Featuring the films and show:
The Jungle Book (2016) ***½
Brooklyn Nine-Nine, season 3 (23 23-min. eps. 2015-2016) ****
Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015) ***½
Can’t Stop the Music (1980) no stars
Ah man! I have fallen behind again. This site has gone into the crapper, but I’m doing it, man. I’m blaming the two year old. If I have any readers left, you’re just going to have to hang with me until he’s… I don’t know… 12? Anyway, These were the non-Ebertfest movies I watched and a TV season I finished during the two weeks I was watching the Ebertfest films.
I thought the latest live action adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Jungle Book” was quite impressive. I really wasn’t sure what to think going into it. I didn’t think it looked good from the trailers, but the early buzz was that it was great. I loved the Disney animated version and just didn’t know what to think about seemingly live action animals talking. It’s the lowest form of family filmmaking.
I was struck while watching these animals talk to each other as if it’s actually something that happens in nature that CGI has come so far that it’s wrong to look at a movie like this as a live action movie. This is an animated movie, almost entirely. It uses actual live action elements with the frequency and artistry of the cartoon elements of the original “Pete’s Dragon”, another live action animated update coming from Disney this fall. But it’s the live element that is really foreign here and needs to be assimilated to the CGI we’re seeing, which has become just as dramatically artistic as hand drawn animated movies once were. The CGI here is remarkable.
More importantly, director Jon Favreau proves himself to be a master of the action format. This is not because he puts together a great many incredible action sequences here, which he does, but because he works in so much character and story development around them and everything so naturally works together. It doesn’t feel like exposition/action/character development/action/background with foreshadowing/action. It all flows in and out of each movement naturally and you almost don’t even realize you’ve found yourself in an action sequence until you realize that you’re grasping your arm rests a little tighter than you had been ten minutes earlier.
The underrated television police comedy “Brooklyn Nine-Nine” wrapped up its third season fairly quietly and little earlier than most of the full-length season shows. While I cooled on this show slightly during it’s second season, the third really impressed me. What might’ve originally been seen as an Andy Samberg vehicle to launch him out of his SNL days has really become completely an ensemble comedy, even to the point where guest stars seem greatly steeped into the ensemble of the show. I especially liked Jason Mantzoukas’s three-episode arc as a long time undercover cop who has difficulty assimilating back into normal life after a years long assignment in the mob. I so want his character to be added to the cast as a regular next season. They probably don’t have the money for such a move without losing another regular, and I can’t imagine whom this show can do without.
I rewatched “Avengers: Age of Ultron” for the first time since seeing it opening day last year to prepare for the opening of “Captain America: Civil War”. I liked it better this time around, which probably has more to do with being better entrenched in the Marvel Cinematic Universe this year than last than the movie actually being better than I initially felt it was. You can read my original review here. The MCU definitely benefits from multiple viewings because there is so much going on and the filmmakers have so much new information to launch out there with every subsequent movie. If you’re willing to put in the time for Marvel, it can be more rewarding than just viewing the films in a more casual nature.
Finally, thanks to my allegiance to the podcast “How Did This Get Made?” I was fortunate enough to inflict upon myself the Village People origin story movie “Can’t Stop the Music”, which is indeed a gloriously terrible movie. It’s so bad that it’s subject, the Village People, are relegated to supporting roles, and not ones big enough to be considered necessary to the plot. How do you make a movie about a group of people that isn’t about them? And I haven’t even mentioned Caitlyn Jenner’s involvement yet. So, I’ve done that with my life now.
Here are the tweets.
#TheJungleBook is a genuinely impressive piece of cinema, grand spectacle that doesn't sacrifice the source material. #DLMChallenge No. 99
Biggest take away from season 3 @Brooklyn99FOX, Jason Mantzoukas must be added to the regular cast. #pimentolives
Backlash is a funny thing. I've heard people take down #AvengersAgeofUltron lately, but it still seems good to me. #DLMChallenge No. 104
4/23"Introducing Bruce Jenner" opening credits for the Village People's #CantStoptheMusic. Time is fickle and funny. @HDTGM #DLMChallenge No 106