Jurassic World

Jurassic World. There are at least three establishing shots early in the movie that make sure you’re ready, later on in the movie, for a terrible jab about high heels. It’s that sort of dedication to the stupidest things where this movie really shines.

I’m curious about how this amped up B-movie plays for a young audience that doesn’t have ties to the earliest film. There’s a lot of fan service here with “remember how ___?” nudges throughout. The cellphone ringtone that pulls from the main theme was a nice touch. Along with those references, I thought I saw some borrowing from other movies, too: *Predator*-vision with people getting killed in the jungle; *King Kong*, where a monster looms over a woman in a tattered dress; flying creatures pouring over the horizon, like *The Wizard of Oz*; the scene people with tossing air tanks off the back of a vehicle has a hint of *Jaws* to it.

There’s also a complete orgy of product placement! Converse, Beats, Samsung, Verizon, Coca-Cola, Blackberry, Mercedes, Starbucks, Margaritaville. I’m pretty sure I’m forgetting another 5-10, minimum. Totally shameless.

It’s too bad that Chris Pratt is no fun here, mostly posing stiffly and asserting. They killed his charm, but he’s somehow still the best thing going here. D’Onofrio manages to make his Hoskins character more interesting than it should be, with all the swagger and bluster. Most of the others are pretty bland. Least (spoiler) favorite (spoiler) part (spoiler): the viciously indulgent death of the British nanny. Other downsides relate to its general overstuffed-ness. Earnest family bonding moments and a vast insider corporate conspiracy?

That I have so much to say about this says… something. So anyway, go watch Jurassic Park instead.

Life of Pi

Life of Pi. Awesome special effects and photography, almost worth watching simply for the spectacle. (Reminds me of The Fall in that way). I’d like it sooooooooooooooooooooooooo much more overall without the (blunt, preachy) narrative wrapper. I DNFed on the book several years ago. Not sure how it compares.