Jurassic Park Franchise (1993-?)

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Lost Highway
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#76 Post by Lost Highway » Sun Jun 14, 2015 3:11 pm

While the effects were groundbreaking and the first T-Rex attack is as good as anything Spielberg has done, Jurassic Park always struck me as a film where his heart wasn't in it. He seemed to be more preoccupied with Schindler's List and with being taken seriously as a director of prestige dramas which would garner him that best director Oscar. When there aren't dazzling effects and action on display, Jurassic Park feels lacklustre in a way that the great Spielberg blockbusters like Jaws, Close Encounters, Raiders and E.T aren't. I think he regained his love for genre films with A.I. and much of his genre work from then on I like, but there is mid-period Spielberg like Jurassic Park and The Last Crusade which feel tossed off. Hook and Always and a few others of that period are nothing short of disastrous and were films by a director who lost his way for a while.

Because I don't think Jurasic Park is as great as many people think it is, I don't have as many problems with the sequels. I always thought The Lost World was fun, if minor Spielberg and never understood why it's quite so hated.

I've still never warmed to Spielberg as a director of issue or prestige dramas, there are plenty of directors who do that better but he is one of the film makers who made me love movies in my formative years. Close Encounters was my favourite film as a teenager, I went to see it about ten times in the first year of its release and I still watch it once a year.

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Luke M
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#77 Post by Luke M » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:40 pm

I thought Jurassic World was fantastic. I too was never too high on the original one. At the time, I had just finished Crichton's novel and the movie felt like the worst book adaptation I had ever seen. Spielberg spent so much time on characters' jaws dropping instead of having actual dinosaurs wreak havoc on them.

Jurassic World wastes little time getting to the danger. The kids, though preferably the film would be better without them, are far less irritating than the kids in the original.

I suppose I had the opposite reaction than some here, this movie just bolstered the case against Spielberg and confirmed all that anti-Spielberg snobbery I've built up over the years.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#78 Post by mfunk9786 » Sun Jun 14, 2015 4:43 pm

I can't even begin to imagine what it must feel like to be you.

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denti alligator
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#79 Post by denti alligator » Sun Jun 14, 2015 7:41 pm

While I certainly don't think this was as good as the original, I certainly didn't have the retching reaction most of you seem to have had. Perhaps it was because I was vicariously enjoying the film through my 7 year old son, who loved every second of it. The characters were annoying, to be sure, and the product placement was excessive. But whatever. The battles were fun. And the whole joke of "we need to make an even bigger, scarier dinosaur to make the kids happy" seemed to take some of the edge off the feigned seriousness of it all. This film was THAT dinosaur. And in the end, of course it's the T-Rex who wins, which is this film's way of saying, "it may have been fun, but we know where reverence is due."

By no means a great film. But by no means horrible.

Numero Trois
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#80 Post by Numero Trois » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:59 am

Lost Highway wrote: He seemed to be more preoccupied with Schindler's List and with being taken seriously as a director of prestige dramas
Always a good time to bring up Jacques Tardi's thoughts on the matter:
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hearthesilence
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#81 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:47 pm

I can't believe people flocked to this movie. The franchise isn't completely terrible, but I don't recall many people being even passionate about the first (and until now most successful) installment compared to, say, Tim Burton's Batman. Even with its groundbreaking FX, it was pretty bland.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#82 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 2:53 pm

Burton's Batman grossed $251 million domestically. Spielberg's Jurassic Park grossed $357 million, or $402 million if you include the 3D re-release. Including worldwide grosses, Jurassic Park has made over $1 billion theatrically, Batman less than half that.

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domino harvey
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#83 Post by domino harvey » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:26 pm

We've been through this before, in this very thread, and he's made the same arguments backed up by being the wrong age when it came out, I guess

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jindianajonz
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#84 Post by jindianajonz » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:41 pm

domino harvey wrote:We've been through this before, in this very thread, and he's made the same arguments backed up by being the wrong age when it came out, I guess
Well I'll be damned...

