Sunday, 1 March 2015

Film Favourites: Jumanji

"I want to get better at posting regularly," She says. Misses posting last week. Oops.

Anyway, will we get to that now? The posting? Inspired by one of Ben's posts a while ago (cough cough click click), I have decided to dedicate this weeks post to one of my personal favourite films.

Do you smell that? That's the scent of nostalgia.
When two kids find and play a magical board game, they release a man trapped for decades in it and a host of dangers that can only be stopped by finishing the game.

This movie came out the same year that I was born ('95, represent!), so I can't really remember how old I was when I first watched it. I'm going to find it difficult to talk about this film objectively because I just love it so damn much, but I'll try.

Still gives me chills.
I remember talking to someone not that long about this film, I was absolutely flabbergasted that she hadn't watched it when she was a kid. She then went on to tell me that she had tried to watch it when she was younger but it was way too intense for her young little mind to handle. But that's what I loved! Everything that can go wrong in this film, goes wrong. There's giant killer spiders and monkeys and stampedes and weird 'day of the triffids'-esque plants and argh I love it.

Not to mention this scary motherfucker.
Personally, I think this film is a perfect mix of everything. It sets up the characters back stories nicely so I actually become attached to them so when things start getting tense (which is pretty regular), I'm on the edge of my seat, beads of sweat dripping off my forehead. It mixes together a good formula of tense/funny and sweet. The children in this film are parentless, so throughout the course of the film, Robin Williams' character, Alan Parrish, and Bonnie Hunts character, Sarah Whittle, become parental figures to the children, which lends itself to quite a few sweet scenes. You know, when people aren't being turned into monkey-things and men aren't being hunted down ruthlessly at gun-point, it can actually be a kind of sweet film. Sort of.
Uhhh, yeah, okay. Point taken.
Cute moments aside, let's get down to the nitty gritty, the action, the real meat of the film to get your teeth into - when they start playing the game. Let me tell you, to this day, when young Alan starts to get sucked into the game and the bats are attacking Sarah, my heart is hammering against my chest. Sure, the special effects are questionable at times, but try and show me someone who didn't lose their mind during that stampede scene and I will show you a liar. When I hear the dramatic music start and Alan pull the game out of the brick wall at the beginning of the film, urgh. Perfect. The music is absolutely on point throughout the entire film anyway.

This looks like such a happy picture of a family getting together to play a board game.
How misleading.
I was thinking about the point that I initially became interested in film, because I have loved films for as long as I can remember and I remember with crystal clarity the feeling I got when I realised I would be able to study film. Like, for some reason I hadn't considered studying film for the longest time and then, with the chorus of a thousand angels and a blinding light, I had the epiphany - the epiphany that I could actually study film, as a real degree. I could study how to make films and write films and look at films critically and films. Anyway, I've gone off in a tangent, where was I? Ah, yes, the point where I became interested in film. I was able to trace back my interest in film to this movie. As soon as the gang are together (Alan, Sarah, Judy and Pete), that's when the film is at its high point. Everything is set up perfectly to get all those characters in the positions they need to be but as soon as they're all together, the film really hits its stride.

You sneaky, genius, conniving bastard.
A quick google of this title will show you an abundance of below par reviews (I'm looking at you, metacritc, 39%, seriously?), but don't let them fool you, my opinion is clearly better. I would definitely recommend this film for all to watch - as a shameless nostalgia trip for those who watched it in their childhood like I did, as a way to catch up on a missed film-watching opportunity if you didn't get the chance to watch it, and as a general fun watch if it's a friday night and those plans that you were totally buzzing for fell through, because that's what this film is. It is fun. It's a great edge of your seat, wild ride and leaves you wanting to fist pump the air when the characters overcome the many, many, many obstacles that the board game creates. 

Right, I shall wrap it up there. Less of a review, more of a shameless nostalgia-fest wherein I was allowed to be self-indulgent. Proper reviews return next week. 
Hopefully I shall see you all then!

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