Thursday morning brought a bombardment of trailers for hotly anticipated movies and TV shows. One of those is Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle. It stars Dwayne Johnson, Kevin Hart, Karen Gillan and Jack Black. Those are all fine actors who know their way around a joke. They can all take even the most predictable, overtold joke and make you laugh with their delivery and comedic timing. Which is good, because this trailer has a few of them. Even the obligatory Kevin Hart short joke elicits a giggle thanks to its unique premise and the fact that Hart is still a talented comic. But the trailer raises the question, did they even bother watching the original?It starts out promising enough. Four kids from different walks of life are forced into detention together. Hey, there’s a reason The Breakfast Club is a classic. It’s a great way to get a group of characters together who would normally have nothing to do with each other. I don’t even mind updating Jumanji from a board game into a video game. Video games can be magic and mystical too. How else do you explain the prevalence of Sonic The Hedgehog-based creepypasta on the internet?Then they all get sucked into the game. That’s where it stops feeling like Jumanji, and starts feeling like a dozen other action comedies starring The Artist Formerly-Or-Maybe-Still-Currently-Sometimes Known As The Rock. The rest of the trailer is all jokes about how these teenagers have ended up in bodies they aren’t comfortable with. (It’s a puberty metaphor, get it?) Some of the jokes that follow are pretty funny. It’s still amusing to watch Johnson act like an insecure nervous kid. The same goes for when Gillan’s Lara Croft analog complains about her outfit being completely unsuitable for jungle exploration.The movie’s real problem comes from the fact that they go into the jungle. What made the first Jumanji fun was the wild elements spilling out into the modern city. The stakes are higher when the lion is actually inside the kids’ aunts house, and the monkeys are wreaking havoc on the streets. Here, from what we’ve seen, it’s contained to the inside of the game. The kids themselves might face danger, but they’ll almost certainly make it out and by the end of the movie, the outside world will remain untouched. As a result, this movie already feels much smaller than its predecessor.Also, because they’re in a video game, they get useful abilities? That’s not Jumanji. The appeal of the first movie was watching ordinary kids try to contain an increasingly out-of-control mess. They didn’t have special powers, they weren’t magically in bodies perfectly suited to the task at hand. The drama came from them being forced to face their fears, and try to keep a lid on things just long enough to finish the game. Robin Williams’s character was the only one who had any sort of special knowledge or strength, and that’s because he spent his entire adolescence and a good chunk of his adulthood trapped inside the game. And you know why the movie didn’t show us any of his time in the jungle? It wasn’t nearly as interesting as the time outside of it.Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle has some great comedic actors in it, and the body-switching premise could provide us with a few laughs. And hey, with this level of star power, it’s bound to be a success at the box office. If you’re looking for a modern update of Jumanji though, you might be better off rewatching Zathura. But hey, this is just the first trailer. Hopefully, the movie will prove me wrong. It’s happened before. We’ll know for sure when the movie comes out December 25, 2017.Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey. Stay on target ‘Jumanji’ Video Game Seems Pretty MetaIn ‘Jumanji: The Next Level’ Trailer ‘The Rock’ …
MovieBob Reviews: ‘Shadow’MovieBob Reviews: ‘The Curse of La Llorona’ Is The Shape of Water good?Yes.What’s it about?Basically an R-rated, gory, proudly nasty unofficial hypothetical sequel to Creature From The Black Lagoon in which a mute human woman working at a top-secret government research facility who falls in (unambiguously, explicitly sexual and DEFINITELY consummated) love with a captive human-fish hybrid creature against the backdrop of socially-oppressive 1950s America. It’s all with the omnipresent specter of racism, sexism, homophobia and Cold War anti-communist paranoia constantly hovering over the proceedings in case you weren’t getting the “misfits and unconventional couples = the good guys” metaphor at play.Who directed?Guillermo del Toro, and if you ever wanted the definition of a truly indispensable filmmaker, look no further than Guillermo del Toro. An auteur (in the true sense of the word) who’s carved out and so profoundly commands a unique space all his own in the world of cinema that his voice and touch can be the ENTIRE difference between a must-see and something entirely basic. It feels like he’s never more in his true element than when he’s taking otherwise basic-sounding genre movie setups and slathering them in his one-of-a-kind aesthetic and pure talent until they’ve transformed into something like works of art.So it’s a classed-up B-movie, basically?Absolutely, the kind of thing Troma or Canon or whoever would’ve pushed out right after The Fly was a hit if they could get their hands on a good fish-person costume… right down to the heavy-handed “Because The 50s, amirite!?” moralism. The sort of thing I can imagine having been fascinated by as a kid, overpraised as a teenager and ultimately discovered didn’t really hold up outside the gore and makeup business as an adult. But in this form, under Del Toro’s guiding hand, it presents as something haunting, beautiful, heartbreaking and rapturously entertaining; while also still being thoroughly familiar, lurid and heavy-handed – just in ways that he somehow transforms into assets rather than liabilities.Is that Doug Jones in the monster suit again?It