Straight From a Movie

Pensive Thoughts on Paper | Movie Reviews and Quotes Website

Tag: Alex

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle Review (2017) | An Entertaining Upgrade

Suprise! Surprise! Jumanji resurrects in our very own gaming world and you know what? It’s not bad at all. Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle has all the things to entertain you despite its fantastical roots. That being said, there are elements in it that will make you scoff nevertheless, but isn’t that how this entertaining franchise has always been? Fanciful and scratching the surface of surrealism?

Plot of Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle (Spoilers)

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle starts off lugging, with that same old game metamorphosing magically, syncing itself with technology. That’s how the franchise justifies its time leap, and it seems like that’s what’s going to happen in the long run as well. However, difficult it was on the eyes, you can always look beyond by branding it as just plain old “magic”.

So the plot features a certain Alex Vreeke from Brantford being sucked into the game in the year 1996 when the board game transforms itself into a video game cartridge to pique his interest. Later in the year 2016, four students from Brantford (Spencer, Fridge, Martha and Bethany) end up in detention together. They have been asked to clean up the room when they bump into the same Jumanji video game that we saw Alex play.

Characters and Avatars in Jumanji Game

While trying to choose the characters in the multi-player game they find out that they are unable to pick one of its characters. When they begin the game they all get sucked in. Each draped in their new gaming avatars.

Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle characters and avatars

So even though their appearance changes, persons inside them come with their own individual qualms. Apart from that, they also have their newly acquired skills and weaknesses.

Where’s the rest of me?

These are the avatars they become:

  • Spencer – Dr. Smolder Bravestone (explorer) – Dwayne Johnson
  • Fridge – Franklin “Mouse” Finbar (zoologist) – Kevin Hart
  • Martha – Ruby Roundhouse (commando) – Karen Gillan 
  • Bethany – Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon (cartographer) – Jack Black

Now when you are playing a game, you are bestowed with lives. Here too, each character has three lives, confirmed when a hippo attacks Bethany killing him/her in the process, and a new revived Bethany falls from the sky. Each one of them has a tattoo depicting the lives they have.

Jaguar’s Eye

Since it’s a game they bump into an NPC (Non-playable character) named Nigel (Rhys Darby) who briefs them about the mission. Van Pelt (Bobby Cannavale) is after the Jaguar’s Eye, a jewel that would give him complete control over all the animals in Jumanji. Van Pelt is the same guy from the 1995 movie Jumanji however with all the transformation (the age leap), he has transformed too. In Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle, he has been introduced as a colleague of Smolder who has gone rogue.

jaguar's eye Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle movie

Decoding Nigel’s code, the crew realizes they have to call out “Jumanji” after placing the crystal on a Jaguar’s statue where it belongs to win the game and escape. That’s their only way out.

Martha: Are you gonna help, or are you too pretty?

Bethany: I am too pretty.

Lives are lost as difficulties arise during their gameplay. But they manage to hang in there till the end. They bump into Alex (Nick Jonas) from 1996 and realize that he went missing in the real world because he was stuck in Jumanji all this time in the avatar of Jefferson “Seaplane” McDonough. Alex had been living in Alan Parrish‘s (Robin Williams‘ from the prequel) treehouse.

Alex loses his only life when bit by a mosquito but Bethany performs CPR on him transferring one of her lives to resuscitate him. In a theatrical end, we find the team in a face off against real jaguars. In the nick of time, Smolder reaches the top of the Jaguar statue as Martha intentionally dies with the Jaguar’s eye so that she could revive and show up from the sky (talk about accuracy) with the jewel. Smolder catches her mid-air as everyone shouts Jumanji after returning the eye to the statue.

Smoldering!

Jumanji Ending Explained | How time worked for Alex

The game ends as players return to the real world. They are back in 2016 in the same detention room. However, it has been 20 years for Alex. He has aged and become Colin Hanks (one guy three characters! Whoa!) When the quadruple bumps into Alex it isn’t surprising that it takes Alex a while to recognize them, but weirdly enough he is spot on. His house that used to look ramshackle looks neat and tidy, and he has a kid too.

So what really happened?

Jumanji has its own timeline. It’s like a limbo where the time of the real world doesn’t matter. And when you are done, basically the game puts you back in your own time. So if you are playing it say in 2017 and you end up getting stuck there for like a century, but still win it eventually, the game will spit you out in 2017 some time after you started playing the game.

It goes on to show that Alex Vreeke had a regular life after the prologue. He went on to live the life he had missed in Jumanji. He did not go missing and his house was never derelict. For the viewers, I surmise it must have been somehow hard to digest watching Alex recognize all four so quickly. But it was done I would say in an okayish manner.

