Friday, June 22, 2018

“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” “Honey I Blew Up the Dino”

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom” is a wild theme-park ride that combines sci-fi and conspiracy theory with chunks of melodrama – all blended in by the Spanish director J. A. Bayona (“The Impossible,” “A Monster Calls”).

25 years have passed since Steven Spielberg amazed the world with the first “Jurassic Park.” Since then, five movies integrated this profitable franchise.
Universal Studios - Copyright © 2018
This new adventure starts when a volcano threatens all sorts of life on the Costa Rican island of Nublar. A group of activists launches a campaign to save the “Dinos.”

Furthermore, media and politicians will decide what’s the right thing to do: to save the dinosaurs or let the volcano destroy the island.
Jeff Goldblum, actor and jazz musician. Photo, Jose Hermosillo
Copyright © 2018, Festival in LA

The always fantastic actor and jazz musician Jeff Goldblum, plays Ian Malcolm, a well-known mathematician who specializes in the 'Chaos Theory.' He testifies in front of global representatives on the importance of preserving the life of dinosaurs. Mr. Goldblum's character is the only one who appears in all five "Jurassic Park" films.
Without any spoilers, the Jurassic sequel has some convergent points with the 1992 Disney's fantasy-comedy “Honey I Blew Up the Kid.”

In the children’s story, a blown out of proportion “baby” is chased all the way to Las Vegas. In this new transitional “Jurassic World” venture, the plot line leaves the door open to lead the “dinos” to a populated area.

Oops, not that fast. First, we need to see how dinosaurs’ DNA gets altered by greed and a weaponry ambition.

“The Jurassic World” sequel pushes the “diversity” agenda by introducing new characters appealing to the mainstream audiences, mostly to the millenniums.
Justice Smith. Universal Studios - Copyright © 2018
The geek squad is integrated by L.A. born, terrific young actor, Justice Smith ("Paper Towns" and “The Get Down” TV Series), who plays the goofy Franklin Webb: He adds humor and tension in some of the dramatic moments.
Daniela Pineda. Universal Studios - Copyright © 2018
Likewise, the Mexican-American young actress Daniela Pineda (“Vampire Diaries”) is the brave assistant Zia Rodriguez.
Daniela Pineda. Photo AFI Fest. Copyright © 2018
Daniela Pineda continues her ascendant career in Hollywood, steeply. She is terrific in this new "Jurassic World" movie.

On the contrary, Chris Pratt’s performance falls flat with some dormant moments that exasperate the audience due to the uncertainties and his lack of action. The famous superhero of many other franchises needs to reinvent himself for future sequels.   
Geraldine Chaplin - Copyright © 2018
It is gratifying to see a familiar face of the art-house cinema circuit: the legendary actress Geraldine Chaplin (“Cria,” “Talk to Her,” “Sand Dollars”). She plays Iris, the enigmatic custodian of the little heiress Maisie Lockwood, wonderfully acted by the newcomer Isabella Sermon.  
J. A. Bayona, Photo AFI Fest. Copyright © 2018
I had the opportunity to be one of the first journalists to interview the Spanish director upon his arrival in America. At that time, J.A. Bayona was very proud of having Guillermo del Toro as an executive producer working on his first film “The Orphanage.” Ten years later, the Catalan visionary director has made it in Hollywood with this mega-blockbuster project, “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

Bayona’s longtime collaborator Oscar Faura did the stunning cinematography, hard to appreciate in some parts because it's equally busy.

The music by Michel Giacchino is boundless, but the sound effects are way too noisy. 

The 170 million dollar newest addition to the franchise is more vivid and more dramatic than the preceding parts.

People may leave the theater after watching this Sci-Fi Dino-adventure with the same experience of having gone to a theme park for a fun and wild ride.
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"HOOKED" YOUNG GAY AND HOMELESS IN AMERICA

By José Alberto Hermosillo
“Hooked” is a compelling, eye-opening work of fiction that awakens the consciousness of the homeless problem of our unprotected youth in America.

This gay drama is a mirror of our modern-day society and chronicles the untried days of Jack (Conor Donnally).

Besides performing semi-naked with his guitar on the streets of New York, the free-spirited young hustler gains a few extra bucks doing tricks with men and women as well.
He also enjoys playing pranks on the streets with his supportive and naïve boyfriend Tom (Sean Ormond), a penniless aspirant photographer.

In search of their own identity, they plan to move out of the shelter to a place of their own and live happily ever after. As the days pass, they discover that life is not a fairy tale.

