2018 Summer Movie Review: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Film Title: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) trains Blue in a flashback in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. (Source: Variety)

I enjoyed the first Jurassic World, which became one of the highest-grossing movies of 2015. Not only did it have good actors and fun suspense, I found it to be a touching tribute to the wonderful prehistoric world Steven Spielberg brought to the silver screen 25 years ago. However–some distractions did kill its magic. Not to mention the ridiculous moment when Bryce Dallas Howard’s Claire runs around in high heels (as if they were sneakers). She goes on the run again, this time, in black boots, in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, the latest from director J.A. Bayona (The Orphanage, The Impossible). Of all the blockbusters coming out this summer, this might be the most disappointing one so far.

After the dinosaurs wreaked havoc in the scientifically-advanced theme park, the owner Claire Dearing (Howard) and Velociraptor trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) arrive at the abandoned Isla Nublar to save the remaining dinosaurs, despite the U.S. Senate ruling against the operation. Along with Zia (Daniella Pineda) and Franklin (Justice Smith), two members of Claire’s dinosaur protection program, the group notice the island is going to be wiped out by a volcanic eruption. They later learn about Eli Mills’ (Rafe Spall) plan after saving the genetically-engineered dinosaurs.

This movie, now becoming one of the highest-grossing films of this year (hitting over $1 billion worldwide), does have its moments. The scene on the island during the volcanic eruption early one is one of the best action set pieces you will see this year; with its gorgeous visuals (the dinosaurs look as great as ever), tension and Michael Giacchino’s thrilling score. The climax of the film really showcases Bayona’s talent as a filmmaker with its dark, Gothic atmosphere. But–if the best parts of the movie are the first and last acts, that’s not a good sign.

While Pratt saves the movie from being an absolute mess, the cast is trying way too hard in a story containing very little humor and a darker atmosphere. It’s basically a carbon copy of The Lost World: Jurassic Park, with Mills (who is a stereotypical villain) making the most powerful dinosaur on the planet while planning to relocate the dinosaurs with the help of Gunnar (Toby Jones). With little to no surprises, characters making stupid decisions, and the stupid twist involving Mills’ daughter Maisie (Isabella Sermon), it falls short from being good. While not the worst in the franchise, it’s better than Jurassic Park III.

2/4

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2015 Summer Movie Preview: June

The summer movie season is off to a fairly decent start. Even though there have been some complete failures (Aloha, Hot Pursuit), there have been some that either met (The Avengers: Age of Ultron; even though some people were disappointed with it) or exceeded everyone’s expectations (Mad Max: Fury Road). The month of June doesn’t have a lot that I’m excited for. Who knows? Maybe there would be some pleasant surprises throughout the month as well as the rest of the summer. Let’s talk about the movies that are coming out this month.

June 5

entourageEntourage (in theaters today) – I have never watched the HBO show. Seeing so many celebrity cameos from the preview looks like it would be okay for a few chuckles. I understand fans of the show are going to like or hate this movie. For a non-fan like me, I think it would be best to watch the show. Despite the negative reception, I’m not going to skip this movie. I’ll eventually watch the show and make an opinion when I end up seeing the movie.

spySpy – Melissa McCarthy returns with director Paul Feig (Bridesmaids, The Heat) to give what the audience wants. It looks like this movie has it all: action, laughs, and of course, Melissa McCarthy. She is the master of improvising and making people laugh. Her performance in The Heat, alongside Sandra Bullock, had everyone in stitches. I don’t think she’s an awful actress, but it seems like she’s playing the same character over and over again. I wouldn’t be surprised if this would become a hit. I might see it for Jason Statham and Jude Law.

insidious_chapter_threeInsidious: Chapter 3 – Damn, how many movies are we going to get? What is this going to become? Paranormal Activity? I haven’t seen the Insidious movies, but I’ve heard the first one was pretty decent, and the second one sucked. This one doesn’t look scary at all.

love_and_mercyLove and Mercy – Brian Wilson had a devastating life. He decided to stop touring and write music after having a panic attack. In the 1980s, he’s a confused middle-aged man. As a fan of The Beach Boys, I cannot wait for this! Paul Dano and John Cusack are the perfect choices to play Brian Wilson (not to mention Wilson being satisfied after seeing the movie). I love how Paul Dano gets physically tortured in every single movie (from There Will Be Blood to Prisoners to 12 Years a Slave). This time, in Love and Mercy, he’s getting mentally tortured. Time to get out the tissue box.

