REVIEW: JUMANJI (1995)

CAST

Robin Williams (One Hour Photo)
Bonnie Hunt (Cheaper By The Dozen)
Kirsten Dunst (Bring It On)
Bradley Pierce (The Borrowers)
Jonathan Hyde (The Strain)
Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers)
David Alan Grier (The Woodsman)
Patricia Clarkson (Lars and The Real Girl)
James Handy (Alias)
Laura Bell Bundy (Scream Queens)
Frank Welker (The Simpsons)
Adam Hann-Byrd (Halloween: H20)
Gillian Barber (In Cold Blood)
Malcolm Stewart (Moon)
Peter Bryant (Legends of Tomorrow)

In 1869, near Brantford, New Hampshire, two brothers bury a chest, hoping that no one will ever find it. One hundred years later in 1969, 12-year-old Alan Parrish visits a shoe factory owned by his father, Samuel. He visits his friend Carl Bentley, an employee, who reveals a new shoe prototype he made by himself. Alan misplaces the shoe and damages an important machine, but Carl takes responsibility and loses his job. After being attacked by several bullies, who also steal his bicycle, Alan follows the sound of tribal drumbeats to a construction site. He finds the chest containing a board game called Jumanji, and brings it home.

At home, after an argument with Samuel about attending a boarding school, Alan plans to run away. Sarah Whittle, his friend, arrives to return his bicycle, and they begin playing Jumanji. With each roll of the dice, the player piece moves by itself and a cryptic message describing the roll’s outcome appears in the crystal ball at the center of the board. Sarah rolls the dice but nothing happens. Alan rolls the dice; a message tells him to wait in a jungle until someone rolls 5 or 8, and he is sucked into the game. Afterwards, a swarm of bats appears and chases Sarah out of the mansion.

Twenty-six years later, Judy and Peter Shepherd move into the vacant Parrish house with their aunt Nora, their parents having died in an accident on a ski trip in Canada. The next day Judy and Peter find Jumanji in the attic and begin playing it. Their rolls summon giant mosquitoes and a group of monkeys. The game rules state that everything will be restored when the game ends, so they continue playing. Peter’s next roll releases a lion and an adult Alan, who rushes to his father’s factory. On the way, he meets Carl, who is now working as a police officer. In the now-abandoned factory, a homeless man tells Alan that after his disappearance, Sam abandoned the business and searched for his son, until his death four years earlier. The factory’s closure has devastated the town’s economy.

Realizing that they need Sarah to finish the game, the three locate Sarah — now suffering mental trauma from Jumanji and Alan’s disappearance — and persuade her to join them. Sarah’s move releases fast-growing man-eating vines, and Alan’s next roll releases a big game hunter named Van Pelt, who has been hunting Alan in the jungle. The next roll summons a herd of various animals, causing a stampede, and a pelican steals the game. Peter retrieves it, but Alan is arrested by Carl, and Van Pelt steals the game. Peter, Sarah, and Judy track Van Pelt to a department store where they set booby traps to deter him and retrieve the game, while Alan escapes from Carl’s car. When the four return to the mansion — now completely overrun by jungle wildlife — they release one calamity after another, until an earthquake destroys the mansion. As Van Pelt corners Alan and prepares to kill him, Alan finally makes the winning roll, causing everything that happened as a result of the game to be reversed.

Back in 1969, Alan and Sarah are children once again, but have full memories of the game’s events. Alan reconciles with his father and admits that he damaged the factory’s machine. Carl is rehired, and Sam tells his son that he does not have to attend boarding school. Alan and Sarah throw Jumanji into a river, then share a kiss. In the present, Alan has taken over his father’s business. Alan and Sarah are married and expecting their first child. They meet Judy, Peter, and their parents Jim and Martha for the first time at a Christmas party. Alan offers Jim a job, and convinces them to cancel their upcoming ski trip, averting their deaths. On a beach in France, two young girls hear drumbeats while walking, as Jumanji lies buried in the sand.ddmh590-ef2b39ee-4881-42f0-bcec-ce5b47dd1d16The special effects in this movie, in there day were excellent. It really is an excellent film and most of the family can enjoy the solid entertainment.

