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Thoughts of a Catholic convert

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Thursday, December 03, 2015

Terminator Genisys and Jurassic World

I had been looking forward to watching and posting about a couple of movies - Jurassic World and Terminator Genisys - but somehow that seems irrelevant given all the mayhem in the news. Maybe instead I should post about the need for gun control, the creepiness of religious fundamentalism, the depressing probability of the extinction of all animal life due to climate change, and then there's the fact that I'm beginning to believe God doesn't care about us, or worse, just doesn't exist. Or maybe on second thought I should just go ahead and write about those escapist movies after all - I think they and their ilk are the only things keeping me (sort of) sane. So ...



One of this week's movie rental was Terminator Genisys ...

a 2015 American science fiction action film, directed by Alan Taylor and written by Laeta Kalogridis and Patrick Lussier. The fifth installment in the Terminator franchise, the film stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, reprising his role as the eponymous character, along with Jason Clarke, Emilia Clarke, and Jai Courtney. The film's plot follows soldier Kyle Reese (Courtney) in the war against Skynet, an artificial general intelligence seeking to destroy the human race. In a sequence of events similar to 1984's The Terminator, John Connor (Jason Clarke), leader of the Human Resistance, sends Reese back in time from 2029 to 1984 to protect Connor's mother, Sarah Connor (Emilia Clarke), who is being targeted by Skynet. However, once Reese arrives in the past he discovers the timeline has been altered, and Sarah has been raised by a reprogrammed Terminator, known as the Guardian (Schwarzenegger), since her childhood.

The movie will probably be best appreciated by those who, like me, are fans of the whole series. The story creates a new and different timeline, effectively changing history and opening up a new future for the characters. This was frowned upon by critics, but I'm not sure why .... this was the same M.O. used by J.J.Abrams to reboot the Star Trek franchise (see Star Trek). But if you find the whole alternate Terminator timeline thing confusing, here's a brief explanation :) ...



I did enjoy the movie, especially all the references to the first two films in the series, and the special effects were interesting. It was fun to see Arnold make a reappearance too. The one thing I didn't really like was this version of the character Kyle Reese. There have been 4 iterations of him in the various movies, the last one being played by Anton Yelchin in Terminator Salvation, but my favorite has always been the first version played by Michael Biehn. Here's an interview with him from back in the day, discussing Terminator and another James Cameron film he had just finished, Aliens ...



And here's a trailer for Terminator Genysis ...





The other film I watched was Jurassic World ...

a 2015 American science fiction adventure film. It is the fourth installment of the Jurassic Park series. It was directed and co-written by Colin Trevorrow, produced by Frank Marshall and Patrick Crowley, and stars Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard .... Set twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Jurassic World takes place on the same fictional island of Isla Nublar, off the Pacific coast of Central America, where a fully functioning dinosaur theme park has operated for ten years. The park plunges into chaos when a genetically modified dinosaur, Indominus rex, breaks loose and goes on a bloody rampage across the island.



I'm a fan of the whole Jurassic Park thing. The two books - Jurassic Park and The Lost World by Michael Crichton - from which the first two films in the series were made are some of my most favorite reads. The movie I liked best of the series up til now has been the third ....Jurassic Park III ... which starred Sam Neill, William H. Macy, and Téa Leoni.

I did like this film too and critics mostly liked it as well. The Guardian gave it 4 out of 5 stars in its review and here's a bit from a review in The Atlantic ...

[T]his is not a movie that you go to for the human beings, and the dinos on display are consistently first-rate, from the armor-plated ankylosaurs to the whale-sized mosasaur, to the wide variety of flying pterosaurs. Director Colin Trevorrow (Safety Not Guaranteed) has a nice eye for the action sequences, and he keeps the film moving along at a sharp enough clip that its deficiencies of characterization and plot never quite prove fatal. (Among the latter is the decision to release a pack of deadly, poorly trained velociraptors in the hopes that they’ll hunt down the Indominus, a plan that practically comes in a manila envelope with “What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” stamped on it in red lettering.).

A trailer ...


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