Saturday, June 27, 2015

Jurassic World - Average Joe Review

So, on June 27, 2015, I went to the theater to see Jurassic World. And this is my review of the movie.

Before I enter the review itself, lemme just say that I wonder how many people will spot the similarities between this AJR and my last one (technically also my first one). By the way, I wanted to put an emoji in that set of parentheses, but please refer to this web comic for more information on that subject.

First off, this review doesn't contain any spoilers for Jurassic World. So don't fear. HOWEVER comma there may be some spoilers for those who haven't watched the trailer. (^u^) WHOA I came up with that emoji on the spot... my emoji skills have leveled up!

Jurassic World is about the Indominus Rex (dun dun DUUUN!!), a product of gene splicing that scientists at the Jurassic World theme park, uh,.... I'll use the movie's phrasing: "cooked up in that lab" due to the CEO (I think, his accent was kind of annoying, but it wasn't just for comic relief) realizing that kids in the present day no longer were scared by the current dinosaurs at the park and wanting even bigger, scarier, epic-er, bigger dinosaurs. Thus, the Indominus Rex was born. And now you know the premise of the movie... guess what happens next? 

<sidenote> I'm not going to tell you, because some people may consider it a "major spoiler". <sidenote>

Two boys, Zach and Gray, enter the park at the beginning of the movie, given VIP passes because their mother is the sister of Claire Dearing, a main scientist person. The bits with the boys at the beginning were a bit slow, but as the story progressed and the boys interacted with (or rather, ran away from) the dinos, I started to like them. One thing to note is that there was some exposition about the boys' parents getting a divorce, but I think that was to exemplify the boys' characters: the younger one, Gray, is fragile and excited at everything... innocent? I think is the right word. And Zach is pretty much the opposite, with a (sorta) tough attitude towards everything. I feel as though the characters were pretty original, but I'll get to that later.

Owen Grady, a Velociraptor trainer who has a particularly good relationship with the raptors and played by Chris Pratt (excuse me, Starlord) is constantly being approached by Vic Hoskins about how the raptors could be used as weapons in war, but Owen has a definite "No," in response. Alas, Hoskins keeps pushing. The whole concept of two storylines intertwining as a result of one character that bridges the two together, often seen in books, really resonates with me, and here, it's done very well.

The score was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT, and it perfectly complimented the scene. The entire movie kept me on edge, either from sheer nervousness (WHERE IS THAT FREAKING DINOSAUR?!?!?!) or from my admiration for the pure and stunning beauty of the setting of the park. The visuals were absolutely astounding, dinosaurs looking scarily realistic. The Indominus was genuinely frightening, especially when it roared (so basically every single scene it was in). I really appreciate how the movie made me scared WITHOUT using stupid jumpscares, even though it wasn't even a horror movie. I felt as though I was there with the characters in the park... pretty awesome CG!

Everything culminates into ONE HUGE FINALE at the end (no duh, would it be at the beginning?) which I won't spoil in this. Needless to say, it was EPIC!!!!!! A Mon Avis, though, the film could've easily done without the second-to-last scene, and just ended at the very end of the huge battle. I understand that some people might've hated the lack of closure, but each to his (or her) own opinion. Chris Pratt's character is a TOTAL BAWS at the end (and throughout the movie as well). I definitely enjoyed seeing the chemistry between the brothers develop, as before, they weren't too close. I could see the characters grow throughout the movie, which is (almost) always important, to me at least.

I give Jurassic World a 4.8/5, the .2 knocked off for the (kinda sorta) boring exposition at the beginning. It was a worthy addition to the Jurassic Park franchise. The sheer wonder of it all, the scary dinos, the beauty of the island, and the intensity and pace of the plot progression all culminated into one of my favorite movies, probably ever!