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: CRIMSON PEAK

CAST

Mia Wasikowska (Alice In Wonderland)
Tom Hiddleston (Thor)
Jessica Chastain (Interstellar)
Charlie Hunnam (Pacific Rim)
Jim Beaver (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Burn Gorman (The Dark Knight Rises)
Leslie Hope (Robocop: Prime Directives)
Doug Jones (Hellboy)
Jonathan Hyde (Jumanji)
Bruce Gray (Evan Almighty)
Emily Coutts (Barn Wedding)
Kimberly-Sue Murray (V-Wars)

In 1887, Edith Cushing (Mia Wasikowska), the young daughter of wealthy American businessman Carter Cushing (Jim Beaver), is visited by her mother’s ghost who warns her, “beware of Crimson Peak.”
Fourteen years later, Edith is now a budding author who prefers penning ghost stories to writing the romance novels that her editor wants. She meets Sir Thomas Sharpe (Tom Hiddleston), an English baronet who has come to the United States seeking investors, including Edith’s father, for his clay-mining invention. Disdaining privileged aristocracy and unimpressed with Sharpe’s prototype and previous failures to raise capital, Cushing rejects Thomas’s proposal. Edith notices that Thomas and his sister, Lucille (Jessica Chastain), wear expensive but outdated and somewhat-frayed fashions. Shortly after, Edith once again is visited by her mother’s spirit bearing the same warning. Sir Thomas is determined to persuade Mr. Cushing to change his mind. However, when he and Edith become romantically attached, Cushing and Edith’s childhood friend, Dr. Alan McMichael (Charlie Hunnam), disapprove. Mr. Cushing hires a private detective who uncovers unsavory facts about the Sharpes. Mr. Cushing confronts the siblings and bribes them into returning to England. As Cushing insisted he do, Sir Thomas abruptly and cruelly ends his and Edith’s relationship, but the next morning, he sends her a note explaining his actions. Not long after, Mr. Cushing is brutally murdered, though his death is ruled accidental. Edith and Sir Thomas eventually marry and return to England. They arrive at Allerdale Hall, the Sharpes’ dilapidated mansion, which sits atop a red clay mine. As Edith settles in, she finds that Lucille acts somewhat cold toward her while Sir Thomas remains physically distant. Edith is left confused and uncertain by their behavior.
Gruesome ghosts begin appearing to Edith throughout the mansion. To help calm Edith, Sir Thomas takes her into town. After being snowed in for the night, they finally consummate their marriage. Lucille angrily lashes out when they return the next morning, frightening Edith. By the time Sir Thomas mentions that the estate is also referred to as “Crimson Peak,” due to the warm red clay seeping up through the snow, Edith is growing increasingly weaker and coughing up blood.
Edith explores the mansion and begins piecing clues together, discovering that Sir Thomas previously married three wealthy women who were fatally poisoned for their inheritances. She realizes she, too, is being poisoned. She also discovers the siblings have had a long-term incestuous relationship, resulting in a sickly infant that died. Lucille murdered their mother after she had discovered her children’s incest. Sir Thomas inherited the family manor that, like many aristocratic estates of the era, is no longer profitable; the Sharpes are virtually penniless. The brother and sister began the “marriage and murder” scheme to support themselves and to fund Thomas’s inventions.

Back in the United States, the detective that Mr. Cushing had hired tells Alan what he uncovered about the Sharpes, including Thomas’s multiple marriages and Lucille’s time in a mental institution. Realizing Edith is in danger, Alan arrives at Allerdale Hall to rescue her. Lucille stabs him in the left armpit, then demands that Sir Thomas finish him off. Sir Thomas, who has fallen in love with Edith and does not want her harmed, inflicts a second, non-fatal stab wound to Alan before hiding him in the cellar. Lucille forces Edith to sign a transfer deed granting the Sharpes ownership of the Cushing estate and also confesses to her that she was the one who murdered Edith’s father. After Edith signs the deed, she stabs Lucille in the chest with a pen and tries to flee. Sir Thomas burns the deed and promises to protect Edith so that she and Alan can escape. Lucille, jealous over Sir Thomas falling in love with Edith, murders him in a rage. She then pursues Edith. Aided by Sir Thomas’ ghost, Edith kills Lucille with a shovel. Sir Thomas bids Edith a silent farewell as his spirit departs. Edith and Alan are rescued, and Lucille’s ghost now haunts Allerdale. The end credits imply that Edith has written a novel titled Crimson Peak based on her experiences.This is an intensely visual film that held my attention for all two hours. The performances are very good, but the hero is the production design. ‘Crimson Peak’ is unashamedly set-driven and there are times when the actors start to disappear in amongst their vast surroundings. This is a terrific horror film that gets very close to sheer. It is also an intelligent film that is awash with symbols, metaphors and allegories.

