Movie Review: Jurassic World – People Will Never, Ever Get Sick Of Watching Dinosaurs Eat People

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Oh, when oh when will we learn? Look, there’s never a good reason to bring giant, carnivorous animals back. What do the scientists in Jurassic anything keep saying to themselves?

“What’s the worst that could happen? So maybe they could break free and devour a school bus full of kids. That’s not going to happen. Except that it’s already happened…three times. Maybe we should try again anyway, just to be sure.”

That’s literally what has to be going through these scientist’s heads, but we’re supposed to believe that in order to advance the plot. What’s the plot? Here’s my best synopsis. Forgive me for any spoilers.

The dinosaurs break free and eat people.

Yes, there’s the same cardboard cutout cast. Harried career woman, idealistic guy, scientist predicting doom, you know, the regulars. They give them inane dialog and spew out lots of info dumps. They try to cram in as many clichés as possible and the entire plot is propelled by coincidence or people being idiots, or both.

I will give them this. Jurassic World does not hold itself back, despite how implausible the plot. It knows where it shines and where it shines is the special effects.

Scene from Jurassic World

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Those will kind of blow your mind. They’re the kind where, even though you know something is going to happen, you flinch anyway. The dinosaurs are so well done, I kind of suspected Universal of really cloning them. They’ve even gotten them right down to that eerie intelligence. The kind where you know, just know, they’re thinking about eating someone.

Then they do and it erupts into almost an artistic orgy of violence. Of course, they keep it PG-13, but what’s America’s standard for PG-13? My guess would be you’re not allowed to film really killing someone but anything else goes. Just don’t let them see any nipple.

For concerned parents, this movie is nipple free…unless you’re talking about dinosaur nipples. I don’t know what those look like.

I forgave Jurassic World for their implausible plot. This is a rarity for me, but in this case, following the formula actually worked. They’ve hit the nail on the head by following one simple, but genius theory.

People will never, ever get sick of watching dinosaurs eat people.

So I give this movie five stars on special effects alone. The plot is terrible. The characters are awful and the best actors, by far, are the dinosaurs. Don’t try to follow the plot or any of the side stories. Just open your mind to the stunning visuals and tune out for an hour and a half.

Yes, I know this movie was only made to cash in on the massive success of the others. It’s absolutely a shameless cash grab. An attempt to wring more money out of the franchise.

But it worked. Even with everyone knowing why, it’s still working. Jurassic World pulled in $208 million on its opening weekend. Those shameless grifters at Universal got me again.

So why am I not angry? Because Universal delivered the thing I wanted. They delivered dinosaurs eating people.

Who could ask for anything more?

WE GAVE IT : 3 STARS! Watch the Official Trailer and See the Official Movie Poster below

stars

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Movie Review: The Judge (2014) – A mediocre effort slightly elevated by the acting of Downey and Duvall

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There is just something about a man with daddy issues… Before we get started, you should know that this is your standard hometown boy makes good movie, complete with a workaholic with marriage troubles, who had a disapproving father that needs his help but won’t admit it.

Hank Palmer (Robert Downey Jr.) is your standard sleazy defense lawyer with a successful career living in the big city. All that changes when his estranged father, Judge Joe Palmer (Robert Duvall) is accused of murder and Hank needs to return to his small Indiana town to defend him. While there, he rekindles a relationship with the coolest chick in town, Samantha (Vera Farmiga), and his estranged brothers, Glen (Vincent D’Onofrio) and Dale (Jeremy Strong). Complicating matters is the recent death of their mother and the Judge’s wife, which makes the ornery old man even more ornery than usual. As a bit of comic relief, enter Hank’s tween daughter (Emma Tremblay).

There is too much going on in the movie. It tries to mesh family drama with a major murder case, but there are so many story lines, it’s impossible to follow every single one. It’s like watching forty episodes of Law and Order, all at once.

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I am very glad to see Robert Downey Jr. outside of an Iron Man costume, though. I forgot that this guy actually knows how to act. In a character that should be utterly unlikable, Downey brings redemption and vulnerability. With Downey playing him, Hank wouldn’t be my new best friend, but I wouldn’t unfriend him on Facebook either.

Robert Duvall is great as the grumpy old man judge. He plays his holier than though character well and makes you understand why Hank would choose to cut him out of his life. The relationship between the two takes center stage, with the hit-and-run trial the judge is facing becoming nothing more than a backdrop to the family drama already brewing.

The run time is RIDICULOUS. Two hours and 22 minutes is way too long for so much drama, even with all the different story lines going on. If you’re trying to write a political thriller, an hour and a half is more than sufficient. Two hours just leaves your audience exhausted. Save the two hour run times for movies like Lord of the Rings. Ninety minutes is more than enough for a legal thriller. Hell, Law and Order does it in only 60 (not including commercial breaks).

The movie feels like a desperate grab for an Oscar, from a guy who is tired of playing all his parts in a latex body suit. It tries so hard to be deep and serious that is comes off as a whiney movie about the first world problems of rich white dudes.

My judgment on The Judge is that it’s a mediocre effort that is slightly elevated due to the power of its leads. This overlong, overstuffed movie fails to satisfy. It’s hard to like the leads or even understand their motivation. While it might be a decent way to pass an hour, you’ll find yourself getting bored and losing interest about 80 minutes in… which is exactly where this movie should have ended.

WE GAVE IT: 3.5 Stars – Watch the Official Trailer and Official Movie Poster below!

3.5 stars

 

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