Movies are awesome

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Jurassic World: Dominion - my wife and I went to see this yesterday, and I enjoyed it quite a bit. They've finally done what I've wanted to see for a while in this series and put dinosaurs out in the world, where they take a stab at what this would look like in terms of dinosaurs interacting with existing wildlife and humans. The three main characters from Jurassic Park (Alan Grant, Ellie Satler and Ian Malcolm) return and have their own plotline which converges with the Jurassic World characters' plotline about 2/3 of the way through the movie. There are some callbacks to the original film, particularly in the choice of villain and how he meets his demise. It is long movie with a lot of moving parts, as is to be expected with seven lead characters, all of whom need something meaningful to do, and they generally all get it, though Sam Neill probably has the least, which is a shame since he's my favorite character. He does get my favorite line of the film, "Ellie, I'm going with you." It's about time. I'm not sure there's really anywhere else to go with this franchise and the concept, so if this is indeed the final movie, I'm good with that.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Finally saw Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom, and while I can't say it was good, it definitely worked for me a lot better than Jurassic World, and it looked much better as well. The director, DOP, and editor worked together to make JWFK a lighter touch, not cynical, so while there was a lot of silly and downright stupid things, it never felt too bogged down by them in the way that JW felt to me. It also worked as a retread because instead of retreading JP, it's retreading the vastly inferior TLW:JP for the first 2/3rds, if you're going to retread something, it may as well be something that wasn't great in the first place. I still couldn't tell you most of the characters' names, I could describe a lot of dumb things that happened, but I'd still say this is the right kind of "fun at a dumb movie" movie.
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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I've been in the mood to go back and re-watch the earlier Jurassic Park movies, and while the first one is very good, the second....

The Lost World - the dinosaurs look good, there are some good action sequences, and I like the new musical score, though it doesn't touch the first movie's music. Nice to see Ian Malcolm again, and the cameos by the children and John Hammond. But I had completely forgotten how much of this movie is driven by two of the main characters doing one stupid thing after another. Sarah Harding and Nick Van Owen are directly responsible for all the deaths in the movie by letting the dinosaurs loose and then by taking the Tyrannosaur infant. And it just doesn't work for Harding to do something incredibly dumb in one instance, then turn around and spout off some technical jargon or lecture someone about how they should not behave. Very few of the characters behave like they're stuck on an island with killer carnivorous dinosaurs, they act like they're on a backpacking trip. Even more than the first movie, the dinosaurs act like movie monsters and not wild animals. This one's a mess with a few good set pieces and a bunch of stupid characters.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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I'm re-reading the Jurassic Park book now for the first time in a number of years, and so soon after watching the films, I'm picking up some lines from the novel that were copied verbatim for the movie, though often in a different context. There are some major differences between the book and film of course, it's one of those "broad strokes" adaptions that is roughly the same story, albeit greatly simplified and for lack of a better term, dumbed down for movie audiences.

At any rate, I'm still watching the films in order as well.

Jurassic Park 3 - I've always enjoyed this one. I get the feeling that it's not held in high regard, but it's a perfectly serviceable action movie with dinosaurs, greatly improved over The Lost World because Sam Neill is playing Alan Grant again, and Laura Dern gets a small but very important role in the film, so it's good to see her again. This movie doesn't really innovate when it comes to the plot, we still have a small group of people trapped on an island full of dinosaurs and trying to escape alive, but what it does is go more for the action scenes and new dinosaurs, and on that level it works well. The sequence with the plane crash and attack of the Spinosaurus and the attack by the Pterodactyls are both good scenes. The Velociraptors aren't the primary threat this time, which is fine with me, I like seeing the new dinosaurs emphasized. There are the usual implausibilities in the plot that always pop up in these movies, but nothing that derails the entire movie. At least the characters who make dumb mistakes (the divorced couple looking for their son) aren't supposed to be experts like they were in The Lost World.

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andersonh1
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Re: Movies are awesome

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Still watching through the JP movies in order, and I won't re-review Jurassic World, since I looked at my review when it first came out, which is back on page 29 of this thread, and I still feel the same. Really enjoyed the depiction of a working dinosaur park and the fact that it gave us something new to see, though the "we've created something we shouldn't have, now everything is going wrong" plot that is in every one of these movies feels perhaps overly familiar when I watch these in such close succession.

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom - the only one I didn't see in the theater, and I honestly can't remember why I never got around to it. Jeff Goldblum's cameo is nice, and I recognize the dialogue at the end of the movie because it comes from the first book as he's explaining to Grant why the park was bound to fail, right before the sequence where the Tyrannosaur attacks the two cars. They're still mining Crichton's books for ideas, even if the plots have moved well beyond his. I like that the movie does not spend a lot of time on the island, and indeed, with the volcanic eruption it pretty much finishes it off as a setting. Human greed and trying to control something that can't be controlled continues to be a theme as the dinosaurs are finally brought to the mainland en masse and set loose into the wild at the end. There's potential here that isn't entirely realized in Dominion when it comes to dinosaurs and natural wildlife and humanity mixing. When she first turned up in Dominion I had completely forgotten the subplot about Masie being a clone (and the impression I got from Fallen Kingdom is that she's hinted as being a clone of the old housekeeper who looks after her, though it's not stated outright), which seems odd given how prominent she is in Fallen Kingdom. I think it's fair for these movies to explore the idea of other cloning uses besides dinosaurs, including human cloning, though I think it's better here than in Dominion where perhaps too much time is spent on the giant locusts when we want to see dinosaurs. The Indoraptor might be overdoing the 'intelligent dinosaur' idea though, thinking ahead, actually smiling when it pretends to be tranquilized (and how would it even know to do that anyway?) and figuring out that Masie is going to the top of the house. The Indominus just about worked as a concept, the Indoraptor probably takes it too far and turns part of the movie into a monster film rather than one about dinosaurs. But I have to admit, being chased through a huge house by a dinosaur is certainly something new, so I can't complain.

I think I may have enjoyed it more than JT did, though it seems from his review that he had fun with it, but by and large it is an entertaining adventure movie that has some great visuals and some lighter moments in among the people getting snacked on by dinosaurs.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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I have not seen the current Jurassic movie, but am planning to. (I really liked the last two, even if the end of "Fallen Kingdom" required a false choice.)

When she first turned up in Dominion I had completely forgotten the subplot about Masie being a clone (and the impression I got from Fallen Kingdom is that she's hinted as being a clone of the old housekeeper who looks after her, though it's not stated outright), which seems odd given how prominent she is in Fallen Kingdom.


Masie as a clone of the millionaire's daughter. The old nanny was the nanny of the original, and wanted to raise the clone as a sort of mulligan shot.


The Indoraptor might be overdoing the 'intelligent dinosaur' idea though, thinking ahead, actually smiling when it pretends to be tranquilized (and how would it even know to do that anyway?) and figuring out that Masie is going to the top of the house.
The indo-saurs had octopus DNA in their genetic stew. Octopus are *smart* and understand "theory of mind" (which is necessary for an ambush predator that relies heavily on deception). Knowing where prey is running/hiding is within the range of that sort of intelligence. Similarly, smarter animals can enjoy being jerks.

The facial muscles needed to smile are less of an issue considering the line about the park "not making dinosaurs", rather than making stuff that will draw money.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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I had some unexpected free time yesterday, and decided to see "Jurassic World: Dominion". (Nothing makes me nostalgic for COVID, and elbow room, quite like riding the trains.)


Much like the last 2 Jurassic movies, Dominion has some good moments, mixed with some righteously stupid bits. "Dominion" lacks the lacks the moment of blinding idiocy that defined the end if "Fallen Kingdom", putting it slightly ahead. But, there was no small amount of contrivance (characters being in the right place at the right time) and plot armor. (Have the producers of that movie even actually been cold?)

Some of the scenes of Dinisaurs being exploited were brutal. They made sense in the context movie. But, I was surprised that they made the final cut (particularly the scene with the "bait-dog" dino.)
Spoiler








My favorite scene involved Blue, her baby and a rabbit. The producers managed to set up a scene where a velociraptor is hunting a bunny, and most of the audience is rooting for the velociraptor. And, when blue takes down the fox, .....all but the ponciest contrarians are rooting for the murder lizard over the cute little mammal.

The first of the new movies ("Jurassic World") accounts for oddities in the dinosaurs by saying that the parks were not making dinosaurs, rather than something they could sell. "Dominion" would have benefitted from having that restated more directly than it was. (
Spoiler
Related question: where did the mad scientists get the "unchanged genome" for the feathered dinos in the movie?

The reveal about
Spoiler
Masie seems like a back-write. I would need to re-watch the previous movie to see how well it could fit. Not sure why that detail was written in.
Two questions:
Spoiler
How did they track blue's baby? Was she given a tracking implant?

Was there any motivation given for the main bad guy beyond simple greed?
I took a bathroom break, just before the scene with the flaming locusts, so I may have missed something.


The most glaring flaw in the movie was that it leaned in a little to much on "bad guy gets a second chance".
Spoiler
A case could be made for the pilot reaching a breaking point. But, Dr. Wu is given an unearned pass. There is nothing inherently wrong with a bad guy using an unearned break. But, the only objection on-screen was from Doctor Malcolm, whose schtick is being a man of low morals.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Addressing some of Dom's observations:
Spoiler
Dominic wrote:
Wed Jul 06, 2022 7:25 am
The reveal about Masie seems like a back-write. I would need to re-watch the previous movie to see how well it could fit. Not sure why that detail was written in.
It was a change. In Fallen Kingdom, Masie is said to be a clone of Lockwood's daughter who died in a car accident, and cloning a human was the morally dubious action that drove Lockwood and Hammond apart. In Dominion she is retconned to still be a clone of Lockwood's daughter, but the daughter is now said to have been the one who cloned herself, and who was able to remove genetic problems that would ultimately lead to hear death.

