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The Jungle Book

tn_junglebookDisney’s 1967 animated version of THE JUNGLE BOOK was pretty much a hangout movie. A bunch of animal dudes kickin it in the jungle, occasionally singing songs. Like HOUSE PARTY but with snakes and shit. The tiger Shere Khan plays the part of Full Force.

Now modern Disney and director Jon Favreau (executive producer, GREEN STREET HOOLIGANS) have brought in more of the world and narrative of Rudyard Kipling’s stories for an excellent live action(ish) version that captures plenty of the spirit of the old one while also being totally different. It uses versions of the original songs and even evokes Disney animation with a painted version of the castle logo, but never feels redundant. It’s like putting on glasses and seeing that version in more detail, from the visuals to the story.

I have to admit, after COWBOYS & ALIENS I kinda thought maybe we got too excited about Favreau as a director because of IRON MAN. Clearly I was wrong. This is a movie I can’t imagine many directors pulling off. Like with IRON MAN he finds a perfect balance between nerdy love for the source material and clear vision of how to tell the story in a dramatic way we haven’t quite seen on screen before.

And it can’t be easy competing with the memory of Stephen Sommers’ 1994 version.

(That might be unfair. I haven’t seen it.)


You may or may not be aware that Mowgli the man-cub (Neel Sethi) was raised by wolves. Favreau and writer Justin Marks (STREET FIGHTER: THE LEGEND OF CHUN-LI) don’t have to go back and tell us the whole story from the beginning, but they open with Mowgli sprinting, swinging, leaping, scurrying across branches, parkouring and tarzanning through the jungle as part of a trial to join the Wolf Council. We learn from them about wolf culture and jungle law, for example that when the water level is low enough to reveal a certain rock, a “water truce” is called and all the animals share this drinking pool peacefully. It’s a brilliant way to introduce all the species of the jungle and the way they regard each other. It’s only when Shere Khan shows up that everybody gets scared.

mp_junglebookThis is a truly intimidating villain, not just because tigers are mean motherfuckers, and also not just because he has a scary fucked up eye like Koba in RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES, but also because he has the voice of Idris Elba and he uses it to psychologically terrorize everybody. Pretend to be reasonable for a minute so they’ll let their guard down and then he can go berserker on ’em. He’s basically a bitter racist who thinks he needs to kill Mowgli for the safety of the jungle. He probly really believes it, though it’s also a personal grudge against the human who burned his eye. We later see in a snake-induced flashback (long story) that the human in question only burned him in failed self defense as he was getting pounced on. So, despite all the things you could easily pin on mankind, especially if you’re an animal, this is not really one of them.

Shere Khan gives the wolves an ultimatum to hand over Mowgli when the water truce ends, so Mowgli and the panther who originally found him, Bagheera (Ben Kingsley, SPECIES) decide it doesn’t matter who’s wrong or right, they should just beat it. The movie is mostly a journey toward the Man Village, as Mowgli falls into different crowds and scenes. For example he becomes homies with Baloo the bear (Bill Murray, the guy from the male version of GHOSTBUSTERS), who lives kind of a slacker lifestyle facilitated by Mowgli’s inventions and risk-taking. Also he gets kidnapped by monkeys and meets King Louie (Christopher Walken, COUNTRY BEARS), the shut-in ape king who lives in temple ruins and wants “man’s red flower” (fire) so he can be even more powerful.

The celebrity voice casting on this thing is A+. At first I was thrown off by Bill Murray Baloo as I realized that – of course – he was playing him as a dick. You don’t want this to turn into outdoor GARFIELD. But it works perfect when he does the whole heart-of-gold turn. Scarlett Johansson plays Kaa, the hypnotic snake, so she adds a sultry, seductive element to the character while she’s also more primally scary because she looks like a real snake. I believe her part is a little shorter than in the old version, but don’t worry, Scarlett gets to sing “Trust in Me” over part of the (excellent) end credits.

And could there be a more perfect modern version of Louis Prima than Walken? Tony Bennett, maybe. But this is a very different King Louie, a huge now-extinct baboon thing I never heard of called a giganthropithicus or something, way bigger than Baloo even, who actually attacks Mowgli after threatening him. So this version leans on Walken’s menacing mobster characters as much as his lovable musical side. Yes, he does the song (the only full on musical number in the movie – “Bare Necessities” is more laid back, like Murray and the kid doing karaoke). He doesn’t dance though.

An obvious movie to compare this to is BABE, because it takes a similar approach of treating its animal characters and the mythology of their tribal traditions very seriously. There’s a “Baa-ram-ewe” equivalent, and Lupita Nyong’o(NON-STOP)’s Raksha the wolf is very reminiscent of Fly the mother sheep dog. But rather than trained animals and puppets they use LIFE OF PI style extremely-realistic-cgi animals. It’s envelope-pushing animation technology but– well, I was gonna say probly less of a pain in the ass than using the real animals, but I guess it goes without saying that scenes with panthers and bears would’ve presented even more challenges than the pig and duck ones in BABE.

I’m sure this is blown out of proportion, but I heard there were some people against this movie because Rudyard Kipling was a big ol’ racist. I guess the theory being we as a society must erase all memory of the great works of bad people. Sounds stupid to me. Like BABE (who is not a racist) this version of the story has a nice message about people/animals of different backgrounds learning to get along. In fact, there’s alot more than that going on here. Mowgli is a minority in the jungle; an outsider, misunderstood and stared at and feared because he’s different, and he just tries to hold his head high and live his life. Though he was raised in a predominantly wolf neighborhood and self identifies as wolf he does have a hard time finding his place in the culture. He grows bigger but slower than the other cubs and has not been able to pass their trials.

But whenever anyone insists that Mowgli “belongs” at the Man Village he’s not having it. “This is my home!” he says. He’s never even been to the Man Village and has no idea what it’s like to be one of them. And he doesn’t know jack shit about fire. So it’s kind of like Japanese-Americans who were born here but people expect them to speak Japanese or know karate or something. He’s one of them whether they like it or not.

And he knows alot of the different animals so when he’s on the run he’s almost excited about the possibilities of which animals he could join. At one point he feels like he might be a turtle. I don’t know why I love that. A boy who one day is like you know what, I can see himself as a turtle. He’s like Seagal, he loves to adapt to different cultures and take on their traditions. Is this cultural appropriation? I don’t think so. I think most of the animals besides Shere Khan are willing to give Mowgli a jungle pass.

