Blu-Ray and DVD Review: “Jurassic World” and “Paper Towns”

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October 20, 2015 (Gephardt Daily) — Released today on Blu-ray, DVD and Digital Copy is the summer blockbuster “Jurassic World.” The film debuted June 12 and did a world-wide box office of $651.4 million, making it the top-grossing film (so far) in 2015.

Also released today is “Paper Towns,” which was premiered in theaters July 24 and grossed $31.9 million during its run. The film resinated with audiences but never got the promotional kick it deserved.

“Jurassic World”
Starring: Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard
Directed by: Colin Trevorrow
Rated PG-13

Two decades after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond.

Let me start out right off telling you I am a big fan of “Jurassic Park” and even its sequels (which progressively got sillier and sillier), so you may think this was an easy score.

Think again!

Now comes “Jurassic World,” a good movie, but lacking the connection with the audience the first one had.

Courtesy: Universal Pictures
Photo Courtesy: Universal Pictures

Steven Spielberg knew that in order to win the audience he’d have to put people the audience liked into peril, then turn up the heat. And that’s why “Jurassic Park” works. The audience cares about everyone in the film.

Twenty two years later, with “Jurassic World,” the special effects and animation far exceeds the first film. Technically the movie is as perfect as it can be.

But the story itself suffers from too many idiotic situations.

The iGen Corporation, which as been losing money for a decade, decides to create a new exhibit called “Indominus Rex,” a designer dinosaur with a talent for killing and thinking.

What could go wrong?

Well for one thing, it escapes and begins making its way to the populated area of the park. It needs to be stopped.

So what do they do?

They send four velociraptors after it to hunt it and kill it.

Wait… weren’t these the same deadly dinosaurs everyone ran from in the first two films?

It’s ok now… these velociraptors have a trainer, played by Chris Pratt, and they obey his commands.


Again, what could go wrong?

This is like trying to stop a hurricane with a tornado.

And just for fun, the story throws two young boys into harm’s way because… well because we need them for dramatic effect and well you know how kids love dinosaurs.

I do get it, “Jurassic World” is a ‘popcorn’ movie and exciting to watch. Just don’t think too much about the premise… if you do (and I promise you will) it will haunt you for the rest of your life.

But, again it’s the special effects that save this movie.

“Jurassic World” gets a B and is rated PG-13.

“Paper Towns”
Starring: Nat Wolff, Cara Delevingne and Halston Sage

Directed by: Jake Schreier
Rated PG-13

Adapted from the bestselling novel by author John Green, “Paper Towns” is a coming-of-age story centering on Quentin and his enigmatic neighbor Margo, who loved mysteries so much she became one.

After taking him on an all-night adventure through their hometown, Margo suddenly disappears – leaving behind cryptic clues for Quentin to decipher.

Courtesy: 20th Century Fox
Photo Courtesy: 20th Century Fox

The search leads Quentin and his quick-witted friends on an exhilarating adventure that is equal parts hilarious and moving.

Ultimately, to track down Margo, Quentin must find a deeper understanding of true friendship – and true love.

“Paper Towns” is an exquisite film with wonderful performances from its cast. The story is compelling and the film offers a very human balance between humor and angst. “Paper Towns” will certainly be on my “Best Films of the Year” list.

It gets an A and is rated PG-13.


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