Monthly Archives: June 2018

We Review, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom “4.5 stars and recommended, but nothing new.” – MR

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom
Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom.png

Theatrical release poster
Directed by J. A. Bayona
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by Michael Crichton
Starring
Music by Michael Giacchino
Cinematography Óscar Faura
Edited by Bernat Vilaplana[1]
Production
companies
Distributed by Universal Pictures[3]
Release date
  • May 21, 2018 (WiZink Center)
  • June 22, 2018 (United States)
Running time
128 minutes[4]
Country United States[5]
Language English
Budget $170–187 million[6][7]
Box office $729.8 million[6]

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a 2018 American science fictionadventure film and the sequel to Jurassic World (2015). Directed by J. A. Bayona, it is the fifth installment of the Jurassic Park film series, as well as the second installment of a planned Jurassic World trilogy. Derek Connolly and Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow both returned as writers, with Trevorrow and original Jurassic Park director Steven Spielberg acting as executive producers.

Set on the fictional Central American island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, it follows Owen Grady and Claire Dearing as they rescue the remaining dinosaurs on the island before a volcanic eruption destroys it. Chris PrattBryce Dallas HowardB. D. Wong, and Jeff Goldblum reprise their roles from previous films in the series, with Rafe SpallJustice SmithDaniella PinedaJames CromwellToby JonesTed Levine, Isabella Sermon, and Geraldine Chaplinjoining the cast.

Filming took place from February to July 2017 in the United Kingdom and Hawaii. Produced and distributed by Universal PicturesFallen Kingdom premiered in Madrid on May 21, 2018, and was released in the United States on June 22, 2018. The film has grossed over $729 million worldwide, making it the third highest-grossing film of 2018. It received mixed reviews from critics, who praised Pratt’s performance, Bayona’s direction, its visuals, and the “surprisingly dark moments”, although many criticized the screenplay and felt the film added nothing new to the franchise, with some suggesting it had run its course.[8] An untitled sequel is set to be released on June 11, 2021, with Trevorrow returning to direct.

Cast

  • Chris Pratt as Owen Grady:
    Navy veteran and former raptor trainer for Jurassic World.[3]
  • Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing:
    Jurassic World’s former operations manager, now a dinosaur-rights activist, who has founded the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the surviving dinosaurs from Isla Nublar.[3][9]
  • Rafe Spall as Eli Mills:
    Lockwood’s ambitious assistant who recruits Owen and Claire to rescue the dinosaurs. Speaking of his character’s actions over the course of the film, Spall noted that, “Ambition is such a powerful emotion, you can get wrapped up in it and end up doing things in order to succeed. This character believes he is doing right. He has been entrusted with pushing Lockwood’s fortune into the future and making it survive after he dies. Mills feels he is simply doing what he was asked to do.”[10][11]
  • Justice Smith as Franklin Webb:
    A former IT technician for Jurassic World who is now the Dinosaur Protection Group’s systems analyst and hacker.[12][9]
  • Daniella Pineda as Dr. Zia Rodriguez:
    A former Marine who is now the Dinosaur Protection Group’s paleoveterinarian.[12][9][11]
  • James Cromwell as Sir Benjamin Lockwood:
    John Hammond‘s former partner in developing the technology to clone dinosaurs.[13][14]
  • Toby Jones as Gunnar Eversol:
    An auctioneer host at Lockwood Estate who sells the Isla Nublar dinosaurs for profit.[15][11] In an interview, Jones likened his character to that of “a rogue arms dealer; he sees profits in selling these creatures as weapons. He is totally morally neutral about whatever he is selling. He is only interested in whether or not it will make him a profit.”[11]
  • Ted Levine as Ken Wheatley:
    A seasoned mercenary who commands the rescue operation on Isla Nublar.[11]
  • B. D. Wong as Dr. Henry Wu:
    The former head geneticist of both Jurassic World and the original Jurassic Park. Speaking of his character’s actions, Wong stated: “I do think he’s motivated by his love for science and his own ego, which is well supported by his massive achievements … I think he turns a blind eye to the human suffering that comes as a result because he thinks he’s looking at some bigger picture.”[16][17]
  • Isabella Sermon as Maisie Lockwood:
    Benjamin Lockwood’s juvenile granddaughter and legal ward following her parents’ deaths.[18][19][20][21]
  • Geraldine Chaplin as Iris:
    The Lockwood Estate housekeeper, Maisie Lockwood’s nanny, and protector of the family’s secrets.[22][11]
  • Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm:
    An expert in chaos theory who once consulted for InGen‘s Jurassic Park.[23] In a podcast interview, Goldblum revealed of his role “It’s small… who knows, they may cut me out entirely! But if I stay in, I’ll be a sprig of parsley or a little garnish, hopefully with some impact!”[24][25] Director Bayona confirmed that Goldblum’s role is simply a cameo, stating, “He doesn’t have a major role in the action but it’s definitely a very meaningful one in terms of the story.”

