I'm a big fan of spy movies, and I wanted to create a broad action comedy in that genre. The comedy comes from the characters. It's not a spoof or satire. The danger and action are genuine. We wanted it to have the tone of a spy film, but still be as funny as we could make it. I also wanted to create a relatable story in which we could all wonder, 'If I was recruited as a spy and sent on a mission, how might I react?' —Paul Feig, cited on IMDB
Let me lead by saying that Jurassic World cleared my Threshold of Awesome, and enters my rankings at #2, just behind Avengers: Age of Ultron. Sandra, Keliana, and I enjoyed ourselves thoroughly, and had no regrets about springing for the IMAX 3D showing. The film made good use of the technology.
With that out of the way, the film has some weird flaws. Most of the interpersonal stuff falls flat, and while we do get lots of on-screen dinosaur goodness, Sandra and I both came away feeling like the filmmakers didn't want to bother with "sense of wonder."
There was story purpose for this, I suppose, since we are told (but not actually shown) that the crowds want bigger, faster, meaner attractions.
Which the park provides, of course. Chaos and catastrophe ensue. Rawr chase chase chomp rawr shoot shoot scream rawr repeat. To good effect, of course, but if the action had been supported by a really well-crafted human story it would have been more powerful. If the film had been allowed to cast off a couple of the less-engaging human stories, the action could have been dialed up a bit, and Jurassic World would have shone as a really good monster movie.
Don't get me wrong: I wasn't actually disappointed—I have a threshold for that on my list, and this film escaped that handily—but I did have to tip my head to the side and raise my eyebrows at the film a couple of times to quietly say "really, movie? That's as hard as you're going to try to sell that to me?"
(Note: in IMAX 3D the movie can totally see you do that, and it will feel guilty for having let you down. Try it!)
I can't say much more without spoiling things. Sandra made a great observation which I won't share for exactly that reason. Spot on, though.
Fans of the original John Williams soundtrack will be delighted by Michael Giacchino's work on the soundtrack for Jurassic World.
William's themes are present (and properly credited) but this is definitely NOT a re-hashing of leitmotifs we've already heard. It's fresh, and powerful. I've enjoyed Giacchino's work on other soundtracks, and knew by the end of the film that this one goes on that list. I'm listening to it as I write this, and I'm totally not thinking that something is going to chomp me from behind. Totally.
I've been posting Schlock Mercenary to the web for a full fifteen years.
Thank you for being there for however many of them you've been there for. I'm going to celebrate the event by going out to see Chris Pratt run with a pack of velociraptors, and then I guess I'll ink a week of comics and write some RPG text.
All three of those things are actually my job these days. Again, thank you.
I really enjoyed San Andreas. I went in expecting to see a ridiculously over-the-top depiction of an earthquake, and I was not disappointed.
There was also a surprisingly good human story in there—surprising because while I could see the formula, and while everybody played straight to type, I didn't care. I was engaged, and had a good time. They did screw up the last line of the film, missing a great opportunity that probably wasn't obvious to them until after all the set dressing had been added, but still, they missed it. Oh well.
San Andreas enters at #8 on my "how much fun did I have at the theater" scale for the year, and the unexpectedly enjoyable character story (visible recipe pages notwithstanding) squeaks it in above my Threshold of Awesome.
(cross-posted from howardtayler.com)