Movie Review: Jurassic World: Kingdom (2018)

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Plot: When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Jurassic World is a damn fine movie, even though it is technically a sequel and almost the 8th (under correction) of the entire franchise. It doesn’t suffer from repetitive writing and its success comes from the fact that the writers and directors knew that they shouldn’t spend too much time on Isla Nublar, and that they should move their cast as fast off the island as possible and continue elsewhere. There is also the considerable charm of Chris Pratt, as well as the beautiful and talented Bryce Dallas Howard, who returns as Claire, the previous operations manager at Jurassic World, and approver of the Indominus Rex.

It is three years after the destruction of Jurassic World, and the dinosaurs are facing extinction again. A volcano is set to erupt on Isla Nublar and take all the now de-extinct dinosaurs with it. Lobbyists are protesting the rights of the dinosaurs, and it is clear that the government does not feel that the dinosaurs deserve the same protection as other endangered animals. Some might say that you can’t really blame governments for adopting this stance. Dr. Iam Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is prepared to say that maybe the universe is sorting out this problem and correcting the mistake Jon Hammond made by making dinosaurs breathe again. Claire is leading a lobby group, and just when she thinks that the dinosaurs can be saved, the government says they are just not doing it.

She is given a lifeline when she’s contacted by Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell), Jon Hammond’s previous cloning and business partner. They had a falling out, and the reason is later revealed as a handy plot device which I won’t be telling you. Lockwood, aided by Eli Mills (Rafe Spall) organizes a convoy to Isla Nublar to save some dinosaurs, and they enlist Claire’s help and that of Owen Grady (Pratt) to especially track the very intelligent Blue, the only remaining velociraptor on Isla Nublar. (They say Blue is the second most intelligent thing on the earth, and I disagree, he’s probably first and humans the fifth)

The convoy heads off to the beautiful and now smoking island, and ulterior motives from some are soon revealed. Double crossing and dangerous behavior is the game of the day and it is soon evident that the worst creature on Isla Nublar is in fact not any of the dinosaurs.

The support cast is fantastic. Justice Smith (as Franklin Webb) provided a number of hilarious moments with his complete freak out in any and every situation. It was a great decision to include this character and actor, and balances things nicely with the hyper-masculine Owen Grady on the other side.

Daniella Pineda as Dr. Zia Rodriguez is a great addition and helpful to bring some female power to the group. She’s straight to the point and a genius and I really liked that she was so integral to the story while not getting some stupid love story to dumb her down.

Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood, granddaughter of Benjamin Lockwood, was adorable and managed to remain a big part of the story.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom starts a little choppy, and the hearings at government feels insincere, but it finds it feet fast as soon as the original duo take over the acting of the film. It is a much darker version of its predecessor, and much different than I expected. There are some moments where I really jumped and squealed and wanted to pack some dinosaurs in my backpack and run away. I don’t want to give too much away, but some of the villains are so creepy that they could have a spinoff and just be villains (well they could have had). There’s lovely footage in the film of Owen Grady bonding with Blue, showing the remarkable intelligence of the Velociraptor, and that was done beautifully. It is a strict reminder that animals aren’t cruel because they are malicious, their actions are nothing but instinct, whereas their human counterparts will eternally find ways to destroy and hurt anything “lesser” than them.

I still think Pratt and Dallas-Howard have zero chemistry, they seem terribly suited even in the film.  They just seem so incompatible and not really comfortable with each other. Big up to the producers who put Dallas-Howard in sensible shoes this time, and didn’t have her running around after dinosaurs in heels like in the first film, because the smack down they received for that took away from a really entertaining film.

The handy plot device is a clear move to keep our main characters morally clean in what happens towards the end of the film. Some might say it was poor writing and an easy out, and some may be right. However, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the Fallen Kingdom is wildly entertaining, thrilling and a good way to keep the franchise alive.

Rating: 8.10

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Movie Review: Jurassic World (2015)

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Plot: A new theme park is built on the original site of Jurassic Park. Everything is going well until the park’s newest attraction–a genetically modified giant stealth killing machine–escapes containment and goes on a killing spree

Rating: 7.5/10

We return to Isla Nublar in a movie that should have been called “Will the Humans never learn?”. Twenty years after the catastrophic events of the first Jurassic Park, Jurassic World is fully functioning as a massive and successful theme park. Park manager Clare (Bryce Dallas Howard) constantly seeks to find new ways to up the visitor rate at Jurassic World. One of these methods involves some dumb assery that involves Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong) creating the Indominus Rex to attract more visitors. The I-Rex, created from different dinosaurs’ DNA, soon shows remarkable capabilities and intelligence, and it is quite soon when the park needs to deal with the knowledge that their 22 000 visitors and Staff members are in danger of becoming luncheon. Clare gets the help of the cocky Owen (Chris Pratt), to save her dumbass nephews from the I-Rex when they don’t follow orders and return to safety.