 

Contents

Three years after the incident at Jurassic WorldIsla Nublar has been abandoned. A small team of mercenaries arrives on the island to collect DNA from the remains of the Indominus rex, which lie at the bottom of the park’s lagoon. After sending a bone fragment to the surface, the team is attacked by the park’s Mosasaurus and Tyrannosaurus rex. As the team barely escapes, the lagoon gate is left open, allowing the Mosasaurus to escape into the ocean.

In Washington, D.C., a U.S. Senate hearing debates whether Isla Nublar’s dinosaurs should be saved from an impending volcanic eruption. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm testifies that the dinosaurs should be allowed to perish to correct John Hammond’s mistake of cloning them long ago. Meanwhile, Jurassic World’s former operations manager, Claire Dearing, has created the Dinosaur Protection Group to save the animals. When the Senate rules against their rescue, Claire is contacted by Benjamin Lockwood, Hammond’s former partner.

Soon after, Claire meets Lockwood and his aide, Eli Mills, at his Northern California estate. They reveal a plan to relocate the dinosaurs to a new island sanctuary. Mills is concerned that locating Blue, the last living Velociraptor, will be difficult. Claire offers to recruit Owen Grady, Jurassic World’s former Velociraptor trainer, to join the mission.

The rescue group arrives on Isla Nublar and meets Ken Wheatley, the mercenary leading the rescue. Claire and former park technician, Franklin Webb, reactivate the park’s dinosaur trackers, while Owen, paleo-veterinarian Zia Rodriguez, Wheatley and other mercenaries search for Blue. Upon finding her, the encounter escalates leading to a mercenary shooting Blue and Wheatley tranquilizing Owen. Zia works to keep Blue alive while Owen is left behind. After surviving a Baryonyx attack, Claire and Franklin reunite with Owen as the volcano erupts. They flee from the pyroclastic flow and then sneak aboard the mercenaries’ ship, where they find Zia with Blue. The ship is filled with captured dinosaurs and departs for the U.S. mainland as the island’s remaining animals die in the eruption.

At Lockwood’s estate, Lockwood’s orphaned pre-teen granddaughter Maisie overhears Mills and auctioneer Gunnar Eversol secretly planning to auction off the captured dinosaurs and to unveil the Indoraptor, a new, genetically-engineered dinosaur created by geneticist Dr. Henry Wu using the DNA of the Indominus rex and a Velociraptor. Wu wants Blue’s DNA to apply her ability to respond to commands to new Indoraptors. Maisie informs Lockwood about the auction, and he confronts Mills, who murders him.

The dinosaurs are transported to Lockwood’s estate and caged. Owen and Claire are discovered and confined, while Zia and Franklin evade capture. Owen and Claire escape and find Maisie, who takes them to the auction. The Indoraptor is bid on, despite Wu’s protests that it is a prototype. Owen guides a Stygimoloch to the auction to disrupt it. Wheatley attempts to extract a tooth from the Indoraptor after tranquilizing it, but it feigns sedation and escapes.

