Back in a Flash

Posted: October 14, 2016 by waterraven in Theatre
Tags: , , , , ,

rickActually, this blog hasn’t been updated in a LONG time. I’m thinking years and I AM SO SORRY–so maybe not a flash per say. Maybe more like that time Rick stepped into a portal to get Morty a serum to fix his broken legs, but ended up in a universe where they’d cured aging and he became a celebrity and had tons of sex. I’m not saying I became a celebrity, but I am saying I got distracted. Like real distracted, like I think I got married.

The good news is, I’m back and I plan on updating this baby. Even if I have to do it myself. So what’s on the agenda for today?  The Flash.

 

 

 

flashexcposter_5609ee26dff446-07323957

————->SPOILERS<————-

Good ol’ Flash is in its third season and despite its bizarre acceptance of its own corniness (saved solely by Cisco. Geek Gods bless your glorious geeky references) I’d say overall, the show isn’t totally bad. You might be thinking: “Curious wording there, WaterRaven …” and you are right. Curious indeed.

On this fine fall day, I am going to draw out a good ol’ pros and cons list for The Flash. As a 60% optimist and 40% wtf I don’t know what’s going on, let’s start out with cons and end with the pros.

Cons-light: The Diet Coke of Cons

The aforementioned  corniness. Example: Snart AKA Captain Cold. If you don’t watch the show, you might think Captain Cold is something I made up (and frankly I’m insulted), but he’s real and it’s true. It’s so sadly true. Captain Cold is first introduced as a villain, but has the cheesiest lines and is hard to take seriously. At first, I cringed at Snart’s horrible one liners and snarty (forgive me) come backs. Snart is so corny, he’s a meme generator:

m2qlp2g

lpddh

Snart is a thief and a smart ass, but not a metahuman and not a homicidal maniac like many of the other opponents Barry Allen faces. Captain Cold is however, still set apart from your run of the mill, everyday common thief. Why? Because he has a cold gun and it makes things cold–and he wears a parka?

Apart from the parka, the gun is what really turns Snart into Captain Cold. So take away the gun, and you take away his power, which happens often in the show… and yet somehow he always manages to get his gun back or get a new one; continuously turning a character who is clever enough to find other means of doing bad things, back into the same cliche villain we see repeated in comic universes.

To make things worse, he has a friend that has a hot gun (sets things on fire. I bet you were surprised) and his sister, Lisa Snart,  has a gold gun. Yes, a woman who has a gun that makes gold. If it makes gold, you might be asking yourself, why would they steal anything ever? Great question. Although, admittedly, it is revealed later that Snart steals for the joy of stealing.

In his defense however, Snart is intelligent and when he wants to, he can make things very difficult for the Flash. And despite my eye-rolling every time I see Snart, the truth is, Captain Cold’s character and his sister’s have developed throughout the series and become anticipated aspects of the Flash universe for me. I have to admit as well, it’s gotten to the point where I actually look forward to Snart’s one-liners and  want Lisa and Cisco to have a sweet, sweet lover affair.

Does Snart stand alone in the cheese though? Sadly, no. Take Queen Bee for example. Similar to Captain Cold, her name pretty much says it all: Lame. I was excited when the bees turned out to be little hive-mind robots, but the moment I saw her outfit and lair, I was like: Come on! But the bee jokes…

tumblr_inline_o45nv9ue3a1stk93d_500

There are many more cheesed-out villains to accompany these two winners, but I can’t possibly cover them all. Sad to say, it seems this show’s corniness is here to stay. Whether you can embrace the show’s acceptance of the classic super villain humor might make or break whether you enjoy it, but the cons don’t stop here.

Con-plicated

 

How much time travel is too much time travel? In other words: WTF is going on!?!?!

I was solid with the Reverse Flash and all the time travel, and I even allowed them the time loop, but Barry has altered the timeline so insanely by the time I saw season three, episode one, I literally said out loud, “Again?” I strongly feel third season should have taken a step back from time travel and given us a breather. I get that time travel is huge within the Flash universe, but it feels like they’ve beaten it to death and it’s just another excuse to push back his inevitable relationship with Iris (which I don’t want anyway) or a way to bring back old villains (The Reverse Flash).

