Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Welcome to

Jurassic World
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Cast: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Jake Johnson, BD Wong
Released: June 12, 2015
Viewed in theaters: June 16, 2015

If you remember, a few years back I posted my top ten most memorable movie experiences and, of course, Jurassic Park made the cut.  After my brother had seen it with his friends and hearing him rave about it, I didn't want to be left out and wanted to see it too, so my mom took me. The movie scared me so much....and so did my mom as she kept grabbing me every time something scary happened and that scared me more sometimes! But I loved seeing those movie dinosaurs come to life and had a lot of fun watching it, that I didn't mind I almost had a heart attack a couple times during the duration of the film!

The last time I saw Jurassic Park was July 2007 so I would like to revisit it and write a review. I don't have any plans on re-watching its two god-awful sequels (both last seen in August 2007) so don't expect anything on those. Remember that scene where Malcolm's daughter does a gymnastics trick to take out one of the velociraptors? Yeah...so bad. Not surprisingly, Jurassic World is heaps better than the sequels...not that that's hard to do! It would have to be a terrible, crappy movie to be worse than those films! However, nothing can top the magic that is the original. And this movie knows it and pays homage to it.

Let me first start off by saying I really enjoyed this movie and had a lot of fun watching it. I did jump several times, said "Oh, shit" aloud a couple times (even though there was a toddler sitting in front of my friend and me...yes a toddler...I don't think she was paying attention or could hear me since the movie was so loud), and even did the put-my-hands-to-my-face-in-shock-and-horror move once (which I also did a lot when I watched Breaking Bad!) It definitely got a reaction out of me. So before I go into spoiler territory, I highly recommend it and think everyone should go and watch it, especially if they were a fan of the original, because they have lots of hidden (well, not so hidden as they're overtly out in the open!) gems throughout.

Spoilers ahoy! Don't read any further if you don't want any surprises! And if you're going to continue to read, go ahead and play the Jurassic Park theme song...I know you have it on your iTunes!

Okay, so it's been 22 years since the events of the first park happened (and 22 years since Jurassic Park played in theaters, coincidentally!) and even though that didn't go so well, the new and improved Jurassic World has been operating for ten (? - I didn't quite catch how many) years without a hitch. You will also have to keep in mind that the movie is smart to pretend the two sequels never happened, so there was never a T-Rex running around in San Francisco or wherever the hell it got lose in the second movie (*faceplam*). They treat the events of the first park as a 9/11-type event. One of the operators wears a vintage Jurassic Park t-shirt and is admonished by his supervisor because wearing it is in poor taste of what happened 22 years ago. Shouldn't they at least be happy that all the main characters survived that horrific event?

Bryce Dallas Howard plays Claire, the operating manager of the park. I have to tell you a (somewhat) funny story. When I first saw the trailer, I just assumed the redheaded woman was Jessica Chastain and I was listening to a podcast about upcoming summer movies and this one was naturally brought up and one of the hosts said it starred Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard and the other one says, "Wait, that's not Jessica Chastain?" which made them both laugh. I was just as surprised as he was because that's who I thought it was all along until I heard that! Anyway, so Claire is very business-like and buttoned up and takes her job seriously and is always looking for ways to keep the park ratings up and get money from sponsors for new and exciting exhibits. This includes introducing a new species of dinosaur that they genetically created called the Indominus Rex, which will be the film's Big Bad. It is the size of a T-Rex (but with longer arms!) with the smarts of a raptor. It has also been genetically given other useful traits from other reptiles and amphibians which helps it be as evil as it wants. Claire mentions that they want to give a new and exciting dinosaur to the public and that viewing the same dinosaurs has the same effect as viewing an elephant at a zoo and that's why they need something new to entice their audience.

Okay, movie. Time out. TIME OUT! WTF? No, just no. That is the sorriest excuse I've ever heard. Yes, the park has been opened for at least ten years, but there's only one place in the world you can go to see real-life dinosaurs: a little island off the coast of Costa Rica called Isla Nublar.  You know the entrance fee's got to be steep, plus you gotta pay for airfare and a place to stay. Most people will probably not have the opportunity to go to this magnificent park, so maybe it's just the same rich people and their families going every year and that's why their spoiled and whiny kids are getting so bored looking at a triceratops or a stegosaurus. "Wah, wah, I'm bored looking at these magnificent animals that have been extinct millions upon millions of years and were only brought back in the span of my lifetime by the wonder of science but I have never known a world without dinosaurs so I don't give a shit and I want to see something new..wah, wah, wah!" That's what it felt like to me, anyway! If John Hammond were still alive, he would never have agreed to such a monstrosity!

