Review: Jurassic World

I’ve waited so long to have a reason to post this and make it relevant…

DAT FACE DOE.

DAT FACE DOE.

Thank you, Chris Pratt.

For the cinema junkies, it must’ve been a treat to see Jurassic World was in the making. And for the Hollywood hunk junkies? Well, dat face doe. ^^

The fourth installment in the Jurassic series features a whole new theme park revolving around cloned dinosaurs and, being in 2015, that means updated technologies and all of that shizz. The film stars Chris Pratt and his beautiful O face, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Goran… also known as Vincent D’Onofrio. In true Jurassic fashion, not all is as chill as it seems, and soon the park is overthrown by this giant mother of a dinosaur. Uh oh!

Just when you thought Jurassic was over... it wasn't.

Just when you thought Jurassic was over… it wasn’t.

I had the feintest memory of the previous Jurassic movies – what with being born in the year the original film was released and what not – so I came into Jurassic World with a relatively fresh idea of what to expect. What I saw was a pretty damn good movie with an exciting albeit recycled plot line and interesting, strong characters with a purpose.

Something I genuinely enjoy in later installments in a film series is a nod at the original, and Jurassic World saw a few nods to the original movie which I thoroughly enjoyed. While I won’t spoil the main plots of the film, an old friend made a surprise-or-maybe-not-so-surprise appearance and the younger generation got a glimpse of the original Jurassic Park Visitor Centre. And a Jeep. (You bought a Jeep?) These gestures to the older films were a nice touch and I thoroughly appreciated them.

The overall storyline of the film was much like the original, but being more 21st century and updated, I quite enjoyed it. I thought the special effects created a sort of realism to the dinosaurs, and my heart strings were tugged in certain areas of the movie (when you watch it, you’ll know exactly what I’m talking about). I thought there were a couple of clichés here and there, but hey, what can you do? I thought the idea of a new and improved manufactured dinosaur causing havoc all over the joint was a new, fresh way to recycle an old idea, and that was great.

One thing I do have to mention, however, may seem like a very small, trivial problem to have with a movie, but WTF was with Bryce Dallas Howard’s outfit? Like, I get it, her character is meant to be this business-no-nonsense career woman, but you could do something much better than a horrid white blouse that kept changing shades of white every shot with a horrid belt and a horrid white skirt. I had one friend comment on how the outfit was distracting her, but then I had another friend comment on it. If people are being distracted in a dinosaur action film by a woman’s wardrobe, then you know you have a problem.

Oh and I lowkey don’t even think she’s that great of an actress tbh. But whatever. She was fine in her role, I guess.

Being a Parks and Recreation fan means I’m used to seeing Pratt in a humorous role (even Star Lord wasn’t funny enough for me, God bless.) So seeing Pratt in this serious action hunk role was new to me, and I didn’t know what to expect; I was pleasantly surprised by his skill, however, and thought he fit the role of Owen Grady perfectly. Admittedly, I didn’t think he’d do well in a serious lead action role, but he proved me wrong and blew me out of the water. Soz Chris. I’ll have faith in you next time.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 
7.5/10
Casting and acting: 8.5/10
Experience: 8/10
Overall: 8/10

For fans of the original film – or to anyone who just wants to watch a good movie – I recommend you go see this one in cinemas while it’s still out. It’s definitely worth your pennies and nine times out of 10, you will enjoy it. If not… well at least you got some good popcorn out of it, if that.

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: San Andreas

The film, not the classic Grand Theft Auto game. Sorry.

If you made the same mistake as me (like referenced above) where you thought the upcoming film titled San Andreas was going to be a live-action Grand Theft Auto film, then you were sadly mistaken. Instead, we were graced with an action-packed disaster film starring Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, Carla Gugino, and that handsome bloke who played Jamie on Home And Away.

Not at all related to a certain video game series, this movie follows the events of a disastrous earthquake of monstrous proportions and the damage it causes to the west of USA. Like any other action movie, of course, there is a big hulking ironman out to rescue his family… and there’s a Kylie Minogue cameo in there as well.

No gang colours in sight. Tear.

No gang colours in sight. Tear.

I’m not too big a fan of disaster movies, and here’s why: they all follow a very similar formula, and instead of straying from it to make it fresh and unique, this film stuck to it. And it even included some of the cringeworthy clichés I really hoped they wouldn’t… but more on that later.

The plot was very basic in my sweet and humble opinion. There was a natural disaster of drastic proportions happening, and people were dying left, right and centre. Their seemingly normal and trivial lives were suddenly interrupted by this giant earthquake (and subsequent tsunami) and they had to rely on their basic survival instincts to… survive. Sounds simple, right? That’s because it was.