 
I’m no time-travel newbie and for 44792887all those Whovian’s out there, I think we can all agree on something: FIXED POINT. Without fixed points in time, time travel is one hell of a headache.

Speaking of headaches,  how many times are they going to reset the development of Barry and Iris’s relationship to make up for the lack of her character? While there is some debate on whether people’s hatred of Iris is racial prejudice because Iris’s character is white in the comics (having not read the comics, I was unaware of this), I strongly feel the real issue is poor writing. Out of all the characters, Iris’s character is written the worst and I am not alone on this (Here, Here, and Here).

Everyone else is written incredibly well. Barry’s relationship with his guardian for example, is beautiful and inspiring. Joe has proven time and time again that he is a strong man, a great father figure, and a bad ass detective, but he’s also imperfect–which is so important for growth. A character that doesn’t grow and change is a dead character and that’s what Iris is.

She was a server/barista turned blogger–turned professional journalist? Where did this dream job come from? Where were the hurtles? How did she grow?

What about the massive contrast between Iris as a child, growing up with Barry, smart and simple looking and then how she somehow becomes this glamazon Iris, who just stands around and poses? Sure, sometimes she’s useful (more so later on), but it took her WAY too long to figure out Barry was The Flash and it didn’t come from hard-hitting journalism, it came from a static shock.

tumblr_inline_o0a2xgiqud1th0zyd_500

OR forever

How about Iris’s narcissism? “I don’t want to be with Barry, but I don’t want him to be with anyone else.” The way she flaunted her relationship with Eddie in front of Barry and insisted he be happy for her, and then went as far as accusing him of making her the bad guy ? It’s textbook narcissism.

 

At first I wanted to argue that with such a host of well developed supporting characters, there’s no reason that Iris should be such a crap shoot–they’ve done so well with everyone else, but as a writer, I’ve had some second thoughts. I believe the writers of the show were trying to build up tension with Iris’s denial and make her this magical, unattainable goal that Barry finally reaches, as a focus on his growth (finally telling her how he feels etc) but instead, they’ve sadly made her look aloof, self-centered, unrelatable, and honestly, somewhat of a bitch. In focusing on Barry’s growth, they sadly left Iris behind. In addition, I feel her character encourages friend-zoning fantasies, which is another complaint post entirely.

Enough griping though. I do actually enjoy the show and plan to continue on watching it, so here’s a little love:

Who do you love?
the_flash_season_2_costume_promotionalBarry
. Barry is a consistent and yet growing character. While he faces hardships that test his character, he remains true to himself and builds inward and moves onward. Apart from the new Superman (Man of Steel), Barry has to be one of the purest heroes I’ve come across. He’s truly inspiring and I root for him constantly (save for my undying love for Zoom, but we’ll get to that later). Needless to say, he’s well written and his actor is visibly connected to his character.

Cisco. Love him. He’s adorable, definitely cheesy, but exceptionally so. When I thought the Reverse Flash had killed him, I almost cried.

Dr. Caitlin Snow. As a woman who reads a lot, watches way too much Netflix, and writes my own books, there are too few good women written on T.V., so I cannot express how important it is to me that this character exists. I appreciate that she’s human, that she’s incredibly smart, and that her character is relatable. I was totally over Ronnie (like kill him already–oh, thank you), but I was in FULL SUPPORT of her connection and romance with Jay Garrick/Hunter Zolomon. In fact, I mourn it.

Zoom. The Reverse Flash was scary, fun, and precise. He was/is a good villain, but I am hopelessly devoted to Zoom. Like a sick, pathetic groupie following him on tour. He was terrifying when he first appeared. The writer’s did a great job at creating a sense of hopelessness, at misdirecting the watcher, but even more so, at confusing you with compassion for a character that as a fan of The Flash, you should hate.

maxresdefault

I hated how he broke Barry’s back and beat him within an inch of his life, and then dragged him through the city, publicly humiliating him, but I loved it too. What a villain!  We all had our suspicions about Jay Garrick when he first appeared, but the writers had him in too many places at once and it didn’t add up. There were too many differences as well, such as no blue lightning when he took Velocity 9 and how Jay saved people, but still they kept us guessing.