Our Thoughts

Nothing new here, but that isn’t a bad thing. This movie was exactly as expected, and I liked it. These types of series can only go on so long before they become repetitive, but the special effects and dinosaurs make it hard not to be thrilled and keep us coming back for more. 4.5 stars and recommended. – MR

Find Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom and see the new trailer here.

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We Review: #Tag “Quite possibly the funniest movie ever made. I couldn’t recommend it more.” – MR

Tag (2018 film)

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Tag
Tag (2018 film).png

Teaser poster
Directed by Jeff Tomsic
Produced by Todd Garner
Mark Steilen
Screenplay by Rob McKittrick
Mark Steilen
Story by Mark Steilen
Starring Ed Helms
Jake Johnson
Annabelle Wallis
Hannibal Buress
Isla Fisher
Rashida Jones
Leslie Bibb
Jon Hamm
Jeremy Renner
Music by Germaine Franco
Cinematography Larry Blanford
Edited by Josh Crockett
Production
company
New Line Cinema
Broken Road Productions
Distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures
Release date
  • June 15, 2018 (United States)
Running time
100 minutes
Country United States
Language English

Tag is an upcoming American comedy film directed by Jeff Tomsic in his directorial debut, and written by Rob McKittrick and Mark Steilen. The film is based on a story that was published in The Wall Street Journal.[1][2] It is due for release on June 15, 2018, by Warner Bros. Pictures.

Premise

A group of ex-classmates meet up and organize a game of tag that finds them traveling across the country.

Cast

Production

The film is based on a real-life group of friends known for playing a month-long game of tag. The group was profiled in The Wall Street Journal in January 2013,[3] after which the group began receiving offers to adapt their story into a movie. They sold the rights to their story the next month.[3] It was initially developed with Will Ferrell and Jack Black in mind;[4] however, both would eventually leave the project.

Jeremy Renner fractured his right elbow and his left wrist during filming.

Our Thoughts

Tag is quite possibly the funniest movie ever made. At the very least it is the funniest movie since the original Hangover. The entire packed crowd at our pre-screening laughed from start to finish. I did too. This is a must see, but don’t go if you have stitches, because you’ll bust them for sure. Funny! Funny! Funny! I couldn’t recommend it more. – MR

Find Tag and see the new trailer here.


We Review: #Solo: A #StarWars Story “Worth the price of a premium ticket and recommended.” – MR

Solo: A Star Wars Story

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Solo: A Star Wars Story
A group of people standing in a row, in the middle stands Han Solo pointing his blaster. The background is divided into blocks resembling a cockpit window.

Theatrical release poster
Directed by Ron Howard[a]
Produced by
Written by
Based on Characters
by George Lucas
Starring
Music by
Cinematography Bradford Young
Edited by Pietro Scalia[b]
Production
company
Distributed by Walt Disney Studios
Motion Pictures
Release date
  • May 10, 2018 (Los Angeles)
  • May 25, 2018 (United States)
Running time
135 minutes[8]
Country United States
Language English
Budget $250 million[9][10]
Box office $271.3 million[11]

Solo: A Star Wars Story, or simply Solo, is a 2018 American space Western film based on the Star Warscharacter Han Solo. Directed by Ron Howard, it was produced by Lucasfilm and distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. It is the second Star Wars anthology film following 2016’s Rogue One. The plot takes place prior to the events of A New Hope, and explores the early adventures of Han Solo and Chewbacca, as the pair are involved in a heist within the criminal underworld and meet a young Lando Calrissian. The film stars Alden Ehrenreich as Solo, alongside Woody HarrelsonEmilia ClarkeDonald GloverThandie NewtonPhoebe Waller-BridgeJoonas Suotamo, and Paul Bettany.