You can order Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle from here:

The Final Verdict

Overall Jumanji Welcome to the Jungle was done brilliantly. It was above average and packs in plenty of laughs. Above all, it makes you inquisitive all the time. It’s like a game after all, and if you are a gamer you will have a blast every second.

I was a big Jumanji fan ever since I bumped into it as a kid. The concept of playing a game that brings all its units to the real world is akin to bringing all your fancies to life. After all, everybody wishes to be stuck in one, in their favorite one, to nail that happy ending that they are often unable to find in real life.

Check out our other movie analyses too.

Dunkirk Movie Review (2017) | Christopher Nolan Takes You Back in Time

Christopher Nolan‘s epic war drama Dunkirk movie lets us witness the plight of the stranded. These were young men in war who were akin to sitting ducks as Krauts delivered justice from above. The movie is also about brave civilians who came to rescue their stranded sons without blinking in the face of danger. If that weren’t enough, we have a lone selfless warrior fighting off air onslaught saving hundreds of lives in the process.

While you must think if that was all to it, to that I would say, there are far deeper trenches to explore if only you choose to dive in its gaping profundity.

Direction of Dunkirk Movie

While Nolan is already huge in the film industry you might think it’s a name enough to make a movie an instant hit. But put Nolan without his past accolades and you will still feel his amazing direction gradually doing wonders to uplift his work. The standard of his direction comes not only from his extraordinary filtered frames but also from the gravitas that he sticks to at all times during his movie run. And it soars right from the way his movies chug, from nothingness to something insanely tangible.

With Dunkirk movie, he creates this colossal image of a setup where people are having a nervous breakdown tied to a beach they can’t escape from. And those who even somehow manage to get into a boat, they end up getting bombed from above. People are scrounging for life, trying to get on the wagon that says there’s a way out. It is so beautifully done that you can’t help put yourself in the shoes of a soldier to understand how survival is the only paramount truth. Then you don’t feel like becoming a hero, then you don’t feel like running towards the bullets, and all those patriotic vibes go missing into the void.

A Week, A Day and An Hour

Like Nolan does it with most of his films, Dunkirk isn’t alien to experimentation either. He chooses to depict Dunkirk movie via different timelines. There are three stories that run in these timelines as they merge gradually into its primal plot. Each story is complete per se, and they interrelate with each other from the perspective of the characters in the story.

It’s about peeking into the vantages of different lives as they struggle to survive or pitch in to help the stranded soldiers of Dunkirk. And you feel the rush by reliving lives of those who have been stuck for a week, of those who set course for a day and the one who delivers maximum action in an hour of deliverance.

The mole on the beach is the spot where soldiers choose to hole up in hopes to catch the next ship home. Soldiers there have been stuck on the beach for more than a week. Their plight is the worst. With nowhere to go, they are vulnerable to enemy fire, hoping to somehow remain intact and saved from the incoming incursion.

While there is a trawler taking a bold move into the sea to help the soldiers, the viewpoint comes from an old man (Mark Rylance), his son and a young ambitious boy who wishes to make a difference. The journey we see there is that of one day. The trio are paragons of pluck as they help out numerous soldiers trapped in war.

The third one is in the form of heroic air support coming from Farrier (Tom Hardy). He is on one of the Spitfires with the outlook that skims an hour. Despite the challenge of running out of fuel, he dedicates all his time and energy into saving as many lives as he could.

The Real War Chills in Dunkirk Movie (Spoilers Ahead)

Nolan takes us back in time. The war scenes are so real you feel the fearful vibes kick in as Bombers and Spitfires announce their arrival. For a second when you feel safe and decide to relax a bit, something bad happens and you are back to ground zero, where you started – trying to survive.

dunkirk movie still

The reluctance of brave soldiers to even plug the holes goes on to show how badly the enemies had them scared. There is ample dread in that scene and you could see it all through the eyes of the soldiers trapped in the trawler. The intense dilemma begins when Alex (Harry Styles) starts pointing fingers at Gibson (Aneurin Barnard) wishing to escape over his dead body. The fact that Gibson had saved their lives doesn’t budge their resolve either. It goes on to show how when we feel trapped we are willing to sacrifice others for our own survival. It is a contemptuous human trait that oversees humanity and whatever it stands for.

Then the air strike is absolutely ravishing to watch. The struggle to get the enemy in your crosshair will make you realize that. There lies a sense of service in the eyes as Farrier decides to go against all odds to get as many Krauts as he could before finally coming to terms with his fate.

Homecoming Conundrum

Men could literally taste home on their palates trying to escape the punishing onrush by any means possible. And yet that dream appears too good to be true even as the air strike, torpedoes, and bullets gradually take away every last straw of hope that they clung on.

Commander Bolton: You can practically see it from here.

Captain Winnant: What?

