Movie Review: Jurassic World

Image courtesy- screenrant.com

We’re a pro-dino family. The more teeth, the better. The bigger, the better. So it was a forgone conclusion that we not only had to watch this movie but had to appreciate things about it. But all dino bias aside here’s what’s good about it…

The story couldn’t have any entirely new twist in it because the whole damn premise is about an amusement park which has dinos running amok. The more time goes by they (the film makers) just find ways to make you jump more in your seats. Be as that may, they keep the interest levels up with the new dinos that they dig up (excuse the pun) and the ways that they wreak havoc on the sadly unsuspecting populace.

Spoiler alert…go no further if you wish to see the movie and not have the predictable plot laid out bare courtesy wikipedia.

Chris Pratt is good. He’s better than what he was in Guardians of The Galaxy and that’s saying something. Gone is the man from Parks and Recreation. He doesn’t go OTT with his ex-Navy man avatar and instead does what he’s supposed to as a wrangler/trainers of the velociraptors on Isla Nublar.

The rest of the cast basically function as props but one wonders why Vincent D’Onofrio takes on these negatives roles so often these days. Possibly all those years of Law&Order made him want to have fun as the bad guy for a change?

Irrfan Khan has no business being in a dino movie. He’s an actor of no little talent and he’s deadpan in the worst possible way and very little screen presence IMHO. He dies soon enough and carries very little weight even among actors who typically don’t take up dramatic roles much.

The hero of the movie and totally living up to his name is the T-Rex. He is the king and he IS the Indominus Rex more than the test-tube-petri-dish-hybrid dino that the mad scientists have unleashed in the park.

But this movie gets a 1&1/2 thumbs up for it’s entertainment value and because no one quite does it like Spielberg…even as a producer.

Worth 2 watches but only in the movie theater…it loses its charm on the smaller screen.

There’s A Dinosaur In My Bra!

No. I’m not high. Yes, I wish I was. And yes, I have a child. Ergo the weird things ending up where they ideally ought not to.

Sitting down and finding a clothes pin jammed up in your butt crack is passe. Stepping on Batman and theoretically emasculating him when you get up to pee at 4 in the morning is also so-been-there-done-that.

Now, having a wee serpent stare at you balefully while you rub the sleep out of your eyes and cope with an imminent heart attack is the new definition of normal. And while your nervous system gets even more nervouser and tells you to flee, the mother part of your brain tries to calm it down by saying, “There’s a 5-year old on the loose. That’s all.”

Having kids is honestly an adventure. And for quite a while, you’re going in blind. It’s a war on some days but for the most part it IS fun. They can wake up one morning and tell you they want to see stingrays and whale sharks (making you think you have a mini-Animal Planeteer on your hands and feeling good that the boy is growing up) and by evening on the same day they are watching the television upside down because apparently Pink Panther looks better that way.

And that’s what I’m going to tell myself while I fish out the mini-extinct lizard from my cups and set it down carefully next to the Triceratops, the hotwheels car and the Batman who has his head on backwards.

Never a dull moment!

Parenting Chronicles

We landed up at my parents’ place for a month (poor them) a few days ago. This was preceded by a mini family vacation to the Northern part of India, a nice, fun wedding, loads of pictures (no surprises there) and some amount of barfing- MLM.

But that’s not the crux of this post. I had another REALIZATION. I write it in caps since it’s no less than an epiphany and one I’ll need to heed in order to make things come together for me at a personal level and my child and the memories we can make together while he grows up and we try to be good parents.

A lot of children are adaptable. Flexible. A lot of kids are rather inflexible and have adjustment issues. My child falls rather squarely in the middle. He adapts and adjusts to brand new situations depending upon his comfort levels and a certain amount of identification with the issue. I guess he looks for that little spark of familiarity and then goes about his own way of learning something.

We had taken a trip to a lovely little city up in the hills, Shimla, and this child was fairly bored out of his skull. Now is it fair to want a proper break for Red and I? Yes! Is it fair to want to expose our child to new experiences? Yes! If it fair if he doesn’t take to them and wants his comfort food wherever we go and be a baby about being carried about and generally being a poopyhead? Sadly…yes. Kinda at least.

Forget the part about kids being creatures of habits. It’s not always about unleashing kids on a theme park that can ensure a successful holiday but taking them to places which require long periods of travel- I defy any parent of kids above 2 to tell me the last time their kid sat calmly on a road trip that extended beyond 2 hours and didn’t fidget or go down the “are we there yet” road!

My child can quite easily let go the gadgets. He sees me taking pictures and wants to emulate. Does a fairly decent job. Hands don’t shake too much. Pictures aren’t too hazy either. But given that it’s an expensive gadget and one that could take a tumble from small little paws, I put aside my dreams of him being a photography prodigy and become the kind of mother who lets him take one picture for his contentment and then promptly repos the camera for good. Well until next time anyway.

He ate what was put in front of him but only if it was familiar. He didn’t care much for the crowd at the events preceding the actual wedding or for the wedding itself. Totally understandable. We lugged around the last love of his life, an inflatable, nearly 4 ft tall T-Rex up and down hilly roads because he hadn’t been able to bring himself to stay away from Mr.Dinosaur. Again understandable. Not appreciated but you can tell when a kid’s in love.

