Tag: James Cromwell

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

When Jurassic World came out a few years ago, it was a big deal for me. Jurassic Park is probably the first movie theater expirence I remember. Jurassic World was, at the time, the biggest movie I was able to see early as a member of the press.

And unfortunately, that film had issues. It had some new things, but other elements just felt rehashed, and them we had the ridiculous assistant death and heels fun.

Needless to say, I didn’t care much about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. The story had a volcano and seemed to sort of give away a lot of the film. I couldn’t tell from the trailer if it really had anything new to say.

Balls and dinos
Look, there’s most of the same cast with the same magical travel balls.

Jurassic World has fallen, from that last film, because the dinosaurs got out and people had a bad time. They had to pay a lot of law suits to cover the costs, and didn’t really fight it too much. But now they are defunct and everyone basically agrees to leave the island alone.

Well, nature doesn’t want to leave it alone. The dormant volcano there has become active, and is ready to fuck a lot of things up. It is riling up, it is getting explosive, and now the dinosaurs might all become extinct, again. Should we save them, or let nature fix is course? The government decides to not intervene, so it is up to private groups to pick up the cost.

Namely, Lockwood estate. It is an old man (James Cromwell) who helped Hammond (Richard Attenborough) back in the day with their initial research to open Jurassic Park. He wants to save several species on the island, more if there is time, and put them on a new island. One that isn’t a volcano, has its own natural borders and it can be a sanctuary where dinosaurs can live peacefully. Something not for tourists. Time is of the essence. They also have a great need for Blue, the velociraptor, as they feel it is the second smartest creature on the planet and the only one left of its kind.

Getting the creatures back is one difficulty, especially when it involves an exploding volcano. Once they are on the ship and ready to get out of the island though, that is where the real drama and intrigue begin.

Also starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Rafe Spall, Daniella Pineda, Justice Smith, Toby Jones, Ted Levine, Jeff Goldbloom, BD Wong, Geraldine Chaplin, and introducing Isabella Sermon.

Skeletons
Herein lies the sins of Jurassic Park’s past. Dey be ded, now. Again.

JW:FK seems to have heard some of the biggest complaints about the last film and respond appropriately. For example, the footware is more appropriate in this film. But how could they respond to the assistant death? How could they fix something like that?

I don’t know. How about by having that same giant dinosaur do a very similar thing, once again, to an undeserving character. Technically it is acknowledging the controversy by doing it a second time, although a bit less graphically.

JW:FK is certainly an entertaining movie. You will have some thrills, some screams, and some laughs. But overall it doesn’t offer anything really new. Last movie we had a man made T-Rex looking dinosaur that was too smart and caused problems. It was defeated by OG T-Rex. This film replaced T-Rex with Velociraptor. The same shit happens in different scenarios.

It also enforces normal Jurassic franchise tropes. Military people are always bad. Ugly people are always bad. People who aren’t bad but just working are expendable.

Overall, not enough new. What was new was obvious early on, but it didn’t go hard enough into it leaving more for sequels. But hey, Smith was better than expected as well.

2 out of 4.

Marshall

I´ve joked in the past that Chadwick Boseman is being forced to play every famous black American throughout history. You know, Jackie Robinson, James Brown, T´Challa, and so on.

But holy shit. Thurgood Marshall as well?

What is his agent doing? Is he trying to mold the youth of America into thinking everyone in History is Chadwick Boseman? Maybe Boseman is playing some long plan to eventually run for president himself. With his past roles he will seem like a trendsetter, someone with soul, a ruler, and someone who knows the fuck out of some laws.

I don´t know when we should start being scared by all of this. Maybe in two more real bio roles. Maybe if he ever plays Eminem in a biopic.

Court
Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Thurgood Marshall (Boseman) is super famous. He did a lot of things as a lawyer, went to the Supreme Court a lot, did the whole Brown vs Board of Education thing, and even decided to move in and live in the Supreme Court.

But this movie is about before all that, just when he was working with the NAACP, looking for any case that might have racial bias to help free innocent men or women. Especially those who could not afford their own council of choosing.

Thurgood is now in Connecticut, where a limousine driver (Sterling K. Brown) allegedly raped and tried to kill his boss´ wife (Kate Hudson). A real shocker of a trial, but he claims his innocence. They imagine they are just grabbing any black gentleman and they have a civil rights case on their hands.

