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An Adventure For Those Who Seek To Find A Way To Leave Their World Behind. 

Year: 1995 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC PG Cert – Parental guidance 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  

Computer graphics ahoy! If you loved Jurassic Park and you're willing to overlook such luxuries as character depth and plot, then this is the film for you. I don't want to sound down on it though, Jumanji is a tremendously enjoyable romp and an impressive debut from the CGI special effects director (who contributed effects to the ground-breaking film The Abyss - the special edition of which is screened this term).

In the 60s, youngsters Alan and Sarah discover a strange looking board game called Jumanji. Rolling the dice, and beginning the powerful game, Alan is sucked (literally) into the proceedings and trapped in the board forever. Cut to 26 years later, and the arrival of Peter and Judy (Dunst - who was so incredible in Interview with a Vampire). Opening the long forgotten game, they unleash an adult Alan - a typically frantic and loony Williams - and the terrible dangers of the Jumanji jungle. They must complete the game before the house is utterly destroyed by flash floods, stampedes of elephants etc and manic monkeys - or before the effects budget runs out, whichever comes first.

I must admit, I went along expecting a turgid and flaccid effects fest - but oh my, was I wrong. Jumanji is an outstanding adventure - well worth sitting relatively still for an hour and a half. James Horner does the same fab score he always does for adventures (pan pipes=jungle, apparently) - and Williams and Bonnie Hunt (as the dippy, screwed-up adult version of Sarah) are a joy to behold. Oh, and the effects are good.

Mark Chambers

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Screenings of this film:

1996/1997 Autumn Term (35mm)