Jurassic World (2015) AKA Hey, Let’s Revisit My Childhood Only with Less Magic and Wonder and With More CGI and Starlord


As a child I was a huge dinosaur fanatic. I watched The Land Before Time over and over again and I had a whole herd of dinosaur toys. Speaking of Littlefoot, I think I’ll be revisiting him soon for the Childhood Films Blogathon put on by Let’s Go to the Movies. I watched Jurassic Park, of course, but I was only 2 years old when it originally came out. So it was never a big favorite of mine, I think it was just too scary for me. But anyways, while that particular movie wasn’t huge to me, dinosaurs were and it has carried over a bit into adulthood (my favorite animals are alligators, the modern dinosaur).
So going into Jurassic World I wasn’t actually all that excited. I was really surprised by its huge opening weekend. I wanted to see some dinosaurs and the Pratt, I didn’t have huge expectations. Which was probably a good thing because I was able to enjoy the movie while watching it. But afterward, when I wasn’t looking at the gorgeous dinosaurs anymore, I found the movie to be underwhelming.

The most interesting relationship right here.
The most interesting relationship right here.

My biggest problem with the movie is its characters. You know there’s a problem with a movie when the velociraptor, Blue, is the most dynamic character with the best story arc. Seriously. He is the only one who has to make an interesting choice (mlbradford’s post helped me come to this conclusion). Everyone else is so predictable. The two boys are funny, but otherwise bland, but that’s kind of to be expected. The Pratt is pretty interesting, but we don’t learn all that much about him. Like, how the heck do you become a raptor whisperer and where can I sign up? And of course, as is typical with blockbuster films, the weakest, most disappointing character is Claire as played by Bryce Dallas Howard. I didn’t mind her being a shrew character to start with it’s just that… the film goes nowhere with it. She’s a total bitch who doesn’t care about her nephews until the Indominus Rex is on the loose. Then suddenly she cares (probably only because she doesn’t want to take the blame if they get killed) and she’s also weeping over a dead brontosaur. She goes from point A to C with no in between. And same goes for her relationship with Owen (The Pratt). They’re complete opposites who suddenly make out at the end. WTF?!?!?! But shout out to BD Wong for being awesome as always! Seriously, the guy hardly does anything, but he’s still one of my favorite parts.

BD Wong wins everything.
BD Wong wins everything.

The plot of Jurassic World is quite predictable, the characters are relatively boring. But the action sequences are genuinely exciting. The final fight was great, definitely my favorite moment of the film. I loved seeing the gorgeously rendered dinosaurs, even if the CGI seems to take away some of their magic. Jurassic World is a fun movie, it’s just not as intelligent as it wants to be. I like some of the themes it explores (what constitutes a weapon, ownership, playing God, animals and their capacity for feeling, etc), but it doesn’t explore any of them at great depth. I give Jurassic World 7/10  6/10(-1 point for the RIDICULOUS AMOUNT of product placements. SERIOUSLY. ENOUGH. I GET IT.) velociraptors simply because I love a good dinosaur fight and I wish I could look as cool as Chris Pratt riding a motorcycle in a herd of raptors. And the answer is yes, I would still go to Jurassic Park in real life, a little Indominus Rex doesn’t scare me!

Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)


Guardians of the Galaxy may not be technically be the best film. It has its faults. A boring villain. Some weak acting here and there. It doesn’t always logically make sense. But its greatest strength is something few movies can effectively achieve. It makes you feel good. The first time I saw GOTG I left the theater with a big grin on my face. I was truly happy! I can’t think of another movie that made me feel as good and carefree as Guardians of the Galaxy.

There are many things that I enjoy about GOTG. First and foremost I love Rocket Raccoon. Fiercely. I’ve gone a little merchandise crazy lately. I have multiple posters, t-shirts, a hoodie, I’m currently debating buying a very expensive collectible figure. Heck, I even have a Rocket Raccoon mug (that is admittedly very creepy). I love the CGI work on both Rocket and Groot. They look incredibly realistic (and adorable). Rocket has a great personality. Bradley Cooper really relishes the role and his voice work is some of the best I have ever heard. It hardly sounds like Bradley. The relationship between Rocket and Groot is very touching, I cried a little at the end when I thought Groot might be dead.

I remember Chris Pratt from his small, but hilarious role in one of my favorite action movies, Wanted. You just can’t help but like him. GOTG would not have been a success with anyone else in the role of Peter Quill. Chris is Peter. He’s able to embody the humor, goofiness, but also the vulnerability of Peter.
My third favorite part of the film is the awesome (!) soundtrack. Before seeing the film I loved 70s tunes, so I knew from the trailer Guardians would be right up my alley. I love how all the songs are things Peter actually listens to. It’s a nice touch that adds to the humor, but also the sentimentality of the film.