And there’s this other thing – what Bagheera calls “your tricks.” Mowgli uses tools, but he’s not supposed to. So making a bowl to scoop up water in is forbidden. When he eventually proves the usefulness of tools he’s also proving the value of humans as just another species of animals with their own set of characteristics and talents. He’s showing that he doesn’t have to live among his kind to accept his human heritage. He can stay where he knows he really belongs but also be himself.

This is a real good movie. One very minor complaint: did it have to be Dr. John covering “Bare Necessities” on the end credits? I believe they also had him do “Cruela De Vil” on the live action 101 DALMATIONS. We’re going to have to hear him doing “I Have No Strings” and the Phil Collins TARZAN songs and all kinds of shit on the end credits of live action versions of cartoons, aren’t we? I for one did not call a doctor.

Obviously I would’ve preferred they go off book:

Here’s a pretty good cover of “Bare Necessities” though:

They’re already planning THE JUNGLE BOOK 2, which is weird because I believe they used up the Mowgli-related stories in the book. I couldn’t understand how the hell they’d do it until I found out what happened to some of these characters after THE JUNGLE BOOK. In the ’90s Disney did a TV cartoon called Talespin where Baloo, Louie and Shere Khan wore clothes and flew planes and shit. So get ready for that. TOP GUN with animals. I hope you know what you’re doing, Favreau.

p.s. If you’re into 3D, it’s worth the extra couple bucks on this one.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 18th, 2016 at 11:43 am and is filed under Family, Fantasy/Swords, Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

109 Responses to “The Jungle Book”

  1. Talespin was such a bizarre choice for a cartoon. King Louie ran a tiki bar, Shere Khan was like a billionaire industrialist who had a jungle garden on top of his skyscraper?

    “What should we do to follow up with these characters from the Jungle Book?”

    “Same thing, but let’s take out Mowgli and rewrite it as a 1930s South Pacific airplane adventure.”

    “Yeah, exactly. That’s exactly what I was thinking.”

  2. TALESPIN was the best thing to come from Disney’s version outside of it’s soundtrack. I will also defend the one with Jason Scott Lee for life cause it’s better than it should’ve been and I like to see live animals in feature films (also why I enjoyed Disney’s OPERATION: DUMBO DROP). It’s probably the only Stephen Sommers joint I ever enjoyed outside of DEEP RISING and THE MUMMY.

    I won’t watch this one till next weekend at the earliest. But I won’t front like I wasn’t looking forward to Andy Serkis’ version more and was kinda bummed to hear that it was delayed.

  3. I’m down with the 3D version BTW. It’s the first native 3D feature to showcase the tech the king came up with for AVATAR since….AVATAR so I’m sure it’s worth it.

  4. I was surprised by how much I liked this. It wasn’t even on my radar until it started getting good reviews and even then the only thing was interesting me was the talk about the 3D and effects and Christopher Walken as King Louie. So like Deadpool, though I wasn’t dreading to see this one like that one, a wonderfully pleasant surprise.

  5. Also wanted to mention one of the things that took me by surprise that I appreciate is how scary Shere Khan is. There was one scene that was generally unsettling with how quickly he dispatched of someone then a later scene with cubs I personally found generally tense. There times this one doesn’t feel sub-13 PG. So way to go Godless Satan-worshiping conglomerate and friend-of-the-Internet Jon Favreau you entertained the hell out me.

  6. BIG ENDING SPOILERS

    I enjoyed it for most of the runtime but it lost me by the end. Mowgli was an idiot for doing that to the forest and it’s one thing that the Mowgli ends up doing more damage to the forest than the tiger does, but another that it kind of gets thrown off in a couple lines.

    It made the politics of it seem a bit confused. Idris spends the whole film talking about how Mowgli won’t ever overcome his destiny as a human, which is to fuck up the forest with fire, but then he does exactly that but everyone acts like he proved the tiger wrong. The tiger was a dick but it was hard for me not to just sit there confused as to why they didn’t try and write around that. Also thought the ending was a bit inconclusive and means it doesn’t really have the clean arc of the disney film, with the girl at the end.

    He definitely just ruined loads of their homes. He does a lot more damage than Idris does. I don’t know if I’m getting all Man of Steel on this

  7. Ha ha, good observations, Steven. I forgive Mowgli’s mistake because he’s a young child raised by wolves who was influenced by King Louie’s quest for the Red Flower. And he had the honor not to blame it on Beavis and Butthead like that one kid that burned down his trailer. I think despite the damage that was done there is also a value to the community as a whole, not only in getting out from under the claw of Shere Khan but also benefiting from what Mowgli’s talents can offer for them, such as rescuing the baby elephant and eventually building the airplanes and hats that they will use in part 2.

    I forgot to mention that I don’t remember if or how Shere Khan died in the original but I like that they followed the Disney cliche of having him plummet from great heights. Though it was most likely meant as a reference to Hans Grueber.

  8. In the cartoon, Mowgli tied a burning branch to Shere Khan’s tail and he ran away in fear and we never heard of him again. (Until TALE SPIN of course.)

  9. Talking about BARE NECESSITIES cover versions, here is a German one by comedian/Late Night Talkshow host/surprisingly talented (Not really talking about this song) music producer Stefan Raab, which was used as the theme song for the short lived JUNGLE CUBS series. (Yes, they actually did one of those “kid version of adult cartoon characters” show with THE JUNGLE BOOK. It was not just a late entry [1996], but also maybe the last one of that unfortunate and totally useless fad that THE MUPPET BABIES started.)

    And apparently the video was directed by Stefan Ruzowitzky, who was later responsible for films like the two ANATOMIE movies, the box office bomb ALL THE QUEEN’S MEN (The one were Matt LeBlanc wears drag in Nazi Germany) and the Oscar winning THE COUNTERFEITERS!

  10. Holy crappa! is that JUNGLE CUBS footage?

    I didn’t think anybody actually liked JUNGLE CUBS.

  11. Nobody liked it. But it existed.

  12. (And it still might exist.)

  13. Grimgrinningchris

    April 18th, 2016 at 4:49 pm

    Hey now. No dissing the Muppet Babies. Easily the most amusing and inventive Saturday morning cartoon…like ever.

  14. MUPPET BABIES were great. It’s rip offs not so much. Well except A PUP NAMED SCOOBY-DOO and THE FLINTSTONES KIDS (featuring Captain Caveman).

