It’s on like Donkey Kong. The summer’s first big blockbuster opened Friday at midnight, and it’s fair game to say that the rest of the month will likely belong to the Rex brothers from this week’s number one box office behemoth film, not only here but every country abroad. As of this posting, the film is already inching well past 500 million euros…in three days. That, folks, is called a new global record…so, is it deserved?
Jurassic World starts without the typical big bang, oh my nerves (!) sequences of the previous three in the series. What it immediately does serve the audience is a very Spielbergian sense of family in mid-crisis mode. Using the family’s sons’ getaway vacation (at Christmas with the music and snow and every Spielberg trick from the Eighties) to the Jurassic World theme park in Costa Rica quite fittingly draws the viewer to the family quite quickly. Fast forward into the drama half an hour later and the feeling hasn’t stayed so heavily. Bryce Dallas Howard (director Ron’s little girl) plays Claire Dearing, somewhat estranged aunt to brothers Zach and Gray Mitchell. She runs the operations behind the theme park, as well as, the secret project at the helm of the film, the Indominus Rex, a hybrid DNA dinosaur genetically-created to be bold and really big. Enter its escape and the formula pretty much writes itself. The scares are great and something that does keep the film together is snappy comedy timing between Howard and new stud star Chris Pratt, your typical velociraptor trainer and expert…you know the kind. The film however presents nothing new to the Jurassic world. It’s very formulaic and the cliches and CGI feel forced and dated somehow. Let it not be said that the film is dull. It is the prefect thriller to see on a rolling summer eve with your love, friends or family. But suffice to say, it’s been done three times before and leaves a thrill in your tummy and a longing in your nostalgia. ###
Developing any work of literary greatness is always a task at best. Adapting classics like Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd comes second to fun when you’re a screenwriter. In this version, newly scripted for the screen by David Nicholls, who has previously adapted Tess of the D’Ubervilles and Great Expectations for the BBC before and directed by Thomas Vinterburg, director of the superb The Celebration from the late Nineties and co-founder of the Dogme 95 movement, along with Lars Von Trier. All this to say that the film has a lot of pedigree before you even begin mentioning the actors, like the always enchanting Carey Mulligan, who nails the role of Bathsheba with even just the slightest of gestures, but you start to feel as if the writer missed a beat when writing the intricacies of the book. If one hasn’t read the novel, it’s very easy to not understand how to piece some of the film’s key points together. Honestly, the film is good because of the actors, especially the ladies though Matthias Schoenaerts’ accent does not fit here well and one wonders how he landed the part frankly, but it would best be served as a BBC mini-series, longer and unedited. ##-1/2
Lastly today, the new comedy of the week is Get Hard, served to us by the many personalities of Will Ferrell. This time around, his personality is one of the wealthy hedge fund manager types, namely a guy called James King. When he is arrested on several counts of embezzlement, he is soon found guilty and sentenced to ten years in San Quentin, the infamous harsh penitentiary in California. Playing on ridiculous stereotypes of racial profiling on both fields of the black and white divide, the two comedians ruling the roost here make a lot out of little. Kevin Hart (also currently in cinemas with The Wedding Ringer) serves as a perfect temperament to Ferrell. His character Darnell Lewis is King’s car washer, a good man doing his best to do better for his family.When he gets wind of Ferrell’s upcoming stint in San Quentin though, Ferrell turns the tables around by assuming Lewis has been in jail as he is black and wants to know how to survive it. Well, for a nice fee, Darnell takes James under his wing and goes about trying to toughen him up, thereby prepping him for prison. The film is a cinematic dog, to be sure. It is also very stereotypical on all counts and could insult plenty of people. That said, the film is incredibly funny rubbish that will have you cringing and guffawing at the same time, but do not take your mother to see it…unless she’s a cool mom like Amy Poehler in Mean Girls or something, that is. ###
And finally today, just for a laugh as we end with an SNL alum’s latest cinematic thrill, I must present to you the most current project by Will Ferrell and fellow SNL’er Kristen Wiig…an original Lifetime TV movie called A Deadly Adoption, which has been top secret for a year apparently…this is going to be good, folks. Enjoy the laugh thanks to our dear friends at youtube!
See you all in a few days!