This post was sponsored by Dolby Cinema™ at AMC Prime™ but the opinions are mine. #DolbyCinemas, #ShareAMC & #JungleBook
Just looking at this picture I want to see the movie again.
This morning I had the chance to see Disney’s The Jungle Book in a Dolby Cinema™ Theatre at AMC Prime™. I’m always overwhelmed when I walk into the AMC Hampton Town Centre 24! It’s just stunning on the inside. It’s always so clean and it feels brand new.
We were running late so we rushed inside to our assigned seats right as the previews were beginning. I reclined my super comfortable seat back, took a quick snap shot with my The Jungle Book t-shirt and the previews started.
The previews are when I always notice how amazing these theatres are. This is only my second movie in a Dolby Cinema™ theatre but the difference from the other places near my home is just astonishing. The picture is absolutely stunning and the sound quality is crystal clear. As I was watching the preview for “The Secret Life of Pets” (be still my heart) I swear you could hear every noise in the trailer distinctly. And if the bass got particularly intense the chair vibrated just enough for effect. Additionally I love the fact that you don’t share an arm rest with anyone (unless you want to). I was able to settle in nice and comfortable by the time the movie started.
I could talk for 1000 words about how incredible The Jungle Book is. I am kind of overwhelmed just thinking about it.
The opening sequence is a chase scene with Mowgli (played by newcomer Neel Sethi) so the film takes off right away. In the first five minutes you see beautiful footage of the forest, wonderful interactions between characters, stunning special effects and the love of family, plus hear some incredible music (by John Debney who also did The Passion of the Christ and Iron Man 2). As a kid I loved to watch the Disney cartoon and expected to not enjoy the movie as much because of it. I was dead wrong.
After seeing the wolf pack and meeting the panther Bageera (voiced by the incredible Ben Kingsley) the story progresses into the forest creatures experiencing a drought. When the water supply dwindles the animals have an understood truce that at the one remaining water hole that everyone is safe. Predator and prey can come together in peace so that everyone survives. There is where we meet Shere Khan the tiger- the “bad guy” of the story. He wants the “man cub” dead and gone and says that once the rain returns and the truce is over, he will come back to kill him. Thus begins Mowgli’s adventure to stay alive and defend his life in the forest.
The forest the movie is set in looks breathtaking. Director Jon Favreau and the rest of the crew have maintained the soul of the 1967 animated movie. If you have seen the cartoon a million times don’t worry- it’s not all the same. There are some twists that keep you on the edge of your seat until the end. Sethi IS Mowgli- there is none of the awkwardness that you generally experience watching a new actor get used to his craft. Essentially he is the only actor in the movie- if he was bad the whole thing would be bad. He is sweet and scared and innocent and brave and wonderful all at the same time.
Bill Murray is hilarious and adorable as Baloo and his rendition of the classic “Bare Necessities” song is perfect. Scarlett Johansson makes a fantastic snake and I only wish she was in it more. The cast is flawless.
I really only have one complaint about the film and it’s Christopher Walken’s moment as King Louie. First of all, MAD kudos to Disney- Mowgli is playing with a cowbell right before Walken’s character comes out (if you don’t get the joke don’t worry- it’s not important to the plot). Walken played Louie as more “Godfather” than the ease that Louie Prima had when he voiced it. But even that is forgivable until he starts singing “I Want To Be Like You.” The loveable Baloo singing “Bear Necessities” while floating lazily down a river was one thing but this little ditty just didn’t work for me. It broke (only for a moment) the atmosphere created by the film. I am sure people at Disney discussed this in a meeting many times before the film was released and in my opinion, the wrong side won.
But once the song is done the action picks right back up. And just keeps going until an extremely satisfying end.
I will absolutely, no doubt at all, see this movie again. I LOVED it.
For the parents out there, this is a PG movie. Not G. It’s got some pretty intense action sequences. There is no foul language but a bit of animal violence. So just know that when you make the decision about little ones. I went back and forth about taking my six year old nephew (who isn’t crazy about intense scenes) and am glad with my decision not to take him. In a year or so we will watch it at home. But if he was a little older I would be all about it.
GO see this film. Make it a date night. Make it a family night. If you can catch it in a Dolby Cinema™ at AMC Prime™ (check below for the location nearest you!) even better- this one deserves to be seen in the theatre!