Movie Review: It Happened at the Jurassic world’s Fair (or did it?)

Some time ago, there was talk of resurrecting dead celebrities through image manipulation so that audiences could enjoy watching stars of the past play roles in contemporary movies. If any movie has needed such computer magic, it is “Jurassic World,”  which begins as the kind of picture  a teenage girl wouldn’t mind taking her baby brother to see.  The problems begin when the two boys whose Aunt Claire, a  busy executive at a live dinosaur park, invites them to visit her at the park and, upon their arrival,   palms them off on underling  Karen.  As played by Judy Greer, Karen is little more than a stooge,  filling in for the errant Aunt until the  dino danger escalates to the stage in which only a blood relative can protect  the children.  Now imagine that instead of Karen, we had Mike, played by a computer-generated resurrection of Elvis Presley, taking care of the children.  First off,  we would get some songs that I’m sure  big sister would enjoy, and the two boys would have a role model to emulate instead of  a refugee from too many television serials to follow around.   More importantly, Elvis could use his charm to soften up  Aunt Clara, making her a more appealing character, which would lessen the boredom factor of the movie’s second half, which has nothing to offer except rampaging dinosaurs.

Still, we have the problem of finding a director who could pull it off . By the time Norman Taurog directed Elvis in “It Happened at the World’s Fair, he had been directing for 43 years, and, after having made over 80 short films in during the silent era,   won an Oscar for his direction of “Skippy” and a nomination for “Boy’s Town.”  He directed over 60 sound features, including  six of the best Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis vehicles, three Elvis pictures, and was one of five directors employed on “The Wizard of Oz.”   When we  look at the career of “Jurassic World” director Colin Trevorrow, we see that he made one short, one documentary, one television movie, and a feature film that flopped. Not too impressive, is it? Yet this novice was entrusted with a $150 million picture. Maybe it just goes to show that directors are no longer  essential players in the manufacturing of blockbuster motion pictures.  “Jurassic World”  doesn’t need musical numbers, Elvis Presley, or a competent director to make a profit on its in investment.  And Trevorrow will probably go on to direct the next Star Wars picture, and fans of that series will complain that it sucks, but only after seeing it several times.

Long ago, it was predicted that people would stop going to the movies if going to the movies ceased being an enjoyable pursuit.  But it has proven impossible for the world to break its movie-going habit. Even now, when watching a big summer blockbuster like “Jurassic World” is about as enjoyable as going ten rounds with the Klitschko brothers, the world  stands in line to sit on its ass and get clobbered by dull, repetitive stupidity that is in drastic need of the leavening that could be supplied by the resurrection of Saint Elvis.


3 thoughts on “Movie Review: It Happened at the Jurassic world’s Fair (or did it?)

  1. LOL. I’m all for resurrecting Saint Elvis! I had no desire to see Jurassic World and am sure I missed nothing. I like your hypothetical. Sincerely, I have time off right now and friends and family who know how much I love the movies and the option “Hey, let’s go see a movie” followed by “There’s nothing I want to pay to see!”
    Am I just getting old?


    1. the transition from film to digital has changed movies as much as did the transition from silent to sound. it is an entirely new art form, and those who have grown up with it see its evolution and are thrilled with each new innovation. people from the film generations only see the lack of physical reality, the loss of film grammar, the end of good storytelling, and a chaos of chance editing. i too always want to go to the movies but the movies don’t exist in the same way for me any more. i am neither entertained nor edified by them. remember the battle between movies and television? Well,television won. We can watch gorgeous blu ray restorations of almost anything on 50 inch plasma screens, but we are not going to the movies. Call it home theatre, but we are staying home and watching television. In terms of content preference, the general public is casting their vote for television productions over theatrical films. just look at what netflix is offering and you will see the preponderance of the television series. squeezing out film fare. game of thrones is more popular than the oscar winners from last year. since i see most new movies at home, to me it is all television. if. the show is no good, i fall asleep, just an old man snoring in front of the television. and when i see something that might have thrilled me at the the movie theatre on times past, it still doesnt thrill me the way a movie used to. .


      1. What a profound insight, Bill. You are absolutely right. The first season of Game of Thrones was nothing more than a medieval soap opera, but I was entertained. I’m watching House of Cards and am entertained by the same soap opera except it is better written and has that Machiavellian/Macbeth interplay between the powerful and the manipulated. Kevin Spacey is perfect. In fact, I’ve noticed a lot of credible actors who can’t seem to find a good script in films much anymore having a great run in television (Liev Schreiber).

        In terms of appreciation, I think age plays a huge role. That is, plots can only have so many twists and outcomes. After watching movies for decades, everything now seems banal and predictable and reminiscent of a previous story I’ve seen 300 times already. Each generation is given similar plots on a different colored platter.
        I’ve noticed as I’m writing descriptions and dialogue, just about everything coming out my fingers as I tap away at the keyboard is a cliche. Ho Hum.


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