Movies that BETTER BE GOOD: JURASSIC WORLD

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Ever see or hear so much hype for a film that by the time it comes out, all you can think is THAT BETTER BE GOOD? Well for me and my friend John McHale that happens all the time, so we decided to make a column about it. As lovers of the Jurassic Park trilogy, we knew we had to write about it. Here are reasons why this movie BETTER BE GOOD.

1. The Legacy of the Franchise is in Jeopardy:

J.M: We can sit and argue as the day is long about the quality of the Jurassic Park franchise. Some people love it; some people don’t think it deserves to be among the likes of Star Wars or Indiana Jones. The fact is, however, it’s a brand. It’s an icon. Enough people have taken interest in it for it to be up there. So let’s get that out of the way. Therefore, it simply would not be fair to make it a bad movie. It’s not fair to the fans, it’s not fair to the people who put their blood, sweat, and tears into making the first one amazing. They don’t deserve that. No one wants to have to pull the “the last one doesn’t exist because it’s so bad” …much like, in fact, what we do with Indiana Jones and the Star Wars prequels.

E.M: Confession time. My dad let me watch this movie when I was three years old because I was obsessed with dinosaurs and already a film connoisseur. I still remember seeing the Brontosauruses for the first time with the epic John Williams score playing in the background and thinking this was magic. I had never seen anything like it. That shock and awe has stayed with me and Jurassic Park will forever remain one of my favorite films. I think that sentiment is shared by a lot of people. It has been a constant in pop culture since it’s release as great film. It would be a tragedy and an insult to see all of that be forgotten because of this new film.

2. The Original Key Players Are Out: 

J.M: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum – gone! They’re out for tea, they’re doing something; the point is they are not in the movie. That worries me. Now, I know, I saw the Asian doctor in the trailer too, but if that’s all we get, I’m concerned.

E.M: Oddly enough, I am okay with some of the actors sitting this one out. Jeff Goldblum starred in The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Sam Neill and Laura Dern were in Jurassic Park 3. They already came back for us. They did their sequel obligations and moved on. And now asking them to come back over 20 years later just doesn’t feel right. I am way more upset that I will not be hearing the gorgeous musical composition of John Williams. He gave Jurassic Park one of the most iconic and recognized tunes in all of cinema. Having Williams compose this new score would have been the perfect compromise of old and new.

3. There’s a New Feel To It:

J.M: Over 20 years ago, viewers were captivated by the technology of the Park, but also the simplicity of their situation. Dinosaurs were recreated using sophisticated techniques to extract preserved blood from insects who were fossilized in tree sap. High tech! Guess what though: they’re eating people and you can’t escape. Simple motive: don’t get killed. From the previews I’ve seen, it looks like we have A LOT more to deal with. A new dinosaur that did not exist previously is now created, Chris Pratt can train raptors for some reason (I’ll talk more about this), people are moving around the park in little glass balls, and there seemed like there was a hint that the dinosaurs are working together as well as killing for sport. That’s a lot to deal with. There’s a lot of mystery. We’ve never had that before and I worry it might be gratuitous. When you add too much, you can feel too little. The other part of it is, who knows if the mystery will be worth it?

E.M: Even though the original film came out in 1993, I still feel like the dinosaurs were more real in that film then in the trailer for the new film. Call me crazy but the dinosaurs in this new movie just seem obviously fake. I know when watching the trailer that instantly, all of those dinosaurs are cgi. Even if the monsters look real, their CGI-ish motions give them away. I loved the dinosaurs better from the first film because they were animatronic. They breathed and walked and cried out, and I was terrified. In Jurassic Park, I really can’t tell the animatronic shots from the CGI shots most of the time, especially on the t-rex scenes. Sometimes new technocoloy just doesn’t equate to it being better, and it’s definitely a risk to step away from the trademark look and feel of the dinosaurs. If it’s done right then it will be worth it. If it looks bad, then it’s going to have to answer how a film made twenty years ago looks better.

4. It’s Ignoring the Events of the Two Sequels:

J.M: This, to me, sounds extremely troubling. Usually this is done in fan theories when we try to justify why something was so bad. A perfect example is the Halloween franchise. The first movie was great, the second was good. Then, we went onto Halloween 3 to I believe Halloween 6 where we had to deal with a movie that didn’t even have Michael Meyers in it and then all this nonsense of “if you touch him, you get his evil.” Halloween H20 then came along and people were confused. Then fans realized that filmmakers ignored those events and dismissed them as “Michael Meyers urban legends that could have happened, but didn’t because they destroy what the good movies established.” Still with me? Good. So the fact that the filmmakers…the people who MADE this movie…are telling us to ignore established events suggests to me that they’re not confident in something. We don’t know what yet, but if it’s not fixed, don’t break it. Think about it.