Once Zoom’s identity was revealed, it could have crashed, the mystery was gone, but the writers kept us interested. As Zoom was revealed, so was his complexity. He wasn’t just another power hungry mobster or thief, he was psychology disturbed from a childhood trauma and being orphaned. In addition, he had dual personalities. He was the villain AND the hero on his home earth and that duality followed him to Earth I with his love for Caitlin Snow.

tumblr_o60dx8xj8i1sxz7sgo2_500

And so, while the show might have cornball characters like Captain Cold and bore and anger fans with a failed love story, what it lacks in love triangle, it makes up with in a lovable, strong superhero, a relatable and competent team, and larger and complex supervillains.

 
I wont say I’m 100% sold on The Flash, but then, we’re never going to be completely sold on every season and every character of any show, that’s the nature of fandom. There are good seasons, bad seasons, plot holes, good character development, and piss-poor excuses for characters such as Iris, and that’s how it goes, and that’s why blogs like this (and the entirety of tumblr) exist, so we can rant and rave about what we love and what we hate.

 
Thanks for reading. I’ll be back to rant again soon.

 

In Defense of Video Games

Posted: September 12, 2015 by Embracing Adventure in Gaming
Tags: ,

In Defense of Video Games Image Created using Canva.comI first wrote a post defending video games toward the end of 2010 when people were upset that the Boy Scouts had started offering a belt loop and academics pin for video games. People were complaining it would distract from other things kids should be doing, that it encouraged children to be inactive rather than active, and that it wasn’t challenging or encouraging children to use their brains. The Boy Scouts still have them, so people must have gotten over it, or at least not been able to impact the decision. However, those complaints are things I’ve heard before and since about video games in general, so I thought today, in honor of National Video Games Day, I would return to the topic.

Although it’s ideal to have a well-rounded life and too much of anything, really, can be a bad thing, even if someone’s only interest was video games, he or she could still have a variety of experiences based on the vast selection of game types and systems available. Some of my favorite games are action/adventure console games with a definitive end-point, which I tend to play in solo campaigns. Others prefer open-ended computer games that require careful strategy and cooperation with several other players. These are just two options made up of a few competing variables, and there are many more variables and many more ways to combine them. Even the argument that video games encourage one to be sedentary is moot if the person has a Wii or another system or add-on for which many games are available that requirement movement.

Far from encouraging mindless entertainment, video games can be educational. I remember Where in the World is Carmen San Diego?, which taught geography and reference skills. Perhaps it was, in part, playing that game that has contributed to my love of adventure and travel (which I write about here). I also played Mario’s Time Machine, which taught history. Both history and geography were taught by the various games in the Oregon Trail series. More recently, I started learning to play guitar with Rocksmith.

Even games that aren’t geared toward learning are not necessarily mind-numbing. Some games involve puzzles, which encourage critical thinking and problem solving. Many involve finger dexterity and hand-eye coordination. Some require quick-thinking and a fast response. Others require patience and careful planning. Some require map-reading and memorization of details. If you’re playing with someone, you can practice team work and learn the value of cooperation. If you’re playing against someone, you can develop healthy competitive habits and learn to be both a gracious loser and a humble winner.

I could probably keep going with examples and reasons that video games, in general, can contribute positively to someone’s life. However, I still have one more way to celebrate video games before bed: playing Bioshock from which, if nothing else, I am getting to practice patience and handling frustration. Prior to this, I posted about female video game characters and body image and shared Borderlands-inspired quilling. Overall, I’d call it a pretty successful National Video Games Day.

Phoenixx Phyre

How did you celebrate National Video Games Day? What are your thoughts about the value of video games? Let us know in the comments below.

A Movie Review 32 Years in the Making!

Posted: September 8, 2015 by karieandersen in Random

Jim Henson was probably one of the most revolutionary and creative filmmakers of his time. He created some of the most iconic characters that continually blur the line between fantasy and reality; the Muppets are practically real people these days. I mean, I follow Miss Piggy on Twitter… Recently, there’s been a surge in popularity in Jim Henson’s work and the legacy of the Muppets; there is even a new TV show coming out later this month. The Jim Henson’s Creature Shop reality show from 2014 was also pretty cool; it introduced us to the inner workings of the shop. It taught us a little bit about how these things are really made. It’s a shame that it wasn’t renewed for a second season; it was really great to get into the shop and see what it takes to create such magnificent works of art, at least in the context of a 72 hour challenge based reality competition show. If you are into that kinda thing, look it up, it’s pretty cool.