Commander Bolton: Home.

When Alex and Tommy (Fionn Whitehead) end up back safe, a blind man is welcoming the soldiers with food. Alex knew that they hadn’t done anything in the war and had simply managed to escape. He was under the impression that home would be people deriding them for their incompetence. He misreads the blind man assuming he was too ashamed to even look him in the eye.

All we did was survive.

Surprisingly they are given a hero’s welcome. They come to realize survival in an adverse situation like that was a huge thing in itself. It was like coming back from the dead.

Despite it being the debut project of Harry Styles, he does a surprisingly fabulous job. He is so unperturbed by the camera and so lost in the story that you almost take him for a full-time actor.

Blaming the Air Force

By the time we reach the end we see Collins (Jack Lowden), who was wearing the Royal Air Force uniform being shouted upon by a soldier.

Where the hell were you?

It is his perspective as a soldier who has seen only his part of hellish town, and who believes it was the job of the Royal Air Force to take care of them. It is like a blunt remark that goes unaddressed as Mr. Dawson reassures Collins that he be ignored that he knew exactly where the Air Force was. The RAF had a hard time coming for help owing to the range of the fighter planes and as implied using the “1 hour” mark was all the time the RAF had to hover over Dunkirk. That limitation had their hands tied.

What you also take from the above line is that even though you do everything in your power you will always be judged on the basis of your group, as a whole. And no matter how good you perform you will always be adjudicated by your failure in the end.

Shell Shocked Soldier and George in Dunkirk Movie

Cillian Murphy plays the Shivering soldier in Dunkirk who is picked up by Mr. Dawson’s Moonstone vessel. A scuffle ensues when he realizes that Dawson was headed for Dunkirk, the place from where he had somehow escaped. George (Barry Keoghan) pays the price of that scuffle as he falls head down with a serious injury. George had accompanied Dawson and Peter(Tom Glynn-Carney) as he wished to make a difference so that his name could come into the papers.

still of Moonstone from Dunkirk

You might think how George was nothing but a dispensable element to the tale, who arrived on the vessel only to accidentally die in the end. But if you pay attention to his import in the story you will realize that he was much more. He was a soul that carried goodwill in his heart who wished to be useful on the front. While he was just a kid trying to do the right thing, he ended up becoming a victim and died at the hands of one of his very own men. The soldier who knocked George down didn’t realize that he had hurt George so bad that he had ended up being dead. Shell shocked he was going through a rough time himself.

Peter does the right thing by not making matters worse for the poor soldier. He lets him keep his conscience clean without breaking it to him that he had accidentally killed George. Clearly, he hadn’t intended it to happen. Even though Peter was mad as hell he let it pass like a true hero himself. Eventually, we see him going to the local press to make sure George’s last wish to be on the papers were taken care of. George dies a hero even though he did nothing substantial.

Fear Abstraction

If you notice carefully Nolan chooses to not depict enemy even for a second (except that one scene where Farrier gets captured). He chooses to keep the fear abstract to show enemy in a light as something you are afraid of because it threatens life. Now it doesn’t have to be tactile because the dread is real and it can happen to anyone. War would forever barge in with that element. It is forever inbred. You would feel its clutches on being cornered like the men in Dunkirk. And war ugly as it is, would never have a face but that fear would have always one.

Whilst evacuation finally happened for the English, Commander Bolton (Kenneth Branagh) in the end chooses to stay fearless as he stays back to oversee French evacuation as well. It is one of the most selfless and most humane gestures that Bolton exhibits. He understands what young men like Alex failed to – putting others before yourself.

The Final Verdict

Dunkirk movie helps you relive a dreadful historic page. It displays the ill-effects of war without aggrandizing it, like many other directors choose to do. It is subtle owing to its alluring timeline display. Dunkirk movie is also abounding with countless lessons.

The score of the movie is absolutely gorgeous too. There is a constant sense of urgency in the music that prepares you for every minor build up. Hans Zimmer aces it once again to perfection.

Go watch it today!

Wish to relive some old vibes? Check out the review of Nolan’s magnum opus Interstellar as well.

Check out the trailer of Dunkirk movie here:

Don’t Breathe Review (2016) | Tortuous and Perturbing Thriller

Don’t Breathe or The Blind Man will hear you! Fede Alvarez comes with a twisted tale of a twisted blind man who lives in a land of the deserted. Those blind eyes tell a story that people always read without knowing about what secrets house in that wretched house of his, until one day three robbers decide to plunder him of his riches. That’s when you see past the belied story of the man. That’s also when you discover how abominable it is.

don't breathe movie trio Money Alex and Rocky

The titular thriller justifies the theme of the movie perfectly. I found myself literally holding my breath to ensure the protagonist made it unfazed. What works terribly well for the movie is its plausibility quotient, the way the storyline unfolds by staying true to its roots, and how everything stays connected one by one with steps in the same ladder. All of it makes Don’t Breathe seem very tenable.

