Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Sci Fi TV Quick Hits: The Last Ship Holds a Steady Course in Season 2, Zoo Delivers B-Move Fun, Between Surprises

With so many sci fi / fantasy shows currently airing, it's hard to watch and/or review all of them.  In this column I will be doing short reviews on some shows and chime in with my thoughts how how others are progressing. And note that I am typically behind on these shows on my DVR.

The Last Ship (TNT, Airs Sundays 9 PM EST):  This series--now in its second season--takes place in a post-pandemic world and follows the crew of a U.S. Navy ship that has discovered the cure and is now trying to help rebuild the world.  This series touches on some of the same themes as television's other post-pandemic show, The Walking Dead, but takes a very different approach.  Whereas TWD offers gut-wrenching drama with plenty of moral quandaries, The Last Ship gives us basically G.I. Joe saves the world.  But that's not necessarily a bad thing.  TWD looks at human nature from a more cynical (and arguably realistic) perspective, while The Last Ship gives us a more hopeful look at what the human race is capable of.  It basically assures us that there will be good guys when everything falls apart, and their spirit and determination will give us a chance for a better future.  And you know what?  The show pulls its premise off pretty well.  Consider it a salve from the dark turn genre television has taken of late (sometimes to good effect, sometimes not), and just sit back and enjoy routing for the heroes for a change.  I do like that The Last Ship has changed things up a bit in its second season as its less about the lone ship trying to overcome multiple challenges.  They have found the cure and set up a base in Norfolk and now the U.S.S. Nathan James is using this as a launching point to help rebuild the country.  That's a logical progression from the first season and keeps the show from getting into a rut.  We also aren't burdened with characters having a dark and hidden past or with storylines that pile one mystery upon the next (a common misstep with genre shows these days).  Its straight forward tales of rebuilding a country (and then a world) and having to deal with the bad guys that emerge in this setting.  Put your mind on cruise control and just enjoy well-plotted stories that don't task the grey matter too much but that also don't offend it.  (Season 2 Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 Stars after 4 episodes).

Zoo (CBS, Tuesdays 10 PM EST):  In a similar vein of not tasking the brain too much like The Last Ship is this new CBS series based on the novel of the same name by James Patterson.  The story here finds animals across the world (particularly of the feline variety so far) acting strange and turning against humans.  It hearkens back to 70's horror/disaster flicks like Swarm, The Food of the Gods, The Day of the Animals, etc., but it gives the subject matter a bit more serious treatment.  It still has that B-movie feel to it, which is a good thing, and it is treading a fine line of cheesiness that could go over the edge without too strong of a nudge.  But it's been a good, fun, end-of-the-world-is-coming romp across its first few episodes, and whether it starts to wear thin after thirteen episodes (and possibly more if it gets renewed) remains to be seen. (Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars after three episodes).

Between (Netflix):  I plan on doing a full review of this series once I have watched its full first season, but wanted to chime in early about this show that few people know about.  It's a Canadian-based Netflix original about a virus that kills everybody over the age of 22 in a small town, and among its stars is iCarly alum Jessica McCurdy.  I made the obvious mistake of assuming it would deliver the post-apocalypse meets teen angst when I first heard about it, in part because of McCurdy's involvement.  But that was a poor judgement on my part as I have found the show quite interesting after three episodes.  It's obvious that McCurdy is using this to try and step away from her teen star image and she is only one of an ensemble of players in this drama.  And even though the characters are all 21 and younger, this show takes more of a Lord of the Flies approach to their predicament than the mopey, angsty bent of so many YA genre tales these days.  This could actually be a prequel of sorts to The Walking Dead, or more appropriately the J. Michael Straczinski series Jeremiah (where a pandemic kills off everybody over the age of puberty, more on that one at this link).  I'm only three episode in so far (of a six episode season), but I like it.  And Netflix has renewed it for a second six episode season (that announcement is what brought it to my attention), so more is on the way.  It's definitely off to a promising start and I will report back with an update once I have made it through the first season.  (Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars after 3 episodes).  