  15. When I first saw a trailer for The Jungle Book, my first comment was, “Wake me up when they make a TaleSpin movie.” So it makes me really happy that I’m not the only person who remembers that kind of weird Jungle Book reimagining.

  16. I’m willing to buy that this movie is better than it looks. What I don’t get is how any of you guys knew that ahead of time. Like, you were certain the second live-action remake of the Disney cartoon about the drunk bear or whatever was worth opening weekend ticket prices and crowds. You rushed right out to see it. You said, “Christopher Walken is a monkey? This I gotta see!” I don’t see how that’s feasible. Like, you guys seem like reasonable people. What happened? The second the trailer for this started and I figured out what it was for, I rolled my eyes so hard I got an upside-down image of the inside of my head. It was like an MTV Movie Awards skit parodying realistic reboots of goofy children’s properties. It was Joseph “Shere” Kahn’s POWER RANGERS.

    Like, even if it doesn’t suck, which apparently it doesn’t, why is it a thing? Why did this seem like a good idea? Why were hundred of millions of dollars allotted to an eerily realistic singing snake movie? And why did you guys think it seemed worth the risk to support it? What did I miss?

    Sometimes I just don’t understand what people think looks like the kind of thing they want to see at the cinema anymore.

  17. I hope they remember to reuse the animation from this when they get to Robin Hood.

  18. George Sanderson

    April 18th, 2016 at 8:43 pm

    Anyone got an idea about how scary this might be for a kid who recently watched Monsters Inc. without too much trouble (needed a little bit of a cuddle in the opening scare scene)?

  19. Well, it’s from a pretty good director, it’s based on a pretty good story, it looked pretty good and then it got rave early reviews. I’m glad I listened.

    And the snake does not sing. I mean, let’s be serious here. I like singing snake movies but this is not a singing snake movie though.

  20. Dammit, Mr M, you turned into such a cynical grump, that it breaks my heart sometimes. How anybody could look at those well made and atmospheric trailers and think: “soulless dark and gritty cashgrab” is beyond me. At the very least one could say: “Oh that’s nice, Disney is remaking one of their biggest classics, but turn it into its own thing without catering to the nostalgia crowd, like every remake should.”

  21. CJ— I think the fact that it’s basically insubstantial yet [so far] broadly popular is what’s bugging him, plus it’s difficult to regard it as anything but kiddie fare. Quite reasonable.

  22. If only they remade THE LION KING and having the lions look like they did in GAME OF DEATH 2.

  23. The very existence of this film and the warm welcome it’s received from both the critics and the public fills me with an ill-defined impotent rage. I can’t even properly put it into words. This is the angriest I’ve been at something that doesn’t actually interest me at all for a long, long time. :)

    I’d actually like a TaleSpin movie, though – I loved that show.

    Generally, I’m surprised how lazy Disney have been in regards to updating/exploiting their back-catalogue. Why go and remake CINDERELLA and THE JUNGLE BOOK when you could instead do umpteen new Mickey Mouse and Uncle Scrooge CG movies based on the works of Carl Barks, Don Rosa and all those Italian artists and writers who’ve been churning out quality Disney material for thirty, forty years? Where’s the GUMMI BEARS movie series, essentially a money-making machine waiting to be built?

  24. I always thought THE LIFE AND TIMES OF SCROOGE MCDUCK would make a great 2 1/2 hour animated epic. (Random trivia: Don Rosa wrote some episodes for TALE SPIN.)

  25. Nah, I don’t care if it’s popular. It’s just surprising. I saw the trailer, figured it was another massive LONE RANGER style live-action Disney flop rebooting a property that nobody asked to be rebooted, and didn’t think about it again until I read this review and was surprised to learn that I seem to be the only person in the world who had that reaction. It’s odd.

    And I have not BECOME a cynical grump. I’d have dismissed this out of hand when I was nine. There was never a point in my life when I’d have thought a talking animal movie looked like a thing I should see. I still haven’t even seen BABE for Christ’s sake. It’s just not who I am.

    I’m okay with it. I like lots of stuff. I don’t need to like everything.

  26. Obviously this is partly nostalgia talking, but I loved those 90s Disney cartoons. I hear that Duck Tales is making a comeback, which makes sense since it has the longest history. I remember my dad once mentioning that he read Scrooge McDuck comics when he was a kid.

    I can see being a little suspicious about these Disney remakes. And I actually haven’t watched any of them, because they do seem like double dipping. At the same time, Jungle Book is a long established piece of literature that you can potentially do a lot with. Also, what’s wrong with talking animals?

  27. Just not my thing. I am apparently in the minority of grown-ass men on this point.

  28. I hope it doesn’t come off like I’m making fun of you guys for watching this dancing monkey movie. I’m more just bemused at how out of touch I seem to be.

  29. No offense taken. I am a grown-ass man, and I admit that I also have no inherent problem with animals that can talk. In movies that it. It would be weird in real life.

  30. When you go into Kaa’s eye and it turns into a firelit cave, was my favorite 3D thing I’ve ever seen.

  31. Mr. M does in fact like movies with talking animals … the HUMAN animal!

  32. You win this thread renfield…

  33. I just can’t get behind the idea that Jon Favreau is a “pretty good director.” I mean, I like ELF as much as the next guy, but can we as a people stop pretending that IRON MAN 1 & 2 are actually good or well-made movies in any way? They spent ungodly sums of money on those films, and the only good thing about either of them is that, you know, Robert Downey Jr is kinda funny.

  34. CJ: I’m all for it. They should get Gore Verbinski do handle the thing. Rango-esque dusty realism mixed with the stylised ducks could really work. I’d love it, but it would probably form part two in his “Disney presents THE WORLD’S GREATEST FLOPS” trilogy.

    There’s so much stuff in those old European comic collections that could be used – I recently nostalgically re-read a Mickey/Goofy story that’s essentially a re-tread of STAR WARS but really solid in its own right, featuring a a ball-shaped (albeit floating) robot companion, an all-robot enemy army lead by a ever-so-slightly Vaderish dude with a lightsaber and a visit to what is basically Kessel. Plus a fat, moustached Han Solo substitute. Massimo de Vita’s art sells it really well. Kinda makes me wish I hadn’t thrown out almost all of my Disney trades fifteen years ago.

