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Movie Review: Jurassic World



RELEASE DATE: June 12, 2015 (3D/2D theaters and IMAX)
STUDIO: Universal Pictures
DIRECTOR: Colin Trevorrow
STARRING: Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, Chris Pratt, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Nick Robinson, Irrfan Khan, Vincent D’Onofrio, BD Wong, Omar Sy, Katie McGrath, Lauren Lapkus, Andy Buckley
GENRE: Action, Sci-Fi, Horror, Adventure

1993 was a magical year that brought me one of my favorite films of all time. It combined all of my childhood fantasies about dinosaurs and made them come to life. It was both frightening and wondrous. I loved it and watched it on VHS over and over again. The follow ups to the Jurassic Park were lackluster examples of the law of diminishing returns (and some terrible writing). 14 years after the Jurassic Park 3 muck up we are introduced to Jurassic World.

The lessons of the past are apparently on the people that inhabit this world as they have realized Dr. Hammond’s vision and opened the park rechristened as Jurassic World. With the public unaware of the previous murderfests involving a park of that nature Jurassic World goes on to enjoy 10 years of profitability. But, with the general public growing complacent with all the giant dinosaurs running around and money not rolling in as fast as before, the big wigs needed something to spark sales. That thing comes in the form of Indominus Rex, a hybrid dinosaur mixed with the DNA of various animals in order to make it a scarier, more vicious killer. And in typical movie fashion, when people play God things get all sorts of screwed up. The highly intelligent killing machine gets loose and rapidly approaches a park of over 20,000 people.

The premise of the movie runs close to the original in that it involves someones hubris leading to the creation of life long extinct and the eventual deadly consequences of that. The thing is that this time it’s done on a far larger level. The park is actually completed with corporate sponsors and everything. Hell, even Jimmy Fallon does the safety warning on one of the rides. The park has Sea Worldesque attractions featuring things that would well… kill a killer whale. The famous Chris Pratt riding with a pack of raptors scene is kind of awesome looking but it’s not just thrown in there for wow factor it’s done within the story and thoroughly explained why it is able to happen before hand. That speaks to the writing of this film. They explain many key points before a pay off (save for why InGen is now the way it is and one or two other things). The stuff they skimp on isn’t enough to ruin anything for the viewer although I would like to have seen what the Indominus Rex was completely mixed with (perhaps a plot device for another sequel ?) Chris Pratt as Owen is a smart ass who can also kick a butt or two. This role suits him as he is accustomed to being that guy. Bryce Dallas Howard is Claire. She does a good job as the far to focused on her career woman and not that in to it aunt taking care of her two nephews at the theme park before all hell breaks loose. She’s the person who the events change the most. Vincent D’Onofrio plays the greedy corporate a-hole, Hoskins. There’s not much to say on him as a character because he’s fairly one dimensional.

One of the best parts of the film, to me anyway, is that it’s character driven. The two leads of Claire and Owen continuously show more of themselves through the harrowing situations they encounter. There is sexual tension from the beginning and eventually leads to the conclusion as far as their relationship is concerned everyone can see coming a mile away. But, the fact that you sit and wait to see how the characters deal with the situation of being stalked by a creature is a testament to the actors, director, and writers. The true genius of the film is the monster in the darkness. It’s handled with a Godzilla like reverence. It’s not shown in all it’s glory until a little later in the film and by then you learn a lot about Indominus Rex. It’s hunting habits a bit about how intelligent it is and can become and it makes the danger even more real for the human side of the movie. Whenever you see it on screen you just know it’s about to kick the crap out of someone and something and that is a rush.

I remember the original and just falling in love with everything about it. I sat and watched this film and did the same. It has flaws (which my jaded film critic mind couldn’t ignore at first) but, it holds up against the feelings I have for Jurassic Park. It’s definitely going to make a lot of money at the cinemas but it should sate the fanboys of the series as well.

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No Question Mark Box Here; Super Mario Delivers a 1-Up in Theaters



If you were born in the ’80s, ’90s, or literally ANY decade after those, you know about Super Mario. A cultural phenomenon was brought to life on the big screen this last weekend. One that has not only stood the test of time but reinvented itself time and time again. This wasn’t even the first time it’s been made into a movie but, well, let’s be honest.. some of us choose not to acknowledge the LIVE action adaptation of the beloved game from 30 years ago. 

It was pretty bad… But this was animation. ILLUMINATION animation at that. The Universal company that brought us Gru and his Minions, showed us the Secret Life of Pets, and gave us a reason to SING! Still, I had my reservations and even some concerns, especially when the casting was announced. 

