The joy, for me, of independent films is seeing how they make up for the lack of budget. I mean, being serious for a minute, the usual budget for the making of the whole indie films that I see wouldn’t cover the cost of the chap who brews the stagehands’ tea on a Marvel film. It could be the cast. Let’s face it…it’s usually the cast! Occasionally you will find an established actor who wants to give something back by doing a cameo in an indie. Check out the back catalogues of Ian McKellen, Conleth Hill, and Eric Roberts to see what I mean.
Other times the cast will be filled with actors with an IMDb portfolio which struggles to get into double figures. This doesn’t mean that they aren’t good, just that they haven’t had a lot of opportunities. Some are young, some are new to the profession but, let’s face it, they’ve made more films than I have! Perhaps the cult of celebrity is a little overdone. Let’s face it big names may open big films but that doesn’t mean every big film is a good film! Many, many independent films are populated by people you have never heard of but they can, very often, be excellent entertainment.
He’s Going To Eat Me
Other big areas to save money are locations, music, and special effects. Locations in Indies are, usually, found or flimsy. They could be just picked up and used as is with tweaks to the story or they are just random rooms with a few posters or props put up to make them look like they need to be for the storyline; mise-en-scène it isn’t! Music and sound in general is another giveaway. Lower budget films tend to have a hollow sound. I find it hard to put into words exactly what it is but, in a big budget film, the sound is fuller and it tends not to swamp things like the dialogue. The other big budget item is special effects.
Let’s be honest, that’s where the big bucks are spent in the MCU and the DCEU. The $350 million that is spent on CGI for each Avengers title would make an awful lot of indie titles! So how does The Adventures Of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret stand up to those criteria? As is so often the case, better in some areas than others. The locations were fine but, being honest, there was no call for anything special. Generic houses, woods, lakes, warehouses, etc. were required and they were “cast” adequately. The sound seemed to be very good at the start. I was quite surprised to hear a full orchestra playing. Usually the background music is some guy on a synthesiser to keep costs down.
No, He Likes You
A full orchestra, a composer, and an arranger all add up. But stock music is much cheaper! It worked well for a while but then started to feel intrusive. I suppose that the biggest giveaway was with the special effects. They were definitely, but understandably, sub par when compared with the mega-franchise offerings. That, though, wasn’t too bad a thing. They did lend a certain charm to the proceedings and you soon engaged your willing suspension of disbelief. Where The Adventures Of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret stood out was with the cast. Carolyn Josephine Wright was marvellous as Tadrina Green. I looked her up on IMDb and was astounded that this was her feature debut! She will be on my radar in the future.
I felt the same sort of thing about the two young leads Sophie Proctor (Wendy Jenkins) and Myles Currin-Moore (Curtis Lee Miller); both of them are just starting out but both have masses of potential. The Adventures Of Jurassic Pet 2: The Lost Secret is a great family film and I look forward to taking my granddaughter to see it. It will go well with children; the mildly irritating bad guy duo Barney and Clyde (LaRonn Marzett and Rahjzae Moore) reminded me of Kenan And Kel which my daughter used to love! It’s a simple story which will enthral children while engaging the adults.
Movie Grade: B+
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Former teacher, lecturer, homelessness administrator, pharmacy dispenser now happily retired, happily married, and a very happy granddad. I live next to the Mersey but on the side Daniel Craig and Taron Egerton come from rather than the side the Beatles came from!