Chris Pratt plays Owen, a guy who lives in a shack on the island and works and communicates with the raptors. Now all the raptors from the first movie were killed off, correct? So who thought it would be a good idea to create new raptors? They're only the park's most vicious animal! They didn't make that chirping dinosaur with the clown collar that spit poison into Newman's eyes! (According to Wikipedia, that was a dilophosaurus). So why did they think it was a good idea to give life to more raptors? Okay, yeah, I know a Jurassic Park movie just wouldn't be the same without its raptors! I was a little worried because the previews showed Pratt's character riding his motorcycle among the raptors and another scene had him enclosed with the raptors and it looks like he's in control of them. He appeared to be the Raptor Whisperer and the thought of the raptors becoming pets just made me roll my eyes. While Owen is somewhat of a Raptor Whisperer as he does build a relationship (built on trust) with them, it's not exactly that they're his loyal pets. We find out he is only in the enclosure with them because a new guy who works there has fallen in (and that was the first time I said, "Oh, shit!" aloud - I thought for sure that guy was a goner!) and Owen runs in and has the guy slowly back away as he tries to calm the raptors while telling the other guys not to shoot or otherwise the raptors will never trust him again.

There are four raptors. Their names are Blue, Charlie, Delta, and Echo. Blue is the Beta. Do you see a pattern? "Who is the Alpha?" Tim Murphy 2.0 asks Owen. "You're looking at him," Owen replies. If you didn't already know, Owen is basically a badass. Although I would probably argue that the raptors would disagree with who the alpha is!

Tim 2.0 is Gray (Ty Simpkins) a kid who is visiting Jurassic World with his older brother, Zach (Nick Robinson). Their aunt is Claire, but she is too busy to show them around, so she has her assistant, Zara, chaperone them. They get bored at the dino petting zoo and ditch her. The dino petting zoo was the cutest thing ever! Little kids could ride baby triceratops and baby stegosauruses. One kid hugged a baby brontosaurus and it was just so stinkin' cute! They see a water show attraction of the mosasaurus, this aquatic dinosaur that appears to be 100 times bigger than a great white shark as it eats a shark and it looks like a guppy in comparison! You have to wonder how much it costs to feed this thing (not to mention all the other huge animals that are in the park...I am surprised they aren't bankrupt!)

Claire wants Owen to inspect the exhibit for the Indominus Rex to make sure it is safe before they unveil her to the public. It's not exactly safe yet as she has already tried to break the glass! Here is where we get a scene where everybody but the dinosaur acts like morons. Instead of cameras, they use thermal sensors to find the dino, but it is not showing anything anywhere. Owen notices some claw marks on a wall and it appears as though the I-Rex has escaped. Instead of Claire calling the control center to have them pinpoint where the I-Rex is IMMEDIATELY (all the dinos have tracking devices),  she decides to wait until she is in her car and driving back to headquarters and Owen has already gone into the enclosure with the guard (who is overweight and you immediately know he is gonna be dino-chow!) and some other worker (who is also a tasty meal) to assess the wall. Claire is told that the dinosaur is still in its habitat and she screams and tells them to get everyone out of there. Uh...why wasn't this the first thing they did? If they had just checked to make sure where it was before they started opening doors and letting huge-ass dinosaurs out, this would have never happened! Also, I would like to point out that there were construction workers who were making the walls higher so if they noticed that they were all gone due to being eaten, then yes, maybe they should have been concerned, but didn't they think to check on the workers and ask them if they had seen anything suspicious? We later find out the I-Rex has attained a gene where it can hide from thermal sensors AND it can also camouflage itself which is pretty cool.
Little Foot and Cera!

The boys are the last ones to get on the Gyroscope ride before it is ordered to close down due to a "technical difficulty". This ride is the most ridiculous thing ever. Instead of it being on a track, you can just roam around anywhere you please. True, they were only in the "vegetarian" dinosaurs' land, but some of those dinosaurs are HUGE and could easily stomp on that glass ball and some of them have horns and could ram into them. Even though Jimmy Fallon tells them they are very safe, we soon learn they are not when Zach wants them to go off roads into a restricted area. There they come across the I-Rex and there's a scene very similar to the one in the first movie when Lex and Tim are in the Jeep being attacked by the T-Rex.  The boys manage to run away and jump off a cliff into a lake. The I-Rex just sorts of looks down at the water like, "Where did my snacks go?" This dinosaur is freaking 50 feet tall....jumping off a cliff probably wouldn't be a big deal for it, but she just turns and walks away.