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Well, I had a whale of a time with this movie. I started out slightly apprehensive because not all the reviews have been great. It was completely worth the watch. It is not as good as the 1993 Jurassic World (I think that will always be my favorite based on nostalgic happiness) but definitely better than the 1997 and 2001 versions. The story isn’t that intricate and the characters are one dimensional, but that is not always needed all the time for some popcorn entertainment. The action looks really and the dinosaurs are as much nerdy entertainment as they were in 1993.

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Chris Pratt definitely works well as a cheeky adventure type and I can see why people would love him as the next Indiana Jones (except Zoë, 😀 ). He’s gorgeous, he’s funny, he has attitude and he acts quite well. Bryce Dallas Howard is actually nauseatingly beautiful and was quite good as the uppity Clare. The kids irritated me, both of them, and I hate that there needs to be kids in movie like these. Ugh.

The dinosaurs were well produced and seemed as realistic as prehistoric animals could possibly look in the 21st century. I really enjoyed the relationship Owen had with his velociraptors and I thought them quite cute if you ignored that they were basically planning everyone’s deaths when you turned your back.

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So many people were bitching about Clare running in heels throughout the movie. Can I just firstly say that feminism will only succeed the day we stop questioning the shoes women wear. HONESTLY, who friggin cares? Secondly, when would she have had the time to change her shoes? It’s not like the I-Rex would stop stomping around and not eat her so that she could change into her Nikes. Thirdly, the shoes suit her character. She’s a business woman, she’s pedantic, and she dresses nicely. So deal with it, okay?

I did find that the movie was really sexist in some aspects. I would usually let it slide because the moments were silly, but I think if your 1993 predecessor has more feminist notions than the 2015 sequel, something must be mentioned. Owen especially treated Clare like a moron. I mean, she didn’t create the super monster without disclosing its’ genetic traits, did she? No. It gets better throughout the movie and she saves the day a number of times, but Owen’s treatment of her started out extremely sexist and I did not appreciate it one bit.

Apart from them failing our equal rights ideals, Jurassic World was really well done and very entertaining. I think most people will really enjoy this – it is popcorn fun, so don’t expect too much in terms of multi layered villains (I mean, the I-Rex wanted basic food that’s all). There are some touching scenes with some of the dinosaurs and the characters have their expected romances and fights, and it will certainly keep you entertained for the duration of the film.

Movie Review: 50/50 (2011)

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Joseph Gordon-Levitt stars as the cancer patient Adam, a journalist in Seattle who has the type of girlfriend that deserves to be slapped by the womanhood of proper women for being so selfish. Initially, her selfishness is limited to her hatred of Adam’s best friend Kyle (Seth Rogen) and that constant babbling of I’m just not sure I love you but I do want to be with you don’t be angry fucked up attitude. After Adam is diagnosed with cancer, he tells Rachael (Bryce Dallas Howard) that she can leave if she wants to but she decides to stay. However, she doesn’t want to go into the hospital with him and forgets to pick up her boyfriend who has cancer from the hospital after treatment. Kyle finds Rachael kissing another man and takes photo evidence to Adam to prove his point. Adam and Rachael break up and she still tries to make everything about poor her.

Adam’s therapist Katherine (Anna Kendrick) is very inexperienced and awkward and only has textbooks to go on, not any job experience. When Rachael “forgets” Adam after his treatment, Katherine takes him home and the line between doctor-patient or friends begin to blur. Adam makes a few friends during chemo treatments, older men who smoke pot for the pain. Adam quickly starts joins them.

One of his friends suddenly die and Adam is terrified of dying when he hears his treatment is not working and that he has to undergo an operation. The night before the surgery he and Kyle fights and he accuses his friend of using his disease to get girls but later finds a book about supporting cancer patients and proves that Kyle really cares and is trying to help.

On surgery day, Adam hugs his friend and apologizes. Will Adam survive? What will happen between him and Katherine?

Rating: 7.5/10

50/50 was good because it is a good movie about a horrible topic. Cancer movies are usually tear jerkers designed with melodrama to incapacitate the watcher with tears. 50/50 is a more realistic version of what happens to people with deadly illnesses and how they handle it. It shows that true colors will emerge in crisis, that people don’t magically become saints after being diagnosed and that your close network of friends inevitably contains douche bags who will find a way to drop you and make it your fault.

Seth Rogan proved that he has more to him than stupid comedies and I thought he did so well as Adam’s friend. His pure enjoyment when Adam dumped Rachael was funny and justified. His unapologetic hatred of her endears him to all who watches. Anna Kendrick always seems vapid but that worked out well with Katherine – she was truly a very awkward therapist. I need to watch more stuff with Bryce Dallas Howard in since I really despise her now because she was such a selfish woman in here and such a vengeful vampire in Twilight.

The endings with cancer movies are always a risk to take. I am not telling you if Adam lives or not, because you really want to watch this, but I think that the end was good and not obvious – things can swing either way right up until the end.