Monday, June 29, 2015


Ah, how the imagination can just expand its wings and take flight! No encouragement necessary… it leaves all sense of reality behind and it can take you anyplace you want to go… be anyone you want to be! It doesn’t cost a thing, you can stay for as long as you would like and you can use your annual passport for unlimited fun and exploration!
Summer 2015 is in full effect… pounding us with massive waves of heat! Heat is not the only thing the general public is being pummeled with as we are also receiving a relentless weekly dose of sweltering summer films! The scorching releases are definitely upon us and the biggest and fastest trail- blazer this early in the game is not THE AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON… but JURASSIC WORLD!
Actual ad from MARVEL's congrats to UNIVERSAL
Wait a minute… JURASSIC WORLD?!? It could have arguably been said that the film would churn a nice bit o’ cash… it has the name brand and a box office reputation to live by, so why not? A film, to which some might say, is a ‘tired’ franchise that might have worn out its welcome (and possible fresh ideas) having followed in the T-Rex- sized footsteps of the colossal 1993 blockbuster JURASSIC PARK directed by Steven Spielberg. 
The recent numbers, however, are staggeringly real! Let’s visit those for a moment… JURASSIC WORLD was released on June 12th, 2015. Domestically (within the United States), the film pulled an unbelievable total of $204.6 million dollars and another $307.2 million Internationally. That combined figure, for an opening weekend, brings in the tallies at $511.8 million globally! It also sets a record for the largest worldwide opening weekend. As of June 28, 2013,the film becomes the fastest-grossing film to date... now totaling in aw hopping $1.3 billion worldwide!
It would seem as if every living human soul is out to see this film with their own intentions in place… curiosity, skepticism, intrigue or simply the love of the franchise or even just to see big CGI (computer- graphic illustrated) dinosaurs wreak havoc on the lesser! You know that ‘imagination’ thing I was talking about in that first paragraph? I was sitting in the theater, 3D glasses on, watching and admiring the film for everything it was… when it hit me… what if JURASSIC WORLD was a real place? Who would go? How much would it cost to get in? How much money would I need to plan my trip? So I propose the fantasy role- play option... let’s pull out our paycheck stubs, our wallets and a bit of that ol’ imagination and LET’S VACATION AT JURASSIC WORLD (before it went to Hell, of course!)
Sir Attenborough as Hammond
Billionaire visionary John Hammond (Sir. Richard Attenborough) laid out the blueprints for his dino- themed JURASSIC PARK in 1993, only to have been met with catastrophic results. Now, twenty- two years later, on the remote island of Isla Nublar off the coast of Costa Rica, the park is now open to the public! Re-named as JURASSIC WORLD, the dino- themed family vacation spot has now been open for a decade and visitors want bigger and badder dinosaurs! To help boost attendance, the Jurassic scientists heard the pleas and concocted a mixed- bag of dino DNA to create the largest, smartest and most menacing creature to roam the grounds: the Indominus Rex
With her two nephews, Gray (Ty Simkins) and Zach (Nick Robinson) coming to the park for the first time, Operations Manager Claire Dearing (Dallas Bryce Howard, daughter of Ron Howard) has her hands full running the park with no time for social interacting. As their Aunt, she gives the boys VIP passes for all- access throughout the resort to keep occupied with.
Irrfan Khan as Simon Masrani
At Hammond’s passing, the responsibilities to continue the vision of the park were willed onto fellow billionaire and friend, Simon Masrani (Irrfan Khan), who happily makes the dream a reality! Flying in by helicopter, Masrani arrives to personally evaluate the Indominus Rex and her habitat before preparing her first public appearance soon. After some scrutiny and uncertainty, he requests that Claire contact the park’s Velociraptor trainer, Owen Grady (Chris Pratt), who seems to have a knack about dino- behavior.

