For decades, King Kong has been one of America’s most iconic monsters. Easily my favorite version of King Kong was the 2005 version by Peter Jackson. Not only were the special effects far more amazing, but it had a more realistic feel to it compared to the original 1933 version. The creatures on Skull Island were also nightmarish and underwent nonstop 65 million years of evolution due to being isolated from the rest of the world. Even though I have grown accustomed to seeing Jack Black in a funny role, I rather enjoyed him taking a serious role in this film. The part I enjoyed most was the fact that King Kong was a far more sympathetic character. Kong was the last of his kind and was desperate for companionship. He was a lonely king ruling over a dying kingdom. If you are looking for a monster epic, then this is the film for you.
I watched a found footage dinosaur film fittingly called The Dinosaur Project. It is about an ill-fated expedition into the Congo. Within the heart of the Congo lives a lost world filled with dinosaurs and other prehistoric beasts. Some of these animals remained unchanged while others underwent 65 million years of evolution. There were even dinosaurs that were similar in appearance to the Jurassic Park version of Dilophosaurus. This film may not have the same level of special effects as Jurassic Park, but it is satisfactory. In addition to the dinosaurs, the interactions between the human characters was rather intriguing to watch especially the dysfunctional relationship between a father and son. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys both found footage films and dinosaurs in general.
One of my favorite science fiction stories would be Ray Bradbury’s A Sound of Thunder. It is a short story that has several of my favorite themes such as time travel, dinosaurs, and the concept of the Butterfly Effect. In the short story, a group of people travel into the distant past to hunt dinosaurs. However, they inadvertently changed the past by stepping on a prehistoric butterfly. When they returned to the present, they discover that a political election had a much different outcome.
However, I like the film adaptation of A Sound of Thunder better than the short story because the consequences of changing the past are more believable. When you go back 65 million years ago and change the past in even the most minor fashion, the way it changes the timeline would be far more extreme than just a changed political election.
When you go back 65 million years into the past and step on a single butterfly, it creates a combination between a Domino Effect and Snowball Effect. With that one butterfly dead, it would not breed and the continuation of its species would be compromised. With the butterfly species either endangered or extinct, certain plants would not be fertilized, which would cause some plants to die out or evolve in a different direction. Without the vegetation in question, the animals that would eat those plants would starve and die out while the predators that would feed on the herbivores would starve as well. The list of consequences of killing that one butterfly are infinite and keep growing in scale. That is the true nature of the Butterfly Effect!
With so much disrupted by the butterfly’s death, 65 million years of evolution would be completely altered and rewritten in ways we can’t even imagine. Due to this, the film adaptation of A Sound of Thunder provides much more believable consequences to time travel than the short story did. Throughout the film, you got to see various possibilities of how life could have evolved. One such example was a beast that was a mix between a baboon and lizard. This creature was this way because neither modern reptiles or primates evolved the same way as before. As a result, their biological bloodlines became fused into a new breed of lifeform.
If you like dinosaurs, science fiction, and time travel, this is the film for you. It truly makes you interested on what is evolutionarily possible if history is altered.
When I was a kid, I watched this film fell in love with the idea of raising a baby dinosaur. I was too young to understand the dialogue and story, but it did not matter because there were freaking dinosaurs! Now, I rewatched it after all these years and I understand the dialogue and story. The story revolves around the Congo version of the Loch Ness Monster: Mokele-mbembe. Two factions seek a baby Apatosaurus and its parents: one trying to protect and study them while the other factions wants to capture and profit off of them. There were many cute scenes that involved the baby dinosaur. If you love dinosaurs and cute animals, this is the movie for you.
I revisited a dinosaur movie that I watched long ago, Carnosaur. Like Jurassic Park, it depicts dinosaurs being brought back to life. However, the way these animals were brought back was even more grotesque than in Jurassic Park. Even though the special effects and storyline were cheesy as heck, there was something about the movie that had me hooked. I did some digging around and discovered that Carnosaur was based on a horror novel written by Australian author, John Brosnan. The story of the novel was more complex and entertaining, but it costs an arm and a leg to buy it. To make it even more intriguing is the fact that the Carnosaur novel predated Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel by six years. Even though both of these dinosaur stories had film adaptations released in the same year, Jurassic Park received all the praise and high-quality special effects while Carnosaur received cheap special effects and practically faded into obscurity. I think it would be nice if Carnosaur received a high quality remake, but only time will tell if that will happen.
I just saw The Rise of Skywalker and it far exceeded my expectations. The critics and haters can say what they will, but I thoroughly enjoyed this film. It answered countless questions and was a satisfactory conclusion to the Skywalker Saga as a whole. It also promises more forthcoming books, comics, television shows, and so on that will fill in the gaps. For a hardcore fanboy like me, that it an entertainment goldmine. Some fans think Palpatine’s return negated Anakin Skywalker’s sacrifice in Return of the Jedi, but I completely disagree. The Prophecy of the Chosen One did not say if the Sith would be destroyed permanently nor did it say how long the balance in the Force would last. As far as I’m concerned, Anakin fulfilled the prophecy even if it was for a brief time. Overall, I am more than pleased with how Rise of Skywalker turned out and I would recommend it to any Star Wars fan from any generation.
I thoroughly enjoy the film Sideways, which depicts two friends having a week-long stag party in wine country. Paul Giamatti plays a depressed, divorced, and struggling writer who is seeking to publish a book while undergoing a stressful time in his life. Thomas Haden Church plays a self-centered and impulsive actor who is past his prime. Throughout the movie, these two men get into all kinds of trouble, including one of them getting his face caved in. Even though there were scenes in this movie that are depressing to watch, there were many parts that were both funny and relatable. I would recommend this film to anyone who enjoys life stories and good humor.
Another good fantasy movie from the 80s that I enjoy is The NeverEnding Story. Readers often imagine themselves entering the world of the books they read. In this film, that literally happens for one young boy. He reads a book and discovers he has become part of the story. I like how the fantasy world of Fantasia is the physical incarnation of human imagination. On the downside, this film also shows what happens to human imagination when it is subjected to cynicism and despair. That nihilistic despair takes the form of a force called The Nothing, which gradually destroys Fantasia one region at a time. The film also shows how hope can be restored in the darkest of times. I would recommend this film to anyone who wants a peek at human imagination.
I watched The Dark Crystal for the first time since I was a small child. The first time I watched it, I was too young to understand what was going on. However, I have a greater appreciation for this film now that I am older. It is a story of life and death, light and darkness, and the balance between it all. The puppetry was masterfully done and the world building was very imaginative. This Friday, Netflix will be releasing a prequel series to The Dark Crystal called Age of Resistance, which will depict the Skeksis at the zenith of their power and the near extinction of the Gelfling race. I would recommend this film to anyone who is seeking a good fantasy film that does not have a single human character.
I recently rewatched one of my favorite fantasy films, Dragonslayer! I like this film because it portrayed a unique fantasy world that reacted to the presence of a dragon in various ways. A sorcerer regards the dragon as one of the last remnants of magic, a boy sees it as a chance to prove himself a man, a kingdom regards it with fear, and a king regards it as a monster to appease at all costs. This film depicted one of the best dragons in cinematic history. The story and world building were wonderful. You just don’t get films like this anymore.