Monday, June 15, 2015

Wknd Box Office: Jurassic World, Farewell Party, Madame Bovary, 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

Here is an interesting article from reviewing some of the movies that came out over the past weekend. This follows this post about some of the movies from last week and THIS POST about some movies that have been released over the past few years that you might have missed! This all follows this post about guidelines to choosing good movies to watch yourself!

Wknd Box Office: Jurassic World, Farewell Party, Madame Bovary, 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared

By Debbie Schlussel


Though my reviews are late in being posted as I wasn’t able to finish them before the Jewish Sabbath began, you aren’t missing much. The relative highlight–with “relative” being very much the key word here–is the remake/reboot “Jurassic World,” but even that is just okay. Not bad, but not great.
* “Jurassic World“: Um, didn’t they learn after the first–or the first THREE?!–Jurassic movies that humans plus dinosaurs equals danger? That’s why this more than kinda sorta seems like the same old thing . . . again. And I say this as someone who has never seen any of the first three Jurassic movies from beginning to end (though I’ve seen large swaths of the first one and parts of the second).
They’re calling this both a remake and a reboot of the original 1994 “Jurassic Park” movie. And both are true because it’s basically a repeat of the original with new tweaks and technology. Plus, there are references and tributes to the original. But you needn’t have seen any of the previous Jurassic movies to know what’s going on. This one stands alone. The movie seems to be Chris Pratt’s audition tape to be the new Indiana Jones, a role he’s rumored to soon play. He’s definitely wearing Indiana Jones’ clothes and doing his swashbuckling in this flick.
And despite all of my talk above–and the plain fact that there’s nothing new here–it’s not a bad movie. Fans of the originals will like it, and newcomers probably will, too. It’s very suspenseful and fast-paced. There’s lots of action, and it doesn’t disappoint. But it also has a not-so-veiled anti-business storyline, not to mention the fact that one of the villains of the movie is a Blackwater military type of guy (Vincent D’Onofrio) who wants to use the dinosaurs as weapons and soldiers in the Middle East. Imagine that–wanting to save American soldiers’ lives and limbs. Yup, datz evil!
The story: Jurassic World is a new Disneyland-stylie resort/attraction on the same island where Jurassic Park was set. The resort is owned by arrogant billionaire businessman Simon Masrani (Indian Muslim actor Irrfan Khan). Masrani paid scientists working on the island to develop new dinosaurs through gene/DNA splicing because if the resort doesn’t create new dinosaurs every few years, the public gets bored and won’t come to the resort. They’ve developed a secret, giant mutant dinosaur, which is being kept in a special cage on the restricted part of the island.
The resort is managed by Bryce Dallas Howard (whose acting career has nothing whatsoever to do with being the daughter of Ron Howard, right?). She is a workaholic, prissy, stick in the mud, who went on one date with Chris Pratt, a dinosaur-whisperer, who has his own independent dinosaur training camp, where he trains velociraptors. The date didn’t work out because he’s very masculine and she had the date all planned out in writing (or something like that). Howard convinces Pratt to come the resort to help with something regarding the mutant dinosaur.
Howard’s nephews have come to visit the resort, but she’s so busy working, she neglects them, leaving them with her assistant. They ditch the assistant and sneak off to the rides and attractions in the middle of the dinosaur park on the island. But, soon, the mutant dinosaur, who is very smart, tricks people from the resort, and escapes. It is on a rampage, and is killing other dinosaurs and a lot of people.
Pratt warns billionaire Masrani that he must used lethal weapons, such as RPGs, to kill the mutant dinosaur and that he must also evacuate all humans from the island. But Masrani refuses, saying it will hurt his costly investment ($26 million) in the mutant dinosaur and give Jurassic World such bad PR that it will be forced to go out of business.
Pratt eventually goes with Howard into the middle of the island jungle to rescue her two nephews, who are stranded near the mutant dinosaur and in danger. And the rest of the movie follows the rescue attempts, as well as the pair’s attempts to save the rest of the surviving guests and kill the mutant dinosaur.
Some who’ve seen the movie object to the use of a lot of computer generated images (CGI) in the movie. But the CGI isn’t bad or that noticeable. Plus, try finding some real-life AND harmless dinosaurs for use in the movies. I saw this in 3D and the 3D effects are not bad, but you’ll be fine not paying the extra bucks and seeing it in regular 2D.
Many conservatives believe actor Pratt is also a conservative because he owns guns, hunts and fishes, hails from a small town and values small town life, and posted a video teaching his two-year-old son the pledge of allegiance. All of those things are laudable. But you have to question any “conservative”–any American–who willingly stars in an anti-business, anti-American military movie. This one is both. And for that reason, while I’d normally give this TWO REAGANS, it is lowered to . . .
Watch the trailer . . .