June 12

jurassic_worldJurassic World – Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite movies. It has the wonder, the suspense, and it became an early milestone of bringing dinosaurs to life by using state-of-the-art CGI. Since 1993, they still hold up to this day. 22 years later, we get a reboot of this wonderful movie. What can be more exciting than Chris Pratt riding on his motor-scooter with a group of velociraptors? My inner child cannot wait any longer for June 12th!

me_and_earl_and_the_dying_girlMe and Earl and the Dying Girl – This smash hit at this year’s Sundance Film Festival looks like it’s reminiscent to the films of Wes Anderson. A quirky comedy-drama about a teenage filmmaker who befriends a girl with leukemia. Words cannot describe on how stoked I am for this!! It looks funny and sad. My most anticipated movie for the month.

June 19

inside_outInside Out – PIXAR has made several imaginative animated films for kids and adults. They introduced a world of toys coming to life, showed the nice side of monsters, brought us under the sea, and even made a house fly. With Inside Out, PIXAR brings us inside the central nervous system and how our emotions are being controlled. After the solid but disappointing Monsters University, it looks like PIXAR is back to bring us the funny and emotional. If it stars two SNL alumni, Amy Poehler and Bill Hader, that gives two more good reasons to look forward to this.

dopeDope – Produced by Pharrell Williams, it follows an African-American high school senior living on the dangerous streets of Inglewood, California who dreams of going to Harvard. He goes on an adventure with his friends, one of them played by Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and they try not to get in trouble. This is another hit at Sundance that looks offbeat and moving.

infinitely_polar_bearInfinitely Polar Bear – It’s refreshing to see Mark Ruffalo getting mad without turning into a green monster. In Infinitely Polar Bear, he plays a father with bipolar disorder learning the responsibilities of taking care of his two daughters. This looks like a very funny and touching outlook how one guy tries to do what is best, despite his condition.

manglehornManglehorn – Al Pacino is one of my favorite actors. I’m glad he came back this year! Directed by David Gordon Green, who gave us small independent films (George Washington, Snow Angels, Prince Avalanche, Joe) and mainstream comedies (Pineapple Express, Your Highness, The Sitter), he directs – what looks like – a deep character study about a lonely, sarcastic man working as a locksmith after losing the woman of his dreams. This is a very different role for Pacino (in a good way). Despite the mixed reception from last year’s Venice Film Festival, I’m quite looking forward to seeing how he holds up with Green in the director’s chair.

June 26

ted_twoTed 2 – Directed by Seth MacFarlane. Skipping this one for sure. Moving right along.

maxMax – From the director of Remember the Titans, this looks like a sentimental but heartwarming story of a dog who helped Marines in Afghanistan, and is adopted by a family in the States. This might be good, but I’m pretty sure my father, who was former soldier of the Army National Guard, would like to see it.

batkid_beginsBatkid Begins – It’s rare to get excited for a documentary. Seeing the preview, I was hooked. Following a kid diagnosed with leukemia who wishes to be Batman. Everyone from all over the world has been passing the story like a virus, and they root for him. Please take my money!!

Recap:
Most Anticipated: Batkid Begins, Inside Out, Jurassic World, Love and Mercy, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl
Least Anticipated: Insdious: Chapter 3, Ted 2

I hope you enjoyed reading on what my thoughts are on several movies for the month of June. Tell me in the comments below on what your most anticipated movies are. Stay tuned for a movie preview for the month of July at the end of the month. Take care.

