Before “Jumanji” gets a rumored remake with Kevin Hart and Duwayne Johnson, the locals of West Michigan have made their desires pretty clear this 1995 film is the one they want to see as a part of the Friday night double feature that includes “Ferris Bueller's Day Off.”
The selection of “Jumanji” was via the public vote that selected this film to close this year’s wildly popular Downtown Grand Rapids Inc.’s (DGRI) outdoor Movies in the Park 2016 program. (“Jumanji” plays before “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.”)
“Jumanji” is about a board game that possesses magical powers allowing the players an opportunity to unlock them as they embark on an adventure outside their four walls.
As this eclectic cast of familiar faces begin to engage with Jumanji — a jungle-themed game — they release Alan Parrish, played by Robin Williams. Parrish has been trapped in the game for decades and can only be fully free if the kids continue to play the game.
Sure, the premise is pretty straight forward and so, apart from a few giant bugs, ill-mannered monkeys firing off sight gags, and stampeding rhinos in a home setting, this is fairly family-friendly. But I will let you decide if the plot point of hunter Van Pelt — who only fires off his guns at people — is appropriate for your kid.
I still think that while this is kind of a depressing story if you dive too much into the characters’
back stories, the film is a touch point for many who are now starting families of their own and want to introduce their young ones to the joys of a simple
adventure named “Jumanji.”
As to the other film showing on Friday, “Ferris Bueller's Day Off” is a laugh-
loud story about a high school boy who will do everything he can to not have to go to school. It all comes to the final act with a Beatles’
song that is surely the biggest moment I can recall from this classic film.
If only Ferris’ Friday night showing could attract just 10 percent of the thousands who attended Paul McCartney’s Van Andel Arena show earlier this week, then we would have all the makings for the biggest sing-a-long ever in the history of the city. (And yes, I am tossing you a solid program idea for next year, DGRI
. Hedwig, please!)
As always, you are free to bring in your favorite beverages, but you can give the picnic basket a night off because our local Grand Rapids Food Truck Association has
invited the following to serve your appetite: A Moveable Feast Truck, River City Cup&Cake, Dorothy and Tony's Gourmet Popcorn, Toppers Pizza, Blue Spoon Catering & Event Planning, Riverside Hot Dogs, RIX STIX Pronto Pup, Love's Ice Cream, What The Truck, and Daddy Pete's BBQ.