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Jumanji

Score: 85%
Rating: PG
Publisher: Sony Pictures Home
                  Entertainment

Region: A
Media: 4K Blu-ray/2
Running Time: 104 MIns.
Genre: Comedy/Action/Adventure
Audio: English Dolby Atmos (Dolby
           TrueHD 7.1 Compatible), French
           (PAR), German, Japanese 5.1
           DTS-HD MA, Czech, Hungarian,
           Italian, Polish (VO),
           Portuguese, Spanish (Castilian),
           Spanish (Latin American) 5.1
           Dolby Digital, French (Doubles
           for Quebec), Thai Dolby Surround

Subtitles: English, English SDH, Arabic,
           Chinese (Simplified), Chinese
           (Traditional), Czech, Danish,
           Finnish, French, German, Greek,
           Hungarian, Italian, Japanese,
           Korean, Norwegian, Polish,
           Portuguese (Brazil), Portuguese
           (Classic), Romanian, Russian,
           Slovak, Spanish (Castilian),
           Spanish (Latin American),
           Swedish, Thai, Turkish


Features:

  • Special Effects Crew Commentary
  • Jumanji Motion Storybook As Read by Author Chris Van Allsburg
  • 3 Behind-The-Scenes Featurettes
  • Storyboard Comparisons
  • Extreme Book of Nature
  • Photo Galleries
  • Episodes from Jumanji: The Animated Series
  • Original Theatrical Trailers
  • All New Special Features:
    • Sneak Peek of Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle
    • Never-Before-Seen Deleted Scenes and Hilarious Gag Reel with Robin Williams and the Cast

Jumanji focuses on Alan Parrish and the strange events that surround his life. In 1969, as a young boy, he and his friend, Sarah Whittle, stumble upon a strange board game, and when that game sucks Alan into it, both of their lives are changed forever.

For Alan, he will have to learn to survive and grow up in the wild jungles contained within the game, and for Sarah, she will spend her formative years dealing with the disappearance of her friend and she will have to convince herself that what she saw was only a figment of her imagination. For the most part, she is successful, until a pair of siblings twenty six years after that event occurred show up on her doorstep with an adult Alan in tow, claiming that they must finish the game that was started when they were kids.

Young Judy (Kirsten Dunst, the Spider-Man trilogy) and Peter Shepherd (Bradley Pierce, now a prominent voice-actor) have just moved into the small New Hampshire town. In fact, they and their aunt/guardian (Bebe Neuwirth, Cheers, Madam Secretary) have just moved into the old Parrish house. When they discover the Jumanji board game, they start to unleash a series of disasters in the area around them. Between wild beasts, monsoons, aggressive flora, and even a hunter named Van Pelt (Jonathan Hyde, Titanic), the Shepherd kids will have their hands full in order to survive.

Fortunately, playing the game also releases the grown up Alan (Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society, Mrs. Doubtfire, Good Will Hunting) who has learned of the various destructive forces hidden away in the board game. When they convince the adult Sarah (Bonnie Hunt, The Green Mile, Cars) that they need her help, the four players will find themselves in some very tough situations before one of them can get to the last space on the board game and hopefully bring all the destruction to an end.

Caught up in the events pouring out of the board game is Carl Bentley (David Alan Grier, In Living Color), a former employee of Parrish Shoes that is now a cop trying to deal with the wild animals running around his city. Between monkeys stealing his police car, carnivorous plants attacking people, and even a stampede of wild animals, Bentley will have his job cut out for him.

Along the way, not only will the two children learn to deal with their new surroundings, but Alan will also have to learn what happened to his family and his father's business, not to mention the consequences of his sudden disappearance. Sarah will also have to come to grips with what she faced all those years ago. Those somewhat dramatic moments aside, Jumanji has a lot of comedic elements that keep it from being a heavy film. While it isn't as much of a comedy as some of Williams' other works, this is still one of his iconic roles that he is well remembered for.

The 4K upscaling of Jumanji doesn't look bad, but much of the blending between the CG and the real world is more obvious than it was back in the older standard definition days. The CG itself looks good, it's just obvious now that the lighting and coloring don't quite match their surroundings. This latest release also comes with a few new special features. One is a short sneak peek of the upcoming movie, Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle, while the other is a selection of deleted scenes and gag reels prominently featuring Robin Williams as he rolls through ad-lib after ad-lib.

As for the older special features, many of them focus on the special effects of the movie, but there are also segments that cover the movie's storyboard, production stills, and even the author of the book, Chris Van Allsburg, reading his story to an animated version of the book's illustrations. There is also an option called "Extreme Book of Nature" where you can learn a tidbit about the many animals featured in the film.

The disc also contains the first two episodes of Jumanji: The Animated Series where Judy and Peter are sucked into Jumanji and have to solve puzzles in order to complete their turns and escape for a time. Of course, finding Alan in the jungle and without any idea of what his clue is, they vow to help get Alan free once and for all.

While the 4K release of Jumanji is obviously tied to the release of the new film, it is still a great movie well-deserving of the upscaled release in its own right, and holds up rather well, despite its 22 years.



-J.R. Nip, GameVortex Communications
AKA Chris Meyer

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