Monday, July 13, 2015

Television Review: Dark Matter and Killjoys

Dark Matter Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars

Killjoys Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line:  They may not count as classic sci fi, but they are good, fun space opera and both show potential

Dark Matter and Killjoys are Syfy’s two new space-based shows and they are an important step forward for the channel in its return to more science fiction oriented scripted programming.  Dark Matter (which comes from Stargate vets Joseph Mallozzi and Paul Mullie) involves the crew of a space ship that wakes up from suspended animation and cannot remember who they are or why they are on the ship.  They name themselves one through six based on the order they woke up before stumbling upon information in the computer’s database that they are wanted criminals.  They then decide to band together until they can find answers to their situation.  Killjoys follows a group of bounty hunters working for an organization known as the Rack which operates in a distant system known as the Quad.  There are multiple conflicts ongoing between the planets in that system, but the Killjoys that work for the Rack have pledged to remain neutral while pursuing the warrants that they receive.

Both shows are co-productions with the Canadian Space Channel and air simultaneously up north and in the States.  And thus far, both have delivered fun and entertaining space opera that currently leans closer to guilty pleasure than classic sci fi.  Each show heavily borrows its look, feel, and basic concepts from genre television shows and movies that have preceded them and they also have a propensity for copy and paste dialogue and scenes (more so with Dark Matter than Killjoys).  But they have also managed to take some steps beyond the simply derivative and have the potential to develop into very good shows if they can hit their stride.

Killjoys is the better of the two, in my opinion, even if it did get off to a bit of a shaky start.  The first episode setup where John’s brother joins the team could have been pulled from any of another of genre shows and they had to throw in the tired lines about family sticking together.  And the dark, mysterious pasts of Dutch and D’avin feel all too familiar as well.  But since then, it has veered further away from copy and paste and delivered some meaty characters and plenty of moral ambiguity.  And it avoids offering simple, television-friendly resolutions to its stories as it appears to be setting up a grander, more epic arc while also allowing for standalone episodes.

Dark Matter took me a bit longer to warm up to as it liberally borrowed from Blake’s 7, Firefly, The Starlost and more while setting up its premise.  The characters are a pastiche of genre traits and I have the same issue I had with Blake’s 7 early on in questioning why this group of asocials would agree to stay together.  The Dark Matter writers give some justification to this, but it feels more like television contrivances than believable motivations.  The show also reminds me of Stargate: Atlantis in that there is a little bit of story in each episode strung together by one predicament after the next that the main characters must overcome.  Still, the characters are starting to grow on me and I like the fact that they have acknowledged that they need money for fuel and repairs to the ship as well as food and other necessities instead of just ignoring those basics.  And the story seems to be coming together into something that could turn into a potentially standout series.

Another thing that I like about both these shows is that they revolve around strong female leads.  All too often sci fi—especially space opera—gives us the prototypical male lead as it focal point, but each of these puts the women in charge, and the actresses they have chosen are more than capable of holding their own.  This has been a trend of late from Canadian-based genre shows with other entries like Continuum, Orphan Black, Lost Girl, and Bitten turning over the lead roles to women, and I believe it has worked out rather well and has helped broaden the appeal of sci fi / fantasy television.

One buyer-beware note on these shows is that both have a somewhat cheesy feel to them as Syfy is no longer handing out the big budgets they once did with shows like Farscape, Battlestar: Galactica, and the Stargate entries.  We’re not talking old Doctor Who level cheesiness or anything, but definitely the special effects are not a strong point for either of these.  So be sure to adjust expectations appropriately.

Despite that, I have found have both enjoyable viewing thus far and they have helped fill the void of space-based shows on television that has existed since Syfy cancelled Stargate: Universe.  Unfortunately, neither of these two have delivered great ratings for Syfy (I hear their numbers are better in Canada) as genre fans appear reluctant to return to the network that turned its back on them when it rebranded in 2009.  But I do recommend checking these out if for no other reason than the fact that they deliver decent space opera that goes down easy.  And they both have the potential to take that next step toward classic sci fi.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Audiobook Review: Leviathan Wakes by James S. A. Corey

Book Rating: 3 ½ out of 5 Stars

Audiobook Rating: 4 out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line: A good space opera tale with equal parts hard sci fi and pulp adventure

Leviathan Wakes is the first book in The Expanse series written by James S. A. Corey (the pen name for the writing team of Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck).  It takes place in a future where humans have colonized the solar system but have not ventured out to the stars yet.  Three major political entities have emerged from this expansion into space: the Earth United Nations, Mars, and the Outer Planets Alliance (primarily located in the asteroid belt).  The book starts out with two separate storylines that eventually converge.  One follows a group of crew members that survive the destruction of the ice freighter (which takes water to the outer planets) they were on, after they stumble upon some information that could break the fragile peace within the solar system.  The other storyline follows a detective on the Ceres station in the asteroid belt who is investigating the disappearance of  a girl with influential parents.  These two groups eventually meet up and find themselves at the center of an escalating conflict between the political powers of the solar system.