  35. Mr M, you’re certainly not the only one who couldn’t believe it when the good reviews of this thing came roaring in. When I heard they actually use the songs from the 1967 version (which has exactly fuck all to do with Kipling’s stories, except for the names) I couldn’t fucking believe it. I thought this had “suits throw as much money as possible after a hilariously ill-considered self-serious version of that thing that people vaguely remember from their childhood” written all over it. And of course as far as I’m concerned, Favs has yet to make a movie which is more than 60% good (apparently that’s not the consensus? You guys remember he directed COWBOYS AND ALIENS, right?), so the idea that he’d be the one to pull off something this crazy was inconceivable to me. But I’m glad to hear that it somehow beat the odds and came out good.

    I actually loved the Kipling books when I was a kid and would love to see something vaguely resembling them done well. It sounds like this is mostly a live-action remake of the ’67 cartoon, though, so oh well. I’ll always have the 1994 version with Jason Scott Lee.

  36. renfield: Eh. The CGI they use to make their lips move is always really distracting.

  37. Dan – obviously most people, including me, are not with you on IRON MAN. And I know people who love MADE, ZATHURA and CHEF, but I haven’t seen any of those. If they’re right then he has a way better track record than I was giving him credit for before seeing JUNGLE BOOK.

    Also, you gotta give Robert Downey Jr. more than “kinda funny.” That was completely outside of the box casting that turned out to be brilliant enough that they built an entire empire that took over the film business just based on its success. You remember Downey was considered a has-been at the time and although comic people were excited about the casting I remember I myself thought “Huh?” until I saw it.

  38. The IRON MEN work as serviceable entertainment at best. Marvel know how to package and deliver a product for the widest possible audience and they do it well. But I would not call them good movies per se.

  39. I’m all team ZATHURA! And not just because the meteor shower is one of the most intense action scenes that I ever saw in a PG rated movie!

  40. With the caveat that I haven’t rewatched any of the Iron Men since I first saw them in theaters, I remember that the original Iron Man felt a lot looser than other superhero films. Favreau gave his actors space to play off one another. In person, Gwyneth Paltrow can be such a unappealing person, but she was absolutely wonderful in the part and nicely complimented Robert Downey. The film had a real Hawksian His Girl Friday vibe. I still think it’s a superhero film that more or less has its own take on the genre. I also remember reading that Favreau fought to cast Downey in the role. So he deserves some credit for that.

  41. I love Robert Downey Jr, but he’s just doing his usual shtick in the IRON MAN movies, nothing special. he’s been a million times better in much better movies throughout his career.

    And honestly, can anyone point out a good or memorable scene in the first IRON MAN that doesn’t boil down to “Robert Downey Jr being funny while nothing else interesting happens”?

  42. IRON MAN 2 is worse but I figured one of you jerks would point to Mickey Rourke’s terrible performance and character as a high point, and then I’d have to give up on life.

  43. And honestly, Vern, are you really arguing that I should respect IRON MAN because it made a lot of money?

  44. I don´t even remember much of Rourke in that one. But wasn´t he some kind of race car driver that crashed and became WHIPLASH?

  45. IRON MAN 2 is a more entertaining and interesting movie in every way.

    *drops mic*

  46. Mr. Subtlety just wait for the one from Andy Serkis.

    ZATHURA was ok while MADE was a good spiritual successor to SWINGERS. IRON MAN is still the best Marvel Studios movie. I can’t remember anything from IRON MAN 2 except senator Garry Shandling leading a witch hunt. ELF looked stupid so I never watched it.

    Favreau is serviceable to me. Reliable enough that I’d take a chance on this thing. Like a much more polished and disciplined Kevin Smith but nothing really beyond that.

  47. Mr M, I don’t actually think it’s a superficial distinction to draw, despite my little jest. As someone who does like talking animal shit, I will admit there’s a certain overhead involved beyond distracting CG.

    Basically every story has the task of convincing you of its reality, and there’s something kind of tickling about when this happens in a fantasy scenario since they start with an additional handicap. Ideally you get that moment when you realize you don’t even think of them as talking mice any more, you think of them as real players embroiled in dire sagas that you can relate back to your own real shit. But it’s always a gamble. (incidentally if it’s associated with George Miller in any way, you should take the fucking gamble, hint hint)

    And honestly it didn’t happen to me with THE JUNGLE BOOK. This movie takes its made up animal politics really seriously and has the animals parlay and use monosyllabic adult words and shit, but I definitely had trouble shaking the “oh come on” feeling. Could be because of a problem with the film and its execution, or could just be because talking animals.

  48. As far as Favreau goes, he seems more like one of these directors who just do what is required of them than somebody with a really distinct authorial voice or whatever. In fact he even talked about how with CHEF he wasn’t beholden to all these fans and investors like he was with IRON MAN, and how he got to do what he wanted, and behold, its just as bland and inoffensive as IRON MAN.

    And yeah, I mean I accept that IRON MAN is well put-together, but this was a movie whose goal was to present you with a very comfortable, tension- and stress-free experience. On the rare occasion that Iron Man was in any danger, Robert Downy Jr was always there to remind you that it’s all good times. It seems counter-intuitive to me to credit Favreau for setting the tone of this endless Marvel cycle when that tone is kinda unexciting.

  49. Dan, of course I’m not saying it’s good because it made money. I just think there’s some hindsight is 20/20 shit going on here. We’re talking about it like it was some easy, obvious normal thing to do, but it was inventing a new approach to this type of movie. At the time, Downey was not a headliner, Iron Man was not a character normal people had heard of, and this type of breezy super hero movie that feels pretty grounded even though it’s about flying robot suits had not been done. It’s not my favorite movie or anything but you are one of the few who would deny that it’s a very solid, well-cast and clever crowdpleaser with cool punching robots and shit. It is well conceived and directed.

  50. The Original Paul

    April 20th, 2016 at 6:32 am

    Heyo. Just popping in to comment on the IRON MAN thing, because I haven’t seen THE JUNGLE BOOK.

    Vern – I was with you up until that last post. I don’t think there’s anything particularly wrong with the IRON MAN movies (although I find them pretty disposible) and I think they work mostly because of Downey Jr. and Gwyneth. I certainly don’t agree with Dan that they’re bad movies.

    But wasn’t it the X-MEN movies – or at least the first two – that did what you’re crediting IRON MAN with doing? X2 in particular was a huge hit that paved the way for IRON MAN and its ilk. I guess you could credit IRON MAN with starting a franchise… maybe… because I don’t know how much that had to do with the IRON MAN movie itself? I can’t see it or the other movies being made if it wasn’t for the X-MEN movies proving that there’s a market out there for fan-driven comic-book adaptations.

