Posts Tagged ‘Chris Pratt’

Jurassic World

Excerpt from:

Jurassic Court: Inside the Proceedings of the Jurassic World Incident

By Michael Winston

A little over two decades ago John Hammond sat in the very same courtroom in San Diego that Claire Dearing, the now former Jurassic World Senior Assets and Operations Manager, sits- under very similar circumstances.  As the proceedings began the room was painfully still and quiet. Everyone was tense, especially Ms. Dearing.

A year and a half ago on the island of Isla Nublar an animal we now know to be the Indominus rex (a new carnivorous dinosaur which was set to be an upcoming new attraction to the park at the time) had broken out of its enclosure. In doing so several employees of the park were killed as it began its rampage across the island towards the main resort. The creature also broke through and subsequently caused the release of several other species of animals on the island, including the park’s aviary which released Jurassic World’s dangerous pterosaurs upon visitors. The parks guests and most of the staff had little to no warning and no means of escape, and subsequently many were injured or worse. It wasn’t until darkness had begun to fall on the island before the first ferry arrived on the island to take people away from the nightmare to a medical center on the mainland.

While there are many more factors and individuals involved, Ms. Dearing has come under intense fire of her handling of the situation. “It was a very unforeseeable accident,” she had said last month before a preliminary hearing. “Nobody could have guessed what was going to happen, and it was very unfortunate.” She then went on to say that while certain strategies could have been followed through better to ensure guest safety, she claimed that she had done all she possibly could.

Many are saying that it was not enough, especially after word got out that after the initial breakout of the Indominus she had ordered all of the rides and attractions north of the resort closed, but then quickly disappeared from her post leaving it to her subordinates to take control of the situation.

“She just left her staff high and dry, and ran off,” said head prosecution lawyer Bob Morris. There have been claims that Dearing was actually off with park staff member Owen Grady, attempting to rescue her two nephews that were also present on the island the day of the incident. “Look,” continued Morris, “she had a job to do and she failed to do it. Her incompetence led to the death and injuries of thousands. The creature should have never broken out of its paddock, people should have been evacuated earlier- it’s just as simple as that. She dragged her feet and then left the situation for others to handle. It’s inexcusable.”

A long year and a half of stipulation, scrutiny, and investigations over Ms. Dearing’s performance on the island resort of Jurassic World are finally coming to a head, and while this may not answer all of the burning questions about what happened, in the coming weeks there are bound to be at least a few answers.

“Jurassic Park”, “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”, “Jurassic Park ///”, “Jurassic World” are Trademarks of Universal Studios, Legendary Pictures, and Amblin Entertainment.

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Fourteen years. Fourteen years of a constant up and down, “it’s happening” then “it’s dead” from those who brought to life this film series to fruition. Fourteen years of waiting for the next film, and then finally it’s released. Words can’t express how excited I was for this film to come out. The last time I was this amped up was when The Dark Knight was released in 2008.  And after months of build up from one of the most intensive marketing/viral marketing campaigns in recent history (which is actually continually happening throughout the films release right NOW,) the park was finally opened to an anxiously awaiting public. I sat with friends in that cinema, and when the lights went out I could feel my heart beat faster, and when it began I allowed myself to be transported back to Isla Nublar once again in Jurassic World.

It’s twenty two years since the closure of the original Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Twenty two years since John Hammond’s dream came to a screaming halt. But a new empire has arose: Masrani Global. They have taken control of International Genetic Technologies (InGen) as well as all of their subsequent… assets. So out of the ashes of Jurassic Park (and apparently all the other subsequent incidents that happened in 1997 and 2001) Masrani has created Jurassic World, and John Hammond’s dream is now a reality. Jurassic World brings in over twenty thousand people each day, and each guest can now come face to face with the most fascinating creatures to ever roam the planet… well, fascinating for a period of time it seems. The novelty of dinosaurs living again seems to be fading, Dr. Henry Wu and his team are cooking up something that’s sure to excite everyone: Indominus rex, a genetic hybrid with the base genome of Tyrannosaurus rex with some other “classified” species thrown in to the mix (that are revealed throughout the film.) The problem is… it suddenly excites everyone in all the wrong reasons. During a inspection of the I.rex enclosure by Owen Grady, one of the resident JW animal behaviorists who is currently working with the park’s velociraptors, the I.rex escapes. Chaos ensues, as the monster rampages though the island killing everything and everyone in sight. Vic Hoskins believes that he and his InGen ACU unit can capture the creature, by using some very radical means. These radical means end up backfiring and even more chaos ensues as even more creatures on top of I.rex are now fanning out across the island. Is there any hope for survival for the people left on the island?