Saturday, June 20, 2015

Frighteningly Chaotic

As a young child, in elementary school, white noise on the TV scared the crap out of me. Those chaotic pixels dancing around in some morbid display of randomness, that was frightening. I don't know why, but randomness is scary to me. To not know what is coming, to be unsure of myself, and to put my faith in others when I don't know if they will do their job, that's scary. (If you want to know more about randomness in general, watch these two videos:

I guess I'm kind of a control freak over everything, everything needs to be exactly the way I want it, or else I feel like I'm not in control (which I wouldn't be), I would feel rejected, like I'm just some annoying fly buzzing around everyone, and they just disregard the noise. I used to have dreams of absolutely everything, and of nothing. The dreams of nothing, just a blank black background, was soothing, and whenever I had these dreams, I didn't get disturbed by anything in reality. I was calmed by the order of nothing, of something that contained no information. In contrast, the randomness of daily life, whether or not something important will happen, is scary. The mundane nature of life has got me stuck in this rut of wake up, go to school, come home, do homework, practice violin, do chess, eat dinner, go to sleep. The same thing, day in, day out. The thing is, I don't want to be a person that does that for the rest of their life. I want to do something fun, something interesting, something impactful on the world, and I bet that a simple desk job with the same routine until I die won't fulfill this need to leave the world a significantly better place than I left it. Some people might say that to leave the world a better place, you just have to spread happiness and love to others, and that is possible to do no matter your circumstances (unless you're in solitude, in which case, hope you have a good book!), and I agree with those people, but I want to make a mark, to do something awesome, to be the next Elon Musk or Steve Jobs of the world. I want to change the world for the better. I want to be remembered.

I feel as though there is a set path for modern life. You go to school, get good grades, go to a good college or university, get a good job, get married, have kids, retire, and die. And that is a pretty good life, I'm not saying that it isn't. But I don't want to be another brick in the wall, just another person that lived a life and died a death. I feel as though I'm being redundant, but I want to get my point across. I don't want to leave this Earth until I feel as though I have achieved what I feel is the most I can achieve, until I have spread the most happiness and love that I possibly could. And that's why I feel like dying limits us so much. Life is so small, and death is eternal, so we must cherish every last moment, for in the years we live, we will leave 1,000 times that in solitude (probably, I don't really know, and I don't want to be that guy that forces his beliefs on others, but I'm a pessimist, so I think that death is just like an empty dream.... forever), without the ability to interact with others. A lonely, cold world without a thought to be thought. Before I die, I want to do something.

Oh, and by the way, all of you guys are invited to my funeral. 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015


The voice
The face
The person
Faded from existence

Dead forever
Never to come back
They will sleep
An eternal slumber

The paint peels, albeit
Slowly over time
But when it's gone
The beauty is gone

Some may choose
To look at the blank canvas
To see what could be
But, what isn't really there

Everything exists
For fractions of time
To lead a life, to
Do something


Yet those too
Will fade from existence
Merely a memory, lost and
Forgotten, floating on the wind

Tuesday, June 9, 2015


It's scary
To say the least
To venture into the dark
Where nobody else has gone

Into the future
Away from the known
To the places of discovery
And regret

Change can cause
Great things
It can be embraced
With open arms

But change can cause
Great things
It can be feared
Causing regret and loss

All around us
It swirls, a great storm
Of cold, and of warmth
Of uncertainty

Change is the
Driving force of us all
Though we may
Not welcome it
Into our lives
It causes revelation
And it causes loss

But more than
Anything else

Monday, June 8, 2015

4th Grade Me

AS I was rummaging through my school stuff from forever ago, I found my 4th grade PACE (the gifted and talented program) binder underneath a heap of loose papers and pencils, amongst... other things. My thoughts:

RIGHT off the bat, the front cover of the binder is bent horribly out of shape, and the crease is still there. Scrawled onto the front cover (presumably before it was bent) in my (surprisingly legible) 4th grade handwriting, it says, "P A C E," circled in very faint pencil. Right beneath that, in the dead center of the cover, is a random rectangle (quite exact, I probably traced something when I was bored in class) with curved corners (also presumably drawn/traced before the "bend"). In the top left hand corner is my name, this time in Sharpie... Might I note that the way I wrote my name back then is the same way I wrote my name last year. (-_-) There are some other random pencil markings on the front, but now for the.... WAIT. I just found my name (again) written in barely distinguishable pencil in the top right hand corner. I don't know why I wrote my name there, and then again in the other corner (probably because... no, I don't have a clue), but I did. DEAL WITH IT.

