Jurassic World – Bigger, Badder, More Teeth? Nope, A Toothless Mess

We decided to celebrate my wife’s birthday by going to the movies and seeing the latest installment of cloned dinosaurs in a theme park.

I was disappointed that the new movie, Jurassic World, offered nothing clever or surprising. Poor editing had the various plot lines jumping back and forth. The reason why was the screenplay had been written by four different writers and the director could not mesh it together well enough to make a decent movie.

Jurassic World was built up over the decaying remains of Jurassic Park. It looked silly, stupid and out of place to have this modern looking Disney-like dinosaur world amusement park built among ruins. Never was it explained how it came to be that investors were sold on the promise of no more “containment anomalies.”

We knew before buying our tickets the promise would be broken leading to dino rampages, chases, near-misses, and heroism. Still, as we entered the theater, we wished to be entertained with a decent story and not CGI running amok.
Here is the short version of the story: Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) works at the Jurassic World theme park as a velociraptor trainer but they turn him into a dinosaur whisperer.

jurassic2 “Stand down, Blue!”

Scientist Henry Wu (BD Wong) engineers a new dinosaur, Indominus Rex, because we, the public, want bigger, badder and more teeth. Tycoon Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan) insists that Owen should test it out first. For some reason, Hoskins (Vincent D’Onofrio) is a nut job who lurks around the park, sizing up the dinosaurs to use as weapons for the military.
Meanwhile, operations manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) who looks at these dinosaurs as nothing more than assets (but has the superpower of being able to outrun the Indominus Rex in her high heels), has to deal with waning profits and the arrival of her two nephews, Gray and Zach.

Nothing new to see here, folks. A generic action hero, an uptight woman, and two kids in peril. Mix in poorly written jokes and a little sexual innuendo and you have a very awkward film.

As for the dinosaurs, the CGI was great and most reviews will be positive. Here’s the problem – the Indominus Rex is part T-Rex, part tree frog, part cuttlefish, etc. (are you laughing yet?) and changes size throughout the film. One minute it’s a Godzilla-like creature and the next scene it’s a regular T-Rex. This super smart, super fast dinosaur can’t catch a woman in heels but can talk to velociraptors (are you crying yet?).

The film is loaded with cliches – walkie-talkies that don’t work, children that need to be saved (screw everyone else in the park), badly written love story, and prim and proper tough lead female character that shows she has a soft side.

This mess was at least half an hour too long. The good part of this experience was the wife agreed with me and the theater had recliner seating so we could be bored comfortably.

Even An Old Metalhead Can Learn Something

I am amazed at the number of subgenres regarding heavy metal music. Wikipedia listed 26. Yesterday, I  found one more. But first, a brief and condensed list on what I found, with bands that I like and you may know.

Glam metal – Motley Crue and Ratt

Gothic metal – Within Temptation and Evanescence

Industrial metal – Marilyn Manson and Nine Inch Nails

Neo-classical metal – Yngwie Malmsteen

Power metal – Dragonforce and Stratovarious

Progressive metal – Dream Theater, Queensryche and my personal favorite – Savatage!

Speed metal – Motorhead

Symphonic metal – Nightwish

Thrash metal – Metallica and Megadeth

Traditional metal – Black Sabbath, Iron Maiden and Judas Priest

Alternative metal –  Alice in Chains, Soundgarden and Tool. Listed under some of the subgenres, wikipedia includes derivatives. For instance, under alternative metal is funk metal – Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour and Rage Against the Machine. Also, nu metal – Disturbed, Godsmack and Korn. It’s crazy – I know.

Other subgenres and lesser known are avant-garde metal, black metal, cello metal, Christian metal, crust metal, dark metal, death metal, doom metal, extreme metal, folk metal, grindcore, latin metal, metalcore, post-metal and stoner metal.

So, what did I find that wikipedia missed? Pirate metal.

I never heard of Alestorm. They have 5 pirate-related albums with song titles like Keelhauled, Swashbuckled, and Walk the Plank.

I can find something to like in all kinds of metal and pirate metal just added to it. Hopefully, you may find a song by them to like. Unless, you hate pirates. Or rum. Or tavern wenches named Nancy

alestorm

 

 

Welcome to McFuneral’s – Please pull up.