In order for Marshall to get on the case, they need to join the team of someone who has passed the bar on the state, and through some shenanigans, got a local insurance guy (Joah Gad) to take on the case so that something could be done. The judge (James Cromwell) isn´t having any of their shit either, so doesn´t let Marshall do any of the talking, just behind the scenes help.

Yep, this is a battle against racism. A battle against injustice.

Also starring Dan Stevens and Keesha Sharp.

Bar
Inconspicuous thugs are inconspicuous.

You know who deserves a movie about their lives? Thurgood Marshall, for sure!

You know what this movie gave us? A movie about Marshall and Sam Friedman, the local insurance lawyer. You see, Friedman later went on to do more civil rights cases too! And he had to do most of the fronting of this trial, due to racism. So it is a movie about how this white dude overcame his personal lawyering fears and branched out to be a better person.

That is cool and all, but I really don’t give a fuck about Sam Friedman. I came to see this movie because it was about Thurgood Marshall. I didn’t expect a double biopic about him and some white guy. This may be one of Marshall’s biggest and earliest cases, but I really do think they did a giant disservice to him. In fact, they mentioned in this film he had already argued in front of the Supreme court multiple times. We know he did it later. And, for crying out loud, he was there for Brown v The Board of Education!

Why the hell did they pick a case where he isn’t really the main star or focus? Why?

Oh yeah, because they needed a white loveable lead to make sure white people saw this movie too. Gotcha.

This movie is very okay. The acting is fine, the case has its moments, and some characters cry. Some people yell, some justice is served. But goddamn it, the focus is so far away from Marshall in a movie that carries his name, it is just unacceptable.

2 out of 4.

Big Hero 6

For whatever reason, I know a lot of people who were upset when Disney bought Marvel Studios. They thought it was the end of the good stuff. They thought only bad could come. They said the same thing when they bought Lucasfilm.

I, however, was excited. They weren’t going to mess around with a good thing too much, they didn’t want to spend billions to not make billions more back! But I was even more excited about the potential of a full on, super good CGI Marvel/Disney flick. Yeah. Something with the cutting edge in technology, giving me full on super hero battles, with flash colors and everything the comics promised, and really that live action movies still can’t fully give. So when I found out it was Big Hero 6? Well, I obviously had to look up what the hell that was.

Big Hero 6 is a much smaller property that has a small following. It is most well known for having, at times, Sunfire and Silver Samurai from X-Men in it, but we know that Fox has those rights, so they had to work around it. Disney also wanted to be able to tell a new story and not feel super tied down to any mythos, so messing with a smaller property would work well with that. And hey, if they didn’t have the Big Hero 6 leader in it, they’d probably have to change a lot anyways.

And thus, this animated movie exists, presumably nothing like the (old) comics, and I knowing nothing about it couldn’t have been happier.

Team 6
Yay surprises and happiness and sunshine flowers!

This story is about Hiro Hamada (Ryan Potter) and his trouble with ladies. That’s not true, he doesn’t have troubles, he just doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about ANYTHING really, outside of robots and robot fighting. You see, Hiro is only 14, but he already graduated high school. Bright kid. Has a bright older brother too, Tadashi (Daniel Henney), but he is in college doing boring stuff. Hiro just wants to illegally bot fight and make money that way.

But once he finds out that Tadashi is actually in a really fucking cool robotics program, with really cool people? Yeah, that is when he thinks college might be a good thing, and not just living at home with his Aunt (Maya Rudolph) in San Fransokyo (which you should be able to figure out what two cities were combined for this).

Well, Hiro is able to design super sexy nanobot technology to get himself admission to the school! But when disaster strikes and he loses his invention, he is sad again. Not even his new college friends can help: Go Go Tomago (Jamie Chung), Honey Lemon (Genesis Rodriguez), Wasabi (Damon Wayans Jr.) and Fred (T.J. Miller).

But when he finds out his invention was stolen and is being used for nefarious purposes, well, he cannot just sit idly by. He has to fight back. And he has to use Baymax (Scott Adsit), the soft robot helper and turn him into a fighting machine! And maybe he can fight back too. And his friends. Yes… Maybe they can be…super heroes.

Also featuring James Cromwell as Professor Robert Callaghan and Alan Tudyk as the seedy business man Alistair Krei.

Butt butt butt butt butt butt
Shake that sexy butt.

