What Specialists Are Saying About Jurassic World

jurassic_world_ver5_xlgGathering in a bunker deep underground where velociraptors cannot find them, the Looking Closer Specialists are talking about Jurassic World.

The Specialists are a community of friends who are supporting my efforts on this blog. They have a private Facebook group, they get to see some of this blog’s posts before everybody else, they’re acknowledged in the Credits, and they are invited to participate in occasional posts like this one. (Sound like fun? Here’s how to join them.)

Since I haven’t had a chance to see Jurassic World yet — there were other films far higher on my priority list this week — I asked them for their first impressions. Here’s what they’re saying…

Joseph:

It met my expectations, Jeffrey. But I suspect that says more about my expectations than it does about Trevorrow’s film. Heavy, heavy on the effects and action, light on story and the characterizations (and motivations) of its characters.

A more successful return to the franchise than either The Lost World or Jurassic Park III, in my opinion. But that’s not really saying much, is it? (Also, there were a few odd tonal …decisions. But I’ll let you see it before discussing them.)

Mostly, I liked it because it helped me to realize what I love so much about the original (which was easily one of the most visceral movies of my youth): Spielberg’s original has wonderful pacing. It’s an action movie, yes. But we get some real moments of quiet, as well. (The ice-cream scene is one of my favorites examples).

Basically, Jurassic Park is great in no small part because it — and its audience — are allowed to breathe. It’s not that the writing’s great (because it’s really not). It’s that the ebb and flow between the various scenes and accompanying emotions is so well managed.

Trevorrow’s film doesn’t jump straight to 11, which I appreciated. But once it gets to 11, we’re there pretty much non-stop. Eventually, I can’t stay up there. It stops feeling tense to me. (This is a huge part of my problem with Peter Jackson’s Hobbit films as well. They’re just so immoderate, I can’t keep up. OK, fine. I have lots more problems with PJ than just that. But it’s a big part.)

I realize this is probably more about Park than World. But World was pretty much the competently-shot, predictably-scripted, crowd-sourced movie I was expecting, so it didn’t really generate much of a response. Not sure if that’s damning with faint praise or praising with faint damns, but there you go.

Also, I’m pretty sure I’d like it a lot less on a small screen. (That’s not unusual. A big screen adds nearly a full star for me, most of the time. My emotions carry me away…)

I live in a very small town in Wyoming. There were lines around the block for several of this weekend’s showings. (For context: There are never lines around the block before a showing. EVER.)

Dawn:

It met my expectations too, in that I wanted something fun. The original is the best and this reflects its source. But really, it was amazing that the heroine — spoilers — kept her heels on during running through the jungle and everything else…

Peggy:

The crowds here in the Orlando area are huge. I don’t think we’ll be able to get in to see it for a couple of weeks. I’m waiting for a chance to see it 3-D, and those shows are selling out.

Evan:

I had passes to an advance screening of Jurassic World. I arrived 25 minutes early, which for every other advance screening I have attended has been more than enough time to get a decent seat. The theater was already completely full, and I had to drive back home. That’s when I realized this was going to be a mega, mega hit.

I plan to see Jurassic Park eventually, but not until the crowds have died down, after I’ve caught up with a few releases at the art house/independent theater, and after I’ve seen Inside Out for at least a second time.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Evan

    Did I type “Jurassic Park” in my comment? I totally thought I typed “Jurassic World.”

    • jeffreyoverstreet

      Sorry. My bad. Italicizing in a hurry. I’ve corrected it.

      • Evan

        Thanks. I have confused the titles before, so I wasn’t sure if I had done it the other day.