You want fries with that? No thanks, I just want to see Grandpa.

Have you heard about  the Saginaw funeral home that offers a convenience for some mourners?  A drive-through viewing window.

The Paradise Funeral Chapel has installed a window that displays a body inside the building. Curtains over the window automatically open when a car pulls up, and mourners get three minutes to view a body. Talk about a peep show.

How convenient for mourners to be able to pull up wearing flip-flops and shorts, cranking up Lita Ford and Ozzy Osbourne singing “Close My Eyes Forever” and then on to another drive through. You don’t even have to listen to the whole sing because it’s 4:44 and you only get 3 minutes before they give you the boot so the next lazy bastard can get a turn.

Seriously, can you get any more impersonal? Instead of thinking of yourself and your very busy day, how about making time for the family of the deceased. They may need and appreciate the comfort of having their friends and family there in person.

When paying your last respects, how about actually showing respect? If you can get in a car and get to the funeral home, then get out of the car and go in the building. Offer your condolences, give a family member a hug, say a little prayer and share a story or favorite memory. Say goodbye and don’t do it through bulletproof glass.

Urban Outfitters sold a blood-spattered Kent State sweatshirt and called it “vintage”

Kent State Sweatshirt

Urban Outfitters sold a “vintage” Kent State sweatshirt that they claimed was “washed soft and perfectly broken in.” It also featured what looks like blood spatters and holes.

They have since apologized calling the shirt ‘part of our sun-faded vintage collection. The red stains are discoloration from the original shade of the shirt and the holes are from natural wear and fray.’ How are the stains discoloration if they are darker?

To me, it does not look sun-faded or vintage – more like a bloody mess. It is offensive to think that out of all the universities to choose from and all the colors to dye the shirt, they would opt for red for Kent State and call it ‘vintage’. Whoever designed it and approved it must be under 50 years old with no sense of history. They have no idea that the sight of a bloody shirt from an incident where American students were massacred might be perceived negatively.

Or do they? Is it about the almighty dollar or 129 dollars in the case of this sweatshirt? Is it about being ‘edgy’ and getting people to talk about your company. Is any publicity good publicity? I hope not.

Nikki Sixx, Gene Simmons and Depression

One is a recovering addict rocker that hopes you seek help. The other wears a dyed mop on his head and hopes you kill yourself if you’re depressed. Then, he probably hopes your family buys a KISS coffin.

                                                   Nikki-Sixx-Gene-Simmons

Recently, Gene Simmons of KISS was interviewed by Roger Catlin of Songfacts and said the following “… And for a putz, 20-year-old kid to say, ‘I’m depressed, I live in Seattle.’ Fuck you, then kill yourself.” So far, Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue has been the only one to criticize Gene over his comments on depression. I will join him.

For me, Gene Simmons has been a joke and irrelevant since 1977. Since then, he and KISS have not gotten any more money out of me and I hope there is an outrage/boycott over his disgraceful and hate-filled comments. Imagine a 20-year-old out there who is a KISS fan, reads his asinine comments and thinks to himself, “You know what? Gene is right. I should kill myself.”

I hope and pray no one listens to the Kiss member who calls himself Dr. Love for he is no doctor and he has no love (except for money) for people with the illness of depression. Just because you can’t see the scars of mental illness on the outside, don’t think that depression doesn’t destroy a person.

With the recent passing of Robin Williams (who had sought treatment for depression weeks before his death, but still decided to commit suicide), Gene needs to understand that this is an illness which can affect anyone. It is not just the average person that can suffer, but the successful and famous, too.

Gene, you’re successful (as a businessman), and your famous (as a musician – not a good one, yet famous), but you’re a lousy human being. While I wouldn’t wish this on you or anyone, I hope someone you love does not get this disease. More importantly, that they do not take your advice.

When Is A Band No Longer A Band?

So, my niece gets in touch with me the other day to ask a question. “Dad wants to know if you want to see Quiet Riot, Bulletboys and Faster Pussycat at the Paramount?” My reaction was –HELL YES!” “It sounds like a fitting musical performance that I would like to attend.” Then, I realized it wasn’t 1986. Damn!