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I’m going to try really hard not to let my passion overshadow my judgement right now. ANYBODY who know me knows that Jurassic Park is “my thing.” It’s my Star Wars, my Star Trek, my whatever you want to say. It’s the movie [series] that inspired me and so many others. As silly as it sounds, they are the films that made me the person I am. But I’m also a huge cinema fanatic in general, as well as a paleo-guy. So there are several conflicting thoughts, impressions, and emotions flying around in my head right now.

I’ll be frank: liked this movie, a lot. It’s a fun ride, and director Colin Trevorrow delivered some astounding fan service while also bringing a lot of originality to the table. The film does have it’s issues, which I’ll discuss, but overall I left the cinema with an extreme sense of pleasure mixed with just enough wonder to make me feel like this film was a good breath of fresh air in a once extinct franchise.

Warning: from here on out there will be plenty of spoilers… you’ve been warned.

The plot to Jurassic World is probably a story that many have thought of in some way shape or form (I can name at least two videos games off the top of my head where JP is reopened after the events of the first film- the original JP Arcade and JP for Sega Game Gear (and then there is Operation Genesis where you can open your own park)) I remember playing with the toys when I was a kid and playing out what it would be like for the park to actually open.  I don’t feel like it’s super original. The way that it’s portrayed and handled by Colin Trevorrow is however. Everything that we saw at Jurassic World seemed like something I would totally expect to find at a world renown and SUPER expensive theme park.  And while I can recall many many people and die hard fans of the franchise rolling their eyes and groaning at the fact that we’d be getting a hybrid dinosaur I loved and understood Colin’s reasoning. I went to the zoo a few months ago with my family and saw so many people on their phone texting and not taking in all of the animals. Same thing happens in museums, so after Jurassic World has been open for ten years I would totally expect that people would be getting “used” to it, and when that happens at any theme park a new attraction has to be built. In this case it was the Indominus rex.

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I. rex was a wonderful antagonist I felt. Do I feel like it could have just been a normal dinosaur: yes. But as I said I totally understand why it wasn’t. Plus this was actually supposed to be a monster. When rewatching Jurassic Park 3 before hand (I had a marathon of all the films before seeing JW) I couldn’t help but think that a monster is exactly what the spinosaur was- and it irritated me. Yes, the rex(s) and raptors had their monster parts as well in the previous films but at least most of the time it was explainable as to why they were hunting the humans or tracking them (be it territory, food, or otherwise.) The spino had no reason to hunt the humans. The I. rex does. It is not a dinosaur, as Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady points out- it is a monster. It kills for sport, not to eat.  It’s scary looking, it’s big, and it kicks some major tail in Jurassic World. Also it has an ability I’ve been waiting to see in a JP film since reading Michael Crichton’s The Lost World: chameleon/camo skin. Technically it’s cuttlefish skin, but none the less I. rex has the ability to camouflage itself into it’s surroundings. While I really would have loved (and still would love) to see carnotaurus in Jurassic World with that ability like in the novel it looks amazing and is effective none the less. Plus, according to the official Jurassic World website I. rex does have some carno DNA in her so… that’s something I guess.

From a Jurassic Park canon standpoint, for the most part, all the dinosaurs looked great. A lot of the old guys are back and have some shining moments- including the original film’s Tyrannosaurus rex. There are some new guys as well, including the Apatosaurus (which interestingly enough was the sauropod in both of Michael Crichton’s novels but has never been in a previous JP film.) The one animal I would have loved to have seen more of… Dilophosaurus. We get one great moment, but it’s SUCH A TEASE. Oh well, even that one short moment answered an age old question in the canon: yes, the dilos in the first film were juveniles.