Color? Yes. Fantastic animation? Yes yes. Likeable characters? Yesx3. A plot about science and why knowledge is good and how science can change the world? Hells to the yes.

Watching Big Hero 6, the best way to describe it was having a blast. This Disney film is notable for not having a lot of songs, which might be their goal. They went Tangled, then Wreck-It Ralph, then Frozen, and now Big Hero 6. A lot more “macho” themed movie, if you go by outdated gender stereotypes, so there is no room for silly songs. Just action, humor, and sexy sexy graphics.

This was just a really great both super hero movie and animated family film. That is a hard one to pull off. A lot of great humor and it has a lot of similarities (based on my research) with the comics, but unique enough to make it its own thing. The only issue with it being in the animated field and a Disney flick, is I know that if we are going to get it a sequel, we have at least a four year wait. Can’t have one of these guys every two years, as it will make them compete with themselves for Best Animated Picture, and they don’t want that.

And can we get another shout out to science? Yay science! Some of the tech was inspired by real life advances too, making this futuristic tale also a bit modern.

It is too close to Halloween now, but I expect fully by next year that we will see a lot of Hiro and Baymax duos out and about. Not more than Elsa, but a fair number still.

4 out of 4.

The Artist

The Artist, or as I like to call it “The Last Movie I Have To See To Have Seen All Nine Nominations For Best Picture At The Last Academy Awards”, is as we all know a “silent film”.

Made in Black and White, mostly only with background music (except for a few scenes), and title cards that come up with some dialogue.

What I am really trying to say is this is a movie you can’t watch half assed. Gotta get off you laptop (unless you are watching it on you laptop), and you games and your whatever else, and pay attention.

This movie doesn’t come dubbed, because that doesn’t make sense.

Aw a puppy!
But hey look, a puppy!

George Valentin (Jean Dujardin) is a famous silent film actor in the late 1920s, kicking all sorts of silent ass. Some random girl, Peppy Miller (Berenice Bejo) bumps into him at a film premier, and George jokes around and shows her to the camera, causing the media to “freak out” wondering who the mysterious girl was! Turns out she was a dancer, who wanted to be an actress. Heck, she was even auditioning for a movie that next day with George.

Well George, strangely fascinated, he wants to get her in that film work. He demands the director Al Zimmer (John Goodman) to give her a spot, and the rest is history. Eventually. She starts as a small role, but gets more and more famous, they even start spelling her name right. Heck, she even gets main roles.

And then the “talkie” movie revolution begins. George insists it is a fad, and doesn’t want to do it. But hey, Peppy is like fuck yes. All on that shit. George has nightmares about the talking films, even having dreams where all the appliances starts making noises and he can’t talk at all! Oh noes! So George makes and finances his own Silent film, but for whatever reason he has it on the same day as the premier of Peppy’s first talking movie. Seems dumb. Especially since that day also featured a 1929 Stock Market crash.

Now that George is ruined, financially and more, what does he have left but to fire his driver Chifton (James Cromwell), be sad, and mope through life. But hey, at least he has a puppy.

JG, JG
Also did I mention John Goodman?

A potentially touching tale about an actor on the decline from Silent to Talking films, while someone he get started rises to fame in the exact same environment. How can their cases be reconciled, and can they ever find love?

I like the general synopsis, but what I don’t understand is the reasoning behind making it a “silent” film. I use quotation marks, because well, it was a modern version of a movie trying to represent the 20s of film, by having a movie also set in the 20s. Obviously it isn’t identical to one of those films, that’d be hard, but when I think about this movie and the 1920s, I didn’t see really much that the 1920’s couldn’t have done to make this exact idea then instead of now.

And that bugged me. According to Singing In The Rain, people in silent films aren’t even real actors. They just have to make facial expressions (versus theater actors at the time), and then people are praised in the film for acting, at their ability to make facial expressions? Hmm.

I was also disappointed that a recreation of silent film in the modern era had its story take place…during the silent film era. I’d be more excited to see a silent film set in the year 2012 or whatever, and see how that is done. That is something new and fad worthy that I’d probably enjoy a lot more. But instead we got someone making a movie using modern technology, to accomplish something doable 90 years ago. I’m not about to give my money to every person who figures out how to start a fire with a lighter in hand.

I honestly think this film is overhyped entirely on the style of the movie (A lot like Avatar) and not on the fantastic acting or story, which is overall just okay in my book. But hey, won’t penalize it for overhype.

2 out of 4.