Old Lady Movie Night Old Lady Movie Night: ‘Jumanji' Anne T. Donahue

Oh man oh man. The time has come! Remember that 1990-something movie, THE GAME? I kind of do, because the previews were always on, but I was never allowed to watch it and I forgot about it entirely until somebody tweeted about it last week. BUT ANYWAY. I bet it was based on Jumanji, the greatest children’s book and movie ever made.

Does that make sense? Nobody cares. Nobody cares because when it comes to Jumanji, we just want to put on our overalls and put our hair in braids and pretend it’s 1995 because WHAT. A. YEAR. For cinema, for overalls, for all of us. (And especially for Robin Williams and Bonnie Hunt.)

So let’s do this. Let’s roll the dice, try not to get eaten by a lion and hope nobody gets trapped in a jungle. The time is upon us, and the bats are coming, and that drumming you hear? It’s the sound of JUMANJI coming to claim us all.

Are you scared yet? Please don’t be. This movie was only rated PG.

1) “Don’t worry, it’s just a pack of wolves.”

YIKES. Have these bros seen The Grey? I am willing to bet that in 1860-whatever, they had not yet seen The Grey and had yet to be treated to/scarred by Liam Neeson fighting for his life (AND THE LIFE OF DERMOTT MULRONEY). But what a way to start a film! Wolves! Forests! Horses neighing! The fact that there is NO WAY ON EARTH a game made out of wood (?) would last for over a hundred years after falling in a river and/or grown over by a tree matters not. (And yes, I know it’s a magic game, but I think after about 50 years even the magic would be like, “I am tired. I’m going to go be mulch  now.”)

2) In all fairness, Carl’s athletic shoe was not wonderful

I can tell you put a lot of work into it, Carl, but your athletic shoe will not succeed because frankly, it is very, very unappealing to me on an aesthetic level. I know you tried. You did your best. But yikes. Yikes on all counts times a billion. Thank your lucky stars it gotten eaten by a machine. Now go make a Converse.

b) Also – and I know I’m jumping ahead here – but as if Carl gave up that easy

So you know how Carl gave up shoe-making because his prototype got destroyed? Or something? (Okay, he got fired.) BUT dare I say, sorry, a REAL ARTIST would not have given up ever, so I am just going to go out on a limb here and say Carl probably didn’t even WANT to make shoes if he was willing to put his head in the sand that easily. Maybe Carl secretly wanted to be a wonderful police officer, and he was afraid his hip shoe friends would judge him for being normie. JUST DO YOU, CARL. JUST DO YOU.

3) Mr. Parrish = worst dad ever

What is it with parents in movies who are all, ‘You need to face the swarm of kids attempting to beat you, son!’ YIKES. Like, I know it was 1960-something, but let us all step away from parenting class 101 and re-evaluate how one should handle this situation: 1) tell your son to stop tucking his shirt in that way (KIDDING – oh my goodness, imagine? No, I promise I am just kidding.) But seriously:

1) …I don’t know. Just not the way Mr. Parrish does. Talk about perpetuating the myth of male masculinity. IT’S OKAY, ALAN, YOUR DAD IS JUST A VICTIM OF A SYSTEMIC PROBLEM. :(

2) One to two hugs and a reminder that those bullies will all grow up to live in apartments between two bowling alleys. And then more hugs and a warm meal and a life plan called “kicking ass and taking names aka really succeeding in life academically or at least in a career way”.

I’m not a parent for a reason.

4) Mr. Parrish is Bruce Ismay in Titanic

And everything is beautiful:

5) OHHH the game was kept in a wooden box filled with sand

SORRY, guys. It’s only been about three days since I last watched this cinematic gem. (But still, let’s face it, there’s no way the writing would be kept as clear, AM I RIGHT?) (Laaaaadies!) (Don’t even know what that means in this situation.)

6) Why does he hide the game?

This is something I have never understood. His mom comes home and he hides the game. It’s not like he’s stolen the game or the game has nude photos all over it. It’s just a game. A board game! Most parents would be THRILLED of their almost-teen son was playing a board game in the very fancy living room. Most anyone would be thrilled of anyone was playing a board game!

7) OH BOO HOO, ALAN, YOU DON’T LIKE BEING A RICH PERSON

Well LA-DEE-DA little brat, Alan doesn’t want to be a rich Parrish. Good LORD, little boy, simmer the eff down already. I know your father is terrible (ish – he is a victim of the system and LET’S NOT FORGET IT) and that you get beat up a lot, but OH BOY, do I need to go into the whole “there are starving people all over the world” lecture, kid? Because I will. And yeah, you were like, ten in 1995 when this movie was made, but I am going to lecture you anyway because I have a lot of complaints about you people! (Said George Costanza’s dad, who I am, basically.)

8 ) Okay, but imagine this game was real?

