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

 

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CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE WINTER SOLDIER (2014)

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Like Punch usually says given half the chance: “That’s the way to do it”.

A vast improvement on The First Avenger, this sets the precedent now for all Marvel films.
None of the previous ones have come close to the intelligent composition of this film.

The directors-Joe and Anthony Russo (Arrested Development, Community) have raised the bar as far as these kinds of films are made. You can cram in all the set pieces in the world but if there are no real stakes for characters that you don’t care about then all you have is a very shiny empty shell.
The set pieces in this one really deliver, one, which shall go un-named due to lack of wanting to spoil, is probably something I have never seen before, at least with that level of stakes and was hugely enjoyable.

Chris Evans builds on his previous ventures as Steve Rogers and cements the character as one equal to if not greater than all the others. Scarlett Johansson secures her place in the universe and it’s only a matter of time before Black Widow gets her own screen outing. A nice addition to the big screen Marvel characters is Anthony Mackie as Falcon.
It’s great that the lesser known heroes and villains are being introduced.

Samuel L brings his Nick Fury back to the table with a little more depth than usual and Robert Redford brings old school Hollywood weight as Alexander Pearce, another S.H.I.E.L.D. member.

The best thing about this film is that it doesn’t treat its audience as a bunch of idiots.
There is an intelligent script at the heart of it and it is directed with assurance and confidence.

All the previous Marvel films (this time around) have been deeply unsatisfying, Iron Men, Thors, Spidermen, Avengers, X-Men (although First Class was pretty good), and it is definitely a style over substance problem.

Maybe they were just too big for the silver screen or at least too big for the mere humans trying to make them.

Maybe this will be the start of a beautiful friendship.
Let’s hope so.

3.5/5

BUY THE BLU-RAY DVD HERE

DOWNLOAD THE FILM ON iTUNES HERE