Tag Archives: Chris Pratt

No ‘Jaws’? Seeing ‘Jurassic’ for free not a worthy substitute

If I had actually paid to get into see 'Jurassic World,' I'm sure my reaction would have been much like this.

If I had actually paid to get into see ‘Jurassic World,’ I’m sure my reaction would have been much like this.

For Father’s Day, the family went to see the 40th anniversary showing of Jaws. The kids have never seen Jaws, and as it’s my favorite creature flick, we were ready for some bloody fun.

Unfortunately, the theater had not received the film in time for the showing we were attending. We were bummed, but the manager offered us – and what seemed like a fairly long line of people hoping to see Jaws – the opportunity to see any other movie for free. As my son has been dying to see Jurassic World, we chose a 3-D showing of the dino flick.

So here’s my 11-word review of Jurassic World: It wasn’t worth the price we didn’t pay to see it.

Sure, the dinos looked cool, and seeing them in 3-D added a little oomph. I’m not sure that was ever a concern, though. The problem with the Jurassic series has never been the over-sized, newly un-extinct reptiles. Beyond the first film in the series, it’s always what has been going on with the humans that causes problems.

Same here. The two brothers, shown above, are serviceable. However, these kids are pretty much just the two from the first movie, subtract one white girl, add one white boy. Instead of hanging with their grandpa who owns the park, they’re hanging with their aunt who runs the park. Instead of riding around in a jeep before a grumpy dinosaur sets them on another path, they ride in a gerbil ball before a grumpy dinosaur sets them on another path. And so on. The writing and the plot are some seriously lazy, weak fucking sauce. And it took four extremely overpaid people to come up with this lazy, weak fucking sauce.

You’d hope, of course, Chris Pratt might be able to save the film. And had they let Pratt be Pratt – or, in this case, Indiana Jones, since that’s who he looked like throughout the flick – that would’ve worked. Instead, they gave him no real sense of humor and tried to make him a sensitive yet macho-posturing bad guy with nothing but rote, obvious lines to spew. Bryce Dallas Howard fares worse, because her character is supposed to be a stiff, so she has even less to work with than Pratt. Their romantic coupling at the end is trite and unbelievable. There’s more chemistry between Pratt and the CGI predators than there is between the human leads. Hell, there’s more chemistry between Pratt and corporate soldier baddy Vincent D’Onofrio than there is between Pratt and Howard.

No more Jurassics for me. Period. … But I still can’t wait to see Jaws.

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Bad trailers=bad movies: 5 summer flicks I have no interest in seeing

5. Teminator: Genisys. I can see why the minds behind this thought it was a good idea, seeing the talent involved. But other than the John Connor twist – which is a pretty huge giveaway for a trailer – most of this looks like it could have been pulled straight out of the first few movies. Yes, you have a rich history to work with, but the last part of the Terminator franchise to escape from that shadow and be something fresh and interesting was the TV series, The Sarah Conner Chronicles. Add to that the problem of the last two Terminator movies having dulled my taste for the franchise, and not even Daenarys Targaryan as Sarah Connor is enough to make me reconsider this one.

4. Vacation. If I was a huge fan of the Vacation franchise, I probably would have ranked this higher, but I always preferred Chevy Chase in films such as Fletch, Foul Play and Caddyshack over his Clark Griswold performances. This film it looks like it could be worse than The Hangover II and The Zookeeper, combined.

3. Ant-Man. This is the lone time I have had zero interest in seeing flick that’s part of the Avengers’ Marvel universe. I thought Ant-Man was a bad idea when they announced it. Then Marvel kicked director Edgar Wright (Shaun of the Dead) off the project, and I really thought it was a bad idea. This trailer does nothing to change my mind. I’ve often thought that there are some things that just won’t translate well from comics, and I think this looks like example No. 1 of that theory. The truly unfortunate thing about all of this is I probably can’t avoid this film because of my daughter’s love of Paul Rudd, aka Bobby Newport from Parks & Recreation.

2. Poltergeist. How bad is this trailer? My 10-year-old, who occasionally will terrify himself so much that he’ll run the 7 feet from his bedroom to our living room at night just to not be in the dark, “scary” hallway, mocks this trailer every time we see it. Poltergeist just looks like another Insidious knock-off, now. An unimaginative, blatant, studio cash grab, nothing more.

1. Jurassic World. OK, so it isn’t just the trailer that makes this flick a no-go. Loved the first one, like a lotta folks, but the second one was awful. In the second Jurassic Park book, Michael Crichton envisions a chameleon-like dinosaur that is able to camouflage itself. When the movie hit theaters, I was excited to see what Steven Spielberg – the king of the big, fx-heavy summer blockbusters – would do with that. The answer: Nothing. And Stevie made up a new, significantly shittier ending. So I’m not getting burned again. This trailer, other than some new dinos, looks to be for a film that has nothing new to offer. Plus, if that one sex joke is the best they’ve given Chris Pratt to work with, the Jurassic minds are even more bereft of imagination than I ever would have expected.

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‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ great, but …

The Avengers, they're not. But they get the job done.

The Avengers, they’re not. But they get the job done.

There’s no doubt, Guardians of the Galaxy is a heap of fun, probably the most fun I’ve had with a Marvel movie since The Avengers. Plenty of humor, non-stop action, an unlikely group of heroes and the only Marvel flick to take place almost entirely off Earth give it a personality all its own (including being daring enough to have a totally crappy after-the-movie’s-over add-on … seriously, that was awful).

But Guardians of the Galaxy is also a symptom of a larger problem within the Marvel-verse: The big, city-destroying battle. I say “the” because the same battle seems to pop up at the end of every one of these flicks: Bullets and lasers flying, hordes of faceless minions gunning for our heroes, some sort of large aircraft/spacecraft, buildings falling, streets broken to shards of concrete, etc. The only thing that seems to change is the heroes doing the fighting. It’s starting to wear a little thin, in part because the big battles aren’t all that interesting.

Case in point, our titular Guardians. The big battle at the end is meh, lots of ships flying around, an enormous spacecraft closing in on a near defenseless city, and so on. The fun battles come when our fearless five escape prison with an ingenious and risky plan, as well as a confrontation with a pair of feuding factions when the Guardians go to see the Collector (a complete waste of Benicio del Toro’s creepiness, perhaps the only unforgivable part of Guardians of the Galaxy).

Even in the other movies, the better battles are the smaller ones. When Thor and his gang face The Destroyer in the Thor, when Thor battles Captain America and then takes on the Hulk in The Avengers, when Captain America’s elevator dust-up in The Winter Soldier, the smaller-scale fights are more intimate and interesting. Yet they seem to get buried in the body and building count of the large-scale, city-destroying climactic battles.

Is this a problem moving forward? On the one hand, like I said, more of the same gets old. On the other hand, most people are going to Marvel flicks to for that big, popcorn movie experience. Thoughts?

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