I’m going to keep my paleo-analytic critiques to a minimum here, because most of anything I have to say about inaccuracies in the animals of the film have been said by many paleontologists already. From a paleo-perspective the film’s dinosaurs are kind of “meh.” Inaccuracies have been in the JP universe since the first film (well… even since the novel.) To fan of the series they’ve always been able to be explained through the genetic modification that occurs during the “de-extinction” of the animals, and that’s even explicitly said in this film. But I will say that with them having a new park for this film and actually going back from “scratch” on many of these animals, it was kind of a missed opportunity to have some really accurate representations of dinosaurs on screen. While I was able to stomach a lot of the inaccuracies the biggest one I have a hard time dealing with is whenever a pterosaur tries to make off with a human, or even a dinosaur.  That and a near tail dragging stegosaurus.

My biggest complaint, above all, concerning the dinosaurs was the over use of CGI. In the first two JP films there was a perfect marriage or CGI mixed with practical effects- it was seamless. In JP3 it leaned more towards CGI, and the practical effects that were there for some reason didn’t seem as good as in the first two films. In this film nearly every shot of the dinosaurs was CGI. Now, a LOT of it looked good- I can’t lie. There was some really great computer animation work going on in this film. But there were plenty of scenes that they could have used practical effects on, and didn’t. But when they did, it was breathtaking. Like the dying apatosaur scene, it had me in near tears.  It was almost as emotional as the ick triceratops scene in the original Jurassic Park. It looked alive. It was wonderful, and I wish that we could have seen more practical effects- especially towards the end…

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The acting was good. There were several kind of “cheesy” and forced moments, but I never found myself getting annoyed (in the wrong way) with the characters like I did in JP3 or even some in The Lost World.

Chris Pratt actually goes into some more serious territory with Owen Grady. While the signature charm we associate with Pratt  pops up from time to time, for the most part his character is more akin to Muldoon in the first film with a no-nonsense and practical approach to treating, training, and caring for the dinosaurs.  Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire Dearing goes through some good evolution through the film, and becomes kind of a Ellen Ripley of sorts. I think I would have liked to seen more from her in this regard, she does have an amazing and key moment in the end of the film. The one point I really disliked in the film was how Owen and Claire’s relationship just kind of sprung from nowhere. It felt really forced and I disliked it.

Vincent D’Onofrio plays, I guess, the human villain of the film. It’s all in the eye of the beholder really. But he does make some really bad judgement calls and his comeuppance is as good as Dieters in The Lost World. And I am SO glad we got to see some more from BD Wong as Dr. Henry Wu. A lot of his material is straight from the original novel here and it’s stuff I, as a Jurassic Park fan, have been waiting to see and hear for a long time. He does a great job of playing Wu, like to a T and I really hope we see more of him if the series continues. 

Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson do a great job of being… well, the kids of this film. Their relationship feels plausible, although for the most part they were just kind of “there” in the film and didn’t offer a lot of support the way children in previous films have.

Irrfan Khan as Masrani did a great job but we really didn’t get to learn much about the guy before he goes down in a fireball. I knew I liked him but his death wasn’t as powerful as if it would have been if, say, Hammond was to die in the first film. If he was given more time I feel like that would have helped.

Other talent like Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, and Katie McGrath offered some variety in the supporting cast but we all knew they’d pretty much be fodder or just help the story along and have a few great moments.

Along with all the new, Colin Trevorrow does an outstanding Job of bringing back the old. We have a wonderful moment where we get to see the old Visitor Center again from the first film. The only problem, the scene(s) only last a few minutes and we move on. I really would have liked it if we slowed down the film when we got in to the “restricted” area of Nublar, which is almost the entire norther half of the island. There are still some unanswered questions, more locations I wanted to see. On top of it all, there were some thing that unless you’ve been following the marketing you wouldn’t really know. Like the rex. I’m sure few people actually realized that the rex in the film was the original (via interviews or websites, etc) the average viewer wouldn’t realize. I wish they would have shown or discussed the roundup of the rex and possibly more of the original animals from the first Jurassic Park. And damn it!- I wanted more dilophosaurs! Sigh… But really JW really has some super nostalgic moments.