My Most Anticipated Movies for 2015

Happy New Year, everybody. I hope you made your resolutions. Last year has been a strong year for movies. There were many great surprises and some great disappointments. I hope 2015 will have movies that will meet and exceed audience’s expectations like last year. With that said, here is my list of the ten most anticipated movies for this year.

Honorable Mentions (in alphabetical order): Child 44 (April 17), Crimson Peak (October 16), Far From the Madding Crowd (May 1), The Good Dinosaur (November 25), The Hateful Eight (December 25), In the Heart of the Sea (December 11), Inside Out (June 19), Jupiter Ascending (February 6), The Last Five Years (February 13), Pan (July 24), Paper Towns (June 5), True Story (April 10)

10. Ant-Man (in theaters July 17; directed by Peyton Reed; starring Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Hayley Atwell, and Corey Stoll) – Before seeing footage for this, I haven’t heard a lot about Ant-Man. Paul Rudd is one of the funniest comedians working today. It’s interesting to see him in something unlike his other work. I have a feeling this would be pretty good. The effects reminded me Honey, We Shrunk Ourselves and Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

9. The Fantastic Four (in theaters August 7; directed by Josh Trank; starring Miles Teller, Kate Mara, Michael B. Jordan, and Jamie Bell) – Even though a trailer has yet to be released, it’s about time for a reboot after that awful 2005 version starring Chris Evans and Jessica Alba. Gotta love that cast.

8. The Walk (in theaters October 2; directed by Robert Zemeckis; starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley, Charlotte Le Bon) – I’m glad Zemeckis returned to live-action in 2012 with Flight. This movie tells the true story of Philippe Petit attempting to cross the World Trade Center on a high wire. I think the movie would look quite something in 3D. With Gordon-Levitt becoming one of my favorite actors, I have high hopes for this.

7. The Untitled Cold War Film (a.k.a. St. James Place) (in theaters October 16; directed by Steven Spielberg; starring Tom Hanks) – Following  American lawyer James Donovan recruited by the CIA to help rescue a pilot from being detained in the Soviet Union during the Cold War. Steven Spielberg is my favorite filmmaker, and Tom Hanks is my favorite actor. I smell Oscar bait.

6. Tomorrowland (in theaters May 22; directed by Brad Bird; starring George Clooney, Hugh Laurie, and Britt Robertson) – Given that Brad Bird directed the best film in the Mission: Impossible series – Ghost Protocol – I think the movie looks amazing. Again, the cast is great!

5. Mad Max: Fury Road (in theaters May 15; directed by George Miller; starring Tom Hardy, Charlize Theron, Nicholas Hoult, and Rosie Huntington-Whitely) – I haven’t seen any of the Mad Max films. This movie looks absolutely insane and over-the-top fun. Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron can do no wrong. The action looks breathtaking!

4. Jurassic World (in theaters June 12; directed by Colin Treverrow; starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Judy Greer, and Vincent D’Onofrio) – Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite films. It made me feel like a kid seeing something unlike anything I’ve seen before. This movie looks as tense as the first film was. I cannot wait to see Chris Pratt capture his charm and dinosaurs chasing him while riding his motorcycle.

3. Spectre (in theaters November 7; directed by Sam Mendes; starring Daniel Craig, Ralph Fiennes, Lea Seydoux, and Dave Bautista) – I love James Bond. I love the cast. I loved the last film. I CANNOT WAIT!

2. Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (in theaters December 18; directed by J.J. Abrams; starring Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Andy Serkis, and Max von Sydow) – Why am I looking forward to this? Because It’s STAR WARS!!!!!

1. The Avengers: Age of Ultron (directed by Joss Whedon; starring Robert Downey, Jr., Chris Evans, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Samuel L. Jackson, and Scarlett Johansson) – Do I need to explain?? I loved the first Avengers, and I hope this will have the humor, the phenomenal action, and the awesomeness that made the first film a hit. I want May 1st to come quicker!

I hope you enjoyed my picks. Leave comments on what movie you are looking forward to see this year. Stay tuned for my lists of the best and worst movies of 2014 in the middle of January. Take care!