Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World

As one gets older, the thing that takes a lot of getting used is the shifting perception of the passing of time. For example, I would swear to you that it wasn't that long ago that I first saw Jurassic Park in the theater. But the hard, cold numbers that show the passage of time tell me otherwise. 22 years since Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern & Sam Neill landed in a tropical paradise of genetic science run amok. Dinosaurs formed from DNA taken from mosquitoes trapped in amber. Genetic science was just captivating the edges of our knowledge and our imagination. And Steven Spielberg and company led a production of ground breaking specials effects and heart stopping action that can't possibly be more than 2 decades old, can it? 

Yes. Yes it can. 

So we have a new entry in the world of Jurassic Park actually called Jurassic World that builds on a foundation created back in 1993 while nimbly sidestepping the 2 subsequent sequels. It is a rollicking adventure of "what else can go wrong" as once again, the folly of man's control comes up against forces of nature that are beyond that control.

I think the original film is in no danger of losing its place as a cultural touchstone. Even with the latest advances in movie special effects, the first Jurassic Park is still the better movie over Jurassic World. But taken on its own merits, Jurassic World still delivers a very entertaining 2 hours of dinosaurs and dinosaurs eating people.  

Here are some random thoughts on the movie.

Chris Pratt should star in everything. After his incredible turn as Peter Quill in Guardians of the Galaxy last year, Pratt turns up here as what I will call a "raptor whisperer" named Owen. Owen it seems has a quartet of raptors who will listen to him. That's nice.

Not so nice is Vincent D'Onfrio who is on hand as a slime ball who wants to take that ability and weaponize raptors for military use. D'Onfrio is really good at this sort of thing. (Check out his portrayal of the Kingpin in the Daredevil series on Netflix.) If the script says "slime ball", Vincent D'Onfrio's phone is sure to ring. 

Bryce Dallas Howard is Claire, a marketing executive in charge of keeping people interested in a theme park filled with dinosaurs. Which is apparently harder than you think. She's also tasked with keeping watch over her sister's two sons who are on the island while Mommy and Daddy are back home wrapping up their divorce that their sons are not supposed to know about but they do anyway. The first thing we see of Claire is a shot of her feet in a pair of high heeled pumps. Get used to those shoes because they inexplicably stay on her feet throughout the rest of the movie. I mean lots of running and jumping across concrete and mud. Seriously, I accept the idea of dinosaurs running around an island in the 21st century more than those shoes surviving the entirety of Claire's adventures.  And I'm not the only one with questions about this; click here for this entry on the subject of Claire's footwear.  

Jimmy Fallon has a cameo as Jimmy Fallon, hosting a safety video and not staying very safe in the process. Which kind of mirrors what's going down in the park. 

I couldn't help think that actor Irrfan Khan was channeling his inner Robert Downey Jr as Tony Stark as the CEO who owns Jurassic World, an eccentric billionaire who likes to spend his money on things less in the interest of making more money and mostly because its cool. He flies his own helicopter, just not very well, but he doesn't care. His appearance evokes Tony Stark but not the actual Tony Stark which is a shame because Iron Man vs. Dinosaurs would be awesome! 

Overall, I and the rest of the El family had a very good time out at the movies with Jurassic World. It may not be a great film but its definitely a good film if you define good as "lots of dinosaurs eating people and fighting each other". And I do.

Everyone be good to one another. 

And don't get eaten by dinosaurs. It's gross!

I'm So Glad My Suffering Amuses You

One Less Republican

Veteran GOP strategist Steve Schmidt renounced his Republican Party membership. The following is taken from a series of tweets that Schm...