Travelers and Crazyhead

The first seasons of several new series are now available on Netflix.

Travelers doesn’t deliver. I expected a lot more from a series by the creators (and much of the cast) of Stargate. It was pretty disappointing. Crazyhead, however, was pretty good.

About the only thing Travelers had going for it was that it was touted in every Sci-Fi mag and website as being the next brainchild from the creators of Stargate. Sadly, that’s just about all it has going for it. The story is weak and untethered. The concept is that an AI from the future is trying to save humanity by injecting the consciousness of a person from the future into contemporary people who have narrowly escaped their deaths. It is an interesting concept, but fails the paradox test since the people that are now still alive (though now functionally possessed by the personalities of people centuries hence) continue to live their lives and interact with the world around them. If the only way they can be possessed is if there’s a documented record of their deaths including time of death, elevation, latitude and longitude (their “TELL”) and they don’t die, there’s no documented record anymore, right? Sigh. Especially after they’ve possessed over 3,000 people, the butterfly effect should have been perceived and anticipated long before where the story begins. In theory it could get better next season, but as of right now my recommendation is to skip it.

Speaking of possession, Crazyhead steps in to save face, as it were. This other new Netflix original series is about a couple crazy British girls with the ability to see people that are possessed, and, like any great good vs evil story, they kill the demons. Think of it as Supernatural meets Buffy. No, none of the leads are particularly athletic, but it makes up for the lack of action with quite a bit of comedy and a well-rounded story. It’s a little raunchy at times, and not for children, but well worth your time. It’s also a British series, so it’s pretty short (6 episodes): easy enough to binge watch in an afternoon.

So, go brew a “cuppa” and get your older children together to have a laugh with Crazyhead.

Jurassic World

I watched Jurassic World tonight with my son, Zack​. Meh.

Sure, Jurassic World grossed more than any individual Marvel Cinematic Universe movie has, but it wasn’t as good as any of them. Even The Incredible Hulk and the first Thor. I attribute the Jurassic revenue to the resurrection of the beloved Jurassic Park series, and not to the actual film itself.

Jurassic Park 4: Jurassic World

Jurassic Park 4: Jurassic World

Jurassic World stole the ideas from several of my favorite series (including the BBC Primeval series, Surface, and the original Jurassic Park trilogy) and did a rather poor integration of the ideas they stole. The much lower budget Primeval and Primeval New World series’ were each FAR better than Jurassic World, much more in-depth and creative, and of course the character development was much better, too.

The only character I really cared for in Jurassic World was Owen (played by Chris Pratt). The rest of the characters were paper cut-outs with little to no development, and no drive save survival. Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) had some character development forced upon her, but aside from a few smiles and saving Owen’s life at one point, the movie could probably have done without her and not skipped a beat.

Jurassic World was so slow to build. They spent too much time and effort developing the effects and must have wanted to use them all. This created a slower-paced film with long delays between action and what amounts to silly filler being used instead of actual story development. The effects were cool, but not worth the extra time.

They would have done far better fleshing out the new “science” than displaying yet another 3D hologram of a dinosaur information module or overview shot. Yeah, yeah…the park is expansive and it’s 20 years since the original events occurred so the technology has come a long way. We get that. At least a third of the movie is there just for the sake of convincing you of this, yet they still “hang a lantern” on about 20 facts in order to avoid going into any actual detail. I guess if you’ve never seen the original films this might be helpful, but they’d have done better by reissuing them shortly before the 4th film was released rather than trying to re-hash everything from the first 3 films sporadically within the 4th. George Lucas was genius in his re-release of Star Wars 4-6 before the launch of Episode 1. It worked very well and brought a whole new audience to the genre.

My biggest complaint for Jurassic World was the lack of a clear mood. It’s a contemporary horror film so you’d expect fear or trepidation to play a strong part, or at the very least dark humor. When the credits started rolling I realized there were only three scenes in the entire 2-plus-hour film that really stood out. It’s really not a good sign when a film’s most memorable scenes could have just as easily been in either Friends or The Big Bang Theory (both of which get way more laughs and viewer buy-in, by the way) or any action flick or TV series. That’s a far cry from most other films I’ve seen recently, which create a challenge of exactly which scenes you want to talk about with your friends after the show. That won’t be the case here.

Bottom line: save your time. You’ll get a better experience watching just about any episode of any current sci-fi show. If you want to experience what this movie should have been, hop onto AmazonNetflix or Hulu and watch Primeval.

Alien Dawn

Alien DawnThis is the part of the review where I would normally try to explain that it really wasn’t the absolutely worst movie I’ve ever seen. And I’ve been trying for over 6 months now to think of any movie that’s worse. There just has to be one, right? No. Really.

Alien Dawn is the absolutely worst movie of all time. It’s the worst movie ever created in all of history. There’s a good chance I could even add “or that could ever be,” but I’ll bet the writer/director of Alien Dawn, Neil Johnson, would take it as a challenge to create a part 2. It’s not even “Plan 9 From Outer Space” bad, it’s just “I wish I would have taken my own advice and stopped watching 2 minutes into the movie” bad.

Don’t do it to yourself. This movie is not worth the time.

If you choose to ignore my sage wisdom on this, I’d love to laugh at your justification for actually watching it all the way through. Please, do tell…