Hay! It's me Joe and I'm back! Officially and for good! Last few months have been pretty busy, what with getting married and all. That's right folks, I got married! It was a great experience that I'll be talking about soon!
But first, let's discuss dinosaurs.
In case you haven't heard, next year among the glut of blockbusters set to come out is the latest addition to the Jurassic Park franchise: Jurassic World.
Rewind 20 years to the opening of the first Jurassic Park and a 7 year old boy sitting in a movie theater mesmerized by the giant tyrannosaurus roaring on screen. Back then little Joe could already spell paleontologist, as well as several dinosaur names. I couldn't really follow the man-playing-god-is-a-sin plot, but Seeing Spielburg's masterpiece lit my little heart aflame, and I can still remember sitting in that theater.
So what happened?
Well the thing made money, that's what happened.
As with all films that made money, someone decided it would be a good idea to make another. This resulted in Lost World, a loose adaptation of the book of the same name. The film had far more dinosaurs, but a far weaker story. I personally am a guy that if they could genetically engineer a 40 foot pig to make bacon prices drop I'd be all for it, so I didn't really care about the plot once I understood it. I just wanted to see the dinosaurs.
The third film took a nose dive in plot for full dinosaur exploitation, showing us a dinosaur big enough to eat a T-Rex and plenty of obnoxious actors to eat. I loved it but the critics and audiences didn't, so the franchise was believed dead.
Despite the degrading plot the concept and world has stayed in the public mind. Universal Studios in California has a ride devoted to Jurassic Park that's still popular as ever, and TellTale Games has a popular video game in the same vein as the award winning Walking Dead game by the same developer, an action/adventure/horror thing that I have to own one day.
So what about this new film? Leaks and press releases have hinted that the film will go back to its original form, social commentary mixed with high-action and adventure, but is that the best way to go? Social commentary is such a tricky toy to keep bringing out. Where it worked in films like V for Vendetta and Wall-E, it nearly killed World War Z and made Happy Feet worthless. The stuff in the first film was interesting but they kept hammering it in that it actually bogged down the film with people talking about ethics and control, which was much better when shown in the second film when a T-Rex was rampaging through San Diego. The film snob in me hates to say it but I would rather watch a dinosaur tear apart an RV than have its existence pose existential questions on the society I live in.
If the movie can't have any fun, then maybe it's best if the franchise went extinct once in for all.