Actually my worst nightmare. Think of the ebola! THINK OF IT.

9) This movie is a reminder that Kirsten Dunst rules

And so does the little boy, but Kirsten Dunst REALLY rules because HELLO, she is able to hold her own in a big way. The braids! The attitude! The fact that she does that impression of a British person when her aunt calls the house or something. Guys, I’m still not as cool as Kirsten Dunst is in this movie, and I am about 259258 years older than she was in this role. (And those overalls! AM I RIGHT?)

10) I like Aunt Norah – SO WHAT

I cannot imagine the horror experienced by Kiki and Pete who lost their parents, but Aunt Norah is TRYING HER BEST, okay? She’s just trying to buy this big-ass house in hopes of giving this crummy town a little pizazz. She’s there for the kids, okay? She’s dressing cool, she’s offering ice cream, she is DOING WHAT SHE CAN. It’s okay, Aunt Norah. I’ve got your back.

11) How old are these bats?!

According to my calculations, like 20 years. Or 30. Still! Older than Bruce Ismay when he escaped the Titanic. Like:

1995, guy!

12) But Kiki Dunst! So much 10-year-old ‘tude!

Personally, I love how she gets up from the dinner table all, “There’s no where to go in this crummy town anyway.” GOOD OBSERVATION, GUY. Because you know what? You are 10 (give or take), and you know where you can go? Maybe down the street to the malt shop! But she doesn’t care. She gets up, walks away, and is all, “For your information, that wasn’t a lie.” All the awards! (And apologies to my parents when I basically tried to re-enact that scene without context.)

Also, holler:

#HERO

13) What is the point of Jumanji?

The game. Not the movie (whose point is to be awesome). Is it like, “Congratulations! You survived!” Is there a prize? I don’t think there is because approximately no people earned anything other than a one-way ticket to post-traumatic stress disorder. Also, how did they end up going back in time? Is THAT the prize? Do you get to go back in time? Because someone tell Michael J. Fox because Back To The Future just got a lot easier.

14) No one in the world could play grown-up Alan Parrish aside from Robin Williams

I want you to forget everything you’ve ever associated with Robin Williams because THIS is the role he was born to play. Who else could do it? NOBODY. (Except for maybe Patrick Stewart because I would just LOVE to see that.) This is his turn, I said, exactly like Natalie Portman at the end of Black Swan. His only competition is himself as the genie in Aladdin.

15) Did Alan’s parents just abandon the house and leave everything as is?

If I missed them explaining this, I’m sorry. But I am not sorry about noticing that they clearly abandoned their house and/or belongings? Where did they go? As in the parents? Did they just say, “Screw this. Let’s take the Titanic!” and peace out? Also, they really didn’t take Alan’s blood-stained jacket off the hook in his closet? Bad taste, Parrishes. Let’s re-consider what you’ve done.

16) Did Officer Carl nickname himself “The Sole Man”?

So I’ve come to understand that his nickname is “The Sole Man” because Robin Williams just referred to him as “The Soul Man”, but who called him that? Did he call himself that? Because you know what they say about people who give themselves nicknames: please don’t ever do it.

17) Evidently, the whole town relied on a shoe company for its economic success

Failed towns are very sad, and unfortunately it is a phenomenon that is very real in North America, but did this New England town seriously rely only on the Parrish Shoe Place to survive? Did EVERYONE work at the shoe factory? Clearly everyone did, because when it shut down, the entire town turned into the worst parts of the worst cities in the entire world. Or was Mr. Parrish just their mayor and/or leader? “When he fails, we all fail!” was the motto, maybe. Also, I love how the guy squatting in the shoe factory offers Robin Williams coffee.

Also, 17) b) “I don’t think anybody loved his boy as much as Sam did.”

Said the squatter, after offering the aforementioned coffee and directing Robin Williams to the graveyard with zero context. OF COURSE nobody loved “his boy as much as Sam did.” Also, OF COURSE you told Robin Williams – who clearly is lost – that Adam St. is a graveyard. Wait. No you didn’t. Because you’re a jerk.

Shout out to this lady, by the way:

18) Peter is a genius

All reverse psychology on a 30-somethng-year-old man to get him to play the board game responsible for years of misery? Playing up the PTS like there’s no tomorrow, WELL DONE. You did it, young little Peter! But in all fairness, Robin Williams, maybe Peter does know what “afraid” is. We have no idea what Peter’s been through. Also, love the “there is no ready” courtesy of Robin Williams, channeling Yoda, channeling a damaged Alan Parrish. Imagine Monopoly was this fun?

19) BON-NIE HUNT!

