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Month: June 2015

[Movie Review] Jurassic Park's World

Jurassic Park has a special place in my heart.
It was released on June 11, 1993. I had just graduated from High School and after a dinner at either a TGI Fridays or Applebees to celebrate with the parents myself and several friends went to go see the midnight showing. Having not read the book it was based on it was jaw dropping and fun.
Now, two sequels later, the Jurassic Park franchise has gotten the dust blown off it with a new movie, aptly titled: Jurassic World.
Shot on the same locations as the first movie and using a heap ton more CGI, John Hammond’s dream has come true. Jurassic World exists, the tourists have been flocking to the island and so far nothing has gone wrong, even if there are several warning signs bubbling under the surface.
The movie, like it’s predecessor brings up chaos theory and how man is now wielding science to make money to pay for all this. Michael Creighton certainly had an ongoing theme of chaos from Westworld to Jurassic Park and Jurassic World doesn’t disappoint when the shit does hit the fan even if the characters aren’t as well written as the originals. Less quotable dialogue too.
The only returning cast member from Jurassic Park is BD Wong who has pushed the limits of cloning and genetic testing to create a new dinosaur from different animals, the Indominus Rex. People wanted more and people who have different plans for dinosaurs have plans for Indominus Rex, the military applications and such. If this sounds like something Weyland Yutani would do, you’re not too far off the mark. Thankfully the brief Aliens homage is brief.
The cast’s varying age allows for the plot to split like the first movie, the adults deal with the behind the scenes while the kids gawk at the park. The kids, Gray and Zach played by Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson are sent to their park by their parents to be guests of their aunt, Claire played by Bryce Dallas Howard, she is running the park with the funding from Simon Masrani played by Irrfan Khan and his company. Owen Grady played by Chris Pratt is asked to advise on the new attraction. His training for on raptors has made him popular with both Masrani and the head of security, Hoskins played by Vincent D’Onofrio.
Until, as always, something goes wrong when man underestimates nature and it’s tourists on the menu when Hoskins tries to deal with the problem with firepower and just makes it worse. For a PG-13 movie the amount of deaths are implied but nothing is shown except for reaction shots of the humans or crunching noises.
Chris Pratt gave a fine performance, Bryce Dallas Howard was rather iconic in several scenes to almost being on the nose in several poses. She evolved quite well from bureaucrat to almost Ripley. I wouldn’t mind seeing her in the sequel having gone full Ripley. D’Onofrio didn’t chew scenery as much as I expected. Simpkins and Robinson were cute, I’d wished the writers would’ve given them a little more something to do during their pinball ride around the park. If you’re going to show the oldest attempting to flirt with the girls at least follow it up with them saving said girls. Sure it adds more people to remember and to put into danger but something different is nice every so often.
Like the first the movie, everything is introduced in the first act so there’re really no surprises. The CGI Raptors have advanced so much they practically should get billing. The action is top notch and could be followed easily even if the re-introduction to the T-Rex could’ve been tweaked a bit more in my not so humble opinion.
There are many people who will bring up the fact that why are people expecting a different outcome after the last three movies. And I’ll agree with them on that a bit, the whole island attraction going haywire goes back to Westworld in 1979 but people are still flocking to see it no matter how many people get eaten. How many times do we go back to the well before it’s dry?
Overall, it’s a fun movie that lives up to it’s predecessor and it should be seen on the big screen. I can’t comment on the 3-D, I saw in 2D.

[Television Review] Mr Robot Pilot + video

The video below is the pilot for Mr Robot in it’s entirety, is completely legal and should be watched since it’s a good pilot.

Mr Robot stars Rami Malek as Elliot, a cyber-security expert by day and by night he’s trying to keep his demons at bay. Demons like men following him that may or may not be real according to his shrink, Krista Gordon played by Gloria Ruben. Krista’s problems are just one of many plot lines in the pilot. The majority of the pilot concerns Elliot’s company providing cyber security for a company with the same icon as Enron and for the rest of the pilot is known as Evil Corp.
Elliot knows a lot about people but can’t really interact with them as well as he should until one day during a emergency at work he finds a file that leads him to one of his demons, Mr Robot, played by Christian Slater. Mr Robot leads him down the rabbit hole about the secret war between his group and Evil Corp.
I found Mr Robot to be a very good show. The hacking isn’t Hollywood it looks real enough. It has good direction and the characters were well rounded and hopefully Christian Slater will get a show that can last more than a season. This is his second espionage show after Breaking In and Mind Games. With the exception of guest staring on Archer he’s starting to become the male version of Summer Glau: television series kryptonite.
My minor quibble I had with it was trying to figure out why this isn’t The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo TV show. The English adaptation of the movie was perfect even if it didn’t do bang at the box office. Translating the concept of a bi-sexual, woman white hat hacker sticking it to the man doesn’t take much. Replacing Sweden with New York or San Fransisco isn’t that far of a stretch, either.
Mr Robot will be debuting on USA on 6/24 and so long as it can keep it’s production quality high it shouldn’t have any problems lasting a few seasons.

[Movie Trailer] The Martian

Based on the novel of the same name, the novel begins thusly:
“I’m pretty much fucked.”
Excerpt From: Andy Weir. “The Martian.” iBooks.
Writers, take note, this is how to begin a novel.
And the trailer has arrived! Staring Matt Damon, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Kate Mara, Michael Peña, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, and Donald Glover directed by Ridley Scott.
I’m happy to see Ridley Scott directing Sci-Fi again. I’m happy to see anyone directing good sci-fi like Interstellar. I would be remiss in saying I am reminded of Mission to Mars and Red Planet both came out in 2000. Both films I enjoyed on their own merits even if they didn’t stick the landing.
Ridley Scott’s Prometheus may have been an over baked turd but the set designs and the SFX were worth ignoring the plot holes you could Tokyo drift a Star Destroyer through.
And the book is a pretty good read as well.

[Plotting About] June's Weaver update

Welcome to June. Now someone turn on the damn heat, please.
For the last half of May, I took a break from writing Weaver the manuscript to work on Weaver the graphic novel.
Since I can’t draw my way out of a wet paperback I’d reached out to a artist about a year ago to see if he’d be interested in drawing a graphic novel.
A year and one revision later, I’m still working on the manuscript and we took one look at Oni Comics opening up to new submissions and said: sure, why not.
This was a good thing to do because it made me write out a synopsis, character sheets and an overview that I hadn’t done yet. Pre-prep saves you time and effort in the long run. It may feel like a time sink but it’s better to have everything written down now then pulling your hair out later.
It also makes you realize how many characters you have on your hands and makes you rethink plot points.
A good example was one chapter I wrote and have since relegated to the revised folder started off introducing new characters that almost felt like the jumping off point for a new book.
If you watch television this is that episode where they introduce these new characters when the established characters visit this location for one episode and introduce you to characters you’ve never seen before and if the audience likes them you see a new show with them by next season. A spin-off show like Angel and every version of Law & Order/CSI/NCIS.
That being said, that chapter has been relegated to a new novel folder by itself. Sure the main characters are part of the chapter but they weren’t the focus.
The second draft isn’t like my first. It has the same first three chapters but after that it gets tighter. It has a lot less characters involved and my hope is that is slows things down enough to explain things without confusing the readers.
My new deadline is now 8/1/2015.
The Where Weavers Daire K BAR count:

My reviews of Avengers: Age of Ultron and Mad Max will posted soon.
The TL;DR version goes like this: Max and it’s two hour long soundtrack was better.