Archive for November, 2014

Many people know of my love for this series. Some day I’ll write some long, epic post about my detailed history with Jurassic Park. Someday we’ll tread down my “petticoat lane.” But not today. Today, right now, I’m going to focus on the above trailer; the future of the series.

Boy does it look bright.

I’ve probably watched the trailer, no joke, around twenty times so far. I’ve had many friends ask me about my thoughs, which is my main reason for writing this post.

I literally cannot tell you how excited I am. First, last week, the Masrani Global site launched along with the official Jurassic World site. Masarani Global is one of the best viral marketing sites I have ever seen- tightly answering several questions fans have had while also connecting it all back to the previous films while also throwing some nods to the original novels and even TellTale’s JP game as well. It’s an amazing site, and if you haven’t checked it out you must do so right away. And this past Sunday an actual “teaser” for the trailer came out that really got my heart racing. For the first time we were seeing official JW footage. It was finally feeling real to me- this film was going to be a thing. I knew it was for a year now. But I was actually seeing it. And I was excited.

And while the promised date for the trailer release wasn’t supposed to be until Thursday night (what I dubbed as #Jurassicgiving, it dropped today in the afternoon for reasons that director Colin Trevorrow tweeted saying were “out of his control.” I don’t know what those reasons were, and I don’t care. I’m glad it’s here. Words can’t express how happy I am, or how excited I am. It calls back many classic Jurassic moment from the series while also adding something new.

Now there are a few things that I have to get out of the way. I have some small comments that I feel I have to say to clarify some doubts others have.

One of the biggest complaints is the raptors at the end.  There are some people flipping their lids over the fact that the trailer seems to show “tamed raptors” at the end, running alongside Chris Pratt’s character, Owen. First off, several people working on the film, have said that they are not “tame.” I personally think people need to calm down about it because not only do we not now what the context is in the film- it isn’t that outlandish of an idea I think.First off, earlier in the trailer we see a giant freaking mosasaur eating a shark ala SeaWorld/zoo style.

Universal Pictures

 That may not be “tamed” but that is a learned show trick for that animal. It learned to do that to get its food. Raptors are supposed to be the smartest dinosaurs made by InGen. It’s not outlandish that they could be trained, even remotely, to be used for tracking or something. In fact, to me, that makes them more like actual animals and less like the monsters the first three films have made them out to be. But in the end, once again, that may not even be what they are used for in the film. They may not be trained in any way, or could turn on Owen/humans, or something else! We have no clue, which is one of the coolest things about this trailer (which I will talk more about later.)

Secondly is the CGI. First, several scenes (or so I have heard/read) were only made for the trailer and will not be in the final film. So it doesn’t surprise me that maybe, on a few effects, they weren’t 100%. Secondly, post production and finally touches goes on until almost a few weeks before the film is shipped out for theatres. The films doesn’t come out until June 12th of next year everyone- there is still a LOT more rendering, and CG work that has yet to be done.

There are some people criticizing the science of the film, but I think only half of them are serious and the other half realize that JP is a creation of Hollywood and just roll with it and make a joke, like Thomas Holtz and Brian Switek. But others have really been outraged at how little “accuracy” there is to a lot of the dinosaurs. While science has been littered in and out of the series (there is def more in the novels) nobody should expect true science to come from JP film. They are fun science fiction film. Besides, with a lot of the inaccuracies many fans (including myself) have actually found explanations for them by analyzing the films/novels/games/etc. much like Trekkies do for Star Trek. But when all else fails, you can simply blame it on the frogs. I want a perfect, scientifically accurate dinosaur film too. I just will never expect that from a JP film.

So onwards and upwards.

 

The trailer not only brings a lot of new to the mix, but also recalls a lot of classic scenes and bits from the first three films as well as surprisingly throwing in a scene or two from the novels- which I’m not many people realize. While I love the whole nostalgic feeling of some of the call back moments in the trailer it’s the novel scenes that have amped the most because I personally think there are moments/plots in the novels that haven’t been used yet in the movies that would be awesome to finally see on film.

Universal Pictures

First off Chris Pratt’s scene where he is riding alongside a pack of raptors is NOT ONLY ONE OF THE COOLEST PART OF THE TRAILER, but an obvious refrence to a very identical scene in Chrichton’s The Lost World where Sarah Harding is riding a motorcycle trying to catch up to a pack of raptors.

Universal Pictures

Next is the jungle river scene. I really hope this leads to some great moments. The river section of the first novel near the end had some of the best moments in the whole book including a swimming tyrannosaur, a pair of dilophosaurs, pterosaurs attacking, and finally a waterfall where the rex was waiting for them at the bottom. Even if we don’t get ALL of that (hopefully we get some…) it’s nice to see this little nod to that portion of the novel. Plus… STEGOSAURS. OH MY GOD, STEGOSAURS. DO YOU SEE THOSE STEGOSAURS!?

….

Stegosaurs.

Also a few other moments that remind me of scenes in the novel:

-When the man is being dragged along in the jungle reminds me of the moment when Levine lands on Sorna with his guide in The Lost World and the guide is dragged off into the jungle by something unseen.

