Hi all! I thought I'd do a few quick reviews for you since I haven't been able to really find the time to write full reviews, but still wanted to share my thoughts!
The Jungle Book
The Jungle Book is a movie I grew up with and know really well. It's one of the few handfuls of movies my grandmother owned and we watched it frequently when my family went to visit her. So as a result, I was a little wary of the "epic" and action-filled trailers that was making the Jungle Book look more like an action-adventure than it's fairly relaxing cartoon counterpart. However, my fears were very eased upon viewing. Yes, it's more action packed than the original, but most of the action scenes were just expansion on scenes in the original. The ease of Mowgli spending time with Baloo, with Baloo and Bagheera bickering and how uneasy Kaa the snake makes us are all included. Yes, there are alterations, but I felt JOn Favreau did an excellent job of being an adaption of a well loved film, but also expanding story lines and references to the original film, and making the film able to stand on it's own.
The voice cast, as I'm sure you've heard by now, really is exceptional. Ben Kingsley as Bagheera is restrained but reassuring. Lupita Nyong'o is warm and motherly as Raksha (Mowgli's wolf mother), Bill Murray is exactly as perfect as you'd expect playing Baloo, Idris Elba is terrifying as Shere Khan, Scarlett Johansson is absolutely chilling as Kaa the snake and, my personal standout, Christopher Walken as King Louie. Absolutely terrifying, his voice suits this role more than I could've expected, and his rendition of "Wanna Be Like You" is incredible. As well, newcomer Neel Sethi is so precious and perfect as Mowgli. The visual effects and animation of the animals are superbly done. Jon Favreau has created a marvel here as this film is such a treat.
As a disclaimed, I do not enjoy Rocky. I watched the first one and didn't care for it. So I knew Creed was never going to be my cup of tea. However, the fact that this was starring Michael B. Jordan and directing by Ryan Coogler piqued my interest slightly, but boxing movies, especially ones within the Rocky franchise don't interest me. And while I enjoyed the movie slightly more than I thought, I still didn't think this film was overly special. Michael B Jordan is very good here, and while I did think Sylvester Stallone does a great job, I don't think he really deserved to win an Oscar for playing Rocky again. My personal standout was Tessa Thompson, as Don's girlfriend Bianca. However, she was a woman with her own agency, and wasn't just "the girlfriend" which was incredibly refreshing. Can I just get a movie about Bianca? That I would definitely watch! Anyway, Creed was able to lift itself above the stereotypes of the boxing movie genre, but it's still just not a film for me, because I wasn't really the target audience.
We've all been waiting for another Tina Fey/Amy Poehler movie since they last got together to do Baby Mama. However, Sisters is probably just as good as the mediocre Baby Mama. Sisters is a pretty typical story. Maura and Kate are sisters, but could not be more different. Maura is the responsible one who just went through a divorce. And Kate is the irresponsible single mother who loves to party and keeps losing her job. When their parents announce they're selling their childhood home, Maura and Kate are crushed. But when they are told to come home to clean out their rooms, they decide to throw one last party like they had in high school. Sister had some good laughs, but not enough for me to overly love the movie. Amy Poehler and Tina Fey have such great chemistry though that it almost(!) makes up for how mediocre the movie is. Sisters was a movie that could've been way funnier, and even had a bit of character development, but it just didn't make it all the way.