HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Echo
Perfect 10
Octaman
Red Penguins
China Syndrome, The
Babyteeth
Round-Up, The
Around the Sun
Once There Was Brasilia
Peripheral
Dead Pigeon on Beethoven Street
Ice
She Demons
Good Girls, The
Hail, Hero!
Faces in the Crowd
Tamango
Traitor, The
Tomorrow
Third Generation, The
Saxon Charm, The
Spy Intervention
Moonrise
Mulan
Killer with a Thousand Eyes, The
Vigil, The
Liberation of L.B. Jones, The
Wizard of Baghdad, The
Ride
Good Manners
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo
Sweet Home
Big Score, The
Siddhartha
Three Outlaw Samurai
Echoes of Fear
Guinea Pig, The
Truth, The
Good Die Young, The
Old Guard, The
   
 
Newest Articles
Network On Air: Nights in with ABC 2 - Your Faces are All Blurred!
Eve Knew Her Apples: The Lady Eve on Blu-ray
Network On Air: Tempo - Gallery One
Network On Air: Nights In with ABC 1 - Welcome Once Again to Manchester!
Transformative Apocalypses: Phase IV and Southland Tales
The Happiest Days of Their Lives: The Guinea Pig on Blu-ray
Faced Poe: Three Edgar Allan Poe Adaptations Starring Bela Lugosi on Blu-ray
Hard Luck, Buster: The Cameraman on Blu-ray
At the Hop: Mr. Vampire on Blu-ray
Divine Madness: Female Trouble on Blu-ray
Country Matters: Further Out of Town on Blu-ray
Bat-Damn: Was Joel Schumacher's Batman Really That Bad?
The Beat Goes On: Takeshi Kitano Collection on Blu-ray
Dream Treats: Scorsese Shorts on Blu-ray
It's Only Money: Laughter in Paradise on Blu-ray
A Regular Terpsichore: Dance, Girl, Dance on Blu-ray
Teenage Trauma: Baby Love on Blu-ray
The Happening: Pet Shop Boys It Couldn't Happen Here on Blu-ray
Who Watched The Watchmen?
The Golden Age of Colonic Irrigation: Monty Python Series 4 on Blu-ray
Lady of Pleasure: Lola Montes on Blu-ray
Take You to the Gay Bar: Funeral Parade of Roses on Blu-ray
Hit for Ms: Mark Cousins' Women Make Film on Blu-ray
Look Sinister: The 1000 Eyes of Dr. Mabuse on Blu-ray
Star Wars Triple Threat: The Tricky Third Prequel and Sequel
   
 
  Jumanji A Board Game For Anarchists
Year: 1995
Director: Joe Johnston
Stars: Robin Williams, Jonathan Hyde, Kirsten Dunst, Bradley Pierce, Bonnie Hunt, Bebe Neuwirth, David Alan Grier, Patricia Clarkson, Adam Hann-Byrd, Laura Bell Bundy, James Handy, Gillian Barber, Brandon Obray, Cyrus Thiedeke, Gary Joseph Thorup
Genre: Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 2 votes)
Review: Way back in 1869, two young boys buried a box in the New Hamsphire woods, hoping that it would never be found, but it was - exactly one hundred years later. It was just another day for Alan Parrish (Adam Hann-Byrd), son of the richest man around, the owner of the shoe factory in town, as he cycled home from school but then was chased by the bullies who made his life hell. He arrived at the factory seeking refuge with his father but didn't receive much solace when he told the boy to get back out there and face them. He did, was beaten up, and... what's that noise? Do you hear drums?

Jumanji was drawn from the pages of Chris Van Allsburg's picture book, a writer who had become one of the most respected around thanks to his carefully crafted children's literature. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood came calling, and after Jumanji the likes of The Polar Express and Zathura: A Space Adventure were made, but just as Van Allsburg's imagery was a big part of the selling point of his work, it was the visuals which were the big attraction with the movie. Soon after the release of Jurassic Park which had really demonstrated what could be done with computer graphics, here was a film that wanted to go one better, although even at the time the reaction was mixed.

While the Steven Spielberg film's special effects are impressive to this day, the ones in Jumanji probably were more accurate as to how the medium would look over the coming years, with visuals which looked less completely realistic, and more artificial. Oh yes, very exactingly created, obviously a lot of money, care and attention going into them, but unlikely to convince many that what you were seeing was authentic, and more like seeing some animated characters or sequences. This was fine if you were watching a Pixar movie, but not so good if they were meant to be viewing a live action one, and while there were some excellent puppets on display in Jumanji, much of the time it was those computery animals which were depicted.

Why was there the need to show computery animals? It's all to do with the board game of the title, which Alan finds in a construction site and takes home. Once he begins to play, with his almost-girlfriend Sarah (Laura Bell Bundy) as the other participant, it becomes clear this is no ordinary game, and on his second move Alan is sucked into the jungle environment that it contains until someone throws the right number on the dice and can set him free. Because Sarah scarpers in a cloud of tropical bats, Alan is stuck there... and now we are in the present day of 1995, where the game is found again by the two new residents of his old house. They are orphans Judy (Kirsten Dunst) and Peter (Bradley Pierce), looked after by their aunt (Bebe Neuwirth), and they set the game in motion once again.

The theme of consequences and how they can last well into your future was well to the fore, although with the board game's origins never explained it was more fantastical than anything especially relatable. The grown-up Alan was played by Robin Williams at the height of his box office potential, and thankfully here he dialled down the schmaltz and comedy riffs to offer a more rounded character than usual, or as rounded as a man who's spent the last twenty-six years surviving in a jungle can be. Though much of this was embellished from the book, the central idea of rolling the dice and enduring the latest affliction was retained, and this was what made Jumanji as enjoyable as it turned out to be: director Joe Johnston was well aware of the strong novelty value inherent in the story, which could have been repetitive but each fresh calamity, be they rampaging monkeys, a monsoon or a stampede of epic proportions, kept things bright and entertaining. If it was in the service of its effects, and those effects were questionable, it didn't harm the dedication to anarchic drama too much. Music by James Horner.
Reviewer: Graeme Clark

 

This review has been viewed 1636 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Paul Smith
Andrew Pragasam
  Lee Fiveash
  Mick Stewart
Enoch Sneed
  Dsfgsdfg Dsgdsgsdg
   

 

Last Updated: