Captain Marvel

Warning: Spoilers.

Summary: Meh.

We went to the theater on opening day. To ensure I was able to give it a fair shake I didn’t waste any of my time with the anti-SJW torrent the film has received on places like Rotten Tomatoes. That’s not my thing. Nevertheless, you just can’t help but hear how the star of the show personally hates you because of your skin color and gender. At the very least, I expect to have my opinion dismissed because I’m just a white male so my opinion doesn’t matter. She had her say, now it’s my turn.

I love the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In fact, they’re the only films we are still eager to see in theaters with every release, and we buy each one in all formats. Nothing else captures my attention with great stories, wonderful graphics, and such intricately woven characters that immerse you in the story. There is an immense comic source to draw from and they consistently do a great job ensuring that each character actually plays a part. For me, every MCU film has been a minimum 3 stars, and they’re often 4.5+. This one was only a 3.

On that note: The story was awesome. The cinematics were great. Young Fury & Coulson were quite entertaining, and the entire theater reveled in watching SHIELD grow from infancy to inevitably spawn The Avengers. Unfortunately, the humor was limited and many attempts didn’t draw a single laugh. I found myself the only person in the theater that laughed on two separate occasions.

Goose (the “cat”) stole the show. Really.

Brie Larson

Get used to this expression

This installment in the MCU answered many questions that have been alluded to across many of the other films.

Yet, as with most things, the feminist ruined it. I really tried to give her a chance, but Brie Larson (Captain Marvel) really hurt the story. She smiled once through the entire film and grinned a couple times. Her facial expressions were muted or non-existent. Even when learning she was actually human and not Kree there was almost no visible character development.

This was the saddest origin story of any Marvel film by far, and that’s including Spider-Man: Homecoming, which didn’t bother to show how Peter obtained his powers – the one thing that has made every other Spider-Man story rock. When “young” Carol Danvers (several different actresses) were portrayed they showed great facial expressions and character. Brie butchered it.

Brie could have been replaced by any blonde white girl and they would have done better. Fighting and other special effects were great – but would have been depicted the same with any actress. Here’s hoping that Disney acknowledges their mistake and recasts before the next film.

Is it worth seeing? Yes, but my recommendation is to wait until it’s available on Netflix. It’s not worth the trip to the theater.

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.