Sightseeing: Dino Park, Lithuania

Sightseeing

Hello!

Let’s take a break from movie reviews and talk about my last family vacation of the summer of 2015!

Since the circumstances worked against us, this year I and my family were only able to have a weekend-long vacation in our usual spot – the city of Klaipeda by the Baltic sea. I have talked about Klaipeda as a town multiple times, so you can read it here, here and here.

We set off from Kaunas early in the morning and, after having some car issues along the way, we reached Klaipeda at midday. We went straight to the beach, where we met up with my mom’s sister’s and cousin’s families. All of us had an amazing day at the beach socializing, having a picnic, playing volleyball, and spending lots and lots of time in the sea. We swam and jumped over waves, which was extremely fun. The water was quite cold, because it was the last weekend of the summer, and the wind was very strong, so  the waves were enormous. In the evening, we went to my aunt’s flat and had a lovely family dinner.

After spending the night at my aunt’s place, I and my parents went to Karkle beach to look around huge dunes called Dutchman’s Hat (wiki) (one of the biggest on the shores of the Baltic sea) and then finally went to the Dino Park, which I wanted to visit for so long!! I am mainly writing this post just to tell you about it! You can find the official site of the park here.

So, Dino Park is a small amusement park near Radaliai village. As its name suggests, it is themed around DINOSAURS. I, as a long time fan of Jurrasic Park and A Land Before Time, was extremely excited to visit it.

Some info about the park: Dino Park Radaliai is the biggest dinosaur park in the Baltic States. The ticket prices are quite big as well: it’s 8.5 Euros for adults and 7.3 Euros for children. The ticket that you buy upon entering the park allows you to use all the attractions for free.

I and my family started our visit to the park with a tour. We walked around and saw all the moving animatronics/models of the dinosaurs. A lot of them were life-sized and could move their heads and make noises. There were informational boards near all the models, so you could actually learn something about them and not just stand there in awe because of their size. However, some models definitely require maintenance, because the rubber that they are made of is torn in places like neck and tails (moving parts basically). They are still nice and interesting to look at, but the managers should get them repaired for the next season. I have taken pictures of the majority of dinos, so look through the photos after reading the post.

The free attractions that I have previously mentioned are really fun as well. You can go on a water bicycle ride in a little pond, go to the mirror labyrinth (I’ve got really dizzy while trying to find an exit) or try out 5D cinema. There are a lot of playgrounds for little children because this park is mainly aimed at the younger generation. That’s the only problem that I had with it. I was super excited to visit it but felt a bit too old to be there. If they added some more attractions for adults/teenagers, they could reach a wider audience. And the high ticket prices would be justified.

Anyway, although I was slightly disappointed with the park’s activities, I still enjoyed seeing the actual dinosaurs in their life-size glory. The whole weekend was the perfect ending to this summer and a wonderful goodbye to my relatives since I moved to the UK a week later.

I will add a few galleries down bellow, one with the photos from the visit to the sea and Karkle dunes and the other one with pictures from the Dino Park.

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Movie review: Jurassic World

Movie reviews

Hello!

Welcome to another movie review of this summer movie season. Let’s just jump right into it and talk about Jurassic World.

To begin with, I would like to admit that I am a huge Jurassic Park franchise fan. I remember watching the original trilogy at home on my super small TV and still falling completely in-love with that world and being simply mesmerized by the dinosaurs. I loved dinosaurs even before I watched Jurassic Park. My favorite childhood animated movie was and probably still is The Land Before Time. Interestingly, both the animation and the Jurassic Park franchise are produced by Steven Spielberg. 

Anyway, this was my first time experienced Jurassic dinosaurs on the silver screen and I really loved the experience. I was probably as excited for this film as I was excited for the Avengers. Shockingly, both of these films are not my favorite motion picture of this summer so far, despite the the prior excitement.  While Jurassic World and Age of Ultron are sharing the 2nd place, the top spot goes to a movie that I knew nothing about – Mad Max Fury Road

So, let’s stay on topic and talk about the big comeback of the Jurassic franchise. We could call Jurassic World the beginning of the 2nd trilogy because I am sure that they are going to make more movies with all that cash flowing in because of this one. If you haven’t heard, Jurassic World had the biggest domestic opening weekend and the biggest global opening weekend.

