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The Jungle Book is unmissable – reinvented for a new generation

By on May 3, 2016

The Jungle Book is unmissable, a “lush and gorgeous” Disney classic re-invented for a new generation says Ruth Allen.  And although Rio is on our minds, not South Korea’s 2018 winter Olympics, Eddie the Eagle turns out to be an “inspiring and entertaining feel-good” watch…


(Run time: 105mins; Director: Jon Favreau; Voice/cast: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Scarlett Johansson, Christopher Walken, Garry Handling)

Synopsis: Mowgli is a man-cub who’s been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan, who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. 

Urged to abandon the only home he’s ever known, Mowgli embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery, guided by panther-turned-stern mentor Bagheera, and the free-spirited bear Baloo. Along the way, Mowgli encounters jungle creatures who don’t exactly have his best interests at heart, including Kaa, a python whose seductive voice and gaze hypnotises the man-cub, and the smooth-talking King Louie, who tries to coerce Mowgli into giving up the secret to the elusive and deadly red flower: fire.

The multi-talented actor-director, Jon Favreau [Chef (2014), Iron Man + Iron Man 2 (2008, 2010)] re-invents Disney’s classic for a whole new generation.

Favreau, who whipped up a tasty feast in Chef, now makes eyes pop and jaws drop in this unmissable Jungle Book. Rudyard Kipling’s beloved stories were adapted by Disney into their classic 1967 animation, and this new film gives Kipling’s tales a thrilling new, more faithful makeover.

Mixing live-action performance with cutting-edge CGI wizardry, this is a visually spectacular and exciting family adventure featuring an all-star voice cast that includes: Giancarlo Esposito as wolf Akela; Idris Elba as enemy tiger Shere Khan; Ben Kingsley as panther mentor Bagheera; Scarlett Johansson as snake Kaa, Bill Murray as Baloo the bear and Christopher Walken as orangutan leader King Louie.

Orphaned ‘man cub’ Mowgli – played outstandingly by newcomer Neel Set, has been raised by wolves Raksha (Lupita Nyong’o) and Akela (Giancarlo Esposito) deep within the Indian jungle. However, Mowgli’s life is threatened by ferocious, man-eating tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba). With the help of jaguar mentor Bagheera (Ben Kingsley) and loyal bear Baloo (Bill Murray) Mowgli must discover the strength to embrace his destiny and stand up to the fearsome Shere Khan once and for all.

This thrilling new romp, lush and gorgeous to look at, with darker, heart pounding dramatic moments, still features the beloved songs such as ‘The Bare Necessities’ and a 2016 revamped version of ‘I Wan’na Be Like You’ .

Sadly this is the late Garry Shandling’s final film, as the voice of Ikki the Porcupine.

The Jungle Book is an unmissable film to see on the largest screen possible … and more than once.


(Run time: 106mins; Director: Dexter Fletcher; Cast: Taron Egerton, Hugh Jackman, Christopher Walken, Keith Allen, Tim McInnerny)

Synopsis: A feel-good story about Michael “Eddie” Edwards, an unlikely but courageous British ski-jumper who never stopped believing in himself – even as an entire nation was counting him out. With the help of a rebellious and charismatic coach, Eddie takes on the establishment and wins the hearts of sports fans around the world by making an improbable and historic showing at the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympics.

Director Dexter Fletcher [Sunshine on Leith (2013), Wild Bill (2011)] brings an unapologetic, feel-good, inspirational biopic about Michael ‘Eddie’ Edwards, the notoriously tenacious British underdog ski jumper who charmed the world at the 1988 Winter Olympics.

With a stellar central performance from Taron Egerton [Kingsman: The Secret Service (2014), Legend (2015), Testament of Youth (2014)] as Eddie, the story follows him from his earliest days as an eager young boy who dreams of going to the Olympics.

It charts his progress through many setbacks, with all the people around him predicting only a future of failure – including his father Terry (Keith Allen); but this is balanced by occasions when he gets help at just the right moment.

Hugh Jackman [X-Men Days of Future Past (2014), The Wolverine (2013), Prisoners (2013), Les Miserables (2012)] adds humour as coach Bronson Peary who helps Eddie to achieve his dream whilst dealing with his own demons. Christopher Walken also makes a surprise appearance as Warren Sharp.

Despite the humour at Eddie’s expense, it can’t be forgotten this underdog became the first ski jumper to represent Great Britain in Olympic ski jumping, while simultaneously holding world records in speed skiing – all in the face British ski jumping’s all facing snobbery and lack of funding.

An inspiring and entertaining feel-good film with strong ensemble playing.


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