Omar Sy

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Movie Review: Jurassic World

Published June 25, 2015 by mrsrag

jurassic worldStarring: Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Nick Robinson, Ty Simpkins, Jake Johnson, Omar Sy, Irrfan Kahn, BD Wong, Judy Greer, Lauren Lapkus, Katie McGrath, Vincent D’Onforio.

Rated: PG-13.  Action/Adventure/Sci-Fi.  Running Time: 2 hours 4 minutes.

When I was in First Grade I ordered these dinosaur booklets for my whole class (they were free and cool as shit!) from Rex Trailer’s Boomtown, a Boston kid’s show that was on Sunday mornings.  I have always been fascinated by dinosaurs since I can remember, like many of you out there I’m sure.  When Jurassic Park came out in 1993, I raced out to see it and to this day have a hard time passing it by when it’s on.  22 years have gone by, two very mediocre sequels were made, but I was still pretty jazzed to see Jurassic World.  Wow, it was even better than I thought it could be!  Without giving too much away, Jurassic World is a functioning theme park on Isla Nublar (the original island), and has been for ten years.  John Hammond’s vision has come true, unfortunately, interest is waning a bit (you know because dinosaurs are so boring.  Humans!) so the park owners create a new hybrid dinosaur: Indominus Rex.  You can see where this is going without me telling you, Jurassic World is great, but it’s still pretty formulaic and somewhat predictable.  What makes it so enjoyable is the chemistry between the likeable Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard.  The subtle bad guy turn by D’Onofrio, the cool, state-of-the-art theme park, and of course the dinosaurs.  My personal favorite; Mosasaurus, the huge crocodile-ish creature that has a Shamu-like act in a massive  pool.  Don’t get too close though, you might get splashed…with blood!

I’ve always had a thing for dinosaurs too.  Something about the sheer size of these creatures is naturally alluring.  I remember learning about them in school and being completely captivated.  Unfortunately, in ’93 I was 9 and wasn’t frequenting the movies.  Especially, movies with scary T-Rex’s eating people off toilets and raptors chasing children.  I was probably off somewhere enjoying, ‘The Land before Time’ with Little Foot and the whole gang.  Years later I would eventually get to see Jurassic Park.  It was a real treat getting to view it in 3-D a couple of years ago when they re-released it in theatres.  It has always made sense to me to see these movies featuring special effects on the big screen.  And so, Jurassic World seemed like a perfect pick for Father’s Day weekend with Ethan.  I was impressed with how he handled the jump scares and bloodshed, as this was by far the most violent out of the three.  We had heard a lot of mixed reviews about the film, so I went in with fairly low expectations.  But honestly, I enjoyed myself and I think the boys really liked it too.  There’s only so much you can do – rebuild the park, open it to the public and dinosaurs get loose.  I’m not sure what people are expecting.  The plot is formulaic because they’ve covered all possible storylines.  The cast really breathes new life into this latest rendition.

The violence is pretty hardcore.  Ethan is eleven and he handled it okay, but I’d leave the little ones home for this one.  Keep an eye on Zara (McGrath), Bryce Dallas Howard’s assistant, her demise is epic.   I’ll be honest, I read an article about Chris Pratt in Esquire a few months ago, and the guy comes across as a bit of a dick.  But there is no denying that he has something going on, on screen.  I thought he was excellent in Guardians of the Galaxy and he also voiced the lead, Emmitt, in 2014’s  fabulous The Lego Movie.  The man is on a roll.  The supporting cast scores here too.  Jake Johnson from Let’s be Cops, Nick Robinson of The Kings of Summer, Irrfan Kahn from Life of PI, Omar Sy from the fantastic foreign film The Intouchables, and BD Wong the only holdover from Jurassic Park, all contribute fine performances.  Like Maria said, there is only so much plot twisting they can do, but I say, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”   And it’s not like there aren’t any surprises; Velociraptors as good guys?!  No way you saw that one coming.

