Posts Tagged ‘jon favreau’


The Lion King (2019)

August 29, 2019

The Lion King (2019)

Director: Jon Favreau (The Jungle Book, Chef, Iron Man)

Starring: voices of Chiwetel Ejiofor, John Oliver, James Earl Jones, Donald Glover, Beyonce Knowles, Seth Rogen, Billy Eichner

Anticipation Level: Medium

How Was It? I was pretty bored watching this. Sure, it looks pretty amazing, but it’s not like I was itching to see a version of The Lion King with real animals. While the visual effects add a lot of wow factor, this movie is severely lacking in the magic and fun that made the original a classic – possibly because none of the characters aside from Timon and Pumba really stand out. Actually, Beyonce sort of stood out, but not in a good way; there were a couple of spots where her voice work actually made me cringe a little and trust me, I don’t really want to say anything bad about Beyonce. The coolest thing about this movie was Chiwetel Ejiofor’s voice work as Scar. He was awesome.

I really liked what Favreau did with The Jungle Book, but the live action Disney remake trend is already wearing thin and they’re not about to stop pumping them out. I think the only animated Disney classic I want to see a live action version of at this point is Pinnochio. The 2019 version of The Lion King isn’t bad – I enjoyed it for the most part – but it’s definitely nothing special and that’s pretty sad when you think of how wonderful the 1994 version is. I can’t think of any reason I’d ever want to watch this again. Give me the original 100% of the time.

Replay Value: I think I’ve already covered this.

Sequel Potential: Eek. They made two direct-to-video sequels back in the day and I didn’t watch either of those, but this movie $1.5 billion worldwide so…

Oscar Potential: Favreau’s The Jungle Book won the Oscar for Best Visual Effects so this should probably at least get nominated in that same category.

5/10 (Decent)


The Jungle Book (2016)

May 6, 2016

Starring: Neel Sethi, Ben Kingsley, Bill Murray, Idris Elba
Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Chef, Elf)

Bottom Line: Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book was borderline amazing. Favreau and his team of computer VFX geniuses bring the Disney animated classic to stunning life in this “live action” adaptation. I quote “live action” because all the characters – with the exception of Mowgli – and all the locations are computer generated – and you can barely tell. Of course, motion capture technology has drastically increased the realism of these artificial performances. The voice acting is all A-listers (Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Ben Kingsley, Giancarlo Esposito, Idris Elba) and top notch throughout. I didn’t hate the kid that played Mowgli, but Favreau got a much better performance out of the kid in his last movie, Chef.

While this version of The Jungle Book is far more intense and scary than its predecessors, it should still be suitable for most families, especially those with older kids. The Jungle Book was absolutely gorgeous and a testament to how far animation has come – in fact, it’s the new bar for CGI film making.

Replay Value: I would be happy to watch this again. A must own for families.
Sequel Potential: Crushing the box office = guaranteed sequel (already announced).
Oscar Potential: A strong favorite for any Visual Effects awards – this is really superb work here.

Grade: 7.5 (Must See/Excellent)


Chef (2014)

February 9, 2015

Starring: Jon Favreau, Sofia Vergara, John Leguizamo, Scarlett Johansson
Director: Jon Favreau (Iron Man, Elf)

Bottom Line: Maybe the next time I have a horrible poker session, I’ll come home and watch Chef and then listen to Pharell Williams’ “Happy” on repeat for 30 minutes. If that doesn’t cheer me up, I don’t know what will. Chef was definitely the feel good movie of 2014 – a film so charming I think I had a permanent grin the whole time I was watching it. Jon Favreau plays an aging, former top chef that has grown stagnant and comfortable over the years and finds himself shaken out of his stasis by a scathing review from a food critic. After a hilarious blow up that includes the best use of social media in a film to date, our heroic chef hits the road in a food truck to rediscover his love of cooking and reconnect with his son.

Chef was about as enjoyable as any film I saw from 2014. It’s funny, charming, and entertaining throughout. Jon Favreau continues to establish himself as one of Hollywood’s most underrated directors – and he’s a pretty good actor too! Chef is a slam dunk recommendation and one of the most enjoyable films of 2014.

Replay Value: A feel good movie worth watching multiple times.
Sequel Potential: I’m not sure there is more story here, but the characters are strong enough to consider pursuing further adventures.
Oscar Potential: No nominations.
Nudity: None.

Grade: 7.5/10 (Must See/Excellent)