Tag Archives Chris Pratt

‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ Is A Lifeless Film, Despite Shattering Box Office

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There’s no questioning—or denying—that when the newest film in the iconic Jurassic Park series, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, was released over the weekend, it already became a lifeless sequel for some movie fans. Especially to the critics. Hear this, even before that, once the news of a sequel to Jurassic World hit the internet, cinephiles couldn’t wait to sink their teeth into the trailer. But even still, the movie has been surging in the box office, after raking in around $150 million in its opening weekend. Unbelievable. For those of you still wondering, “Is it really worth my pennies to see this fifth installment of the franchise?” Let’s take a look.

 

First things first: As you probably recall, the posters for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom promised that “The Park Is Gone.” Perhaps that means only one thing—an end to fun. Really? I know, I’m disappointed too. As for the “Fallen Kingdom” part, don’t you find that to sound a little abstruse? I guess that makes sense, because sense is a thing this movie doesn’t have much interest in making. That’s for sure.  

So after the events of Jurassic World, we see Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) now working in dino-rights activism, and Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) living a do-it-yourself life in the woods. That I can understand. But not the fact that they have to take an assignment from a billionaire to rescue Isla Nublar’s prehistoric population. This just leaves me perplexed. I’m sure it leaves others like that too.

But here’s the good news: The disaster grandeur dies down in the second half, the moment when the action shifts to a mansion compound, where Claire, Owen, Franklin (Justice Smith), and Blue the Raptor discover yet another explanation as to why people still think playing God could work out in the end. Like The Lost World, this movie makes tons of promises with little payoff.

If I had to give some sort of rating for this unprecedented success of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, I would generously give the film a B+, because this film gives us no heroes worth rooting for. Maybe, if the legendary Steven Spielberg, directed this film, like the Jurassic Park in 1993, the rating would be that much higher. In this film, it offered us lazy re-creations, lazier screenwriting, and none of the action sequences sticked with us the way Spielberg’s did.

 

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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Is A Lifeless Film, Despite Shattering Box Office. Featured Image Credit: Universal Pictures

Father’s Day: Our Favorite Celebrity Dads

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Alright dads, it’s your turn to be celebrated for all your efforts! Whether it’s scaring away a potential boyfriend or staying with your kids at night to shoo away the monsters, we want to give you a huge and well-deserved thank you. Hey, dads can do just as much, if not more, than a mother when it comes to caring for their offspring.
 
And as much as I’d love to write a whole blog on here dedicated to my own father, I’ll push that to my personal blog and let’s just focus on dads we ALL know. I’m talking about celebrity dads. Trust me, as much as it pains me to see one of my biggest Hollywood crushes have their own offspring with someone other than me, it’s bound to happen.
Below are a few of our favorite celebrity dads.

Heading to host the Bloody Mary Brunch for the @sobewffest. Looking forward to the mixers and the mingles.

A post shared by Neil Patrick Harris (@nph) on


Neil Patrick Harris and David Burkta
This one is a 2-for-1! How can you ever leave out this absolutely adorable couple and even more adorable family? The way they spend time with their kids and their love for them is clearly shown with every social media post they allow us to see a glimpse of their private life. Oh, this is a family I would love to be adopted into.

Jurassic World Review

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Am I getting old? That’s the thought that crosses my mind as I tap away at this keyboard. I’m trying to figure out if I missed something, or if I’m jaded—I mean, I just went back to Jurassic Park! I saw dinosaurs! I saw flying pterodactyls, even the armored joints, and velociraptors! Big ol’ computer animated… oh. Maybe that’s what it is. When I was a kid, I was watching Jurassic Park like:

JP1

Wow…


But after this screening of Jurassic World I’m like:
JW1

Sigh… Well… I guess.


 

Jurassic World revisits the island of Isla Nubar, two decades after the events of Jurassic Park, and things over there have changed dramatically. The theme park is fully functional, and most importantly, it’s successfully running—and even more importantly, it’s raking in those sweet, sweet, dino bones (if you get my drift).  However, there is one problem: attendance is slipping, and the park needs a new attraction if it hopes to fatten up their coffers.  This is accomplished by gene splicing the crap out of their genetically created dinosaurs, introducing an even un-godlier creation the park (nor the world) has ever seen before. One thing leads to the next, and BOOM, tourists are dropping like flies, and little Johnny, seated at the front row, needs a new pair of pants. Welcome to Jurassic World.
My nostalgia for the first film keeps my nose high and turned away from this flick, but I admit that this movie is definitely a blockbuster hit. It’s got dinosaurs running amok through the park once again!  There’s explosions, chase scenes, and the obligatory references to the first Jurassic Park (it sells itself)!  As much as I might whine about CGI use in movies, I think that these dinosaurs looked great. Not Jurassic Park Spielberg great, but good enough.  Also, the theme park was bustling with tourists and park employees. The park was fully realized and believable. The movie does a great job of selling this place, because if I didn’t know any better, I would have thought that that place actually existed.  And speaking of selling, Chris Pratt, hands down, had to be the best thing (next to dinosaurs) about this movie.  The man has the word ‘superstar’ chiseled into his face.  He tones down his penchant for comedy and tries to man up by playing a military veteran loner (with a beard; a beard never fails).  It’s not a graceful transition, but the one-liners he’s given allows him to pull it off with flying colors.
jw4

To act serious, just act like you smelled a fart.