George Lucas began development on the film in 2012. He commissioned Lawrence Kasdan to write the screenplay, which was completed by his son Jonathan after Kasdan was hired to write Star Wars: The Force AwakensPrincipal photography began in January 2017 at Pinewood Studios, under the direction of Phil Lord and Christopher Miller. The pair left the project in June 2017 after reportedly being fired over “creative differences” with Lucasfilm, and Howard took over directing.

The film had its world premiere in Los Angeles on May 10, 2018, and also screened on May 15 at the 2018 Cannes Film Festival, before its United States release on May 25, 2018 in RealD 3D and IMAX 3D. It received generally favorable reviews from critics and audiences, with praise for the cast (particularly Ehrenreich and Glover), visuals and action sequences, although many criticized the pacing and noted that the film added “nothing new” to the Star Wars franchise.[12][13] The film has grossed $271 million worldwide, and will need to gross at least $500 million in order to break even.

Plot

On the shipbuilding world of Corellia, orphaned children are made to steal in order to survive. Han and his lover Qi’ra make an escape from the clutches of a local criminal gang. They bribe an Imperial officer with a stolen sample of coaxium, a powerful hyperspace fuel, in exchange for passage on an outgoing transport, but Qi’ra is apprehended by their pursuers before she can board. Han vows to return for her and joins the Imperial Navy as a flight cadet. When the recruiting officer asks for his family name, Han says he is alone, so the recruiter gives him the surname “Solo” in his documents.

Three years later, Han has been expelled from the Imperial Flight Academy for insubordination. While serving as an infantryman during a battle on the planet Mimban, he encounters a gang of criminals posing as Imperial soldiers led by Tobias Beckett. He tries to blackmail them into taking him with them, but Beckett has him arrested for desertion and thrown into a pit to be fed to a beast – a Wookiee named Chewbacca. Able to understand Chewbacca’s language, Han persuades him to work together to escape their confinement. In need of extra hands, Beckett rescues them and enlists them in the gang’s plot to steal a shipment of coaxium on the planet Vandor. The plan goes awry when the Cloud Riders show up with their leader Enfys Nest, resulting in the deaths of two crew members, Rio Durant and Beckett’s wife, Val, and the destruction of the coaxium.

Beckett reveals he was ordered to steal the shipment for Dryden Vos, a high-ranking crime boss in the Crimson Dawn syndicate. Han and Chewbacca volunteer to help him steal another shipment to repay the debt. They travel to Vos’s yacht where Han finds Qi’ra, who has joined Crimson Dawn and become Vos’s top lieutenant. Han suggests a risky plan to steal unrefined coaxium from the mines on the planet Kessel; Vos approves but insists that Qi’ra accompany the team. She leads them to Lando Calrissian, an accomplished smuggler and pilot who she hopes will lend them his ship. Han challenges Lando to a game of sabacc, with the wager being Lando’s ship. Lando cheats to win but agrees to join the mission in exchange for a share of the profits.

The team boards his ship, the Millennium Falcon, and heads for Kessel. After reaching the planet and infiltrating the mine, Lando’s droid co-pilot L3-37 instigates a slave revolt. They use the confusion to steal a consignment of coaxium, but L3 is severely damaged and Lando is injured during the escape. With the help of L3’s navigational computer, freshly hotwired into the ship’s systems, Han pilots the ship along a dangerous route through an uncharted maelstrom to elude an Imperial blockade.

 

Our Thoughts:

I liked Solo. It is a solid movie, but it wasn’t great. It could have been so much more, but I’m not a hater, and I will buy this when it is available for purchase, and I will probably watch it half a dozen more times. I can only give it 4 stars, because of the short comings, and the fact that the exciting parts are not so engaging since we know who is going to live. Despite the few negatives, Solo is worth the price of a premium ticket and recommended. – MR

Find Solo: A Star Wars story and see the new trailer here.