Friday, June 26, 2015

Jurassic World pt. 1: Back to Isla Nublar

Well, since I've seen Jurassic World, as promised, I have written a three-part overview of the movie. I personally loved the film*, so it was only natural that I'd want to write my own "review", like I did with the BBC Primeval series. Jurassic World's release wasn't the only thing that's happened lately. As you know, Father's Day was last Sunday, as was the first day of summer and Summer Solstice, the longest day of the year! From now on, the days will continue to get shorter and shorter until December 21st. So, to celebrate the arrival of summer, I'd also like to bring up a TV series dedicated to summer itself: Phineas and Ferb.

Sadly, the last episode of Phineas and Ferb aired not too long ago and was appropriately titled "The Last Day of Summer". Of course, I've sad that the show is coming to a conclusion, but it is for a good reason. The creators of the show wanted to have a grand finale and leave fans of the series feeling good about the show rather than waiting to cancel the show until fans lost interest in the series. So as a tribute to the "104 days of summer vacation", I've posted the final Phineas and Ferb song below:

Days till:
It is: 8 days till Independence Day
It is: 73 days till Labor Day
It is: 152 days till The Good Dinosaur is released

In the Spotlight:
With Jurassic World released, I'd like to point out that the dinosaur hype doesn't have to be over just yet! To catch up with their lack of films released last year, Pixar Animation Studios is releasing another film this November: The Good Dinosaur. I'm excited about this film because I've been following its progress for several years; not nearly as long as I have been with Jurassic World, but several years nonetheless. A trailer was uploaded to the internet. You can view it below:

Excited now? The Good Dinosaur released November 25, 2015.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan

In response to the release of Jurassic World, I now present my long-awaited overview!
13 years in the making and breaking the previous opening weekend records held by The Avengers with $208.8 million (The Avengers only got $207.4 million), Jurassic World really brings us back to a world where genetic engineering has de-extinctioned the dinosaur into a living, breathing creature. I saw Jurassic World on June 11, the day before it “officially” came out, and I was blown away by the dinosaurs, the story and its characters. While I could go on and on about how this movie was resurrected from its uncertain past today, I won't, because I've essentially done that all before. No, today, I'm going to start my three-part overview series of this fantastic movie. As I've done in the past with my overviews of the various Primeval seasons and Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie, I will spend the first part looking at the movie's plot in general; in part two, we shall delve into the characters that make this movie exciting; and last but not least, in part three, we'll encounter all the dinosaurs this movie has to offer as we dig into the amazing canon of this movie. So, as John Hammond would say, “ Jurassic World!”

Jurassic World was released after a long 13-year wait.

In 1982, John Hammond – the CEO of International Genetic Technologies, aka InGen – came up with the desire to bring dinosaurs back to life through the miracles of genetic engineering. He decided to use these dinosaurs in a theme park located on an island off the coast of Costa Rica called Isla Nublar. By 1993, he had almost accomplished his dream. But after an infamously well-known set of circumstances, his dream collapsed – his park lay in ruins on Isla Nublar and his research facility responsible for creating the dinosaurs in the first place lay forgotten by the world on Isla Sorna (a nearby island).

Jurassic World sees the dream of Jurassic Park creator John Hammond come to life.
This all changes in 1998, when John Hammond dies (RIP Lord Richard Attenborough!). Due to nasty lawsuits, InGen is on the verge of Chapter 11 ever since that accident on Isla Nublar in 1993, but hope dawns as Masrani Global Corporation comes into the picture. MGC's CEO, Simon Masrani, sees the great potential in InGen and buys them out, saving them from bankruptcy and turning them into a successfully-operating company once again. By 2002, Simon Masrani sets his sights on making John Hammond's dream come true – he decides to recreate a dinosaur theme park. Things turn out better than for the original park and by 2005, the new theme park, Jurassic World, opens to the public. Pretty soon, tourists are pouring into the park gates. The park caters to over 20,000 people everyday!