* “The Farewell Party [Mita Tova]“: I’ve often warned you on this site that Israel’s filmmakers are just as far-left as–and actually far worse than–Hollywood filmmakers. And this is yet another case in point. The original Hebrew title of this movie is “Mita Tova,” which means “good death” or “a good death.” Yup this is the “feel-good, musical euthanasia movie of the year,” complete with at least two scenes of sagging, naked senior citizens’ bodies. Those were “I just threw up in my mouth” moments I can’t seem to erase from my mind but really wish I could. TMI [Too Much Information], Israeli Hollywoodites. TMI! Ditto for the many, many scenes of two senior citizen gay men having an affair, kissing, and lying in bed, etc. They are among those we are forced to see naked. File Under: Um, NO THANKS!
The story: a small group of senior citizen friends see one of their group in the hospital, and he’s suffering greatly. He’s also terminally ill, dying, and has no chance to get better (or so they tell you). The friends discuss it and two of them want to kill the sick man so that he is “put out of his misery.” Soon, they convince the rest of their small circle of friends, some of whom are reluctant, to participate in killing–no, murdering!–their friend. One of them, a retired veterinarian, tells them what poison to use, and another creates a Dr.-Kevorkian-style machine to administer the poison. They sneak into the hospital and murder their sick friend.
Soon, news spread throughout their senior citizens’ housing community that they’ve killed their friend. Suddenly, many other residents want the group to kill their sick wives, husbands, and selves. And after a very quick hesitation, they are soon videotaping the good-byes of other seniors and killing them. The wife of one of the group is suddenly forgetting things and doing things that are dangerous as a result. She clearly has Alzheimer’s Disease. So, now, the dilemma is whether or not she should be next.
Inserted into all of this killing is a musical number, with various members of the group and those who want their help, singing some song about it all. And, then, there is also a scene of the members of the group sitting naked in a greenhouse, something I really didn’t need to see. We don’t know if these Israeli actors are members of SAG [Screen Actors Guild], but they are definitely members of sag.
I’m proudly pro-life, and so is the Jewish religion, despite what legions of ignorant, liberal Jewish morons might tell you. And, so, it was incredibly annoying when the people in this dumb propaganda film kept invoking the word, “mitzvah,” which means good deed (or, literally, commandment) in Hebrew and in Judaism. In fact, it is a mitzvah–or commandment–in Judaism NOT to perpetrate euthanasia. Because, again, Judaism is a pro-life religion, which forbids poisoning the sick, including the terminally ill.
In Hebrew with English subtitles.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “Madame Bovary“: I’m not exactly sure why this movie needed to be made, given that this must be the zillionth on-screen (both movies and TV) depiction of Gustave Flaubert’s novel of the same name. It’s been done . . . to death, but Hollywood’s annoying habit is to lather, rinse, repeat (with an emphasis on the “repeat” part). It’s also a novel which I’m proud to say I never read, but I knew what it was about before seeing this. If the movie is true to the novel, I didn’t miss much. And, from what I’ve read about the novel, this cuts a lot out of that, but still has the main gist of it. While I loved the beautiful cinematography and period costumes and knickknacks, that’s about all I liked in it. The story is miserable, and in this movie, it’s slow and boring, making it all the more miserable. Not much actually happens until almost an hour (or halfway) into the movie. And even then it still moves slowly. Things might have been moved along if less of the details of the novel had been cut out.
In case you aren’t familiar with the story, Madame Bovary (Mia Wasikowska) is a French woman who marries a small town doctor. She is bored with life and seeks solace in having extra-marital affairs and spending all of her husband’s money on extravagant clothing and accoutrements they cannot afford. Not sure what the point of that is or why the story needs to be retold on the silver screen yet again. When the novel debuted in the mid 1800s, this might have been a big deal. Today, it’s just another re-telling of the same old story we’ve seen repeatedly. Moreover, the part about the doctor’s first wife and his background are completely gone from the movie, as is how he met Madame Bovary. And I believe this takes away from the story.
The acting in the movie was fine. But I was unsure why some characters in the movie, particularly the Aussie Wasikowska playing Madame Bovary, had American accents, and others, such as a character played by American Paul Giamatti, had English accents. It is even more odd, given that the story takes place in France, and all of the characters are supposed to be French.
I probably wouldn’t pay ten bucks-plus to see this. Or the two hours, which should have moved a little faster. Or a half hour could have been excised, and we’d have missed nothing. In fact, some of it seems a little too repetitive. Oh, and by the way, not only is this miserable, it’s a miserable chick flick, which makes it even worse. So, guys, you’d be best advised: stay away.
Watch the trailer . . .

* “The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared“: A very old, but very lucid and independent Swedish man discovers that a wolf (or fox?) has killed his dear pet cat. And, so, he makes a bomb with hot dogs (or sausages?) tied all around it, blowing up the wolf (or fox). Because of that, he’s put in a nursing home. But he’s bored and feels he doesn’t belong there And, on his 100th birthday, the Swedish man decides that nursing home life is not for him. So, he sneaks out of his first story window and embarks on an adventure, taking a bus to the most distant location he can afford, which turns out to be the countryside not far away.
We learn in interspersed flashbacks that he’s already lived a long life of adventure. He’s obsessed with explosives and is something of an expert on the subject. He’s also worked as a welder on New York high rises, served as a double agent for the CIA and the Soviets, working on the Manhattan Project, befriending President Truman and Spain’s Francisco Franco, and so on. I felt like I was watching a mixture of a low-rent Forrest Gump and a mobster caper in which all the gangsters are idiots.
The rest of the plot: the 100-year-old man is being sought out and chased by a group of mobsters who are also in a motorcycle gang, called “Never Again” (which is weird since that is the slogan many Jews use in commemorating the Holocaust). The reason: the old man has–through a mishap–ended up with the mobsters’ suitcase that has something of great value in it. Through the story, the old man picks up new friends and helpers while being sought by both the mobsters and the police.
While there are some parts that are entertaining and funny, it’s mostly hard to believe and mostly a bore. I also didn’t care for the scene making Ronald Reagan look like a jerk. That was completely gratuitous and added nothing to the story. But it’s no surprise it’s in there, given that this is based on a best-selling novel by novelist Jonas Jonasson who hails from socialist Sweden.
Mildly entertaining, but mostly a waste of time and not something I’d spend the money or time to see, given what I know now. If you’ve seen Forrest Gump, you’ve seen the original–and far superior–version. The movie is mostly in Swedish, with English subtitles. But there is also a great deal of English and Russian (also with English subtitles).
Watch the trailer (NSFW) . . .

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