Sandy Kenyon reviews 'Jumanji: The Next Level,' 'Richard Jewell'

NEW YORK (WABC) -- Holiday season at the box office has officially arrived, and among the new openings this weekend are the much-anticipated "Jumanji" sequel as well as the much talked about "Richard Jewell" -- the story of the hero who was at one point suspected in the bombing at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.

These two movies could not be more different, and I was amused by one and absorbed by the other.

The third in a series of "Jumanji" movies, called "Jumanji: The Next Level," will not disappoint those who enjoy watching young people go into a game their parents might have played.

New cast members Danny DeVito and Danny Glover join a familiar group of friends who follow one of their pals into an ancient video game. The old guys in the kitchen get sucked into the game, and when they reach "Jumanji," their avatars -- or characters -- look nothing like them.

Dwayne Johnson sure looks like "The Rock," but inside, he's DeVito.

The rules of the game say each of them can get killed twice on the way to finding their friend who is lost inside the game, and this is a journey best appreciated by those who enjoyed the previous movies.

"Richard Jewell" was hailed as a hero when he discovered a bomb during the Atlanta Olympics, but he soon found himself accused of the crime -- the victim of a rush to judgment by the FBI and the local media.

A reporter is shown propositioning an agent played by Jon Hamm, which has caused controversy.

Director Clint Eastwood has been accused of playing fast and loose with the facts, but that shouldn't detract from the excellent performances by Sam Rockwell as Jewell's lawyer, Kathy Bates as his mother, and especially Paul Walter Hauser in the title role of the hapless innocent.

The late Richard Jewell was eventually cleared, and another man confessed to the crime many years later. The reporter, who is named and shown in the movie, died in 2001.

Her colleagues deny she ever slept with a source, but this was not journalism's finest hour, and my hope is that this detail will not dissuade you from going to see one of the best movies of the year.

* Follow us on YouTube
* More local news
* Send us a news tip
* Download the abc7NY app for breaking news alerts
Copyright © 2022 WABC-TV. All Rights Reserved.