Posts Tagged ‘jurassic park’

Whilst coming to the end of writing my first extensive look at why a certain “horror” franchise failed to produce quality films, I was made aware of a mini-craze amongst film reviewers on social media in which they reveal their favourite film from each year that they’ve been alive.

At first I had no interest in taking part, but then I thought that it might be fun to see what came out each year I was alive. One thing that I quickly realised that there are some years in which there were few standout films for me, 1990 and 2005 being particularly sparse, whereas I really struggled just to pick one from 1994 as as well as what I chose, there were so many entries that were not only great, but would top many top tens around the world.

So I was born in 1984 and will therefore start there. In the interest of fairness I am only going to consider films that were released at the cinema.

1984 – Ghostbusters
1985 – The Goonies
1986 – The Fly
1987 – Spaceballs
1988 – Willow
1989 – Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure
1990 – Night of the Living Dead
1991 – Terminator 2 : Judgement Day
1992 – A League of Their Own

1993 – Jurassic Park
1994 – The Shawshank Redemption
1995 – Mortal Kombat
1996 – Star Trek : First Contact
1997 – The Fifth Element
1998 – The Truman Show
1999 – Fight Club


2000 – American Psycho
2001 – The Lord of the Rings : The Fellowship of the Ring
2002 – 28 Days Later
2003 – Pirates of the Caribbean : The Curse of the Black Pearl
2004 – Troy
2005 – Land of the Dead
2006 – Lucky Number Slevin


2007 – No Country for Old Men
2008 – The Dark Knight
2009 – Star Trek
2010 – Scott Pilgrim vs the World
2011 – Moneyball
2012 – Avengers : Assemble
2013 – Rush

Then we come onto those that I’ve seen since I started reviewing films for this site. Click on the below links for the full run downs of the top tens from these years.
2014 – Nightcrawler
2015 – No Escape
2016 – Captain Fantastic
2017 – TBD

Every apocalypse deserves an after-party!

Director : Steve Barkerthe-rezort-1-500x760

Year Released : 2015

Starring : Jessica De Gouw,  Dougray Scott, Martin McCann, Elen Rhys and Claire Goose

You know when you see a trailer for a  film and you know exactly what films have influenced it, that’s basically the cast with “Rezort”. It doesn’t take a genius to see that this is clearly inspired by the “Jurassic Park” franchise and is basically the exact same film, but with dinosaurs replaced by zombies. As you can probably tell, I’ve actually watched the film before starting this review, which is very rare for me as I tend to want to do just the opening section first, and leaving the rest until afterwards.

I’m not going to say at this stage whether I liked it or not, but it would appear that if I do then I would comfortably be in the minority as “The Rezort” currently has an average rating of just 5.1/10 on IMDB from just over one thousand votes, comfortably a low ranking film.

So, before I get onto telling you whether I joined the majority, or was in the minority, I suppose I should tell you about the plot.

Plot

Several years after a worldwide outbreak of a zombie virus was finally stopped, one woman (Goose) saved several of the zombies that were created on an island just west of Africa. The resort, called ‘Rezort’, allows people to take their frustrations out on zombies, but one of the guests (Rhys) implants a virus into the system and it causes all safety measures to fail. All of the zombies are suddenly free to roam the island.

A group of tourists are trapped out in the park and their guide realises that ‘Brimstone’, a weapons based purge of the island, has been implemented and they only have a few hours to make it to the dock for a boat that is supposed to get staff off of the island. This is made even trickier when all staff on the island are killed, meaning that virtually no access routes to the boats are actually free.

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So, am I in the minority of people who liked it?

Whilst I will say that there were the odd bits here and there that I did like, I am definitely more in the camp that don’t like this film.

Now let’s address the obvious, this is basically a zombified rip of off the “Jurassic Park” franchise, right down to even minor things. Now don’t get me wrong, finding inspiration from another film is not a bad thing, afterall, my favourite film “Willow” has obvious inspirations from the “Lord of the Rings” novella by J.R.R. Tolkien, but unlike that “Rezort” doesn’t use that well.

Here are the similarities/blatant rip offs;

  • There is a boat that takes the staff members off of the island
  • There are fences separating large areas of the park
  • The computers are struck with a virus by someone who seemingly merges into the background
  • None of the other supposed computer experts can fix this
  • The characters end up in the control centre, trying to avoid those that are eating them
  • The characters go out into the park in a safari jeep
  • There are two annoying youths who are the only people competent with computers in their group.

I could go on and I’m sure if I was making a list as the film went on then I could easily fill a A4 piece of paper.

