Archive for the ‘Adventure’ Category

Jumanji: The Next Level – *(*)

Posted: December 22, 2019 in 2019, Adventure, Fantasy, USA, X1/2

Lame action. Lame jokes. Lame acting.

Apart from The Rock and Danny Glover maybe, who kind of make this still worth watching.

This may appeal to very young kids, who will love the action and the slapstick and the weird avatar swaps. But if you’re not a kid, this is a really dull.

Four kids get detention and have to spend it in a basement room, where they find a video game. They decide to play it, but get sucked into the game. The only way to get out of the game is by finishing all the levels together. They are not playing the game as themselves, but as their avatars, who look very different from their normal selves.

It’s a classic adventure movie for kids. Sure, the special effects are very 2010ish, but this could have been made in the eighties as well. Nothing really bad happens to the characters and they succeed in the challenge at the end. It even has a positive message: Four kids, two nerds and two popular teenagers, have to overcome their differences and work together as a team! Hooray!

When you’re looking for brainless entertaining fun this is quite good. The action is great. The humor is good. The acting is okay.


Watched this a week ago.

Kinda forgot what it was all about.

Ah yes. Marvel Universe. Female heroine. Sassy Brie Larson. Funny Samuel Jackson. Chase scenes. Aliens. A plot twist. A lot of confusion. Earthlings bonding with aliens against a common evil force. Nineties. Cool soundtrack.


After having watched Free Solo, the Oscar-winning documentary about a free climber who goes up El Capitan in less than four hours without ropes, made me rewatch this episode from a popular Flemish tv program, in which the adventurous presenter takes on the challenge to climb El Capitan without previous climbing experience.

Unfortunately there are no English subtitles, so not everyone can watch it. There’s some conversations in French and English as well, but the main language is Flemish (the Dutch spoken in Belgium).

The tv series has varied challenges ranging from very physical (entering a national body building competition) to very silly (creating a chart topping sing along song). Not all episodes are good and in the end, it’s entertaining television, with a lot of things being fixed.

But this is the most fascinating episode. Even when things are fixed (that we don’t get to see), it’s still very impressive.

Somehow, the guy from Free Solo isn’t really relatable. Tom Waes on the other hand  is the total opposite. The drive he has to just succeed in everything is amazing. But he is also super honest about his fears and his frustrations. He swears all the time, sighs constantly, doubts a lot… He has a good sense of humor too. You want him to succeed. You want him to climb El Capitan. No matter in how many days.

The cool thing is that you actually learn something about climbing as well. And not just about techniques, but also about how people sleep, eat and … shit when they’re climbing up a rock wall. Tom also has a sports cam on his head so the views are spectacular.

The team of professional climbers who escort/guide/make it easy for him, is also great.

Somehow this impressed me more than Free Solo.

On tv because there’s a sequel in the theatre: that other Julie Andrews blockbuster from the sixties.

It’s amazing how much you remember from a movie that you loved as a kid, but haven’t seen in about 35 years or so. And it’s even more amazing how you can still smile with your favorite moments (the I Love To Laugh scene, Michael’s constant stare of amazement, the penguins, …) and how you want to fast forward those scenes that are boring and annoying (all the moments in the bank… )

Re-watching it in 2018 as adult is a challenge. There is just too much music. And the songs are repetitive and terrible. Then there’s Dick Van Dyke, known to be the American actor speaking with the worst British accent ever. As a child, Bert comes across as this fun guy Mary Poppins hangs around with. As an adult, he is annoying as hell. Sure, he tries to ‘honor’ Gene Kelly’s comedic dancing and singing skills. But he fails in every scene. That accent is excruciating.

It’s one of those Disney Classics that didn’t stand the test of time. Not keen on seeing the sequel now.


Mowgli – *(*)

Posted: December 15, 2018 in 2018, Adventure, Drama, Fantasy, UK, USA, X1/2

Disney’s live animation remake of The Jungle Book was a great success a few years ago. That must have been very bad news for the producers of Mowgli, another movie based on Rudyard Kipling’s fantasy book, telling the story of a young human being raised by a pack of wolves in the jungle. It’s not the first time in movie history that two production companies release a similar movie and almost always there’s the one movie that becomes a hit and the other a flop. Unless the movies are so unique that they become two totally different experiences.

Alas, for Mowgli, the first half of the movie is pretty similar to The Jungle Book. At least what’s the story is concerned. The animals look very different though. Less real, less polished, less funny. The creatures in this movie look like they all have had a past life being the caged, underfed pets of humans. A bit like Koba in Planet Of The Apes. And in the second half you do get to learn that Bagheera was once a pet. It’s a confession he makes when he visits Mowgli at night, who’s locked up in a cage by a white hunter living in an Indian village. That part is more intriguing than in the 2016 version. However, as the story could have focused on Mowgli’s integration with fellow humans, it ends with the hunt for Shere Khan, as predicted.

It’s a dark movie. It’s not fun entertainment. It does have its merits, but it falls short. The trailer is great though. The final product not so much.

This movie is everything you expect it to be. It tells the background story of Han Solo, the iconic Star Wars character immortalized by Harrison Ford. He’s not in it. Hey, the guy is 76. But Alden Ehrenreich is playing the young action hero. And he’s doing it really well! Okay, the story isn’t that original. And the fact that it’s everything you expect it to be is also not that exciting. But, in the end, it’s more than 2 hours of nostalgic fun. There’s non stop straight forward action. There’s quite a lot of humor. There’s the introduction of hundreds new characters. And a few familiar faces. The movie is a relative ‘flop’, so a sequel isn’t probably in the pipelines. But there’s so much more to tell, Disney… don’t let this flop stop you from making more Star Wars movies! Just start looking for different locations. Go back to the forest or the lakes! Stop focussing on snow, desserts, wormholes and industrial places.