(l) Pratt as Owen and (r) Howard as Claire
Owen arrives to the Indominus Rex’s compound and realizes that its surroundings and lack of interaction has geared her nurturing in the wrong direction! She is getting too smart for her containment and successfully escapes her quarters. Questions flair as to how to best contain her before she makes it to the main center where visitors are enjoying their day! Being the first genetically- created dinosaur of its kind causes many open- ended inquiries to what she is capable of doing! It is up to Claire and Owen to think faster than its prey before the day’s visitors become the hunted!
Before we begin our Imagin-o-trip, let’s begin twenty- two years ago to establish events leading to the present. It is the year 1993 and we are the midst of one of the worst decades for music! (That can be argued, but anything past the 80’s went to crap, in my book!) Analog phones are all the rage, it is a world of no texting, I-phones or tablets, no X-Box, no Facebook or Twitter… remember simpler times? Yeah, those were the days. Suddenly, news breaks and begins to circulate of a disturbance occurring in North America somewhere… did they say Costa Rica? A Walt Disney- like entrepreneur named John Hammond has created a theme park after investing some large sums of cash into an experimentation of sorts that went wrong… the news is fuzzy and not specific. Maybe someone is investing large sums of cash to keep things on the hush… but why? What could they have possibly cooked up over there to cause such a ruckus?
The alternate timeline would have us, the reader; live in the world inhabited by those in the films JURASSIC PARK, THE LOST WORLD, JURASSIC PARK III and JURASSIC WORLD. This is a fantasy role- play exercise, so don’t get all technical with details… this is for funnsies! Now, where were we…
T-Rex in San Diego from THE LOST WORLD
Fast- forward to 1997 and we, the reader, know of events that occurred in THE LOST WORLD, what with a T-Rex terrorizing San Diego, CA for crying out loud! Then there are the lesser- known events that occurred in JURASSIC PARK III. Obviously, the general public has learned to forgive and forget (?) actual casualties and damages that have ensued between the stretch of films and are impatiently ready to see and experience the newly- named dino- themed JURASSIC WORLD! What gluttons for punishment! I mean, we know what we know because of news leaks and the fact that both Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) wrote books about their personal encounters within JURASSIC PARK… (Again, suspending reality…suspending reality…)
Brothers (l) Zach and  (r) Grey
According to the film, WORLD had been opened for about a decade… putting its potential Grand Opening somewhere in 2004. The film opens in a wintery scene where brothers Gray and Zach are preparing to leave for the airport to visit Aunt Claire. So let’s say the time of year is winter of 2014… agreed? Why don’t we plan (planned, since we are talking past-tensed winter of 2014) our trip for what would have been September- October of 2014… right before disaster hits! Follow along with me here. I know this past- tensed talk can be a little confusing but we want to go to JURASSIC WORLD before the Indominus Rex disaster erupted! If you can’t follow along, feel free at any time to hop into a DeLeorean and go back to make the time line match!… moving along.
So, unbeknownst to us, the traveler, we are looking to scrounge our pennies for this once- in-a-lifetime opportunity! One can go onto the Internet and see clips of the shows and exhibits on YouTube, read reviews on Trip Advisor and plan your entire vacation around Expedia! Let’s face it; I plan on milking this trip for everything I can, since this vacation is not as economically friendly like maybe visiting one of the many theme parks in and around Los Angeles! Even at best, I cringe at the idea of having to pay upwards of $95 dollars for admission… this trip is gonna break me!
I am only about two hours away from Los Angeles, CA and I can fly out of LAX, so I will depart there. Investigating flight costs and airports in and around the Costa Rica terrain, I realize that planes do not land there because it is an island. In WORLD, visitors are ferried from the airport docks to their location on its ocean. The capital of Costa Rica is San Jose and flights arrive and depart from that airport, so looking at a decent airline, a round- trip ticket would cost approximately $1,081 with stops or First Cabin starting at $2,100. Air travel can be expensive, so this comes as no surprise. Reservation is confirmed and I am set to depart on Friday in September with a scheduled returned flight for Monday. Why September? I will take every degree of coolness I can take, but we are traveling to North America. In JURASSIC WORLD, we see tourists dressed in the coolest of casual attires, fanning themselves and buying frosty beverages… it will be hot, regardless! Sigh!