-The idea of “tamed dinosaurs” was actually in the first novel. Wu talks to Hammond about being able to alter the DNA of the dinosaurs to make them more “domesticated” or controlled. There is also the idea of making “dinosaur pets,” and altering different versions of dinosaurs to get the perfect animal.

Universal Pictures

The trailer, while showing you some of the species, does a real good job at hiding others. It keeps a real mystery about what the new hybrid dinosaur looks like exactly, but also about other events that happen in the film. It’s very reminiscent of how the first film’s trailer was done. You see glimpses of the dinosaurs here and there and a few full shots of dinosaurs but not much. The rest is only parts or cutaways which keeps the intrigue up. It’s a great trick, and I’m glad that they brought it back for this trailer instead of just showing us everything outright.

Another thing that isn’t shown is exactly what the large group of people are running from. From the way that shot is set up (this large, aerial view) makes me inclined to believe that they are running from a pterosaur of some kind instead of a dinosaur.

And speaking of non-dinosaurs, the other MASSIVE inclusion to the trailer (as well as the series) is that of prehistoric aquatic reptiles- specifically the mosasaur. Now in TellTale Game’s video game (which ties into the original film) there is a mosasaur, but we have never seen on in the actual films yet. So this is a big deal, and I’m super excited to finally see it. I expect there to be a few really good moment with this creature.

I could sit here and point out every single moment that seemed to wink/nod to the other films but a.)you have probably caught most of them, b.)it’d make this post much longer than it already is. I’ll point out a few, but what I will say in a broad sense is that while I’m glad Trevorrow picked up on a lot of these “little” moments and I think it’ll be nice to see them in the film I hope it isn’t done too often in the final product. I’m sure it won’t and that a majority of them were used for the trailer to get that nostalgia factor in there, but it’s just a faint worry I have. I don’t want to send the whole movie playing a matching game in my head with scenes/moment in JW matching up with scenes in the other three films.

Here are a few I want to point out:

-Bryce Dallas Howard’s “run” yell reminds me of Ellie Sattler’s call to Dr. Grant to run after her encounter with the raptor in the shed. In fact, her scream resembles Dern’s scream A LOT in this vintage JP marketing video (skip to 2:24, and it basically shows an alternate take.)

Howard’s character’s tank is even, essentially, the same color.

-The shot with the Gallimimus’ and the main gate, I feel, is almost the exact angle used in the first film.

-“You really think she climbed out?”

Like I said, there are many many more and if you want I can always point more out if you want (via comments, messages, etc.)

I am beyond excited, as I’ve stated before. Those last few moments of the trailer, with that haunting theme ending on that fogged logo… just sent chills up my spine.

I’ve been waiting thirteen years for this trailer, and it will end up being fourteen years since the last JP film once JW is released. I’m ready. What gets me even more excited is how well the trailer has been received, in general. It was all over the news feeds on major media outlets today, and everyone is talking about it. Soon the merch will be out, and the ball will really be at full speed towards June. This gets me excited for two reasons. 1.) I hope Universal really takes note of all of this, because I know for several years now it’s been rumored that a revamp of the JP area of IOA in Orlando could be planned. All this positive feedback from the trailer shows me that the public is still in love with Jurassic Park (as if the OVER two billion that the previous three films have collected wasn’t enough proof.) And 2.) the public still, and always will love dinosaurs. I hope that this film inspires a whole new generation of dinosaur lovers and future scientists, and the first one did me. I wouldn’t be the person I am today without the first JP.


The trailer is beautiful, nostalgic, and haunting. It does its job by satisfying with some awesome and exciting moments, as well as reeling you in by keeping you guessing at the new twists and turns director Colin Trevorrow and company will throw our way. I had an inkling, based on the teaser released Sunday, I was going to like this trailer. I just didn’t know exactly how much I’d like it. That’s chaos theory.

The park opens, June 12, 2014.

Universal Pictures

Movie Review: Interstellar

Posted: November 12, 2014 in Film
Tags: , , ,

I know it has been a while since my last post. A mixture of post-Halloween depression, busy work life, and a wonderful plethora of auditions has kept me away from my duties to all of you wonderful people reading the words I write! But never fear. The next few days, as long as I have the time, I hope to catch up on a few reviews and random blog posts. And I might as well start with this one…

Last weekend I saw Chris Nolan’s new film, Interstellar, a film I have anxiously been awaiting since first hearing about. Chris Nolan is a straight up blessing to modern cinema and I knew that this film would only secure that notion even more so. But even I, after watching the film, sat there in the theatre stunned at just how amazing this movie really was. If you follow film culture at all, your news feed the past week has probably been blowing up with posts of how stellar Interstellar is. Right off the bat I will tell you, it is good. It’s a masterpiece of cinema, plain and simple. That isn’t to say that it doesn’t have faults, which I will address. The movie is set in the not to distant future where the world had literally gone “ashes to ashes; dust to dust.’

