The Day the Goat Died

I remember that day clearly. I was ten years old and knew all kinds of things about dinosaurs because my seven-year-old brother loved them. We shared dino facts in the movie theater while waiting for the movie that would change our lives; the Stars Wars for my generation. The two of us were positive that the T-rex would be the scariest dino of all. It’s huge and eats meat! But will there be a triceratops or a stegosaurs? I would love to go to a dinosaur island! How cool! Cue the dark theater. The low, somber music. The Velociraptor that can open doors. The T-rex that eats cars. Cue mayhem and madness.

But those 10 and 7 year olds didn’t run. They loved the movie and how scary it was. They laughed at their mom, a thirty year, who old had dinosaurs nightmare. Jurassic Park became THE movie, and we could not be swayed.  Fast forward twenty years. My brother and I are fully grown and headed to the theater to see the famed movie in 3D for his birthday.
In case you’ve been encased in amber all these years, I’ll spell the plot for you. Man clones dinosaurs. Man invites grandkids and scientists to his park. Fat guy gets greedy and shuts down all the systems in the park. Dinosaurs run loose. Spitter kills Fat Guy. Children are terrorized by

T-Rex. It just gets worse from there.
This twentieth anniversary 3-D version is worth the price of new admission. Steven Spielberg was ahead of the time with the graphics in the early ’90 and that pays off now. Spielberg had almost documentary feel to the film, shooting in and from the action. This allowed the 3D artists to take apart your surrounding and layer them for depth taking the viewers into the park. Two movements come to mind. When the car is stuck in the tree, the limbs are layered in a way that you feel you are in the tree. The second moments are in the Visitor’s Center with Hammond and Sattler. The camera starts on Hammond and pans to show Settler standing where you previously couldn’t see her. The motion of the camera combined with the great depth perception spooked me as I realized that, suddenly, someone was there.lex-jurassic-park

The 3D easily adds to the scare. The immortal sequence of the water shaking as the T-rex stomps through is more vibrant and the theatrer sound literally shakes you. The raptor’s eyes, claws, and tails move so quickly that you physically shy away from them. Looking directly on their creepy eyes sends chills. It’s even scarier than that first time.
So many movies slap on 3D to either beef up crappy films or use the veil to get you to re-see a classic movie. This is the best revamp yet, taking you in the dino carnage and really scaring the pants of you.
The only negative thing is that Michael Chriton didn’t live to see this. He would have loved it. He would have loved it and then written a screenplay about what could go wrong with realistic entertainment. Oh wait, he did—West World.

Warming up the Zombie Genre

In a world where film companies are looking for the next Twilight or harry Potter, screen writers have forged through the young adult novels to fuel film fire. We have seen the Hunger Games, Beautiful Creatures, and Mortal Instruments come to life and Hush Hush is coming soon. Some of the aforementioned films can stand alone, but many fail to entertain those who not have read the books. But Warm Bodies translates well as an entertaining and comprehensive film.

This love story centers on a zombie and a girl who tries to kill him. After eating her boyfriend’s brains, he falls in love with her and takes her back to his hideout in the airport to keep her safe. He finds that as his feeling evolve for her, he himself is evolving. He is becoming less zombie like. He must convenience Julie that that he can change and that her father should not kill the zombies-they can change too.

From the beginning of the movie you bond with R, the romantic anti-hero. As he walks through the zombie world, we see this post-apocalyptic world as an allegory for our own as we seclude ourselves from each other with technology. R sees himself and those around with frank, truthful humor. His realization of being a monster makes him all the more real.

warm_bodies_HeartIt is also novel in the fact that zombies can be cured. Not only is a cure found, but it is very existential cure. No tubes or medicines. Zombies can only be cured through love and emotion. Hate transforms us into monster, and loves makes us human. Who thought that material from a YA book would get this thought provoking?

The make-up for the movie is probably some of the best. Sure there is monster movie make-up, but the amount and kind changes over time. As R is “healed” his makeup changes. His face gets warmer, his lips become less blue, and his eyes become clearer. These are all subtle shifts that slowly make R more human. The technical staff handles this brilliantly.

Nicholas Holt nails the changes in his character. He expertly morphs his walk, pattern of behaviors and speech. These shifts are slow and even; you almost don’t realize they are happening. These subtle shifts allow the audience to grow with R and cheer for him on his quest. Had another actor played R, this transition may not have been so graceful.

Over all the movie is no too creepy or gory proving that zombies don’t have to be disgusting. This romanticizing of the zombies is akin to Anne Rice’s transformation of the vampire. Zombies are clearly mainstream, and Warm Bodies becomes a great date movie for men and women alike. Love story her, zombies for him.