eOne’s New Found Footage Thriller Worth At Least One Watch

Courtesy:  eOne

Courtesy: eOne

eOne’s new paranormal thriller The Jungle is a good fit or anyone that is a fan of the found footage genre.  One part Predator and one part The Blair Witch Project, the movie finds a group of filmmakers in a far flung jungle in search of a rarely seen big cat.  The cat in question is a fictional leopard breed apparently.  During their search for the cat, the men encounter a mythological creature of sorts that they did not set out to look for.  It’s definitely a deadly beast, too.  The use of such a script actually makes the movie worth at least one watch.  This will be discussed later.  Another aspect of the movie that makes it worth at least one watch is the overall lack of music.  Its most impactful moment comes not during the movie, but at the movie’s end, believe it or not.  And last but not least of all, despite the complaints of so many audiences, one can say of this movie that unlike certain other movies of its ilk, the figure being hunted is actually seen to a point.  All three factors together make The Jungle a movie that deserves at least a chance if no more.

Writer/Director Andrew Traucki’s script for The Jungle is not one that has exactly received the highest of praise.  The reality of Traucki’s script is that it is deserving of more respect than it has received thus far from critics and viewers alike.  That’s because a closer watch of the movie reveals that Traucki’s script, which is one part Predator and one part The Blair Witch Project, actually throws something of a twist into the story that makes it at least somewhat different from both of the aforementioned movies.  The story doesn’t start out with the main cast in search of some fabled creature.  Rather, they are in search of what is supposed to be a real creature that is simply rarely seen in nature.  Along the way, they just happen to come in contact with a deadly creature that they did not set out to find.  The catch is did they find it or did it find them?  The rest of the time, the men find themselves more focused on catching the creature on film than on their original subject.  The ending won’t be given away.  But it goes without saying that it doesn’t end well.  Audiences will find out for themselves just how badly it turns out when they check out this movie for themselves.

Andrew Traucki’s script for The Jungle is central to the ability of viewers to suspend their disbelief and give the movie a chance.  Another factor that viewers will appreciate in viewing this movie is its overall lack of soundtrack.  This doesn’t exactly play that much of a role during the course of the movie.  But considering the story’s events, the lack of any music even as the end credits roll makes for the biggest emotional impact of all.  Traucki is to be applauded here in his directorial role for such a decision.  It leaves viewers feeling a certain intended emptiness and shock at the events that unfolded over the course of the movie’s near ninety-minutes.  And that effect is perhaps far more long lasting than anything else presented throughout the movie.  That’s not to discount the script by any means.  Rather it just goes to show the often overlooked importance of a movie’s soundtrack or lack thereof in this case.  It’s a model which other movie makers should take into account when adding a soundtrack to their next films.

The last factor to take into consideration in examining The Jungle is subtle, but just as important as the factors already noted. That factor is the appearance of the creature that was being track (or was tracking the men). Unlike so many other movies within the found film genre, audiences actually do get a glimpse of the creature in question that is being followed. In the case of so many other films within this genre, audiences are only told about the subject of the search. They rarely actually get to see the subject being sought. The subject here is seen at least partially. It is seen in the same vein as those really bad videos from people searching in real life for Bigfoot and other such creatures. So as gripping as those sightings are, they are also worth their share of laughs, too believe it or not. They make the movie more worth the watch, even if only slightly so. And along with the movie’s script and wise absence of soundtrack, The Jungle is made all the more worth watching at least once.

The Jungle is available now on DVD in stores and online. It can be ordered online via Amazon at http://www.amazon.com/Jungle-Rupert-Reid/dp/B00J5BCV3E/ref=sr_1_1?s=movies-tv&ie=UTF8&qid=1405338674&sr=1-1&keywords=The+Jungle. More information on this and other releases from eOne is available online at http://www.entertainmentone.com. To keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it. Fans can always keep up with the latest sports and entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.

Prometheus Puts A New Fire In The Sci-Fi World

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

20th Century Fox’s new Alien prequel, Prometheus is one of the biggest and most underrated movies of the 2012 Summer blockbuster season.  What director Ridley Scott and writers Damon Lindelof and John Spaits have crafted in this movie is a story that works not only as a standalone alien based action flick, but also a movie that connects the early Alien movies to the more recent Alien vs. Predator movies.  Add in spectacular special effects and audiences have a movie that is not just one of the Summer’s top movies, but also one of the year’s best.Prometheus has largely been received to mixed reviews.  But one has to wonder if those who had their doubts about the movie had any experience with the previously mentioned movies.  Those who have any knowledge about the original franchise and the comic books will recall that the aliens were created by the predators.  Thus the movies in the AVP franchise.  Now it’s obvious that the engineers in Prometheus look nothing like the predators from the early movies.  But Scott and his team of writers do make it clear that the aliens were created by something.  So that being noted, they at least made the attempt to keep some form of continuity in the alien universe.  Fans of both franchises should be impressed by this.

While the “engineers” in Prometheus likely have no connection to the predators, it is noted that they were created.  The difference here is that in the case of this story, Scott and his writers put in a classic story of aliens intending to invade Earth.  Essentially, the “engineers” created the aliens in question to destroy humans.  So it leaves the question wide open, did the “engineers” really create humans?  Or did they only create the alien species just for the sake of taking over Earth.  Late in the movie, Elizabeth (played by Noomi Rapace) mentions to David that she still believes the “engineers” created humans.  And that she deserves to know why they changed their minds and decided to kill them.  But David’s retort was does it matter why she wants to know why they changed their minds and decided to kill the human race?  This generates the whole theological versus scientific discussion concerning where man came from.  Even in the twenty-first century, there are those who believe that man was created not by God, but by other beings from other worlds.  It’s an interesting topic.  The way in which Scott and the writers approached the topic for this story, made the movie that much more interesting.

Adding to the interest of the general story is the bonus deleted and extended scenes feature on the new Blu-ray and DVD release of Prometheus.  At one point, audiences are offered an extended version of the aforementioned discussion between Elizabeth and David.  It goes into more depth about the whole back story of the alien origins and the belief of whether or not the “engineers” really created man or if it was God.  The deleted and extended scenes feature (especially with the additional commentary) are proof positive of how much bonus features can do for a movie.  Seeing all of the noted scenes adds an extra level of depth to the overall viewing experience.  Perhaps those who criticized the movie while it was in theaters will have a different view and appreciation for Prometheus after watching it again at home along with the bonus features.

To keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news, go online to http://www.facebook.com/philspicks and “Like” it or its companion page, http://www.facebook.com/pages/Reel-Reviews/381028148587141.  Fans can always keep up with the latest entertainment reviews and news in the Phil’s Picks blog at https://philspicks.wordpress.com.