Direction of Don’t Breathe Movie

Fede Alvarez’s direction is simply top-notch. The way his camera moves along with him in the house will leave you with goose bumps. To top that all there are weird surprises at every corner and that’s what makes it both terrifying and thrilling. To see Stephen Lang pop up out of nowhere breaking those absent rooms with his presence, is outright criminal!

still of the Blind Man in Don't Breathe movie

You cannot overlook the music of Don’t Breathe either; superbly complementing the theme, racing down alongside the thrill! It instantly puts you in the right mood.

Plenty of Dope Thrills (Spoilers Gasping Ahead)

The fact that there are many points of culmination in Don’t Breathe will often oscillate you to and fro flinging you towards a surefire neurotic arrest. You will constantly find your heart in your mouth as you try to escape the nefarious blind man yourself thinking at the speed of light just like the unfortunate trapped souls.

That time where the characters grope in dark has been brilliantly shot. Their eyes are dilated as they scrabble to escape their misery in pitch darkness. To have lived something as awful as that is bound to tingle your spines. Also, it hasn’t been stretched which makes it even more delectable.

To ice the accursed Blind Man, we have a badass dog, a Rottweiler that comes at odd junctures, making things even more baleful. It brings that frightening steer in the tale and that fills the movie with even more horror.

still of don't breathe dog in dont breathe movie

It takes in the vanguard a dispensable character Money played by Daniel Zovatto of the It Follows fame, Rocky played by Jane Levy whom we saw in Evil Dead in the 2013 reboot, and Dylan Minnette as Alex of the Goosebumps movie as the thieves who choose the wrong house. Each one of them were superbly cast.

You can pre-order the movie from here:

Downsides

One huge thing about the movie is the weighing in on of its crime. The fact that the intruders were criminals themselves, technically you shouldn’t feel sorry for them rather deem everything as poetic justice. But when the real trepidation begins to trickle you realize murder beats them all. You can’t help but take sides.

Also, we have seen plenty of thrillers that skim the line of Don’t Breathe before. Except for the fact that the killer here is blind; if you take out this apparent crux, the movie stands strangely on the lines of what we have seen plenty of times before. If it weren’t for Fede’s brilliance, it would have failed to impress.

The Final Gavel

Don’t Breathe is edgy, thrilling and an exhilarating joyride into the crime vale where you are left at the mercy of a psychotic blind man. If you are a thriller aficionado, this movie is just for you.

Go ahead and watch this one!

Check out the trailer of Don’t Breathe movie here:

X-Men: Days of Future Past Review (2014)

X-Men: Days of Future Past is stark brilliant!

Boo you ‪‎Ratner‬! We don’t want you messing with it again! So I knew the flick was going to make me jump on my seat since ‪Time Travel‬ was entailed and boy it did!

SPOILERS

To begin with we have the punishing and ravaging ‪Sentinels‬, there designs hi-tech and adaptive unlike the sloth ones from the animated series! And boy can they fight? We see ‪‎Blink‬ and her portals equally ravishing, those fight seqs are pretty dope! We don’t see much of ‪Warpath‬ yet he has been subtly put just like ‪Sunspot‬ and ‪Bishop‬. Was having a gala time spotting my favorite mutants like ‪Toad‬, ‪Havok‬ a.k.a ‪Alex‬ \m/ and watching the fastest Marvel character ‪and Magneto’s yet to be officially proclaimed son, Quick Silver‬ fool around in bullet time!

‪Stryker‬ resurrects himself with his dots to connect, whilst ‪Wolverine‬ is charming as ever! But who really picked it up? Well it’s Lawrence‬ and friend-cum-foe duo ‪Fassbender‬ and ‪McAvoy‬! Acting knows no bound when Fassbender’s around. He paints a movie with his style and sheer pizazz! ‪‎Dinklage‬ does justice to ‪Trask‬ and breathes the character alive with his conviction! One of the most beautiful parts of the movie when ‪‎Charles‬ talks to himself through time  and convinces himself of himself, the end and the eventuality, making him rebound with hope.

The contrasting glimpse of future and past was a delight to watch and ‪‎Singer‬ sings like a nightingale wrapping up an epic Marvel universe drama with action, brilliant story-line, portals, mutant-thirsty charismatic Sentinels, series of heart-wrecking deaths, flying Magneto, manipulative X, and of course time travel! Nothing gave me more pleasure than watching Scott‬ come breathing alive on the screen.

All those final moments my crossed fingers talked “Please Scott be alive…Please Scott be alive!” Now I can die in peace 🙂