Tag Archives: Jeff Goldblum

Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Review

With Independence Day: Resurgence, Roland Emmerich is giving Michael Bay a run for his money and solidifying his status as the Director you call if you are looking for global catastrophe.

I try to watch a movie for what it is. This is not an artful indie flick with snappy dialogue. This 20 year old cluttered sequel to the 1996 smash Independence Day is a summer popcorn movie. That usually means destruction in between bursts of vapid or humorous dialogue, Resurgence delivers according to those expectations. But for some reason, Emmerich feels the need to continually remind us that this is an Independence Day sequel instead of just making an Independence Day sequel. It seems like we can’t go more than 5 minutes without some visual or auditory clue that we are watching the child of his most accomplished work.

Continue reading Independence Day: Resurgence (2016) Review

Weekend Outlook – Independence Day, Shallows, Free State of Jones, Neon Demon

It is a very busy weekend at your local multiplex. It’s really one of those weekends that there is something for everyone. However, the battle for box office supremacy this weekend is not going to be much of a battle at all. It would be a huge upset if Finding Dory doesn’t handily take down the alien invaders.

Since its record-breaking, $135 million opening weekend, Finding Dory has continued to impress with its box office performance. Forget about comparing it to all other animated films which it has blown out of the water (no pun intended). Finding Dory‘s performance puts it in the company of films such as Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World and The Dark Knight. I’m expecting Dory to bring in another $80 million this weekend. So let’s look at the four wide releases that will hit theaters today and find out what you should watch and what your should wait for.

Continue reading Weekend Outlook – Independence Day, Shallows, Free State of Jones, Neon Demon

If You Liked… Independence Day

As we prepare for the sequel that has been 20 years in the making, lets take a look back at this alien invasion film. Independence Day is a 1996 American epic science-fiction disaster film co-written and directed by Roland Emmerich. The film stars Will Smith, Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Randy Quaid, Robert Loggia, Vivica A. Fox, and Harry Connick, Jr. The film focuses on a diverse and interesting group of people who converge in the Nevada desert in the aftermath of a destructive alien attack and, along with the rest of the human population, participate in a last-chance counterattack on July 4th.


Has anyone not seen Independence Day? Seriously? I want to meet you if you’ve never seen it. I would be highly surprised if you could find anyone between the ages of 30 and 50 in the United States who hasn’t seen Independence Day.

That doesn’t mean everyone loves it. In fact, according to icheckmovies.com, only 2.6% of those that have seen the the movie listed it as one of their favorites, and 1.1% disliked it. This is one of those guilty pleasure movies for me. I saw this film in the theater on opening weekend during the summer between 7th and 8th grade. If you can find a more formative time in a kid’s life I don’t know what it is. It was then that I decided I really liked Jeff Goldblum’s stilted speech and acting style and found out that the Fresh Prince could do more than dance.


If you are like me and like Independence Day you might be looking for some other movies to watch while you wait for Independence Day: Resurgence to be released next weekend. I told my oldest son (12) that he could only see the sequel if he watched the original with me, so he obliged his old man and we sat down and watched this movie a few nights ago. Time has not been great to the effects on this film. Director Roland Emmerich loves to destroy New York City and threaten the annihilation of all mankind (Day After Tomorrow, Godzilla, 2012), it will be nice to see what he can do with the technology that 20 years has given him. In keeping with the guilty pleasure nature of Independence Day, all of my selections will also be selections that I might not often openly admit to loving.

Continue reading If You Liked… Independence Day

Not New Review – Jurassic Park (1993)

Back in 1993, this little movie called Jurassic Park roared into theaters. What Steven Spielberg did with a shark 20 years earlier, he did again here with dinosaurs. I can’t recall whether I saw this film in theaters or not. I was only 10, so I doubt it, but I definitely remember watching it at home on VHS. This movie was right up my alley, I’m not only a geek over movies. I also really love science and although the science here is a bit of a stretch, I was only 10 and didn’t know better yet, so I ate it up. I could just imagine this actually happening in a few years time like the filmmakers were revealing this new scientific technique to the world and the archaeologists and biologists were watching saying, “why didn’t we think of that?”


Adapted from a Michael Crichton novel of the same name, Jurassic Park was a great success both critically and commercially. It was the highest grossing film of 1993 bringing in nearly $1 billion dollars worldwide. That number was unheard of in 1993. Not until Titanic floated along in 1997 did anyone even come close to that number. It won 3 Oscars for its visual and sound effects and is currently sitting at an 8.1 of 10 on IMDb which places it as the 203rd best film of all time according to their top 250. Continue reading Not New Review – Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic Park (1993)

