Friday 8 June 2018

Expect no less than absolute Dino-Mania from Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom

As Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom explodes into cinemas this week, it may be worthwhile nothing to younger movie goers that this is not just the sequel movie to 2015 Jurassic World, but also the fifth movie of the Jurassic Park franchise beginning in 1993. Yes, that's 2.5 decades ago marking this year as the 25th Anniversary of this massive dinosaur movie franchise. Since it may be a tad difficult to recollect so-called classic movies from the 1990's, Outpost is here to briefly recap on Jurassic Park's history with leanings towards elements relevant to Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Of course, this means SPOILERS for anyone who have yet to watch these preceding four movies... you've been WARNED!

The inaugural Jurassic Park movie was directed by none other than Academy Award Winner Steven Spielberg, based on a 1990 sci-fi novel by Michael Crichton of the same name. In this opening chapter of the franchise, movie goers witness the first ultra-realistic dinosaurs created by computer-generated imagery (CGI). Indeed such special effects are almost taken for granted by today's standards but back in 1993 it was a landmark achievement and deservingly to win the Academy Award for Visual Effects that year, together with Sound Editing and Sound Mixing for pioneering use of Digital Audio as DTS Sound.

In the movie, wealthy industrialist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) created a themed park populated by living dinosaurs created from fossilized DNA. A team of experts are brought in to inspect Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar, an island of Costa Rica in Central America (slightly north of the Equator), to certify it being safe to open to public. The experts comprise paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and, for some reason, mathematician & chaos theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), plus Hammond's two grandchildren. Ooo's and Ahhh's are aplenty when they first glimpse living breathing dinosaurs.

Whilst touring the island, a combination of inclement weather, human greed and mishaps leads to a  Tyrannosaurus Rex escaping and attacking the tour group. Humans start becoming dino-meals as Jurassic carnivores breakout, including the Velociraptors. At this point dinosaurs turned really scary to young ones, leading to more than a few children crying and/or run screaming from the cinemas traumatised. Well, no kids were eaten in the movie and the “good guys” manage to escape with most limbs intact. Isla Nublar is presumably left overrun by dinosaurs and Jurassic Park as a failed venture never to open.

Watch Honest Trailers recap on the original Jurassic Park.

No hit movie remains free from studio executives, so a sequel was hot in the work the moment Michael Crichton published his sequel novel titled The Lost World in 1995. Spielberg returns as Director but only Jeff Goldblum reprises his role as Ian Malcolm in the main cast, plus a short appearance by Richard Attenborough as Hammond in the early scenes of The Lost World: Jurassic Park released in 1997.

This time the adventure takes place on Isla Soma, a second island of dinosaurs where they were apparently first created before being moved to Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. Hammonds wants to gather public support for non-human interference of the dinosaurs on Isla Soma to prevent exploitation of the animals by InGen, now controlled by his nephew, Peter Ludlow. Malcolm is sent on this task with a team, primarily to retrieve his girlfriend paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) already on the island.

Ian locates Sarah and also discovered his daughter Kelly had stowed away on the expedition, providing the required “child in peril”scenes of a Jurassic Park movie. They encounter the other InGen team tasked to capture dinosaurs for a new theme park in San Diego. Well some members of Ian's team won't have it so they set about releasing captured dinosaurs and in that process retrieve a baby T-Rex. So not one but TWO adult T-Rexes appear to get back their “kid” and have a few human snacks along the way. Ian's team barely survives the encounter and ultimately has to join InGen's hunter team to get off the island. After more misadventures and deaths by dino, including Velociraptors, Ian, Sarah & Kelly are rescued by helicopter.

However, they return to human civilisation to discover a T-Rex had been captured earlier and now accidentally unleashed to the streets of San Diego. Because InGen execs are “brilliant”, they had also captured the baby T-Rex! Ian and Sarah retrieve baby-T to lure daddy-T back to the transport ship to be returned to Isla Sorna. They succeed though Hammond's opportunistic nephew Ludlow gets served as dinner for baby-T along the way.

 Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) reluctantly returns to an island of dinosaurs.

The third chapter of the Jurassic Park saga, concluding the first movie trilogy, was simply titled Jurassic Park III and released another 4 years later in 2001. It is not based on any book by Michael Crichton and helmed instead by Director Joe Johnston. Sam Neill from the original cast returns as Dr. Alan Grant who is tricked by Paul & Amanda Kirby (William H. Macy & Tea Leoni) to follow them to Isla Sorna.

