Monday, May 2, 2016

Review - Jurassic World (2015)

Yes, that's right, your long international nightmare is finally over.  My crappy movie review blogs are back.  Now, without further ado, let's just get right into the meat of why exactly I took a 4-month hiatus from blogging:  I was busy.   Yep.  Now you know.  I've upended your world, haven't I?  Now let's get to the review.

Jurassic World (2015) is playing on HBO this month.  Honestly, I was going to review it last weekend, but, you guessed it, I was busy.  Yeah.  Crazy shit happens sometimes.  Jurassic World is, I think, the 4th or 5th movie in the Jurassic Park series, although, without the return of any of the major stars of the first 3 or 4 movies (I at least expected Jeff Goldblum in this one, he's not doing much but TV commercials lately, right?), I'm not sure you can even call this one part of the original series.  Instead, we've got a completely new set of human actors, although, if you want to count the T-Rex and Velociraptors from the original movies as returning stars, then they have returned to shock and awe us again with their awesome CGI effects!  Ahem.  Well.  I hope they at least fed them a CGI cow, for all the work they did to try and make this movie good.  After all, without the CGI dinosaurs, it's just a bunch of rich people driving around in a jungle.  WITH the dinosaurs, well, let's just sum things up real quick.

Jurassic World is an amusement park, built over and on top of the original Jurassic Park.  It's already open, has been for years, run by Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) without any incident.  But with attendance dropping off as people get used to the dino-attractions, the park's chief investor Masrani (played by Irrfan Khan) has requested "more teeth," so to speak.  To meet his goals, the labs have made the dinosaurs bigger, meaner, more aggressive, well, more predatory.  Enter the military, represented by Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), who also want meaner, more aggressive dinosaurs...  and are paying Owen (Chris Pratt), an ex-Navy Seal (or something) to train the Velociraptors to respond to commands.  So, you've got more aggressive dino's, military bungling, and Velociraptors tossed into a hot, steamy blender!  I know what you're thinking.  Recipe for disaster!  Well, you're right.  You'd think someone, at some point, would listen to Malcolm from the last three movies, and take the hint.  But, you'd be wrong.

The CGI dinosaurs are the stars of the Jurassic movies, and I like that they gave the raptors more personality, but made them more tamable.  The old raptors would never have let themselves get caged up for long, but these raptors strangely spend a large part of the movie completely immobilized, their heads poking out of steel boxes, like muzzled horses kept in stalls.  I'd love to know how they actually managed to muzzle raptors, and frankly, the raptors are worse off for the humiliation.  How do they even eat, caged up like that?  There are two other dino-stars in the movie, and I'll let you figure those out, because I don't want to give too much away.

There's a little gut-wrenching twist about 2/3rds of the way through this movie that I didn't quite see coming until just before it happened.  Honestly, it's kind of a dead give-away, if you watch the behavior of the raptors, which I was, but I didn't realize it until right before it happened.  Should probably have been obvious, but meh.  I may be slipping.  Getting old, and all.  :-)

The human acting wasn't all that great.  I didn't identify with any of the characters, or particularly like any of them.  You've got someone trying to tame a raptor, you've got a military jerk, you've got a controlling woman trying to run a park who can't remember her nephew's names and ages half the time, and a rich guy who can barely fly a helicopter who thinks he can run combat missions.  Although, I have to admit, I did like Masrani's guts.  Maybe the only sympathetic character in the entire movie.  And of course, they end the movie pretty much the same way as every other Jurassic Park movie, so, not particularly surprising, how it turned out.

Did I like Jurassic World?  Meh, it was okay.  Fulfilled my dino-fix for the next few years, until they come out with another Jurassic movie.  Maybe the next one will be better, and maybe they will take all the previous mistakes into account, and just come up with a better script next time, instead of making the same tired old mistakes.  I know they are plot elements, but come on, guys.  Even an idiot learns something after half-a-dozen failures.  Repeat watching isn't too bad.  Like I said, the CGI dinos are the real stars, just like the CGI superheros are the stars of Avengers movies.  Maybe give the dinos more character, and do the same for the actors, next time?  Just a suggestion.

In other news, Jon Snow still knows nothing, but at least he has the chance to learn.  Yes, as most of you have heard (and huge spoiler for those who haven't), Jon Snow is alive, and the latest season of Game of Thrones has started on HBO.  It was kind of obvious as soon as I saw last week's season opener.  A few loyal Night's Watch, upset their Lord-Commander was killed, and secreting his body away, I can understand.  A bunch of people hiding the body in a store room, and guarding it with their lives?  Who guards a dead body?  I mean, unless you're expecting it to rise from the dead (which in this case, it does), you just burn it or bury it.  Corpses aren't worth dying over.  The minute they started guarding the corpse last week, I knew some freaky shit was going on.  Given the prophecy about whoever the heck was supposed to be wielding some fiery blade (always knew that meant Jon Snow, myself, because of his Valyrian steel sword), and that the North is pretty much going to be lost to the Walkers without Jon Snow leading the Watch, well, they couldn't very well let him die.  Enter Ser Davos and the Red Witch, and BLAM!  Mystical shitstorm!  Yea, I knew it was coming, and all that crap about Jon Snow being dead was a smokescreen.  Hell, I read the books.  I know things.  I'm not like Jon Snow.  Did anything else interesting happen?  Nope, that's pretty much it.

Only three people I like in the whole series, that's Tyrion (who may have befriended a couple dragons last night), Jon Snow (who knows nothing EXCEPT how to fight a battle well), and Arya Stark (always liked assassins, a holdover from my fascination with Ninjas back in the 80's).  Well, I do also like Ser Davos, because that Liam Cunningham is a damn good actor, and he plays the onion knight very well.  Liam Cunningham for the next Bond, anyone?  Anyone?  Okay, maybe not.  Bond's not about good acting, he's about blowing shit up and looking good doing it.

That's all for tonight.  Don't want to wear out my blogging fingers on my first night back, now do I?  Yea, you're damn right I don't.  And, I lost a follower!  Woohoo!  Back down to 1.  Heh.  Sorry, I'm shy.  Not much for the attention, you know?  Why do I even write a blog, I bet you're asking, if I don't want followers?  Who the hell knows why anyone does anything?  It's a crazy world.  I call it movie therapy.  :-)  Well, it's the first time I ever called my blog movie therapy, but from now on, I will.

Have fun out there in the intertoobz, everybody!  I always do.

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