Has any film ever made more money cruising off of pure nostalgia than Jurassic World? Recently bumped down to #5 on the box office charts, the 2015 hit still made an absurd amount of money playing on the desire of a new generation to scare their kids with the dinosaurs that traumatized them. The only thing more hollow than Jurassic World is..well, any other sequel to Jurassic Park. All the elements from the first film return in the fourth film, but the difference is in the director’s chair: Spielberg turning in his last great blockbuster vs. Colin Trevorrow showing how short of Spielberg he is.
The film’s attempt to differentiate itself borrows a lot from The Lost World (and is apparently what Fallen Kingdom will continue to explore): the weaponization of dinosaurs and genetic editing. Primary Incompetent Geneticist Dr. Henry Wu’s tinkering in this film led to the creation of the I-Rex, a camouflaging master and T-Rex/Velociraptor hybrid. I don’t have a big problem with the I-Rex. It’s a nice creature, and its final battle with the original T-Rex is fantastic (coulda done without Deus Ex Mosasaur). But what it represented: a new generation of dinos that were spackled together by scientists rather than recreated from nature is a storyline that I think will eventually extinguish the dinosaur renaissance. If not in the wake of the fifth film than after the already greenlit sixth.
The LEGO Movie was one of the best surprises I’ve had at the movies this decade. It combined a wildly inventive animation style with a script that had laughs and feels in it for anyone from 1 to 100. Future LEGO installments haven’t been able to touch the magic of the original, and the sequel arrives early next year after a number of rewrites. While the original voice cast returns, original directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller are only producers this time and the final script is only based on a story idea of theirs.
Everything is not awesome in Bricksburg. Five years after Taco Tuesday, our heroes are in a post-apocalyptic DUPLO-created nightmare. The first trailer for the sequel has some laughs and made me smile, but I’m honestly a more than a little worried that without Lord & Miller running this show it’s going to be hard to recapture the magic of the first film. The LEGO Movie 2 will open in February 2019. More from Coming Soon below. Continue reading The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part Trailer #1 (2019) *They Come in Pieces*
I was not a huge fan of Jurassic World (you can read my review here), but I will readily admit of the other options, it is by far the best sequel to Jurassic Park. The fifth film in the series has a better director in J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls, Finding Neverland), but the script is still written by Jurassic World’s Colin Treverrow, and the script was one of the biggest problems in that film. One of the most troubling developments in that film was the notion that dinosaurs aren’t impressive enough anymore. That now instead of just normal dinosaurs, we have hybrid dinosaurs, and the weaponization of those dinosaurs by the military seems so so far from just beholding the wonder and danger of these creatures like we did when the jeep bulled up to the Brachiosaurus in Jurassic Park. This trailer makes it look flat out like a monster movie, not a dinosaur movie, and I lose more interest in this sequel the more I see of it. Not even the return of Jeff Goldblum and more misadventures of the world’s worst geneticist, Dr. Henry Wu, can get me excited at this point. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens June 22, 2018. More below from Coming Soon. Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer #2 (2018) “The Park Is Closed”
If you’re not a baseball fan and you’ve never watched Moneyball because of that, here’s a great piece of news: it’s not really a baseball film; it’s a film about economics. Wait. No. That doesn’t make it sound more exciting. Moneyball by Michael Lewis is a book that changed the way baseball is viewed by fans and baseball personnel. It attempted to explain how the Oakland A’s, a team with a payroll a fraction of the size of, say, the Yankees, Red Sox, or Dodgers, is consistently in contention for a spot in the World Series. The answer is: they don’t sign players or people; they sign numbers.
The Oakland A’s General Manager Billy Beane became the disciple of a formula that looks for players who simply get on base. Getting on base produces runs; runs produce wins. Moneyball is the story of his crusade to change how baseball is run, and only Michael Lewis, who is the best writer on economic matters to people who have no understanding of economics (hi), and Aaron Sorkin, who can make any subject compelling and fun, could have put together a movie version of that crusade that is riveting. It’s one of Brad Pitt’s best performances, as Beane fighting the entirety of the A’s to make his vision work, and one of the film’s best scenes comes before things start to click and he stumbles upon an upbeat locker room after another loss that Beane knows he’s going to have to answer for to everyone.
Last night, at The Video Game Awards, Universal Studios released the first trailer for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. As near as I can gather, some time has passed from the first film and Isla Nublar-turns out-is a volcano (that’s poor geological planning), and a team is dispatched to the island to save the dinosaurs while a political fight rages over whether these dinosaurs have the right to live. At the center of that fight, and the thing I’m most looking forward to about this film, is the return of Jeff Goldblum’s Dr. Ian Malcolm.
I was not a huge fan of Jurassic World (you can read my review here), but I will readily admit of the other options, it is by far the best sequel to Jurassic Park. The fifth film in the series has a better director in J.A. Bayona (The Impossible, A Monster Calls, Finding Neverland), but the script is still written by Jurassic World’s Colin Treverrow, and the script was one of the biggest problems in that film. We’ve seen dinosaurs now. The ones in Jurassic Park still hold up going into the film’s 25th anniversary next year. What’s missing is a good story, and as cool as it is to see dinos, I’m hoping there’s more to it than I’m seeing in trailer #1. Oh, and I WILL require more misadventures of the world’s worst geneticist: Dr. Henry Wu. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom opens June 22, 2018. More below from Coming Soon. Continue reading Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom Trailer #1 (2018) “Life Finds a Way.”