Tag Archive: Bill Murray


The Jungle Book

Family Movie Night

 

By Karyn Bowman

 

I am not sure when I came to love the animated feature The Jungle Book. I knew it happened sometime as an adult.

 

I loved the animation, with backdrops that were really four different backgrounds sliding all at once to give depth to the images we were watching. It was an innovation one would expect from the Disney studio.

 

The other endearing part of this movie is the music. You can’t help but bounce around to the jazzy tunes, depicting life and hiding some of the dangers. Maybe it is the song from Baloo or King Louie or even Kaa. They pull you in and make you forget everything else.

 

the_jungle_book_poster_key_artWhen it was announced that there would be a remake of The Jungle Book in live action, I was not sure I would like it. I am one of those people who likes what I like and don’t like to have too many changes.

 

But my kids told me I should get it. They wanted to see it. They could not remember seeing the original verson. Seriously.

 

When we popped it in, there was an immediate difference. Forty or more years had really changed the technology. Animation was completely done but computer generation. The only real character in the movie was the boy played by Neel Sethi. The rest of the cast recorded their performances as the various animals including Lupita N’Yongo as the mother wolf who took in the man-cub as her own.

 

The story is the same. A man-cub raised by wolves is threatened by Shere Khan the tiger. He hates men and vows that Mowgli will not live to manhood. Baghera the panther volunteers to take Mowgli to the man villiage. There are adventures and travails and nears misses with Shere Khan and Kaa.

 

thejunglebook2016_sherekhanidrisThe action is thrilling as Mowgli escapes from Shere Khan in a stampede, bows to the elephants, and learns what the glowing flower can do to a jungle. He meets his great friend Baloo and is taken by Louie’s minions.

 

Ben Kingsley gives Baghera his wonderful regalness. Idris Elba never fails as the diabolical tiger. Christopher Walken brings his famous irregular speech patterns to Louie. And Scarlet Johanson, why she is the sultry siren of a snake. I felt a slightly different connection to this movie, I felt more connected. Bill Murray pulled off on of the most natural performances I have seen from him in a long time

 

THE JUNGLE BOOKI understood the legends of this world better. I understood the reasons why people acted the way they did. I applauded Mowgli’s strength even In the depth’s of his naivete. It is a movie that all family members can watch, although there are some moments that are desperately scary but they are onl moments.

 

Jon Favreau, the director, has created a new classic of a old story. My kids described the movie as ‘lit.’

 

I asked what that meant and I was told it mean the movie was good.

 

I knew the last part.

 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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Going Whole Hog

Family Movie Night

This is the first week of February, the first week of hope that winter is almost over despite the blizzard that is hitting my neck of the woods right now.

Already, the sun is brighter. Already, it stays up longer.

We are awaiting the results of the groundhog and wondering. Will he see his shadow, will he not? Does it really matter?

 In giving us something to celebrate after dealing with cold feet and cold hands, Groundhog’s Day really matters. We need this bit of hope.

Because of this special day, I was thinking of the movie of the same name with Bill Murray.

Andie McDowell and Bill Murray in "Groundhog's Day';Picture from IMDb.com

 Similar to A Christmas Carol, a cold and callous man learns to love life after having to suffering the same day over and over again. We see Murray, as the weatherman who hates Groundhog’s Day, try to find a way out of the day but fate will not allow that.

 Instead he learns to enjoy life, to open his eyes and see what is around him all of the time. That includes falling in love with Andie McDowell, his new producer. This movie will be better for teens and adults as the context of the movie is better suited for adults.

What makes me laugh are some of the scenes that Murray shares with the groundhog. Such as when Murray steals the wood chuck and they go for a ride into a quarry. These are fun goofy little scenes that remind me of another movie with Murray and a furry puppet.

 CaddyShack has been called one of the funniest movies ever made. Murray stars as the groundskeeper, Carl, who has been given the job of getting rid of the gopher tunneling through the golf course.

Caddyshack poster; Image from IMDb.com

 There are grand plans and simple plans and the simple joy of knowing he can get rid of his ultimate nemesis. I might be talking about the stoner grounds keeper, I might be talking about the gopher.

 I love this movie for taking pot-shots, for being crass and crude at times, for being able to watching comedians get their teeth into good material and work it. I even love the one scene that Murray and Chevy Chase share that was totally improvisational.

 It is a movie that is meant for older teens and adults; leave the grade school children out of the room while watching this movie. Another benefit is the setting of the story at a golf course. A golf course is green and therefore the weather must be warm. Who wouldn’t want to watch one of the best comedies ever that is set in warm weather while we are actually in the middle of winter?

G-Force; Picture from IMDb.com

Now I know some of you out there are going “This post is about ‘Family Movies.’ Neither of these movies are ‘Family Movies’.”  If you want a movie with some cute cuddly creatures in an action/adventure type of setting, why not G-Force which features four cuter-than-cute guinea pigs who are the only hope in the world?

I like parts of this movie but, really, it is fine if the kids just want to watch it by themselves. It might just be too cute for some of the older members of the family unless it is the scenes that Penelope Cruz gives voice to the lone female pig. 

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.

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