Sorry for the length, but I didn't have time to write a short blog.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World: Fun Ride

Jurassic World is a thrill ride. If you feel a but coming, you're right.  Keep reading, however. For a new generation, it is an awesome, exciting, CGI-on-steroids dinosaur movie.  That is as long as you forget that the killing machine in this movie is not a dinosaur, but a horrible science experiment gone wrong.  Did I mention it's exciting and good special effects?

The cast is lead by Chris Pratt as dinosaur trainer and Navy warrior who is joined by an equally impressive executive, always in high heels Bryce Dallas Howard.  The brothers, played by Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson, are a great addition to the cast if for no other reason they are not angst ridden or wise-cracking or lazy teens/pre-teens.  It's actually kind of refreshing. Vincent D'Onofrio is an excellent bad guy.  Just creepy and amoral enough to make us believe that someone might actually think using dinosaurs as weapons is a good idea. The rest of the cast evens out the movie.

Homage is paid to Jurassic Park with discussions of the original founder of the project and the terrible tragedy that happened there.  There are reminders of the dangers of having carnivores on the island and the problems that pack hunters like raptors involve as well as tampering with nature.  It seems that no one really learns from the dangers and failures of the past.  They really needed a Jeff Goldblum, chaos mathematician, reminding them that nature will always find a way.


Jurassic World is not original.  It is CGI on steroids and it is also not just paying homage to Jurassic Park. It is Jurassic Park.  The scenes match, the characters match, in short, there is nothing really that new.  Some of the titles have changed, but the story remains the same.

We have the male and female duo who are falling in love and must save everyone. particularly while protecting two kids who are having a tough time with family life.

 We have the benevolent and moral super rich guy who wants to build a park to remind us that we were not always rulers of the planet.  Meanwhile, the bad guys are trying to figure a way to pervert this noble effort into making a buck.

We have the guy who understands the nature of these beasts and no one listens to him.  While the scientists create these killing machines (and in this case it is literally the same scientist, B.D. Wong).

Even scenes, like driving through running dinosaurs, petting dinosaurs,  and hiding in labs, are duplicated.  So for those of us who remember the wonder of the original movie, Jurassic World, despite still being a thrill, is a bit predictable.  For new generations of this is no doubt as wondrous as the first.

I liked Jurassic World, even if I knew what was coming next.  Did I mention how much fun it was?

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

No One Reads My Wall. I so Sad.

I know a bunch of you have put these up on your Facebook wall.  There are far too many versions of these "Please Love Me" or "Tell Me How We Met" or "I Know only My True Friends Read My Wall" or "You Must Be Not Paying Attention to Me" memes to post here.  I know a bunch of you have posted these from friends to family and I have one thing to tell you:

I will never respond to one of the memes.

I am your friend.  I may be a close friend.  I may be a distant friend.  I may be a mentor.  I may be the guy who knows a guy who married a cousin's aunt sister that you met at a wedding. We may have shared teaching jobs, a classroom, a stage, or other histories together.  The point is that I should not have to prove to you that I read your wall or that my friendship on a social site needs validated by the use of a meme.

You asked to be my friend or I asked to be your friend because of that time we shared not because I ever expected to have to prove that relationship via some silly meme.  Facebook is a wondrous thing.  It has allowed me to find and catch up with people I had thought I had lost all contact with.  What an amazing thing.

I blog.  You may or may not agree with what I blog.  That's okay.  I do not measure your friendship with me on the basis of whether you follow my blog or not.  The fact is, I have, last I checked, six followers.  That's right six followers.  I also know that I have far more people who read my blog than the six followers.  My page views are now well over 29,000 views.  I know that more people are looking at my blog unless, of course, each of my six followers have actually read my 300 plus blogs at least 4800 times each.  Regardless of the number of followers, I will never make my friendship contingent on reading my blog.

So why, oh why, would you make my friendship on Facebook contingent on some meme you found that tells me that "no one reads my wall"?  I even saw one meme announcing that if  Facebook friends do not respond then that friend is gone.  Guess I'm gone. The irony is, of course, that if no one reads your wall, then no one knows that you posted a meme about not reading your wall.

If you really want more likes or comments, then post pictures, post events, or even post pictures of what you're eating for lunch.  If you want to know how we met because you've forgotten, you can ask me.  Chances are, I've forgotten too, but it will be fun as we try to remember together and not because of a meme.

And so I leave you with this last meme on the right. I often morbidly spend time thinking about my friends dying and whether or not I will attend the funeral. (Plant tongue firmly in cheek.)

Sigh...just sigh...