But this holiday was so much more about me and what Red and I wanted to do that we kind of factored in our enjoyment and just brought him along gadgets in tow and thought he’d be able to wing it. At nearly 5 it’s not always viable and we should have known better. The wedding possibly, wasn’t something we could’ve avoided but everywhere else we took him that was aimed at his amusement, he enjoyed. Thoroughly. The boating, spotting ducks, chasing monkeys…all are aces in a child’s book of Fun Things To Do During Summer Vacations.

Sitting still and behaving while his mother chomps down momos in a tiny little restaurant wasn’t something that was designed to please him.

At while at my parents’ I find him bratty and trying on and off but he’s more relaxed. No more travelling to and fro from one place to the other. No more slathering of sunscreen and having caps jammed on his head or posing for pictures near places he doesn’t know, doesn’t care about and sure and hell won’t remember.

He wanted his Play Doh. Wanted to recreate the situations he saw in his cartoons and play with this dinosaur, swing, slide, jump, hop and have his everyday life. The interlude of a family holiday that took him from the plains to the hills and back again in the midst of unknown people whom he doesn’t know; did nothing for him at all.

But that being said, it was good on multiple levels for Red and I and next year we’ll try again but possibly keep it to a place that has more activities designed towards holding the attraction of a little boy. Because let’s be honest, if seeing fish swimming around is what gives him happiness, it’ll be sensible (and that much less stressful) to take him to a park with a pond, or a zoo rather than visit a world-famous pilgrimage place that boasts of a pool of water no child should get near, dip his fingers in or even peer into.

That kind of wasn’t fair. Of them that made the rules or us who made him try to follow it.

Summer holidays are what bring out the kid in everyone…now he’ll get a chance to do exactly what he’s meant to do. Because at the end of the day what a kid really wants is just a dinosaur to play with, isn’t it?

I just hope the rest of us survive till June when his school reopens 🙂

The Wild Kingdom…Right At Home!

I have ALWAYS wanted to go to the Serengeti. Snorkel in the clear blue waters of atolls in Maldives. Scuba dive and even be inside a shark cage and see makos and great whites glide by. I’d probably give up the ghost right there if such an opportunity presented itself, truth be told, but one has dreams. The whackier, the better methinks. Prosaic dreams can be realized but those elusive, funky, oddball ones make the bucket lists more interesting and keep one gunning for more.

But seeing that I’m a SAHM and will be one for some more time in the foreseeable future, an idea of embracing wildlife starts and ends with my kid. And occasionally my husband.

But my child has a kind heart. He loves to thrill his mother. Give her opportunities to flex the unused muscles her less than fit body and get her adrenaline rush at the same time. If I can’t go to the heart of Africa, then Africa will come to ME! Giving Mohammed and the mountain some stiff competition at the same time.

At any given day I can fully expect to step on a beluga whale while getting down from the bed. Roll over and find half of a giraffe staring at me with one beady eye. If you thought a whole antelope was fun, imagine half an antelope with one horn sticking up from its head and daring you to come and make it whole again.

Everyday, inane, prosaic activities get their dose of adrenaline as well! A hammerhead lurks in the waters of the washing machine, unseen, unknown. The mighty African rhino pokes your rump when you sit down on the couch and don’t get me started on the dinos with their claws, sharp teeth and spikes that jump out at you from the closets, trip you up while you go to take your bath and the great white which secrets itself away in your handbag, just waiting for those fingers to dangle above its jaws while you grope for the lip balm.

Talk about living on the edge! I guess the everyday urban life is no less fierce than a jungle with all these creatures roaming, swimming, slithering in my house. Who needs spelunking or bungee jumping for that hit of adrenaline? It’s a jungle out here, every single day.

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

Image courtesy-http://amarjeetsingh7.blogspot.in/2012/10/10-things-to-do-before-i-die.html

I Know Tedaktal

Doesn’t make any sense at all? Well this is such a spelling that even a spell check might not help. So lemme reveal the actual word behind the mangled one- Pterodactyl. Whoo! that’s a doozy isn’t it? Given that it’s not even spelt the way it’s pronounced.

Anyhoo MLM’s learning about dinosaurs at school and is QUITE pleased about the whole thing. We watched Ice Age: The Dawn of the Dinosaurs with more enthusiasm and understanding than ever before and he pointed out a Tedaktal to me. Only because they were showing a scene where a pterodactyl was flying about that I was able to follow him.

But I also had the most informative discussion with him on the way back from school. It started out like this:

Me: What did you do today? Had fun?

MLM: Yes. I saw a Tegosaurus.

Me: You DID? WHERE?

MLM: Skoool!!

Me: What did it do?

Me: It eat plaaants.

Me: Ok…what other kinds of dinosaurs does your school have?

MLM: Taiserotops!

Me: A Triceratops?

MLM: YES! Taiserotops.

Me: What does it do?

MLM: Eat plaants!

Me: What else?

MLM: Me T-Rex.

Me: Really?

MLM: Yes… T-Rex eat ice cream, chocolate…(fades into mumbles since mouth is busy chewing).

Me: Shall we go home and watch the dinosaur CD?

MLM: YESSSSS!

Me: Oh crap…what have I done?

MLM: let’s go home, let’s go home, let’s go home ( into infinity)