dark crystal poster

I grew up loving the Muppets, even now if you ask me what iteration of the Christmas Carol I want to watch, it will always be the Muppets (that’s another one I probably quote every day.) I love Jim Henson’s work, but for no apparent reason, I hadn’t seen The Dark Crystal until a couple of weeks ago. For some reason we were way more into David Bowie’s tight pants than we should have been, leading my brothers and I (or just me?) to only watch Labyrinth while The Dark Crystal fell by the wayside. It’s a shame I didn’t see it when I was young; the world is dazzling, compelling and endlessly creative. It’s also scary as shit, so maybe it’s better this way. I feel like if I had seen them sucking the life out of those poor little Podlings when I was young I would have been scarred. Those damned Skeksis are straight up horrifying. Even Gremlins haunted my nightmares as a child, maybe that’s why my parents steered me away from this sucker. The Garthin (those big crab-bug creatures) are scary as hell too, and they just ransack the poor Podlings. They were just having a party! Leave them alone!

dark crystal podling suck

Leave the Podlings alone!!!

Jim Henson created a whole world in The Dark Crystal in a way that isn’t donein other films. His team engineered this world and built the whole thing and everything in it from scratch. He was a visionary and this film is the epitome of his creative prowess. The Dark Crystal was unfortunately a critical failure at the time of its release, and still gets reviewed a bit harshly. At the time it was denigrated as a cheap Tolkien ripoff, and now it’s laughed at for not holding up or not being as good as you remembered it as a child. Here, I seem to have an interesting perspective. I never saw it as a kid, so my only experience with it is now, after having lived through a whole bunch of other classic fantastical adventures; Princess Bride, Stardust, and the like. I have to say, people give this movie too hard of a time. You guys, it’s a fairy tale done with puppets; it is a living story book, and it’s a lot of fun! I may be 30 years late to this party, but it’s still just as happenin’

Unlike some of the other comparable movies of the era, The Dark Crystal was completely populated by puppets. No people to be seen here like in Labyrinth. And it’s an entirely original world, unlike The Neverending Story, which was based on the book of same name by Michael Ende, which, if I may take a moment to digress, is a brilliant piece of literature. The movie really only presents the first half of the book, and misses so much of what is important to the story. Please. Read the dang book.

Also, this guy is super cute

The Dark Crystal is magnificent; it’s not just acted, it is performed. The amount of emotion that they got out of the way they handle the creatures is unbelievable. While not all of the effects stand up to what most audiences would expect now
, it in no way looks fake; even the static backgrounds make sense if you think of it being like a pop-up book. The world they create is real to the point that everything in every scene has the potential to get up and move around. I would say it almost stands up better than The Labyrinth because while the Labyrinth is so, so obviously eighties, The Dark Crystal is timeless. The movie is also really deep; it’s riddled with serious but extremely important themes; genocide, slavery (You know, for kids!) This may seem too adult or dark (and did for most parents at the time), but think of Grimm fairy tales and the like, all of that stuff is so dark, it’s amazing we aren’t all totally screwed up.

The point of this long winded rant is that it’s still good, but you have to take it for what it is: it’s a fairy tale ripped from the pages of a storybook and put on screen. As much as it gets misunderstood because of its ambition and dark themes, this movie was amazing then and it still is now. It is a true masterwork of imagination and engineering that’s not to be missed, whether you see it as a kid or much later. Just don’t expect to be breaking into fun renditions of Magic Dance.

