Lights! Camera! Rawr!

(Editor’s Note:  Please keep arms and legs inside of the vehicle at all times.  If you don’t, they very well might get eaten.)

We are releasing the first episode of “Little Kid Podcast” this week.  Yes, finally, for sure.  I promise!  As I often do, I started talking about dinosaurs last week and I’m going to finish up with this post about the Jurassic World movie.  We have spent many hours in an attempt to beat the game 100% and the movie made quite an impression on him.  Even though he’s growing up, he’s still our paleontologist in training and some part of him always will be.  Dammit.  I always say that I’m not going to miss it when they’re young, but I’m starting to tear up a little thinking that he won’t always be little Mr. Dinosaur.

I found myself in charge of three boys over the summer.  This is not out of the ordinary.  However, one of them was not mine and I was alone for the night.  I can’t remember where my wife was, but Aiden had a friend over for his birthday and we swapped Liam and him for the night.  I promise that all of this is relevant to the point of this post.

First, we tried watching Jurassic World a few months before and made it to the part in the movie where (spoiler alert!) the Indominous Rex went nuts and killed a bunch of people.  Liam, who is very sensitive to that sort of violence, freaked out a bit.  Even though some of you might consider that an overreaction, I can sympathize.  I couldn’t watch We Were Soldiers, don’t watch Game of Thrones, and stopped watching The Walking Dead (far in advance of the most recent episode that has people in a bunch) because of gratuitous violence.  As I said to a friend, I can get good story lines without it.  So, since Liam was at his friend’s house and Quinn is so obsessed with dinosaurs, I thought it might be cool to try to watch it again.  Also, I was getting close to bed time and all three were getting a bit rambunctious, so it had the added bonus of hopefully calming them down.  I’m happy to report success on both fronts.  We made ith through the whole movie and all boys enjoyed it enough to go to bed without incident.

Okay, story time over, so I will give my review of the movie.  I am a huge fan of the original Jurassic Park.  I was careful not to say series there.  I loved the first two books and the first movie.  I watched the second movie on the strength of the first, but quit and never watched the third.  By the time, news of the fourth one surfaced, I was checked out completely.

More recently, I read that the original plot of the 4th movie involved human/dinosaur hybrids.  I don’t remember if we knew that information when the movie was first announced.  Either way, I’m glad that they never made that movie and that they waited so long to give the idea some time to few new and fresh again.  Go back to what people loved, play on their nostalgia, and hook a new generation through their kids.  It worked for Rocky and Star Wars.

Because, let’s be real.  Each of these sequels is actually the original movie remade in every case.  Sure, they changed some details to keep those of us who already saw it interested, but the overall plots are identical.  Mind you, I’m not saying that the movies are bad.  I saw all three of them and thought they were all entertaining.  However, I’d be lying to say that I missed the obvious similarities.  So, why spend time watching a movie you’ve already seen?  While I am the type that doesn’t mind repeated viewings, I understand that some of you aren’t as forgiving.  So, I will try to give you some incentive to see an old remake of a way older movie.

Is it too obvious to say that it is a good movie?  It’s probably too obvious to say that it is a good movie.   Of course you think it is a good movie, you reply.  Why else would you be recommending it?  Okay, I get your point.  That being said, it is a good movie.  I will stop being lazy and get more specific in my praise.

Pros

  • New Dinosaur – Though the name is pretty stupid and the prototype human/dinosaur hybrid with a bazooka in his chest is beyond ridiculous, the rest of the Indominous Rex story line was well executed.  They used the time honored monster movie trope of not showing the monster right away.  They did it right, with just enough time for the big reveal that made it satisfying.  Plus, the kids love the dang thing so much they wanted to pool their money to buy the Lego set with the Indominous in it.
  • Raptors – I don’t remember when the velociraptors became the unoffical face of the franchise.  I do know that the T-Rex was in the logo for the first one and Spinosaurus in the 3rd one (I know that from the Lego video game), then Indominous for the new one.  But, the raptors have absolutely stolen the show and they are the reason that people keep coming back.  I think it is because they show the most intelligence and people think of them as scaly carnivorous puppies.
  • Owen – I, like most people, have loved this guy since he was the goofball on Parks and Recreation.  Then, he went and took one of my favorite comic book characters from my youth and gave him the utmost respect in Guardians of the Galaxy.  Now, he is the lovable raptor trainer in Jurassic World.  This guy is just having so much fun playing pretend and dress up and one of the few actors I know who could upstage the raptors as the main attraction in his scenes.

Cons

  • A bit violent – I’ve already covered Liam’s meltdown during the Indominous attack scene.  Other than that, there is dinosaur on dinosaur violence, other dinosaur on human violence, and just a much more bloody movie than I remember the first two being.  I’m not sure if that is just a reflection of the society or a conscious effort to ramp up the gore for some reason.  Just be warned if you are concerned about that sort of thing.
  • Other characters – Other than Owen, the characters in the movie are either boring, one dimensional, or both.  They certainly don’t have the same personalities as the first film.  Look, I know that they’re selling CGI dinosaurs, but would it have killed them to flesh out the characters just a bit more.  Who knows?  Maybe they expected this one to flop and they could kill the franchise once and for all.  Not likely, but stranger things have happened.  I guess we’ll find out if the next one comes out and we are still “treated” to cardboard cutouts instead of living, breathing human beings.

Even with the drawbacks, which are minimal when compared to other movies and TV shows out there, the movie is a good one.  I’ve watched it twice.  It inspired us to play the Lego video game and buy a couple of the Lego sets to play together.  If you haven’t seen it yet, give it a watch before exposing to younger or more sensitive kids.  If you determine that it is acceptable, enjoy the ride!

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