But, it still could be a great show. I looked up who is still in each band. Original Bulletboys has 2, Faster Pussycat has 1, and Quiet Riot has 0. Only 3 out of 13 guys – wow!

Quiet Riot was formed in 1975 and Frank Banali has been with them since 1980 and somebody has to own the name of the band. But, the drummer? Just kidding. Frank’s a great drummer and has been in a quite a few bands I like. But, am I seeing Quiet Riot?

As for Faster Pussycat, there are more guys in this band from The Newlydeads which was basically L.A. Guns. Therefore, am I really seeing Faster Pussycat? I don’t think so.

Which brings us to the real reason (I am sure) my brother wants to go – Bulletboys! I still listen to their music but haven’t followed them since their 1993 release Za-Za which was so-so. But, we love the vocalist and he’s still with the band. Maybe, it’s worth the bucks. One wonders if he can still hit the notes 26 years later. You may say “Mick Jagger is still doing it and he’s 70.” To that, I would respond “Mick Jagger sounds the same because he can’t sing. He couldn’t in 1964 and he still can’t in 2014.”  Don’t get me wrong. I love the Rolling Stones and I love Mick Jagger. He may be the greatest frontman of all time and is a great songwriter but as a vocalist (admit it, would he make your top 100? Not on my list.) – he sucks.

So, why am I not going? Guns N’ Roses convinced me. How? I just saw G N’ R Live At The Hard Rock. Similar to the above bands, they are down to only 1 original member – the vocalist – Axl Rose. He can’t sing anymore and I would say at least half of the songs were lip-synced. He did such a clumsy job at it that it took away from the great musicians in the band. If you can lip-sync with replacement musicians, still call yourself a band and charge for a live performance, I’m not going.

Justice?

Have you heard of Stephanie Neiman or seen a picture of her?  Image

 

Probably not, because the media is focusing on the botched execution of her killer instead of the loss of this girl’s life. His picture is in all the papers, so no need for me to show you this four-time felon. 

It is truly disturbing that The Washington Post and in turn, my Newsday, print the heading ‘White House: Execution inhumane.’ In their eyes it may have been inhumane. In mine, it was successful. They chose to print a photo of the girl’s killer (not her though) and devoted eight paragraphs to poor Clayton Lockett and how his execution was not conducted humanely. Only one paragraph mentioned the victim – here it is in its entirety:

Lockett was convicted of shooting Stephanie Neiman, 19, and watching as two accomplices buried her alive in 1999.

The simplicity of it purposely doesn’t make him sound like a bad guy. Here’s what I dug up and I am not a reporter. Clayton Lockett and two accomplices beat her and bound her hands and covered her mouth with duct tape. After being kidnapped and driven down a dusty road, the poor girl was forced to watch as Lockett’s accomplice spent 20 minutes digging a shallow grave in a ditch beside the road. After a single shot, the gun jammed and Lockett went back to get a shotgun. She begged for her life as his accomplices laughed about how tough she was before shooting her a second time. He then ordered his accomplice to bury her, even though he was told she was still alive. That, to me, is the news and should be reflected in the article.

If you want to see what else this criminal did,  Here’s his rap sheet. The media wants us to feel sorry for him. Not I.

It was reported it took 43 minutes for him to die and that he was unconscious (lucky him!) the whole time. Something had gone wrong after all three drugs were administered. However a vein had “ruptured” and the drugs were not having the “desired” effect. The desired effect in my eyes is that he be taken out and I don’t care how – lethal injection, gas chamber, hanging, the guillotine or electric chair. His cause of death was not the lethal injection but a heart attack.

Does anyone really care if the execution was not perfect? Not I. Does anyone care that he may have suffered (even though he was unconscious)? Not I. Maybe, he should have been shot twice and buried alive.

What we should care about is the victim and her family. I care that this 19 year old’s family had to endure the last 15 years knowing her killer was alive while their loved one was dead. I can not imagine losing a loved one the way they did. If it ever happens to me, I would volunteer to inject the drugs, turn on the gas, switch on the electric chair.

I can’t help thinking about the world losing a young woman from murderous criminals, and how they didn’t care at all about making her execution swift and humane.