Article (at least the one I read): http://uproxx.com/gammasquad/2015/04/jurassic-world-will-ignore-the-events-of-the-lost-world-and-jurassic-park-iii/

E.M: The reason I love this incredible series is because of the incredible storylines and characters we were given. Though the squeals are obviously not as good, they still followed the characters we loved, and showcased growth in them and the creatures that they had created. To just completely ignore those events and people feels wrong.

5. Random Ramblings:

J.M: Chris Pratt Tames Raptors! This looks to me like a big dump being taken on what the franchise has tried so hard to set up…at least in the first and third movies. Raptors will eat you, raptors will destroy you. As Alan Grant hypothesized: “Were it not for the cataclysmic events that overtook them, it is entirely possible that raptors, not humans, could have been the dominant species on this planet.” The avid Jurassic Park fan will counter me with a Sarah Harding quote: “Dinosaurs were characterized very early on as vicious lizards. There’s a great deal of resistance to the idea of them as nurturing parents.” A lot of you are probably reading this saying “I don’t remember her quote at all.” There’s a reason for that, but first thing’s first. You’re right, I’m sure dinosaurs are nurturing parents and are not completely vicious. Our understanding of them is very limited. Based on the knowledge the movie gives us, however, there’s no reason why raptors would coexist with humans even if they’re not vicious. None. In fact, they’re idea of being nurturing parents to their young could be killing humans, arguably their next biggest threat. Got that? Now, the reason people don’t know that Sarah Harding quote off hand is because the movie has worked to create a persona of raptors as vicious. The Jurassic Park franchise has worked harder at making us fear raptors than it has understanding them. Think of it this way: if you saw a group of raptors, or even one, walking down the street, would you stop and try to reason with them? Would you make an effort to understand them as they barrel towards you? Or would you take off in the other direction in the hopes of staying alive? Personally, I’d be running to Bensonhurst.

To take this a bit further, and maybe simplify it a little, I was having this discussion with a friend and he said “What is wrong with ‘taming’ the raptors? Ever heard of a lion tamer? There are a lot of examples of humans working closely with very dangerous animals. This is a dangerous thing to do, but it is not unimaginable.” He’s right. It’s not unimaginable, but the franchise has provided us with no evidence that raptors would be willing to do that. Every time they’ve seen a human, they’ve attacked, killed, or asserted dominance in some other form (Jurassic Park III with the eggs). This could be an example of an animal that would never want to do that. Example: have you ever heard of a shark tamer? Exactly.

E.M: I don’t like that they created new generated dinosaurs. I’m a pretty simple girl myself, and I prefer my dinosaurs all natural. I mean in all honesty, they are dinosaurs, why do you need to jazz anything up?

For 14 years, we’ve had to end this landmark series with the third film. Again, not bad, but arguably the worst of the three. It would be a great reward for the fans to get them something that really makes them happy. How wonderful it would be to get something like The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King, The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly or even Star Wars: Return of the Jedi. If the creators of the film  give us something bad, we join the likes of The Godfather, and possibly the worst atrocity: Pirates of the Caribbean. Hollywood needs some redemption in this aspect. We get it – making more and more movies in the same franchise is a huge cash cow, but have a little respect for the fans, the geniuses who came before you, and for yourself. Make it worth it….because we want to tell you good luck. We’re all counting on you.

So what do you think? Will this movie be the stuff that dreams are made of, or will it fail miserably. Sound off in the comments section below and thanks for reading.

Movies that BETTER BE GOOD: Maleficent

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Ever see or hear so much hype for a film that by the time it comes out, all you can think is THAT BETTER BE GOOD? Well for me and my friend John McHale that happens all the time, so we decided to make a column about it. This is our first ever post and we are really excited because our first film is Maleficent. Here are reasons why this movie BETTER BE GOOD.

1. This Disney Tale is as Old as Time

John McHale (J.M.): Disney sequels are often terrible, forgotten about intentionally, and therefore unknown to younger kids. That’s why when you bring up The Lion King, you go “SUCH A GOOD MOVIE!” When you bring up the Lion King 1 1/2, you go “WHAT THE FUCK IS THAT?” Let’s hope that’s not the case of Maleficent.

Emily Miller (E.m): I’ve sat through, Hansel and Gretel: Witch Hunters, Snow White and the Huntsman, Mirror Mirror, Beastly  and I’ve got a live action of Cinderella coming out soon. What’s a poor girl to do when all of her favorite Disney animated features are getting turned into horrible live action fairy tales. Yes, in terms of making money these films are successful because people love seeing these characters in any form. Creatively though, this just breaks my heart. If you want to see live action fairy tale characters be brought to life watch Once Upon a Time. Until then, I’ll be watching Maleficent with my fingers crossed and one eye covered, in case it really is just that bad.