— keja

PacMan3You can’t judge a book by its cover. As an author, that is a cliche I know well. Similarly you can’t judge a movie by its trailer. Except we so frequently do.
Take the new movie Pixels. A cursory glance at the trailer for that movie gave me the impression it was a great big stinking pile of poo. I first saw it on a panel at Ad Astra, where four of us were watching trailers for upcoming movie and offering our thoughts (basically judging them). The consensus of my fellow panelists was identical to mine, but I spoke up in the film’s defence anyway. It is possible, I put forth, that the ridiculous premise of the film, in the right hands, might be better than it looks. I cited a scene where Pac Man chomps his way through a city, and said it reminded me of the Stay-Puft Marshmallow Man from Ghostbusters. A ridiculous concept that worked. My point was, perhaps Pixels will surprise us.
Now that Pixels has hit cinemas, I don’t want to spend $12 finding out. It just looks bad. I can’t say for sure without seeing it, but I really, really want to. Say it’s bad, I mean. Not see it. Very important distinction there.
It might not completely suck. I’ve been wrong before. Like when I saw the trailer for Stealth.Megatron Attack
Released in 2005, directed by Rob Cohen and starring Josh Lucas, Jamie Foxx and Jessica Beil, Stealth is about an artificially-intelligent stealth fighter that goes haywire and becomes a threat. In the trailer the jet gets hit by a bolt of lightning, which screws with its programming and turns it evil. The heroes have to hunt it down and stop it before it unleashes its nuclear payload on unsuspecting cities.
If you’re familiar with any cartoon from the ‘80s, this plot is familiar. Just about all of them had an episode in which some idiot built a giant robot “for scientific and research purposes” that ends up going haywire within seconds of being turned on. The Transformers episode was called Enter The Nightbird, the Gobots fought Sentinel, and the Viper tried to destroy The Bionic 6. The going-haywire moment was sometimes the result of an ill-timed lightning bolt, though I’m hard-pressed to present an example. The only thing that comes to mind was Johnny 5 from the movie Short Circuit, and he didn’t become evil – he just became alive. Nevertheless, I am sure good examples are out there.

Megatron Away
So I’m watching this trailer in which a stealth jet becomes self-aware and evil, and I’m laughing my ass off. I cannot believe they’re spending $100 million or whatever to make this piece of crap! Definitely a so-bad-it’s-good guilty pleasure, but that’s it.
Many years later I saw Stealth on tv, and it was actually ok. Not good, certainly not great, but ok. Not so-bad-it’s-good either, sadly. The AI-goes-evil plot point was handled in a different way than I’d expected. Basically, the trailer lied to me!
Not that that’s anything new. Trailer-makers have one job – to get asses into seats. When a movie is crappy, they have their work cut out for them. If they can make crap look good, they have done their jobs well.
The guys who made the trailers for Stealth and Pixels did not do their jobs well. I did not buy a ticket for Stealth, and I won’t buy a ticket to see Pixels. When it comes to Netflix, however, I might check it out. I am curious to see if it’s as crappy as I’m judging it to be.PacMan1

Pixar’s New Movie Really Sucks!

Posted: July 26, 2015 by timothycarterauthor in Art, FR Forum, Guest Posts, Random

Not Inside Out. No no no! That movie was brilliant. Awesome! Fantastic! I can’t say enough good things about Inside Out. You really should see it.

No, I’m talking about the animated short Lava. Every Pixar movie features a short before the main film, and most of them are just as brilliant. Not this one. Not to me.

Lava is kind of sweet, I suppose. It’s about two volcanoes who fall in love. Nothing strange or unusual about that, Pixar-wise – they’ve made toys, bugs, fish and even cars into people, and one of their shorts actually had night and day as characters, so romantic volcanoes isn’t out of the question.

Nevertheless, Lava didn’t do it for me. The accompanying song was nice, but only nice. The female volcano, however, pissed me off. The male volcano looks like… a volcano. Your typical conical structure, with eyes and a craggy mouth. Like a no-necked fat guy, but that’s to be expected – he’s a volcano.

The female volcano, on the other hand, looks like a hot Hawaiian lady. She’s got a round face, long brown hair, and a slim figure. She even has lipstick! I was surprised she didn’t have stilettos. A cone bubbling with lava is implied on the top of her head, and it’s the only thing remotely volcanic about her.

And don’t get me started about that song. The same song I said was nice two paragraphs ago. And it was nice, sure. However it, and the title of the short, and the premise of the film, all depend upon an awful pun. The male volcano sings that he wants “someone to lava.” Aww, how volcanically sweet. Until you think about it with a dirty mind. You know, magmatic pressure building, rumbling, building and finally erupting, spewing hot molten lava all over…

Maybe I shouldn’t go there.

So yeah, a Pixar film I wasn’t crazy about. Had to happen eventually. You should really go and see Inside Out, though. It’s worth sitting through Lava for.

