role.

All of this means I can find little about which to complain when it comes to Jungle, but I also can’t claim that it soars. This means the film offers a pleasant, entertaining experience but not one that sticks to the bones, as it were.

When I saw Jungle initially, I enjoyed it – and as soon as I left the theater, I essentially forgot about it. Not that I expected a movie that would prompt deep thought and debate, but I still thought Jungle seemed a little too ephemeral even for its genre – I would’ve preferred something with a bit more impact.

Still, a fun but forgettable movie beats most of what I watch, so I’ll not complain. Lively and amusing, Jungle becomes a pretty likable mix of comedy and action.


The Disc Grades: Picture A-/ Audio A-/ Bonus C

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a consistently strong image.

Sharpness always remained positive, as the movie exhibited fine delineation and accuracy. Any softness remained negligible in this tight presentation.

The film lacked moiré effects or jaggies, and it also didn’t suffer from any edge haloes. Print haloes remained absent.

Colors favored a mix of teal, green and amber, with an emphasis on the last two given the jungle settings. The hues came across as well-developed.

Blacks seemed deep and dense, while shadows appeared smooth and concise. Everything about the image satisfied.’

In addition, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack proved to be top-notch, with a vivid, involving soundscape. The movie boasted a slew of action scenes, and those used all five channels in a lively, engaging manner that brought out a good sense of the material.

Audio quality pleased, with speech that seemed natural and distinctive. Music fared well, as the score appeared bold and rich.

Most importantly, effects came across as accurate and dynamic, with tight, dynamic low-end response. The soundtrack gave the movie an extra level of life and fun.

Despite the movie’s enormous success, the Blu-ray skimps on extras. A Gag Reel runs two minutes, 25 seconds and consists of goofs and giggles. With comedians on the set, I expected more funny improvisations, so this becomes a forgettable collection.

Five featurettes follow, and we start with Journey Through the Jungle: The Making of Jumanji. It lasts 14 minutes, 54 seconds and includes notes from director Jake Kasdan, production designer Owen Paterson, location manager Laura Sode-Matteson, costume designer Laura Jean Shannon, producer Matt Tolmach, visual effects supervisor Jerome Chen, Legacy Effects’ Robert Ramsdell,and actors Dwayne Johnson, Nick Jonas, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, and Bobby Cannavale.

“Journey” looks at Kasdan’s work on the production, sets and locations, connections to the original movie, costumes, creatures and effects. It creates a decent but not especially deep view of the subject matter.

During the seven-minute, eight-second Meet the Players: A Heroic Cast, we hear from Johnson, Hart, Gillan, Black, Kasdan, and Tolmach. As expected, “Meet” discusses cast and performances. It throws out a few good shots from the set but fails to deliver much useful information.

Next comes Surviving the Jungle: Spectacular Stunts, a five-minute, 47-second reel with Gillan, Kasdan, Tolmach, stunt coordinator Gary M. Hymes, 2nd unit director Jack Gill, and motorcycle coordinator Justin Kell. Inevitably, “Surviving” gets into stunts and action. It becomes another moderately interesting piece.

Attack of the Rhinos goes for three minutes, 56 seconds and features Johnson, Black, Kasdan, Chen, director of photography Gyula Pados, helicopter tech advisor Doug Scroggins, and editor Mark Helfrich. “Rhinos” delivers specifics about the creation of one movie scene. Though brief, it becomes a pretty informative clip, especially because we see lots of “before/after” footage.

Finally, Book to Board Game to Big Screen & Beyond: Celebrating the Legacy of Jumanji occupies four minutes, 44 seconds and delivers info from Johnson, Hart, Kasdan, Black and Gillan. “Legacy” looks at the original film and its expansion with Jungle. It lacks substance.

A Music Video called “Jumanji, Jumanji” takes up three minutes, 35 seconds. A duet between Jack Black and Nick Jonas, it offers an intentionally cheesy spoof of movie theme songs. It’s not hilarious but it’s amusing enough.

The disc opens with ads for The Star, Peter Rabbit, The Emoji Movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Angry Bird Blues, The Swan Princess: A Royal MzTery and Hotel Transylvania 3. No trailer for Jjungle appears here.

An unexpected box office hit, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle offers a fun update on the source. Though it never becomes anything special, it still delivers enough laughs and action to satisfy. The Blu-ray provides strong picture and audio as well as a serviceable set of supplements. The lack of dynamic bonus materials disappoints, but the film works pretty well.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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