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Category: Quickshot Reviews

Quickshot Reviews: Jurassic Park

Despite the themes of evolution and primacy of nature over man, Jurassic Park stands as one of the iconic defining films of a generation. As it happens, it also has some oddly prescient discussion of animal theme parks and the ethics of genetic modification. Both a rollicking story with tons of action and an incredible soundtrack, AND a story that quietly and unashamedly faces deeper questions and concepts.

Concerns to be aware of include a complete adoption of evolution as confirmed fact along with the millions of years dialogue and terrifying dinosaurs. Multiple characters are killed and children are in danger at a number of points. Minor language, no sexual content warnings.

9.5/10 stars, masterful production that easily stands up to the test of time. Fantastic themes of family and responsibility, with insightful discussion on topics like ethics of animal theme parks, extinction, cloning, and genetic modification.  Not for the faint of heart, dinosaurs are rightfully terrifying.

The soundtrack is honestly beyond incredible in my eyes. There is a brilliant repetition of the main theme of wonder and joy, but shaded by the moods and thoughts of the story. The soundtrack themes are definitely in my top 5 soundtracks of all time.

Story-wise Jurassic Park ties together a fairly cohesive story that deals with dinosaurs at every turn, and yet the story is not a Dino story. I would argue that the story just happens to be set in this Dinosaur Theme Park, the real tale is a story of humans facing the unknown on several levels including family and children, nature both archaic and modern, and finally greed and human ego.

For more information and discussion, listen to the podcast episode below.

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Quickshot Reviews the MCU: Iron Man 1 (2008)

Starring Robert Downey Junior in the inaugural movie that would create the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Iron Man set the standard for the modern understanding of Superhero movies. Hands down one of my favorite movies from the period, this is a complicated film with a lot of ups and downs.

8/10 stars

Content issues in the first 20 minutes with a pair of playboy examples (lasting under 30 seconds) containing mild sensuality and a hot and heavy make out scene, and improper humor throughout.

Content warning and rating

Few things are quite as thrilling for my technology loving soul as watching Tony Stark rock the Iron Man armor for the first time on the big screen. I grew up reading my mom’s comic books and watching various cartoons, so seeing the Armor for the first time was brilliant. Setting aside the setup scenes to show where Tony Stark begins as a character, aka a playboy jerk, this movie recaptured the essence of what a superhero could be in the modern consciousness.

With the understanding going in that Tony Stark begins as a self-absorbed jerk and an arrogant playboy, and that it will take three full movies to close his first arc, this is a fantastic film. The music is nothing special, but the CGI visuals are stunning.

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Quickshot Reviews: Blue Bloods

If ever a cop drama was written by people with hearts and souls, Blue Bloods would be the result. Starring the one and only Tom Selleck of Magnum P.I. fame as New York City Police Commissioner Frank Reagan, Blue Bloods takes a beautiful look at the world of NYC through the eyes of a family of police officers and lawyers. While dealing with the regrettable results and impacts of sin in the world, the Reagan family leans on their faith in God and on each other to find their way in a world tinted grey and confusing.

Five Shields out of Five. Recommended age: 10 and up, with the understanding that you will need to discuss sin and crime with your younger watchers.

Cop dramas are a hard genre to watch in many cases. Blood, death, prominent displays of the impact of sin as seen through the eye of the magistrate; all lead to a very emotionally fraught and often shocking show to watch. Blue Bloods rises above the genre by focusing on a family of Irish cops who fight crime and defend the weak, then join each other at the family dinner table on Sunday and pray together on screen. And unlike most modern depictions of Christianity, the Reagan family faith is presented not as hypocrisy or a goody-goody facade, but rather as sincerely held belief and moral comfort that guides their actions.

There are depictions of traumatic events, as well as deaths and shootings on screen, which is to be expected when watching a show about cops. However, foul language is kept to a minimum, far less than one might expect from the Irish cop stereotype. Also, there is very little crude and vulgar content, occasionally hinted at by characters but no on-screen nudity or other x rated material in the season and a half that I have deeply enjoyed over the last two weeks.

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