Of Ants and Men

Posted: July 15, 2015 by jenfrankel in Random

So I’m heading off tomorrow night to the VIP to see Ant-Man, and I want to be excited, I really do. Somehow, though, I’m far more interested in my first VIP experience. Will they have nachos? Will I be able to afford more than one drink? Will I miss having to share an arm rest with the person next to me?

And I’m far more excited about the company I’ll be in. An Tran and Alisse Lee Goldenberg, fellow writers and co-authors of Bath Salts, will be in the house. I admit to almost never enjoying a movie as much as I did GotG for the second time, not nearly so much because of the film but because An and I were watching Ali watch it for the first time.

Because I’m kinda all over superhero flicks. And that’s not “Man, new Marvel movie? I am ALL OVER THAT,” but more *sigh* — “Another superhero film? Really? I’m so over that.”

And we wonder why people hate learning English as a second language.

Future Ant-Man reads Nietzsche? As if!

Future Ant-Man reads Nietzsche? As if!

It’s the plots mostly. That and the characters. And a little of the themes. The only superhero film I found myself caught up in was The Winter Soldier, because there was something interesting happening in Cap’s journey: how does the ultimate American icon deal with learning his country has feet of clay?

Mostly, Marvel movies are quip-fests where the boys shoot one liners at each other while the girls look on all angsty and serious, and DC outings are all angst, all the time. I don’t connect with the superhero journey, all that “for the good of” whatever. Maybe it’s because I am honestly trying to be a superhero in my own life. I want to live with integrity, and integrally. That means I want to know how to live up to my own rather high standards, which is apparently a terrifically long series of trial and error episodes ending in death. In a good way. I mean, if there’s nothing to strive for, there’s nothing to live for, right?

But I don’t think the superhero films get it. At least, they seem to stop short of really understanding what they insist they stand for, kind of like hearing a politician talk about freedom. What do you know about it, bud? You spend all your time glad-handing for campaign contributions, and yeah, Giuliani, it WOULD help to actually know the cost of a loaf of bread if you plan on being mayor of anything bigger than your own briefcase.

I’m distressed at the muddled messages superhero movies send. Can you really fight for freedom and justice if you don’t work at being a better person yourself? Is it really more important to save a few friends than the citizens of a major city?

Is it okay to wreak havoc in the streets, killing god knows how many innocent bystanders, in the name of catching a supervillain who might have caused less carnage if you just left him alone?

First Comic's NEXUS by Mike Baron & Steve Rude

First Comic’s NEXUS by Mike Baron & Steve Rude

I think I grew out of basic comics around the age of ten, when I switched from reading my favourite Wonder Woman to the far more fun E-Man. I still liked Wonder Woman as a concept, but the tongue-in-cheek humour of more irreverent comics felt smarter, and more mature. Then it was on to darker and odder stuff out of First comics and DC’s early Vertigo books. The elegiac Jon J. Muth / J.M. deMatteis Moonshadow was one of my favourites: the coming-of-age tale of the son of a flower-child and an unfathomable alien ball of light whose best friend was a shaggy creature obsessed with pornography.

I still have my copies of Tailgunner Jo, as dark a dystopian vision as anything produced in the post-apocalyptic frenzy of recent years. Even now, the concept of a dead little girl whose consciousness becomes her cyborg father’s conscience in a world of impossible moral questions resonates fiercely with me. Batman’s personality disorders just can’t compete.

I hate feeling like the movies that should entertain me instead leave me wanting more. I grew out of a lot of the questions superhero movies ask a long time ago, I think, and now I want those movies to grow up themselves. I want to be intrigued by the questions they ask about morality and ethics, about society and socialization, about heroism and cowardice, about good and evil.

So I’m looking forward to my nachos tomorrow night, and hoping that I can pretend to be ten again, when I thought superheroes were the sh*t. It’s not fun feeling that superhero movies should do more for me, when they’re really doing exactly what they are supposed to: entertaining the part of us that longs for the power to make a difference. But I still hope that someday, there’s a superhero movie that makes me feel like I did when I was a kid, but that doesn’t make me need to be one to love it.

328717-jurassic-world-1-crop“There was a whole lot of stuff happening and not a whole lot of plot,” says my co-worker, Norm. While I validated his point of view and partially agree with him, I don’t care. I loved it. Honestly, I was jonesin’ for a Jurassic Park movie so bad, I would have taken another Jurassic Park III.

