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Movie Preview: Max and Jurassic World

September 11, 2015

written by Brian Shesko

Our Outdoor Movie Night selections for Friday, September 11 are this year’s mega-ultra-Indominus-Rex of a blockbuster, Jurassic World, and a real dog lover’s treat of a movie, Max.

First up will be Jurassic World, which sits third on the list of highest grossing movies of all time, behind only Titanic and Avatar. Surprised? If so, perhaps you have underestimated the power of nostalgia. But man, over a billion and half dollars is a lot of nostalgia. How many movies, though, give fans the warm memories of Jurassic Park? Maybe the most surprising thing is that it took 14 years for a reboot/sequel. Jurassic World is very much in line with the original movie, but, as other reviewers have pointed out, it is basically a repackaging of the original with a couple, bigger dinosaurs. So it’s kind of like going back to a theme park you haven’t been to in a long time and everything is the same except one, big rollercoaster. Could it have been better? Sure. We agree with reviewer Sean Larsen, who said that Jurassic World had an opportunity to make a bigger statement about, well, something. But even if it’s a theme park with one, big rollercoaster, it’s still worth it for that one, big rollercoaster. We also agree with reviewer Matthew Toomey, who said that “Jurassic World is worth seeing for the pure spectacle.” The effects are everything you want in a popcorn blockbuster, Chris Pratt is always awesome, and if nothing else, we get a Godzilla-like reminder that there are limits to scientific pursuits and to what humans can and can’t control.

Second, you’ll get Max, a family-friendly, but very perilous, tug on your heartstrings. It’s basically a story about a boy and his dog, so for all of you dog lovers planning to attend, you’ll probably want to bring at least a travel pack of tissues. Max is a Belgian Malinois, a shepherd breed, used often in police and, as is the case in this movie, military service. A family tragedy leaves Justin, played by actor Josh Wiggins, as the only person who can care for Max. This eventually leads to various difficulty and danger, including kids getting tangled up with weapons-smugglers in their small town. Is it corny? Yeah, probably. And it is true that the critical reviews for the movie are not great. But they are basically opposite of the user reviews, and for a movie like this, you’ll get exactly the kinds touching moments you expect from a story about kids and their dogs. But to go a bit deeper, actress Lauren Graham (who plays Pamela in the movie) says, Max is ultimately about “tough things that happen to families, and then, how do you put the pieces back together.” 

It’s a gorgeous night for an Outdoor Movie Night. It’s fun and it’s free, thanks to your friends at Student Activities.