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Exclusive: Jurassic World Dominion Is a Sad, Desperate Nostalgia Trip

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Jurassic World Dominion Is a Sad, Desperate Nostalgia Trip

#Jurassic #World #Dominion #Sad #Desperate #Nostalgia #Trip

Let’s settle this debate right now: There is no greater summer movie than the original Jurassic Park.

When I say summer movie, I’m not just talking about any movie released between May and August. I’m talking about big-budget, high-concept, special effects–driven, almost ridelike movie experiences. In 1993, Steven Spielberg’s dino-terror adventure set the standard for all past and present warm-weather popcorn blockbusters. And while there have been more than a few top-notch entries in the summer movie canon since, Jurassic Park has never been surpassed.

In part, that’s due to the era in which it was released. Spielberg, then in his mid-40s, was at a pivot point in his career, transitioning from populist entertainer to Hollywood eminence. Moviemaking technology, too, was changing: Jurassic Park is justifiably celebrated for its groundbreaking digital effects, but a majority of the dinosaur shots in the film were created using old-school physical effects—props and puppets rather than pixels. Spielberg used those effects not just to generate awe at the movie’s special effects, but at the idea that dinosaurs could walk the earth.

But it’s also a result of flawless execution. The cast is appealing, and the characters are just distinct enough. The script is a simple but effective clockwork that winds up the tension for an hour, setting elaborate traps for its characters, and then unleashes theme park hell. It’s perfectly paced at just over two hours long, and there’s a heart-stopping mid-movie Tyrannosaurus rex attack with a slew of seared-on-your-eyelids images moviegoers still recognize today.

Jurassic Park is, at this point, practically the definitional summer movie. When someone talks about wanting to go see a summer popcorn movie, what they are really talking about is wanting to go see Jurassic Park. And when studios release big summer tentpoles, there is almost always a sense in which what they are really hoping to do is release another Jurassic Park.

And so, in the ensuing three decades, Hollywood has given viewers multiple additional opportunities to see Jurassic Park. First there was The Lost World, Spielberg’s more mean-spirited, blackly comic immediate sequel, and then there was the inevitable whiff of a follow-up in Joe Johnston’s Jurassic Park III. Starting in 2015, the series returned with Jurassic World, a competent if gratingly manipulative nostalgia play, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, an odd if often effective detour into more overt monster movie territory.

None of these sequels came anywhere close to capturing the thrills of the original, but there was always something enjoyable about them, no matter how perfunctory they seemed. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the latest installment, Jurassic World Dominion. It’s a desultory slog, overlong and underdeveloped, with a convoluted, deeply stupid story that renders old characters dull and does nothing for the new characters it introduces.

There are some potentially interesting ideas here about the expansion of dinosaur technology into the ordinary world—dinos in the wild, black markets for illegal dinosaur sales, even trained laser-guided attack dinosaurs (really)—but none of them come together. The story vaguely gestures at geopolitical relevance with go-nowhere plot points about animal liberation and genetically engineered crops; this is apparently a world with dinosaurs, but without Golden Rice.

Billed as a capstone to the franchise, in which all the franchise’s threads finally come together, Dominion instead spends most of its nearly two-and-a-half-hour running time in search of a reason to exist. It never finds one.

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And so it falls back on desperate, empty nostalgia instead, with returning cast members, including Laura Dern and Sam Neill as the scientist heroes of the original film, plus myriad shots and sequences that play less like nods to the original than like tired remakes. There’s a late-film T. rex attack that all but replicates the iconic encounter from the original, all but begging audiences to cheer for moments calibrated to remind them of the far superior source material.

Notably, Dominion‘s nostalgia trips point almost exclusively to the first film in the franchise. It has no identity of its own, no reason for existing, so it settles for reminding viewers that Jurassic Park existed. On that point, at least, I find myself nodding along. Jurassic Park does exist, and it’s a much better movie. With summer upon us, your best bet is to just watch the original instead.

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Exclusive: Fed More Concerned About Inflation Than Recession – TalkOfNews.com

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Compelling Television

#Fed #Concerned #Inflation #Recession

“There are a lot of blogs and news sites claiming to understand politics, but only a few actually do. Political Wire is one of them.”

— Chuck Todd, host of “Meet the Press”

“Concise. Relevant. To the point. Political Wire is the first site I check when I’m looking for the latest political nugget. That pretty much says it all.”

— Stuart Rothenberg, editor of the Rothenberg Political Report

“Political Wire is one of only four or five sites that I check every day and sometimes several times a day, for the latest political news and developments.”

— Charlie Cook, editor of the Cook Political Report

“The big news, delicious tidbits, pearls of wisdom — nicely packaged, constantly updated… What political junkie could ask for more?”

