[EXPRESSO] Jurassic World: Dominion (2022) | Jurassic Mixtape Meatloaf

While i would have a lot to say about this one, i’ll reserve some of it for when we tackle the entire “Jurassic Park/World” series, so i’ll keep it brief.

While long overdue, it’s finally that time again. Time to go see the new “big budget Asylum movie equivalent”, i really go in these later Jurassic movies with this mindset, after Fallen Kingdom i don’t even entertain the idea that i might be too hyperbolical, given that someone greenlit that script.

Speaking of which, yes, the plot sees the fallout of that shit awful ending, leading to dinosaurs escaping free into our modern world, and the inevitable fight for survival that ensues. This also leads to Chris Pratt having to save the offsprings of Blue the velociraptor, the actual true protagonist of this new trilogy.

Like pretty much any other goddamn IP from decades ago that still receives installments, Jurassic World: Dominion treads heavily on nostalgia, even more than before, as it basically recasts all the surviving actors from the original Jurassic Park and “alluding” to that one a LOT.

Talk about a series that peaked so hard and so instantly, to the point nobody really cares anymore about anything that came after the 1993 original.

Even so, i feel this is arguably the best of the Jurassic World movies, thanks to a script that’s not fuckin tosh, despite trying to balance the “nostalgia mixtape best of 1993” of having pretty much all the original cast back, the callbacks (horror-style scenes included), more focus on story and the more chaotic dino bullshit from the other Jurassic World movies.

Honestly i’m surprised the final result isn’t a complete mess despite the movie wanting to compromise/squish together both the old and the new.

At least it’s entertaning big budget b-movie meatloaf funtime.

Dinosaurs and Snakes Of June (plus some Violet / Scarlet Pokeposting)

First, the EXPRESSO review of Jurassic World Dominion is coming a little later than expected, for personal reasons, basically. Wanna see it leasurely and shit.

Second, a full lenght review of GITS SAC 2045’s second season is coming.

Second, June will feature a decent number of snake movies’ reviews, as it will lead into what usually is Shark Month, but this year will be a “double feature” in terms of theme, for the hell of it. You’ll see.

Lastly, i feel like i should say something about the newly revealed gameplay trailer for Pokemon Scarlet/Violet, as i did post my musings on the Pearl/Diamond remake and Legends Arceus.

Maybe it’s because i’m old enough to have done this dance over and over, i’m kinda mild over what was shown. I like the “tribal vs technology” theme, the legendaries look like Yu Gi Oh 5DX bikes, and i’m happy there’s gonna be more emphasis on multiplayer.

The very few new pokemons shown really don’t do it for me in terms of designs, i do like the Spain-inspired look of the setting (and the player character with that spanish catholic schoolboy/girl vibe), and as i literally just happened to beat Pokemon Legends Arceus, i’m sure this will expand the formula, as Arceus’ open world template it’s not complex but it’s actually fun and well executed, exactly the good change of pace the series has needed since a while ago.

Maybe as we’ll get to see and learn more how the open world will be “more open” than in Arceus, what features will be returning and what new stuff will be added… i’ll most likely warm up to this new mainline game. We’ll see.

Didn’t help that it was announced very quickly after Legends Arceus launched, way earlier than anyone expected, i mean, come on Nintendo, it will sell zillions even if you slated this to release in early january 2023.

Guess they couldn’t wait even for december this time around. Geeze.

[EXPRESSO] The Bubble (2022) | Comedy Out Of Time

Decided to dip my toes once again into the Netflix new releases, still not much luck.

The Bubble it’s honestly kinda sad as it has a nice idea, being a comedy happening on the set of the new movie in the fictional “Cliff Beasts” B-movie series, completely taking place in the hotel where the cast it’s quarantined in until the movie it’s finished.

The first problem is that The Bubble it’s a satirical comedy that not only loses all its edge as it dwells on the expected themes and almost comes off as hypocritical, poking fun at the movie industry when it was written in a rush in early 2021 in order to make itself relatable to the viewer, goes for a lot of comedy low-hanging fruits, and hopes the excellent cast of comedy actors would suffice.

The other problem is that it feels incredibly dated already and worse, it’s not really that funny, to be blunt.

It has its moments where it works, undeniably, so it’s not a completely laugh-free Netflix affair, and it’s not grating, but the straightforward approach and scattershot nature of the movie as a glorified series of improv sketches doesn’t help, and makes one wonder why the fuck it’s 2 hours long.

The self-awareness about content for content’s sake might have worked if it didn’t feel so depressingly leaning into the audience having compassion for it more than being entertained by, which gets extra depressing and ironic due to how incredibly ancient it feels out of the box.

It’s a shame because there could have been something to it, there’s an effort in making the premise work, but instead it comes off a depressing and kinda desperate comedy that even at peak freshness feel like it was imprisoned in a space capsule alongside Rita Repulsa.

12 Days Of Dino Dicember #11: The Beast Of Hollow Mountain (1956)

I promised it time ago, i referenced it very recently when talking about Cowboys VS Dinosaurs, so this is a… relatively long time coming, but i did really want to cover what it’s arguably the original and most distinctive piece of the “weird west” subgenre, which includes the sub-subgenre of “dinosaur westerns”, with The Beast Of Hollow Mountain.

Thankfully this one shouldn’t be that hard to find, even for collectors, as it was included in collections and – luckily for me – received a HD restoration on DVD, one i didn’t even had to import, as it’s available in Italy thanks to Sinister Films ( even includes 1953’s full lenght feature The Neanderthal Man as an extra), though under its old and hilarious localized title, “La Valle Dei Disperati”, which translates to “Valley Of The Hopeless”. XD

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #10: Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds/Legends Of The Dinosaurs (1977)

We previously spotlighted the delights of live action tokutatsu monster and superhero anime hybrid with the Dinosaur War Izenborg 4 episodes-to-compilation film “Attack Of The Super Monsters” by Tsuburaya Productions, so let’s talk about an even more obscure kaiju film, this time by Toei, with Legends Of Dinosaurs And Monster Birds, also known as Legend Of The Dinosaurs.

