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UNIVERSAL

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Colin Trevorrow
Cast:
Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Laura Dern
Writing Credits:
Emily Carmichael, Colin Trevorrow

Synopsis:
Four years after the destruction of Isla Nublar, Biosyn operatives attempt to track down Maisie Lockwood, while Dr. Ellie Sattler investigates a genetically engineered swarm of giant insects.

MPAA:
Rated PG-13.

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.00:1
Audio:
English DTS X
English DVS
Spanish DTS-HD HR 7.1
French DTS-HD HR 7.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French

Runtime: 147 min. (Theatrical)
161 min. (Extended)
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 8/16/2022

Bonus:
• Both Theatrical and Extended Cuts
• “Battle at Big Rock” Short Film
• “A New Breed of VFX” Featurette
• “Dinosaurs Among Us” Documentary
• Preview
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

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RELATED REVIEWS


Jurassic World Dominion [Blu-Ray] (2022)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (August 21, 2022)

After 2001’s Jurassic Park III failed to find a suitably large audience, it seemed to conclude the franchise. However, 2015’s Jurassic World acted as a mix of sequel and reboot that audiences ate up and brought new life to the series.

Though not as well received, 2018’s Fallen Kingdom continued matters on a reasonably popular note. 2022’s Dominion caps off this second trilogy.

Four years after the events of Fallen Kingdom, humans have spent that span in coexistence with dinosaurs among them. However, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) and Claire Dearing (Bryce Dallas Howard) largely stay under the radar as they act to protect Maisie Lockwood (Isabella Sermon), a cloned human.

When various dino-related incidents cause a stir, pressure rises to eliminate these creatures. However, BioSyn Genetics leader Lewis Dodgson (Campbell Scott) advocates a plan to control them, with him as the head of this.

It turns out that Dodgson’s intentions may follow a more nefarious path, and Maisie becomes a target, which forces Claire and Owen to try to rescue her. Along the way, Jurassic Park veterans Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) become part of the action as they deal with Dodgson’s other schemes.

Dominion co-writer/director Colin Trevorrow held the same reins with the 2015 Jurassic World. Though Trevorrow still worked as co-writer, JA Bayona took over for Fallen Kingdom, presumably because Trevorrow was supposed to make the third film in the Star Wars Sequel Trilogy.

The classic “creative differences” led to Trevorrow’s departure from Episode IX, and this probably accounts for the five-year gap in his directorial filmography. Given that fans seemed less enthused about Fallen Kingdom than the 2015 World, Trevorrow’s return behind the camera raised hopes that he’d end this trilogy on a positive note.

Alas, that fails to occur – or at least to become as thrilling a conclusion as one might want. Just as JJ Abrams’ presence on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker didn’t ensure a rousing finale to that series, Trevorrow can’t turn Dominion into a truly winning effort.

This becomes a pretty substantial disappointment, if just because Dominion joins the Park and World franchises in the most concise manner. For the first time since the original 1993 Park, all three of that film’s leads show up in the same place.

Malcolm acted as the main character in 1997’s Lost World, and Grant became the primary role in Park III, though Sattler showed up for a cameo there as well. The three created such an indelible impression in 1993 that it really feels like we saw them together more than just the one time.

Goldblum did pop up briefly in Fallen Kingdom. We’d not seen Neill or Dern in a Jurassic flick since 2001, though.

The sight of these three together again after nearly 30 years prompts enormous goodwill and some warm ‘n’ fuzzies for those of us who saw Park back in 1993. Because I was well into my 20s then, I can’t claim I grew up with the Park series, but I still look back fondly on the film, and Neill, Dern and Goldblum formed such good chemistry that they bolstered their roles.

Unfortunately, Dominion can’t quite figure out how to use these “legacy” characters – or the Owen/Claire couple across the World series. This often feels like two separate stories awkwardly connected together.