There are few people that rule nearly as much as Bonnie Hunt, and I am absolutely completely uninterested in every hearing about them ever again. First of all, she’s a comedic genius. Second of all, her wardrobe! Remember how all of us saw the blue cardigan and the rings and maybe dress the exact same way today in 2011? Maybe some of us also tried to dress this way in 1995 but it went awry because we were 10 and our moms still dressed us. ALSO, lastly, just, she rocks. She rocks so hard! And then she plays Steve Martin’s wife in that movie about the dozen kids, and continues to be our hero for all time.

20) LOL to Robin Williams tricking Sara Whittle into playing the game

“LOLOL” – Kanye West, watching that scene in Jumanji

21) The guy that plays Mr. Parrish and Bruce Ismay also plays that maniac serial killer

Which is cool. What ISN’T cool is that this guy shoots human beings? Is that his “sport”? Is “hunter” another fancy word for “serial killer”? I don’t want to know either way. This guy, though. Clearly battling some inner demons or is in the midst of a psychological game. Now maybe THIS is what THE GAME is actually about! (God, I hope not.)

22) “IT’S A STAMPEDE!!!!!!”

OF EMOTION! And also animals. Two things.

23) Peter is actually the hero of this movie

What’s the recipe for success when it comes to being a hero in a movie called Jumanji? Easy: take one dose of psychological damage (read: “You’re AFRAID, Alan Parrish!”), add a touch of “saving the game from the river”, mix in a side order of “I’m a monkey, but I’m still braver than all of you” and then stir with “call a grown man out on being the worst.” Seems to me like Alan Parrish is jealous of P-Rizzle (what was his last name?) and that’s why he’s stewing with animosity. Maybe also, I guess because he once trapped in the jungle for 36 years. WHATEVER, Alan. GET OVER IT. #FirstWorldProblems

Still absolutely terrifying as monkey though, LET’S BE SERIOUS FOR ONCE IN OUR LIVES.

24) The paint and hardware store scene!!

You know, there’s a lot of action in Jumanji. It is certainly not a rom-com of any means. But the BEST PART is when everyone’s looting at the hardware and/or paint store, and the hunter is after them and OH NO Kiki Dunst blinds Bruce Ismay the Hunter with the price gun laser! SUCKS TO BE YOU, GUY! Too bad Alan almost dies in a batch of quicksand and there’s a typhoon and Judy-slash-Kiki gets bit by one of the bugs and Robin Williams swings from a lamp (well, that was before, but shhh) and comes face-to-face with Bruce Ismay the Hunter in an act of revenge SECONDS BEFORE Peter THE HERO finishes the game and sets everything back in motion and/or time. The final scene of adventure:

“NO SALE” INDEED!

25) THE ENDING IS WHY WE ALL LOVE FILMS

Okay, so first of all, it’s Christmas, which is just the recipe for a successful film end. Secondly, Alan and Sarah hook up! (As in get married! There is not some weird, inappropriate love scene.) And then Kiki and Peter’s parents live and do not go to Canada (IT’S NOT THAT BAD HERE, GUYS) (But okay, fine, yes, avoid the death! And THEN Alan’s parents are alive and well! AND CARL SUCCEEDS AT SHOE-MAKING (I can only assume.) But I mean, RIGHT? MERRY CHRISTMAS AND GOD BLESS US EVERYONE. Tiny Tim is so jealous he was not at Christmas at THIS house or in this world.

“The feel-good movie of the last 47 years!” – my official review

“How did the monkeys learn how to shoot guns?” – still me, trying to make sense of this one weird aspect

“I am not only Bruce Ismay!” – the guy that played Bruce Ismay/Mr. Parrish/Bruce Ismay the Hunter

FIN.

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  1. And PS, this movie scared the crap outta me when I was like 8.

  2. Your posts are my absolute favorite! I live for Old Lady Movie Night.
    <3, Jenna
    http://annoyingfilmperson.wordpress.com

  3. I LOVE THAT MOVIE !! :D Lol

  4. It’s good but I prefer Jumanji In Space. The prize in that one is Dax Shepard;)

  5. Still remember seeing this in the theater. I’ve probably seen it dozens of times since then. So good!

  6. this movie terrified me when i first saw it! probably because i was under 10 at the time but whatever. might try it again though,thanks to your hilarious summary

  7. My first film in the cinema ever, so much love! <3

  8. I remember first watching this movie and then my brother menacingly pounding on the wall between our bedrooms like the drums. And even though I was in high school, I was still basically terrified.

    Also, The Father/The Villain is also a thing in Peter Pan, where traditionally Hook and Mr. Darling are played by the same actor. Which implies a whole oedipal thing where children fear their fathers.

    And yes, the monkey boy was horrible.

  9. What? I loved Monkey Boy Pete. I wanted to make him my pet.

    Aunt Norah=Bebe Neuwirth= LOVE. She’s my brunette Bernadette Peters.

  10. I’m not ashamed to say I still own this movie.

  11. I love this!! I always watch the movie when’s it on.

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