Leviathan Wakes is good, breezy sci fi that tries to keep its science as accurate as possible but that also throws in plenty of pulp story elements to keep it moving along.  The character development is decent, though it is the three male leads (Jim Holden, Detective Miller, and Fred Johnson) that get the most attention in this respect.  The rest of the characters are given broad strokes of characterization, but they still manage to register well enough throughout the story.  And it does pose some interesting sci fi concepts with the alien proto-molecule and the moral dilemmas that arise from its presence.  But it succeeds best at delivering a grand space opera tale that rarely comprises its science and that never bogs down as it sets up an interesting universe with plenty of potential for more stories.

Syfy is currently in the process of adapting this to a television series (to be titled The Expanse) with a ten episode order for its first season.  In my opinion these books would translate quite well to the small screen and Leviathan Wakes probably has more than enough material for that inaugural season (there are currently four more books in the series as well).  If they rely heavily on the source material, this could be quite a good series and possibly the next great sci fi show.  Syfy's two current space opera shows Dark Matter and Killjoys show some promise even if they lapse a bit too much into copy and paste sci fi.  But if the network puts a little bit more effort in The Expanse and treats the books with the respect they deserve, then they could have their next Farscape/Stargate/BSG on their hands.

As for the audiobook, Jeffrey Mays delivers a solid reading of the material.  He is not called upon to do too much in the way of accents (except the Belters speaking in their pigeon tongue), and he does a decent job of distinguishing between the characters.  He gives a clean reading that never detracts from the story and keeps it moving along at its brisk pace.  Since the book is not too dense, it translates well to audio and this a good way to experience it.

I wouldn't quite put Leviathan Wakes in the realm of classic sci fi, but it's not far off and I already have the second book in the series high on my reading list.  It's definitely worth checking out for fans of space opera and good sci fi in general.

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Monday, June 29, 2015

Television Review: The Whispers

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 Stars  (after 3 episodes)

Bottom Line: It's not a bad show, but it is less than engaging as it fails to take advantage of its creepy premise.

ABC's new Summer series The Whispers is based on / "inspired by" Ray Bradbury's short story "Zero Hour" and follows a silent invasion of Earth where some unseen entity is using children to do its bidding.  Impressionable children under the age of ten are selected and contacted by someone know as Drill.  He communicates with them through lights and other electrical instruments and gives them instructions that often lead to malicious acts.  There is also a mysterious person who keeps showing up in the vicinity of these kids (we find out eventually that he is pilot Sean Bennigan who's plane went missing several months earlier), and he becomes linked to the crimes that the children are committing.

The premise for this series is somewhat interesting and it has some potential to develop into a decent sci fi entry, but I have to admit that after three episodes my attention has quickly waned because of the show's rather unengaging, by-the-numbers delivery.  The premise has a definite creepiness about it and we have seen it developed rather well in other attempts such as The Children of the Corn (the first movie), Torchwood: The Children of Earth and even the Ray Bradbury Theater adaptation of "Zero Hour" (which you can watch on YouTube at this link).  But The Whispers lacks any vision to play up the horror elements at its core, or it was sufficiently scrubbed of that vision by network executives looking to appeal to the broadest audience.  Instead, it takes the procedural angle (with plenty of soap-opera assides thrown in) and it focuses on the adults trying to figure out what is going on with the kids.  And it also piles mystery upon mystery (and throws in the all-too-tired flashbacks) instead getting down to telling a story, as has become the norm with broadcast network sci fi entries in their ongoing attempt to find the next Lost.

