Groundhog Day (1993)

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I know this movie is pretty old now but I watched it for the first time last weekend as I was told it was a ‘feel good film’ and you can’t go wrong with a ‘feel good film’ can you?

So the story to this movie is that self-centered weatherman Phil (Bill Murray) is fated to live the same day over and over again.  That day is, Groundhog Day.  Like yourselves and probably the rest of the audience I had no idea what Groundhog Day was but luckily for us it’s explained pretty early on in the movie and is basically the day when a little groundhog (google them, they’re cute) predicts how soon winter is going to arrive and stay for.   It’s just as silly as it sounds I’ll be honest, Phil starts off confused as you would be and thinks the town is playing tricks on him and then he starts to take advantage of his situation.  He uses a lot of his time trying to seduce his producer Rita (Andie MacDowell) but things don’t go as well as he hopes…

The acting in this movie is typical 90’s rom-com really, I can’t really say Bill’s performance was amazing but it was watchable… After seeing his later movie’s it’s difficult to picture him as a romantic lead though so watch this with an open mind… It’s a pretty cheesy film but I have seen worse movies and I do understand that the film is trying to get a message across in that you’re one choice or action away from a completely different life. Andie MacDowell was pretty wooden in this for me, I think they could have cast this far better, any other girls from St Elmo’s Fire would have done a better job in my opinion…

This is a film that has an interesting concept and I did enjoy watching it however, if they do remake this film (let’s face it one day, they will….) it needs to be cast better.  I did like how after failed attempts at dating Rita, Phil does see that there’s more to life but I think I’d have found it more interesting personally if this movie had a different outcome in the end.

Overall it’s worth a watch, if you want something with a bit of meaning to it but not have to be completely switched on while watching it.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this a 6.5, the story is interesting and it’s funny in some parts but Andie MacDowell isn’t great as a lead love interest… 6.5/10

 

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The Jungle Book (2016)

junglebook

The Jungle Book, is a story most of us know.  This film tells it beautifully, the visual effects are amazing, I’m actually gutted I didn’t go and see this in 3D at the cinema because it really deserves to be seen on the big screen in all it’s glory.

The story in short is about a little boy called Mowgli that gets separated from his family and raised by a pack of wolves as one of their own.  Then along comes Shere Khan the evil tiger, he believes that no man belongs in the jungle and sets out to kill Mowgli which leads the young boy on an adventure to find his village and be reunited once again with his own kind.

He meets many other animals of the jungle on his travels in this adaptation, such as Baloo the bear and King Louie. However, some animals were missed in script such as the elephants and vultures but they did still feature in the film.  As with almost all Disney films there’s songs throughout this movie but that didn’t bother me as much as it usually does (I’m personally not a fan of musicals).

Neel Sethi plays the role of Mowgli quite well, I mean he’s not been in any big budget films before and to act in this the way he does deserve some credit.  It’s got to be difficult for him when every other character is created after scenes are filmed so he’s got no one to work with in a way, it’s all about your imagination so I think he’s great in this film. The casting for the character voices is just perfect, I mean Bill Murray as Baloo, that’s genius! Christopher Walken is another great choice as he voices King Louie but I especially liked Idris Elba as Shere Khan, such a classic Disney villain voice, just brilliant!

The effects in this film are flawless, I’m picky when it comes to CGI and feel that it’s overused in a lot of films these days but I can’t fault this. From the animals themselves to the complete environments it’s just stunning to see on screen.

My only issue with this film is Kaa’s appearance, it’s just pointless whereas in the first Disney adaptation Kaa is a big character.  To have Scarlett Johansson voice this character for one short scene just seems like a waste of money to me.

Overall, this film is worth a watch just for the visual effects alone and it’s a classic story for all the family. I’m not sure what Disney are trying to achieve with these live-action takes on classic 2D Animations but this one is done well.

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Jungle Book get’s a seven from me, the visuals are amazing, casting is great but I think it missed some key animals and the story wasn’t told as well as it could have been.  – 7/10.