Jurassic Park – 24 years on

There are defining films for each generation that children tend to grow up with and look back at with delightful nostalgia. Some with Star Wars in the 70s, others with Ghostbusters in the 80s. I grew up with Jurassic Park. I was only 2 when it was released in the cinema but it soon found its way into our household in VHS form (oh god, do I have the right to feel old right now? There could be people reading this who have never even seen a VHS!) And so instead of watching The Lion King on repeat, I watched Jurassic Park. Seriously. On repeat! Look at the state of the video now…

JPYep, I did manage to root that out and find it for the purpose of this article. You’re welcome. (Please ignore the chewed edges, I think that was how my 4 year old self dealt with those T-Rex scenes).

The characters in JP are essential to its success. As an impressionable pre-teen, Lex was the clever computer hacker who I pretended to be when I ran around the garden looking for dinosaur bones. In addition Ellie Sattler was the girl I wanted to be when I grew up- actually, I still want to be Ellie when I grow up. She quickly became a type of feminist icon to me when I was younger and taught me that women can be scientists and intelligent and ‘inherit the Earth’ and not have to be half naked while they do it.

Over 20 years on and JP is still a pop culture phenomenon. Those special effects aren’t outdated in the least. JP shows the difference between films which rely on CGI and ones who use it to simply enhance particular moments. Using Star Wars as an example, the original trilogy was heralded as a success in 1977 as far as CGI was concerned- however the same cannot be said for the prequel. Six years on from Jurassic Park and The Phantom Menace exhausts its use of CGI to the point where it is no longer seamless or used for enhancement; you are brought out from the narrative because the special effects are so obvious.

ellie sattlerI went to see the 20th anniversary re-release of the film in 3D and the feelings of wonder and awe that I felt all those years ago were still present- the theatre was sold-out which helped intensify the feelings of an event. Spielberg used 3D as brilliantly as he used simple CGI 20 years ago- at essential moments to enhance the spectacle. With Jurassic Park feeling so timeless 20 years later, can we say the same for a modern day success such as The Avengers. Will that still be relevant and timeless in 2033? I doubt kids would have been chewing their DVD case with tension thats for sure.

Advertisements

Kia Ora -Could Thor: Ragnarok not have had a female director?

We’ve had our first look at the new Thor installment ‘Ragnarok’ this week with the release of some images from Entertainment Weekly. (Off on a tangent already but… immediately noticeable is that there’s a new look for Thor; his delicate blonde locks have been chopped off. The horror.) ‘Ragnarok’ is the third of the franchise with each of Thor’s films receiving a new director each time. ‘Thor’ was directed by Kenneth Branagh, ‘The Dark World’ by Alan Taylor and ‘Ragnarok’ will be helmed by New Zealand’s Taika Waititi.

thor 3 cover

 

When it was announced that Waititi got the job back in 2015, I was a little apprehensive if I’m honest. At that point Waititi had only directed three feature films including ‘What We Do In The Shadows’ (a fave of mine tbh) and a handful of TV episodes including axed USA remake of ‘The Inbetweeners’.

Yet he’s being handed one of the biggest jobs in Hollywood as far as budget, hype and bums-on-seats is concerned.

Could they not have found someone more qualified? Or were all other male directors busy? Could Marvel not have chosen *gasp* a female director?

By choosing Waititi what do we think Marvel are trying to get him to bring to the table with Ragnarok? Waititi’s films such as WWDITS and ‘The Hunt for the Wilderpeople’ have incredible comedic elements to them. Perhaps Marvel want to bring some more comedy to Thor’s third outing; especially considering the success of the Team Thor flatmate short’s.

Perhaps Marvel could have contacted Elizabeth Banks – as the first name off the top of my head. Other female directors with a focus on comedic elements could have included Amy Heckerling, Marjane Satrapi or Gurinder Chadha. Banks is extremely funny and current who has recently directed Pitch Perfect 2 and will be directing the new Charlie’s Angels. Nope, these movies aren’t similar to a film such as Thor, but neither is The Hunt for the Wilderpeople.

Marvel have also been setting their sights on becoming more diversified by green-lighting Captain Marvel and Black Panther stand-alone movies. Perhaps Marvel were also looking to bring more diversity behind the cameras as well?

Perhaps Marvel could have asked Ava DuVernay? Interestingly DuVernay was scouted to direct the Black Panther movie however ‘creative differences’ was cited and she eventually left the project before even beginning.

Have Marvel hired Waititi based off of the fact that he is what some would call an ‘up and coming’ director? This makes me wonder if Marvel could retain more creative control over Waititi and his decisions for Ragnarok.

thor 3

Waititi and Hemsworth

Bottom line – I’m kinda pissed that there’s extremely talented female directors out there who have more than proved their worth with incredible CVs that are just overlooked. Women and POC are only ever in the running for jobs if the source material concerns women or POC.

Captain Marvel looks like it will be directed by a woman, however no announcement has been made yet of Marvel’s final decision. Similarly, the Black Panther job went to Ryan Coogler.

White men direct films about POC and women all the time. Therefore I’m kinda glad that Waititi, a New Zealand born part-Maori, is at the helm of a movie which is essentially just about another white guy saving the world.

Marvel can take chances and make changes as they have such a huge platform. I’m still waiting for them to look outside of the box and be brave. People will go to their movies regardless and they can encourage some real change in Hollywood if they only had the balls.