Where does the Jurassic franchise go from here?

Unless you’ve been living in some self-imposed exile then you’ll be well aware that Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is only a couple of months away, with the final trailer hitting the interwebs later today. But once this trilogy has come and gone, where does the Jurassic franchise go?

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There’s likely far more riding on Fallen Kingdom than most fans realise. Whether you liked the final product of Jurassic World or not, the one thing that cannot be debated is the fact that it made an absolutely huge amount of money for Universal. But, it had the good fortune of being a beloved franchise returning in a big way after a significant period of absence. Similar in vein to Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Jurassic World was always going to make a large amount of money at the box office, especially given Chris Pratt’s meteoric rise into the main stream following Marvel’s smash-hit Guardians of the Galaxy.

Continue reading “Where does the Jurassic franchise go from here?”

Why Adam Chitwood Is Wrong About the Jurassic Franchise

Earlier today Adam Chitwood from Collider put together an article titled “‘Jurassic Park’ Is Not a Franchise“. As a massive fan of the franchise, I have a few things to say about his argument.

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Adam certainly raises good points during his discussion of the Jurassic franchise. The emphasis on the incredibly weak story of Jurassic Park 3 and the irony of Jurassic World becoming “the very thing the script tries to take down” are both relevant points.

Continue reading “Why Adam Chitwood Is Wrong About the Jurassic Franchise”

Retrospective Review: Jurassic Park

Director: Steven Spielberg
Writers: Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Starring: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern

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To celebrate the 25th anniversary of the 1993 blockbuster (And my second favourite movie of all time) we’ll be taking a look back at one Steven Spielberg’s best in our second ever Retrospective Review.

It’s hard to imagine how one director produced both Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List in the same year, but Spielberg managed it, staking his claim as one of the best directors of all time in the process.

Earning five-star reviews right out of the gate Jurassic Park wasn’t one of those sleeper hits which took time for people to appreciate, with the likes of Empire referring to the film as “quite simply one of the greatest blockbusters of all time”. Its revolutionary use of CGI and practical effects, as well as its appeal to audiences of all ages made this an instant classic and in doing so effectively changed the landscape of the film industry forever.

You would be hard pressed to find someone who has seen the film but doesn’t remember the first time they saw a dinosaur on screen. The now iconic “brachiosaur scene” has become synonymous with classic Hollywood moments, and it’s safe to say that when Spielberg said that he wanted the audience to truly believe they were watching a real dinosaur on screen, that he achieved his goal.

To this day there are certain scenes in the film which could go toe-to-toe with the latest and greatest uses of CGI. The scene which my mind instantly wanders back to is when the T-Rex escapes its paddock and attack the vehicles on the road. For my money that scene still looks better than most CGI monsters today, even those seen in the Jurassic franchise itself.

But the film’s legacy lies far beyond its mastery of CGI. The characters are to this day loved and adored, with Jeff Goldblum’s character Ian Malcolm making a return to the same franchise 25 years after his original appearance. The characters of Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Satler (Laura Dern) will to this day still pop up at comic-cons as popular cosplay options, whilst the T-Rex has transitioned into pop-culture main stream and will this year be making a cameo in Spielberg’s next venture Ready Player One.

I lost count of how many times I’ve seen this film a number of years ago whilst the figure was somewhere in the sixties, and yet I can continually go back to it with the same joy and excitement that I had the first couple of times. Nothing about this film has aged badly, and I don’t see that changing any time soon. Spielberg pulled off something that is very rare in the film industry, a timeless classic, and the fact that we’re actively celebrating its 25th anniversary is a testament to that.

“When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” may have been one of the ending images the film portrays, but it is perhaps ironic that since the release of this film it is in fact Dinosaurs that have ruled the Earth as one of the best and most beloved films of all time.

Final Score: 10/10 Porgs

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Spotlight “Jurassic World: Evolution”

Welcome to the first installment in the Spotlight series, where we will take an in depth look at either an upcoming film, video game or novel. Detailing everything there is to know about the upcoming release and our own personal thoughts. To start things off, and following on from our recent Top 10 Moments from the Jurassic Park Franchise article with @JurassicCollect, we’re going to take a look at the upcoming Jurassic World: Evolution

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After first being announced at Gamescom 2017 Jurassic World: Evolution quickly became one of the more anticipated games of 2018. A spiritual successor to the cult classic Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis with an update flair taken from the Jurassic World film.

However it wasn’t just the general premise of venturing back into the dinosaur park building simulator that had people excited (Although, how does that idea not excite you?), but it was also the announcement of which company was on board to create the game and the announcement trailer that showed off a beautifully crafted first look at the game.

Frontier Developments have previous history in the park building simulator genre, with their previous games Zoo Tycoon and RollerCoaster Tycoon 3 receiving 7.1 and 7.8 scores from Gamespot respectively. Scores, that whilst really good, still perhaps do not match the level of fan appreciation surrounding these titles.

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Needless to say the announcement that Frontier Developments had been gifted the opportunity to craft the next great Jurassic park simulator would be satisfactory on its own to get the juices flowing. But the announcement trailer offered more than most announcement trailers do in the modern gaming industry, and since its release Frontier Developments have been steadily releasing promising gameplay footage, screenshots and information that have continued to whet the appetite of eager fans.

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Frontier’s Chief Creative Officer, Jonny Watts: “As long-time fans of the entire Jurassic series we’re thrilled to be putting players in charge of their own Jurassic World. We’re excited to bring over fifteen years of management, simulation, and creature development expertise to a destination and franchise that remains an inspiration to us.”

That expertise and passion for the franchise is already shining through to the game (Presuming that the finished product lives up to pre-released footage and screenshots, unlike releases such as WatchDogs).

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As of the time of this writing not too much is known about how the game will actually play. However, we do know the following:

  • There are 3 paths for you to follow whilst building your park – Entertainment, Security and Science

Immediately this offers replayability to the game, and whilst you may try to balance all 3 paths, it has been hinted at that your objectives through each branch may contradict with each other, making it difficult to build a park that compliments all 3 aspects.

  • The game will take place on Isla Nublar and the surrounding islands of the Muertes Archipelago (The Five Deaths)

It’s not entirely clear how this feature will be implemented, but it appears to be as though this will work as an in-built leveling system whereby you proceed to the next island after doing well on the first and so on.

  • Dig sites are returning

How the specific mechanics of this feature work into the game are as of right now murky at best, but it appears as though you spend points to work in a given dig-site and a countdown then begins before bringing in dino bones etc. but at this point that is guess work.

  • A dynamic weather system/Emergencies

Tornadoes weren’t uncommon in Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, and whilst disastrous weather like this hasn’t been taken out of the game completely Frontier Developments have emphasized the desire to not have these sort of events constantly taking you away from the management of your park. Similarly, you will have to manage your dinosaurs in order to prevent them from escaping and rampaging through your park.

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It’s currently unclear whether the game features a “Site B” mode in the vein of Jurassic Park: Operation Genesis, but it’s certainly something that a lot of fans will be calling for so that’s one thing to keep an eye on going forward.

With that being said, it’s unlikely that the game will only feature one game mode, so expect more to be announced over the coming months, with any Site B mode saved until just prior to release or kept secret entirely.

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Jurassic World: Evolution releases Summer 2018 to PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One.