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Jurassic World - Blu-ray Review

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Jurassic World - Movie Review

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3 stars

Hold onto your butts. This is going to be a bumpy read. Initially, I speculated that the extended embargo on press reviews for Colin Trevorrow’s Jurassic World was an indicator that perhaps all is not well inside the reopened park. The long-gestating blockbuster – while truly not the sequel Jurassic Park deserves – isn’t the total disappointment I originally suspected thanks to the undisputed charisma of Chris Pratt who works miracles with a (as written) nothing role. The critic-proof movie definitely has the teeth, just not the bite it needs for that extra reaction.

I think the majority of us can agree that Jurassic Park 2: The Lost World – with its elimination of isolation as it pays homage to King Kong – was a bit of a disappointment. There are good things in it – namely Julianne Moore’s scientific curiosity – but it never once feels totally inspired. Things get better with Joe Johnston’s criminally underrated Jurassic Park 3 as it rolls out in B-movie fashion as a zippy cinematic rollercoaster ride. Nothing in either of those films compares to what Spielberg did in the original Jurassic Park. The same can be said of Jurassic World, a film that brushes sequel one and sequel two under the proverbial rug, as it proudly proclaims that this film is the only true sequel to 1993’s classic film.

Twenty-two years after the original film, John Hammond’s dream lives on. His vision of people viewing living dinosaurs has been salvaged by owner Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) and effectively managed by Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard). Under their guidance, Jurassic World has turned the Costa Rican isle of Isla Nublar into a 'roided out family-themed tropical resort. However, it turns out that audiences are bored with the same-old dinosaurs. The Masrani Corporation, in order to rekindle interest among investors, has demanded that scientists create a hybrid dinosaur to spark the curiosities of the public and boost attendance. The resulting creation, aptly named Indominus Rex, is the embodiment of corporate greed and consumer excess and that beast, my friends, is one bitch that cannot be contained.

Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), the on-site staff’s velociraptors trainer, must work with Vic Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), the head of security operations for InGen, in order to corral or kill the escaped hybrid monster, save the park, and rescue Dearing’s nephews, Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins), who are visiting on the day of the great escape. It wouldn’t be a true dinosaur romp without including some kiddos who need saving after all. Alongside his trained team of individually named raptors, he works to save the day … and the movie.  

The script, written by too many people to count, brings back B. D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu (from the original) and introduces us to a new assortment of forgettable characters. This is, ultimately, its own undoing as it invites comparisons to the original but has nothing to say. Pratt, thankfully, brings the personality and appeal he brought to Guardians of the Galaxy and shines as the tension mounts and helps audiences ease into the bizarre man-and-monster team-up finale that practically has the raptors winking at the audience as a reminder that this is, after all, one big and impossible dinosaur tale.  

While Howard can be a good actress, she’s merely window dressing as the damsel in distress role x 10. This is her park. These are her nephews in danger. Yet, nothing beyond rote sympathy is earned. This becomes a problem that flashy special effects can’t exactly make up for. I don’t fault her. It’s the script that aims for bigger and better and forgets the human aspect along the way. Unfortunately, there are no memorable characters like Wayne “Don’t get cheap on me, Dodgson” Knight from the original or Pete Postlethwaite’s Roland Tembo from the second film.

Jurassic World’s dinosaurs, a nice mix of animatronics and CGI, look better than they ever have in these flicks thanks to new technologies and the efforts of VFX supervisor Tim Alexander. It’s a sequel so the amount of dinosaurs on parade is quite insane and the picture handles them all well enough to effectively sell their upgraded monsters to the popcorn-munching masses. No real complaints there.

Unfortunately, Trevorrow’s “poke fun or pleasure the audience” approach to the blockbuster formula sells thrill and terror fair enough but doesn’t fully take advantage of its many opportunities to be completely fresh. A lot of Jurassic World feels like mimicry. While Trevorrow is good with dropping nods to the original film, his own action sequences aren’t sharp enough to keep the satire introduced in the beginning fueled enough to escape ridicule as the movie settles into itself as just another sequel.

This is the dawn of a new breed of refueled franchises; summer movies like Dawn of the Planet of the Apes and Mad Max: Fury Road. I don’t believe that these flicks are mere anomalies in the corporate machine. Audiences are craving them and their content which is why they are so profitable. These exciting films are intellectually challenging and fun and are, as a result, more rewarding especially in the summer months. Jurassic World, while fun, is not one of those films.

Jurassic World already feels extinct. 

Jurassic World - Movie Review

MPAA Rating: PG-13 for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril | See all certifications.
Runtime:
124 mins
Director
: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Rick Jaffa (screenplay), Amanda Silver
Cast:
Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Ty Simpkins
Genre
: Action | Sci-fi
Tagline:
The park is open.
Memorable Movie Quote: "You just went and made a new dinosaur? Probably not a good idea..."
Distributor:
Universal Pictures
Official Site: http://www.jurassicworld.com/
Release Date:
Jun 12, 2015
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 20, 2015
Synopsis: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park (1993), Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.

Jurassic World - Blu-ray Review

Blu-ray

Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 20, 2015.
Screen Formats: 2.00:1
Subtitles
: English SDH, French, Spanish
Audio:
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: DTS 5.1; French: DTS 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; Digital copy (as download); DVD copy
Region Encoding: A

Universal has a very clean-looking image on its hands. The details ripple throughout the 1080p presentation. Colors are bold. Textures are detailed. The dinosaurs are replicated with a quality level of detail that is a continual sense of wonder. Black levels are solid and offer a great deal of depth to the overall picture. Fleshtones are saturated nicely and natural blues and greens dominant the color palette. The sound roars with a robust DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 lossless soundtrack.

Supplements:

Commentary:

  • None

Special Features:

Okay, the collectable tin that houses the blu-ray and the DVD copy of the film (plus the voucer for a UV/iTunes digital copy is totally lame. I don’t get why this is necessary at all. It comes in a round tin and is propped up by simple cardstock “shelf” of sorts to resemble the typical dimensions of a blu-ray case. The whole idea of “collectable” is bogus anyway in the age of mass production, so – already – this feels a bit – like the movie – extinct. The supplemental items on the disc involves several deleted scenes, a reflection by Pratt and Trevorrow on the making of the movie, a 30-minute making of, a look at the special effects, and some other glimpses into the making of the movie. Even Barbasol gets in on the action with a look at some of the “closet shaves” in the movie. Obviously, there’s nothing too important included here.

  • Deleted Scenes (6 min)
  • Chris & Colin Take on the World (9 min)
  • Welcome to Jurassic World (30 min)
  • Dinosaurs Roam Once Again (16 min)
  • Jurassic World: All-Access Pass (10 min)
  • Innovation Center Tour with Chris Pratt (2 min)
  • Jurassic's Closest Shaves -- Presented by Barbasol (3 min)

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