REVIEW: THE MUMMY (1999)

CAST

Brendan Fraser (Bedazzled)
Rachel Weisz (The Bourne Legacy)
Arnold Vosloo (G.I. Joe)
John Hannah (Spartacus)
Kevin J. O’ Connor (Van Helsing)
Jonathan Hyde (The Strain)
Oded Fehr (Resident Evil: Apocalypse)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Patricia Velásquez (Mindhunters)
Bernard Fox (Titanic)
Omid Djalili (Alien Autopsy)
Sean Cronin (London Hood)

In Thebes, Egypt, 1290 BC, high priest Imhotep has a love affair with Anck-su-Namun, the mistress of Pharaoh Seti I. When the Pharaoh discovers the affair, Imhotep and Anck-su-Namun assassinate him. Imhotep flees, while Anck-su-Namun kills herself, intending for Imhotep to resurrect her. Imhotep and his priests steal her corpse and travel to Hamunaptra, the city of the dead, but the resurrection ritual is stopped by Seti’s bodyguards, the Medjai. Imhotep’s priests are all mummified alive, while Imhotep himself is sentenced to suffer the Hom Dai, the worst of Egyptian curses, buried alive with flesh-eating scarab beetles. Imhotep is sealed away in a sarcophagus at the feet of a statue of the Egyptian god Anubis and kept under strict surveillance by the Medjai to prevent Imhotep’s return.In 1926, Jonathan Carnahan presents his sister Evelyn, a Cairo librarian and aspiring Egyptologist, with an intricate box and map, which leads to Hamunaptra. Jonathan reveals he stole the box from an American adventurer, Rick O’Connell, who discovered the city while in the French Foreign Legion. Rick makes a deal with Evelyn to lead them there if they release him from prison.Rick leads Evelyn and her party to the city, where the group encounters a band of American treasure hunters guided by Rick’s cowardly colleague Beni Gabor. The expeditions are attacked by the Medjai, led by the warrior Ardeth Bay. Against Ardeth’s advice to leave the city, the two expeditions continue to excavate. Evelyn searches for the famous Book of the Living, a book made of pure gold. Instead of finding the book, she, Rick, and Jonathan stumble upon the statue of Anubis and the remains of Imhotep buried underneath. The team of Americans, meanwhile, discover the black Book of the Dead, accompanied by canopic jars carrying Anck-su-Namun’s preserved organs.At night, Evelyn takes the Book of the Dead and reads a page aloud, accidentally awakening Imhotep. The expeditions return to Cairo, but Imhotep follows them with the help of Beni. Imhotep returns to full strength by killing the Americans one by one, and brings the ten plagues back to Egypt. Seeking a way to stop Imhotep, Rick, Evelyn and Jonathan meet Ardeth at a museum. Ardeth hypothesizes that Imhotep wants to resurrect Anck-su-Namun again and plans to do so by sacrificing Evelyn. Evelyn believes that if the Book of the Dead brought Imhotep back to life, the Book of the Living can kill him again, and deduces the book’s whereabouts. Imhotep corners the group with an army of slaves. Evelyn agrees to accompany Imhotep if he spares the rest of the  group. Imhotep, Evelyn, and Beni return to Hamunaptra, pursued by Rick, Jonathan, and Ardeth. Imhotep prepares to sacrifice Evelyn, but she is rescued after an intense battle with Imhotep’s mummified priests. When Evelyn reads from the Book of Amun-Ra, Imhotep becomes mortal again, and Rick forces him into the River of Death. Imhotep leaves the world of the living, vowing revenge. While looting treasure from the pyramid, Beni accidentally sets off an ancient booby trap and is trapped by a swarm of flesh-eating scarabs as Hamunaptra collapses into the sand. Ardeth rides away as Rick and Evelyn kiss and, with Jonathan, ride off into the sunset on a pair of camels laden with Beni’s treasure.In terms of pure escapist fun, The Mummy was a huge success, and it holds up well thanks to Director Stephen Sommers balancing the elements involved so well.