I don't consider The Whispers a bad series, it has just failed to engage me thus far and I'm not certain how much more time (if any) I will give it.  It has a decent cast (and its nice to series Heroes alum Milo Ventimiglia back on a sci fi show, even if he does walk around with a perennial wtf look on his face), and the production values are good.  But it just seems to waste the potential of its premise by pushing the genre element to the background behind procedural and soap opera storylines (I am reminded of FlashForward, Alcatraz, No Ordinary Family, and other broadcast networks entries that similarly buried their genre elements).  And with so many options out there for original sci fi and fantasy (you can see a list of over 60 active/returning/upcoming shows at this link), is it worth investing the time in something like The Whispers that seems to be skirting around giving us the good sci fi we are looking for?

I may end up giving this one a few more episodes (and I admit that Wayward Pines finally has me hooked after it meandered about for for half its season), or it may end up just getting lost in the shuffle.

Friday, June 19, 2015

Movie Review: Jurassic World

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line: It delivers the expected thrill-a-minute, audience-pleasing ride that is just as calculating and manufactured as the first movie in the franchise.

1993's Jurassic Park is considered a classic sci fi movie in a large part because of the advancements it offered in CGI sfx and for the roller-coaster ride of a film that it delivered.  And if you judge it on its special effects and thrill-a-minute story-telling, it stands up sufficiently well compared to the other Summer blockbuster fare it has shared the screen with.  But that movie also represents a change that occurred with big-budget sci fi movies at the beginning of the 90's as manufactured franchises started to take over the big screen, calculatingly geared to fill up the theaters on a regular basis with popcorn-munching audiences and which have about the same artistic merit as the theme park attractions they emulate (and I go into that in more detail at this link).  By the third Jurassic Park film that came out in 2001, the series had suffered some franchise-fatigue and was laid to rest for a while.  For today's studios, though, that only means stowing it away for the appropriate amount of time before a revisiting/reworking/rebooting is deemed viable.  And now Jurassic World has arrived to get this franchise back into big-time, money-making mode.

Instead of the more common reboot that we have seen of late, the new film acts as a sequel to the other films, picking the story up in the present day when yet another attempt is made to create a Jurassic Park theme world.  Of course, in the spirit of sequels, this park is bigger and better and the scientists behind the scenes are cooking up new hybrid dinosaurs to thrill the throngs of tourists piling in.  But in good monster-movie tradition, you know that tinkering with science never works out well and before long the newest genetically-modified Frankenstein dinosaur (named Indominus) is running loose and delivering the dino-mayhem that everybody came to the movie to see.

To give Jurassic World credit, it doesn't linger too much on exposition and assumes that the audience knows the basic premise of how these giant lizards were revived (or doesn't really care).  But that just means that the movie can get to the expected child-in-jeopardy scenes that much quicker while also loading on as many monster-movie cliches as possible and throwing in the requisite cardboard cutout bad guys to try and trip up our heroes at every corner.  Chris Pratt does give the movie some life, even if his character is not that inspired as the dinosaur whisperer who understands that these creatures have feelings too and that you can't go tinkering with science without consequences and so on and so forth.  If only the Guardians of the Galaxy writers had stopped by and given him a better script to work with, or maybe if they had brought back Jeff Golblum for some good verbal sparring.

Jurassic World also throws in plenty of homages to the original film (and other monster movies), including revisiting the location of the 1993 movie's final battle.  It even brings in its own version of the original T-Rex, this time playing the role of the good guy Godzilla come to stomp down the bad guy monsters which are running amok.  But don't look at this as inspiration or respectful reverences to the genre as it is just as calculating as the whole movie franchise has been since the beginning.

Interestingly enough, movies like this love to give us the money/greed-driven villains who push science too far and ultimately receive their comeuppance.  Yet the audience remains oblivious to the fact that the constant push by the studios to create bigger, better, more jaw-droppingly mindless entertainment is the real world version of the same thing.  Of course the studio execs know that the retribution the antagonists face in their films are the fairy-tale endings their audiences expect to see, while in the real world the only consequences these movie moguls face is reaping the profits of their excesses as they rake in the box office receipts (Jurassic World is currently on target to pass Avatar as the the highest grossing film of all time).

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Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Television Review: Wayward Pines

Rating: 2 out of 5 Stars

Bottom Line: This show delivers a muddled mess that starts out as a creepy Prisoner/Stepford Wives hybrid then decides it wants to go full on sci fi.

