JURASSIC PARK (1993)

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“Welcome to Jurassic Park”- a theme park with a difference and a bite.

In 1993, when this blockbuster was released it made such a splash, CGI technology was making massive leaps in the special effects world and we, the public, were getting to see things we never thought we would. The dinosaurs looked realer than ever before coupling the visual with the sounds and the incredible direction of Steven Spielberg, it kicked open the door of room ‘what is possible’ and declared itself a resident.

Pretty much everyone has seen this so this is a throwback review, it was the first time I had seen it in 20 years and what a ride it still is. It is amazing how brilliantly Mr Spielberg handles the set pieces and manages to ratchet up the tension.

Sure, there are some hokey lines in there but the killer lines outweigh any okey-hokey-ness. Most of the best lines are delivered by Jeff Goldblum playing chaotician, Dr Ian Malcolm:

“What have they got in there? King Kong?”

“Yeah, but, John, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

“Must…go…..Faster” etc etc.

Some of the acting is a little slippy sloppy, veering off into cartoon territory but this is outweighed by the sheer scope of the film. Special acting mentions go to Bob Peck “Clever girl” and Jeff Goldblum having the time of his life tic’ing away as the rock star scientist.

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, this does what it can to translate the excitement of the book onto celluloid whilst at the same time allowing the children in. Dean Cundey is on cinematographic duties and manages to shoot us a world that looks epic, real and scary. This is the ultimate theme park ride realised as a film, in the tradition of Westworld and does what it says on the box. Finally, the mighty John Williams is on usual Spielberg soundtrack duties and creates a big score for a big film; pure iconography.

I watched it as a precursor to the watching Jurassic World and it remains highly enjoyable.

4/5

BUY THE BLU RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE

 

THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL (2014)

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Too much has already been written about the off-beat/quirky/left of centre/kooky style that Wes Anderson imbues in his films, and if you ever see him in interview you will realise that this quality is simply a reflection of him, like David Lynch before him he makes films that don’t sit easily in the usual genre categories and more is the joy.

The point is in the experience, not the compartmentalisation.

Here he has, yet again, created a world that is sumptuous to look at (and listen to, the soundtrack is stunning) and takes the audience on a journey that is a breath of fresh air filled with the expected unexpected Anderson style.

Ralph Fiennes is brilliant as M. Gustave, the famous concierge of the hotel in the fictional European Republic of Zubrowka, he skates the line betwixt farcical comedy and high drama beautifully and Tony Revoloro is a find as his trusty Lobby Boy as they embark on an adventure filled with mystery, murder, mayhem and Anderson mania.

This is Anderson’s biggest film to date as far as location and the amount of actors featured are concerned and it works. It weaves its way through the yarn taking on us a journey that is mesmerising, melodic and memorable.

A cavalcade of very talented actors come together in this beautifully cast film. F. Murray Abraham, Mathieu Amalric, Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum (surely a new Anderson mainstay), Harvey Keitel, Bob Balaban, Tilda Swinton, Edward Norton, Saoirse Ronan, Jason Schwartzman, Lea Seydoux, Tom Wilkinson, Jude Law and of course, the mighty Sir William of Murray. All superb, all a joy.

Viewers are usually in either the ‘love him’ or ‘hate him’ camps but if you reside in the former you are in for a right royal treat.

By fictionalizing a time in European history, Anderson comments on and puts his own inimitable spin upon the actual events.

This is hugely enjoyable. Highly recommended.

4/5

BUY IT ON BLU-RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE