When you look at the premise for a film like The Whale, one can only imagine how this premise could be difficult to pull off successfully. In the hands of a filmmaker like Darren Aronofsky, much suspicions could be raised, but he manages to pull off what might be his most hopeful film thus far. Perhaps that’s not to say he doesn’t find himself potentially dragging his viewers back into a territory of simple misery porn when the central focus is Brendan Fraser’s character and his deathly obesity, yet the case being presented is far more thoughtful. And like Requiem for a Dream was for many, The Whale can be tough – but when Darren Aronofsky is at his best, he shows himself to be a wholly thoughtful filmmaker. This is where I find The Whale lands.
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In the twenty five years since its release, Jurassic Park has still remained a staple for 1990’s cinema because of its innovative visual effects and to this day, it’s astonishing that it still happens to look every bit as beautiful as it does. But as the franchise had only grown to become as big as it did, the meaning behind Crichton’s original creation had slowly been fading away. Surely enough, it’s hard to deny that the original Jurassic Park still remains a spectacle for the eyes because of what it had taken in order to make you truly believe that you were seeing actual dinosaurs on the screen through the film’s innovative use of both computer-generated imagery and animatronics. But there comes a point to which one can only get too caught up by the image of the spectacle that Jurassic Park had set into place and Jurassic World only emphasizes that danger all the more, because it cynically exploits that nostalgia one would have had for the original film without ever finding its own way to carry itself through. It cynically boils down what Crichton would have wanted to say about the eventual spectacle of nature’s own ways only to what audiences would buy in as “dumb fun,” and to me, that never felt right – it just felt ugly.
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