The Jungle Book is a live-action epic adventure based on Rudyard Kipling's timeless stories, inspired by Disney's classic 1967 animated film and centered on Mowgli (Sethi), a man-cub who's been raised by a family of wolves. But Mowgli finds he is no longer welcome in the jungle when fearsome tiger Shere Khan (Idris Elba), who bears the scars of Man, promises to eliminate what he sees as a threat. Note that the 3D version will be available later in 2016. (Gary Reber)
Special features include commentary with Actor/Writer/Director Jon Faveau, the featurettes The Jungle Book Reimagined (HD 35:02), I Am Mowgli (HD 08:18), and King Louie's Temple: Layer By Layer (HD 03:14), upfront previews and a digital copy.
The 1.85:1 1080p AVC picture is terrific and full of jungle atmospherics and complex and intricate earth shapes. The realism is impressive throughout. The climatic shifts are wonderfully realistic, from humid to dry to rain to mist. The color palette is perfectly natural, dominated by earth tones in foliage, trees, ground cover, and fiery red flower ambers. Mowgli's fleshtones are naturally grungy, bruised, and scratched. The animals are varied and numerous, all rendered with incredible realism and seemingly accurate tones. King Louie is a real treat to examine in all his enormousness and complexity. Contrast is well balanced with deep black highlights and revealing shadow delineation throughout, such as in the night scenes, the bear den, and King Louie's Temple. Bright scenes are perfectly natural as well. Resolution is fantastic, such as depicted in Mowgli's bodily features and hair, the red cloth Mowgli wears, the fur on the wolves and the bear, as well as other creature exteriors, and object textures in foliage, trees, rocks, and ground cover. This is a marvelous visual experience that is mesmerizing in natural beauty. This is a spectacular picture that will fascinate every member of the family. Soon the 3D version will be released, which was absolutely wonderful theatrically. (Gary Reber)
The DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack combines live actor dialogue, along with talking animals, nicely voiced with generally decent spatial integration. At times the voices are directionalized. Narration is well balanced against the other sound elements. John Debney's music score features a classic orchestral and choral sound accented by ethnic instruments and pays homage to the original film by highlighting snippets of the classic songs. The fidelity is excellent. The music aggressively occupies every channel and creates an effective holosonic® presence, with wide channel separation and balanced integration. Deep bass is delved in the music as well as in occasional atmospherics and scenes of peril. Bass extends to sub-25 Hz at times. Foley sound effects enhance the realism of movements in the jungle, and bird and animals sounds also are naturally presented with effective directionality. This is a wonderfully rich sonic experience that sounds dynamic along with excellent fidelity, and a stirring music score that will delight all ages in the family. (Gary Reber)