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The problem with this film is that is feels completely unoriginal and doesn’t offer anything that I haven’t seen before. Everything, even the bits which aren’t a blatant rip off of Jurassic Park scenes, feel like something that I have seen numerous times before and it’s hard to really get excited about watching it. Infact I would go as far as saying that whilst I wasn’t bored, I certainly wasn’t enthralled.

This isn’t helped by a bunch of stereotypes that are portrayed as characters. For example, Dougray Scott’s “Archer” is given little, if any, character development or story. He is just this guy that is a sharpshooter, rarely missing, but I couldn’t tell you a single thing about the actual character outside of this characteristic. In many ways he is similar to the character of Muldoon in “Jurassic Park” but without any semblance of a secondary characteristic. For example, Muldoon is quite clearly a very stern and to the point character, but he is humanised by a clear fear of the dinosaurs, especially the raptors, but Archer just seems to take everything in his stride. It feels effortless.

Deaths feel completely uninspired and out of the blue. There is very little tension created in the build ups to several the death of some of the characters, and the zombie attacks sometimes literally came out of nowhere.

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Summary

Even if you can ignore the blatant rip of the “Jurassic Park” films then you’e still unlikely to join a film that will feel very familiar. There is very little originality in the run time of this film and in the end I found myself not really caring about the fate of those on the screen.

There isn’t any real tension or anything remotely resembling a worthwhile plot.

As it’s on Netflix at the moment it’s not like you’ll need to go out of your way to watch it, but I would certainly not actively recommending that you select it for playing compared to the other zombie films that are currently on there.

There are a lot of families out there that would just rest easier if you were dead!

Year Released : 2014Jurassic_City_Poster-724x1024
Director : Sean Cain
Cast : Ray Wise, Kevin Gage, Dana Melanie, Kayla Carlyle, Robert LaSardo and Vernon Willis

I’m sure like most people that were born in the 1980s, one of the earliest and most impressive memories you will have from going to the cinema was the outrageously fantastic Jurassic Park. It was a achievement that was pretty much unparalleled in cinema in the 1990s, it did everything right and it was critical acclaimed.

Along came The Lost World to a mixed reaction, and then there was Jurassic Park 3, which was largely panned by pretty much anyone who watched it, but it’s safe to say that compared to Jurassic City, Jurassic Park 3 deserves to be as critically lauded as the first film.

Sometimes films borrow the title of another franchise to make themselves more noticeable, when in reality they are nothing to do with the original, yes, I’m looking at you, Night of the Living Dead : Resurrection. Like many other instances of this, Jurassic City, which is a very strange title given that the vast, vast, vast majority of the film is set in a prison and there is maybe five minutes in the entire run-time not spent in that prison, is an extremely poor attempt at a cash-grab and if you see this, please don’t make the mistake of thinking that this is part of the Jurassic Park franchise because it isn’t.

Plot

Following on from getting arrested at a party, several girls find themselves locked in a prison for the night whilst the police decide how to charge them. Meanwhile, several miles away a secret lab has been growing dinosaurs and the boss has three more coming in before he unleashes them on the city in an experiment.

The van has to stop in the basement of the prison and the three dinosaurs therein manage to escape and devour everyone in sight. Soon the girls have to join forces with guards and inmates alike to try and survive, although that is made more difficult due to Doyle (Gage), a convicted murder and rapist, being antagonistic towards everyone.

As the group slowly makes their way through the prison, being taken out one by one, they need to start trusting each other and the survivors of the group that brought the dinosaurs in the first place.

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It’s like Sharknado, but worse…..

Now, you may have noticed that in the poster there is a T-Rex, let’s just start off by saying that there isn’t a T-Rex anywhere to be seen in this movie and it’s blatantly trying to pull in people by lying to them before you even see the word Jurassic in the title. Don’t be fooled by this as the only two types of dinosaur that appear in the movie are again what I am assuming is velociraptor and pterosaurs. You may be wondering why I used the word assuming in there, it’s because the CGI is so incredibly terrible for the the raptors that is makes it impossible to really tell what they are.

You see, I can appreciate films being low budget and therefore not necessarily having the money to make it look convincing, but it is quite possibly the least convincing CGI I’ve ever seen. Poor CGI isn’t a deal breaker for me but I do find it hard to ignore it when it’s done to such a poor level. There are scenes where the raptors are jumping on someone from behind it looks as un-natural as the way the ring falls onto the fingers of Bilbo and Frodo in the Lord of the Rings franchise. It’s just almost like they’ve given the CGI created dinosaurs the flexibility of an animatronic equivalent and not made sure that the conditions are ideal.