Then we come to the part of the movie which I call the Nostalgia Scene. The kids come across the old building of the first movie and we see the banner that reads "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" and the bones of the dinosaur skeleton that the T-Rex knocked down when it was attacking the raptors. We also see the night vision goggles that Tim wore and the '92 Jeep they rode in. It would have been so cool if they had gone into the kitchen...didn't Sam Neill trap a raptor in a freezer? I really need to watch that movie again! And, of course, while they are discovering the remains of the old Jurassic Park, the theme song is playing. It is just awesome and I loved it. I loved my Jurassic Park shoutouts! Speaking of shoutouts, I guess someone is seen reading Ian Malcolm's book, but I didn't catch that. I did, however, see Mr. DNA (that cartoon DNA thread) make a small cameo. I always loved how he pronounced "Dyno-saaaahs!"

The Indominus Rex is four miles from any attraction and has only killed two employees and the entire tac team they send to take it down. So far the civilians (well, except for Gray and Zach) have been out of harm from it. It is only when the I-Rex breaks into the aviary where chaos ensues. Scores of pteranodons and pterodactyls are released and fly to the center square where they start attacking everyone. This makes me wonder how the aviary worked. Was there a net between the animals and the public? This is where Claire and Owen reunite with the boys and Owen and others are shooting down the flying reptiles. This is also the scene where we get the most gruesome death, not just from this movie, but probably from ANY of the Jurassic movies. Remember Zara? Claire's assistant whose only crime was not watching the two boys because she was too busy talking on her phone? She gets a very horrific and gruesome death that is usually reserved for the really bad people in these movies; you know, the ones who really deserve it. But because the bad guy of this movie will be killed by a raptor (and we'll get to that later), they really didn't have anyone else to spare for this death so I guess Zara was the chosen one. She is picked up by a pteranodon (or maybe it was the other one...), then dropped in mid air before she is scooped up by another, then she is dropped into the lagoon, but the two birds fly in to get her and she is tossed around for awhile, before, finally, the mosasaurus eats both her and the pteranodon. It just went on and on! These were nasty birds! They were even trying to pick up a baby triceratops by its saddle which made me very upset! Luckily it was too heavy for it and wasn't carried off!

So the bad guy I mentioned before is played by Vincent D'Onofrio and he likes how Owen can "train" the raptors and think they should weaponize them and have them trained in combat so they can seek out and kill the enemy. It's pretty much the stupidest idea ever. He's a very slimy character and the raptors snarl at him whenever he gets close to their cage and you just know he is going to get killed by one. And he does. Who didn't see that one coming? He puts his arm out to try to calm the raptor like he's seen Owen do before, but the raptor just bites his hand off. Chomp! But before he goes, he wants Owen and a team of his men to follow the raptors to the I-Rex so the raptors can help take it down. But it turns out the I-Rex is part raptor and can communicate with them and Owen is no longer the Alpha! D'Onofrio and his team are all killed within minutes, but Owen, Claire, and the boys manage to escape with the raptors chasing them. One raptor was killed back when they were hunting the I-Rex, but the other three have the four humans cornered, but Owen somehow manages to calm them down and have them be on his side, so when the I-Rex appears again, she is attacked by the raptors, but really, what can they do? They may be smart, quick, and vicious, and very good at killing people, but they are small compared to the I-Rex and their attempts at attacking her are noble, but not working. Claire notices this and goes to the paddock where the T-Rex is and has her let out. Before this, we had only seen a snippet of the T-Rex when the brothers go to view her. Now it is its time to shine! Claire is wearing high heels and waits until the T-Rex is only a half foot behind her before she starts running. Take off your damn shoes so you don't fall and break your ankle! When she reaches the I-Rex, the T-Rex starts attacking it and Claire collapses right behind one of the T-Rex's feet and in front of the tail. Um, why don't you move so you're out of the way? Good Lord! But she and the others manage to escape to safety while they watch the two dinosaurs fight.

By this time there is only one raptor left. I'm assuming it's Blue as she's the one who seems to be Owen's favorite. I remember seeing two other raptors getting killed, but I don't know how the third one died. There's a slow motion scene where Blue runs at and attacks the I-Rex. It's a very heroic scene, but it just cracked me up how it was done. Remember how the T-Rex was the hero in the first movie? Well, in this movie the hero is the mosasaurus because while the T-Rex and I-Rex are fighting right by the lagoon, it leaps up and grabs the I-Rex by the neck and takes it into the water. Damn, how hungry is this giant crocodile? It's already had a great white shark, a pteranodon, a human, and now a huge-ass dinosaur! And all in one day!

Blue and the T-Rex acknowledge each other and go on their merry way. Everyone has been evacuated safely off the island and the boys are greeted by their tearful parents. Claire and Owen have already kissed, but they share a moment. The T-rex climbs to the top of a mountain. RAWWWWWWWRRRRRR!

A very fun and entertaining movie, but lots of little things that didn't quite make sense.

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