  51. But IRON MAN was the movie that started the whole “superhero movie for people who don’t necessarily give two shits about comic books” thing, while the X-MEN movies still seem like they were trying to appeal primarily to X-Men fans. The X-MEN movies included tons of characters from the comics, had little jokes like the one about Wolverine not wearing his yellow unitard, stuff like that, so they were still “nerd shit”, even though they managed to appeal to a larger audience. IRON MAN wasn’t really “nerd shit”, it was an action movie where the hero and the villain happened to wear robot armors, made for people who wanted to see likable actors be charming in a big budget action movie, not for nerds who wanted to make sure that their beloved “Iron Man” and “Bigger and Evil Iron Man” were accurately depicted on screen. And they kept the formula for CAPTAIN AMERICA and THOR and all the others.

  52. These movies are all okay and serviceable but do they Strive For Excellence?

  53. I dunno, Vern. Obviously I know I have the minority opinion here, but your argument sounds awfully close to “well Favreau’s approach was popular so nyah nyah nyah.” It’s great that he knew to cast Downey and give him room to be Downey, but unless you truly believe that 90% of directing is casting, I’m not sure that rises to the level of “good directing.” Granted, I haven’t seen it since it was in theaters, but I don’t recall the movie having a single memorable action scene (am I crazy, or is the big money-shot moment just Tony standing still shooting a rocket at a tank?) or any good characters besides Tony and Pepper, or even a particularly inspired comic setpiece that sin’t just Downey talking fast.

    And if the biggest accomplishment is that it set the tone for the other Marvel movies…. I just don’t know if that’s a good thing. I’ve enjoyed a few of them, personally, but they are all fairly cookie cutter, middle-of-the-road pieces of hack work. Even the ones I liked more (AVENGERS, IRON MAN 3), I can’t imagine bothering to ever watch again like I have with SPIDERMAN 2 or BLADE 2 or X2 or Richard Donner’s SUPERMAN or THE DARK KNIGHT. Those movies, though not perfect, display far more ambition, style and personality than any one of these Marvel movies have.

  54. Yeah I’m sure all the directors and producers are like “how can we make shit?” Iron Man is a good fucking movie dilholes. So are most but not all, Marvel movies. I swear to Christ you guys want to hate these movies and only want to champion shit like BvS because the critics and most people hate it. You all aren’t special.

    I am sorry. I think I’m just angry that Vern refuses to post his updated Hard Target review so he can flex his brain muscles with Carrie reviews and talking animals bullshit.

    Mostly I’m hangry.

    Sorry

  55. Anybody know how to edit posts?

  56. What kind of a troll have you morphed into lately, Sternshein? Jesus. However, if it is Vern-non-reviewing-HARD TARGET-related syndrome I completely understand.

  57. It totally is Hard Target related. I have a total non troll version of my Marvel movies are good but my anger took over.

  58. Let the anger flow, I´d say. It makes for fun reading at least.

  59. Sternshein,

    I haven’t seen BvS and I have no dog in the Marvel v DC fight. but if you’re accusing me of being a grouchy contrarian, then you are definitely right on the money.

  60. I guess my dog is Marvel but I would totally be on board with DC movies if they made them interesting to me. I mean, I actively dislike the Nolan Batman movies.

  61. Sternshein – Everything okay at home buddy? I’m here for you if you need to talk.

    There’s nothing wrong with people who have opinions about something to come to a a safe zone like Vern’s comment sections to express their thoughts on shit that they’ve paid to see / can’t really discuss anywhere else online without fielding through pages of vitriol and derision. I also think that IRON MAN is a good and really well directed movie that established a secure platform for the greater MCU to be built upon. I also agree that the first two XMEN films, along with Raimi’s SPIDER-MAN, helped to establish an age of superhero / comic book franchise tentpole blockbuster extravaganzas that have since been met with adoration and derision in almost equal measures for the better and for the worse.

    I also felt that the trailers for THE JUNGLE BOOK looked like shit and was happily surprised when word started dropping that it was in fact worth our time and I’m looking forward to seeing it now.

    It’s debatable whether or not some of the movies we defend here were ever really striving for excellence in the way that the motto suggests, but Vern and this community has definitely showed a strive-for-excellence mentality in trying to give overlooked, marginalised shit a fair shake and that’s kind of the power of that ideology anyway. I dunno, it just makes me feel weird when we can support an underdog movie and the people who find merit in it but then put other motherfuckers on blast because they feel that IRON MAN, for example, is a weak brew.

    Could not agree with you more about wanting Vern to review the fuck out of HARD TARGET though.

  62. I like both Marvel and DC movies. I probably prefer Marvel overall, since there’s more of them and they’re all entertaining. I kind of hear where Sternshein is coming from. A lot of the arguments boil down to “Sure, the Marvel movies are fun and entertaining and well cast and acted and overall they’re well put together but that doesn’t mean they’re good movies.” And I’m like, “Well, kind of, yeah, it does.” They’re movies about colorful goofballs who punch each other. Being fun and entertaining and well constructed is the definition of “good” for this kind of middle-of-the-road populist filmmaking for children/grownups who still like childish stuff. I don’t think being challenging or thought-provoking would make them any better at what they’re intended to do, any more than other forms of low-impact popular entertainment like dance music or sitcoms would be improved by trying to be more than what they are. The DC movies try to do that, and I appreciate that, too. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. Picking a side doesn’t say anything about you as a person.

  63. I´ll agree to what you are saying. I think we are just stating personal preferences. i know my preference to what I consider to be “good”, but obviously that is highly subjective and should not be in any way considered abslolute truths.

    But what I like and what is “good” are often two different beasts. I liked BvS, but I´ll also subsribe to the idea of why it is not very good.

  64. I didn’t mean “IRON MAN is good because it set the stage for the other movies,” I meant kind of the reverse. I feel like people are taking away credit from IRON MAN because there are these other movies now existing, like people who think HALLOWEEN is generic because of all the movies that ripped it off over the years.

    Personally I prefer later Marvel movies like THE AVENGERS and WINTER SOLDIER, and at the time IRON MAN came out I didn’t even review it because I felt like it was clear what was good about it and everyone pretty much agreed and I didn’t have much new to say about it. So I’m not passionate enough about it to become the great defender of IRON MAN. I just think it’s silly to say that it’s not an achievement for Favreau.

    P.S. Sternshein, I swear to you I’m almost ready to post a HARD TARGET review. I just have to delay it a little bit because I came up with a plan to make more of an event out of it. Don’t go Nabroleon/LAST CIRCUS on us. WE ARE SO CLOSE.