As I mentioned before, this movie relied on typical clichés that suit the disaster genre: a big bulking hero who has some kind of typically macho job, a seemingly clueless female lead who turns out to be more resourceful than you would expect, a near death (I won’t say who…) but they’re suddenly revived, and they even finish the movie with that line… “So… what now?” Like, come on. Oh, and the heartbroken parents are looking for their daughter. Very unoriginal.

Dwane’s acting, God bless his giant soul, leaves a little to be desired. I don’t find him to be believable, and that’s in “his” role (that being an action hero). Let’s also talk about the giant elephant of the casting as well: The Rock and Carla Gugino’s daughters looked absolutely nothing like him, but resembled Gugino. Clearly, he was not the biological father… or maybe Hollywood just need to invest in young Polynesian actors and actresses.

What I will say, however, is that Carla Gugino was fantastic in her role, as was Hugo Johnstone-Burt; if you didn’t know he played Jamie on Home and Away, then you really would’ve thought he was a British gentleman travelling at the wrong time. Gugino is timeless, and in fact, gets more beautiful with age; on top of that, her role as the panicky ex-wife was spot on, and I apllaud her. Alexandra Daddario was okay in her role, I guess; she’s so perfect looking that I was kind of distracted, to be honest.

The action/disaster scenes in the film were very believable, and it made me question my American holiday in October. (AUTHOR’S NOTE: this natural disaster affected like every city I’m going to, but you know, whatever). I really felt as if all of this was happening, and until my friend told me this was filmed in Australia, I wouldn’t have been any wiser and would’ve genuinely believed this happened in the actual destination. I guess Jamie from Home and Away should’ve been a dead giveaway of the filming location, but whatever.

Wid-o-meter
Storyline:
6/10
Casting and acting: 7/10
Experience: 6.5/10
Overall: 6.5/10

I wouldn’t recommend going out of your way to see this one, but if you have time to kill and want something fast-paced and action-packed, then San Andreas would be a good fit for you.

It just makes me wonder what a live-action GTA film would be like…

– by Noah La’ulu

Artist of the Month: Rose Falcon

If you haven’t heard the name Rose Falcon before, by the end of this article, you’re going to wish you did.

Widow’s Lure will now have a monthly column featuring an artist of my choice, whether they be a big mainstream name or someone no one has ever really heard of. These pieces may have comments from the artist themselves, or will just be me speaking about how much I adore them. Stay tuned as a wide variety of artists will be featured on my website.

The first artist to be featured: Rose Falcon.

You can tell just by looking at her that she's different, can't you? (SOURCE: Rose Falcon's official website)

You can tell just by looking at her that she’s different, can’t you? (SOURCE: Rose Falcon’s official website)

This beautiful young lady has grown up in the country music industry; her mother passed away at a young age from breast cancer and so her father was forced to raise her by himself, and the singer-songwriter did so by taking her on tours with him. It was as if country music was meant to be in her blood. As if taking a page out of her father’s book, Rose grew up to become a singer-songwriter herself; some of her songs have been performed by the likes of Faith Hill and Lady Antebellum, and judging by how big those names are, it’s natural to assume that Rose is a superstar in her own right.

Falcon’s first album entitled Rose Falcon was released in 2003 while she was the ripe age of 19. Yes. She was 19 when her first album was released. Let that sink in for a while. Fast forward a decade and in 2013 andFalcon has released two separate EP’s, first 19th Avenue, the EP followed closely by  19th Avenue, the EP Volume 2.

Oh, and did I mention she’s married to country singer Rodney Atkins? So you can jolly well call her Rose Falcon Atkins.

Talking songs specifically on both of her latest EPs, Rose has a unique sound with a deep almost husky voice that is unmistakenably hers. Her song Guitar Man – which, for the record, is my personal favourite – perfectly illustrates what it’s like to be in a relationship to a musician who’s on the road for most of the year. The song which is evidently describing her relationship with Rodney as one would assume, the deep and soulful lyrics could make even the most concrete stronghold of a person break down a tiny bit. The emotions of this song are only made that more vivid by Rose’s soulful vocals.

