Movies, seen and unseen.

§ June 15th, 2015 § Filed under movie reviews § 9 Comments

(SPOILERS ahead…not many, but enough to annoy you if you haven’t seen the films)

Well, I went in wanting…okay, let me amend that. I wasn’t particularly interested in seeing Jurassic World at all, to be honest. I was perfectly happy waiting to get the disc from Netflix in about five or six months from now. As it turned out, though, there was a bit of a family outing to see the film and I was…perhaps “strongarmed” into going is putting it a little too harshly, but, ah, what the heck, to return to the beginning of this paragraph I went in wanting some dinosaur mayhem and that’s what I got.

While there’s a sameness to all the Jurassic family of movies, it’s probably been long enough since a new one’s been on the big screen that there’s a welcome nostalgic enjoyment to seeing the formula play out with minor variations and…I almost said “improved effects,” but the original Jurassic Park raised the bar so high it’s almost like there’s nowhere else for the effects to go. It was all a bunch of enjoyable nonsense, with, as noted, plenty of dinosaur action (sometimes a little too intense, maybe, judging by the family in the row ahead of us that quietly made their exit about 2/3rd of the way through the film), but I think this was enough. I don’t see a need to pay a return visit to the franchise for a fifth variation on “it appears dinosaurs and humans don’t mix,” but of course we will since the movie made all the money in its opening weekend. However, if the next movie is about a humongous mega-dinosaur mutant threatening the Earth and the only way to defeat it is by somehow growing Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum reprising the role, natch) to giant size and pitting the two against each other, I’ll be there opening day.

One more point, which I thought was interesting (and here’s the SPOILER I warned you about), is how the Tyrannosaur went from the being the Big Bad of the first two films to being, more or less, the hero of the fourth film. A heroism born of familiarity, and certainly played upon by the filmmakers…”enough of this new weird nasty dinosaur, let’s see our old friend the T-rex kick his ass!”

So, okay, I may be a little behind the times in finally seeing this film, but I noticed the new Criterion Blu-ray edition made it to Netflix and, well, I thought I’d give it a shot. This is one of those films where I’ve repeatedly seen the same stills over and over again in various contexts over the decades (the pic of Henry, as seen on the disc packaging above, and of course the hideously deformed baby). For years, without really knowing anything about this movie, I’d assumed the title referred to either that gentleman’s lofty hairdo, or perhaps to that weird baby-thing…I mean, it still can, I guess, but that there’s a more literal explanation in the film is oddly satisfying as well. Emphasis on “oddly.”

I…um, I don’t even know where to start on this movie. It’s like watching a nightmare, but I don’t mean that in a bad way. The terrifying dream logic pushes along the action in this horrible world all the characters are stuck in…it’s compelling and it’s awful, all at once. Not sure what it all means just yet — some stuff I got, some I’m still chewin’ on — and I’m certain if I looked around online I’d have plenty of people wanting to tell me what it does mean, but it’s nice to occasionally experience a movie where there’s still a little room to dig into it after taking a first pass. And imagine, not a digital dinosaur to be seen.

Haven’t really made the time to see this one yet. Perhaps if it starts getting some positive word of mouth I’ll be more inclined to go.

9 Responses to “Movies, seen and unseen.”

  • Eraserhead is an old fave of mine.
    I’m not going to try to instill any personal viewpoints to you here, but I will say that I do, on occasion, find myself singing…
    “…In Heaven…everything is fine…”

  • Sir A1! says:

    ERASERHEAD is like taking an x-ray of a crazy person’s brain but with moving pictures and sound instead of a cross section of the two hemispheres of the brain, but I guess an MRI would be a close substitute if you piped in some Kraftwerks.

  • De says:

    I described Mad Max: Fury Road as the longest heavy metal rock video I’ve ever seen. Best of the summer movies so far (in my opinion, of course) is Tomorrowland.

  • Snark Shark says:

    “the only way to defeat it is by somehow growing Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum reprising the role, natch) to giant size and pitting the two against each other”

    Dinosaur Vs. Nerd!

    “It’s like watching a nightmare,”


    ” but I don’t mean that in a bad way.”

    But I do! TERRIBLE.

  • Charles U says:


  • Mikester says:

    Hey, I like the word “natch!”

  • Evilbeard says:

    Wait was that sarcasm about the positive word of mouth for Mad Max? My facebook feed has been filled with nothing but vast quantities of praise. It even raised my desire to see it from 2% to more than 10%. I’ll still wait for Netflix though.

  • Dave Ziegler says:

    I saw Mad Max the week after it opened, largely because of the positive reviews it was getting on the Facebook from people whose opinions of such things I value. I was NOT disappointed. It was an amazing film, in no small part because of the lack of CG effects. The majority of the stunts were real stunts with real people. I’m definitely going to see it again.

  • Stephen says:

    I think the T-Rex was both the baddy and the hero in the first film, but the first film used the latest science to try and recreate the animals as plausible errifying animals, monsters to some.

    In Jurassic World there is mostly just a plain monster, and the dinosaurs depicted are no longer backed by science, some like the Stegosaurus and sauropods seem to have regressed in their depiction to early 70s science or before.

    The film itself is a fun movie, but seems to have been an editing mess. There are scenes and statements by characters that make little or no sense. It feels like the movie was way too long and many explanatory lines were cuts.