Actually, I can only find major fault with the movie’s second act. While the opening section doesn’t exactly soar and it feels exposition-heavy, it nonetheless manages to set up a bunch of intriguing concepts.

Prior films toyed with the notion of true human/dinosaur cohabitation, but Dominion brings this to full fruition. That alone becomes a good idea for a film.

However, after the first act sets up notions in a fairly appealing manner, Dominion essentially turns into the bifurcated experience I mentioned. The story splits fairly evenly between the Owen/Claire attempts to save Maisie and the Alan/Ellie/Ian plan to thwart Dodgson’s evil scheme.

Either of these would form a perfectly solid film on its own. However, Dominion pursues both in such clumsy ways that they don’t link well in that flawed second act.

Oh, the dual sides do come together eventually, and this brings the delightful collaboration of Park and World leads. The third act also manages a lot of good action, so these factors almost make me willing to forgive the problems in earlier segments.

But not quite, as that second act really does drag. We find ourselves stuck with too many new characters – along with an already large primary cast – and too many superfluous scenes.

I think the biggest mistake either Jurassic series made stems from the Maisie character. I guess those involved thought that a young clone would add drama and/or emotion to the story, especially since Owen and Claire become parental figures here.

However, no one goes to Jurassic films to see cloned humans. They’re about dinosaurs, and we buy into the people just to see how they deal with those prehistoric creatures.

In Fallen Kingdom, Maisie felt like an out of the blue part, especially because that movie introduced a connection to Park’s mogul John Hammond. Five films into the series, Kingdom pulled a Hammond partner out of its butt, and that seemed like a bizarre, perplexing choice.

Maisie becomes no more of a valuable addition in Dominion, especially because she really exists here as nothing more than a plot point. In Dominion, she turns into a classic MacGuffin, a story beat who motivates action but who brings little real value on her own.

I guess one could argue that Maisie helps accentuate the Owen/Claire relationship, but that doesn’t really happen. If anything, her presence plasters over any complexities in those characters, as they now seem like little more than Generic Surrogate Parents and lack the depth they enjoyed previously.

Of course, the involvement of the Park principles also diminishes the Owen/Claire situation. Because I feel so happy to see Ellie, Ian and Alan, I can’t complain too much about this, but it does feel like Claire and Owen get shunted to the side to a decent degree.

After two movies that focused largely on those roles, Owen and Claire seem like little more than semi-figureheads here. While they were never really great characters anyway, their lowered profile in Dominion means they seem borderline superfluous as anything other than the perpetrators of story beats and action.

Again, this becomes the biggest issue in the second act. Although I don’t love the Owen/Claire/Maisie dynamic in the first act, at least it seems like it might go somewhere.

Once goons abduct Maisie, though, all development stops. As mentioned, we just get Owen and Claire as generic action roles and they cease to offer much more.

As much as I like the presence of the Park leads, I must admit I think Dominion would offer a stronger film without them. If the movie simply revolved around the Owen/Claire/Maisie events, it would seem tighter and more coherent.

In addition, a Dominion that loses the World characters and sticks with our Park pals would also seem more compelling. As noted, Dominion often feels like two vaguely related films combined into one, so a version that solely covers Alan/Ellie/Ian and their attempts to thwart Dodgson would probably work.

Of course, that wouldn’t be a Jurassic World movie, so that would never happen. And those involved clearly thought they needed the hook of the return of the Park leads to boost the box office, so we wind up with this messy story.

Like I noted, Dominion does manage to fare better in its last act, mainly because a) the two franchise’s leads finally combine, and b) it mostly focuses on action and not plodding story beats. Though I lack the same emotional attachment to the World roles, I still like the sight of them with their Park counterparts, so the movie’s third act manages to work toward the project’s potential.

However, it just can’t quite overcome the problems that cropped up in the earlier segments. Shorn of high expectations, I liked Dominion more on second screening than the first time, and I think it works better than Fallen Kingdom. Nonetheless, it ends the World series on a lackluster and disappointing note.