Masie is only 10 in Fallen Kingdom, set in 2018, so unless the split between Hammond and Lockwood was over attempts to clone a human rather than the final result (and such attempts would almost certainly require a lot of time and involve failures, so the idea still works), Hammond would have to have lived as late as 2008 to have known and objected to Masie's existence. Given his health in The Lost World, set in 1997, that's dubious.
Two questions:

How did they track blue's baby? Was she given a tracking implant?
There was an explanation, but I honestly forget what it was. I think that was part of the point of the side trip to Malta, they were told Beta and Masie had been taken there, and then from there they were able to learn that they needed to follow to the preserve and BioSyn headquarters.
Was there any motivation given for the main bad guy beyond simple greed?
Not that I remember, he was in it for the money.
But, Dr. Wu is given an unearned pass. There is nothing inherently wrong with a bad guy using an unearned break. But, the only objection on-screen was from Doctor Malcolm, whose schtick is being a man of low morals.
I thought that was an interesting choice. Wu has been around since the beginning, and has been a major villain in the last two Jurassic World movies even with his small amount of screen time, so allowing him to live and to be genuinely repentant is not something we see often with villains. I'm not sure it was warranted, he's as responsible for all the deaths and destruction by the dinosaurs as anyone, but he never pays for it like other villains in the movie series. I'd like to see the writers address that at some point.

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Re: Movies are awesome

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Using spoiler text for all of this....
Spoiler
It was a change. In Fallen Kingdom, Masie is said to be a clone of Lockwood's daughter who died in a car accident, and cloning a human was the morally dubious action that drove Lockwood and Hammond apart. In Dominion she is retconned to still be a clone of Lockwood's daughter, but the daughter is now said to have been the one who cloned herself, and who was able to remove genetic problems that would ultimately lead to hear death.
I attributed her age to the clone being in some kind of storage (like a frozen embryo), regardless of how her mother died, or the nature of that motherhood).

I thought that the original daughter died in an accident, but have not seen the movie for some time.

I am 90% sure that the 2nd and third Jurassic movies from the 90s have been over-written, so Hammond's death in the second movie would not be an issue. (And, Hammond may have known about the preliminary work on the human cloning.)


The change, particularly the genetic disorder schtick, was likely to set up for Wu's redemption.

There was an explanation, but I honestly forget what it was. I think that was part of the point of the side trip to Malta, they were told Beta and Masie had been taken there, and then from there they were able to learn that they needed to follow to the preserve and BioSyn headquarters.
I meant how they were tracking the baby in the facility. (She was shown on a tracking screen.)
I thought that was an interesting choice. Wu has been around since the beginning, and has been a major villain in the last two Jurassic World movies even with his small amount of screen time, so allowing him to live and to be genuinely repentant is not something we see often with villains. I'm not sure it was warranted, he's as responsible for all the deaths and destruction by the dinosaurs as anyone, but he never pays for it like other villains in the movie series. I'd like to see the writers address that at some point.
I am thinking more the fact that he helped design locusts that were specifically intended to.....compromise the planet's food supply.

Making the dinosaurs was justifiable for the sake of endeavor.

Being part of the second park ("Jurassic World") was similar. Yes, he helped design weapons (such as the Indoraptor), but that would be a trade-off for making cool stuff. (Aside, I liked the use of the pointers in this movie. It was a good follow-up to a plot-point from the last movie, even if it set up for a dumb chase scene.)

But, Wu could not possibly have thought that the giant locusts he designed were meant for anything other than attacking competiting agri-business.


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Re: Movies are awesome

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Spoiler
Dominic wrote:
Wed Jul 06, 2022 12:05 pm
I am 90% sure that the 2nd and third Jurassic movies from the 90s have been over-written, so Hammond's death in the second movie would not be an issue. (And, Hammond may have known about the preliminary work on the human cloning.)
All the earlier movies still count. As far as I can tell, Dominion only retcons Masie's story, so it only affects Fallen Kingdom. And to be fair, there was a lot we didn't know about her so it's not an implausible retcon. A date for Hammond's death was never specified on screen in any of the movies, so there's no way to know exactly when it occurred. He's still alive in 1997 at the end of the Lost World, though under home medical care, and though he's mentioned in JP3, whether he's still alive or not isn't discussed. I think your explanation, that he knew about the preliminary work, is the best explanation.
The change, particularly the genetic disorder schtick, was likely to set up for Wu's redemption.
I agree.
But, Wu could not possibly have thought that the giant locusts he designed were meant for anything other than attacking competing agri-business.


Agreed, he had to have known going into it what would happen. He's been shown as someone who didn't mind creating hybrid dinosaurs for military application in Jurassic World and Fallen Kingdom, with the rationale that "he had to innovate", and "if he didn't do it someone else would", so he had done some morally dubious things before and seemingly had no problem living with that. But potentially starving millions seems to have been too much.

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