The Jungle Book

I awoke and went through my chores, like doing my laundry and shopping for groceries.  I saw that Metallica was going to visit one of my neighborhood record stores.  I was trying to find their Criterion Collection Blu-ray discs.  I took the bus out to the Grand Lake Theatre to see “The Jungle Book.”  It struck me as being rather scary at times for a family movie.  I thought it was supposed to have more music.  It was rather funny that Bill Murray was the voice of Baloo.  The other notable voices were Scarlett Johansson as the snake Kaa and Christopher Walken as King Louie.  The tiger was the villain of the story, whereas the values of the wolfpack were supposed to be good.  There was something very uncomfortable about those messages reaching children.  I wanted to like this movie more than I did, but I can’t work up much affection for it when there is all that CGI.  When I see animals that look realistic but talk, I can’t help thinking about Mr. Ed.  Was there some similarity with “The Good Dinosaur” with the kid being carried away with a log down a river?  I thought the kid who played Mowgli was agreeable enough, even though no child actor can be described as great.  I kept wondering about language among the characters.  I would have thought that no one could understand everything else, but all these animals speak better English than your average college freshman.  When they sang songs in the movie, I couldn’t hear the words at all.  There were two deaths that were terrifying for kids to watch.  At least they would have scared me horribly when I was five years old.  I thought that Ben Kingsley was one of the very talented members of the cast.  Garry Shandling did some voice work for the film, too, which I thought was rather sad, considering that he had died recently.  I wished the movie could have been more of a light entertainment rather than being this tale of the young boy being hunted.  Some of the people who died on April 16 include Edna Ferber (1968), Yasunari Kawabata (1972), David Lean (1991), Ralph Ellison (1994), Michael Ritchie (2001), Robert Urich (2002), Graham Jarvis (2003), and Pat Summerall (2013).  Today is a birthday for Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (69).

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