Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle
Director: Jake Kasdan
Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner
Sequel to: (kinda) Jumanji
Based on: Chris Van Allsburg‘s picture book Jumanji
Cast: Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Jack Black, Karen Gillan, Rhys Darby, Bobby Cannavale, Nick Jonas, Alex Wolff, Ser’Darius Blain, Madison Iseman, Morgan Turner
Seen on: 10.1.2018
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Plot:
Alex (Alex Wolff), Fridge (Ser’Darius Blain), Bethany (Madison Iseman) and Martha (Morgan Turner) are all sent to detention and have to clean up the school’s storage room. There they stumble on an old console with the game Jumanji. They decide to play and as each of them choses their character, they get sucked into the video game. And the only way out is through.

I didn’t expect much of a sequel to Jumanji, one of my childhood favorites. But I was pleasantly surprised by the film: it is genuinely funny and extremely entertaining.

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Hunt for the Wilderpeople (2016)

Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Director: Taika Waititi
Writer: Taika Waititi, Te Arepa Kahi
Based on: Barry Crump‘s novel Wild Pork and Watercress
Cast: Sam NeillJulian DennisonRima Te WiataRachel HouseTioreore Ngatai-MelbourneOscar KightleyStan WalkerMike MinogueCohen HollowayRhys DarbyTroy Kingi, Taika Waititi
Seen on: 25.8.2017
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Plot:
Ricky (Julian Dennison) has been moving from foster family to foster family, getting in trouble. As a last resort, he’s being sent to the country to stay with Bella (Rima Te Wiata) and Hector (Sam Neill). And to all of their surprise, especially Ricky’s, he starts to feel at home there. That’s when Bella dies very surprisingly. And since she was the driving force behind taking Ricky in, Child Services – in the form of Paula (Rachel House) – decide it would be best to take Ricky away. But Ricky isn’t having it. He runs away. Hector goes after him, and their disappearance kicks off a manhunt that could end very badly.

Hunt for the Wilderpeople was pure sugar and has very funny moments. It’s not perfect, but I enjoyed it a lot.

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What We Do in the Shadows (2014)

What We Do in the Shadows
Director: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Writer: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi
Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika Waititi, Jonathan Brugh, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Stuart Rutherford, Ben Fransham, Jackie van Beek, Rhys Darby
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
[Reviews by cornholio and Maynard Morrissey.]

Plot:
A documentary team follows a few flatsharing vampires for a few months. There’s Viago (Taika Waititi), former dandy who tries to have things just so, Vladislav (Jemaine Clement), who was born in the middle ages and misses torturing people, Deacon (Jonathan Brugh), who just wants to have fun, and finally Petyr (Ben Fransham), who is 8.000 years old and lost most of his humanity. Their usual routine between unwashed dishes and trying to be invited into clubs gets disrupted when Nick (Cori Gonzalez-Macuer) gets turned into a vampire.

What We Do in the Shadows is not only a love letter to the vampire genre conventions (while simultaneously poking fun at them), it’s also an absolutely fantastic comedy. I was laughing practically the entire time.

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