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Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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Jumanji (2017) - Blu-ray Review

Movie Review

3 starsThe rhinos are back! And so are the laughs, as we have the rare sequel that actually works because it dares to do something a bit different with our expectations. Not that anything in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is all that intelligent, mind you, but the charm from the cast in this fun film makes it a lot better than you might be expecting. It’s also relentlessly zippy in its overall execution, wasting no time in getting us to the good parts.

Case in point, thanks to a story idea by Chris McKenna, no longer is Jumanji limited to just a board game. That fact alone opens the gaming experience to a whole new level of fun as a fresh set of characters – teenagers Alex Wolff as Spencer Gilpin, Madison Iseman as Bethany Walker, Ser'Darius Blain as Anthony "Fridge" Johnson, and Morgan Turner as Martha Kaply – wander the halls of Brantford High School and find themselves with collective detention thanks to their own lapses in judgment.

Then, when doing their assigned duties of removing staples from magazines, they discover an old gaming console that, when unplugged due to a weird green glow emitting from it, magically zaps them into a video game called Jumanji. You can die here – hilariously, too – but you keep coming back. Well, at least THREE times. After that, who knows where you go!

"the charm from the cast in this fun film makes it a lot better than you might be expecting. It’s also relentlessly zippy in its overall execution, wasting no time in getting us to the good parts."


So does Welcome to the Jungle live up to the original Jumanji released 20 years ago? Here’s the question you should be asking yourself: who really cares? When Nick Jonas and Jack Black share a ridiculously (and tricky) plotted-out love story, you know you are in for something a bit different. This is an action-adventure flick that knows exactly what it is: complete ridiculousness and that’s what it hands over to us.

The fun, in large part, is all due to the assigned video game avatars those four high school students find themselves trapped in when a video game gets their attention while serving detention. The Breakfast Club this isn’t, but you’d never know that from the ribbing and fun the cast is apparently having while running around Hawaii (where the film was shot). The lines are hilarious. And the actors – giving some seriously self-mocking performances – are all on point.

Consider the comedic talents of the leads – Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan, and Jack Black as a teenage self-obsessed girl – and what they have done previously.   Here, their camaraderie outshines any weakness in the script and, because they look like they are having all sorts of fun, they sell a fun experience to the audience. Quite simply, walk into the movie expecting nothing in return and you will leave with a spring in your step. Everything works.

Directed by Jake Kasdan, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle is an unexpected blast of gaming goodness. It’s no wonder then that the next film is already being plotted with everyone returning for another round of video game excitement.

Film Details

Jumanji (2017) - Blu-ray Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for adventure action, suggestive content and some language.
Runtime: 119 mins
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, Kevin Hart
Genre: Action | Adventure
Tagline: The game has evolved.
Memorable Movie Quote: "Oh my God, this is so cool! Martha, come look at my penis!"
Theatrical Distributor: Columbia Pictures
Official Site: www.jumanjimovie.com/site/
Release Date: December 20, 2017
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date: March 20, 2018
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.

Jumanji (2017) - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Home Video Distributor: Sony Pictures
Available on Blu-ray - March 20, 2018
Screen Formats: 2.40:1
Subtitles: English, English SDH, French, Portuguese, Spanish, Cantonese, Indonesian, Korean, Malay, Mandarin (Simplified), Mandarin (Traditional), Thai, Vietnamese
Audio: English: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; French (Canada): Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Thai: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: Blu-ray Disc; Single disc; Digital copy; Movies Anywhere
Region Encoding: Locked to Region A

Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.39:1, Sony Pictures handles the new Jumanji film with visual aplomb.   Hawaii looks all sorts of inviting in spite of the rhino attack. The color palette is naturally well balanced with warm and rich hues. Contrast is excellent, with solid and deep blacks and revealing shadow delineation. Fleshtones are naturally cast. The action scenes – both during the day and the night – do intensify the overall effect of the picture, which effectively enhance the excitement. It is these action scenes that deliver impressive visuals and dynamically shape the sense of natural space and effective depth. The DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1-channel soundtrack is dynamically and spatially engaging.

Supplements:

Commentary:

None

Special Features:

Fans get a hilarious gag reel, some featurettes, a funny music video thanks to Jack Black and Nick Jonas, and a nice look back at the original film.   A Movies Anywhere code is included with purchase.

Journey Through The Jungle: The Making of Jumanji (15 min)

Meet the Players: A Heroic Cast (7 min)

Attack of the Rhinos! (4 min)

Surviving the Jungle: Spectacular Stunts! (6 min)

Book to Board Game to Big Screen & Beyond! Celebrating The Legacy of Jumanji (5 min)

Gag Reel (2 min)

Music Video (4 min)

Jumanji (2017) - Blu-ray Review

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