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hearthesilence
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#85 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jun 15, 2015 3:52 pm

Yep, I admit it.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#86 Post by mfunk9786 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:37 pm

Actuals are back, Jurassic World is the all-time biggest opening weekend ever, coming in at $208.8 million.

If only it were another Tim Burton Batman, could've cracked a quarter bil!

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swo17
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#87 Post by swo17 » Mon Jun 15, 2015 4:39 pm

All-time international/worldwide as well.

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hearthesilence
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#88 Post by hearthesilence » Mon Jun 15, 2015 10:58 pm

mfunk9786 wrote:Actuals are back, Jurassic World is the all-time biggest opening weekend ever, coming in at $208.8 million.

If only it were another Tim Burton Batman, could've cracked a quarter bil!
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Mr Sausage
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#89 Post by Mr Sausage » Mon Jun 22, 2015 7:52 pm

I don't know if the film was shot for 3D or not, but the process is a detriment to the film. Shots that were supposed to have a sense of vastness or largeness ended up seeming tiny. I'm thinking of the first big shot of the park, which came across exactly like a toy model. The problem is that the perspective is all wrong: things that are far away nevertheless seem very close to you, close enough that the scale for judging size shifts from whatever's on the screen to your own body parts. So helicopters or flying dinosaurs or trucks all seem like toys or models. There is something inadvertently hilarious about grand, sweeping music introducing what looks like a miniature village.

The movie was dumb; there was no logic either to what people did or what scenes happened where. And does no one feed these dinosaurs? All they ever seem to do is eat indiscriminately. Hell, that big water dinosaur had had two separate meals that day (shark and pteranedon/human) and was still famished enough to throw itself on land to eat a gigantic apex predator. This is the equivalent of feeding an orca a seal, an albatross, its trainer, and a few hours later watching it leap onto the cement to eat a polar bear.

My expectations were low so I still enjoyed the thing. It was packed with incident and had a pleasing amount of dinosaur rampages. My favourite scene was easily the velociraptor run. The kinetic camera work coupled with the feeling of expectation was exhilarating.

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YnEoS
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#90 Post by YnEoS » Wed Jun 24, 2015 3:23 pm

Mr Sausage wrote:I don't know if the film was shot for 3D or not, but the process is a detriment to the film. Shots that were supposed to have a sense of vastness or largeness ended up seeming tiny. I'm thinking of the first big shot of the park, which came across exactly like a toy model. The problem is that the perspective is all wrong: things that are far away nevertheless seem very close to you, close enough that the scale for judging size shifts from whatever's on the screen to your own body parts. So helicopters or flying dinosaurs or trucks all seem like toys or models. There is something inadvertently hilarious about grand, sweeping music introducing what looks like a miniature village.
I believe that's a decision that's made in the post process. Big far away things tend to look pretty flat, so sometimes they will purposefully exaggerate the 3D effect to make things look cooler, but it also makes everything look closer and smaller. I remember Guillermo del Toro saying that one of his requirements when he agreed to doing a post-3D conversion for Pacific Rim was that they keep the scale correct no matter what, even if the 3D effect for a shot ended up being very subtle or unnoticeable.

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Lost Highway
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#91 Post by Lost Highway » Wed Jun 24, 2015 4:14 pm

The decision to release a film in 3D usually is made during pre-production and these days most 3D films are post conversions, because it's less cumbersome to shoot that way and post-conversions have become pretty good, quality wise. It's usually studio dictated/desired because of the extra revenue and some directors like Cuaron, del Toro and Ridley Scott embrace 3D while others barely get involved.

I haven't seen Jurassic World, but I have the 3D Blu-ray of Jurassic Park, which looks quite impressive.

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Mr Sausage
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#92 Post by Mr Sausage » Wed Jun 24, 2015 6:07 pm

This is also the kind of movie that gives three minutes to mourning a dying apatosaurus, but only a couple of seconds to any of the dead humans.

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mfunk9786
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#93 Post by mfunk9786 » Wed Jun 24, 2015 8:02 pm

And the time mourning the apatosaurus is an inexplicable detour en route to two very much in immediate danger relatives that the characters are presumably rushing to get to. Ick, what a tone deaf bit of pandering that was.