Simon Masrani, CEO of Masrani Global Corporation.
Now while the original park was more exclusively a biological preserve for dinosaurs that tourists could explore, Jurassic World is more of a theme park within a biological preserve, with many attractions – the Gyrosphere, Egg Spin and Gondola Lift to name just a few – and shows – e.g. the Mosasaurus Feeding Show and T. rex Kingdom. The park remains very successful for a decade, but that's when things begin to head downhill. Public interest in the park begins to decline. They are so used to seeing the dinosaurs now, that, according to Jurassic World's public assets manager, Claire Dearing, who says, “Now, kids look at a Stegosaurus like it was an elephant.”

Isla Nublar - the home of the new Jurassic World theme park, where dinosaurs and man once again live on the earth together.
This is where Jurassic World picks up, 22 years after the events of Jurassic Park. Claire Dearing explains to investors that she knows public interest in the park needs to be reinstated every few years, like the NASA program. This is when we are introduced to Dr. Henry Wu, the head geneticist responsible for bringing dinosaurs to life in Jurassic Park, 22 years before. He explains that he's created a brand new species of dinosaur, never before having existed on earth, called Indominus rex. This dinosaur is the park's “first genetically-modified hybrid”. Indominus rex was not only “designed to be bigger than the T. rex”, according to Dr. Wu, but T. rex was in fact the main dinosaur this hybrid consists of. The DNA of many other species was combined to create the I. rex, including those of Carnotaurus, Majungasaurus, Rugops, Giganotosaurus and several other classified species. In any case, Indominus rex, when revealed to the public, will definitely keep tourists coming back to Jurassic World for more.

Claire Dearing is one of the overseers of the Indominus rex project.
While Claire is tending to the investors (and later showing Mr. Masrani the hybrid itself), her nephews, 11-year old Gray and 16-year old Zach Mitchel are also visiting the park, specifically to visit her. Unfortunately, Claire finds her schedule to busy today and instead sends them into her assistant Zara's care for the day. But if Zara finds herself distracted for any reason, Zach and Gray could potentially find themselves in big trouble...40-50 feet of sharp-toothed-and-clawed big trouble!

Gray and Zach ride one of the park's attractions, the Gyrosphere ride, while observing an Apatosaurus.
Elsewhere in the park, other exciting things are happening, whether it's six kids that reside in the lost-and-found, or a Pachycephalosaurus that needs tending. But one particular project of interest is being headed by ex-military man, Owen Grady. He's researching the behavior of his own pack of Velociraptor mongoliensis. To date, his “raptor squad” consists of four Velociraptor: Blue, the pack's beta with extreme aggression, Charlie, the rookie who always looks up to Blue, Delta, the raptor known for her stalking abilities, and Echo, the individual who once challenged Blue for dominance in the park, leaving her with a scar down one side of her face. Owen is the alpha of this pack and it's his job to keep it that way. He has raised the animals since birth and developed a unique relationship with them based on mutual respect. However, these dinosaurs are still extremely dangerous and will rip Owen limb from limb if he makes a wrong move. All of Owen's work is watched by Vic Hoskins, the head of InGen's Security Division...and he seems to have a little too much interest in Owen's raptor pack...

Owen Grady is the first person to successfully train some extent. It's a tenuous relationship to say the least!
Knowing all this really sets the stage for Jurassic World. In the next part of this series, we'll examine the characters that make up the film. Our journey back to Isla Nublar has only just begun!

Welcome Jurassic World!!!
* Keep in mind that I do not condone everything in Jurassic World. For example, there are several references to millions of years and evolution, both of which contradict both the Bible and REAL science. There are also several uses of foul language in the movie. Violence and gore is another reason parents will want to use discernment before taking children to see this film. Aside from these things I've pointed out however, I LOVE Jurassic World!

Jurassic Park film (1993)
Jurassic World film (2015)

Disclaimer: Many (or in some cases all) of the photographs and images above are not mine. If you own one or more of them and would like them to be removed, politely let me know via my email address.

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