Monday, June 22, 2015

Jurassic World

Jurassic Park is still one of my favorite movies.  Back when it came out, I thought I’d seen everything.  For a Dinosaur Boy from way back, who until then thought the horrible stop-action animation of The Land of the Lost was the closest I’d see to a live, mobile dinosaur, it changed everything.

I was married (cold chill runs down back) when it first came out and Future-Ex, her kid (who was 9 at the time) and I went to see it in the theater.  I swear, when the movie was over, we could not convince that kid that there weren’t really dinosaurs roaming the earth.  He didn’t believe there was any way all of that action could have been faked.

OK, he was 9, and not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer…

Even the sequels were alright.  Granted, the dinosaurs got smarter and the characters got dumber, but the action and spectacle were still entertaining.  I continue to stop and watch whenever I trip on one them when I’m channel-surfing.

So it was with great anticipation that I was awaiting the release of Jurassic World. And wouldn’t you know, it came out while I was away at NoochFest, so I had to wait until last weekend to see it.

I admit it; I have a 17-year old’s taste in movies.  I like big, noisy, effects-heavy spectacles.  And the more monsters, the better.  Those are the only kind of movies that get me to go to the theater.  When there is an interesting horror, comedy, or “talky” movie, I usually wait for it to come to HBO or DVD.

So as I sat in the theater with the movie unfolding, and later as I left the theater, one thought kept running through my mind:  “This may be the most exciting movie I’ve ever seen.”

Only time will tell how it stands up, but I absolutely loved it.  Sure, there are the usual plot holes and implausibilities you find in most action movies, but you just have to forget about that stuff and go with it.

As I recall, the first movie had a huge one.  I mean, how does a T-Rex just sneak into a room occupied by 4 humans and 2 velociraptors, and no one notices?  And where are the giant footfalls everyone feels every other time T-Rex approaches?

I saw Jurassic World in 3-D, and it really added to the adventure.  There were a couple of times I flinched like a schoolboy and then chuckled at myself afterward.  A few other times, I found myself clutching the armrest as the tension mounted, and had to tell myself, “Dude… MOVIE.”

There are a lot of references to the first movie, both in some of the sets, character references and hell, the entire last sequence!  This one really seems like the legitimate sequel to Jurassic Park.  And it makes the other two look like Lego movies, by comparison.

But for all the tension, suspense and general chaos, the movie was basically bloodless.  Most of the killing takes place out of frame, save for people being gulped down whole.  The first three movies were much gorier. 

 A lot of the initial press I saw about Jurassic World centered on sexism, especially Bryce Dallas Howard’s high heeled shoes.  And I suppose a lot of that criticism is valid.  But you know what?  I just can’t give a rip.  I don’t go to movies to see social justice, I go to put the real world on hold for a couple of hours and be entertained.

I enjoyed the heroine’s character development as she went from an antiseptic, bottom line obsessing manager to a righteous badass, saving the hero’s bacon on a couple of occasions.  It was like she turned into a much hotter version of Die Hard’s John McLean.

Same undershirt and everything.

When I came home from the theater, I texted my nephew and told him I thought he’d like Jurassic World.  He then saw it on Sunday and texted me.

So there you have it, from an old man with a 17-year old’s taste in movies, AND from a legitimate 16-year old, the movie’s a winner.  If you like action movies or any of the other Jurassic Park movies, you owe it to yourself to check this one out.  I may go see it again, and will no doubt buy the Blu-Ray on the day it comes out.

At my showing, a couple of movie previews piqued my interest.  First of all, Ted 2 is coming out this summer.  I got at least 3 belly laughs just from the trailer, so I’ll probably have to go see it, even though it doesn’t really qualify as one of my “spectacle” movies. 

But the new Terminator does… it looks good, but I have to wonder.  I saw all the classic Terminator catch phrases used in the trailer, as well as a big plot twist… did they hold anything back for the movie?  I hate when a trailer shows all the best parts, leaving the feature with nothing but filler.

But the Terminator is one of my favorite series, so you know what they say… “I’ll be back.”


  1. I remember when the first one came out. I snuck into my neighbor's house and watched it, because I wasn't allowed to see it yet. I was only in 5th grade. Scared me so bad I couldn't sleep for the rest of the weekend. Still, best movie ever.

    I need to see this one.

    Also, did you see the meme about this movie, the Terminator and a Bush vs Clinton? About how it's still 1995? LOL.

    1. No, I did not see that meme. Guess I'll have to look for it.

  2. I have been fascinated by dinosaurs for 60 years. I can't wait to see it!

    1. I was also a Dinosaur Boy, growing up, just like my nephew. In fact that was one of our first bonds. Because of his interest, he was allowed to watch JP, but his mom would cover his eyes when it was time for the lawyer to get eaten.

      But there's nothing like the first time you go to a museum and see the Dino skeletons... It hooks you for life.

    2. My grandparents lived in Baltimore and my grandfather took me to the Smithsonian regularly. I was fascinated.

    3. I haven't been to any local museums, remember, I grew up elsewhere and didn't move to Baltimore until 1997. I vaguely remember seeing dinosaur skeletons in a museum in Pittsburgh when I was very young, but I much more clearly remember going to the Field Museum in Chicago when I was in 3rd or 4th grade. Loved that.

      Then as a grownup, I went to the Museum of Natural History in NYC. Now THAT was amazing.

  3. Late update: I saw Ted 2 yesterday. Spent almost two hours laughing my face off. It might even be better than the first one. (And by "better," I mean more vulgar and disgusting.)

  4. I have a 17 year old's taste in movies, too, so I'm excited for this. We're gonna go see it tomorrow. And Ted 2 probably soon.

    The people that bitch about Bryce Dallas Howard running around in heels just like having something to bitch about. My wife does IT work, and often lifts heavy computers and printers while in heels. Why? Because she's a f***ing badass, that's why. I sure couldn't do that. Sexist my ass.

    1. Just to tie things up in a nice bow, when you go to see Ted 2, watch for a brilliant riff on the original Jurassic Park. Much like the T-Rex at the end of the first film, you don't even see it coming.


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