For the most part, the live-action remakes of classic, animated Disney movies have been underwhelming, with critics dismissing most of them as hollow remakes of the animated versions. But The Jungle Book is the exception that arguably proves the rule, as it actually manages to improve upon the original. While the remake keeps many of the original characters and even some of the songs from the 1967 animated film, it also expands on the plot and dives deeper into the characters. On a visual level, the film is simply stunning to look at, as director Jon Favreau brilliantly utilized CGI to bring Mowgli's jungle friends to life. The voice cast is also perfect, with Bill Murray bringing his dry charm to the role of Baloo, and Idris Elba making Shere Khan straight-up frightening.
R is for Reading. With libraries closed, you can still give your children a challenge of reading a book a week or every few days. Simply go to the library website and download books kids can read online. This is a fun escape!
If memorable war movies mean something to you, open that book to a new page and add "Fury" to the list. It belongs there. Even if you're not keeping a list, it's hard not to be impressed by what writer-director David Ayer, powerfully aided by star Brad Pitt and an exceptional below-the-line team, has accomplished with this bleak and savage story of a World War II tank crew operating in Germany during the last month of the European war. The advance spin on "Fury" has been, in the words of one of its producers, that it's "not your grandfather's war movie." Like most hype, that turns out to be only half true. In fact, what makes this film distinctive is the adroit way it both subverts and enhances old-school expectations, grafting a completely modern sensibility onto thoroughly traditional material. For though they don't necessarily act in expected ways, the five-person cross-section-of-humanity tank crew headed by Pitt's Sgt. Don Collier, a.k.a. Wardaddy, fits squarely into familiar Hollywood models involving men doing what men have to do because no one's going to do it but them. (Kenneth Turan) Read more
After the success of his Broadway adaptation of "The Producers," Mel Brooks worked with book-writer Thomas Meehan to stage another of his beloved films, "Young Frankenstein." DOMA Theatre Company's exuberant revival of this musical horror spoof, which closely follows the movie but adds even more Borscht Belt gags and splashy song-and-dance numbers, is a thoroughly entertaining romp, starring Hector S. Quintana as the monster who really knows how to put on the Ritz. (Margaret Gray) (Ends Sunday, Nov. 30) Read more 2b1af7f3a8