Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Cynical Musings: Suggestions For Jurassic World (SPOILERS)



     Am I jumping the gun on this one?  Yeah, but when has that stopped me before?  This has been bugging me and I need to get it off my chest so, please, hear me out.

     It's been over a year and a half since Jurassic Park 4 was first announced via Twitter feed.  I gave some reasons why I wasn't excited at that time and haven't really mentioned the project since on the blog, largely in part because some other lesser known feature was in my sights.  Well, a lot has changed since the project was announced and I've been reading every single article about it (spoilers be damned) to see if something can ignite genuine excitement within me.  Alas, I'm still not excited for this film and I cannot decide whether any info I've heard hasn't given me much to work with or if out of fear of getting horribly disappointed again that I have some sort of mental block that is not allowing me to get excited.  That's not to say that I haven't been able to make some progress.  I've made peace with the fact that they've changed the name to not have Jurassic Park in the title and that they're returning to the first island for this one.  I'm incredibly happy for a couple of my friends and fellow Dan's JP3 Page alumni that were able to be extras for the film because how cool is it to say that you were able to be part of a Jurassic Park film?
     I've also let my mind wander about the subject long enough that I've been able to analyze the speculation and confirmed details from the articles and I've come up with some suggestions for the film so that even though I'm not excited for Jurassic World, these tips and pointers could save the film from being a potential disaster.  So, in a similar vein of Screen Junkies' "How To Fix" series, here's my not expectations but suggestions for Jurassic World.  Just in case the text at the start didn't drive the point home enough, Fucking Spoiler Alert!

     1.  Give The Movie A Minimum Two Hour Runtime
     If we're going to go back to Isla Nublar for this one, I wanna get a damn good look at how much the island has changed in the last 22 years.  I also wanna take in as much of this new park before we start shoving the paying customers into the sharp teeth and claws of the eighteen species on the island, sixteen of which listed here.  This was one of the reasons why I hated the third film because they figured all people care about are dinosaurs killing people so they just jumped straight into that, when in reality that's just one part of the series.  Let us get to know the characters the story focuses on, show us some "Oooos" and "Aaahhhs" or even some "Aw, cools," maybe tease us with some peril that just turn out to be false alarms at first.  Just don't rush it, especially if you're going to include THAT many different animals in the movie.

     2.  More Animatronics, Less CGI
     I'm not saying that CGI (Computer Generated Imagery) is a bad thing because it really isn't...when it's done right and done sparingly.  Obviously, there's going to be some parts that will require CGI like a full body dinosaur running or when the Diabolus Rex uses its cuttlefish-like camouflage (more on him later), but I see a lot of movies out there where a shot comes up that uses CGI when it could've easily been done with practical onscreen effects.  Also, CGI is so rampant nowadays that it would be a nice change of pace to see a movie where there isn't a lot of things added visually in post production.  I'm thinking with the involvement of Legacy Effects Studios (which was started by former members of Stan Winston Studios), not to mention this Velociraptor photo that was posted, this is probably one of my lesser...worries, for lack of better term, but I would hate to see a Jurassic Park film going primarily digital just for the sake of doing so when the original(s) did such a good job of balancing practical and visual effects.

     3.  Do Something Interesting With The Human Villain
     So a little while back it was announced that Edgar himself, Vincent D'Onofrio, was cast as the role of the CFO of the Patel Corporation (the company that owns the new park) that, as The Wrap puts it, "projects the image of a normal family man to mask a hidden edge."  So far, any human villains in the series have been influenced by money, so do something different this time around.  Make D'Onofrio a villain that we can relate to, maybe even feel sorry or root for.  Hell, take a page from Batman: The Animated Series' book and give his character a distraught back story so that his actions aren't necessarily greedy or evil but perhaps just...misguided so that despite any wrong doings on his part, we want to see him succeed and then feel genuine pity for him when he doesn't.  I just don't want to see a retread of Arliss Howard's Peter Ludlow from The Lost World: Jurassic Park where he twiddles his proverbial mustache and starts humming Shane McMahon's entrance theme whenever he sees the dinosaurs.

     4.  Make Diabolus Rex A Carnotaurus
     In May, a spoiler-ific article was posted on JoBlo.com that explained that one of the new attractions and the main baddie in the film would be a new genetically spliced super predator that can terrorize like the T-Rex, is as smart as the Velociraptors, can unhinge its jaw to swallow larger prey like a snake and use camouflage like a cuttlefish.  At first when I heard this, my mind immediately jumped to the old John Sayles JP4 script that had Raptor/Human/Dog hybrids (no joke).  However, director Colin Trevorrow stated that it may sound crazy but the genetic splicing of species isn't anything that wasn't suggested in the original novels.  Okay, so when you say "terrorize like the T-Rex," I'm picturing a theropod larger than a human that runs fairly fast, like the Carnotaurus, only the size would have to be exaggerated if they want a Carnotaurus/T-Rex fight.  It can unhinge its jaw like a snake?  That sounds similar to paleontological evidence of the Carnotaurus' jaws.  Cuttlefish-like camouflage?  Well, guess what had that ability in Michael Crichton's novel of The Lost World?  Stop pissing around the bush and just make the D-Rex a fucking Carnotaurus already!  You'll be serving up a warm, hefty bowl of fan service if you do.

