Characters are introduced with perfect little scenes that combine painless exposition with vivid windows into their personalities (as when Dr. Grant 'splains velociraptors to little Pugsley, simultaneously tipping us off to his attitude towards children and setting up poor Muldoon's final scene. Oh shit, they attack from both si....) By the time the whole cast comes together at the park, we know exactly who they are and we're ready to roll. The pacing of the movie is exquisite, rolling in smooth parabolic curves from swelling sensawunder to absolute terror, to glorious relief of tension before starting the next round of wonder/terror/relief. I had forgotten that the beautiful scene with Dr. Grant and the children in the tree watching the brachiasaurs came right in the middle of the movie, just when the audience desperately needed a break. Do they even make movies like that any more? Seems like nowadays it just gets faster and louder the closer you get to the end.
And I am totally a sucker for the type of monster movie that doesn't actually show you the monster until half way through the movie. Who could forget the glass of water quivering as Rexie lumbers towards her first appearance? But I had completely forgotten the opening scene (possibly we got to the theater late and I never saw it?) -- a 5-minute teaser that gets your hair standing on end without actually showing you anything but reaction shots. Definitely sets you up for the kind of movie this is going to be.
I enjoyed Jurassic World (hey, DINOSAURS!) but Jurassic Park is so very, very much better: the characters, the pacing, the scary parts, and of course the ineffable John Williams score. The first 3 Jurassic Park movies are available on Netflix streaming for just a few more days (end of April and they're gone). Don't pass up this great chance to re-experience one of the great movies of all time.
My whole and entire reason for doing this was so I could watch Westworld, which has now been begun.
Besides that, I'd like to see at least a few eps of Game of Thrones so I'll feel like I'm living in the same century as everybody else on the planet. Beyond that... is there anything else on HBO worth watching? Although I've never had HBO access before, I have seen a surprising amount of this content on Netflix and/or Amazon: Carnivale, Deadwood, Sopranos. Is there anything else I should sample? Nothing really jumps out at me.
Oh no! Here they come - run! Take this thing and go THAT WAY! Give it to Dr. Whatsisname! Quick quick quick!! You scamper off in the indicated direction, shooting everything that moves, leaping over crevasses, clambering over walls, creeping through tunnels. Finally you get to the next destination and meet somebody who starts to explain everything (finally) when SUDDENLY....
And so on. Sometimes the characters you meet are sort of interesting. Sometimes the little bits of exposition start to cohere into an actual back story. And the environments get more and more spectacular until eventually you are careening down a cliff-side road in an open jeep shooting at giant ant lions, or climbing through the girders of a breathtaking suspension bridge. Big fun! (I loved those levels in Half Life 2). But ultimately, the plot consists mostly of running frantically from one place to another and shooting at everything that moves. And solving puzzles. But that's just in the video game version. The movie is mostly just running and shooting and never really knowing what the heck is going on.
Season 2 starts this Wednesday on the USA network. Since I don't have cable, I don't think I can watch it (USA isn't a local broadcast channel, is it?)
It was a CBS summer filler show, and now it's streaming on Amazon Prime. Aliens, robots, government conspiracies, and a lot of reflection on what it means to be human. I recommend it, especially Season 2.
A still picture of the chosen 10 on stage with a list of all their names. That's it - just the cast list.
Followed by a little box with additional suggestions that "You Might Also Like"
- "Kanye West throws down mic, walks off during performance in Canada."
- "Missouri man kills 160-pound python terrorizing neighborhood."
Wow, how did they know that's what I'd be looking for next? They must be using that powerful Netflix algorithm for suggesting other movies for me to watch!
But never forget she's a predator too.
Old Blue never do me any harm,
But this morning she ate my boss's arm.
You're a predator too.
Now Blue's the leader of the raptor pack,
And whatever they hunt ain't comin' back.
Heard the raptors hiss and I ran to see,
They was chasin' a critter as big as a tree.
You're a predator too.
Old Blue's a credit to her sex,
Decided to bag an Indominous Rex.
Indominous Rex is fierce as a lion,
Sent those velociraptors flyin'.
They fought that monster right down to the shore,
Thank God the park had a Mosasaur.
Bit off more'n you c'd chew.
Blue's raptor pack all died with a hiss,
Thank God for parthenogenesis.
Hope Blue comes back with her babies too
When it's time for Jurassic World Two.
You old predator, you.
So I signed up for a free month of Hulu Plus, more or less on a whim, because I wanted to watch "Last Man on Earth." After a few episodes, I think I've had enough of that (clever setup but way too heavy on the potty humor). I've got 28 more free days here - what should I watch?
I checked out "Community" and enjoyed the first few episodes. Laurel, I looked for "Person of Interest," but it's not here. It's not anywhere, as far as I can tell. Not on Netflix, not on Amazon Prime. Not sure how anybody watches it?
I was hoping to find the current season of "Orphan Black," but no luck there. Oh, look, "Jane the Virgin." I've heard that's good. But... only the most recent 5 episodes??? WTF? How exactly is this service supposed to be worth $8/month? There's a limited list of shows with full seasons available, but there doesn't seem to be any way to search them except to scroll through big colored icons in what appears to be random order. The search engine mostly turns up links to network websites. Well, at least I won't be tempted to continue this subscription. In the meantime, I guess I'll just keep watching "Community," unless somebody's got a better suggestion.
Several collections down the line from that I ran into a little gem called "In a World." It's a charming, surprisingly subtle indie movie about a young woman trying to deal with the burden of being the daughter of the world's greatest living voiceover talent. You could call it a romcom, but I wouldn't because the romance is a relatively minor part of the plot. It's more of a coming-of-age story. It's funny and heart-warming and has a lot of family drama/comedy in it. But it's also about how we present ourselves and judge others (and the mistakes we make in both) with particular focus on the voice. Since it's about a family of voiceover artists, after all. It's also about feminism and female empowerment, so it triumphantly sails through the Bechdel test. And it has the adorable Demetri Martin cast in the boy next door role, which he aces. The rest of the casting is also pretty brilliant for a teeny tiny little Sundance film by a brand new filmmaker. Highly recommended.
None of them were available on streaming Netflix, but we still pay for a single-disc option, so why not use it? Anyway, we watched the first movie a few nights ago.It held up really well. It was a little more of a kids' movie than I had remembered, but that doesn't stop it from being one of the great movie comedies of all time. Definitely one to keep in mind if you ever find yourself casting about for a good family movie to share with kids aged 8-13. It's funny, heartwarming, and has a wholesome but not totally sappy message. And while "thought-provoking" might be putting it a little strongly, the plot is meatier than the average comedy. It also features great use of sound. I'm pretty sure that it fails the Bechdel Test, however.
Back to the Future II is next on the queue.
Fun fact. When they made the first movie they actually weren't planning a sequel. What appears to be a plug for the next movie was actually just intended as a final joke. The director says they would have done that part a little differently if they had really thought it through, and they ended up having to work around the setup.