Interestingly, this was a japanese kaiju movie spurred by the international success of Spielberg’s Jaws (release in 1976 in Japan) and a coincidental resurgence of reports of Nessie in Loch Ness, so Toho settled to make it about a geologist who start investing strange reports of fossilized eggs and odd events surrounding the Saiko Lake (one of the Five Fuji Lakes) community, including a headless horse carcass and mysterious disappearances of people in the lake area.

Eventually Takashi puts the clues together and surmises it must be a Plesiosaur doing this, which turns out to be true, as it attacks the lakeside attendants during an event (hi, Jaws parallel), but in japanese monster movie tradition, the creature it’s bound to fight with another monster, a “Rhamphorhynchus” (basically a type of pterosaur like the pteranodon), emerging from a hidden cave in the Aokigahara region (aka the tragically famous “Sea Of Trees”, subject of a very crap Gus Van Sant movie to make things even worse), as accidentally discovered by a young girl.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #8: Cowboys Vs Dinosaurs (2015)

It seems i have misplaced my UK DVD, so enjoy this US poster.

“Hinted” at this one in last year’s Dino Dicember, so here it is, the versus match of the millennia, to decide who’s better between gun junkies cattle herders and extinct-not extinct predators.

One i didn’t even had to search for online, as i already owned on DVD as “Jurassic Hunters”, bought alongside a pack of other UK DVD dinosaur movies imports years ago.

What luck!

And another one that people rating shlock on IMDB are being a bit too mean towards just to rake in the likes by fake pretending Jurassic Park quality and bitching how Cowboys VS Dinosaurs didn’t rock their socks off, that or people who genuinely haven’t seen REALLY bad b-movies.

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We made it to 2022

GOT TURRON?

Rejoice, o’ fellows, we actually made it to a new year. It will probably suck as much as 2021 since we’re gonna still have to deal with this fuckin pandemic shit, but if we actually try we can make it suck less and maybe even be done with this COVID crap.

Let’s try, why not?

Regardless, we made it so far, so give yourself a pat on the back, a tankard of whatever alcoholic beverage you prefer, and look forward to the EXPRESSO reviews of the new movies that are either NOW just dropping here in italian theathers (or are scheduled for months later, like Nightmare Alley won’t be seen here in cinemas until february or something, fuck’s sake), like Matrix Resurrections literally just released now here on January 1st 2022.

12 Days Of Dino Dicember are still going, after that full lenght reviews will be on a 1 week break or something, while EXPRESSO ones will release as soon as they are ready/i can see the films itself.

Also, just watched the Spielberg’s West Side Story remake on my free time, go see it, it’s pretty fucking good, definitely an excellent movie to end my 2021 cinema experience.

12 Days Of Dino Dicember #7: Valley Of The Dragons (1961)

Stock footage. The quintessence of cheap filmaking since its very beginning, the saviour of many low budget productions for decades, constantly growing over time and often very fuckin free, etc.

It’s and always will be a constant for visual media, but there are case when you can take it too far, like the infamous Gamera Super Monster, the final Showa era Gamera film, composed almost entirely of stock footage from previous movies in the series. Sometimes you can indeed go even cheaper, but shouldn’t, unless you wanna risk destroying any goodwill, fanbase or prospects.

Though this isn’t the case, with Valley Of The Dragons we have instead the story of trying to adapt the Jules Verne novel Off Of A Comet/Career Of A Comet, which was actually not published in US territories at the time, due to it being very anti-semitic.

A very loose adaptation mostly made to chase the success of previous film adaptations of Verne’ stories…. and because producer Donald Zimbalist wanted to have it heavily based around the stock footage from One Billion BC, as he owned the rights to that.

In its own way, this is also pure cinema at heart.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #6: Dinosaur Hotel (2021)

It’s kinda sad when i get to review a dinosaur movie that came out this year and immediatly do a double-take as soon as i get a glance of the premise.

Didn’t i review this as Jurassic Games? Why must i lament the need for a more varied kind of trash?

I’m not even talking in terms of flimsy budgets, there’s no creativity to most of this modern trash, i mean, with this title you could do a spoof of Wes Anderson movies and have stop-motion wool dinosaurs in valet outfits or something, do i really have to write the scripts for you?

Also, by total absurd coincidence, it predates Squid Game, as Dinosaur Hotel was released on streaming sites in June 2021, and even its DVD release predates the worlwide September 2021 debut of the hit Netflix series. It would be easy to assume this was made to capitalize on Squid game’s popularity (especially when we’ll get to the premise), but that simply isn’t the case, it’s just another dinosaur film capitalizing on the modern interest in “battle royale/death games” media.

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12 Days Of Dino Dicember #5: Claw (2021)

From Gerald Rascionato, mostly know as the director of Open Water 3: Cage Dive, this is the other dinosaur movie he made in 2021 that we mentioned in the review of Triassic Hunt, simply titled Claw.

The premise is fairly simple, with two friends forced to spend the night in a ghost town (after getting a flat tire), where they find themselves hunted by a prehistoric predator.

Almost immediatly i got Raptor Ranch vibes, since we also have a scientist creating dinosaurs via a ramshackle laboratory in a middle-of-nowhere town (here Southern California instead of the usual rural town of backwoods stereotypes), the dinosaur pen, the dinosaur outsmarting his creator, etc.

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