Matthew McConaughey plays Cooper, who is an ex NASA pilot and currently a farmer who is trying to keep his fields alive. But the world is dieing, as are the crops. And pretty soon Earth will not be able to really sustain life due to the conditions. So NASA comes up with a backup plan (actually two,) so save the human race. We have to find another world, and the only way to do that is to leave ours. So Cooper, along with a few others are enlisted to embark on an interstellar mission to another galaxy to look for new, habitable worlds. The cost? Leaving family and loved ones behind, and possibly even not completing the mission before the human race dies.

The story is a lot, I replete,  A LOT more complex in all actuality than what I just outlined. But that is the “general” story line of the film. But it goes really deep into physics, space travel, the “human footprint,” and a lot more. It’s a beautiful, complicated, generally well crafted story handled in classic Nolan fashion.

The acting, across the board, was amazing. Especially from McConaughey. Coming from someone who loves his performance in Dallas Byers’ Club, I actually think that his performance in Interstellar is his best one to date. The video logs scenes alone should be reason enough to solidify this. They are heart breaking, and he is 100% committed in those scenes to making us feel the same kind of anguish he does. I’ve always liked McConaughey as an actor, and I’m glad that people are finally realizing and appreciating his potential.

Murph is arguably the main focus of the film, possibly only second to Cooper. I mean, she is “what it’s all about” (see the film, because I won’t be clarifying otherwise.) And all actresses playing this character, at various stages of her life, do an amazing job. First you have Murph at 10, played by Mackenzie Foy. Foy plays the character sincerely and with great depth. Not only does her intelligence and wits come out, but her emotion and feelings are strong. The 30’s-ish Murph is played by Jessica Chastain. She subtly plays that “clinging to anger” emotion while also holding on to hope that not only will she see her father again but can save the world as well. Anne Hathaway shines as Brand, and Michael Cain does a great job as her aging father who keeps a pretty dark secret. The list of other supporting characters goes on an on, and each one of them adds a different trait and emotional weight to the film. When they die, or perish in some way it’s felt who heatedly and Nolan captures that loss  in the movie.

Visually, this is Nolan’s best film. The locals are breathtaking, and sets are wonderful. Nolan has always been a “practical” effects and locations director and boy I love that. It adds a real grounded and real-life feel to the movie since a majority of the locations were indeed real. I’d so much rather see real locations and effects rather than CG. And what CG there was (because, well, it’s a space travel/inter dimensional travel sci-fi film, so there is obviously going to be some) is done really well. It all blends together seamlessly in the movie, and nothing ever flashes out to the viewer as fake or unreal unless it is done on propose (I.E- the inner workings of the black hole/ inter dimensional world.)

Now, Christopher Nolan is obviously a director who acknowledges, appreciates, and honors the history and art of film making. He understands “the magic”  of seeing movies, and what makes a good movie and a good film going experience. This is both Nolan’s blessing and curse. While it is assured that Nolan’s work will be quality and amazing, it also means that perhaps thing’s get messy and rushed towards the end. My theory as to why- Nolan never wants his movies to end. His pacing is perfect, generally, for the first two-thirds of his films. It’s full of twists, and turns, and emotions, until we get to the final act and it feels like he realizes “Crap, I have to actually end/finish the movie.” The third act then feels slightly rushed to end, and while it’s satisfying you get the sense that it isn’t on the same level as the rest of the film. Now, this is more evident in some of Nolan’s work than others, but it’s almost evident in all of his films I feel- especially Interstellar. The whole film is fairly evenly paced, and well explained until the final portion which then brushes over a lot of details and questions. Don’t get me wrong, the ending is great and moving but it still feels hurried. I know Nolan isn’t a fan of director’s cuts but I feel like this film deserves to go just that tad bit longer to explain things more clearly and concisely rather than leaving it a slightly convoluted rush.

Hans Zimmer’s score took me a little bit of getting used to because it is just completely out of the box for him, and not his normal style. But I think that is why I ended up liking it. Because it is so different. While there are moments that I feel the use of music could have been toned down it really shines through in the more action filled and tension building scenes. My biggest problem with it wast that there were moments when the score completely overpowered the dialogue of the actors on screen. Not sure if that was a mixing problem or a problem with the theatre I saw it at. Regardless it ends up being a beautiful score in the end.

Go, see this movie. In fact, spend the extra and see it in IMAX. I was actually planning on doing that but the ONE time I don’t preorder my tickets they sell out of IMAX. The person right in front of me bought the last ticket for the showing. IMAX is the way Nolan intended for the movie to be seen, having apparently shot a majority of it with the IMAX cameras (which I’m so glad. I’d rather more directors start doing this than keeping going with the stupid 3D trend. It’s so pointless, and I’d rather get the amazing picture that IMAX has to offer.) It’s thick, plot wise, but a lot of Nolan’s films are. So if you’re expecting a “shut your mind off” kind of film this isn’t it. But it is engaging. It does slow down a bit in the middle, but really it doesn’t mess with the overall pacing of the film. It’s a cinematic work of art and craftsmanship across the board.