     5.  Keep The Dinosaurs On The Island
     When the title of Jurassic World was announced, there was a lot of speculation as to why it was called such.  Why World?  Is there going to be a planet full of dinosaurs?  Is the movie going to be about the dinosaurs taking over the Earth?  If there's going to be a movie about dinosaurs munching on the human race on a global scale, it'd better be called Dinosaurs Attack! and have absolutely nothing to do with Jurassic Park.  One of the key elements in the Jurassic movies is isolation: having to fend for yourself, being cut off from immediate help, not being able to just pick up the phone and call someone with a big gun to come save you.  There's already a franchise that has an unlikely species taking dominance over the planet, let the apes have it!  Frankly, the whole "dinosaurs-getting-off-the-island" thing has been done before: once in film and four times in comics.  Out of those five instances, only one of them felt successful.

Costa Rican biker gangs vs Dilophosaurs?  Hell yeah!

     Hell, if you REALLY wanna have a story/film about a dinosaurmageddon, either make a Dinosaurs Attack film or make an offer on my script "Earth2" once I tweak it.  Just keep the Jurassic franchise on the islands, where it works best.  PLEASE.

     And my final and largest suggestion for Jurassic World is...

     Alright, I'm not going to sit here and pretend that I'm one of those people who is sick of movie franchises.  I've mostly had a blast with the Marvel films thus far and can't wait for more.  Hell, after Godzilla had a very successful opening, a sequel was greenlit that weekend and I'm already on board for it.  So why am I calling for the curtains on Jurassic?  The thing is that Jurassic Park was never meant to be a franchise, simply a one shot deal.  However, like how many other franchises get their start, it was so bloody successful (becoming the highest grossing film of all time until Titanic came out) that there was a popular demand for a sequel, both for the book and the film.  However, the last 13 years, perhaps more, have NOT been kind to this series.  The last film sucked, the toys have become lazy repaints and what few new sculpts are released look terrible and I've made it no secret that ventures into the park through other media were, for the most part, less than impressive.  I have said it for years that the only reason why we should have a fourth installment is to bring the series to a solid conclusion.  However, in an interview with Empire, Colin Trevorrow said that Universal has plans for further Jurassic films and that he'd like to partake in them if they'll have him.

 My reaction to the Empire interview.

     Rather than dragging it out further and risk having the series take a monumental dip in quality (again), I really would rather that Jurassic World try to recapture the magic of the first film and have the series go out on a high note.  Perhaps instead of this movie being called Jurassic World, it should be called Jurassic Park: Sorry About Part Three So Here's One To Wash The Taste Out And Cap Off The Series.  See You In Five Years With The Remake.  Just rolls off the tongue, don't you think?  Like I said in my last Jurassic post, there really is nothing worse in fandom than watching your favorite film blossom into a franchise that consists mostly of mediocrity or garbage rather than the true greatness that started it in the first place, so please end it!  End it here!

     Now before anyone starts jumping down my back calling me a Negative Neddy or anything of that sort, lemme clarify a few things:
     1.  This blog is called Coffee With The Cynic, not Coffee With The Cheery Chubby Canadian.  My skepticism/pessimism should really come as no surprise at this point.
     2.  I take Jurassic Park very seriously and dearly to my heart.  I'm only being honest in my views.
     3.  If you are excited for or were involved with Jurassic World, this blog is not a personal attack on you.  Do not take it as such.  I do not wish ill fate upon you.
     4.  I want to be excited for this movie.  I want this movie to be GOOD!  I really do!  I want to have Godzilla levels of excitement and optimism for this one, but...sorry.  This one is on my viewing list not for excitement sake but for obligatory reasons.
     5.  The odds of any suggestions listed here actually being in the film are almost non-existent.  I know this.  Doesn't mean I can't still suggest them.
     6.  Something may come along to negate these suggestions and finally ignite that spark of excitement for this movie.  I'm not ruling it out, but at the time of this blog's production, it has not happened nor am I really holding my breath for it to do so.

     There.  I've said my piece.  We'll see how things turn out next summer when Jurassic World reopens the gates on June 12, 2015.

     -The Cynic


  1. You mention the 13 years since JPIII not having been kind to the "Jurassic Park" franchise. Did you ever play TellTale's 2011 "Jurassic Park" game that was set in between the first and second movies?

    1. Yes, I did. Story was good, but the rest needed some work.