Based on the book by Chris Van Allsburg, "Jumanji: Welcome To The Jungle" follows four high-school kids who discover an old board/video game console with a game they've never heard of––Jumanji. They are immediately drawn into the game's jungle setting, literally becoming the avatars they choose: gamer Spencer becomes a brawny adventurer (Johnson); football jock Fridge loses (in his words) "the top two feet of his body" and becomes an Einstein (Hart); popular girl Bethany becomes a middle-aged professor (Black), and wallflower Martha becomes a bad-ass warrior (Gillan). What they discover is that you don't just play Jumanji––you must survive it. To beat the game and return to the real world, they'll have to go on the most dangerous adventure of their lives, discover what Alan Parrish left 20 years ago, and change the way they think about themselves––or they'll be stuck in the game forever. (Gary Reber)
Special features include five featurettes: "Journey Through The Jungle: The Making Of Jumanji" (HD 14:54), "Meet The Players: A Heroic Cast" (HD 07:08), "Attack Of The Rhinos!" (HD 03;56), "Surviving The Jungle: Spectacular Stunts!" (HD 05:47), and "Book To Board Game To Big Screen & Beyond! Celebrating The Legacy Of Jumanji" (HD 04:44); a gag reel (HD 02:25); the "Jumanji, Jumanji" music video by Jack Black and Nick Jonas (HD 03:55); upfront previews; and a Movies Anywhere digital copy.
The 2160p HEVC/H.265 UltraHD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed digitally using the Arri Alexa Mini camera system and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. A 3D stereo conversion was performed by Gener8 Canada and Gener8 India, but no 3D Blu-ray Disc release. Picture quality is superb with numerous stylized environments filled with a multitude of visually arresting imagery from dense and panoramic jungle vistas to an unusual Turkish bazaar to an underground cave, to an open hut in the jungle, Resolution is excellent with fine detail exhibited throughout in facial features, skin pores, hair, beards, clothing, vegetation, and object textures that make up the various man-made environments. Detail is often incredible, such as Jack Black's explorer hat. The color palette is nicely saturated with the wider color gamut displayed in all manner of shadings in the jungle and amongst the other environments, Fleshtones consistently are rendered naturally. Numerous scenes exhibit warm and rich hues. HDR contrast is excellent throughout with deep blacks, excellent shadow delineation, and bright highlights as exhibited in natural sunlight and set lighting. WOW! segments are from 00:57:14 to 00:59:35, 01:15:58 to 01:21:16, and 01:40:18 to 01:42:20.
The Dolby Atmos/Dolby TrueHD 7.1-channel soundtrack delivers an aggressive holosonic® spherical surround soundfield, with strongly energized atmosheics and sound effects such as stormy lightening, gunfire, animal roars, explosions, rockets, motorcycles, falls from sky and other effects, especially the deep-sounding drums. Deep bass is often exciting and powerful, extending to sub-25 Hz in the .1 LFE channel, as with the stampeding albino rhinos and the helicopter, as well as the sound of a stampeding elephant and the roar of Jaguar cats. The latter are powerfully dynamic as is much of the soundtrack, with the effect of enhanced energized surrounds. An effectively active orchestra score spans the soundstage wide and deep and extends aggressively to the four surround sounds.
As for the Immersive Sound element, it takes off at the start of the game after the kids choose their characters. The music is prominent throughout as well as numerous atmospherics in the jungle, though often subtle, as well as powerful sound effects such as the characters falling from the sky after one of their deaths in the game, a thunderous sound when the jewel is removed, rocket explosions, a powerful waterfall, footsteps, a helicopter bursting through shed doors, and overhead briefly, an emergency siren, helicopter spinning blades, powerful lightening thunder, Jaguar cats running and other nuanced atmospherics. While the music really carries the height sensation, much has been disregarded by the sound designers.
Still, the ear-level soundfield really delivers the excitement with an aggressive enveloping presence that is well crafted, for a sonic experience that will not disappoint. (Gary Reber)