Louis Proyect: The Unrepentant Marxist

June 12, 2015

Jurassic World

Filed under: Counterpunch,Film — louisproyect @ 1:38 pm

The T-Rex Blues

Mindless Entertainment While Awaiting the Next Mass Extinction

by LOUIS PROYECT

Hard on the heels of “Mad Max: Fury Road”, George Miller’s attempt to exploit the success of his previous three films in this series, come “Poltergeist” and “Jurassic World”, retreads of two vintage films with a Stephen Spielberg imprint and playing at your local Multiplex (“Jurassic World” opens everywhere tomorrow). Spielberg wrote the screenplay for “Poltergeist” in 1982 and directed “Jurassic Park” in 1993. Haven’t had your fill of remakes? Then put “Terminator Genisys” on your to-see list. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger in the title role (you were expecting Ryan Gosling maybe?), you would have to adopt a suspension of disbelief to regard this 67-year old actor of being capable of terminating anything except an appointment with his urologist.

In technical terms, some in the film industry distinguish between remakes and reboots (or retools). A remake is fairly close to the original, like Gus Van Sant’s “Psycho” while the other approach involves a new interpretation entirely—the most egregious case being the monumentally stupid “47 Ronin”, a travesty that starred Keanu Reeves as the leader of a samurai suicide mission. The only suicide worth considering is that risked by a serious film buff as a reaction to this CGI-laden mess that includes a shape-shifting monster. The inspiration appears to be the Hercules films rather than the austere 1962 classic “Chūshingura”.

After having been besieged by fans of “Mad Max: Fury Road” as a snob with a prejudice against action films for dubbing it “rotten” on Rotten Tomatoes, I wish I could make amends by saying that “Jurassic World” was “fresh”. Unfortunately, it shares the same flaws as the other film, namely a tendency to make such retreads only faster and louder than the original, as well as stripped of character development and wit.

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3 Comments »

  1. Louis,

    It was fun reading you on “Jurassic World” and the doom-and-gloom fears of the peak apes. Honestly, has there ever been a better depiction on screen of the power of uncaged primal chaos, and the precarious superiority of mankind, than “King Kong?” An article by Jeremy Brecher, urging a “climate change insurgency,” also appears in the same weekend edition of Counterpunch, and is motivated from the same fear of human extinction. Mr. Brecher’s article promotes of his new book, which must be intended for very dedicated insurrectionists indeed as it sells for $122.61! I have to compliment you, Louis, for being able to stimulate so much thought for so long a period, and at such bargain prices. My own thoughts in response to your current “Jurassic World” article are in “The Righteous and the Heathens of Climate and Capitalism” (which also includes dinosaurs), while my thoughts in response to Jeremy Brecher’s “climate insurgency” article are in my little rant “Hello Void, A Thanksgiving Message.” [I recycle, even my writing.] Perhaps the increasing warmth of summer’s arrival (soon), and the end of school terms has let many minds drift to thoughts about summer monster movies, climate change, and the fading away of the peak apes (us). Don’t worry, only organisms will disappear, genes will survive (until the Sun becomes a red giant).

    The Righteous And The Heathens Of Climate And Capitalism
    12 March 2012
    http://www.swans.com/library/art18/mgarci43.html

    Hello Void, A Thanksgiving Message
    22 November 2014
    http://manuelgarciajr.com/2014/11/22/hello-void-a-thanksgiving-message/

    Reversing Climate Change: What Will It Take?
    by JEREMY BRECHER
    http://www.counterpunch.org/2015/06/12/reversing-climate-change-what-will-it-take/

    Jeremy Brecher’s new book (15 so far) for $122.61 !!
    Climate Insurgency: A Strategy for Survival
    http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/ASIN/1612058205/counterpunchmaga

    Comment by manuelgarciajr — June 12, 2015 @ 11:29 pm

  2. Enjoyed your review over at Counterpunch. Thanks for the heads up on Jurassic World, I could do without another ex-GI-centric movie. It’s as if being an ex-GI somehow makes you more worthy. I’ve read a couple of books by leading paleontologists that dispute the asteroid theory by Alvarez, not that the books dwell on it too much, just a small part of them. The books are “Dinosaur Lives” by John R. Horner, and “The Dinosaur Heresies” by Robert T. Bakker. Both authors point out problems with the theory. The most obvious was that the dinosaurs were already well on their way out by the time the asteroid struck with only a few remaining species left. But of course every science documentary you see on TV begins with a giant asteroid hitting the earth while repeating the doomsday scenario mantra as if it were proven fact rather than just another theory. Neither author considers the extinction of dinosaurs as being all that important since extinctions occur on a regular basis. The asteroid theory has been a pet peeve of mine because it’s theory stated as proven fact. It’s possible it’s true but it’s still just a theory. But you wouldn’t know it from the way TV states it as fact in the dreary repetitious manner that it does. That’s why I prefer to read books on science which are a lot less dumbed down than the documentaries on TV. The books aren’t as sexy as the TV documentaries, but they’re much more informative, and you have to actually use your brain while reading them. Horner pissed a lot of people off by suggesting T-Rex was just an overgrown vulture, that is to say it was likely a scavenger more than a hunter. But isn’t that how science should be? You need to question theories until something is proven with empirical evidence. Cheers.

    Comment by Rob Payne — June 13, 2015 @ 12:22 am

  3. Enjoyed reading your comments on Jurassic World.

    My name is Godfrey, and I am WrongSkin. You may not have heard of that but it means that I was born to white parents and have white skin but I identify as being black. It is not a joke. It is not okay to mock us. It’s not easy to live like this.

    Genderqueer Muslim atheist. Born white in the #WrongSkin. Itinerant jongleur. Xir, Xirs Xirself. Filters life through the lens of minority issues.

    https://twitter.com/GodfreyElfwick

    Comment by Godfrey Elfwick — June 13, 2015 @ 2:30 pm


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