  65. Yeah but is Superman and Superman vs Batman really all that thought provoking?

  66. The Original Paul

    April 20th, 2016 at 11:03 am

    Oh boy, another Marvel-related thread hijack. And I’m at least partially responsible for this. I apologise. I further apologise for this one last thing:

    Toxic –

    “But IRON MAN was the movie that started the whole “superhero movie for people who don’t necessarily give two shits about comic books” thing, while the X-MEN movies still seem like they were trying to appeal primarily to X-Men fans.”

    See, that is exactly the opposite of how I feel, as one of those “people who don’t give two shits about comic books”. The X-MEN movies had pretty much universal appeal, whereas the recent Marvel-Avengers-crop, starting with IRON MAN, have got more and more “for the fans” and less and less for the rest of us. With the exception of the occasional R-rated passion project (eg DEADPOOL) these movies aren’t speaking to me any more. They haven’t been for a long time now.

    Ok, that’s my contribution over.

    In conclusion, I’m also down for a HARD TARGET review.

  67. The thing about the HALLOWEEN comparison is that the movies that ripped it off were, by and large, much worse movies, and people who didn’t know better lumped HALLOWEEN in with those. If Favreau is getting similar blowback, it’s because his movies don’t hold up to the ones that came after, not because of guilt by association.

    But sure, I’m happy to credit his achievement of pioneering a tone of affable mediocrity in superhero movies. I’m really glad we live in a world where we spend $200 million on movies whose biggest achievements are not sucking.

  68. Well, Bvs provoked a lot of negative thinking.

  69. I’m not gonna say it’s a mind-expanding work of art but I felt it had a little more to chew on than your average Marvel movie, which rarely has much more on its mind than “We need to get that glowing thing before the bad guys do!” Which is a perfectly fine template for a superpunching movie, in my opinion. I think people grossly overstate the symbolic and metaphorical potential of both companies’ rosters of superpunchers, so I don’t necessarily think there needs to be much in the way of subtext and symbolism in these movies. But BvS is clearly more ambitious–too ambitious, most would say–in terms of both its visual style and the themes it attempts to tackle. It’s too scattershot and overstuffed to do justice to most of the ideas it brings up, but that’s okay. I don’t expect a movie about guys in capes to be a sober assessment of These Times We’re Living In. It’s cool that they tried.

    Plus there was punching. I’m mostly in it for the punching.

  70. I didn’t care for MAN OF STEEL, but I will say, like an hour and 45 minutes in, when it finally turned in to a movie about people with superpowers punching each other, I enjoyed myself and saw a version of Zack Snyder Superman I could get behind. If BvS is more along those lines, I might be able to get more onboard with it than it seems like most have.

  71. Jesus, imagine a world in which a studios only concern is holding onto the rights of an IP rather than trying to release well made popcorn spectacles featuring people in costumes kicking other costumed people through walls while occasionally doing something unexpected and interesting within that format. When’s that next Hasbro joint dropping??

  72. Between this and another conversation I had today, in which people talked about Ang Lee as if he was Brett Ratner, it was a very bad day to talk about movies on the internet or just read what other people said about them.

  73. I mean, you guys are going to sit here and argue that IRON MAN 1 and 2 are not just fun movies, but well-directed movies? I’m not saying they’re bad, and I don’t think Dan is either. They’re pretty fun, and yes, their success was absolutely influential to the subsequent flood of Marvel movies. But direction isn’t necessarily the same thing as entertainment or success. IRON MAN 1 finds Favs getting the most out of Downy Jr. and Paltrow’s natural charm, but would anyone like to argue that it’s final third is anything other than a turgid bore, with a dull villain and expensive but enervating computer effects? I mean, that’s the director’s fault. Those action scenes are constructed in the most pedestrian way possible, plain and simple, and they neither very satisfying nor very exciting. And that’s before we even start talking about what a structural mess IRON MAN 2 is. If the director is supposed to be the author of a work, it’s his fault that they have these serious issues, even if it’s also to his credit that they’re ultimately not disastrous enough to prevent the movies from being at least a little fun. And you can compare them both to the obviously superior IRON MAN 3 to see what the same materials look like in the hands of a director who has a little more control.

    Now, that doesn’t mean Favs doesn’t have his strengths. It WAS a genius move to cast RDJ, and he DID create at least the rough template that all the Marvel movies still follow. That ain’t nothin’, but it’s also nowhere near the same thing as being a good director. Of course, since people liked this one so much, he may well have improved, and I didn’t see BURNT or whatever. But certainly I don’t see how anyone could possibly have gone into this thinking “ah, finally, the perfect director for the perfect material.”

  74. And that’s just hitting the action scenes and plotting problems, not even starting to get into the pedestrian-at-best framings, waddling pace, and lack of iconic imagery. All of which are things a good director should have been able to bring to this endeavor.

  75. In reference to Mr.S’s comments on Favreau’s action scenes (for which I 100% agree): For animation trekkies like myself, don’t forget that Favreau hired Genndy Tartakovsky to storyboard the action scenes for IM2 and still the action wasn’t all that good. IM1 also set the tone for all the action scenes in Marvel Studio movies to be unspectacular for the most part.

    I’ll never forget that Iron Man was coming out right when George Miller was gearing up to film Justice League and the Internet was raving about how perfect Favreau was to do a superhero movie (somehow) and how they needed to cancel Justice League because there was no way the director of the Mad Max trilogy could make a good superhero movie. Like most of Marvel Studio movies, I liked Iron Man well enough but don’t understand the immense love they get and don’t have much inclination to go back and re-watch them. So that was another (personal) standard Favreau set.

    All this is an over-wrought way of saying I sure-as-hell had no expectations really going into this and Favreau, also sure-as-hell, wasn’t a draw for me. Therefore I am shocked by how much liked this one and am surprised by how well it was pulled off. As for why I went knowingly went to see a talking-animal movie directed by Favreau; I don’t have hangups going to see kiddie-crap and, again, it got good word-of-mouth and I wanted to be nerd and see the effects. So I guess I’d give him a personal ‘best improved’ award

    As for Hard Target, that is still my favorite New Orleans-movie and is thus dear to my heart. It also means I find it hard to get excited for part 2 when it takes place in Thailand or wherever. To me Hard Target IS New Orleans and taking it out just seems weird to me (I expect none of you have that hand up though).

