Welcome To Jurassic World

This past weekend, I was all about the pop culture phenom-of-the-moment: I binge-watched season three of Netflix’s prison dramedy “Orange is the New Black” and sat enRAPTORed (ba-dum-BUM) throughout the record-breaking dino juggernaut “Jurassic World”—twice.

1907492_10100414465579958_262451441502663559_nI’ll get to OITNB later, but for now, #RaptorSquad4Lyfe!

Jurassic World exceeded all expectations, not only mine, but at the box office as well. It shattered opening weekend statistics, earning $524.4 million worldwide. (It’s the first film ever to make more than $500 million in one weekend!) Domestically, it was lagging only behind Avengers: Age of Ultron before finally smashing it down with $208.8 in U.S. sales. So, uh … wow.

I wanted this movie to be so good so badly (it is). I wanted to learn to like Chris Pratt (I did). I wanted to be amazed (I was). Most importantly, I wanted to know that all the years spent waiting would be worth it; for a while, it seemed a third sequel would never happen. We last saw the residents of Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna back in 2001 and perhaps the long wait was needed to refresh and hit us hard with a brand new concept. It’s been said that Jurassic World is intended to be direct sequel to the 1993 film, safe to pretend that the other two—The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and Jurassic Park 3 (2001)—don’t even exist. Probably wise.

Hats off to director Colin Trevorrow and executive producer Steven Spielberg (director of the legendary original); the film was both an homage to and brilliant reimagining of John Hammond’s innovative vision. The park is open!

Here’s how Jurassic World rates against its predecessor (IMO): Continue reading

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Five Genre-Defining Action Flicks

What defines genre? With film being taken to new innovative levels and multi-layered story-telling as we get deeper into modern movie-making, genres these days are mere round holes for us to squeeze in some square pegs. The term “dramedy” was created especially for this predicament, because if a serious family drama also makes you laugh, why should it be pidgeonholed? However, in spite of all the crossover potential, there are some movies that were made to fit within their standards to a clean-cut T. So I decided to take a look at some of my favorite films that perfectly define ACTION.

5. The Avengers (2012)

The_Avengers_Assembled

The Avengers immediately came to mind as one of the best action flicks I’ve seen in a good long while, mostly because I finally succumbed to the Marvel frenzy after this 2012 summer blockbuster knocked my socks off. Having literally no knowledge of the characters and never having seen a Marvel superhero movie before, I was dragged to the theater by a friend who swore I wouldn’t be disappointed. She was right. I ended up seeing it again and then promptly began Netflix-ing/RedBox-ing the rest, starting with my now favorite Thor. The movie evolved into a juggernaut, blasting a worldwide total of $1.518 billion at the box office and amping up the excitement for its eventual sequel. The best surprise was its deliciously layered villain, rather than the usual “bad guy bad, good guys good” routine. Loki was downright delightful in his self-righteous anger as he exploded all over Manhattan. Continue reading