Their plans quickly go awry when their plane is destroyed by a nasty Spinosaurus and thereafter marooned on the island. Grant discovers the Kirby's are actually on a rescue mission to find their son Eric lost eight weeks ago on the island. Well, nothing goes to plan on a dino-island so the other hired help from the team gets devoured. Then add human stupidity of stealing Velociraptor eggs to drastically lower their odds of survival when they get hunted by a pack of intelligent carnivores.

Yet during these misadventures, the team finds Eric alive and manage to call for help via satellite phone after retrieving it from Spinosaurus excrement. After tangling once again with the bad-@$$ dino and raptors plus flying Pteranodons, Alan and the Kirbys are rescued by US marines with the navy. No kids were devoured in this production, just tossed around.

"Alan"... the guys at Honest Trailers are never going to let this one go!
BTW, hello again Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill).

Fast forward 14 years to 2015 and welcome to Jurassic World! The dinosaur theme park has now been opened to public on Isla Nublar for a decade and looks to up the ante by genetically creating a new hybrid dino-species, the Indominus Rex, to attract more visitors.

The all new cast is lead by Bryce Dallas Howard as Claire Dearing, the park's operations manager, and Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, a Velociraptor trainer. Plus throw in Claire's nephews Zach & Gray for the necessary “children in peril” scenes.

The park plunges into chaos soon after escape of the Indominus Rex. Attempts to recapture it fail and result in more human meals (do we actually taste good to dinos?). This includes a “terrible” idea of using Owen's trained raptors to track down Indominus, which leads to more deaths after the giant hybrid dino-carnivore takes over as the new alpha for the raptor pack.

During evacuation of the park, Owen manages to reestablish his bond with the raptors and commands them to attack Idominus. Three out of four raptors are killed before Claire lures the park's T-Rex into battle with Idominus. Yes, that is the same original T-Rex from 1993's Jurassic park, just older with more battle scars. This epic dinosaur battle concludes with Idominus being eaten by the massive Mosasaurus of the park lagoon. DID NOT SEE THAT COMING!

Get "honest' on how insane is this movie, but thoroughly enjoyable.

Jurassic World broke various box office records and reached the third highest grossing movie of all time with a take of USD1.67 billion (RM6.66 billion) until being dethroned by Star Wars The Force Awakens and (more recently) Avengers Infinity War. It is planned as the first sequel / reboot movie of a new Jurassic World trilogy, written and directed by Colin Trevorrow.

For a visual recap of these past four movies, check out this 5 min+ video courtesy of IGN.

In cinemas this week across Malaysia Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom takes place four years after theme park had been abandoned on Isla Nublar and dinosaurs now roam free in the island jungles. However when the island’s dormant volcano begins roaring to life, Owen and Claire reunite to mount a campaign to rescue the remaining dinosaurs from this extinction-level event. Owen is driven to find Blue, his lead raptor who’s still missing in the wild, and Claire has grown a respect for these creatures she now makes her mission. Arriving on the unstable island as lava begins raining down, their expedition uncovers a conspiracy that could return our entire planet to a perilous order not seen since prehistoric times.

The kids of the preceding movie Zach & Gray do not return, possible due to restraining orders from their parents never to see Aunt Claire again for fear of man-eating dinosaurs. Since the supporting cast of more Jurassic Park movies are typically devoured, there really ain't a huge pool of dino-survivors to draw upon. Amongst these survivors of Jurassic World is Dr. Henry Wu (B.D. Wong), former lead geneticist of the Jurassic World theme park and working in the original Jurassic Park lab before. Also returning from 25 years hence is Dr. Ian Malcolm, having survived two dino-incidents from Isla Nublar and Isla Sorna, and appearing to dispense informed opinions regarding the plight of dinosaurs in the modern world as seen in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

This fifth chapter in the Jurassic Park franchise begins with recap of the previous movie events through news associated with US government hearings on whether dinosaurs should be saved from the impending volcanic destruction of Isla Nublar. Claire is now part of the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG) dedicated to establishing the protecting the rights of all living dinosaurs. Hence foremost on their current agenda is to lobby the government and public awareness to save the dinosaurs from extinction. But eh did everyone conveniently forget the second island, Isla Sorna? So technically even if Isla Nublar is wiped out, dinosaurs would will survive on Isla Sorna, no?