  76. Favreau has many strengths as a director, not least of which that he’s good with actors. That’s nothing to sneeze at, especially in these big spectacle films, where performance can sometimes get lost along the way. My problem with his directorial style is philosophical. The special features of the IRON MAN movies show him to be one of those guys that think crafting visually dynamic images is some kind of copout. He’s always roughing up the frame or setting the action just off center like it was caught on the fly. Not quite full shakycam but closer to that than to clear De Palma-style visual storytelling. If he legitimately feels that neatly composed images and framing come off as phony, I’ll just have to respectfully disagree with that particular aesthetic choice. It might seem more naturalistic in a superficial sense, but it also doesn’t hit the beats in a way that lets the action breathe. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the only shot in either of his IRON MAN movies that anyone remembers is the one time he gave in to the allure of traditional badass iconography with the “Iron Man walks away from an explosion” shot.

    All this to say that a movie like this that’s 100% special effects and spectacle and no on-set performance does not seem like his wheelhouse to me, but maybe he’s improved since the COWBOYS MEETS ALIENS debacle.

  77. 1800-MIXALOT – I don’t know; but if it happens to be G.I.: JOE RE-ENTERS THE CHU ZONE I’m all in.

  78. Paul (sorry, it seems like we’re having “arguments” over superhero stuff all the time): “The X-MEN movies had pretty much universal appeal, whereas the recent Marvel-Avengers-crop, starting with IRON MAN, have got more and more “for the fans” ”

    X-MEN involved a frog guy, a flying lady who commands the weather, telekinesis, mind control, shapeshifting, that type of stuff. One of the most recognizable actors was Captain Picard. Nothing against the movie, which I enjoyed, but where’s the “universal appeal” of all that nerd shit? Even if you’ve never read the comics, you kind of have to be into weirdos with magic powers and names like “Mystique” to buy your ticket in the first place.
    IRON MAN or CAPTAIN AMERICA on the other end feel a little bit more like they’re taking place in the real world. A tech genius inventing a robot armor or a genetically enhanced soldier fighting nazis are things you could see in a “normal” action movie. More recently yeah they’ve started adding some weird shit in their post credit sequences, so that people who are into dumb looking aliens collecting magic jewelry don’t feel like they’ve been abandoned by Disney, but the first ones were more like regular action movies.

  79. The Original Paul

    April 20th, 2016 at 4:31 pm

    Toxic – I guess it depends on how you look at it. I find the characters of the X-MEN movies a lot more compelling than the IRON MANs or CAPTAIN AMERICAs of this world. Again, speaking as a complete non-fan of either series. I’ve gone into this in a lot more detail in other threads so I won’t here.

  80. Whether X-MEN is a better movie with better characters is irrelevant. X-MEN opens in Auschwitz and ends with a blue lady mutant turning into an old white dude, so maybe we can agree that it was neither “breezy” nor sort-of-“grounded”, so the credit for coming up with that new approach still goes to IRON MAN even if you hate IRON MAN.

  81. Anyway, he did a good job on JUNGLE BOOK.

  82. The Original Paul

    April 21st, 2016 at 3:42 am

    Toxic – I could provide counter-examples, but it’s a bit pointless since the question of whether or not a movie was made specifically for “the fans”, as opposed to “general movie fans”, is a completely subjective one. In the end it’s just my opinion. All I’m saying here is that I’m not a fan of either series in its non-movie incarnations, and one particular movie appealed to me a lot more than the other one. I’m not debating the respective qualities of these movies or how objectively “good” they are. I thought IRON MAN was a pretty good movie, but a super-rich man-child with alcoholism issues and an evil uncle is not exactly a character that I can relate to, y’know? As bizarre as the X-MEN movies may be, they have characters that I can relate to, problems that I can empathise with. But again, it’s specifically my opinion and I’m not claiming any more than that.

  83. For anyone who has seen the movie, do they include “I Want to Be Like You”? And if so, how do the filmmakers get around the racist subtext of the original?

  84. I wonder what happened to that URBAN JUNGLE BOOK I wanted to see. That one in which Baloo is a streetwise black bear who schools white ass Mowgli on Thuglife on the streets. Being streetsmart an´all

  85. Oh, wait, isn´t that TRAINING DAY?

  86. RBatty, I’m sad to report that they actually went out of their way to make it even more racist. Instead of an animated ape, Louie is now Christopher Walken in blackface, Mowgli is now named “Benedict Cumberbatch”, is portrayed by Ashton Kutcher, and his wolf parents are voiced by Toby Keith and Taylor Swift, so that there’s really no way “I wanna be just like you” can mean anything but “I’m a black guy who wants to be white”. I think they even replaced the line about learning how to make fire with something about getting the ability to be offended by anything.

  87. What IS exactly the racist subtext of this song? That an orange monkey, that was voiced by an Italian American sings about wanting to be like an Indian boy?

  88. It doesn’t exactly take a massive leap of logic to see why people have accused that scene of racism. Now discredited science from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries have long attempted to reinforce racism by claiming that blacks were inferior to whites by claiming that they were closer in lineage to our more Ape-like ancestors. In Disney’s Jungle Book, the apes and monkey characters sing in the style of Louis Armstrong and in the black jazz tradition. The song is about these characters wanting to be more like human beings. This seems pretty obvious to me.

    No doubt the song is catchy, and there’s some great animation in the sequence and the film in general. But, yeah, it’s a representation of subconscious and cultural racism of the late sixties. This doesn’t mean that you can’t like the film or get caught up with Baloo and King Louie’s back and forth scat singing.

    And, Toxic, I don’t know why you think I’m offended. Judging from your tone, it seems you found something I said offensive, which I don’t really understand because, as I mentioned, the racist undertones of that scene are pretty evident and have been commented on for decades at this point. I don’t necessarily find racist subtext from a fifty year old film “offensive.” It was made in a time where racist attitudes were largely accepted. If anything, it’s a fascinating and useful cultural artifact.

    However, because the racist subtext of that scene is so well known, I wanted to know how the film handled the characters and that song. I’m not offended, just curious.

  89. I just thought it was funny that somebody would bring the old racism thing up. It’s an animated ape, voiced by a white man, singing to an indian character portrayed by an actor of indian descent, and the adopted parents of said character are voiced by Giancarlo Esposito and Lupita Nyong’o, and yet some people will still insist that “ape who wants to be human” can’t be taken at face value and necessarily represents a black man who wants to be white.

