Good afternoon! I promised to give you a review for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It was a highly anticipated film for many people. Does Fallen Kingdom live up to Jurassic Park’s reputation? Read my review and decide for yourself.
I’m going to start with a short plot synopsis. Fallen Kingdom takes place some time after the previous film ended. A live volcano threatens the lives of the dinosaurs who reside on Isla Nublar near Costa Rica. It will be an extinction level event for the dinosaurs unless human beings intervene and relocate them. A rescue team brings some of the dinosaurs back to the United States, but their problems aren’t finished yet. Profiteers auction the dinosaurs to international terrorists. Furthermore, a new hybrid called the Indoraptor was genetically engineered to be a biological weapon. Be prepared to see a lot of mayhem.
This film goes both ways for me. I definitely enjoy several elements. It has great entertainment value and fits really well in the Jurassic Park franchise. Fallen Kingdom is fun and exciting with cool action scenes. Periodically, it’s also quite suspenseful. I don’t like boring movies and this one certainly kept my attention. It has a decent mixture of storytelling and action. The films makers did a really good job with the dinosaurs. They’re legitimate characters in this movie. In fact, some of the dinosaurs almost had more substance than most of the human characters. There’s a big variety of dinosaurs, including a few that we didn’t see in earlier Jurassic Park films. Fallen Kingdom is definitely a creature feature.
I think the tone works really well. Sometimes it focuses more on suspense and scares. Other times, it includes some humor to break up the tension. I actually like the combination of humor versus suspense. It helps the pacing and makes the film seem less one dimensional. Besides, we’re talking about a movie with dinosaurs that are rampaging everywhere. I find it unrealistic to expect a completely serious tone from this type of movie.
A couple things help the action scenes and more frightening moments. I believe the musical score, composed by Michael Giacchino, helps create a suspenseful atmosphere. It’s not the best overall composition, but the music is very appropriate for this particular film. The score also pushes the momentum forward in the action scenes. I'm also impressed with the sound mixing and editing. It's a great contribution to the excitement. Audiences don’t always think about music and sound mixing, but they’re very important elements for blockbuster movies.
I have to point out some negative elements. Fallen Kingdom has a lot of flaws, including some major plot holes. I can’t go into much detail because it will spoil the movie, but certain parts of the story weren’t very good. There’s always a big emphasis on genetic engineering in the Jurassic Park films, but many components don't make a lot of sense. I don’t usually have the highest standards for storytelling in action films, but the screen writer needed to fill in more elements.
Sometimes the movie is a bit over the top. I appreciate the periodic humor, but it becomes rather silly in certain scenes. There was a time when Jurassic Park was a scary franchise, but now it seems to be heading in a different direction. Fallen Kingdom rides on the cusp for me. It's not silly enough to be stupid. However, I still think it goes a little overboard.
The human characters need more development. They have enough screen time, but I don't feel particularly attached to anyone. It reminds me of Kong: Skull Island. The creatures are great and the people are simply average without any complexity or interesting elements. Owen Grady and Claire Dearing returned from the previous Jurassic World movie and they're fine, but not exceptional. Chris Pratt (Owen Grady) is always a terrific action star, but his character was probably more interesting in the previous film. Rafe Spall plays Eli Mills, a major antagonist in Fallen Kingdom. He’s quite bland, generic, and unthreatening.
It also has a really weird twist in the third act that seems out of place in the franchise. I don’t want to give away spoilers, but you’ll probably notice it when viewing the movie. Perhaps, Universal Studios is running out of ideas, so they might be adding new elements to the Jurassic Park films. The twist comes out of left field and I don’t understand the significance. Maybe it will have more context if they make another sequel.
Despite its flaws, I feel pretty forgiving to Fallen Kingdom. I thought it was a delightful experience and fans of fast paced blockbusters will probably like this film. There aren’t many films coming out this month, so I would recommend it. Fallen Kingdom might be too scary for young children. Viewers can probably be under thirteen years old, but just keep the scares in mind if you’re planning to take children to see this movie. I saw it on a deluxe screen and that probably enhanced the experience somewhat.
Thanks for visiting my blog. Have any of you guys seen Fallen Kingdom yet? Tell me what you thought about the experience in the comment section. I appreciate your support and watch out for next week’s post. Enjoy your night at the movies and try not to get eaten by any dinosaurs along the way.
Welcome back! Today, I'm continuing my series about writing steampunk fiction. You're getting a small history lesson about the industrial revolution, but I promise it will make sense because steampunk usually has a big emphasis on industrialization. If you're going to write steampunk fiction, it's important to know this part of 19th century history. Fear not because I'll try to make this post very interesting. Did you ever wonder why steampunk has such a big fixation on gears? That part will make sense when you're done reading this post.
Steampunk landscapes usually have a very specific look. They're often industrial fantasies or industrial wastelands. One version is a neat and tidy utopian environment. The other version is a dark and gritty dystopia. Steampunk settings typically have a major emphasis on industrialization because it was a very important part of the Victorian period. Don't forget that Victorianism is one of the stylistic elements in steampunk fiction. Therefore, it makes sense to include other parts of the time period as well.