On a side note, my epic plan to walk into the theater carrying a baby raptor was kiboshed by an outbid on ebay (insert angry fist here).

Where I really agree with Norm though, is that there wasn’t a lot of background story, nor was there any real character development. minus Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard), who later showed us her Amazon blood when she took on the jungle in heels after tearing off her sleeves, but I’m biased toward that actress. Unlike some, I actually enjoyed The Village and especially, Lady in the Water.

zo6c9ipiraa5xlwyphtrAnd what of Chris Pratt? He was hot, funny, and bad ass, naturally. Would I have liked more development on his relationship with his raptors? Some baby scenes? Absolutely, but I’ll take what I can get. and I did. I think above all, his relationship with his raptors was realistic, up until they turned on him. The raptors ARE pack hunters , and if I’ve learned anything from years of National Geographic and Animal Planet, it’s that pack positions need to be constantly reinforced. Being unable to over power his raptors physically, Chris had to rely on other tools such as clicker training and confidence in place of fear. Not being a raptor himself, Owen (Chris Pratt) was unable to fully communicate with them, weapons would have ruined their trust, and so when a much bigger, genetically altered raptor came along, it wasn’t too unrealistic that they turned on him, but I think it happened way too fast.

JWSuperBowlTrailer-Raptors1Owen had been working with his raptors since their hatching day (or so we assume) and they outnumbered this new dino, so I was a bit put off by how quickly they turned on him and just started massacring people, though it was sadly demonstrated that while they were eager to kill others, they wouldn’t kill him. Even his girl, Blue, in the end, felt something for him.
jurassic_world_brontosaurus

This brings me to the unexpected sadness of Jurassic World. Our new genetic dino loved to kill, and therefore not only killed humans, but slaughtered the other park dinosaurs. I find it believable in the sense that I would assume a genetic concoction of T-rex, raptor, and cuttlefish would make a psycho, but I hated it at the same time. They never made it clear whether ALL the brontosauruses died, but at this point, I’d rather not know. I’m a pansy. I cried while Chris Pratt held a brontosaurus in his lap as she died. WATERWORKS. I’m not ashamed of it.

I feel one of the messages behind Michael Crichton’s original books, and what we continue to see through the series and movies, is that we cannot control nature. Specifically, it doesn’t seem like man and dinosaur were meant to live together and if they do, bad things happen. For instance, dinosaurs getting out and eating people, or in this case, a genetically altered dinosaurs killing absolutely everything. One of my favourite lines from the original Jurassic Park is from Dr. Ian Malcolm, when he’s discussing how you can’t prevent the dinosaurs from breeding and says, “Life finds a way.” I feel like the end of the first movie left you with the impression that the dinosaurs were now going to live out their lives on that island, away from man, but Jurassic World left me with this awful feeling of mostly dead dinosaurs, a raptor on its own, and a seriously injured T-Rex that might not make it to the end of the week. It was kind of depressing.

jurassic-world-nick-robinson-ty-simpkinsMy only other real complaint: Both kids lived. I don’t care who you are, one of those kids needed to die. Seriously, a third Jurassic Park movie that mentions divorce? Jurassic Park II, Ian Malcolm and his wake of bad marriages and children, Jurassic Park III with a teenager loose on the island and his divorced parents trying to find him, and now, two kids lost on the original island and parents potentially getting divorced… Big bro could have lead the ultimate sacrifice in saving his little brother or little brother could have died, bringing the family closer together… I don’t know. I mean, the least likely to live are kids, alone on an island of dinosaurs, and yet they live EVERY TIME. It’s just like zombie movies. Unrealistic.

jurassic-world-indominous-rex-image-600x338Sure, let’s kill all the people with guns, knowledge, and combat skills, but all the kids are going to live. Heartless, I know, but let’s face facts and the odds.

Setting aside the lack of development and the part about the kids not dying, it was a pretty fun movie. It was great to see the park again. The movie filled me once again with that wonder of dinosaurs, and the new concept of being able to work with them, not just running from them screaming. Overall, for laughs, for excitement, I would recommend it, though I have to admit, nothing beats the original, Jurassic Park.

~WaterRaven

CORRECTION**** There is mention of the kid’s parents getting divorced in the first Jurassic Park movie, so ALL FOUR films mention divorce. Wow.