Anyway find out more about the DPG at the official website and Facebook Page with information about dinosaurs and the opportunity to “adopt” one in support of their cause.

Head to cinemas now to find out what happens when Claire and Owen return to Isla Nublar where there is certainly more happening than meets the eye. Or watch this very SPOILER filled trailer:

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is directed by J.A. Bayona (The Impossible) and written by Jurassic World director Colin Trevorrow who is also an Executive Producer together with Steven Spielberg. Joining Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, B.D. Wong and Jeff Goldblum are James Cromwell as Sir Benjamin Lockwood, Justice Smith as IT nerd Franklin Webb, Daniella Pineda as DPG's paleoveterinarian Dr. Zia, Rafe Spall as Eli Mills and Isabella Sermon as Maisie, Sir Benjamin's granddaughter, soon to face “child peril”.

Behind-the-scenes featurette with the cast of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

Despite the age of CGI film-making becoming the norm, must of the dinosaurs featured in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom are indeed using practical special effects, i.e. puppet dinosaur heads and limbs controlled by human puppeteers. This really helps actors who can react appropriately to a real-world "dinosaur" about to devour them compared to acting against "thin air" of a fully CGI environment. Watch this short featurette on the practical effects used in this movie:

Whilst the Jurassic Park movies may not have consistently glowing reviews by film critics, they have consistently smashed box office records worldwide which kinda reflects that movie audiences are not too discerning on the detailed plot, acting nuances or embedded moral / psychological messages. They just wanna see "living & breathing dinosaurs"! Nevertheless, for your readers who seek out movie reviews before deciding on buying tickets, check out this review by, listen to the geeks Uma, Iain & Bahir at BFM At The Movies, or watch this video by IGN:

For a thematic experience visiting Jurassic World, head over to 1 Utama Shopping Centre to find a slice of prehistoric wilds in the Highstreet concourse, Ground Floor.

Welcome to Jurassic World in 1 Utama!
There one can take selfies and wefies with a life-size Velociraptor, Blue. Also available for OneCard and Citibank cardholders are complimentary VR experience on Isla Nublar with "live" dinosaurs.

Blue the Velociraptor looks ready to "bite" but no need to panic, she' knows to behave.
Visit Isla Nublar "virtually" before it explodes.
There is also a free photo booth with instant print service for pics uploaded to Instagram with event hashtags. Kids can build their own dinos with official Jurassic World LEGO and contribute to assembling Blue in LEGO form.

When Isla Nublar explodes, just push this LEGO diorama off the table and watch it shatter into thousands of bricks!

A LEGO version of Blue the Velociraptor.
(Ed: looks more like Godzilla though in that pose!)
Of course, Jurassic World LEGO play sets are readily available for purchase together with official Funko POP! vinyl figurines from the franchise and kids apparel.

So many Jurassic World LEGO sets to choose from... just buy them ALL-lah!

Funko POP! vinyl figurines... the shirtless Ian Malcolm is a MUST!
Big spenders may be rewarded with a limited edition Jurassic World OneCard as well as official dino-clad merchandise courtesy of Citibank.

For more photos of the event, check out our Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom at 1 Utama album at our Faceboook Page, or better yet pay a visit yourself before it ends on 1 July 2018.

GSC Cinema's E-combo with Jurassic World pins.

At the cinemas, various concession combo are available. GSC Cinemas offers limited edition Jurassic World pin with their e-combo, whilst MBO Cinemas has mini-dinosaur figurines of Blue and T-Rex. For real dino-enthusiasts, six different dinosaur figurines are available as cup toppers from MM Cineplexes concession combos. Whereas TGV Cinemas is offering a "lava cup" combo, which may display nicely with these dino-figurines escaping Isla Nublar blowing-up.

Mini-dino figurines available with concession combos at MBO Cinemas.
Dino-manis from MM Cineplexes with six different figurines to collect. Don't need to consume lots of popcorn and soft drinks with the option to buy all six from RM98. Gotta catch them all!

TGV Cinemas non-dino combo. Note though the RM1 soft drink refills are super-value!
Check with the respective cinemas website and Facebook Pages for availability of these concession combos as well as numerous other social media and online contests to win official Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom movie premiums.


Disclaimer: Jurassic Park, Jurassic World and other trademarks are copyright to Universal Pictures, and their respective owners, referenced here for fan service announcements only without intent to infringe.