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Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)


Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

Director:

J.A. Bayona

Starring:

Bryce Dallas Howard

Chris Pratt

Danielle Pineda

Rafe Spall

Plot:

When the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event.

Review:

Fallen Kingdom started off strong. Immediate dinosaur action, then some story explaining that Bryce Dallas Howard had changed from a corporate exec to a bleeding heart, dinosaur loving, activist. Meanwhile, Chris Pratt is building a cabin in the middle of nowhere.

Then back to the dinosaur action. Throw in some exploding volcano and the first half of this movie is just perfect. It hits all the notes you want from a Jurassic Park movie, though, my husband was a bit peeved that the T-Rex was once again a hero.

Things started to slow down for the last third. Well, not really slow down, but I just didn’t care much about it. I didn’t like the introduction of the clone child. It could have been fine, but she was just sort of there in the background and then BOOM saving them. It was eh.

That last third just felt weaker and I can’t really put my finger on why. I didn’t like the kid, but I thought the cloning side of things was interesting, but it kind of expands past what I want from a Jurassic Park movie. Money as a motive was normal, but I didn’t like how easily Bryce was drawn in by the bad guy. She was so smart and capable in the previous movie and she was conned so easily. She didn’t question at all. She was still a badass, though, so I liked that. Chris Pratt helped the IT dude because he knew she could take care of herself.

I love Blue, but the whole Chris Pratt blue backstory was kind of eh. I like seeing a softer side, but it just seemed kind of odd. I feel like they tried to change the characters or make them deeper and not everything worked for me because it went against what I’d already built in my head. Bryce Dallas Howard is a badass corporate chick, while Chris Pratt is an animal trainer that can run.

Great movie. Beautifully shot, felt very much like a Stephen Spielberg movie, so kudos to J.A. Bayona. Music was spot on too. Looking forward to the next.

4/5

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Jack Ryan (2018-?)


Jack Ryan (2018-?)

Network:

Amazon

Creator:

Carlton Cuse

Graham Roland

Starring:

John Krasinski

Wendell Pierce

Abbie Cornish

Ali Suliman

Dina Shihabi

Plot:

An up-and-coming CIA analyst, Jack Ryan, is thrust into a dangerous field assignment as he uncovers a pattern in terrorist communication that launches him into the center of a dangerous gambit.

Review:

When I was younger I really enjoyed the Jack Ryan books by Tom Clancy. It’s been a few years so I’m not sure how those feelings have aged, but I was curious to see this and binged it one weekend.

Jack Ryan, John Krasiniski, is a former marine that after a tragic accident was honorably discharged. He went from a stock broker to working for the CIA as an analyst. He has spotted suspicious financial activity and believes he’s discovered someone about to commit the next 9/11.

The number of times 9/11 was mentioned in the first episode was annoying and had the opposite of the intended effect. I almost stopped there because of it, thankfully, it wasn’t really mentioned again.

I wasn’t impressed with Krasinski’s portrayal of the role. The only time I could tell what he was feeling was when he was smiling, but a show about terrorism meant he was rarely smiling. Every other time I was just guessing, occasionally there would be verbal queues but they didn’t match up with what his face was saying. Mostly he just looked like he was there.

There was one whole plot line with a drone pilot that has caused some controversy because of the transphobic joke that was made. I actually missed the “joke” because I’d been fast forwarding through his sections. They honestly made no sense and could have been completely removed. Maybe his character comes into play later on if there’s another season, but for now it was just wtf.

Female representation was mostly disappointing. Cathy, Abbie Cornish, was the best female main character we had and she was mostly just Jack’s love interest. She did end up getting some of her doctor skills thrown in, but she kind of ruined that by getting mad at Jack for lying about his job. We had a French police captain that was killed. Hanin, Dina Shihabi, was good, but her story line revolved around her escaping her husband and being saved once by the drone operator and then ultimately by Jack. It was a bit disappointing.

James Greer, Wendell Pierce, was probably my favorite character. I loved that they made him a Muslim. He was so incredibly competent at his job and he didn’t automatically share shit with Jack because he was the boss, he didn’t have too. He reminded me of Holdo in The Last Jedi in that regard. He was interesting and a badass and if there’s a second season and they hold with what’s been established in the show and books he’ll be there.

Honestly, based on what I remember of the books, they took a fair amount of creative liberties. That was to be expected, though. Jack Ryan is more about connecting the dots and not action. Occasionally action, but normally it’s a lot of discovering information and sending someone else out into the field. To make a TV show watchable and not boring they had to add more, but it would have been cool if they’d added John Clark and Domingo Chavez.

I’ll probably watch a second season, but I hope they make some tweaks.

3/5

 

 

Knight and Day (2010)


Knight and Day (2010)

Director:

James Mangold

Starring:

Tom Cruise

Cameron Diaz

Plot:

A young woman gets mixed up with a disgraced spy who is trying to clear his name.

Review:

I’ve watched this movie twice and I still don’t know if the characters are crazy. If they are then I think the movie is asking the question, is crazy something you can catch.

Tom Cruise is a spy that uses Cameron Diaz to get past airport security. She ends up getting pulled into his crazy life and eventually catching the crazy. Or maybe he just brings what was already there to the forefront, not sure.

In all fairness, she tries to escape multiple times, but he repeatedly drugs her and she eventually just accepts her fate. Then decides if you can’t beat them best join them so she starts pulling her own crazy shit.

Honestly, the movie is odd because of how Tom Cruise decided to play the character. Maybe he was trying to make it very different from Mission Impossible but still remain a badass, I’m not sure. He was just odd and Diaz just went from there.

3/5

The Hurricane Heist (2018)


The Hurricane Heist (2018)

Director:

Rob Cohen

Starring:

Toby Kebbell

Maggie Grace

Ryan Kwanten

Plot:

Thieves attempt a massive heist against the U.S. Treasury as a Category 5 hurricane approaches one of its Mint facilities.

Review:

I saw the trailer for this movie in theaters and knew I had to see it. This movie is crazy! I loved it! Seriously, if you liked The Day After Tomorrow there is no reason why you won’t like this one. I realize there is a heist, but the hurricane stuff is great.

Maggie Grace’s character is on her last chance to keep her job. Toby Kebbell and Ryan Kwanten are brothers that are mostly estranged after a tragic accident in their youth put a wedge between them. Full throttle action ensues!

The beginning was great, the ending was great, the middle had a whole scene in a mall that was stupid and dragged and I wasn’t a fan of, but oh well. This was like a 90s action movie and exactly what I was hoping it would be. So happy. Wish it had done well enough to span a series, but oh well at least I’ve got this one.

4/5

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle (2017)

Director:

Jake Kasdan

Starring:

Dwayne Johnson

Karen Gillian

Kevin Hart

Jack Black

Plot:

Four teenagers are sucked into a magical video game, and the only way they can escape is to work together to finish the game.

Review:

I liked the original Jumanji a lot growing up so when they announced this I wasn’t thrilled at the idea. After the first trailer, though, I was kind of excited. It was just different enough that I was able to watch without comparing it to the original.

The addition of the video game mechanics and the teenage tropes in different adult bodies was fun. The movie was light, entertaining, and amusing, sometimes that’s all you need.

4/5