2. Not Another Spin-Off

J.M: I struggle to think that this movie will be great because of how often spin-offs and sequels are done. People are getting used to this style and just as many don’t like it. I grow extremely weary of it and it makes me think that Hollywood is running out of things to write about. Wicked, although not a movie, has been tremendously successful. Snow White and the Huntsman did okay. Let’s not just de-villainize her. By the way, Wicked did that…successfully, I might add…but still, that can’t work every time. If you wanted to do a movie about why Scar is the way he is because he was abused as a young lion, I can see it working. The reason Maleficent goes crazy is because she wasn’t invited to a birthday party. You’ve got to be a serious bitch at your core to go off like that. I don’t care why she’s evil, I just care that she’s evil.

E.M: I am so tired of sequels and prequels dominating the box office. What happened to nice original films? Like John said, this genre is so worn out. I was going to list all the recent film, television and plays that have been spun off but I got exhausted just thinking about it. This used to be a really cool genre. Now it just feels like a way for Studios to make even more money with less creativity. Yes, they’ve been successful but people are starting to catch on. Maleficent really has a lot riding on it. If it’s a success critically and at the box office, then this genre may just get a second life. If it’s awful though, then studio executives will be much slower in putting these films into production.

3. SO MUCH HYPE

J.M: Maleficent COULD BE anything. I could see it being a really terrible movie. What stops me from losing all hope is how much hype it’s gotten. I first heard of this movie when I went to see Captain Phillips in theaters. That was in October. It’s now May and it’s still not out yet. That’s how much time this movie had to hype itself up to hopefully be the best thing I’ve ever seen this side of Cinderella’s castle. It’s gotten a tremendous amount of hype and I still can’t put my finger on why.

E.M: The other day while watching a trailer for it on tv, my friend said, ‘Oh is it out on DVD?’ He’d been hearing about it for so long that he just assumed it was already released and now on DVD. There’s a difference between knowing about a film’s existence and getting pestered with marketing merchandise and trailers to the point where I don’t want to see it because I’m already annoyed with it.  Maleficent is flirting with that line.

4. It’s Angelina Jolie’s First Movie in Four Years

J.M: If the movie is an absolute piece of shit, then that’s a problem. Viewers will go “she waited for four years and her grand return was!!!!!! ….Maleficent? Terrible.” My hope is that Angelina Jolie is smart enough to make her triumphant return to film in a good movie. I hope she is not just picking anything.

E.M: Angelina Jolie has given some incredible performances over the years including Girl Interrupted, A Mighty Heart, Wanted  and Changeing. Since then she’s lent her voice to Kung Fu Panda and the last movie she acted in was The Tourist which currently has a twenty percent rotten rating on rotten tomatoes. If that’s what she went out on, she needs to come back with a bang. And let’s face it, if the movie fails, it’s not like we’re blaming Elle Fanning. This movie rests squarely on Jolie’s shoulders as well as her reputation as an actress.

5. Random Ramblings 

J.M. Another thing, though a small point, but still important: she has wings. Why? They better serve the most creative purpose on the planet. If that’s the way of communicating she’s a dragon now, that’s a terrible way to do it. If that’s something they threw in, I think it’s terrible. The wings scream “no” to me. Please do not fuck with Disney movies. They are classics. They are defining movies in children’s childhoods. Let’s not ruin it. Let’s instead make it innovative, let’s make it a spectacle, let’s throw in a brand new twist to it while staying true to the most evil character in Disney history.

E.M. Anyone else think there are too many ridiculous special affects? I know I know, this type of film is just asking for it, but it just seems so fake. I remember watching all of the Lord of the Rings films and thinking how incredible the special effects were. They felt real. With Maleficent I don’t have that. It just seems so fake. Also I totally disagree with John. Judge Frollo from Hunchback is the most evil character, but we’ll save that debate for a different day.

We both have high hopes for this movie. Perhaps that’s been crafted by the hype, perhaps we have confidence in the acting and the story. Regardless, it’s either going to be a complete success or a complete disaster and we can’t wait to find out.

As always thanks for reading and sound off in the comments section below.

About us:

I’m John McHale and I graduated Drew University in 2011 with a degree in Theatre and Business. I mashed those two together and began working in television at CBS and have recently started a new job at ABC. I’m very happy to contribute to this as someone who always likes to lend a hand with film and theatre commentary. Follow me on twitter here

I’m Emily and welcome to my blog. Please check out the rest of my posts and follow me for more ‘Movies that Better Be Good.’ Check out my ‘About Me’ here and my twitter here. I promise to be witty in at least one of those places at all time.