Note that this review does have some spoilers, though I still recommend proceeding because it may spare you from some of the more pointless moments of this show.

This series from executive producer M. Night Shyamalan delivers a sci fi / mystery tale based on the novels of the same name by Blake Crouch.  Matt Dillon stars as Secret Service agent Ethan Burke who is looking for two other agents that have gone missing and finds himself in the mysterious town of Wayward Pines after a car accident that occurs in a remote part of Idaho.  While there, he finds the agents he is looking for (one dead, one still alive), but also finds that he is not allowed to leave the town and that everybody there (including the still living agent whom he had previously had a fling with) is acting rather strange in a Stepford Wives kind of way.  Meanwhile, Burke's wife and son go looking for him when they do not get sufficient answers from the Secret Service as to why he has gone missing.  This results in them also eventually stumbling into Wayward Pines (again, after an accident) for a great big family reunion with all sporting WTF looks on their faces.  That takes us through the fourth episode of the series.  Then the fifth episode completely changes the game and turns this into an entirely different show . . .

Before this series debuted, I heard claims that it wanted to deliver the next Twin Peaks to television, which maybe made some sense because it also took place in a remote Northwestern town.  But then after the first four episodes, any comparisons to that 90's cult favorite show could go no further than the fact that both took place in a remote Northwestern town.  What made Twin Peaks so interesting (at least early on) was the colorful, quirky characters and the witty dialogue that carried each episode.  Wayward Pines woefully has none of that as it stalls on a one-note tone across its first four episodes.  It goes for the creepy angle and then never gets out of that gear.  It's populated with all these characters who possess a politely menacing demeanor to make us think "Ooooh, that's creepy!"  It has that perennial droning ambient music in the background to make us think "Ooooh, that's creepy!"  It has these weird lapses in time to make us think "Ooooh, that's creepy!"  And so on, ad naseum.

But while it muddles through that with plenty of copy and paste dialogue and scenes for four episodes, all along teasing a Prisoner-esque setting that it never really develops, it then pulls the rug out from under us in its fifth episode.  The sudden twist that comes midway through its ten-episode first season (and no, I'm not buying into that "limited run" line) and introduces a whole new show with a much stronger science fiction premise which leaves us saying why the f$%k did you bother with all that other crap in the first place?!

After the fourth episode, I was ready to give up on the show because I had grown completely bored with its one-note "Ooooh, that's creepy!" direction.  But I heard on the internet that the fifth episode was a game-changer, so I stuck with it.  And I am intrigued enough now to continue to the next episode, but I'm also pissed that they made me wade through the mess of the first four hours.  Maybe that will all come into play later, but I'm not certain how much I care at this point.  If you haven't started watching the show yet and think you might be interested, I advise maybe catching the first episode and then finding some recaps of the next three on the internet somewhere.  Then just jump onboard with episode five.  If you are watching and haven't made it to the fifth ep yet, just know that you have a huge bait-and-switch course change ahead of you.

As M. Night Shyamalan is involved with the show and he is known for his big twists, I'm not sure how much of a part he played with the mid-season game-changer (remember that this is based on a series of books).  And I'm not one of the many Shyamalan haters because he has managed to do some excellent films like The Sixth Sense, Unbreakable, and the often over-looked Devil.  So I'm not willing to blame the missteps of this show on him.  But this is a mess of a series that wastes the talents of Matt Dillon and the other good actors involved.  Maybe the course change can salvage the show, but it definitely has approaching the next few episodes with an attitude that has me ready to cut bait quick.

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Blockbuster Overload: Jurassic Park

In preparation for my upcoming review of Jurassic World, I am re-running my previous Blockbuster Overload piece on Jurassic Park.

