DVD Review: THE JURASSIC GAMES

THE JURASSIC GAMES was directed by Ryan Bellgardt from a screenplay he co-wrote with Galen Christy and Adam Hampton who also stars alongside Ryan Merriman, Perrey Reeves, Katie Burgess and Erika Daly.

Win the games. Win Your freedom. Imagine a world set in the near future wherein ten Death Row convicts are chosen to compete in The Jurassic Games, the ultimate virtual reality game show that pits its players against dinosaurs and each other. Every year, 10 of the world’s most lethal death row criminals are chosen to compete for their freedom in The Jurassic Games, a television show where contestants must survive against a variety of ferocious dinosaurs.

The players all die gruesomely in the game zone except for one, the last one standing, the winner, who is granted not only his freedom, but fame and fortune. Survive the dinosaurs. Survive each other. Survive…The Jurassic Games. However, there is a catch… If you die in the virtual game, you also die in reality; and for Anthony Tucker (Adam Hampton), survival is his one chance to be reunited with his children after having been wrongfully imprisoned for the murder of his wife. As the devious The Host continues adding improbable challenges, the characters will find the odds stacked against them as only one victor can emerge as winner and reclaim their freedom.

The story for The Jurassic Games borrows from several popular brands but that’s okay because the movie itself is its own beast. The main focus is on this one contest who is innocent so he not only has to battle it out with the others but he has to make sure he doesn’t get devoured by the jurassic predators on the prowl. If he survives the game, he goes free and will be reunited with his children. Something that a lot of indie films fail at miserably is with the casting, because many times some of the actors simply can’t act but in this case, the movie has a great cast and they deliver with their characters. So yeah, the acting is good and that helps with the watch. The movie is fast-paced and features a nice amount of action but the scene stealers are the dinosaurs and the impressive special effects used to create them. Nothing is held back here either because these dinos are hungry and the contests are their snacks.

The front of the packaging features the artwork you see at the top of the page and the back includes movie details, some images and list of special features. The DVD disc also features some matching artwork. Inserting the disc, the menu screen was simple and easy to navigate. The picture and sound quality for this standard-definition release were really good. I didn’t have any issues with the video and audio.

Bottom line is, The Jurassic Games ended up being an exciting dino-sized action-thriller that’s definitely a mixture of The Hunger Games, Jurassic World and Survivor. Science fiction and fantasy are the two toughest genres to pull off in indie film and Ryan Bellgardt has been able to deliver with his special effects heavy movies that have all been entertaining and completely different from one another. Of course, he has a talented crew to help him pull this stuff off. The formula for this one is basic and that’s for these contestants to stay alive but the sinister game show host throws surprises at them and even breaks the rules of his own game while dinosaurs chase everybody around. Hey, bad guys will break the rules, we all know that! Even though it’s all predictable, it’s still a fun popcorn B-movie that features some impressive visual effects for a small budget production. Look, I’ve read a few other reviews out there and you can’t compare a movie like this to the dino-sized juggernaut that just hit the big screen. These are two completely different worlds because it’s big money versus micro-budget! I’m going to go as far to say that this is the best indie film to feature dinosaurs – EVER! Sure, it’s a cheesefest but it’s also a really fun watch. The Jurassic Games is now available on DVD.

Distributor: Uncork’d Entertainment and High Octane Pictures

Run Time: 86 Minutes

Rated: Not Rated

DVD Video: Widescreen Presentation

DVD Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0

Subtitles: N/A

Special Features: The extras include some Audio Commentary with Director Ryan Bellgardt, Deleted Scenes and a Behind-the-Scenes Montage.

 

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