Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

[4.0 stars] [IMDb Link] [Amazon Link]

Our fourth summer blockbuster so far, and I confess that I found it near irresistible. Yes, it's commercial and (on a macro scale) predictable. Don't care in this case. I just love seeing dinosaurs misbehave.

Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are back as Owen and Claire. Their relationship is off again, with Claire overseeing the rubble of the previous movie's theme park and Owen off to the wildnerness, building a cabin, trying to forget. But a big problem intrudes: Isla Nublar is a volcanic island, and its pesky volcano threatens to kill everything in the vicinity. (That park was cursed from the get-go, wasn't it?)

Good news! John Hammond's old partner, Benjamin Lockwood (James Cromwell) is filthy rich, and his company is offering to evacuate as many dinosaurs as possible from the island. But, yes, there's bad news: there's an evil greed-fueled plot behind this offer; Owen and Claire quickly find themselves double crossed and in deadly peril. Which sets the stage for the real fun, which is dinosaur-based destruction and carnage.

Claire has a couple of winning assistants, who help out. And there's a kid. There's always at least one kid in these movies. There's a secret behind this kid, however, and I did not see it coming.

Random thought: whoa, Geraldine Chaplin got really wrinkly. But the last thing I saw her in may have been Richard Lester's Three Musketeers movies and that was—eek!—well over 40 years ago.

URLs du Jour


[Amazon Link]

  • Proverbs 11:27 is pretty straightforward:

    27 Whoever seeks good finds favor,
        but evil comes to one who searches for it.

    The only problem is the ambiguous pronoun reference for "it", which confused me on first reading: "Seeking good works; but searching for good will get you nothing but trouble."

    I was looking for profundity that wasn't there.

  • I don't usually link to articles like this: Dangerous Pseudo-Science in Cyber Security.

    CrowdStrike is the network security company, that was called by the DNC when it suspected a breach in its network in early May of 2016. CrowdStrike announced that there were at least two breaches by “two separate Russian intelligence-affiliated adversaries” — Fancy Bear (APT28) and Cozy Bear (APT29). CrowdStrike even suggested that Fancy Bear belongs to GRU (Russian military intelligence) and Cozy Bear belongs to FSB (Federal Security Service, replacement of KGB). The DNC was satisfied with CrowdStrike service and refused to let the FBI examine its servers, surprising even James Comey.  All data and alleged malware samples that were given to the FBI, CIA, NSA, DNI, other security companies, and the public came from CrowdStrike. There is something fishy in this, isn’t it? Especially when we learn that

     In my opinion: CrowdStrike is a fraud

    Red centered text in original.

    I have no idea whether CrowdStrike is a fraud or not. Nor whether it's true that they're the sole source for evidence that the Russkies were behind the DNC server hacks. But I'd like to see some further skeptical investigation of that; people seem pretty credulous on the Russia connection.

  • At Reason, Brian Doherty has an article of local interest: Candidate Kicked Out of New Hampshire Libertarian Party Nonetheless on House Primary Ballot as a Libertarian

    Tom Alciere is a former Republican state legislator in New Hampshire who resigned under public pressure in 2001 after he made some public comments supporting the killing of police officers. He ran unsuccessfully for office two more times as a Republican (one time losing to a write-in). This year he appears on a primary ballot for the 2nd District's federal House seat, pursuing the Libertarian Party's nomination.

    The party did its best to prevent that. In 1993, the Libertarian Party of New Hampshire (LPNH) booted Alciere. The party's executive committee renewed its stance against the candidate last month, noting in a resolution that "Alciere has a history of advocating violence" and "refused to take a pledge against violence as a means of obtaining political objectives." (Alciere was also arrested in 2009 for a misdemeanor assault on a 12-year-old female neighbor.)

    I remember Alciere from my Usenet days; then, as now, he was a widely despised loon.

    But (note to self) it's really easy to get on a party's primary ballot: as near as I can tell, all Alciere had to do was fill out a form and write a check for $50.

  • At NRO, Jim "Indispensable" Geraghty is Ending the Week with Hard Truths. Specifically, that for politicians "the reward for telling the truth is insufficient in many cases."

    Will the voters reward you if you say that our annual deficits and the debt are too high, and that addressing the problem will require cutting spending, raising taxes, or both? No. If you tell them that changing demographics make the entitlement programs unsustainable, and that the only way to avoid a collapse is to reduce benefits, raise taxes, or shift workers to a riskier form of personal investing for retirement, how do they respond?

    Do they sit down, look at the numbers, do the math for themselves, and carefully contemplate which path is least painful for themselves and the country as a whole? Or do they vote for the guy who promises to “save Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security without cuts” and who contends he can solve the entire problem just by eliminating “waste and abuse”?

    Ooh, teacher, I know! Pick me!

    We (rightly) criticize Trump for his serial dishonesty. But he's only a very bad example of a very bad trend.

  • You might want to send this article to the next person who's confused on the matter: The [Babylon] Bee Explains: Democratic Socialism.

    How does Democratic Socialism differ from just “Socialism”?

    It has the word “Democratic” in front of it, you see, which means it is achieved by promoting identity politics, stoking class warfare, and cranking that entitlement mentality up to 11, instead of literal violent overthrow of the government. Besides, voting for the government to seize people’s wealth is totally different from the government deciding to do so on their own, right? Err… uh… DID WE MENTION YOU GET FREE STUFF?? Say it with us: Socialism good, Democratic Socialism better!

    I can't argue with that!