IMDb summary: Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitors’ interest, which backfires horribly.

Script

The screenplay of the film had the most problems. Some of characters’ actions seemed extremely out of place, their intentions – unclear or unexplained and their development – unfinished. Moreover, while that ending pleased my inner 3 year old, it felt quite distant from the rest of the film. Also, I was sad that this movie lacked some scientific explanations, even the made-up ones. I mean, they were creating dinosaurs from scratch and they didn’t even told us how they did that. They probably didn’t even know how they did that.

The only part of the script which I really loved was the call-backs to the original film. The small Easter Eggs were as pleasing as the opportunity to actually see the broken down original park.

The twists of the film were enjoyable. They should have been excepted but, since I usually tend to shut half of my brain down, when watching action films, I didn’t see them coming.

Visual effects

While the first Jurassic Park revolutionized the computer effects and made some great use out of the practical effects, 4th’s film’s effects were just okay. I mean they were cool to watch but we expected that. Now, practically all the movies have awesome CGI. But we, as a viewers, are getting tired of the same old thing, as did the attendees of the Jurassic World got tired of normal dinosaurs.

Directing 

The film was directed by Colin Trevorrow. He is quite an unknown director and I think he did a nice job. The scenes were interesting, the wide shots worked but there wasn’t anything revolutionary or completely breathtaking like in the first flick by Spielberg.

Acting

The movie had a lot of character and I will try to talk about the majority of them.

My favorite performance was, of course, the one by Chris Pratt. He really shined in this film and cemented himself as an A-list movie star. I liked how cool he looked and how genuinely he cared for the velociraptors. All the scenes with him and them were amazing. I want to buy an action figure of either Blue, Echo, Charlie or Delta. Or better, of all of them.

Our lead female, played by Bryce Dallas Howard was also an interesting character. I liked how she was a complete 180 of Chris Pratt’s character. Also, I applaud her for running in heels –  I cannot even walk in them properly.

Nick Robinson and Ty Simpkins played the two nephews who got lost. I wish their relationship would have been developed more. Their parents divorce story could have been caught out completely, but maybe some flashbacks to the kid’s childhood would have helped the audience to care more about them.

Vincent D’Onofrio as the Kingpin, sorry, InGen security guy was okay. His actions seemed extremely stupid but that just made me hate his character even more, so the payoff was all that sweeter.

Irrfan Khan as the owner of the Jurassic Park was the most out of place character. His last scene was also disappointing.

Omar Sy added some diversity to the cast. I liked his interactions with Chris Pratt’s character. They seemed like they really got a log well and I like when co-workers become real life friends.

B.D. Wong was the crazy doctor who created Indominus Rex. He gave of Frankenstein type of vibe and the Indominus was his monster. His smirk also just screamed “I am a Bad Guy”. He was also the only returning character from the first film.

Jake Johnson played the funniest character of the film. I wish he had more commentary scenes.

Lastly, Katie McGrath’s last scene was unexpected. I wasn’t really sure if they were gong to go there but they went the far-rest route and I kinda liked it. I at least, laughed because of it.

Themes

The main theme that I want to discuss is the fact that we, as a species, have no boundaries. We always go that extra mile too far and the we suffer some dire consequences. When will we learn how to press STOP? I know that modernization and innovations are important and I fully support them, but we cannot forget that there is a limit to everything.

Ending

SPOILER-Y PART. 

The way the movie brought back the original T-Rex was really awesome. He had a redemption arc, turning from the villain to a hero. I really loved his appearance too: he seemed old (as he should be) and the scars only added to the overall visual appeal. I also liked how the T-Rex versus the Indominus Rex represented the fight between the nature and a man. T- Rex represents the real and raw nature while the Indominus is genetically modified and nurtured to be a killing machine and to bring profit (not necessary a financial one) to the humans. As we saw from that fight, nature usually comes out on top, so maybe we should stop fighting it?

To sum up, this movie was enjoyable, it had some flaws, but, as a fan, I could close one eye and pretend that I didn’t spot them. The pacing of the film was wonky and it lacked the suspension of the original film, but I was still able to catch a glimpse of that Jurassic Park original feeling of amazement. If they would just focus up more, I am sure the sequels would turn out as good as the original film is.

Rate 4/5

Trailer: Jurassic World trailer 

Jurassic_World_Teaser_Poster