Monday, January 27, 2020     Volume: 20, Issue: 47
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Santa Maria Sun / Film

This weeks review
A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD
AD ASTRA
AVENGERS: ENDGAME
BAD BOYS FOR LIFE
BINGEABLE: Barry
BINGEABLE: CASA DE LAS FLORES
BINGEABLE: FLEABAG
BINGEABLE: GRACE AND FRANKIE
BINGEABLE: INTO THE DARK
BINGEABLE: MAGIC FOR HUMANS
BINGEABLE: NATHAN FOR YOU
BINGEABLE: RUSSIAN DOLL
BINGEABLE: STRANGER THINGS 3
BINGEABLE: THE PEOPLE V. O.J. SIMPSON: AMERICAN CRIME STORY
BINGEABLE: THE SINNER (SEASON 2)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: COOL RUNNINGS (1993)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FISH TANK (2009)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: FRIENDS
BLAST FROM THE PAST: HOUSE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: LONE WOLF MCQUADE
BLAST FROM THE PAST: OLDBOY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK
BLAST FROM THE PAST: ROBOCOP
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE MATRIX
BLAST FROM THE PAST: THE PRESTIGE (2006)
BLAST FROM THE PAST: UNDER SIEGE 2: DARK TERRITORY
BLAST FROM THE PAST: WILD AT HEART
BLAST FROM THE PAST: YOU’VE GOT MAIL
BOMBSHELL
BRITTANY RUNS A MARATHON
CATS
DARK WATERS
DOCTOR SLEEP
DOLITTLE
DOWNTON ABBEY
FORD V FERRARI
FROZEN II
GUILTY PLEASURE: THE HANGOVER
GUILTY PLEASURES: BARBIE LIFE IN THE DREAMHOUSE
GUILTY PLEASURES: GIRL MEETS WORLD (2014-2017)
HAEWATCH: THE WITCHER (2019)
HATEWATCH: CHOPPED
HATEWATCH: FRANKENSTEIN’S MONSTER’S MONSTER, FRANKENSTEIN
HATEWATCH: NAILED IT!
HEARST CASTLE: BUILDING THE DREAM
JOJO RABBIT
JOKER
JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL
KNIVES OUT
LIKE A BOSS
LITTLE WOMEN
MILES DAVIS: BIRTH OF THE COOL
MOTHERLESS BROOKLYN
ONCE UPON A TIME … IN HOLLYWOOD
RICHARD JEWELL
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (EXTENDED CUT)
SPIES IN DISGUISE
STAR WARS: THE RISE OF SKYWALKER
THE ART OF RACING IN THE RAIN
THE BIGGEST LITTLE FARM
THE GRUDGE
THE LIGHTHOUSE
THE PEANUT BUTTER FALCON
THE TURNING
UNCUT GEMS
UNDERRATED: BATMAN BEGINS
UNDERRATED: INSOMNIA
UNDERRATED: SHUTTER ISLAND
UNDERRATED: THE BATTERED BASTARDS OF BASEBALL
UNDERRATED: THE FALLING
UNDERWATER
YESTERDAY
ZOMBIELAND: DOUBLE TAP

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL

PHOTO BY COURTESY OF HARDBEAT PRODUCTIONS

JUMANJI: THE NEXT LEVEL


Where is it playing?: Hi-Way Drive-In, Movies Lompoc, Parks Plaza

What's it rated?: PG-13

What's it worth?: $Matinee (Caleb Wiseblood)

User Rating: 0.00 (0 Votes)

Jake Kasdan (Orange County, Walk Hard: The Dewey Cox Story, Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle) directs this next installment in the Jumanji franchise, with returning stars Karen Gillan as Ruby Roundhouse, Dwayne Johnson as Dr. Smolder Bravestone, Jack Black as Professor Sheldon “Shelly” Oberon, and Kevin Hart as Franklin “Mouse” Finbar. This time the gang returns to the world of Jumanji to rescue one of their own and must brave an arid desert and snowy mountain as they attempt to survive the deadly video game. 

Jumanji: The Next Level basically carries over the same charm of its predecessor—most of which comes from its cast. Jungle antics aside, who wouldn’t want to watch Black, Hart, Gillan, and The Rock hangout together regardless of the setting? Their chemistry shines through once again and gets a boost from newcomer Awkwafina as a mysterious new avatar—Ming Fleetfoot, a lock-picking burglar with a weakness to pollen (harkening back to Finbar’s absurd, explosive aversion to cake in the previous installment). 

But also inherent to its predecessor, a lot of this sequel’s humor comes from watching the lead actors—the cast of video game avatars—perform as their respective players in the real world. This brings us to two more additions to the cast: Danny DeVito and Danny Glover, who both steal the show more than once as a duo of elderly frenemies who accidentally get sucked into the game with its returning players, all of whom are college students—Spencer (Alex Wolff), Martha (Morgan Turner), Bethany (Madison Iseman), and Anthony (Ser’Darius Blain). 

The film opens with Spencer returning home from school for the holidays to stay with his mother (Marin Hinkle) and cranky but well-meaning grandfather, Eddie (DeVito). It isn’t long before Spencer is tempted to wander into the garage and brush off a particular video game system of intrigue. Upstairs, Milo (Glover), an estranged friend of Eddie’s, is knocking at the door for an impromptu visit. What ensues next is simply a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time (or possibly the right place at the right time). Little do old-timers Eddie and Milo know, they’re about to become trapped inside of a video game with a group of young adults. It’s not the contrast in age that makes the team’s following adventures a joy to watch. The draw-in for me is simply the notion that we’re watching The Rock attempt to do a Danny DeVito impression. Try to imagine all of DeVito’s best dialogue and eccentric mannerisms from It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia as channeled through The Rock. 

On a weird, semi-serious note though, Jumanji: The Next Level touches upon themes of mortality and eternal youth. Both Eddie and Milo revel in their new bodies, and frequently question whether or not they should return to the real world at all. But their revelry lends itself to the humor as well, obviously. Eddie particularly seems to enjoy obliterating wave after wave of enemy characters as they approach, yelling phrases like “you want a piece of me” and “come on, ya bastards” (keeping it PG-13 but DeVito-heavy nonetheless). (123 min.)

Caleb Wiseblood




Weekly Poll
How often would you see a health care provider such as a chiropractor, acupuncturist, or massage therapist if they're not covered by your health insurance?

Not at all. That stuff doesn't work.
Only when my ailment is really bothering me.
As often as possible.
I avoid it. Self-care like exercise and stretching are enough.

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