  90. Subtext is a funny thing.

  91. RBAtty: In this movie Louie is a straight-up mob boss. He wants to be able to make ‘Red Flower’ (as they call it) so he can be ‘boss’ of the human primates and not just regular primates. So here he doesn’t want to be human (it is visually implied that he loves being gigantic for control purposes) he wants to be in charge of the humans like he is the monkeys.

    As for the anti-Favs thing I kinda of joined in on, I will say that I feel his work is very good here. He deserves a best-improved visualist award.

  92. I will go to the mat for talking animal movies, motherfuckers. You’ll have to pry RATATOUILLE from my cold, dead, hands, and I look forward to seeing this JUNGLE BOOK at some point.

    Besides, Aesop’s fables were like the original western talking animal joints and those have delighting people for 2,500 years!

  93. Animals don’t talk. That’s in part what makes them animals.

    I can do the “suspension of disbelief” thingy as well as anyone, but I can’t cross the line into talking animal territory.

    <img src="https://media.riffsy.com/images/41f9c8c0c941a659a9dae47062773c38/raw

  94. Except parrots, but I guess they temporarily become human for the brief instances when they are talking.

  95. Grimgrinningchris

    April 23rd, 2016 at 10:38 pm

    The thing is, that these animals don’t “talk”. It’s not like Mr Ed. The “talking” is nothing more than an aural representation of the communication between the animals (and Mowgli). This is made more clear by Mowgli even encountering animals that are clearly trying to communicate, but he doesn’t understand their language, so it just sounds like animal noises to him. He even says “do you have a language?”
    And of course animals communicate with each other… So really the suspension of disbelief isn’t in whether animals can TALK talk, but only in whether different species can learn to communicate with each other.

  96. Grimgrinningchris

    April 23rd, 2016 at 10:39 pm

    And this movie is fantastic.

    Easily the best thing Favreau’s name has ever been attached to… besides PCU, of course.

  97. Jareth Cutestory

    April 30th, 2016 at 6:43 am

    I have to disagree with the narrative that Downey was a “has been” prior to IRON MAN. He wasn’t bankable, and he was better known for his personal problems than any recent performances, but a lot of goodwill accompanied everything he did, even as the films he attached himself to persistently underperformed. You could almost taste the desire in the air to make KISS KISS BANG BANG some kind of classic (despite it flopping and being largely mediocre) based almost entirely on the audience’s appreciation for Downey (with a few action fans who for some reason think having another crass and unnecessarily verbose Shane Black movie in the world is a good thing adding their voice to the choir). As far as I’m concerned, IRON MAN simply provided film fans with a plausible platform on which to dump their long-held love for the man. Back then Downey was a bit like Idris Elba is now: we keep humoring the crappy movies he ends up in while waiting for a movie that utilizes his talent as well as THE WIRE did. For some reason people think dumping him into the asinine James Bond franchise is the solution to this problem (despite that franchise being utterly spent).

    CJ: The novel that JUNGLE BOOK is based on can be read as an English imperialist’s attempt to justify the need for a brutal colonial presence in India. At the very least, the books are orientalist attempts to impose a dominant Western narrative onto the cultural traditions of the East. File under: White Man’s Burden.

  98. KISS KISS BANG BANG was, for me personally, an instant classic, but no matter how you feel about it, you have to admit that it’s a true rarity: an action film with a unique point of view. Even if the result isn’t your cup of tea I can’t imagine any action fan thinking more of those in the world wasn’t a good thing.

  99. Jareth Cutestory

    April 30th, 2016 at 7:12 am

    I don’t mind KISS KISS BANG BANG, though a recent second viewing of it revealed more Shane Blackisms than I had previously noticed. Which is fine if you like Shane Black (I don’t). I think it would have worked better as a short HBO series than as a film.

    Are you distinguishing between the film’s point of view and Black’s authorial voice? I see plenty of evidence of the latter (which bears too many resemblances to Zach Synder for my taste), but very little of the former.

  100. I think it does have a point of view. I think it has something to say about the very particular sentimentality of men and the way they romanticize things (women, heroes, principles, and particularly themselves and their own stories) all out of proportion, in part because of all the lazy narratives we’ve absorbed that tell us we’re all heroes or martyrs, and the damage they can do to the people (particularly women) around them. It gives in to this sentimentality at the end for narrative expedience, but not without some measure of self-disgust. It knows how satisfying those tropes of lone male savior cinema can be, but can’t quite wash the bitter taste out of its mouth. That’s how I feel a lot of the time. I respond to that macho sentimentality emotionally, but can’t reconcile it intellectually. So I do not at all think it’s just a hollow exercise in style. I think it’s as personal a film as any Sundance drama. Maybe more so.

  101. Jareth: The Disney movie is just a story about a kid, singing and dancing with mostly funny animals. (One of the reasons why Kipling’s estate hated the movie so much.)

  102. I wouldn’t classify Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is an action movie. I don’t really remember there even being much action in it and what was there wasn’t memorable or anything.

    You know what definitely could use a remake? The Long Kiss Goodnight

  103. It’s not JUST an action film, but it’s got a few shootouts and some car stuff. That used to be plenty to classify a film as an action movie back when Black was getting his start.

    Plus I think the action climax, while relatively small scale, had the best Guy On Top Of Car Fights Guys In Car I’ve ever seen. Most of the time that trope gets it’s TJ Hooker territory pretty quickly but sharp editing and Downey’s performance make it unlikely but ultimately believable.

    I just love KISS KISS BANG BANG, you guys. There are so many parts of me represented onscreen. If my soul glowed, it might just be the movie it projected.

  104. I also love KISS KISS BANG BANG & can’t wait for THE NICE GUYS.

  105. We need more movies like KISS KISS BANG BANG. It seems like THE NICE GUYS is more of that nutty private detective type of shit and because of that I’m there day one. Gay Perry was the performance of Kilmer’s career for me. Not Doc Holliday or Jim Morrison or Jake Salton Sea. Hilarious as fuck. It’s just a shame Shane is the only one willing to go down that lane.

  106. Werner Herzog also has the guts.

  107. Have you guys seen tha promo with Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling sitting at a psychiatrist office talking about their feels and stuff? It is funny.

    THE NICE GUYS All Viral Videos (2016) Ryan Gosling, Russell Crowe Couples Therapy

    The Nice Guys All Viral Videos - 2016 Action Comedy starring Russell Crowe and Ryan Gosling Subscribe for more: http://www.youtube.com/subscription_center?ad...

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