Sep 182016
 

The Jungle Book is a success in Disney’s obsession with adapting beloved animated movies into live action features and while the likes of Maleficent and to some extent Cinderella weren’t great, this one is entertaining for almost the entire family, though some scenes might be a tad too frightening for younger viewers.

 

 

The Jungle Book
(2016)

Genre(s): Family, Adventure
Buena Vista | PG – 106 min. – $39.99 | August 30, 2016

Date Published: 09/18/2016 | Author: The Movieman

 


MOVIE INFO:
Directed by:
Jon Favreau
Writer(s): Rudyard Kipling (book); Justin Marks (screenplay)
Cast: Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito, Christopher Walken, Neel Sethi
DISC INFO:
Features:
Commentary, Featurettes
Digital Copy: Yes
Formats Included: Blu-ray, DVD
Number of Discs: 2
Audio: English (DTS-HD MA 7.1), French (Dolby Digital 5.1), Spanish (Dolby Digital 5.1)
Video: 1080p/Widescreen 1.85
Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
Disc Size: 38.9 GB
Codec: MPEG-4 AVC
Region(s): A, B, C

 


THE MOVIE — 3.75/5


Plot Synopsis: In an epic adventure, Mowgli (NEEL SETHI), a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, embarks on a journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known. In the jungle, and hunted by the vengeful tiger Shere Khan (IDRIS ELBA), Mowgli comes across a variety of creatures from the spell-binding snake Kaa (SCARLETT JOHANSSON) and rescued by loveable bear, Baloo (BILL MURRAY), who tells Mowgli, tempted to go back to man’s world, the positives of the jungle. Meanwhile, Mowgli also comes face-to-face with the Godfather of the jungle, King Louie (CHRISTOPHER WALKEN) who wants Mowgli to give him the power of the “red flower” (i.e. fire).

Quick Hit Review: As someone who is indifferent to the original 1967 animated feature, this latest live action adaptation from Disney, The Jungle Book is a fun, action-filled flick more or less for the entire family, though some visuals might frighten younger viewers. However, as an adult, it was enjoyable with some nice visual effects/motion capture work, well cast voices especially on the parts of Idris Elba, Bill Murray and Ben Kingsley (voicing Bagheera, Mowgli’s protector).

On the downside, Scarlett Johansson as Kaa was pretty distracting and, unlike Murray, whose voice I also recognized, I couldn’t get past that I was hearing Johansson; and then there’s Christopher Walken who wasn’t bad as King Louie… until the King decided to sing. Yikes. Not sure why the studio didn’t just hire someone to play King Louie’s singing voice…

Outside of those issues, The Jungle Book, directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), appears to be a faithful adaptation of both Rudyard Kipling’s classic book and Disney’s classic animated movie. The visual effects for the most part look good (there were a few wonky shots) and the blending of it and live action elements were pretty seamless. Although there were some scary moments that might affect younger viewers, this is a fine film for the entire family.

 

SPECIAL FEATURES – 2.75/5


This release comes with a glossy, reflective and embossed, slip cover. Inside is a DVD Copy and a code for the Digital Copy.

Audio Commentary – Producer/Director Jon Favreau sits down a serious and informative and engaging track breaking down key scenes.

The Jungle Book Reimagined (35:02; HD) looks at taking the classic novel and animated movie and turning into a live action adventure. Includes behind-the-scenes footage and an interview between Favreau, Producer Brigham Taylor and Visual Effects Supervisor Robert Legato post completion.

I Am Mowgli (8:18; HD) introduces us to the young actor, Neel Sethi, in his first acting role and includes his audition tape.

King Louie’s Temple: Layer by Layer (3:14; HD) is a short featurette on the score/song, visual effects, Walken’s recording session during the temple scene.

 


VIDEO – 5.0/5


The Jungle Book swings onto Blu-ray through Buena Vista presented in its original 1.85 widescreen aspect ratio and given a 1080p high-definition transfer (MPEG-4 AVC codec). As one would expect, this transfer looks fantastic, detail is sharp and well defined, colors are generally vibrant though obviously skewing more toward natural tones and it appears to be clean, free of aliasing, artifacts and other flaws. Bill Pope’s (The Matrix) cinematography shows quite well in HD.

AUDIO – 5.0/5


The 7.1 channel DTS-HD Master Audio track is pretty immersive throughout providing some nice depth especially when it came to the action-centric sequences as well as the score by John Debney (Alex Cross) make usage of every available channel. It’s once again a fantastic lossless track from Disney and although I wish they would go with either DTS: X or Dolby Atmos, it is easily the next best thing.

 


OVERALL – 4.0/5


Overall, The Jungle Book is a success in Disney’s obsession with adapting beloved animated movies into live action features and while the likes of Maleficent and to some extent Cinderella weren’t great, this one is entertaining for almost the entire family, though some scenes might be a tad too frightening for younger viewers. This Blu-ray release offers excellent video and audio transfers however the features are pretty light.

 

 

 

 

Check out some more screen caps by going to page 2. Please note, these do contain spoilers.

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