is. Sally Hawkins has the lead role, which she performs wholly in sign language and is utterly mesmerizing to watch even in scenes where she’s not attempting to seduce a man-phibian. Michael Shannon is the main bad guy, a psychotic abusive wannabe alpha-male government flunkie in charge or torturing whatever it is they think they’re going to get out of the fish-man… out of the fish-man – ultimately leading her to launch a conspiracy among her fellow marginalized-misfit compatriots to help him escape.So there are more people involved than just her and the fish-guy?Yeah. Most of the first and second acts are consumed with the ability of Hawkins, her best friend (Octavia Spencer) and the other cleaners, janitors and menial laborers being able to slip around undetected because the Old White Men in charge don’t acknowledge their presence. Jenkins’ is an elderly gay artist who lives in Hawkins’ building and helps her out of solidarity with a fellow socially-marginalized romantic. The always-great Michael Stuhlbarg is also on hand, though the extent of his role is sort of a spoiler.How is the creature?Pretty great. The design is astoundingly complex, and he’s full of surprises, especially with the way it balances making the creature compelling as a romantic lead without minimizing (at all) that’s he’s also still a scary, dangerous “monster” for lack of a better word.That’s a hell of a cast!Yes. Amazingly, this movie cast wall-to-wall the best of the character-actor community has some pretty strong performances going for it.How does it compare to the rest of del Toro’s filmography?It certainly speaks to the caliber of his canon that even though The Shape of Water feels like it falls more toward the middle of his overall output; it’s easily one of the most interesting and unique films of THIS entire year and a desperate antidote to the early-December crunch of Oscar-hopefuls and family cash-sinks. Highly recommended. Stay on target Let us know what you like about Geek by taking our survey.
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Matilda, and more Roald Dahl stories are coming to Netflix next year.On Tuesday, Netflix announced in a press statement that it’s collaborating with The Roald Dahl Story Company to create new original animated event series based on the author’s memorable books.With this new project, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The BFG, The Twits, Matilda, George’s Marvelous Medicine, and other Dahl novels will come to life on Netflix in 2019. Production for the Netflix Dahl animated series is set to begin in January.“Our mission, which is purposefully lofty, is for as many children as possible around the world to experience the unique magic and positive message of Roald Dahl’s stories,” said Felicity Dahl, Roald Dahl’s widow, in the press statement. “This partnership with Netflix marks a significant move toward making that possible and is an incredibly exciting new chapter for the Roald Dahl Story Company. Roald would, I know, be thrilled.”More on Geek.com:‘Neon Genesis Evangelion’ Completes Netflix’s Anime Ambitions in 2019 Netflix Orders New Animated World War II Series ‘The Liberator’ Netflix, WB Settle Satanic Lawsuit Over ‘Chilling Adventures of Sabrina’ What to Stream on Netflix This WeekendZach Galifianakis Hits the Road in ‘Between Two Ferns: The Movie’ Trailer Stay on target
Stay on target Pooping Baby Video Scams Twitter UsersEmail Scam Targeting Millions of Netflix Customers ‘Tis the season to avoid family conflict by holing up with Netflix and binging trashy Christmas flicks, all three seasons of The Good Place (do it!), and Ellen’s new stand-up special.But between episodes of Schitt’s Creek (I swear it’s worth it), keep an eye on your email inbox.The Federal Trade Commission this week issued an alert about a phishing scam designed to steal personal information.In a Wednesday warning, the FTC described fake Netflix messages claiming the customer’s account is on hold because the service is “having some trouble with your current billing information.”A screenshot of the email, captured by Ohio police, initially appears credible.Look closely for clues (via Federal Trade Commission)But look closely, and you’ll notice the impersonal “Hi Dear” greeting (all of my Netflix emails are addressed directly to me, by name), British-English spelling of “Help Centre,” and foreign phone number (easy tip-offs for US consumers).The message invites unsuspecting users to follow a link to update their payment method.“Scammers often use familiar company names or pretend to be someone you know,” according to the FTC. “They … use phishing emails to get access to your computer or network. If you click on a link, they can install ransomware or other programs that can lock you out of your data.”Netflix will “never ask for any personal information to be sent to us over email,” the Help page said. The company may, however, ask users to update their data with a link to its website.“But be cautious of fake emails that may link to phishing websites,” Netflix suggested. “If you’re unsure about a link in an email, you can always hover your cursor over [it] to see the linked URL at the bottom of most browsers.”A similar phishing expedition cropped up around this time last year: Netflix subscribers received emails threatening to suspend their account because the firm was “unable to validate your billing information.”If you believe you’ve received a phishing email from any organization, forward it to firstname.lastname@example.org (the FTC) and email@example.com (the Anti-Phishing Working Group). You can also report it at ftc.gov/complaint.And, in this case, be sure to pass the message along to Netflix directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.More on Geek.com:Test Your Scam Smarts With Online Fraud QuizNetflix Sued by Detective Over ‘Making a Murderer’ DocuseriesNetflix Reveals First Look, Voice Cast of ‘The Dark Crystal’ Series