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Feiereisel
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#94 Post by Feiereisel » Mon Jul 06, 2015 11:42 am

Figured I'd follow up after my trailer rant earlier in the thread...with another rant.

I'm kind of astonished by how awful Jurassic World is. Odiously commercial--characters mocking product placement doesn't excuse the film's egregious use of it--and shameless in its recycling of better elements from earlier films, this is a front-to-back failure. Like others in this thread, I also found the film's contempt for human life shocking--it points to a disgusting cruelty on the part of the filmmakers. Absolutely comparable to Bay's Transformers films in that regard.

Kudos, I suppose, to Bryce Dallas Howard for knuckling down and making a garbage character even fleetingly accessible, but the construction of her Hammond-to-Malcolm arc is irredeemably lazy; Claire is little more than a string of meaningless cribbing and camera-winking. It's shameful, and the film's other characters are just as awfully built. And despite all the tough-talking and positioning in the film--and there is so, so much of it--the plot is unforgivably inert.

As much as I'd like to cut the film any and suggest that the cut-and-paste characterizations--nailed that one, sadly--mirror the artlessness of the i-rex (i.e., the characters are intended to be viewed as empty and contemptible until they find depth by way of dinosaur-driven trauma), that reading of the film requires too much straining and willful ignorance to hang cleanly on the finished product. The weightless, perfunctory epiphanies do not elevate the characters beyond pastiche.

Jurassic World is the worst wide-release film I've seen this year, no contest. Tomorrowland--which, hilariously, also features Judy Greer and a futuristic amusement park--is number two. World is also one of the few films I've seen in theaters that I've actively hated. Others include: the second Transformers film, The Black Dahlia, Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland, and Man of Steel.

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tenia
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#95 Post by tenia » Mon Jul 06, 2015 4:16 pm

Jurassic World is an awful misguided movie who doesn't have coherence within itself to do what it's asked to be : entertain, thrill, and provide a good aventure-catastrophe flick.

It has no willingness to provide characters to be afraid for so, since you don't care about them, there's no suspense.

The park is described as some kind of Center Parks with cool dinosaurs that let you ride them and canoe among them, and even the raptors can be tamed by Omar Sy and Chris Pratt. So in the end, only the Indominus Rex is menacing but hey, it's a huge freaking dinosaur, so you see it coming (even though it hides sometimes behind a small tree or such, he's so funny). So no suspense here either, and no diversity of situations either. What was cool in the 1st Jurassic Park was that there were multiple dinosaurs being threatening, so that was creating some more ways to create suspense around the main characters. Here, it's not the case. Basically, if there's no Indominus Rex nearby, there's nothing happening.

It's not well shot and edited, so any fast motion will turn into a chore to follow. Even the simple shot of Pratt on motorcycle with raptors running alongside him is almost not properly readable. It's awful. But that doesn't prevent the team to try and do a climax with 4 (yes 4 !) different points of focus (T-Rex, Indominus, humans, raptor). Of course, it's a mess.

I thought the movie would be mediocre, but it's much worse than this. There's no competence in it, none.

That's why you can have a completely useless character dying in a overlong way that would better fit in Aja's Piranha than in a PG-13 Jurassic Park movie.

No coherence, no competence.
Mr Sausage wrote:This is also the kind of movie that gives three minutes to mourning a dying apatosaurus, but only a couple of seconds to any of the dead humans.
All, absolutely all characters including dinosaurs are totally expendables in Jurassic World. You mourn an apatosaurus but hey, there are 5 more dead upthere.
We repeat again and again how cool are the raptors ("that's Echo, Delta, Charlie and Blue" is repeated at least 4 times in the movie) but when the kids meet Pratt just after he kissed their aunt, he's not introduced with them (and the Raptors are almost all killed without any impact, in a god-awful edit of an action scene).
That's a real issue in the movie : many characters or groups are entering the screen, nobody knows who they are, often other characters ask "who are you ?" and there's no answer, and nobody cares.

