THE JUNGLE BOOK

Between Sean Parker’s Screening Room and AMC’s tentatively proposed (and quickly discarded) texting-allowed policy, we’ve seen a lot of debate in recent weeks about the sanctity (or lack thereof) of the theatrical experience. Cinephiles will swear up and down that a pristine movie theater is the only proper way to enjoy a movie — and I tend to agree — but the truth is that for a lot of moviegoers, the drawbacks outweigh the benefits. Why fork over $100 for tickets and popcorn and a babysitter, put up with screaming kids and sticky floors, when you can just rent something from the comfort of your own couch? So what if you’re missing out on 3D and giant screens and surround sound?

Jon Favreau‘s The Jungle Book is the answer to that “so what.” It’s a technical achievement on par with Avatar and Life of Pi, the kind of cutting-edge stunner that actually justifies all the extra premiums and hassles associated with 3D and the theater experience in general. If you’re planning to see this movie at all, see it in 3D while it’s still in theaters. The film’s heart and humor will still be intact when it reaches home video, and thank goodness for that, but the magic of its special effects is on another level altogether.  Read More »

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?Jungle Book Questions

The Jungle Book is arguably director Jon Favreau‘s most ambitious film to date. The filmmaker behind Iron Man and Chef reimagines the 1967 Disney animated classic on a grand scale. 98% of The Jungle Book is CGI, and bringing those environments to life, over a two-year process, was quite an undertaking for Favreau and all involved.

With the film, which was actually influenced by the likes of Goodfellas and classic westerns, Favreau tells a surprisingly intimate comig-of-age tale on a massive canvas. To learn how the director and his team came together to retell author Rudyard Kipling‘s story, read our Jon Favreau interview below.

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National Lampoon Movie Cast

Just last month we found out Netflix was developing a film about Doug Kenney, the co-founder of National Lampoon, the humor magazine that eventually evolved into creating comedy records and movies in the 1970s and 1980s. The film is called A Futile & Stupid Gesture and shines a light on the history of National Lampoon through the eyes of Kenney, who will be played by Saturday Night Live veteran and Last Man on Earth star Will Forte.

Earlier this week the cast filled out with the addition of Joel McHale taking on the role of his Community co-star Chevy Chase, before he made it big on Saturday Night Live, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens star Domhnall Gleeson playing another National Lampoon co-founder, Henry Beard.

Now the cast has gotten even bigger with additional actors being brought on to play National Lampoon comedians and future comedy superstars Bill Murray, Harold Ramis and John Belushi, as well as a couple other key roles. Get the details on the National Lampoon movie cast after the jump. Read More »

The Jungle Book questions

Jon Favreau‘s last two major releases, Iron Man 2 and Cowboys & Aliens, were disappointments for some filmgoers. But after those minor missteps, the director of ElfZathura, and Iron Man quickly bounced back with his last feature, Chef. Now Favreau’s next upcoming film is The Jungle Book, which is possibly his biggest film to date.

Below, watch The Jungle Book featurette, in which the director and cast discuss the reimagining.

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the jungle book clip

Last year, Disney really got their whole reimagining game down. While Alice in Wonderland and Maleficent were box office hits, neither quite captured the spirit or the appeal of the original animated films. Kenneth Branagh, however, accomplished just that recently with his lovely Cinderella remake. Next at bat to reimagine another Disney classic is director Jon Favreau.

Following up his charming drama Chef, Favreau returns to big studio filmmaking with The Jungle Book. Watch a clip from the film below.

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The Jungle Book poster tryptic

Update From Editor Peter Sciretta: Disney has released the third and final piece of this triptych Jungle Book poster. The full triptych can be seen above, and see the final poster up close after the jump.

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Wes Anderson Blll Muray

If you didn’t get your fill of Bill Murray this past weekend with the A Very Murray Christmas special debuting on Netflix on Friday, you’ll have another opportunity to see the actor reunite with one of his reliable collaborators, though you might have to wait awhile.

As has become custom with every Wes Anderson movie since Rushmore, Bill Murray will have a part in the director’s return to stop-motion animation in a project that so far we know very little about. Find out more on the next Wes Anderson Bill Murray team-up below! Read More »

A Very Murray Christmas trailer

If Bill Murray, Sofia Coppola, and Netflix have it their way, A Very Murray Christmas will become a new holiday classic. So even though it’s a brand-new variety special, the latest promo is going the retro route, modeling itself after those Time Life infomercials of yore.

But angling for holiday classic status is one thing. Whether A Very Murray Christmas actually achieves it is another question. Happily, the early buzz suggests we may have another perennial favorite on our hands. Watch the latest A Very Murray Christmas trailer, and get the early buzz on the holiday special, after the jump.  Read More »

A Very Murray Christmas

Once upon a time, a holiday variety special hosted by Bill Murray would have been a star-studded live affair airing on a major television network. As a sign of changing times and tastes, A Very Murray Christmas is heading straight to Netflix and it looks like it captures the kind of melancholy and dryly funny humor that infect so many of us during the more festive months of the year.

After a series of brief teasers, the first actual trailer for A Very Murray Christmas has arrived and it feels far different than what we were expecting. What initially looked like it was going to be a riff on kitschy Christmas specials of old now appears to be very much a project of late-era Bill Murray: the comedy is only matched by loneliness, sadness, and sense of detachment. But if there’s one thing we know, it’s that few people are capable of mining comedy from those concepts quite like Murray.

So grab some eggnog, load it up with the alcohol of your choice, and watch the A Very Murray Christmas trailer after the jump.

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