14th July – Atherton

So after several months in the middle of nowhere, I’ve been given a reprieve in the form of a week off in Cairns.  This is not so great for money, but wonderful for getting a little taste of civilisation again.  For one thing, I’ve been itching to see Jurassic World since October, and Ant Man comes out this week.  Plus, I never got round to doing the Kuranda Scenic Railway last time I was in Cairns, so I’ll be able to tick that off too.

In order to get to Cairns though, I’m dropped off in Atherton and have to hitch a ride on the local Transnorth Bus.  Costs about $25 and runs once a day.  I’ll be using the same bus to get back to the Lynd, but a different route that only runs 3 times a week.

Course, I have about 3 hours to kill before it actually arrives, and I’ve already done the Crystal Caves, Atheron’s best time killing tourist attraction, so I’m a little befuddled with what to do with myself.  I end up hitting up a local cafe for tea and cake (and wifi) for an hour, before wandering around town looking for charity shops.

See, the parcel with all my warm gear is still MIA, so I’ve decided to spend this trip investing in some much warmer clothing.  As it happens, Atherton is home to several shops, and the first one manages to let me bag a pair of Rockman’s jeans for $2!  My next stop also nets a turtleneck shirt for $3, which is more than a little successful.

When I finally leave Atherton, the Transnorth takes about 2 1/2 hours to make it to Cairns, dropping me off at the train station, just a short walk from my hostel.  Dreamtime was fully booked when I enquired, so instead decided to try one of the infamous YHA hostels which is on the opposite side of the shopping centre.

My first reaction?  Other than the Internet being offline, its actually pretty good.  The bedrooms are nice and clean, though I had to ask for extra blankets, and the grounds are well kept.  The kitchen, is by far the most impressive I’ve ever seen in a hostel, and I was actually a little sad I wouldn’t be using it.  I also dug around their donated box and grabbed a jumper, a t-shirt, hiking socks and a pair of gloves.

Once everything was packed away in my room, I darted across the street just in time to catch the very last showing of Jurassic World that night.  A movie I’ve been desperate to see for months and wasn’t going to let my minor headache get in the way.

My opinion?  Actually rather underwhelmed considering how much hype it’s had.  Some of the scenes were good, but I’ve been saying ‘raptors for military use’ is the dumbest plot ever for over a decade.  I can’t believe they’re STILL trying to work it into the franchise somehow.  And of course, they shove in a romance with two really awesome characters…who have no chemistry together whatsoever…

I was pretty much watching and wondering why?  There are so many scenes in this movie that do NOT need to be there.  That romance could be removed, the teen’s apparent desire to cheat on his girlfriend is pointless, and the nanny apparently exists so they could have someone the viewers knew die a horrific death.

This probably isn’t the place to bring it up, but I love the Jurassic Park movies, and its actually sad that the characterisation and casting has actually regressed since the first one when it comes to writing and female characters.  Hear me out:

In the first movie, in a cast of 10 main characters (give or take, remembering off the top of my head), 2 are female.  However, they are never in obvious distress and both end up contributing to something in the plot that helps save the day.  The romance between our 2 archeologists is very faint, to the point that I had to watch the movies again as an adult before I actually realised it was there. 

Second movie.  Cast of 8, 2 females again.  Admittedly, both end up in peril, but at the same time as the male cast, and both manage to hold their own and, if not save themselves, at least keep themselves from having to be saved completely.

Then we have the infamous third movie.  Smallest cast of the lot with 6 characters (or 8 if you include the very quickly eaten mercs), and only one female.  A woman playing a mother (and I admit, I don’t hate her on the grounds that, if my mother was the type to go rushing into my rescue rather than the ‘get on the front page and get other people to do it’, she’d be very similar).  She ends up causing the planes crash and the death of at least 2 of the team, and provides absolutely nothing of merit to the search at all (although in her defence, neither does the father, and its the student that causes the main plot problem).
But I can pretty much forgive them for not having more women in this one.  Last movie had a girl teen, so its fair to have a male teen in this one.  A normal couple are automatically going to thing of male mercenaries over females ones, so that’s understandable, and given that the student steals the eggs, if he had been a she, we’d all be ranting about how its a movie where women ruin everything.  For that, its almost forgivable.

Then we have Jurassic World…
Cast of 10, with a record holding 3 female characters.  Yet, manages to be worse than the rest of the movies by not USING THEM.  Can anyone remember anything the female technician did other than turn down the male’s kiss?  She could have been removed with very little issue.  And the nanny’s role almost seemed pointless outside of given her a horrible death – give me 5 minutes and not only could I rewrite her out of the plot, the movie would be better for it.
Claire, shoehorned romance and ‘you’ll want babies someday’ aside, is actually a pretty awesome female character, but she’s pretty much having to handle the female responsibility all by herself.  Why did both boys have to be male?  Why couldn’t they replicate the siblings of the first movie and have one be female? 

When a movie decades older that its latest sequel is doing a better job at representing females, you really need to have a long hard look at the world…


About Batale

I am an aspiring writer - though since I haven't written anything original in about 2 years, so calling me a writer is like calling a man who makes dinner every night a 5 star chef. I started this blog to force me to write. From the 1st January 2013, I intend to update this blog every day. If nothing interesting happens, I'll write about something that does interest me, whether that is a movie, a book, something I've heard about, or even some of my stories growing up.
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