Tuesday, 4 October 2011

233: Dino-Season!

CAUTION: Yen's blog contains harsh language and even harsher notions of propriety. Reader discretion is advised.


I wouldn't normally do a season-review for three films, but JURASSIC PARK IS ON IN THE FLIPPING CINEMA AGAIN! As part of Universal's push for the BluRay release, JP returns for a 2-week release, as did Back To The Future around this time last year. There's nothing new in there, it's just a remastered print, shown in digital projection.

So, does it stand the test of time? Is an 18yr old movie still worth watching?





Jurassic Park
On: 23rd September 2011
Location: THE FLIPPING CINEMA!!

I'll be honest, as much as I loved Jurassic Park back in '93, I haven't watched this in quite a while (only bought it on DVD a month ago… seriously), and I'd forgotten what an absolute game changer this was back in the day.
Almost every aspect of the film still stands up in 2011. An absolute joy to behold.

Thoughts-as-I-go in the second review, below.

7/7







Jurassic Park: The Lost World
On: 25th September 2011
Location: Home (they're not all on at the flicks…)

• The weather seems variable on Isla Sorna. In the first shot, it's overcast with cloud, but a minute and a half later, blue skies with small white clouds.
• Considering how many faces from the first movie are here (even just in token catch-up appearances), and that Spielberg himself is directing, this really is a low-key sequel.
• That being said, Vince Vaughan has a role, and given his subsequent career, this is probably the least bland film he's been in.
• Julianne Moore's character is called Sarah Harding. Watching the movie in 2011, I can't help but feel that if they'd sent the Girls Aloud member, the velociraptors would have been terrified into submission…
• I find it hard to believe that InGen's trustees would send a hunting party to site-B to capture live dinosaurs, when they could just use the already documented procedures to create them on the mainland, surely? The amber used for the DNA samples wasn't native to the islands, and the tech was shipped there. Everyone concerned knows the islands are over-run, where's the sense in sending people in?
• Ooh, lots of the baddies have Brit accents. Hunter men bad! They hunt dinosaur! Goodies frown at bad man! *rolls eyes*
• Parts of Isla Sorna look suspiciously ilke Endor. Those Ewoks wouldn't have been intimidated by the Velociraptors. Speaking of which…
• …even after our heroes join survivalist forces with the hunting party (whose job it is to kill things, they journey into the centre of the island un-armed. How fucking dumb are this lot?
• Not too impressed with a smartarsed preteen gymnast outwitting a velociraptor, but as the first movie proved with hacker-Lex, if you're going to include whiny kids, they have to have one talent which will come in useful in a life-threatening situation.
• The Japanese businessmen running from the T-Rex is a nice touch.

This film would be a lot better if the characterisation wasn't so cartoonish. It's a kind of straight-to-video sequel, without the aspect of going straight-to-video.
On its own? A five or a six. As a sequel to one of the greatest movies of all time? A solid four, I'm afraid.

4/7







Jurassic Park III
On: 25th September 2011
Location: Home

• Like its predecessor, the film starts with another "oh, you guys, what could possibly go wrong?" concept…
• In fact, the main plot's a borderline rip-off of Aliens, with its let's go back to a known disaster site to rescue the colonists gubbins, coupled with finding a child who's survived purely on instinct.
• Spinosaurus? You couldn't think of a better name than Spinosaurus? Hmmmf. No-one outbadasses my T-Rex. No-one, y'hear?
• If any of the films could justify some harsh language to up the BBFC rating a little, it's this one. I'm pretty sure that Alan Grant would be giving it some "hey, how about you shut the fuck up and maybe don't attract more bastard dinosaurs, hmm?
• I can forgive Neill's moralising 'this is how you play God' schpiel, seeing as we get some raptor-action.

Despite the film's faults, (and there aren't as many as Lost World), it's still got a great sense of adventure, and it's good to see Sam Neill back in the fold.

5/7
That's a strong five, but it just ain't a six ;)







Jurassic Park
On: 25th September 2011 (yes, I watched all three in one day)
Location: Home

• The only major gripe I have about Jurassic Park is that it's in 16:9 instead of 2.35:1.
• John Williams' score is absolutely beautiful. It gives the film a gravity that many/most other adventure movies lack completely. The themes almost become characters themselves.
• In the first 'money shot' where the team see the Brachiosaur, keep an eye on the sky. Overcast one minute, sunny the next, with ground-shadows coming and going accordingly. I suppose I'm not meant to be looking up there, though.
• I love how young Lex gets into the car and exclaims "It's an interactive CD-Rom!", while these days, a kid that age would be wondering what the hell a CD-Rom is.
• I always forget that Sam Jackson's in this. Probably because of how criminally underused he is.
• Normally, I'd be moaning about the stereotype of the fat, cocky, lazy, insubordinate computer programmer, but since I do know people like that…

Even on the small-screen, this film is amazing. I never get tired of hearing the trumpeting roar of the T-Rex...

7/7






And so, the toys and the VHSs go back into the loft, encased in their own special amber (aside: cardboard), and the four-disc steelbook sits on the DVD shelf. That'll be the last time I watch them for a while. Not because they're not worth it, but just because I never want to become overly familiar with the parts I love the most.

Rumours continue to circulate about JP4, and if Joe 'Captain America' Johnston's onboard for directing, as suggested, I'll be there on the first day. Hell, I'll be there on the first day anyway.

If you've never seen any of these, you owe it to yourself to at least watch the first one.
These movies are seriously underrated.

DISCLAIMERS:
• ^^^ That's dry, British humour, and most likely sarcasm or facetiousness.

• This is a personal blog. The views and opinions expressed here represent my own thoughts (at the time of writing) and not those of the people, institutions or organisations that I may or may not be related with unless stated explicitly.

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