The Disc Grades: Picture B+/ Audio A/ Bonus C+

Jurassic World Dominion appears in an aspect ratio of 2.00:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. The image offered the expected high quality affair.

Overall sharpness appeared solid. A few slightly soft shots materialized along the way, but they stayed minor and negligible.

The image lacked shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes failed to mar the presentation. I also didn’t see any print flaws.

Hello, orange/amber and teal! Dominion emphasized the modern palette, and the results seemed fine. The colors didn’t overcome their stylistic restrictions, but they appeared appropriate.

Blacks were deep and dark, while shadows seemed smooth and clear. The movie gave us a fairly strong transfer.

I also felt pleased with the immersive DTS-HD X soundtrack of Dominion, as the audio accentuated the visuals well. Downconverted to DTS-HD MA 7.1, the audio mixed creepy atmosphere with a mix of jolts and “dinosaur moments” from the sides/rear.

In the front, the track showed good stereo music and presented various elements in a logical and natural manner. The elements blended neatly and created a seamless sense of the environment. From the back, aggressive violent components and various dinosaurs added kick to the proceedings and made the mix more involving.

Audio quality seemed positive. Dialogue consistently appeared natural and crisp, with no edginess or intelligibility issues on display.

Music was clear and dynamic. The score seemed broadly reproduced and complemented the mix nicely.

Effects always were distinctive and concise, and the mix boasted fine clarity for the louder moments. Bass response always seemed rich and firm. This became a pretty terrific track.

The disc comes with both the film’s theatrical cut (2:26:57) as well as an Extended Edition (2:40:40). How do the two differ?

The biggest single change comes from a three-minute, 20-second prologue that goes back millions of years to show dinosaurs in their original habitat. This allows us to view the mosquito that sampled the blood of a T Rex.

This leads into a modern-day sequence in which we see hunters track and try to take down a creature. This then moves a scene in which an aquatic dino attacks a fishing boat until after we see a news report.

From there the two remain identical until Extended hits about 14:15, at which point Owen and friends meet some poachers. This goes for about two minutes, and then soon thereafter, we see minor extensions to the scene in which Maisie goes into town.

Not long after this we see hunters as they try to kill raptors. Theatrical hints at this, as it shows Owen’s reaction to the gunfire, but it doesn’t show the actual hunters.

The campfire discussion of Maisie’s development gets a minor extension. The sequence in which Ellie investigates the giant locust receives another 50 seconds of screen time.

Alan’s introduction also gets a bit more time, as he deals with some young women unimpressed by dinosaurs. The opening meeting between Sattler and Grant also receives a smidgen more space.

That gets us to around 34 minutes into Extended, at which point we’ve seen about eight minutes of the added 14 minutes. Nothing changes until about 58:30, at which time Kayla sells a small dino to a dude who uses the critter in a cockfighting-type situation.

Expect a few seconds of extra violence as Owen confronts the poacher around 1:04:20. Minor slivers of added mayhem come from the subject chase as well, though none of these last more than a couple seconds each.

At 1:13:31, we see Owen and Claire check on each other after their escape, and this goes about 40 seconds. The two versions stay identical until Extended gets to 1:40:32, at which time we see the “Hyperloop” vehicle with Ellie/Alan/Maisie stop and leave them in the amber mine in an elongated bit.

Their entrance to this domain spans about 75 seconds and reorganizes shots that depict Dodgson’s involvement. 1:48:10 starts a two and a half minute piece in which Dodgson deletes files for nefarious motives, and Ramsay attempts – unsuccessfully – to get him to do the right thing.

When the flaming locusts escape, we see a tad more of their departure. And that becomes the last change made for Extended, as the rest of the film matches Theatrical.

Does one version work better than the other? Not really.

That doesn’t mean I don’t like some of the additions. In particular, I feel happy to see more of the characters from Park.