I have to assume that with the record setting box office success of JW, that they will no doubt have another installment of this series coming soon.  The effects really make these movies and they peppered in just enough flavor of real life, to make the technological advances seem reasonable.  There was a really cool scene featuring these gyroscopic balls that park goers direct into the fields with the gentle giants, but as things always seem to do, something goes awry.  There was a brilliant add on of Jimmy Fallon giving instructions and safety tips on how to operate the gyroscope.  And anyone who frequents amusement parks knows they love to feature a celebrity in their safety videos.  Jurassic World didn’t blow me away, but it was an entertaining and enjoyable film.  Perfect for this set of audience members, as we are trying to branch Ethan out into some more mature fare, within reason.  And he handled it like a champ!

Ross’ Rating: 4.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s rating: 4 out of 5 Gummies.

 

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Recent DVD Release: The Intouchables

Published March 11, 2013 by mrsrag

Starring: François Cluzet, Omar Sy, Anne Le Ny, Audrey Fleurot, Clotilde Mollet.

Rated R.  Biography/Drama/Comedy.  Subtitled.  Running Time: 1 hour 52 minutes.

We now have a tie for best movie I’ve seen in 2013 thus far.  It’s a dead heat between Silver Linings Playbook & the brilliant surprise, The Intouchables.  Our dear friend Kevin suggested it to us several months ago after viewing it in the theatre, but the subtitled foreign film was under limited release, so it wasn’t the easiest showing to find.  We figured we’d wait until it graced the ‘shelves’ of our beloved Red Box.  Ross & I went into it with open minds and absolutely no idea what it was about, which is my favorite way to be pleasantly surprised.  The Intouchables is based on the true story of an extremely wealthy quadriplegic who hires an obnoxious young man from the projects of Paris to be his personal caretaker.  He craves the unsympathetic nature of Driss (Sy) and sees more than meets the judgmental eyes of his family and friends.  In one scene the handicapped Philippe (Cluzet) defends his decision of hiring Driss by explaining, “That’s exactly what I want…no pity.”  The best part of this heartfelt & intimate piece of cinema is the humor.  It is a rare and special thing when someone can tell a story that is steeped in so much tragedy and incorporate this much laughter.

I’m guessing that I’m not that unique in the respect that when I see the word “Subtitled” in association with a movie, I tend to dismiss it immediately.  If it wasn’t for Kevin’s recommendation, we would NEVER have seen this movie.  Thank you my friend, you never let us down.  The Intouchables has everything you want in a film.  It makes you laugh and cry and root for the underdog.  Well I suppose everything I want in a movie at any rate.  Driss is the most unlikely caretaker you could ever imagine, “those street punks have no pity” after all.  But the relationship between he and Philippe is riveting.  I’ve also never laughed so hard while reading words on screen.  In one scene Driss is pouring scalding water on Philippe’s legs, marvelling at the fact that he can’t feel anything.  In another he throws snowballs at him imploring him to fight back.  Ex-daredevil Philippe takes a petrified Driss paragliding, and the exultation he finds seems absolutely genuine.  Chemsitry on screen.  We mentioned it in Silver Linings Playbook about Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper.  You can’t teach it or aquire it, it has to just happen and Cluzet and Sy have it in spades.  One final note, not that it has any bearing on anything, but Francois Cluzet is the spitting image of Dustin Hoffman circa Rain Man era, late 80’s early 90’s.  Not just a vague resemblance, like a Parisian carbon copy.  He even smiles and laughs the same.  Just another added element for your viewing pleasure, so do yourself a favor and go rent it, now! 

He is the spitting image of early 90’s Hoffman; the resemblance is uncanny.  There are so many wonderful scenes packed with well written dialogue and intriguing plot developments.  Ross is on point with the chemistry too, it is extremely palpable in both Silver Linings and The Intouchables.  I personally love movies with subtitles, but it does take a little convincing to get Ross aboard.  I think he may be warming up to the idea now that he enjoyed our latest attempt.  DO NOT let the subtitles be the deciding factor here.  This film is poignant, brilliant and well worth the reading.  Unfortunately, the film was not decorated with much deserved nominations and awards on U.S. soil, but has had plenty of critical acclaim and success abroad.  Most definitely a bit of a hidden gem.

Ross’ Rating: 4.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.

Maria’s Rating: 5 Gummies!  Trés bien!