REVIEW: JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 8)
Jack Black (King Kong)
Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence)
Karen Gillan (Avengers: Infinity War)
Awkwafina (Crazy Rich Asians)
Alex Wolff (The Sitter)
Madison Iseman (Laid In America)
Ser’Darius Blain (Star Trek Into Darknes)
Morgan Turner (Remember Me)
Nick Jonas (Scream Queens)
Danny DeVito (batman Returns)
Danny Glover (Lethal Weapon)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Rory McCann (Game of Thrones)
Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men)
Dania Ramirez (Premium Rush)
Massi Furlan (Bad Boys For Life)
Deobia Oparei (Sex Education)
John Ross Bowie (The Big Bang Theory)
Lucy DeVito (Dumbo)
Bebe Neuwirth (Cheers)
Lamorne Morris (New Girl)

 

Kevin Hart and Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)In 2019, three years after their adventure in Jumanji, Spencer Gilpin, Anthony “Fridge” Johnson, Martha Kaply, and Bethany Walker lead different lives, but plan a reunion brunch in Brantford, New Hampshire that year. Spencer, apprehensive of the meeting due to depression, contemplates returning to Jumanji where he had purpose, and spends his first night looking over the broken video-game system he held onto. The following day, his friends visit his home, meeting with Spencer’s grandfather Eddie, who is recovering from hip surgery, and Eddie’s former friend and business partner Milo Walker, who is visiting for an unknown reason. Learning that they have no idea where Spencer is, the group search the house, and find the Jumanji game partially repaired in the basement. Realising Spencer returned to the game, his friends decide to follow him.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)The game malfunctions when starting up, sucking in only Fridge and Martha, along with Eddie and Milo, forcing Bethany to contact fellow Jumanji alumnus Alex Vreeke for help. Inside the game, Martha finds herself as her avatar Ruby Roundhouse, yet Fridge becomes Bethany’s avatar Professor Sheldon Oberon, while Eddie and Milo become avatars Dr. Smolder Bravestone and Franklin “Mouse” Finbar respectively. After instructing Eddie and Milo on the game’s rules, the group encounter non-player character Nigel Billingsley, the game’s guide, who reveals that since its last use, Jumanji is suffering from a massive drought. To leave the game, Nigel reveals that the group must recover the “Falcon Jewel” – a magical necklace stolen by warlord Jurgen the Brutal – which can end the drought if brought before sunlight and uttering “Jumanji”.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Awkwafina in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)Transported to a desert called the Dunes to track down Jurgen, and after narrowly escaping a flock of pursuing ostriches, the group encounter Spencer operating as skilled thief Ming Fleetfoot, a new avatar, who agrees to help them after blaming himself for their predicament. While attempting to escape the Dunes, the group face new challenges and problems, along with collecting an in-game item called a Jumanji Berry, and discovering a pool of glowing green water that allows them to switch avatars. In the process, Eddie bickers with Milo, revealing their friendship ended when a diner they owned was sold behind Eddie’s back, forcing him into retirement. After the group convince the pair to work together in escaping a troop of mandrills, they soon become reunited with Alex, as his avatar Jefferson McDonough, and Bethany, operating a new avatar called Cyclone – a black horse that can only be understood by Finbar.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Awkwafina in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)Working together, the party leave the Dunes, and find a river with the same glowing green water, allowing Spencer, Bethany, and Fridge to become their original avatars, while Eddie and Milo respectively end up as Ming and Cyclone. Shortly after changing characters, Jurgen’s mercenaries capture Eddie and Milo. The group infiltrate Jurgen’s fortress separately to rescue teammates and steal the Falcon Jewel. When the confrontation turns into a battle, Spencer pursues Jurgen to his airship, while the others distract his men. Finding himself unable to best Jurgen, Spencer discovers he is weak to the Jumanji Berry, incapacitating him long enough to send him plummeting to his death in the wintery fog below. Discovering Cyclone has retractable wings that allow him to fly, Eddie and Milo work together to rescue Spencer and bring the recovered Falcon’s Heart to the sun, calling out “Jumanji” and ending the drought.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)Returning the necklace to Nigel for safekeeping, the group are surprised when Milo elects to stay behind and protect the land. Learning he was dying in the real world and thus sought to make up for his actions, Eddie reconciles with him before parting ways. Upon returning to the real world, Spencer decides to teach his grandfather about video games, while Eddie uses what he learned in the game to convince the owner of his old diner to hire him on as a manager, with his grandson and his friends turning up to enjoy a meal together.Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji: The Next Level (2019)In a mid-credits scene, the heating mechanic who Spencer’s mother hired finally shows up, only to be drawn to the game, while Spencer and the others are surprised to witness a flock of ostriches rush past the diner.I first watched the Jumaji reboot around a year after it was in theaters. I did not expect much from it to be honest, but I ended up loving it. I was excited to hear that they had announced the sequel, but I did not expect much from it. I guess this is twice that I was wrong about this franchise. This movie made me laugh, hard, and a lot. It is well crafted, but does rely a bit much on the same elements that made the first such a success. I dare say though that this is a slightly better movie than Welcome to the Jungle. The ending was left to imply that there will be a another.