— Larry Sabato, Center for Politics, University of Virginia

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Exclusive: This Innocent Woman's House Was Destroyed by a SWAT Team. A Jury Says She's Owed $60,000. – TalkOfNews.com

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This Innocent Woman's House Was Destroyed by a SWAT Team. A Jury Says She's Owed $60,000.

#Innocent #Woman039s #House #Destroyed #SWAT #Team #Jury #She039s #Owed

When Vicki Baker cleared out her home in McKinney, Texas, in 2020, she filled two 40-foot dumpsters with her belongings. It wasn’t the way she’d pictured emptying the house as she prepared to begin retirement in Montana. But there was little else to be done with her tear-gas stained items after a SWAT team careened through her fence, detonated explosives to blow her garage door off its hinges, smashed several windows, and drove a BearCat armored vehicle through her front door to apprehend a fugitive that had barricaded himself inside.

A federal jury last week decided that Baker is entitled to $59,656.59 for the trouble. It’s both a controversial and surprising decision. Normally, people like Baker get nothing.

In July 2020, Wesley Little arrived at Baker’s house with a 15-year-old girl he’d kidnapped. Little had previously worked for Baker as a handyman, though she had fired him about a year and a half earlier after her daughter, Deanna Cook, expressed that something may be awry. Cook answered Little at the door that day; having seen him on recent news reports, she left the premises and called the police.

The girl was released unharmed. But Little refused to exit the home, so a SWAT team arrived and began to tear the house down around him in a process known as “shock and awe.”

They then kindly left Baker with the bill. “I’ve lost everything,” she told me in March 2021. “I’ve lost my chance to sell my house. I’ve lost my chance to retire without fear of how I’m going to make my regular bills.” Those bills include treatment for stage 3 breast cancer.

Yet the only thing perhaps more absurd than a jury having to force the government’s hand in recompensing her is that Baker almost did not have the privilege to bring her case before one. Federal courts in similar cases have ruled that the government can usurp “police powers” to destroy your property and avoid having to pay it back under the Takings Clause of the 5th Amendment, which is supposed to provide a remedy for such circumstances.

After the ordeal, Baker sought that remedy through her home insurance, which stipulated that they are not on the hook if it is the government’s fault. And though the government didn’t deny being at fault, per se, they did deny that Baker was a victim, sending her on her way with a ravaged home, thousands of dollars in destroyed personal possessions, and a dog that went deaf and blind from the chaos that July day.

In November of last year, Baker’s luck began to turn. A federal judge denied the city of McKinney’s motion to dismiss her case. In April, that same jurist, Judge Amos L. Mazzant III of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas, described the interpretation of the law barring Baker from suing as “untenable.” And last week, the jury handed down their ruling. The city may appeal, which will delay any payout.

In coming to his decision, Mazzant invoked another unfortunate case: that of the Lech family, who had their $580,000 home ruined by a SWAT team as they pursued an unrelated shoplifter who broke in. Greenwood Village, Colorado, did more for them than McKinney would do for Baker, forking over all of $5,000. A federal court ruled that the family could not sue, and the Supreme Court declined to take up the case.

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“Even though a number of federal courts have gone the wrong way on this issue, they’ve done so with very cursory analysis,” says Jeffrey Redfern, an attorney at the Institute for Justice, the public interest law firm shepherding Baker’s case. He says this new ruling is different and should “be the one that everyone is looking at” as similar situations continue to pop up.

It does not set a precedent, however. “In this case, we put the city claims agent on the stand,” notes Redfern, “and she said, ‘Yep, I denied the claim, and I deny every claim like this, and if this happened tomorrow I would deny it again.’” Unfortunately for people like Vicki Baker, this will continue to be a familiar story.

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Exclusive: 1/6 Committee Hits Spiraling Trump Again By Subpoenaing Pat Cipollone – TalkOfNews.com

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1/6 Committee Hits Spiraling Trump Again By Subpoenaing Pat Cipollone

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The 1/6 Committee has subpoenaed one of the people who knows the intimate details of Trump’s coup plot, former White House Counsel Pat Cipollone.

The AP reported:

The House committee investigating the Jan. 6 insurrection issued a subpoena Wednesday to former White House counsel Pat Cipollone, who has been linked to meetings in which lawyers debated strategies to overturn former President Donald Trump’s election loss.

The Committee said that it required Cipollone’s testimony after obtaining other evidence about which he was “uniquely positioned to testify.”

Pat Cipollone Can Testify To The Plot To Overturn The Election

According to Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony, Cipollone has intimate and wide-ranging details about the plot to overturn the election. Hutchinson testified that Cipollone warned that if Trump went to the Capitol, they would be charged with every crime imaginable.

Trump was already falling apart after Hutchinson’s testimony, and he could be in for a double whammy if his former White House Counsel testifies. The White House Counsel is not a personal lawyer to the president but represents the institutional interests of the Executive Branch.

If Cipollone testifies, it will be the bombshell that will level the rubble that was already smoldering after Cassidy Hutchinson’s testimony.

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