NOW, for the inside of the binder. I am met with a (very Illuminati-esque) drawing/sketch/something-very-ugly on half a sheet of green construction paper. Y'know what, I'll take a picture of it:

YEAH, I'll let you decide for yourself what it is. My interpretation of it is that someone else in the class  taught me how to draw cubes, and I just went crazy with it. I DON'T EVEN KNOW. (-_-)

NEXT up, a worksheet titled Science "Fiction" Can Become Science "Fact" (all in horribly ugly Comic Sans, might I add). 20,000 Leagues, Jules Verne, 1870, yadayadayadaydadaya. The excerpt is about how the captain of the Nautilus got electricity, not unlike how we get it today. Note that basically EVERYTHING is highlighted. NEXT PAGE

THERE'S a page with a black and white image titled "Pranav's Constellation" with a bunch of white stars everywhere, all labeled with something that applied to me (in one way or another):

Family; Mom and Dad; Video Games (the only one that was printed, the rest were pencilled in); Life; Argue in the Supreme Court; Chess; My Dream House; Education. Interesting list, considering that this was 4 years ago. 

OOOOH, AN INTERESTING ONE THIS TIME. "Characteristics of an Effective Leader" is the title of this worksheet, and it lists about 20 characteristics, asking me to rank my top 5 most important characteristics of a leader. Here are all the options: Ambitious, Honest, Broadminded, Imaginative, Caring, Independent, Competent, Inspiring, Courageous, Intelligent, Dependable, Loyal, Determined, Mature, Fair-Minded, Self-Controlled, Forward-Looking, Straightforward, Supportive. Each adjective has a brief list of synonyms to help my 4th-grade self comprehend such big words (not that I needed them, mind you).

My 4th grade list: 1. Ambitious (hardworking, aspiring), 2. Honest (truthful, has integrity, trustworthy, has character), 3. Caring (sensitive, appreciative, concerned, loving), 4. Intelligent (bright, thoughtful, intellectual, reflective, logical), 5. Mature (experienced, wise, has depth). 
My 8th grade list: 1. Competent (capable, productive, effective, efficient, thorough), 2. Broadminded (open-minded, flexible, receptive), 3. Dependable (reliable, conscientious, responsible), 4. Supportive (understanding, helpful), 5. Forward-Looking (visionary, foresighted, concerned about the future, sense of direction). 
I find it interesting how my list changed over time from things concerning how the leader IS to how the leader INTERACTS with others.

NEXT PAGE: Robotic type stuff. There's a calendar with everything we needed to do and when we needed to do it... basic stuff.

ON the following page are "Uses of Robots". I didn't do anything on the front, but on the back is a list of industries in which I was interested in applying robotics to. Medicine, Military, Household, Space (with a star next to it), Mining, Polar, Volcanoes, Search & Rescue, Chemical & Nuclear, Underwater/Oceanic. I remember that I wanted to do space, but my other group members, (we'll call them Anne and Dave) convinced me that military would be better. In hindsight, I think space would've been better because our military project was really lame, compared to MK's space project (which was EPIC, with a GAZILLION TURNS AND MANEUVERS). (-_-) whatever.

NEXT page, more boring planning/rubric type stuff for the robot project.
The following page is a completely highlighted page of AI Information. At the top, I just wrote out the alphabet (a b c d... CUZ WHY NOT?) and then on the back is an interesting diagram that I drew about the relationship between  "nearalogists" (neurologists) and scientists, with a bunch of indecipherable arrows pointing every which way. 

NOW, there is a manilla divider labeled "MM" for who knows what. Inside is a really complicated looking logic puzzle made up of 4x4 squares. Imagine a 3x3 grid, but each square in that 3x3 grid is also a 4x4 grid. Confused yet? Well you will be now... now take away the center, middle-right, and bottom-right square from the 3x3 grid. BOOM. That's what this logic puzzle looks like. It looks really complicated, but somehow I managed to get a 3 on a scale of 4 on the assignment. (-_-) That's technically a 75.