Basing the daily costs on what one can easily spend on food alone at a typical theme park is a small fortune in itself! I try not to eat the little tempting morsels that beg for your consumption! Those items can add up to astronomical totals and I would much rather concentrate my dollars on a sit- down meal at an establishment instead of gnawing at a $10 turkey leg! I also wonder what kind of snacks JURASSIC WORLD would offer and the goofy, dino- related names they would brand them with? Instead of turkey legs to feast on, would it be in poor taste if they called them pterodactyl legs? A T-Rex- sized meal replaces the average super- sized request? I am probably looking at about $35- $50 for a decent meal and drink at a one- shot deal. Multiply that by your optional breakfast and dinner selections as well… wait a minute, are those raptor eggs being served alongside my sausage patties?
The combination of Costa Rica and its newly- found tourist attraction of JURASSIC WORLD definitely has a hold on the food industry and the same would be said for lodging options!  The island is isolated and not necessarily open for typical tourist exploration. Name brand hotels have set up a comfortable place to stay… thank you for being so considerate, fellas! Having recently been employed through the Hospitality industry, it is a known fact that prices can be based on location, location, location! You had a five- star resort overlooking the grand JURASSIC WORLD, then it would be safe to say that you are looking to pay anywhere between $250- $300 for a basic King room… don’t expect a view! If available, possible upgraded options would now run you anything between $500- $700. This would also depend on what side of the hotel you would want to be facing… something facing the Resort, maybe? Let’s not ever talk numbers during their high season!
Director's tribute to the late, great STAN WINSTON
What would it cost to go into a place like JURASSIC WORLD? The park looks to be extremely well equipped with exhibits, rides, attractions and a City Walk filled with shops and a food court (note: a steakhouse appears in the film aptly named WINSTON’S in tribute to the departed Special Effects Make- Up artist Stan Winston (TERMINATOR, PREDATOR) who created the dinosaur effects in the original JURASSIC PARK). The day- to-day operation would have to be compared to running a larger- sized Disney Resort. JURASSIC WORLD’s annual operational cost would have to be in the billions! One must consider the construction and containments needing to meet very specific requirements and safety regulations. You also need to keep account of pay rolling security, workers, scientists, lab operators, researchers, trainers… $ $ $ is all I can see before my eyes! So, the bottom line… what would it cost? Hammond’s vision was that he wanted to keep it affordable so that everyone can come and enjoy the PARK for what it had to offer. Would park’s current owner, Simon Masrani respect the wishes passed on to him? I believe the answer is yes. Masrani, throughout the film, clearly states that he is not worried about numbers but rather asking if the guests are having a good time.
JURASSIC WORLD’s admission price would definitely not be the now- standardized $95 for an adult to enter a theme park… no, no, no. I think we are probably looking at about a $1,000 ticket… wouldn’t you think? This is a very unique opportunity and the price needs to fit the product offered! But that figure can also be argued… families were going to WORLD and affordability has to be considered for a typical traveling family. So then, could it possibly be a lower more affordable amount then? $750, $500… even $250 a person? I think this will be a clouded subject and cannot be nailed to a specific number. All speculation and for fun. We are now in… “Welcome to JURASSIC WORLD!” (The musical theme swells at this point)
Believe it or not, you can actually log onto their web-site: for a variety of different items to look for. There is an actual list of exhibits and attractions to ‘see’ at JURASSIC WORLD… where do you wanna go first? The various options are as follows: T. REX KINGDOM, TRICERATOPS TERRITORY, MOSASAURUS FEEDING SHOW, GALLIMIMUS VALLEY, CRETACEOUS CRUISE, PACHY ARENA, AVIARY, EGG SPINNER, BAMBOO FOREST, GYROSPHERE and GENTLE GIANTS PETTING ZOO. The park also offers the Innovation Center, the Hammond Creation Lab, an Aquatic Park, a Botanical Gardens reserve, an Underwater Observatory and a Golf Course! From what we, the viewer, saw in JURASSIC WORLD, there is plenty to see and do and there are long lines for everything! What, no FastPass?