Jack has promised not to get “Hooked” on drugs until his 18th birthday, but it's tough for kids at this age to keep those promises alive, mostly when his birthday is around the corner.

Meanwhile, Ken, a mature, religious, but confused, film producer – played by Terrence Murphy – wants to go out and have fun with guys, while his wife has to take care of their baby at home.
Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017
Resembling the gay version of “Pretty Woman,” Jack and Ken meet for dinner in an expensive restaurant. Quickly, Ken invites “the boy” on a trip to his penthouse in Miami, something Jack had never dreamed of.

Jack is ambitious and territorial with the people that care about him. Triggered by jealousy, he decides to go out to the treacherous streets of Florida to continue his life of drugs and prostitution. Life can be harsh for people at a young age.

This film reveals Jack’s enormous necessity of belonging, as he cries out loud wanting to be accepted, loved, and respected. Redemption may be on its way.  

Conor Donnally. Copyrights @ headshots, 2017
Actor Conor Donnally is a revelation – the camera loves him. He articulates Jack’s emotions with a perfect body language – At the same time, he can show happiness and internal pain.
Max Emerson, writer/director/celebrity
Copyrights @ Festival in LA 2016
Applauding this excellent, character-driven, first project as writer/director, Max Emerson (“Eastsiders,” “Hit the Floor,” and the “Glee” TV Series) took his celebrity status to crowd-funding a film that focuses on LGBTQ youth matters.

With some clichés and unrealistic situations, this film could be frustrating for some viewers, making them wonder if people act this way in real life. But the actors do a compelling job pulling off a complicated subject matter. 

In America, LGBT young people are eight times more likely to be homeless. Those kids are twice as likely to be sexually abused, to develop a severe drug addiction or even to commit suicide.

The producers will be donating 50% of the proceeds to not-for-profit organizations, helping troubled young people.

For more information on how you can help, give, volunteer or become a foster parent, please visit:

Partner organizations include the Ali Forney Center, the Los Angeles LGBT Center, Albert Kennedy Trust (UK), Lost and Found, and GLAAD.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

DANCES WITH FILMS 2018 - AWARD WINNERS

 By José Alberto Hermosillo
Dances With Films 21 - Awards Night.
Photo Jose Hermosillo © Festival in LA, 2018.

Dances with Films is one of the best film festivals in Los Angeles. Many alternative, independently produced features, documentaries, and short films are premiering at the TCL Chinese Theaters in the heart of Hollywood.  

The winners were announced last Sunday in a very festive environment with all the filmmakers, talent, founders, staff members, and volunteers.

And the winners are:
Jared Januschka, director of "Shooting in Vain." Photo: Jose Hermosillo, © 2018

GRAND JURY AWARD | COMPETITION FEATURE:
Shooting In Vain
Honorable Mention | Grand Jury Feature:
CHASING BULLITT

GRAND JURY AWARD | COMPETITION SHORT:
Wale Film
Honorable Mention | Grand Jury Short:
Last Meal

Director Santino Campanelli, Bully. Photo by Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
ICA | INDUSTRY CHOICE AWARD OVER 40 MIN:
BULLY - The Movie
ICA | INDUSTRY CHOICE AWARD UNDER 40 MIN:
Le Neveu (THE NEPHEW)

AUDIENCE AWARD | DANCES WITH KIDZ By Pros:
Soci Circle

OVERALL AUDIENCE AWARD | BEST SHORT:
Beneath the Ink

AUDIENCE AWARD | COMPETITION FEATURE:
Doubting Thomas - Movie
AUDIENCE AWARD | COMPETITION SHORT:
Holly Goes to Therapy
AUDIENCE AWARD | DOCUMENTARY FEATURE:
Psychonautics
AUDIENCE AWARD | DOCUMENTARY SHORT:
BENEATH THE INK
AUDIENCE AWARD | FUSION FEATURE:
A Horse from Heaven
AUDIENCE AWARD | FUSION SHORT:
Sam Did It
AUDIENCE AWARD | DOWNBEAT MUSIC VIDEO:
TRACK 1
AUDIENCE AWARD | TV PILOTS:
Yellow, An Ensemble Drama
AUDIENCE AWARD | WEB SERIES:
Stellar Hosts
"Shadows on the Road" cast. Photo Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
"The Best People," cast. Photo Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
Autumn McAlpin, director of "Miss Arizona." Photo: Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
"Shadows on the Road," cast. Photo: Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
"No Alternative" cast and actor Harry Hamlin. Photo Jose Hermosillo, ©2018.
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