NEXT page... another worksheet, this time where there are a series of numbers and you have to put in an arithmetic sign to make the equation equal to the number at the end. For example, one of the problems is:

6 4 1 2 6 2 = 15
Answer: 6+4-1+2+6-2=15
Basic stuff. 

OK, so this next page is kind of (really) HILARIOUS. I dunno why, but whenever I tried to name something, or give it a tagline, I tried to alliterate it as best I could. This next page is about marketing a product. Firstly, at the top, I had to market a product that I came up with... I came up with...  wait for it.... "THE ROMANIAN RACER". (-_-) There's a really sad drawing of what appears to be a drag racer (I think that's what it's called), and around the car are some phrases: "AWESOME MPG!" and "THE FASTEST CAR AROUND!" On top of this, in the bottom right corner, in a speech bubble (the source of which is off the page) it says, "I WANT THAT CAR!"

NOW onto the good part of this page: the worksheet asks the following: 
"What would be a good 'sales pitch' for each of these products? For each product, tell what quality or benefit you would stress when designing an advertising campaign."
Here's what I came up with (the quality first, then the sales pitch):
Bread: fat free; Light Loaf is Bright!
Two things: 1) if someone is going to eat bread, they're probably not going to care whether it's fat-free or not, because if they DID care about that kind of thing, then they would be health-conscious, and then they most likely would NOT be eating bread. 2) WTF IS LIGHT LOAF?!?!?!

Margarine: non-hydrogenated oils; Better Butter is Better!
Two things: 1) the "good quality" would actually be a good thing if it were in margarine. And 2) About the tagline... actually, the tagline is PURE GOLD. 

Soda Pop: diet; Dashing Drink Makes You Dash!
2) Diet soda/pop would actually be a bad thing cuz artificial stuff and other things.
3) With "Dashing Drink" am I saying that the drink is handsome/good looking? WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?!?!?!

Automobile: high MPG; Romanian Racer, it Rocks!
1) I think Greg (one of my friends who's Romanian) was in my PACE class or something, WHY WAS I SO OBSESSED WITH ROMANIA?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!(I'm genuinely concerned at the amount of interrobangs in this post)?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! Not that that's a bad thing. (-_-)
2) If I did this kind of thing today, instead of "high MPG", I would probably put "200 MILE RANGE!" because it would probably be an electric car... oh, how times change.

Rock Group: free food; Crazy Rockers, We're Crazy About Music!
1) Wouldn't free food be up to the venue, not the performers? I'm just sayin'.....
2) Free food... I agree with my 4th-grade self... Mmmmmmmm, free food = good.

Banana: doesn't easily get bruised; Fresh Bananas, Perfectly Yellow!
Uhhhhhhhh..... "Perfectly Yellow".... HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE?!?!?!?!??!?!?!?!??!

Sweat Shirt: elastic; Stretchy Sale, the Elastic Shirts' Top Seller!
1) Can sweat shirts even be elastic?

Cereal: whole grain; Whole Grain Wonders, Makes You Wonder How We Made It
1) Finally, a legitimate claim, whole grain.

Magazine: recycled paper; Cool Cars, the Best Magazine!
Pranav, just saying that your product is the best isn't marketing... it's false-advertising.

AND that's the end of that... worksheet.

ANOTHER palindrome paper, yadayadaya, another "Fill in the blank with arithmetic operations" worksheet, something about "Houdini's Hidden Letters", another (less complicated) logic puzzle.

OH, here's something interesting... on the worksheet where we had to brainstorm environment for our robot and what its task would be in that environment, half the time I just said, "Gather data." I like the way you think, 4th-grade-Me. I like the way you think.

AND at the very back is a letter to the principal (IN CURSIVE, I MIGHT ADD!) about how we should have electric whiteboards that would save whatever was written on them to the computer, and I quote, "because people have so many brilliant ideas which have to be erased and lost forever." That's not necessarily true though... there's the memory, and if that idea is particularly outstanding, brilliant, and/or creative, then people will remember, and it won't be lost. Also, there are books, movies, blogs, paintings, sketches, and blueprints chock full of ideas that people didn't want to forget. They penned it, or drew it, or put it to memory, and that memory is now preserved indefinitely.

Hopefully like my 4th grade self is...