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So ignoring the CGI, which again is pretty hard when you’re watching it, there are virtually no redeeming qualities to this film as it is just awful. Let’s start with the script and the incredibly unnatural way that every line is delivered. The film features quotes such as “And you girl, you’re full of vinegar!”, I mean do I even need to go into that to tell you how little it actually makes sense? Even in the context of the situation and the previous lines, it’s still an atrocious and nonsensical line. I even get the sense that the actors themselves didn’t believe in the script as several of them struggle to not laugh whilst delivering their lines that are supposed to be serious.

Robert LaSardo plays a Corporal who regularly starts laughing in mid-sentence in a serious situation and I seriously doubt that this was how the character was supposed to be. I honestly believe that he found the script so absurd that he struggled to keep his composure whilst delivering it. LaSardo is one of the few actors I’ve seen before and he is a very serious actor that can be menacing, such as his roles in films such as Leon and TV shows such as Nip/Tuck. When your actors don’t believe in the script, how can the audience be expected to take it seriously?

My ultimate problem with the script is that it is predictable and the characters are a walking set of clichés, not one of them feels natural or believable. None are more forced than the character of Stephanie, a leader of a sorority at an American college. Through the entire film she lives and breathes that she is a leader of a sorority and thinks that it actually matters in the real world. Whilst in the prison, despite people being eaten around her, she still thinks the hierarchy within the sorority matters and not only that, but she feels a sense of entitlement compared to the characters who aren’t in the sorority.

It’s not just the characters that represent clichés as there are numerous scenes throughout the film where you know exactly what is going to happen before it does and this starts right in the first few minutes. We start with a guard walking down a corridor and noticing that a door is open, he wanders inside and nothing is there. Relaxing, he drops something and bends down to pick it up, only for it then to be revealed that there is a dinosaur stood behind him. It’s basically borrowed from Chapter 1 of “Horror Clichés 101”. If it was a one-off then I wouldn’t mind, and there are many strange moments that also fell out of that book, despite not making any sense, such as;

  • A character running around a corner away from the dinosaurs and telling everyone to run, everyone looks and sees nothing before getting a look of fear of their faces as they see something off camera, but the camera pans around and the dinosaurs aren’t even in view yet.
  • A raptor biting a girl’s head clean off and the other characters can then hear her screaming, even though she wasn’t screaming at any point before her head was bitten off, and it may just be me but decapitated people can’t scream.
  • A man on foot somehow managing to outrun raptors, even though raptors are shown quite clearly later in the film being able to catch up with a moving vehicle.
  • The main bad guy being so obvious that he might as well walk around with a t-shirt on saying “I am this movie’s bad guy!”
  • Every conversation about the dangerous prisoner is about how he is dangerous, but then that prisoner doesn’t really do a lot throughout the film.
  • A prison guard thinking he’s safe simply because he’s closed a wooden door, only to be proven wrong seconds later.
  • A scene at the beginning in the sorority where they are doing an induction and the candidates are made to fight each other in bikinis, in a small pool whilst covered in baby oil. Yeah, I’ve never been part of a sorority, and am pretty certain I never will be, but I’m pretty certain that doesn’t happen in a sorority and is quite clearly only done for the interest of any teenage boy watching.
  • Mugshots featuring young women being like modelling photoshoots rather than actual mugshots.
  • A character from that sorority being so stupid to ask “where is my car?” when it’s right in front of her.

Just to round it all off, the director also tries to blatantly rip of Jurassic Park by replicating some of the more infamous scenes and failing miserably. Remember the iconic scene in Jurassic Park where Lex and Tim are being stalked around a kitchen by the raptors? Well in Jurassic City they have a guard hiding is a control room as a raptor searches around corners for anyone that’s alive, but there is a considerable difference in lack of quality or tension.

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Summary

There are films that are so bad that they’re enjoyable, such as the aforementioned Sharknado, The Room and many others, but then there are just films like this which are bad. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a film that I hate by any stretch, it’s hard to truly hate a film like this because you can tell it’s not trying to be something more than what it actually is, and you have to admire that in a way.

Make no mistake though, it is truly awful. I can’t think of a redeeming feature for it and if this doesn’t appear on the SyFy channel in the near future then I would be amazed.

It’s obvious that they have tried to use the word “Jurassic” to fool people into thinking that this is something that is not, so I hope no-one sees this advertised and think it is somehow related to the Jurassic Park franchise, although if they do get fooled then they deserved everything they get.