Otherwise, I can’t find much here that seems beneficial, and some of the additions create narrative problems. For example, a reference Owen makes to the poacher leader recognizing him makes no sense in Extended since we already saw the two interact.

The prehistoric prologue feels entirely superfluous. We don’t need to see a mosquito suck blood from a dino, as we know that concept already.

At 147 minutes, Theatrical already offered the longest Jurassic film to date – and by nearly 20 minutes. None of its predecessors went past the 129 minutes of Lost World.

As such, the Theatrical Dominion already stretched audience patience, so an extra 14 minutes seems like a difficult proposition. If the Extended managed to bring consistent value to the added bits, I could recommend it, but a lot of this footage feels fairly gratuitous.

I feel happy that we get the option to watch the Extended cut. However, even with its flaws, I’d take Theatrical instead, just because it feels tighter.

A new short film called Battle at Black Rock runs 10 minutes, 17 seconds. It shows a family threatened by dinos while on a camping trip.

“Rock” concentrates almost entirely on action, with only minimal story/character material. That makes it entertaining enough but fairly superficial. It appears to exist mainly as a teaser for Dominion, though, so its lack of real depth becomes less of an issue in that context.

A featurette called A New Breed of VFX lasts six minutes, 16 seconds. It brings info from writer/director Colin Treverrow, VFX supervisor David Vickery, CG supervisors Steve Hardy and Steve Ellis, digital artist lead Sally Wilson, digital artist supervisor Richard Bentley, digital artist Jamie Haydock, and actors Laura Dern, Bryce Dallas Howard and Chris Pratt.

Unsurprisingly, “Breed” examines creature design and various effects. The program mixes useful insights and promotional hyperbole, though the former dominates.

Dinosaurs Among Us breaks into five parts and spans a total of 47 minutes, nine seconds. Across these segments, we hear from Trevorrow, Pratt, Howard, Dern, Vickery, Hardy, producers Patrick Crowley and Frank Marshall, co-writer Emily Carmichael, production designer Kevin Jenkins, set decorator Richard Roberts, puppet captain Derek Arnold, stunt coordinator Ben Cooke, 2nd unit VFX supervisor Michael Ellis, senior previs supervisor Pawl Fulker, stunt double Alistair Whitton, camera bike stunt driver Regis Harrington III, live action dinosaurs supervisor John Nolan, creature effects HOD painter Henrik Svensson, creature effects senior fabricator Fiona Barnes, special effects senior technician Chris Clarke, special effects senior floor manager Ian Corbould, VFX producer Ann Podlozny, paleontology consultant Steve Brusatte, and actors Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, DeWanda Wise, Scott Haze, Dichen Lachman, Campbell Scott, Mamoudou Athie, Isabella Sermon, and BD Wong.

The documentary looks at the 1993 film and the mix of World and Park characters, sets and locations, creature design and execution, stunts and action, and the end of the World trilogy.

Topics related to effects and the creation of the movie’s dinos heavily dominate “Among”, which becomes a positive and a negative. On one hand, we get a nice look at those domains.

However, I’d like a broader view of the production than little more than these technical domains. “Among” offers some good info – and a lot of cool shots from the set – but a more comprehensive program would fare better.

The disc opens with an ad for Universal Parks. No trailer for Dominion appears here.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of the film. It includes Battle at Big Rock but lacks the rest of the extras, and it also only provides the movie’s theatrical cut.

With Dominion, the Jurassic World series ends with a modest thud. While not a bad movie, it fails to deliver the thrills and excitement one would expect. The Blu-ray brings good picture, excellent audio and a decent smattering of supplements. If/when we get a new Jurassic series, I hope it works better than the second and third parts of the World trilogy.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2.6666 Stars Number of Votes: 3
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Review Archive:  # | A-C | D-F | G-I | J-L | M-O | P-R | S-U | V-Z | Viewer Ratings | Main