There were a couple of things I didn’t like about the film, but that’s because I’m clearly comparing this movie to Jurassic Park.  It’s a no-win situation, but I do have some things to say, and I’ll try my best to avoid spoilers. First and foremost, the direction was handled very well (for the most part), but because this is a franchise reboot, there were the necessary Hollywood injections: the heavy reliance on CGI, unnecessary subplots, and because of that, the forced sequel setups. This would’ve been a tighter movie had all of those things been cut.  The subplot with the kids was unimportant.  This movie could’ve done away with these kids from the get-go, and it would’ve been a better movie for it. The real story is with the adult characters (mainly Pratt), who are doing their best to regain control of the park. Overall, I felt like the magic from the first film was missing here, and I think that’s because of the turbulent storytelling (damn subplots).  Everything was bigger and faster (and pretty easy to digest), but there was nothing left to my imagination.  A raptor’s shadow meant something in Jurassic Park, but here they’re caged, and even for a raptor, they’re considerably docile.  They’re seen all the time, and I can’t remember if there was even a close up where they (or any dino) weren’t in CGI. I would go on, but I’d rather not continue nitpicking.
JW3

I mean, I could go on, but I’m sure these two have heard enough.


Jurassic World is a great summer blockbuster, and the kids are going to love it. There’s no other way around that fact, and I’m fine with that. I hope there is another sequel, and I really hope they do a better job the fifth time around.  This is actually better than Jurassic Park 3, the forgettable sequel in the Jurassic Park franchise.  One major selling point for this is movie is revisiting the island of dinosaurs and Chris Pratt. That alone sells tickets and makes this purchase worth your money. Have fun!
 
Jurassic World Review photos courtesy of Universal Pictures, imdb.com
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Guardians of the Galaxy Review

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When I’m watching a summer blockbuster, I’m looking for a few things: action, hilarity, and a good story with charismatic characters; these three things are usually key in the making of a hit movie. Guardians of the Galaxy meets these expectations and, cliché as it is to say, brings more to the table, making this end-of-the-summer flick worth your hard-earned shillings. Speaking of which, GotG is making millions this weekend, more than it was expected to make, and I’m not surprised, when taking into consideration its competition, that it’s breaking records this week. I’m not saying that GotG is by any means the lesser of less-than-entertaining movies out this weekend–even though one could interpret that–but what I will say is that this movie has a lot going for it beyond the explosive spectacle that sizzles screens and fills summer seats, things such as:

1. An Awesome Mix of Music
Besides the usual superhero theme, there’s a soundtrack of 60’s and 70’s hits brought to us courtesy of Peter Quill a.k.a Star-Lord, the formerly portly recently ab-having funnyman actor Chris Pratt, and his ancient walkman–or, at times, played on his interstellar space scouring starship’s tape player. Blue Swede’s “Hooked on a Feeling” ooga-chaka’s as we’re introduced to Star-Lord, who appears to be on a treasure hunting mission, and later on The Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back,” which is enjoyed by the Vin Diesel voiced character Groot, who is loquacious yet very concise when picking his (its?) words. The music does more than make heads bob in the theater, it plays a big part in Star-Lord’s personality and history (his mother made him these mixtapes before her passing and his abduction from Earth). The mixtape is Star-Lord’s personal theme music, and accompanies him on his escapades and death-defying dilemmas.

2. D’epique (The Epic) World
What made this film so inviting was the use of a wide variety of colors, seen either on the grand scale of these alien worlds or the countless lives that filled it, both of which were abundantly over stimulating to my senses. There is never a dull moment; each frame is filled with warmth and life, and when there is a lack of it–for example the dank doom-filled den of this film’s antagonist, Ronan the Accuser, played by Lee Pace–it serves only to highlight the lively world  of the Guardians and why it is important to save it from the evil forces of the galaxy. A rainbow of different species filled several scenes; there were red or blue aliens, gray ones, and pink–most of which were created using practical effects–and at one point, Star-Lord is doused in an orange liquid, giving his skin an oompa-loompa John Boehneresque glow. Furthermore, Rocket and Groot, the former voiced by Bradley Cooper, complimented the colors of Drax the Destroyer, played by the hulking Dave Batista, who is colored a dark skinned hunter green whilst Gamora, played by Zoe Saldana, bears a light-skinned grass green. The Guardians have an earthy palette of colors that make them appear less than superhuman, and more so… normal, despite being, you know, not from Earth. Which brings me to…

3. The Motley Defenders
These are not your hyper-charged superheroes–they aren’t The Avengers. So bear with me for one moment… These Guardians of the Galaxy are damaged goods. They’re not genius billionaire playboy philanthropist, Tony Stark. They’re not norse god of thunder, Thor. They’re not the beloved national iconic superhuman, Captain America. Rocket the Raccoon is a product of animal experiments! Drax the Destroyer’s entire family was tortured and killed by Ronan the Accuser (the main bad guy). Gamora is the adopted daughter of a genocidal tyrant who not only destroyed her entire family, but who also forced her to become a living weapon, rapt with guilt and also witness to many of her father’s bloody atrocities. So… yeah, they have issues for the most part–except Groot, Groot is chill. At one point I was banking on Groot to give a Fast and Furious picnic speech about the importance of family, but it was, thankfully, shown rather than told during the run of the film. This motley crew, these vagabonds, were seemingly destined to meet, and hilarity and drama ensued from the moment these characters first met. There was grade-A banter between these characters, especially during their impromptu prison break (one of many daring escapes), and I believe this speaks greatly to their characters. Each encounter not only tightens the bonds they have with each other, but also makes them much more human and appealing to us, the viewer. I’m still amazed at how this movie was able to smoothly incorporate all these characters into one film.

 
Guardians of the Galaxy Review: Featured image courtesy of Marvel.com