REVIEW: TITANIC

CAST

Leonardo DiCaprio (Catch Me If You Can)
Kate Winslet (Heavenly Creatures)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Victor Garber (Legends of Tomorrow)
Bernard Hill (The Scorpion King)
Billy Zane (Three)
Frances Fisher (The Host)
Gloria Stuart (The Whistler)
Bill Paxton (Agents of SHIELD)
Suzy Amis Cameron (The Ex)
Danny Nucci (Firestarter 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Jonathan Hyde (The Mummy)
Jason Barry (Circle of Friends)
Mark Lindsay Chapman (Swamp Thing: The Series)
Ioan Grufford (Ringer)
Jenette Goldstein (Limitless TV)

In 1996, treasure hunter Brock Lovett and his team aboard the research vessel Akademik Mstislav Keldysh search the wreck of RMS Titanic for a necklace with a rare diamond, the Heart of the Ocean. They recover a safe containing a drawing of a young woman wearing only the necklace dated April 14, 1912, the day the ship struck the iceberg. Rose Dawson Calvert, the woman in the drawing, is brought aboard Keldysh and tells Lovett of her experiences aboard Titanic.In 1912 Southampton, 17-year-old first-class passenger Rose DeWitt Bukater, her fiancé Cal Hockley, and her mother Ruth board the luxurious Titanic. Ruth emphasizes that Rose’s marriage will resolve their family’s financial problems and retain their high-class persona. Distraught over the engagement, Rose considers suicide by jumping from the stern; Jack Dawson, a penniless artist, intervenes and discourages her. Discovered with Jack, Rose tells a concerned Cal that she was peering over the edge and Jack saved her from falling. When Cal becomes indifferent, she suggests to him that Jack deserves a reward. He invites Jack to dine with them in first class the following night. Jack and Rose develop a tentative friendship, despite Cal and Ruth being wary of him. Following dinner, Rose secretly joins Jack at a party in third class.Aware of Cal and Ruth’s disapproval, Rose rebuffs Jack’s advances, but realizes she prefers him over Cal. After rendezvousing on the bow at sunset, Rose takes Jack to her state room; at her request, Jack sketches Rose posing nude wearing Cal’s engagement present, the Heart of the Ocean necklace. They evade Cal’s bodyguard and have sex in an automobile inside the cargo hold. On the forward deck, they witness a collision with an iceberg and overhear the officers and designer discussing its seriousness. Cal discovers Jack’s sketch of Rose and an insulting note from her in his safe along with the necklace. When Jack and Rose attempt to inform Cal of the collision, he has his bodyguard slip the necklace into Jack’s pocket and accuses him of theft. Jack is arrested, taken to the master-at-arms’ office, and handcuffed to a pipe. Cal puts the necklace in his own coat pocket.With the ship sinking, Rose flees Cal and her mother, who has boarded a lifeboat, and frees Jack. On the boat deck, Cal and Jack encourage her to board a lifeboat; Cal claims he can get himself and Jack off safely. After Rose boards one, Cal tells Jack the arrangement is only for himself. As her boat lowers, Rose decides that she cannot leave Jack and jumps back on board. Cal takes his bodyguard’s pistol and chases Rose and Jack into the flooding first-class dining saloon. After using up his ammunition, Cal realizes he gave his coat and consequently the necklace to Rose. He later boards a collapsible lifeboat by carrying a lost child. After braving several obstacles, Jack and Rose return to the boat deck. The lifeboats have departed and passengers are falling to their deaths as the stern rises out of the water. The ship breaks in half, lifting the stern into the air. Jack and Rose ride it into the ocean and he helps her onto a wooden panel only buoyant enough for one person. He assures her that she will die an old woman, warm in her bed. Jack dies of hypothermia but Rose is saved.With Rose hiding from Cal en route, the RMS Carpathia takes the survivors to New York City where Rose gives her name as Rose Dawson. She later finds out Cal committed suicide after losing all his money in the 1929 Wall Street crash. Back in the present, Lovett decides to abandon his search after hearing Rose’s story. Alone on the stern of Keldysh, Rose takes out the Heart of the Ocean — in her possession all along — and drops it into the sea over the wreck site. While she is seemingly asleep or has died in her bed, photos on her dresser depict a life of freedom and adventure inspired by the life she wanted to live with Jack. A young Rose reunites with Jack at the Titanic’s Grand Staircase, applauded by those who died.Titanic plays as a true epic.  If you like interesting characters that will give you an insight into the life of characters in the early 1900’s and how they face disaster, then this movie definitely is for you