Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Double Feature: Civil War and Jungle Book

Today I'll review two movies I've watched recently.

Overall, the 2016 reincarnation of The Jungle Book was a fun ride for the whole family. The live action animals were well done, even looking natural as they spoke. Successfully capturing the spirit of the Kipling books, the movie provides a story full of action, entertainment, and lessons learned.

Cub Scouts, in particular, should love the inclusion of Akela and a version of the Law of the Pack. Throughout the whole story, we learn some of the other laws the different animals live by, which some try to subvert and/or bend.

The man-cub, Mowgli, gets stuck in the middle, as he embarks on an adventure to escape the evil tiger, Shere Khan.

My only complaint is that halfway through the movie, the writers/directors thought to bring in songs from the Disney animated movie released in 1967. I thought the movie was doing fine without them. Sure, the songs are cool and catchy, but as soon as I heard the first couple of notes, the memories of the cartoon took me out of the experience completely. With that said, I'll concede that it was still a pretty darn good rendition of "I Wanna Be Like You."

In the end, my children liked the movie so much, they decided to add the name of Bagheera to our black cat's already long name.

This is a good movie to catch while it's still in theaters.

The third Captain America movie, Civil War, was also a fun ride, but not really too much of a departure from the MARVEL movie formula. Like all other Avenger movies, it has its superhero action, conspiracies, twists, "tough" decisions, silly excuses to explain the absences of certain players, misunderstandings, and so on.

In a sense, this movie is Batman v. Superman except with many more superheroes, and much better done. Both movies have similarities, such as Batman/Ironman having stupid reasons to fights Superman/Captain America, and the addition of one or more super characters with no real development, who exist only to provide eye candy. And a couple of weeks after viewing, the plot begins to leave me, with some confusing parts diffusing away into nothingness.

Some people ask why this isn't an Avengers movie. The answer is simple. The writers choose two regulars to sit this one out (remember the silly excuses I mentioned earlier?), as if every Avenger were to be accounted for, then it would be an Avengers movie.

Still, it was fun watching the big fight. It made for a good date night.

My advice: catch it in the theater. Take a date. Have fun.