On DVD & Blu-Ray: September 18, 2018

Come what may, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom is a curious middle chapter that will likely be remembered more for its curiosities than its contributions to the overall arc of this new trilogy. What will allow the World trilogy to always have an upper hand over that of the will-always-be-superior original and its two less than successful follow-ups is that of the coherency this new set of films will seemingly possess and thus is what initially makes Fallen Kingdom so intriguing. Intriguing in a morbid curiosity kind of way as the first act of the film would have one believe it was something of a task to bring together our protagonists from the first film. Bryce Dallas Howard's no longer high-heel wearing Claire Dearing has become a voice for the dinosaurs left abandoned on Isla Nublar as a volcano is set to erupt at any moment threatening another extinction-level event. Convenient, right? Well, as it turns out this is not only an opportunity for writers Derek Connolly and Colin Trevorrow to move the action off of the island (a good thing), but it also creates inspiration for Claire to reach out to now ex-boyfriend and "raptor wrangler" Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) so that they may reunite in an effort to rescue as many dinos from the island as they can. Is it necessary that Owen be brought back into the action? Not entirely and Fallen Kingdom does Pratt's character no favors by giving him little to do other than become a human super hero who in turn becomes more of a dinosaur whisperer than a trainer that is also doomed to repeat the romantic beats of the first film with Claire, but to not have the star of the first film return would feel weird as well. It makes sense to a degree, but this contradiction of sorts in need versus obligation is symbolic of what seems will come to define the shortcomings of this new trilogy as well. Owen is a fun and charismatic character that functioned well for the plot of the first film, but who is only called on to be fun and charming in this sequel despite the function of his character within the plot being largely pointless (though this wouldn't be as glaring if there were more depth to the character). The movies themselves are breezily enjoyable and often times massively entertaining, but the plots on which they function will seemingly only feel more and more strained the further they push this. In essence, other than for financial reasons is there a story worth telling that justifies the existence of more of these movies? The moral dilemma of should man do something simply because it is capable has been obliterated as yet another genetically engineered dino is at the heart of Fallen Kingdom with this film moving more into should these dinosaurs be regarded in the same way as other endangered species despite being created in a lab. Much in the same way Owen is charming and fun to have around even if his presence is mostly unnecessary Fallen Kingdom only brings up said points to try and validate its existence without ever exploring them enough to make this movie feel necessary. Full review here. C+

I watched Destination Wedding with Keanu Reeves and Winona Ryder the other night and kind of love everything about it which prompted me to thinking this other Keanu Reeve's straight-to-VOD thriller, Siberia, might be worth a look, but as soon as I read the synopsis about an American diamond merchant who travels to Russia to sell rare blue diamonds of questionable origin I kind of fell off the optimistic train. Not that a good action thriller can't be made from such a set-up, but there was no hook-there was no puppy a la John Wick, if you will. The synopsis tries further by outlining the fact our diamond merchant falls into an obsessive relationship with a Russian cafe owner in a small Siberian town after his deal begins to collapse with the impending collision of these two world being inevitable, but it just doesn't feel worth the time at this point when there is SO much content out there one could watch otherwise.

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