The film also has a lot of inside jokes/nods towards the other films in some really clever ways. Take the ptero attack on the chopper. The pteranodon’s beak breaking through the bubble and into the chest of the ACU member- that’s taken directly from a cut sequence from The Lost World. Also that blood dripping on ACU member Hamada’s hand when he’s searching for I.rex… reminded me a lot of when Malcolm is trying to explain Chaos Theory to Dr. Sattler in Jurassic Park. “Which way is the drop gonna’ role off?” Moments like that, and many others in the film just left me tickled as a JP fan. Trevorrow goes above and beyond with the fan service in the film, and for that I thank and applaud him.  He also adds in some really tense moments very akin to the Alien franchise, and you’ll know them when you see them. These moments and Colin’s willingness to show gore actually make Jurassic World the most violent of any of the Jurassic films.

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The fan service goes even into the soundtrack of the film. Composer Michael Giacchino is back for is third turn in the JP franchise (originally scoring the soundtrack to the The Lost World and Warpath: Jurassic Park PlayStation video games.) For JW Giacchino brings a lot of originality to the plate but really pays homage to nearly all the work done before for the franchise. Not only are their call backs to the classic motifs of Jurassic Park (and The Lost World theme at one major point) composed by John Williams but we get a lot of music that is similar to the themes heard in Operation Genesis, from Jurassic Park; The Game, and even a hint of the PlayStation games. It’s nice, and really brings some added emotion and nostalgia.  The new Jurassic World theme is majestic, and while it may not be as iconic as the classic JP, it’s exactly what this film needs, and the I. rex theme is creepy as well. There are a few moments in the film where I feel like the soundtrack is a tad much, and over the top- but it’s defiantly not as obnoxious as the JP3 soundtrack gets at points.

Some moments of the film really dance a fine line of being exactly what you didn’t know you wanted to see and absolutely overkill. The two main ones being the death of Zara and the death of I. rex. Zara’s death was just… crazy. I personally would have liked to have either had it be the mosasaur or just the ptera and not both, but I can’t like… it looked cool. And I. rex’s death… I actually won’t spoil. I saw it a mile away before it happened during the final encounter, and when it actually happened the cinema erupted in applause- and I was a part of that roaring audience. It was a bad ass death for a pretty bad ass monster.

In the end… to be honest, my head is still spinning. I caught the 7 pm showing (Central Time) of Jurassic World and it’s now almost 1 AM and I’m finishing this review. My thoughts are still jumbled, “but, uh… well there it is.” Jurassic World, while having some zany moments, and some nonsensical plot points about militarized dinosaurs… is pretty much everything I wanted in a sequel. I do wish it was a tad longer, taking more time to explain some things and slow down at some moments, but the pacing wasn’t bad really. I’m super interested in if there will be some deleated/extended scenes in the BluRay release. All in all though, after a fourteen year wait that came after kind of a very bitter bitter sweet third film I feel like this film is a great addition to the franchise. While it’s not as good as the original it’s defiantly a very worthy sequel.

Jurassic World answers a lot of questions I feel, while opening a whole new door for future teams to go down should they choose. If not, I’m actually not concerned. While there are plenty of loose strings it has an ending more akin to The Lost World and not super open ended like Jurassic Park 3. And that makes me as both a fan of this wonderful franchise and a movie goer satisfied. And those questions, along with the ones have have yet to be answered are still out there for future teams to tackle (oh please, let one of those teams include me! … I can wish….)

Jurassic World is a wild romp through the island of Isla Nublar that is not to be missed. It chaotic, fun, terrifying, and exhilarating. This movie is the definition of what a summer blockbuster should be and is defiantly not to be missed. If you’re a fan of the franchise though, bring some tissues- because the nostalgia train is gonna’ hit ya’, hard.

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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.

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 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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