Tag Archive: jon Favreau


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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Just Another Week

Family Movie Night

by Karyn Bowman

This has been a few weeks of big ups and low downs in the Bowman household.

It started with a call from my mother stating that my father died in the early morning hours. He wasn’t sick, it wasn’t expected. He was there and then he was gone, just like that. Since then there has been his cremation, trips to Missouri and back, and a memorial gathering in my home town. Family and friends came to remember my father, some that I haven’t seen in years. A few I knew off the bat, others were different in my memory. They all had something to share about my dad that made me smile and cry all at the same time.

I received a lovely phone call from some regular readers who enjoyed a recent column that touched on a favorite movie of their mother’s. It is a reminder that while I sit alone in my office surrounded by disorder and the chaos of family life, the words I write do have meaning for others. I am glad that what I write can bring back such happy memories for a family who have lost a loved one.

Things were beginning to settle down when my 17-year-old received word that he had gotten into his first choice of colleges. The one he wanted is the one he got! There was much celebration.

While I am tremendously sad about losing my father, and I will write about that at a later time, I can see all around me that life goes on. My world stopped for a bit but all around things kept moving on. One of the grown-up girls from my youth group just had a baby. Another girl is about to have her first child. I saw in the paper that one of my former neighbors recently passed; some friends from church are dealing with the sudden loss of their son.

In this time, I guess it would be expected that the movies I would choose to watch are the old favorites. They can be comforting because you know what to expect. We did that this week with Monsters Inc. and the first Harry Potter movie.Chef - cover

But a movie I really wanted to watch was Chef starring Jon Favreau and Sofia Vergara. In this movie, Favreau plays a chef who’s restaurant is about to be visited by a big time blogger food critic. His owner wants him to play it safe and to make the man happy, the chef does just that. But when the two star review comes out and a twitter war brews between the chef and the reviewer, the chef loses his job and self respect.

Not that he didn’t have issues before. He allowed his job to get in the way of being with his son. He allowed past hurts and a divorce to build up a wall. That is until his ex wife throws out a lifeline, a chance to do something different, which the chef grabs onto and follows.

I love movies like this one, the slice of life that is willing to be honest and raw at times. It’s not enough that the Chef and his son have honest conversations, they seem to follow through on them. The Chef admits to being a bad dad and loves when his kid shows him how to be better. The relationships with Vergara and the other people feel true with their bits of honesty and dysfunction.

But here is the warning. If you do not like swearing, if foul language sets you off, this is not your movie. I loved how the cooks in the kitchen interacted with Favreau because it spoke of deep friendships. I knew/know these guys. But the way they spoke to each other is harsh, especially to a stranger. Funny enough, as the movie went on the swearing decreased.

Chef - food truckWhile Chef may not get nominated for any awards, movies like this just don’t because they are not flashy enough, it is worth your time. If the last scene of the movie had been cut, the movie might have been better. But we love to know the whole story, don’t we?

I allowed my high schooler to watch it but not my eighth grader. I am not ready to share a movie with this much swearing in it with her just yet even though the rest of the story would have been Okay for her to watch. All I know is that I felt great after watching this movie and how a movie makes you feel is perhaps the most important indicator.

Until next week, see you in the rental aisle.