 Eyebrows were raised. As big of stars as they were on paper, could they really deliver on voicing characters from a staple of our childhood? They did.

Chris Pratt and Charlie Day may not be Italian, and Jack Black may not be a King or Turtle creature from the Mushroom Kingdom, but they make the characters their own all while paying homage to the lore of a video game. 

From the jump, the story reintroduces us to the brothers that just want to save Brooklyn one clogged sink at a time. We feel an instant connection and relate to these “underdogs of the plumbing world”. The movie is riddled with easter eggs, each of which tugs on the heartstrings of every generation of Mario fandom. And the soundtrack was beautifully put together to not only make us feel like we’re taking a walkthrough of the game but like an experience all its own with some familiar favorites thrown in.

Every word in the movie is pure eye candy for both those that are casual fans, and those analyzing every frame to see what they’ll catch next. Bowser’s ship, the Mushroom Kingdom, Kong’s arena, and the Rainbow Road.. They’re all meant to give us just enough of a “new” look at these amazing worlds, but stay true to how we remember them.

The movie itself moves along at the perfect pace. Although, if you don’t really know ANYTHING about the Super Mario Bros, you may have gotten a little lost and felt left behind in the green tunnel. But that’s ok! It’s an adventure of the imagination and a classic story of a boy that meets a girl and tries to save the world from a monster that wants to destroy it.

What’s funny is that you could easily say this is a story about two characters who couldn’t be more opposite if they tried, battling to win the heart of a princess. Who would’ve thought that the King of the Koopas was just trying to impress his crush?

And that song? Ohhh THAT song! It’s my new ringtone and deserves the Oscar for Best Original Song.

Back to the movie. 

Universal and Illumination clearly understood the assignment. Is it missing some things or could things have been done differently or even better? Absolutely! We’re the worst critics of the things we hold nearest and dearest to our hearts. But if you’re up for going on a 90-minute adventure through amazing worlds, with awesome music, and characters that’ll make you smile and laugh, then this is the perfect movie to spring you into that warm summer feeling.

Plus there’s the whole part with karts and shells, and banana peels and oh my goodness how amazing was that?? It’s enough to make you want to stand up and cheer, then go home and destroy your friends and family on your favorite track haha.

The bottom line, it pays homage in all the right ways to the little guy with the mustache, while giving us something new and exciting. Take the kids and go see Super Mario Bros. You’ll be glad you did!

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Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023



Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Opening Act Saturday, March 25 at 1:30 p.m. on North 200A. Talent confirmed so far to participate in the post-screening panel is Natalie Alyn Lind (Big Sky, The Goldbergs, Gotham) as Wonder Woman/Diana Prince and longtime RWBY cast member Lindsay Jones (Camp Camp) as Ruby, Kara Eberle ( RWBY: Ice Queendom) as Weiss, Arryn Zech (Detective Now Dead) as Blake and Barbara Dunkelman (Blood Fest) as Yang – along with Jeannie Tirado (Soul, Saints Row) as Green Lantern and Tru Valentino (The Rookie, The Cuphead Show!) as a cyborg. Also attending the panel will be producer/director Kerry Shawcross (series RWBY) and writer Meghan Fitzmartin (Supernatural, Justice Society: World War II).

Warner Bros. Discovery Home Entertainment returns to WonderCon 2023 with the big screen debut from DC Animated Films: highlights this year include the world premieres of the highly anticipated Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham and Justice League x RWBY: Superheroes & Hunters Part One the weekend of March 24-26 in Anaheim, California. Both screenings will be followed by panel discussions with actors and creators. Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham premieres at The Arena on Friday, March 24 at 6 p.m. Tati Gabrielle (Kaleidoscope, Chilling Adventures of Sabrina, Uncharted) as Kai Li Cain, Christopher Gorham (The Lincoln Lawyer, Insatiable) as Oliver Queen, David Dastmalchian (Dune, Suicide Squad, Ant-Man) as Grendon, producer/co-director Sam Liu (The Death and the Return of Superman), co-director Christopher Berkeley (Young Justice) and screenwriter Jase Ricci (Teen Titans Go! and DC Super Hero Girls: Mayhem Across the Multiverse).

Both films will have encore screenings in the Arena on Sunday, March 26. Justice League x RWBY: Super Heroes & Huntsmen, Part One will screen at 12:15pm, followed by Batman: The Doom That Came To Gotham at 2:00pm

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Marvel Studios’ Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3



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