On a historical level, the industrial revolution was a highly progressive movement in manufacturing. It created mass production that was never done before. The industrial revolution also catapulted steam as the dominant source of power in Western Europe. Factories became a mainstream part of Victorian manufacturing and employment. These factories created huge quantities of textiles. For example, some types of clothing could be mass produced. Various goods were available in much bigger quantities, causing an increase in capitalism and consumerism. This is the primary reason why department stores were created. Clothes, furniture, bedding, shoes, and other household items were mass produced and sent to stores for sale. The industrial revolution also impacted authors and literacy in general. Paper mills and printing presses boosted the production of books in large quantities. Book stores became quite popular in Victorian England and the increase of paper goods also helped education as well.
Industrialization paved the way for other inventions, including the steam powered locomotive and steamboats. Both of these inventions revolutionized transportation. This was particularly important regarding trade and immigration. England created a lot of goods and transported it to other parts of the world, such as India and the far East. The Victorians also imported many goods from foreign countries back to the homeland. It was a highly profitable time period. What if someone wanted leave England and search for opportunities elsewhere? It wasn't very difficult back in those days. A person could hop on a steamboat and move to America or take a train ride to France for example. This dramatic change in transportation also gave immigrants the opportunity to work in Victorian England. After all, factories and other forms of mass production needed workers. It took a lot of employees to create those products. The 19th century also included other forms of production or employment, such as coal mining, gas lighting, cement mixing, glass making, and several agricultural jobs.
The industrial revolution was both a blessing and curse at the same time. It sparked an increase in employment and urbanization. Bigger productivity meant an increase in money. That meant workers could afford more food, better housing, and access to healthcare. Hence, workers and their families lived much longer. But industrialization had several negative elements too. Many working-class employees operated in horrible environments. It was not uncommon for workers to develop long term health complications from their time in factories and coal mines. Steam power is very dirty and many workers developed respiratory issues. The Victorians didn't have modern working standards. There was no such thing as minimum wage, life insurance, workers comp, vacation time, and everything we have in the modern era. Employers didn't have to provide safe working conditions either. Some workers suffered grievous injuries or even died on the job.
There were some additional problems during the industrial revolution. Urbanization became an issue for housing. There were almost too many people living in England at the time. Housing was quite crammed for working-class families. Sometimes there was more than one family living in a small house and many urban areas were downright unsanitary. There was also a huge spike in child labor. Do you think employees were responsible just because they made bigger wages? That wasn't always the case. It wasn't unusual for workers to spend their wages on alcohol, opium, and prostitutes instead of their families. It's sad, but true in some cases. Mass production also caused a sharp decline for independent craftsmen. There was no longer a need for individuals who made shoes, furniture, and other items that wound up in factories. The 19th century was basically the demise of traditional caste systems and career paths that were passed down from one generation to the next. People had more options that paid better and opened the doorway for promotions. This caused terrible animosity from craftsmen who lost their consumers. Some of these craftsmen formed violent uprisings against rival businesses. Many of these unemployed craftsmen became Luddites who destroyed industrial equipment. It was essentially a form of domestic terrorism.
Much of this material can be used in steampunk fiction. Industrial themes serve more than one purpose in steampunk stories. It’s part of the world building and often a source of conflict. On one level, industrialization is progressive and quite beautiful in a fantasy setting. However, it also brings up serious conflicts about working conditions, capitalism, and competition. It’s not unusual for a Luddite group or something similar to cause grief in steampunk fiction. Sometimes the employer is the main antagonist. Manufacturing could be controlled by a greedy tycoon who’s more worried about profit than the safety or mental well being of the workers.
It’s important to include enough fantasy and sci-fi elements too. Anything can be mass produced in steampunk fiction, including airships, futuristic weapons, submarines, and even cybernetic body parts. Basically, the author is creating fiction that has some influences from Victorian history. Manufactured goods can also be more elaborate in steampunk tales. For example, trains and steamboats can be more powerful and futuristic. There's a reason why people think about gears when they hear about steampunk. An industrial fantasy is going to have rotating gears in every nook and cranny. It's just part of the environment, culture, and overall aesthetic. Steampunk works really well when it’s over the top. In a way, steampunk is a bit odd because it’s both fantasy driven and realistic at the same time. Perhaps, this is true regarding other literary genres as well.
Congratulations! You survived another long winded post. I’m going to leave a few links, in case you wanted to learn more about the industrial revolution. Leave comments if you feel inclined. Next week's post is probably going to be a review for the new Jurassic World film. I've been looking forward to it for quite a while. Thanks for joining me and I’ll see you guys next week.
-The Industrial Revolution on Wikipedia
-Industrial Revolution from the Yale-New Haven Teacher's Institute
-Short Britannica Article
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