REVIEW: JUMANJI: WELCOME TO THE JUNGLE

CAST

Dwayne Johnson (Fast & Furious 8)
Jack Black (King Kong)
Kevin Hart (Central Intelligence)
Karen Gillan (Avengers: Infinity War)
Alex Wolff (The Sitter)
Madison Iseman (Laid In America)
Ser’Darius Blain (Star Trek Into Darknes)
Morgan Turner (Remember Me)
Nick Jonas (Scream Queens)
Mason Guccione (13 Reasons Why)
Bobby Cannavale (Ant-Man)
Rhys Darby (Yes Man)
Rohan Chand (Jack and Jill)
Marc Evan Jackson (The Good Place)
Tim Matheson (Redline)
Missi Pyle (Dodgeball)
Marin Hinkle (Two and a Half Men)
Colin Hanks (Roswell)
Maribeth Monroe (The Good Place)

Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)In 1996 in Brantford, New Hampshire, teenager Alex Vreeke receives the Jumanji board game which was found by his father on a beach after it was thrown over a bridge by Alan Parrish and Sarah Whittle 27 years earlier. Alex sets the game aside. That night, it transforms into a video game cartridge which catches Alex’s attention when he is awakened by the Jumanji drums and he is transported into the game.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)Twenty years later, in 2016, four Brantford High School students serve detention: Spencer Gilpin, caught writing an essay for former friend Anthony “Fridge” Johnson (also in detention); Bethany Walker, who made a video call during an English-class quiz and Martha Kaply, who refused to participate in gym class. They are sent to the school basement to prepare magazines for recycling and to think about their future. Fridge discovers Alex’s discarded video-game system when he explores the basement, and he and Spencer set up the game. Although it has five playable characters, the first one cannot be selected. Spencer and Fridge choose two characters, and the girls choose their own. When Spencer presses “Start”, they are transported into the game.They are in a jungle, in the forms of their game avatars. Spencer is tough, muscular explorer and archaeologist Smolder Bravestone; Fridge is diminutive zoologist Franklin “Mouse” Finbar, whom he chose after misreading “Mouse” as “Moose”; Bethany is chubby male cartographer and intellectual Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (whose nickname she mistook for a woman’s), and Martha is beautiful commando and martial arts expert Ruby Roundhouse. They each have three lives; Spencer deduces that if they lose all three, they really die.They learn the game’s story from NPC Nigel: corrupt archeologist Russel Van Pelt stole the Jaguar’s Eye (a magic jewel) from its shrine, cursing Jumanji. Nigel escaped Van Pelt with the jewel, and the players must return it to a jaguar statue and call “Jumanji” to lift the curse. Nigel warns them that Van Pelt will stop at nothing to retrieve the jewel, which gives him control of Jumanji’s animals. They begin tackling the game’s increasingly-difficult “levels”, losing lives as they do so. The four are rescued by Alex (the missing fifth player, whose avatar is pilot Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough). Taking shelter in a jungle house built by Alan Parrish, Alex believes that he has been in the game for a few months and is distressed to learn that it is really twenty years. The newcomers vow to help him return home. They break into a transportation shed, commandeering a helicopter to fly to the jaguar statue and return the jewel, but Fridge drops the jewel into a herd of white rhinoceros. Spencer uses one of Fridge’s lives, pushing him out of the helicopter as a distraction, and retrieves the jewel. Alex loses his last life when a mosquito bites him, but Bethany performs CPR and transfers one of her lives to him.Dwayne Johnson in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)At the statue, the players are surrounded by a pack of jaguars and Van Pelt’s forces. They outmaneuver their opposition while Spencer and Martha race to the statue. Van Pelt confronts Martha (trapped in a pit of mambas) and demands the jewel, but she sacrifices one of her lives to re-spawn and get it to Spencer. With the players on their last lives, they end the game with Van Pelt disintegrating into a bunch of rats and return to the real world; Nigel bids them farewell, but Alex does not appear with them. They find the formerly-dilapidated Vreeke home restored and decorated for a Christmas family gathering. An adult Alex arrives, returning to where he left off in 1996. Now married with children, he named his eldest daughter after Bethany out of gratitude for saving his life and introduces them to his infant son, Andy.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, Karen Gillan, and Nick Jonas in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)Spencer and Fridge reconcile, Bethany begins caring for others than herself and plans a summer backpacking adventure, Martha and Spencer become romantically involved and the four are now friends after their experiences in the game. When they hear Jumanji’s drumbeats, they bring the game behind the school and Fridge destroys it with a bowling ball (also found in detention) to prevent anyone from playing it again.Jack Black, Kevin Hart, Dwayne Johnson, and Karen Gillan in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)Dwayne Johnson just keeps getting better with age. Jack Black and Kevin Hart are very talented actors who know how to temper their roles just enough to compliment the movie. Enjoyed this movie with all the action, unpredicatability and creative direction and scenes. High Recommend!