There are a few relatively minor things I dislike about the film. #1 being Zoe Saldana. In no way is she believable as a bad ass assassin. She has no edge to her. Also, she and Chris Pratt have zero chemistry in my opinion. I don’t really buy their relationship. This aspect really worries me for future films. #2 The villain sucks. I can’t even remember his name right now. He’s played by Lee Pace. He doesn’t really matter much anyways. #3 Some of the costumes and hair are silly. I’m looking at you Benecio Del Torro and Glenn Close.
Guardians of the Galaxy is a feel good, quirky film that took the world by storm in 2014. As good as dark, gritty films can be, sometimes the world just needs something positive for a change. I give Guardians of the Galaxy 9 “Oh yeahs” out of 10 because it succeeds on so many levels: humor, action, emotional impact. “Ain’t no thing like me, except me.”


Trailer Review: Jurassic World


“You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea.” Understatement of the year Chris Pratt.
I don’t know what I was expecting from this trailer and movie. But I don’t like it. I guess I was hoping it would be something different than the old films. But this just looks like the same old Jurassic Park with better effects and minus Jeff Goldblum (laaaame). I also hate the music in the trailer. It sounds like every other action movie trailer ever made. I am so sick of them all sounding the same.
There are two reasons I might still go see this film. 1) That giant alligator like dinosaur that comes out of the water and eats the shark looks pretty cool (alligators are my favorite animal). 2) Chris Pratt. He is so much fun to watch and I liked the scene where he is on a motorcycle as raptors are running around him. That simply looked fun.
The kid in me does kind of want to see this. Jurassic World comes out June 12, 2015.

Her (2013)


This movie I simply did not like. No matter how hard I tried I could not get into it. Her is a film about a lonely man, Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix) who falls in love with the operating system on his phone (voiced by Scarlett Johansson). This premise just turns me off. I was intrigued enough to watch it, but the whole time I was like “How can he love his computer?” and also “How can his computer laugh, and fake an orgasm, and basically have a personality?” Logically I know that technology is developing fast and operating systems probably will be this complicated and intelligent one day in the future. But I was still just like, WTF?

This picture is basically the majority of the film. Joaquin's face as he talks to his phone. Not on it, to it. Boring.
This picture is basically the majority of the film. Joaquin’s face as he talks to his phone. Not on it, to it. Boring.

There are some good aspects to Her, which is directed by Spike Jonze. First of all, Joaquin Phoenix is excellent and he almost made me believe in the absurdity of everything. As good as he is though I found all the close ups of him that dragged on forever uncomfortable and I had to keep looking away from the screen. It’s not Joaquin’s fault, of course, he’s fine to look at. It was just soooo boring. Could they seriously have not staged those scenes in any other way? My eye kept wandering. The eye needs to be enticed and I’m sorry, but Joaquin’s wacky mustache does not do it for me (seriously, what is with all the goofy mustaches in this movie? And the high waisted pants?)

The set design and use of color is one of the only things that worked for me in Her.
The set design and use of color is one of the only things that worked for me in Her.

The humor in this film was weird, really weird, and really turned me off. The whole dead cat thing? That is fucked up and hardly funny. This film just feels like a limp fish, there’s pretty much nothing happening and hardly any humor. I tried to like this film, but I found it boring. And the ending is the worst, most boring part of it all! Like seriously, that’s it?! I thought that at least Joaquin and Amy Adams were going to jump off the roof or something. Not just sit there in dull, boring silence. This movie is pretentious in the worst way possible. People are becoming too attached to technology and don’t want to put any effort into a relationship. That is what I got from the film and I don’t find that very interesting or original.

Rooney Mara brings some much needed energy and emotion to an otherwise dull film (pictured here with Joaquin Phoenix).
Rooney Mara brings some much needed energy and emotion to an otherwise dull film (pictured here with Joaquin Phoenix).

I really liked the set design of the movie. I found all the bright colors quite refreshing and interesting since there are so many dark films these days. The score was also good and added to the movie. And I absolutely loved both Rooney Mara and Chris Pratt. Chris is just hilarious and one of my new favorite people. He makes me smile. The scenes with Rooney and Joaquin were the only scene in which I felt a connection to what was happening. They were so bitter sweet. I really felt that I could understand Theodore’s pain, I think anyone who has ever been in a relationship could relate to him. Rooney is so charismatic and injects some vibrancy into an otherwise dead on arrival film.
Her just doesn’t do it for me. I tried to like it. It has a few good things going on. But overall I feel that it lacks life. It’s hard to make a movie about a guy talking to his OS exciting. And the ending is so weak, just thinking about it pisses me off. 6/10