movies

Jurassic World: Every Bit as Good as I Hoped (No Spoilers)

I saw Jurassic World this morning.  It was amazing.

It has been a while since I’ve seen a movie that has every little detail so clearly thought out, from product placement to story and character development.

And then there are the dinosaurs.

Without spoiling anything, here are my initial thoughts:

  • Jurassic World feels perfect.  After so many years, it’s the perfect movie coming at the perfect time.  It’s clear that the writers and producers wanted to be certain that they had a great story instead of bowing to pressure to get a fourth movie made.
  • Jurassic World is the tale of a theme park in transition, competing with the demands of fickle and ever-hungry guests who are always looking for more, bigger and better.  Even the park’s layout is reminiscent of Disneyland, with an entryway mall (Main Street) leading to the main building (the Castle) and the T-Rex paddock off to the left (Adventureland)
  • It isn’t preachy.  Yes, there are messages in the movie, and they’re important and timely.  But you don’t feel like the message is being jammed down your throat.
  • It’s a great movie.  You’re hooked from the first moment, and the action never stops.
  • Chris Pratt owns his role.  He was so good that I’d love a Jurassic World prequel, featuring the story of how he came to the park in the first place.
  • It’s very much a dinosaur movie.  This time, the dinosaurs are main characters

If you haven’t seen Jurassic World, you’re in for a treat.  I’m eager to hear what you think about it!

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A Few Notes on Disney’s Tomorrowland

I had the pleasure of seeing Disney’s Tomorrowland this past Friday.

Going into the movie, I had a vision of what I thought the movie was about based upon the special extended preview I saw at Disneyland (complete with rumbling floors…after all, this was the same Tomorrowland theater that housed Captain EO and Honey I Shrunk the Audience back in the day…)

The next day my issue of Entertainment Weekly arrived and I was thrilled to read Jeff Jensen’s article on how he came to be a part of the film.  Jensen and Damon Lindelof worked “together” on Lost.  (Jensen wrote Lost recaps for EW, and Lindelof was a creator, so yes, they worked together…)  The fascinating thing about this article is that it discusses the origin of the film and the changes it underwent through the creative process.  Now I want nothing more than to read the original script. I love the idea of seeing more mythology; I already have the book on order. As much as I appreciated the movie and its messages as they are, part of me wishes that we could see Tomorrowland as Jensen and Lindelof envisioned it, in those early stages of development. Even so, the movie is still awesome as-is. (Full review to follow)

You can read Jeff Jensen’s article here.

And, for fun, here’s an article that details some of the Disneyland Easter Eggs in the film.

New Snippets of Star Wars: The Force Awakens

Anyone at Disney’s California Adventure on Thursday was treated to a preview of the new World of Color show hosted by Mickey Mouse and Neil Patrick Harris.

During the show, the most famous rides at Disneyland are featured in a brilliant display of colored water, plumes of fire, and new screens on the ferris wheel and California Screaming.

During the feature on Star Tours, we see Poe Dameron in his flight suit, and we see a black-gloved hand reach out to touch R2-D2.  We also see the much beloved BB8. 

There was an audible gasp from Star Wars fans in the crowd as they saw the new footage, even if it was just a few moments’ worth.

Disney’s Tomorrowland: The Film’s Exhibit at Disneyland

One of this summer’s most highly anticipated movies is Disney’s newest offering, Tomorrowland, starring George Clooney.  There is an exhibit in Tomorrowland, the film’s namesake land at Disneyland, to help spread excitement about the film. Here are a few of the images from the exhibit:

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My Con Schedule (So Far)

I’m happy to report that I’ll be attending several cons this year to provide coverage for Dark Media Online.  My press badges have been approved and I’m ready to go.  (I even have a photographer, aka my trusty sister who is a photographic genius)

This weekend is the Long Beach Comic Expo.  This is the sister event to the Long Beach Comic Con in September, and while the focus is on comics, there is already a ton of cosplay planned, along with panels and screenings.

In April I’ll be heading up the 5 to Anaheim to cover the Star Wars Celebration.  I’m really excited about this event, even though Jawas terrified me when I was younger.  (Don’t tell anyone, but they still do)  I can only imagine how great the event will be this year with the new film set for release.  Mark Hamill has been confirmed as a guest, as are the actors behind C3PO and R2D2.  It’s going to be phenomenal.

And now that my press badge for San Diego Comic Con has just been approved, so you can expect to see tons of coverage both here and at DarkMediaOnline.com.  We should be podcasting by that point as well, so watch for updates.  SDCC means a long (15-minute drive) Downtown for me, so you can be assured of tons of pre-convention coverage as the signage goes up and the Exhibit Hall takes shape.  It’s also fun to wander the Gaslamp to see what is moving in for SDCC.  (Remember the Godzilla building?  We drove by last week and the Legendary art is still inside)

Lots of good things to come in the next few weeks/months, so stay tuned!

 

Gotham

The premiere of the new show Gotham is upon us.  As a San Diego resident, I keep seeing trolleys plastered with advertising left over from SDCC.  I think it’s great.  There are still Agents of SHIELD trolleys from last year.  It feels like SDCC never ended.

I digress.

What I like about Gotham is that it is a series and not a movie.  It will allow for character development over time.  After all, these are stories worth waiting for. 

I’m starting to think that DC Comics is better off with television shows, leaving Marvel to the movies.  Just a thought, of course.  However it makes sense given that Warner Bros and DC are loathe to allow humor in their films, which makes their blockbusters dark.  Television has some great dramas, and Gotham will no doubt join them.  And while Guardians of the Galaxy would no doubt provide as many laughs per half hour as Big Bang Theory, the Marvel movies demonstrate ability to pack in action, drama, humor, and good storytelling into a two hour feature film.

DC can stay dark and gritty in the small screen world, and is fine.  Play to your strengths.

So welcome, Gotham. We’re ready for a long relationship with you.

Marvel is Already Winning the Box Office War Against DC

Here is a very interesting article from HitFix: http://m.hitfix.com/motion-captured/why-dcs-serious-superman-may-give-marvel-the-big-screen-edge

I have always been a Batman fan. I saw the 1989 version in the theater when I was 9.  I watched Christopher Reeves as Superman (and I adored watching him with Richard Pryor in Superman III)

My brother in law is a die-hard Marvel fan, to the extent that he has Captain America tattooed to his calf.  Recently, he and my sister initiated me into the world of Marvel. 

I’m hooked.

I spent most of my time at the Marvel booth at SDCC. It was fun. The people working there were nice.  The fans were great.

So reading this article about the Warner Bros “no jokes” policy is saddening.  As much as I enjoy Batman and Superman, their movies don’t hold a candle to Marvel.  I am not looming forward to Batman vs Superman nearly as much as I am Avengers: Age of Ultron. I loved Guardians of the Galaxy.  I want to love the DC movies. Truly, I do.  But they just can’t be the same if they remain as dark as they have been in recent years. (Even the Tim Burton movies were funny at times…and nipples on the Batsuit is the longest running joke of all…) No one is suggesting a return to the 1960s campy Batman, but even that Batman is making a comeback.

Warner Bros and DC: Please wake up! Jokes are needed in your franchises. Lighten up.  As Joker said, “Why so sad?”