Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Ok so shamefully I haven’t seen the original 1995 ‘Jumanji’ so I cannot comment on any relations. However, saying this I do know that there were particular references to the original in this film. And I will make it my mission to watch the brilliant Robin Williams’ ‘Jumanji’ as soon as I can. Because after watching this one, and being told the original is better than the remake, the original has jumped to the top of my ‘to watch’ list.

‘Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle’ peaked my interests from the word go, when the trailer was released. With a cast such as Dwayne Johnson and Kevin Hart, who of course work amazingly together as there big and small comedy duo, and then bring in Amy Pond from Doctor Who (Karen Gillan) and one of my favourite actors Jack Black – who can not get excited about that?! And I was not let down. Personally, Jack Black made this film as great as it was for me. He was absolutely amazing, arguably one of the best acting he has ever done by far. He was hilarious playing the self-absorbed teen, who did I mention happens to be a girl, who gets trapped in an “overweight middle-aged” man’s body aka Jack Black, definitely “the curvy genius”. We all know Kevin Hart has a type, and with Dwayne Johnson in the mix, both of them do. Dwayne Johnson was tweaked to the scared character he was, pretending to be Dr Bravestone and it was brilliant. With his smoldering intensity he was a character with comedy and strength. Kevin Hart remained the Kevin Hart we all know and love. With this shouty anger and his lashing out at his height (especially stood next to The Rock), always feeling underestimated, especially when cake is a weakness and his strength is zoology. He is of course hilarious, as he stands in what he knows best. Karen Gillan was great, the awkward teen stuck inside her as she turned into Ruby Roundhouse the character who could kick and dance fight like there was no tomorrow. I couldn’t think of better actors for these characters, they were chosen perfectly.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle - all

If you don’t know the plot, or haven’t seen the trailer, here’s a quick rundown. Four students are stuck in detention having to de-staple magazines for recycling, when one finds an old video game and they all decide to play. Picking the characters, they didn’t realise that once selected, that is who they were to become as they are sucked into the game and transformed. Landing into a jungle and being confronted by a hippo almost immediately they soon realise they have three lives and once they are gone, game over. The only hope is to finish the game in real life. With levels to complete they discover new strengths and new weaknesses. Plus Nick Jonas fits nicely into the Jungle too.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle - all plus Joe Jonas

I would definitely watch this film again and again. The graphics were amazing and I was transported into this jungle with the teens. I was constantly laughing, in many scenes with all of the characters, all of them qualities to cheer anyone up. The action adventure was also brilliant as they all became stronger in their new bodies and we learnt who each teen truly was. The characters are lovable, the humour is well executed, and the actors are perfect. I would definitely recommend this film, it’s a great comedy and a great action adventure. Why don’t you dive into the Jumanji game and fall into the jungle with the hippos, snakes and rhinos? It’s worth it.

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What Happened to Monday? (2017)

Scrolling through Netflix and this one intrigued my flat and I. Never heard of it before and a new film of 2017. With an interesting different plot, we decided it was the film to watch. An action, futuristic, pessimistic, sci-fi life. A world of 2073, where overpopulation is at it’s most extreme.

When grandfather Terrence Settman (Willem Dafoe), takes in his seven identical grandchildren, it’s more of a problem than just a large number of children to look after on your own. The city has adopted a new scheme to reduce the mass problem of overpopulation, one harsh and brutal. The Child Allocation Act. Any siblings are to be taken away from their families, and sent asleep, to be awoken in a life much later on, one less populated. There must only be one child to every family. This is monitored through bracelets that must be worn and scanned when going into any other sector of the city. An extremely controlled city. Crime is brutal when a sibling is taken and snatched away by the Child Allocation Bureau.

What Happened to Monday - Saturday

So Terrence comes up with an idea to save his seven grandchildren, they all become one identity, the identity of Karen Settman, who looks the same and acts the same. With seven children and seven days of the week, they all can only leave the house one per day, on the day of their name. Monday goes out on Monday, Tuesday on Tuesday, etc etc etc. And this works all the way up to them being 30 years old, but things escalate when Monday disappears. This is where the action speeds up, tensions rise and it becomes very violent. Probably a good place to mention that this is a film for older ages, it is quite graphic and explicit, also it swears a lot.

What Happened to Monday - Wednesday

All seven Karen Settmans are played by the same actress, Noomi Rapace. I’ve personally never seen her in a film before, but she is brilliant in this. All seven siblings are of course all different as they are all different people pretending to be one. In the home we know them as their true selves. Monday is Miss Perfect or the one who disappears. Tuesday’s life is dominated on drugs. Wednesday is sporty, constantly punching or working out. Thursday is the rebellious one, hating the life she has been dealt. Friday is the technological mind. Saturday, the party girl. And finally, Sunday the believer. Quite stereotypical in roles, but that is how it is portrayed, they are the main characteristics that shine through. But they are characters that are brilliant and appreciated amongst the film.

What Happened to Monday - Saturday, Thursday and Friday

Throughout the film, there are flashbacks to their childhood, building their characteristics and their life as secret and hidden. As “what happens to one of you, happens to all…”, they all must look the same, never be found out. This is done through end of day meetings, where they tell each other what they have experienced. The extremes they go to is impressive, but routine is destroyed when one sibling goes missing, then quickly another.

I really enjoyed ‘What Happened to Monday’. It is such a different plot to many other films I’ve seen before. Pre-warning it is very pessimistic, nothing seems like it’s going to get better. It is tense and you route for the sisters as they struggle through this controlled society. I would definitely watch it again. It was confusing in some places, but that just brings the audience in more to understand the mystery of where Monday has actually disappeared to. Are you not a little intrigued anyway?