Rating: 2 ½ out of 5 Stars

Jurassic Park (Widescreen Collector's Edition)Jurassic Park is the Steven Spielberg directed film based on the Michael Crichton novel of the same name that marked a major turning point in visual effects as CGI animation took the next step forward in making the fantastic come to life on the movie screen. The film, which also succeeded in introducing the terms velociraptor and raptor into the common vernacular, focuses on an attempt by billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to create a “wildlife” park populated with living dinosaurs. By taking DNA samples from fossilized mosquitoes in-cased in amber, scientists working for Hammond manage to clone the giant lizards, creating modern day real life dinosaurs. Hammond invites several scientists (played by Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum) to observe this park and to give their opinion on whether it would be safe for tourists in order to assure his investors. But hey, it’s a Steven Spielberg movie and it would make for a pretty boring flick if they showed up, signed off on it, then left. Weaselly geek Dennis Nedry (played with conniving villainy by Seinfeld’s Wayne Knight) is in the mix trying to steal a fertilized dinosaur egg for a rival corporation. His machinations result in multiple SNAFUs that find the scientists fleeing through the park with many hungry dinosaurs in close pursuit.

While Jurassic Park represented a significant leap forward in onscreen visual effects, it also marked an important shift with mega-budget blockbusters that would become much more noticeable in the years to follow.  This movie was delivered to the theaters not so much as a film designed to tell a great tale and inspire audiences but more so as the first part of a planned franchise that would ultimately branch out into multiple sequels, comics, games, theme park rides, toys, etc. Unlike the early days of the blockbusters in the 70’s when young filmmakers like Spielberg and George Lucas were inspired to unlock the potential of movie-making and bring the fantastic to life on big screen with films like Jaws, Star Wars, and Raiders of the Lost Ark, this film (like Jedi and the Star Wars prequel films that would follow) was much more about creating a product with an extended shelf-life. Previous movie franchises such as Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Star Trek, and the long-running Bond movies had proved their earning potential with a sustained, dedicated audience that would return for each installment. So why not start focusing on blockbusters as a franchise? Jurassic Park definitely had much potential in that area which I believe proved a strong draw for Spielberg and his backers when approaching this project.

Not to say that Jurassic Park is necessarily a bad movie. It can be quite enjoyable if for no other reason than its visual effects. Long gone were the days of a man in a rubber dinosaur suit (for Hollywood at least) or stop motion animation (though I still look fondly on that sfx genre) or regular-sized lizards made to tower over actors with blue screen effects. The CGI giant lizards of Jurassic Park were among the most realistic movie monsters we had ever seen on the big screen (though 1981's Dragonslayer did a pretty good job with go-motion a decade prior), and still stand up today as state of the art despite the technical leaps forward since 1993. But instead of using this wizardry to enhance the story and to give the viewers the fulfillment of a well-rounded film experience, the special effects became the movie. Because without the breath-taking CGI, this movie quickly falls apart. It has little in the way of character development (though Jeff Goldblum once again managed to fill in the blanks of a sparse script and steal the show) and even less in the way of story to cover the gaps between action scenes. Thematically, it harkens back to Spielberg’s Jaws a bit as well as plenty of other disaster and creatures-run-amok films, and the story is pretty much on auto-pilot through much of the film. And along with its copy-and-paste dialogue, Spielberg resorts to one of the most manipulative gimmicks ever devised (that he would return to time and again through his carrier): the child-in-jeopardy ploy. He constantly tries to tug at the heart-strings of the audience by placing Hammond’s grandchildren in harm’s way throughout the film, even though we know they will never wind up as dinosaur kibble. Basically, in my book when you turn to the child-in-jeopardy spiel, the inspiration well has completely run dry.

Jurassic Park is the Hollywood equivalent of a rollercoaster ride and it succeeds on that level, but never rises above it. It wowed audiences with its dazzling CGI and became the biggest grossing movie up to that time (topping Spielberg’s own E.T.), but that was the plan all along. You can’t convince me that this film was ever seen as anything other than the launching point of a franchise. The art of film-making never came into play here as the focus of attention remained firmly on creating a new brand (that would go on to gross nearly $2 billion plus thus far). And the cynicism that had crept into the Star Wars franchise by the time of Return of the Jedi existed right from the beginning with Jurassic Park and drove it to the big screen and beyond. And while blockbuster franchises had existed since the 70’s (and perhaps the 60’s if you include the Bond films), Jurassic Park marked a significant shift toward these becoming a corporate brand much more interested in pushing a product than advancing the art of film-making. That shift in attitude would become more prevalent throughout the rest of the 90’s and would pretty much dominate the blockbuster genre in the 00’s and beyond.

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