For my money, I would want to do as much as I can in a day! I am sure there are two and three- day passes available as well. The excitement of finally being there would generate the energy and enthusiasm to do as much as possible!
Seriously, if you knew you were in the safest of environments, with a history of protection and guest satisfaction spanning a decade… I would most definitely want to be around as many species as I could. Put your imagination to work… have you ever stood close to an elephant or a giraffe? Maybe just seeing one up-close at a zoo or animal reserve? Now, imagine having to multiply that by the actual size of a full size dinosaur! Look at the size of a tree… how tall is it? Look at a building… look at the dimensions and imagine teeth and it breathing down on you! Just imagine the awe that is watching an orca like Shamu, if you have ever gone to a Sea World park… that still wouldn’t equal a T- Rex or the shark- eating Mosasaurus!
The Gyrosphere is a must! Judging by the long lines, you know it has to be a park favorite. You are amongst the dinosaurs in the natural habitat… so close, that you could almost reach out and touch them if it isn’t for the glass ball you sit in and maneuver about in. I’ll stop at the Gentle Giants Petting Zoo to actually reach out (safely) and touch a dino in person!
The distant surrounding roar of dinosaurs makes one feel very small, as if we don’t belong here. It is overwhelming to think that only a few feet of metal, or the thickness of glass are the parameters set forth between what could be absolute safety or periless danger! What am I thinking? We are safe as kittens, right? They wouldn’t actually build something and invite the general public knowing the potential harm that could ensue. No, many man hours, research and development goes into the planning of such a colossal taking.
I mean… the park has been safe for over a decade; no fatalities or casualties made public or reported… what am I worrying about?
After having had a wonderful, adventurous and educational visit to this incredible place called JURASSIC WORLD, it is incredibly desponding and very unnerving to discover that a newly- created, forty- foot beast known as the Indominus Rex escaped from captivity and wreaked havoc amongst the park and its visitors! Amongst a number of casualties and even larger of injuries that occurred, included was the assault made by a pack of pterodactyls that attacked and attempted to carry a number of guests off the resort. The escaped pterodactyls’ release was traced back to both the Indominus Rex crashing through the aviary and a plummeted helicopter that crashed in from the top.  It was later discovered that the T- Rex was also released from its habitat later that evening as well as four raptors. Fatalities are also being reported, but an actual number has not been determined nor confirmed!
Until further notice… the park is indefinitely closed. One can only assume that it may never see the likes of another tourist walking through its concreted sidewalks again, what with legalities erupting like a Fourth of July evening! To account for all of the major property damages that occurred within the interior and exterior of the park, the pain and suffering of the unfortunate visitors who elected the wrong day to partake in the day’s offerings. But what a visit it was for us, before it all went to hell, wasn’t it? An experience unlike anything that this planet had ever imagined! We went back in time, 65 million years to be precise, to walk amongst giants!
Yet, I cannot help but have one last aching thought… just one last observation that sticks out like a sore thumb… I can’t help but feel deeply sorry for those poor unfortunate souls who had planned their trip to JURASSIC WORLD the day after it all went to hell!!! (I would feel like the Griswolds arriving to WALLY WORLD only to find that the park is closed from NATIONAL LAMPOON’S VACATION!)

 What are your thoughts of the JURASSIC franchise? Has it worn- out its stay or are you hungry for more dino- action? Moreover, would you plan a vacation to the magical place called JURASSIC WORLD?
I openly welcome your thoughts and comments, so please share them right here!
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