Jurassic-Park_Logo-2-Back in 1993 (That’s 20 years ago!), this little movie called Jurassic Park came out in theaters. What Steven Spielberg did with a shark 20 years earlier, he did again here with dinosaurs. I can’t recall whether I saw this film in theaters or not. I would have been 10 and this movie was right up my alley, but we didn’t see a lot of movies in the theater. Regardless of where I saw it, I do remember watching the movie and loving the science and the visuals. It is probably one of the movies that I watched most frequently. I loved the movie and it has become a classic. Following the success of the the first movie, they decided to make 2 more and they even have a 4th planned for 2014. This summer, either to promote the new movie or just to make some more money, they released the original in 3D. I was very tempted to take my son who is now 9 to see this action-adventure popcorn flick on the big screen. Alas, that opportunity came and went. So, I settled for a Sunday afternoon viewing in house. So, I can;t speak to the quality of the post-processing 3D, but this movie was filmed before HD was even an acronym. I’m afraid if I did see it on the big screen I would have spent the entire time critiquing the technical side of the movie instead of just enjoying it with my boys, which is what I did.

Jurassic Park 2So just in case you been hiding under a rock for the past 20 years and haven’t seen or heard about Jurassic Park, here is a brief synopsis. On Isla Nublar, a small island 120 miles off the coast of Costa Rica, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) a billionaire decides to  create a new type of theme park; there are no giant mice or cartoon characters here (except for a very informative Mr. DNA). Instead of illusion, the attractions at this theme park are all too real. If you’re thinking about a zoo, it’s like that but much more flashy and the featured attractions of this zoo aren’t your run-of-the-mill animals; this park is full of real dinosaurs. The park has had some issues, so John invites a group of people to come and experience the park and hopefully give their endorsement. They include, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), a paleontologist and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), a paleobotonist. They make their living digging up dinosaur bones and studying them, they don’t know that they are about to witness a scientific discovery that will put them out of a job. I mean, who wants to look at the bones of a creature that you can see alive? They are joined by an irritating lawyer of little consequence and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), a chaos theory mathematician, and the final two members of the group are John’s grand kids Lex and Tim.

2013-Jurassic-Park_612x380One of my favorite scenes is in the opening 40 minutes which runs dramatically slower in pace than the rest of the film. I was a bit afraid my boys would begin to nod off as some of the less entertaining plot points were lined up. The group of eager explorers arrive on the island, ushered in by John Williams amazing score. They take jeeps from the helipad to the welcome center and along the way they run into a group of dinosaurs, they are completely taken by surprised and in awe.  Once they arrive at the visitor center, they take a tour explaining how all of this had been made possible. During which they get to observe a baby raptor being born. This series features some really great dialogue about the ethical underpinnings of cloning and the pride of man.

t rex jurassic parkAs the group takes their safari type tour to see the live dinosaurs, the excitement ramps up. Due to a combination of an impending tropical storm and sabotage by Newman (I mean the greedy computer programmer), the power to all of the electrical fences goes offline. The T-Rex breaks through the fence and attempts to eat the kids in the car. To summarize the movie, there’s a chase scene with a jeep and the T-Rex,  the raptors escape from their enclosure, and finally they are able to get the power back on and meet up at the visitor center. However, before they can escape the island, there’s a scene involving two raptors and the two grand kids. This is probably the scariest scene in the movie, it certainly caused some gasps and eye-hiding from the boys. However, spoiler alert, they escape the raptors and everyone (well almost…) makes it to the helicopter and lives until the sequel.

picture-of-jeff-goldblum-and-laura-dern-in-jurassic-park-large-pictureMy favorite character, even as a kid, was Dr. Ian Malcolm. Besides the humor he adds to the movie, he also brings up some great moral points. During a discussion about the park, Dr. Malcolm states, “Don’t you see the danger, John, inherent in what you’re doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet’s ever seen, but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun.” After some more discussion he concludes by saying, “Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

This brings to mind the story of the Tower of Babel in Genesis 11. The people wanted to build a tower to the heavens and they thought they could do it. But God didn’t approve of their purpose/intent in building the tower, so he confused their language. We have made an incredible amount of discoveries and technological advances in the last century.  As our civilization continues to advance, we need to make sure we don’t let it get to our heads or abuse the power we have been granted.


In the words of Uncle Ben, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Just because we have the power to do something doesn’t mean that we should. Another main point that he brings up is the chaos theory. While very interesting to nerds like me, I’m not going to go into detail about it. But the gist of it is that even if we think we are in control, we really aren’t. John Hammond believed that the park was perfectly safe and under his control, but in the end Malcolm was right. Often times we want to be in control of what happens in our lives, but all to often we find out that we have no control. God is the only one who is truly in control and we must trust in Him.

So in conclusion, I think this is a great action movie. It has a little bit of everything in it: humor, suspense  a chase scene, and best of all giant dinosaurs! The music, which was written by John Williams,  is great throughout the movie. And despite being an action movie, Jurassic Park brings up some thought provoking ideas. Just because you have the power to do something doesn’t mean you should and who is really in control? Now go out and watch this movie!!!