Tag Archives: Chris Pratt

Righteous Raptor?

I’m not even going to apologize. I’ve spent a good part of the last week trying to keep my four-year-old granddaughter, Gracie, busy, so this week’s post is going to be a lazy extension of last week’s. By the way, Gracie likes dinosaurs. So in honor of Gracie, let’s talk about the velociraptors in the Jurassic Park/Jurassic World franchise (Universal Pictures). By the way, her mother will not yet allow her to see these movies.

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To begin with, they’re not really velociraptors. They are most likely a larger species of raptor named Deinonychus, but who cares? They’re scary and interesting, and they add tension to a plot.

While I find it difficult to imagine a movie in this franchise having spoilers, I suppose I should say that this post might have some. In Jurassic Park, the raptors chase people and kill them.

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In The Lost World: Jurassic Park, they chase people and kill them.

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In Jurassic Park III, they chase people and kill them…

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… with the added twist that much of this is to protect their eggs. Good parenting!

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In Jurassic World, they chase people and kill them, but it could be argued that the people are bad. Oh, and the raptors are trained.

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Eventually, they help Tyrannosaurus rex protect some people from Indominus rex. Only a raptor named Blue survives along with Rex and the people.

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Hey, look! Blue and Rex are friends!

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Good Rex! Good Blue! Now let’s kill some evil humans to help Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.

 

 

The Modern Pantheon: Guardians of the Galaxy

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Last week, I mentioned two departures from the norm in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. The first I reviewed is Doctor Strange. The second is actually two movies, so far. The first (as if you couldn’t tell from the above picture) is…

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Let’s get this out of the way first. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014, Disney Marvel Studios, directed by James Gunn) has an extensive ensemble cast: Chris Pratt as Peter Quill (Starlord), Zoe Saldana as Gamora, Dave Bautista as Drax, Vin Diesel as the voice of Groot, Bradley Cooper as the voice of Rocket, Michael Rooker as Yondu Udanta, an unrecognizableKaren Gillan as Nebula, John C. Reilly as Corpsman Dey, Glenn Close as Nova Prime, Benicio Del Toro as The Collector, Djimon Hounsou as Korath, Lee Pace as Ronan, and Josh Brolin as the voice of Thanos. There are more, but I’m getting tired. Much could be said about the plot, characters, acting, soundtrack, and special effects of this very entertaining movie. I’m choosing instead to focus on the cosmic and mythological aspects of its well-scripted story.

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This is the first movie which offers more information on Thanos, a multidimensional character invented by writer Jim Starlin for Marvel Comics. He has otherwise been seen only in outro sequences for Avengers and Avengers: Age of Ultron. A little of his backstory is provided in this movie. If the MCU does any justice to this character, he will prove a good psychological and mystical study. I look forward to seeing more of him.

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From Guardians Of The Galaxy (2014), directed by James Gunn

Of course, Thanos and several others are after an artifact which turns out to be an Infinity Stone.

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Benicio Del Toro does a good turn as The Collector. I enjoyed the sequence where he explains the history of the Infinity Stones. This scene infuses the MCU with an interesting cosmology.

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One of my unanswered questions was the lineage of Peter Quill. His mother was an earthling, but the exceptional identity of his father is not revealed in this first movie. It hints at a mythological nature which enables him to hold onto the Infinity Stone for as long as he does without being destroyed.

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I think it appropriate to mention Groot in this context as well. Despite his violent capabilities, he is a benevolent creature who looks out for his friends and ultimately sacrifices himself for them. Like many Marvel characters, though, he isn’t really dead. The comics as well as the movies of Marvel utilize a number of resurrection themes. I attribute this more to an economic need to provide suspense and to bring characters back for future installments than to any religious motivation, but I still appreciate the additional depth it provides when done properly.

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Surf in again next week. There will be plenty more to follow…

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