 

 

 

REVIEW: ANNABELLE COMES HOME

Starring

Vera Farmiga (Bates Motel)
Patrick Wilson (Aquaman)
Mckenna Grace (Captain Marvel)
Madison Iseman (Goosebumps 2)
Katie Sarife (Teen Spirit)
Stephen Blackehart (Brightburn)
Douglas Tait (Star Trek)
Samara Lee (The Last Witch Hunter)
Eddie J. Fernandez (Crash)

Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Demonologists Ed and Lorraine Warren confiscate the Annabelle doll from nurses Debbie and Camilla, who claim that the doll often performed violent activities in their apartment. During the drive back home, the doll summons spirits to attack Ed, but he narrowly survives. Annabelle is locked in a sacred glass case in the couple’s artifacts room that is blessed by Father Gordon to ensure the evil is contained.Katie Sarife, Mckenna Grace, and Madison Iseman in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Some time later, the Warrens welcome Mary Ellen, who will be in charge of babysitting their daughter, Judy, at the house while they travel overnight to investigate another case. At school, Judy notices the spirit of a priest that begins following her. Mary Ellen’s friend Daniela arrives uninvited to the Warrens’ home, who is secretly curious about speaking to the dead. She sneaks into the artifacts room and starts examining them, ultimately trying to contact her late father. She abruptly leaves Annabelle’s glass case unlocked, and the terror begins shortly afterward with the spirit of Bee Mullins unleashed. That night, Annabelle begins releasing other spirits, such as the Ferryman, the Bride, a Feeley Meeley board game, and the Black Shuck.Steve Coulter in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Mary Ellen’s crush Bob Palmeri arrives outside and serenades her, but is later attacked by the Black Shuck and hides in the Warrens’ backyard. Mary Ellen is tormented by the Ferryman, while Judy is confronted by Annabelle in her bedroom. Daniela had left earlier, but sneaks back to return the artifacts room’s keys. She gets locked inside the room and tormented by various objects, such as a piano and an old television that can predict the near future. She finds the Mourner’s Bracelet and sees her father twisted into a malevolent spirit. A bloody and screaming Daniela appears on the television screen after having answered a cursed telephone. The real Daniela later unwittingly reaches to answer the telephone, but is interrupted by Judy and Mary Ellen.Steve Coulter and Vera Farmiga in Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Judy explains that they must lock Annabelle in her case again so the other spirits will rest. Bob protects Judy from the Black Shuck as she retrieves Mary Ellen’s asthma inhaler, while Daniela is attacked and possessed by the Bride. Eventually, Mary Ellen and Judy find the doll when the priest’s spirit, acting as Judy’s guardian, guides them to the Ferryman. They manage to retrieve the glass case’s key after they are attacked by demonic hands from the Feeley Meeley board game and a possessed Daniela, but struggle to secure the case as the demon of the doll physically attacks them. Daniela recovers when Judy plays Ed’s recorded footage of the Bride’s exorcism, and helps put the doll back in the case. After the case is locked, the disturbances cease as the spirits return to their slumber, and Bob reunites with the trio.Annabelle Comes Home (2019)Ed and Lorraine return the next morning and the girls approach them to recount the eventful night. Daniela apologizes to Lorraine, who gives her a comforting message from her father. Later, many friends gather to celebrate Judy’s birthday party.Annabelle Comes Home (2019)The best part about this film was the overall fun- this film doesn’t hold anything back. The film is, at times, truly frightening, and extremely entertaining. Most of the scares never happen the way one would expect, which is a strength of the film; most horror films rely on cheap jump scares and predictability. This film decided to go against the grain on some of the scares, and think outside the box, bringing a creative spin into the mix, such as the television screen inside the Warren’s locked room. The atmosphere is great, there is some investment in the characters, so the audience is invested in what happens to them, and there is an overall sense of fun. Overall a must-see for those invested in the Conjuring universe, and a recommendation for horror fans in general. Have fun with it!

HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: GOOSEBUMPS 2

Starring

Jeremy Ray Taylor (IT)
Madison Iseman (Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle)
Caleel Harris (Skyward)
Wendi McLendon-Covey (Atmy of One)
Chris Parnell (Hotel Transylvania)
Ken Jeong (The Hangover)
Jack Black (Be Kind Rewind)
Mick Wingert (The Princess and The Fog)
Bryce Cass (13 Reasons Why

Caleel Harris, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and Madison Iseman in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)Teenager Sarah Quinn (Madison Iseman) lives with her mother Kathy (Wendi McLendon-Covey) and younger brother Sonny (Jeremy Ray Taylor) in Wardenclyffe, New York. Sarah is attempting to get into Columbia University by writing an essay about fear. Kathy agrees to watch Sonny’s friend Sam Carter (Caleel Harris) while his father goes out of town.Caleel Harris, Jeremy Ray Taylor, and Madison Iseman in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)Sonny and Sam are attempting to start a garbage cleanup business, and are called after school to clean up an abandoned house. Inside, they find a locked manuscript and open it, causing Slappy the Dummy to appear. They unknowingly bring him to life by speaking magic words found in his pocket. The manuscript is later stolen by a bully named Tommy Madigan (Payton Wich).Wendi McLendon-Covey in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)At home, Sonny is working on his science project, a miniature version of Nikola Tesla’s Wardenclyffe Tower. Slappy then reveals he’s alive to Sonny and Sam, and gets their trust by using his magic to do the boy’s chores and homework. Meanwhile, Sarah goes to a party to meet her boyfriend Tyler (Bryce Cass), but sees him kissing another girl. Slappy sabotages Sonny’s science project and overhears Sarah talking about Tyler. The following day on Halloween, Slappy uses his powers to attack Tyler, and Sonny accidentally damages the school science lab with his sabotaged science project. Later, Sarah arrives home and questions two boys about Slappy. The group realizes that Slappy is at fault and is evil. The kids capture Slappy and try to dispose of him, but he escapes.Ken Jeong in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)Later that night, they find an article online about the events that happened in Madison, Delaware and try to contact R. L. Stine (Jack Black) after realizing the book they found was an unpublished Goosebumps manuscript called Haunted Halloween. Stine, now living in a cabin in the woods, hears their message and departs for Wardenclyffe. Slappy goes to a local drug store, and uses his magic to bring Halloween costumes and decorations to life. He also transforms an employee named Walter (Chris Parnell) into a hunchbacked ogre. He then travels to the Tesla tower, using it to channel his magic. Sarah, Sonny and Sam retrieve the book from Tommy’s house while all the town’s Halloween decorations come to life. They soon discover that the book can trap the monsters inside. However, the book is stolen and Kathy is kidnapped by the monsters.Mick Wingert and Madison Iseman in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)The kids’ neighbor Mr. Chu (Ken Jeong), a Goosebumps fan who is thrilled to be trapped in a living Goosebumps story, helps them craft monster disguises to safely navigate the town. The kids head for the Wardenclyffe tower while Stine arrives in town. At the tower, the kids encounter Slappy and Walter and discover that Slappy has turned Kathy into a living dummy. Sonny and Sam overload the reactor while Sarah fights Slappy. She defeats Slappy by kicking him into the electrified coil atop the tower, which blasts him into the sky. Sarah opens the book, combining it with the reactor’s energy to suck all the other monsters into the Haunted Halloween manuscript. Kathy and Walter return to normal. Stine arrives and congratulates the kids for defeating the monsters, as well as offering Sarah writing advice for her essay. Sometime later, Kathy and Walter start dating, Sonny wins the science fair and Sarah gets an email saying she got into Columbia University. Back in Stine’s cabin, he finishes a new book. Slappy appears, revealed to have survived and wrote a book of his own where Stine is the main character. He then opens the manuscript, sucking Stine inside.Mick Wingert, Caleel Harris, and Jeremy Ray Taylor in Goosebumps 2: Haunted Halloween (2018)An entertaining film for the whole family, and it has kid friendly scares just like the first Goosebumps film, and the book series. Effects are great, and the young actors are also good, Jack Black returns as R.L. Stine, my problem here he serves very little purpose being in the film. Madison Iseman who’s in the film, I can’t help but feel she looks familiar, and when She and Jack Black are on screen together, made me remember they both where in Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle(2017), in which Jack Black played her character trapped in the body of a man.