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domino harvey
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#96 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 1:30 pm

Yes, Jurassic World was just as awful as its detractors claimed! I especially found myself annoyed by how Bryce Dallas Howard's character was demonized for preferring to run a dangerous amusement park over taking the day off and hanging out with her nephews. How dare a woman have a career and not want to go on a second date with Chris Pratt (who's a total asshole in this). And those kids were so annoying-- one is mildly autistic for no reason, the other a girl-crazed emo teen (also for no reason, but that's what passes for characterization here), and both are just spoiled and entitled and all their interactions and motivations are overly forced (Their parents are getting a divorce? Who possibly cares in this situation when faced with Ultimatesaurus or whatever it's called?). It's telling that D'Onfrio's "villain" (who often makes the most sense) and Jake Johnson's comic relief hipster were the only two halfway interesting/entertaining characters, and they're both placed into a narrative that uses them primarily as the butt of jokes. The special effects for the most part were pretty horrid (though the finale fight was pulled off relatively well), and the constant cutesy winks to the superior set pieces of the first film were tiresome and the opposite of clever. I feel like such a fool for believing the director's early big talk about his goals here, because nothing he built up makes any real appearance in this film.

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Trees
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#97 Post by Trees » Thu Dec 10, 2015 3:12 pm

The original JP still holds up pretty well as general, mass entertainment. The set pieces and action are good and the dinos are great. Aside from Hammond, Ian Malcolm and the minor character of Dennis Nedry, though, the characters in JP are awful, very weak, or non-existent. Sam Neill has about as much charisma as Jeb Bush. I really couldn't care less about any of the characters. Still, JP is the kind of film you can watch once every 10 years or so and enjoy, mainly for the dinosaurs, VFX, suspense, and action.

"Lost World" was a total disaster -- absurd, insulting, and pointless. The Malcolm character is very different from the first film, and seems to be shoehorned into "Lost World". Domino summed up very well many of the film's flaws. The only redeeming factor of "Lost World" was getting a chance to see dinos run amok and eat various citizens of San Diego, California -- including the writer David Koepp! -- but that was about 10 minutes out of 130 minutes.. the rest was a total waste.

The third film is just typical sequel fare, though slightly better than "Lost World". I would never bother to see it again.

"Jurassic World", to me, brought back some of the scale and the feelings of the original film. I saw it in a theater packed full of kids and they were just going crazy for it, laughing at all the jokes, screaming at all the scary moments. It was fun mass entertainment, with mildly charismatic lead actors. These are basically just monster movies, where the thrill is to watch people get chased and eaten by large, terrifying beasts. In that sense, "Jurassic World" had strong enough characters, plot and story to hold together a few huge, VFX-driven action set pieces, including a rip-roaring, WWE-style finale. The main misfire in JW, in my opinion, was the D'onofrio character. That entire subplot was unnecessary and should have been scrapped. Another military-industrial complex bad guy who wants to turn everything into a weapon. *GROAN*

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domino harvey
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#98 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:02 pm

It occurred to me while watching this one that the idea of dinosaurs roaming around a park or isolated island is too played out. Perhaps an extension of the last ten minutes of the Lost World is in order for the inevitable number five. Or what about something crazy like putting a pack of raptors on a cruise ship or something? New confined space and possibilities (and no more tedious scenes of tree branches shaking ominously too!). Or whatever. Just get off an island next time!

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Re: Jurassic Parks

#99 Post by colinr0380 » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:25 pm

I don't know, that all sounds worryingly close to asking for a Jurassic Park equivalent of Friday The 13th Part VIII: Jason Takes Manhattan! (although have a velociraptor punch a character's head off and I'd probably find it enjoyable!)

This is still in my to watch pile, but I assume the 'mildly autistic kid' is good at working out combinations for door locks or turns out to be a whiz at the computer system?

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domino harvey
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Re: Jurassic Parks

#100 Post by domino harvey » Thu Dec 10, 2015 4:28 pm

The only time it comes up outside of the opening is when he talks about how many teeth a desired dinosaur should have in the finale, which gets Bryce Dallas Howard's mind racing (for some reason). Don't worry, this doesn't make sense if you've seen it, either.

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