The chorus of this slow, sweet song is what really gets to me. Brace yourself. “He comes and he goes, he’s here, then he’s gone. Says he’s tired of the road, but the show must go on. He’s all mine for a week, then he’s gone with the band. Sings that he’s always leaving with my heart in his hands. It sure is lonely loving a guitar man.” This one is for all the young girls or guys out there who think the life of a musician’s wife/husband is glamorous because, as Falcon clearly describes in this song, it isn’t all fun and games. But, as she sings “The moment that he holds me, it’s worth all the lonesome nights. I forget the heartache when he whispers that he loves me and sings to me the sweetest lullaby,” suggests that it’s not all rainy days being the lover of a guitar man.

The most popular song from her volume one EP, Thinkin’ ‘Bout You, which has the same soothing tune that has almost become Rose’s signature sound, features a more upbeat vibe than that Guitar Man. This track tells the story about Rose and a former flame of hers; they have gone on their separate ways and have found new partners, but, for some reason, Rose cannot stop thinking about this man. “I would have thought by now these feelings would be gone. I guess my heart must have a mind all of its own“, suggests that getting over a former flame is harder than it really ought to be. This song takes on a new angle of the typical love song, where she’s obviously developed strong feelings for this man and is having trouble getting over them, even though she knows she should. Those darn feelings.

Rose’s signature sound is what really makes her stand out among all the other young fresh female faces in her genre. Her slow, relaxed and almost laid-back song is what makes her Rose Falcon, and it’s what caused her to be the very first featured Artist of the Month on Widow’s Lure.

Recommended tracks
Guitar Man from 19th Avenue, the EP
Give In To Me from 19th Avenue, the EP

Another great thing about Rose is that her music can appeal to those whose interest doesn’t lie with the country music genre. Her music is easy to listen to and I can easily recommend it to those who dig blues, jazz or even pop music. Check out her latest EPs and some of her older music. You will not regret it!

– by Noah La’ulu

Review: Fifty Shades of Grey

I will see you now, Mr. Grey.

The movie I have been waiting for what seems like forever finally came out today and I could not have been happier to see the first session at my local cinema. Fifty Shades of Grey was finally made into a movie!

Starring Jamie Dornan as Christian Grey himself and Dakota Johnson as the most boring character in the world, Anastasia Steele, the film follows the first novel of the Fifty Shades series, documenting their first meeting along with their interesting business agreement and other exciting ventures. As someone who has the entire series, as well as being a fond admirer of Mr. Grey, I had big expectations to live up to. How did the movie fare?

Surrender yourself to this film. See what I did there?

Surrender yourself to this film. See what I did there?

Well, I’d just like to say that I was not disappointed. The film did the story pretty well and the events in the novel were captured greatly; it took me back to when I was reading the novel and it was pretty much exactly how I pictured it. The problem that most movies face that are based off books are inconsistencies and staying true to the book, however I feel as if this movie captured the book pretty well with no real noticeable mistakes made.

My issue with Jamie Dornan heading into this movie was that he looked too friendly to play Christian Grey. Jamie is a handsome young gentleman who seems very approachable and charming, while Christian Grey is dark and brooding and is meant to intimidate you right down to your core. Dornan wasn’t my first choice for Christian at all. In saying that, he played his role pretty well, and I found him to be a good Christian. Sure, there’s always room for improvement but I think he took the ball and ran with it and I commend him for his performance.

Dakota Johnson, however, was quite underwhelming in her role, and I can’t tell whether it’s because her acting skills leave little to be desired, or Anastasia is that boring of a character that putting in no effort is exactly the way to go. She showed some signs of fire when playing the “cheeky Ana” but other than that, her acting did absolutely nothing for me. And she also needs to invest in some nice underwear. Those saggy whites gotta go. Girl bye.

One of the biggest talking points of this film was “how are they going to make this movie and not turn it into a porno?” Well, I think they did well in that aspect also. The sex scenes were quite steamy and there was some chemistry evident between the two main characters. The way the cameras changed and the different angles used in the sex scenes concealed everything they wanted to conceal and it was done in a tasteful way that made it less porno and more “movie that happens to have sex in it”. Some of the bits were quite surprising and even startled me, someone who admittedly has an open mind to almost everything. There was one bit where I was sitting there watching them getting at it and then suddenly there was a quick shot of Dornan’s wang, and I was like “Oh good golly, where did that come from?”

Wid-o-meter
Storyline: 7/10
Casting and acting: 6.5/10
Experience: 8/10
Overall: 7.5/10

For those who have read the novel, and for those of you who haven’t but have a curiosity about Fifty Shades, I recommend this film to be watched as soon as you have the pennies to do so. It was a good watch and I found myself crying at one point (don’t ask why). There’s always room for improvement but I wasn’t disappointed… well besides the ending, but let’s not get into that.

– by Noah La’ulu