Director: Jon Favreau
Starring: Neel Sethi, Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley, Idris Elba, Lupita Nyong’o, Christopher Walken, Scarlett Johansson, Giancarlo Esposito
Disney has always had a knack for squeezing every last dollar out of their intellectual property. Their most recent endeavour has been to recreate their classic animations as live action films for a new generation. We’ve had Maleficent (a reimagining of Sleeping Beauty), Cinderella and now The Jungle Book. But to call Jon Favreau’s film live action would seem a bit of a stretch when Mowgli himself is the only live element on screen.
Scripted by Justin Marks, this Jungle Book draws in equal parts from Rudyard Kipling’s original stories and the 1967 Disney animation which is, for so many people, the definitive version. Bagheera the panther (Ben Kingsley) narrates the tale of Mowgli (Neel Sethi), a man-cub raised by wolves in the jungles of India. While a much loved member of the pack, Mowgli develops slower than his brothers and sisters. Behaviours that are to them second nature need to be learned by him, and he is constantly being scolded for his tricks – using tools to solve problems rather than doing things the wolf way. Continue reading
Director: Cary Joji Fukunaga
Starring: Abraham Attah, Idris Elba, Emmanuel “King Kong” Nii Adom Quaye, Kurt Egyiawan
After great success with its original television content with shows like House of Cards and Orange is the New Black, streaming giant Netflix has made the move into film production with its first original feature, Cary Joji Fukunaga’s Beasts of No Nation. In adapting Nigerian-American author Uzodinma Iweala’s acclaimed novel about the life of a child soldier, Netflix has made a powerful statement with its first film, announcing itself as a company not afraid to tackle complex and confronting subject matter.
In an unspecified African nation, we meet a cheeky and imaginative young boy named Agu (Abraham Attah). While Agu lives a carefree existence, his country is caught up in a vicious, multi-factioned civil war. There is a constant stream of refugees passing through their rural village. Caught between the rebels and the army, the decision is soon made to evacuate the village. While the women and babies are shipped off to the capital for safety, the men stay to protect their village against looters. Continue reading