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Daniel Ortiz Rants on: Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom

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“When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.”

My God, what did I just witness? Let me start off by saying I haven’t been close to thrilled by any Jurassic Park movie since the first one. I even admitted right before the film started that I wouldn’t care much for this movie, but because of the basic nostalgia and sheer hope that they can redeem themselves in making an actual suspenseful film; I held onto faith in Spielberg. Oh my God, was it in vain.

1529636179206I barely saw the trailers so I didn’t see much past the volcano erupting and the dino’s running. The first thing I did was get on my knees and pray that there were no more children in this franchise. THEY BRING IT DOWN! My prayers went unheard. The second thing I prayed for was that there be less ‘close calls’ and dumb smart dinosaurs. I believe the Lord doesn’t love me. Just kidding, but it’s that serious of a disappointment.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom was EXACTLY what I expected. A ton of running, ALMOST getting snatched up by dinosaurs, and a butt-load of plot-conveniences for the characters. There were so many decisions that made absolutely no sense and characters showing up at the right place at the right time. The jokes fell short, the action was mediocre, and all the characters were boring. Not even Chris Pratt’s charm could overcome the lack of empathy I had for this movie.

Oh, and guess what? Another new dinosaur was created to increase drama, with better senses and a smarter brain, but still managed to succumb to a primitive way to die. Also, the plot twist… clones are happening in more ways than one.

Look, I’m clearly upset. What made the first Jurassic Park great were three things 1) The ability to develop likable characters that the audience cared for 2) The constant discussion of playing God, messing with nature and the consequences of these actions and 3) The level of suspense built through environment and the unknown.

The jokes fell short, the action was mediocre, and all the characters were boring.

This film had one hard choice to make at the end, which consequentially would put an end to this franchise and send the dinosaurs back to extinction (which I was ready for because this story needs to be closed), but no; the decision was unanimously overturned by a damn kid!

The only redeeming quality was cool visuals… sometimes.

Overall Grade: D+

I don’t want to think about this film anymore. I know its going to make a zillion dollars this weekend and people are going to pretend to like it, but its a huge waste of time and definitely a cash grab. This franchise has turned into your run of the mill Fast and Furious and Transformers style of lazy story telling. And why should they feel compelled to put in more effort when they’re making money?

The only way I see these films getting any better is if they go to an R rating and stop keeping its biggest characters safe. There will be another film guaranteed, but I think this will be the last JP movie I put an effort into seeing.

 

Jurassic World: The Fallen Kingdom
Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
June 2018
Director: J.A. Bayona
Universal Pictures
2 hours 8 minutes

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Daniel Ortiz Rants On: Us

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A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.20190324_073731

Rarely do I prepare myself to see a film, but Jordan Peele’Us is one of those rare movies I didn’t need to see more than one trailer for, nor did I need the hype of other critics. I also wanted to judge this film off its own merit rather than comparing it to his freshman standout, Get Out (which made my #1 film of 2017). Comparisons will be made, but I’ll try to keep them as minimal as possible.

The stand out feature is that this film is beautifully shot. The cinematography of this movie adapts to its environment seamlessly whether it’s a vibrant beach scene or a dark setting where just enough of the characters faces needs to be made out.

Also, I thought Lupita Nyong’o as Adelaide’s doppelganger, Red was a terrifying character. Everything from her awkward pantomimes to her unhinged voice was the thing of nightmares.

Now, there were a few (lots of) issues I did have with the film. I left the theater with more frustrating questions than fulfilling answers. It felt like too many ideas where in the plot and too much symbolism was forcefully wedged in to satisfy the expectations of the Get Out fans, but it came out as a jumbled mess of psychology that I didn’t want to spend my viewing time deciphering.

A lot of the horror that was built up for this film was also very deflating as the Wilson family was spared instant death and provided a background story by their doppleganger’s while others were swiftly killed before they knew what hit them. Halfway through the film, you pretty much knew they were safe from any death or violence which takes away all tension as a viewer.

The connection between the characters and their dopplegangers wasn’t fleshed out enough. Some things came off as inconsistent and driven for plot convenience, rather than a solution. I didn’t get many of the motivations and the decisions that drove the actions of our protagonists. I didn’t understand why the dopplegangers wore red jumpsuits and just one fingerless driving glove. The one symbolism I understood was the scissors, which if you look at the handle on the poster, looks like mirrored heads. This was the weapon used to cut the connection between themselves and their other half. Otherwise, I may need to see some other folks interpretations of the film.

Also, the editing was not good. There were scenes that were waaaay too long and could’ve used a few chops. The opening credit scene reminded me of an old horror movie from the 70’s (think the Amityville Horror ’79) where the title card has nothing going on, and as a viewer I felt stuck looking at a bunch of rabbits for what I assume was 3 minutes just waiting for the movie to get started.

Overall Grade: C-

There’s just too many questions, and too many inconsistencies to feel comfortable giving it anything higher. Maybe in the upcoming weeks certain plot revelations might come to fruition, but I’m not looking for Kubrick levels of hidden meaning, and this is not Kubrick-esque. I’ll chalk this up to a sophomore slump by Peele and the pressures of following up to such an acclaimed film. I just got hints of M. Night Shyamalan in this movie, meaning a Director/Writer who is owning a genre and gets type-casted to that medium. Let’s hope Jordan Peele doesn’t head down that same road.

Us (2019) 1h 56min | Horror, Thriller | 22 March 2019 (USA) Summary: A family's serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.
Countries: USALanguages: English

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5 Geek Chic Trailers for Your 4K TV

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These luscious 4K trailers are in zippy 60fps for you VFX aficionados. 

Alita: Battle Angel 

Robert Rodriguez directs James Cameron‘s script melding state of the art effects with live action. We’ve come a long way since Who Framed Roger Rabbit?

Godzilla: King of the Monsters

Last stand-alone Godzilla movie before he kicks King Kong‘s ass in 2020. Epic visual effects create a scale worthy of your 4K TV.

Hellboy 

This reboot has big red shoes to fill.

Men in Black 4

I admit the best thing about this trailer is seeing Tessa Thompson in high resolution. Am I allowed to say that? #toolate

Avengers: Endgame

They don’t give a lot away in the new Avengers trailer, but it sure looks purty.

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White Right: Meeting the Enemy

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Deeyah Khan puts herself in real jeopardy in White Right: Meeting the Enemy, confronting the whitest rightest supremacists and Neo-Nazis with the oldest trick in the book; she becomes their first friend of color. No shit. You’ll be amazed as Deeyah proves racism is born from miseducation and a total lack of experience.  Sure, not everyone becomes a believer in the end, but you sure will.

 

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