Has any film ever made more money cruising off of pure nostalgia than Jurassic World? Recently bumped down to #6 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.
Jurassic Park was the first PG-13 movie I ever got to see in the theater. Twenty-five years later, as the fifth film in the franchise is getting ready to lumber into theaters, the original still stands as one of the greatest blockbusters ever made. To honor those pesky dinos, WatchMojo has put together a list of the 10 best moments from the first four films of the Jurassic franchise. WM 90% nailed this one. The first film dominates the list, as it should. If I had to include every installment on the list, the only change between my list and theirs would have been to use the pterodactyl scene from Jurassic Park III instead of the Spinosaurus. The franchise is more notable for its ability to generate bank rather than its quality past the original film (the bomb that was JPIII aside). Fallen Kingdom’s early reviews don’t offer much hope that the fifth film will do much better than 2-4, but the original will always rank among my favorite summer films of all-time.
Stop me if you’ve heard this one: Lucasfilm fired a Star Wars director. Though it’s being spun as a mutually agreeable parting of ways, Variety is reporting Trevorrow much like Phil Miller, Chris Lord, and Josh Trank, was fired off of his Star Wars project. Forgot about Trank, didn’t you? (and we’re not even sure what spin-off that was supposed to be for). However, it’s been less than three months since Lord & Miller were fired with only three weeks left in Han Solo‘s principal photography and replaced with Ron Howard. Who’s going to replace Trevorrow? The obvious choice is Rian Johnson, since he’s kept a tight ship on The Last Jedi and wrote the screenplay for Episode IX, but there’s no immediate rumored replacement.
On one hand, I’m kind of glad about this one. Jurassic World is a massively overrated movie in which the direction was one of its biggest problems (though I do love Trevorrow’s Safety Not Guaranteed). Trevorrow helming what may be the last Episode made me nervous. Now, I’m beginning to get a little nervous about Lucasfilm scaring off potential directing talent. I’m glad they’re sticking to their guns on their vision of the story and the universe, and given the two films we’ve gotten, you can hardly argue with their end product. Directors, though, want control, and the Star Wars franchise is quickly developing a reputation as a place where directors don’t have it. How JJ Abrams and Rian Johnson made it look so easy is looking like a miracle (maybe Abrams will return for IX?). Remember, even though he wasn’t fired, Rogue One director Gareth Edwards was supplanted by Tony Gilroy who came in to help shoot the massive reshoots that admittedly made the film a better product. Does today’s news worry you about the long-term future of the franchise, or are you happy Trevorrow is gone? Who should replace him? Star Wars Episode IX is scheduled for a May 24, 2019 release. More below including the official divorce statement from Coming Soon. Continue reading Colin Trevorrow Leaves Star Wars Episode IX; What is it With Lucasfilm and Directors???→
It was never even close. The Killing Time Community Film of 2015 by a 40 point margin is Star Wars Episode VIII: The Force Awakens!!! I agree and named it Best Picture when the Renaissance Awards went up yesterday (click here to review). Mad Max: Fury road finished a distant second and The Revenant (which I suppose is the Community’s pick amongst those films actually in the running tomorrow) finished third.
What I thought was great was that every single one of the 15 nominated films got votes. Even if Star Wars wasn’t your favorite film this year, there was a film(s) that will stick with you and I think the breadth of the voting once you got past the juggernaut in first showed that. Tomorrow night is OSCAR NIGHT! Tune in so you can understand what I’ll be screaming about on Monday. It’ll be interesting to see if host Chris Rock addresses Spike Lee’s boycott. I think the thing I’m most rooting for is for John Williams to win Best Score for Star Wars with his 50th Oscar nomination (FIFTY). It may be the last chance for the maestro, and he legitamitely deserves it. Our look back at 2015 has ended (though expect a mega lightning review bomb next week of the films I watched to catch up) and it’s time to begin 2016 in earnest. See you at the movies!
Here are our legacy winners (all PG-13, huh): 2012: The Dark Knight Rises 2013: Gravity 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy 2015: Star Wars Episode VII
2015 was a fantastic year for movies, and now it is time for the Killing Time Community to do their yearly duty and anoint one movie as the BEST FILM OF 2015. I do my own yearly awards (The Renaissance Film Awards) just before the Oscars, so this is the readers’ pick. Will you follow the critics toward The Revenant or Spotlight? Will you pick a summer favorite like Mad Max, Inside Out or Jurassic World? Or will the odds-on favorite, the biggest film in history, Star Wars Episode VII: The Force Awakens, take home the prize?
Here are how the 15 finalists for the award were chosen: I took the eight films the Academy nominated for Best Picture, added the next four highest ranked by my personal list, and then added the top three box office earners not covered by either previous category. All year you endure my yakking about my opinions, but this is your award. This is our most important poll of the year, so VOTE! The winner will be announced on February 27, 2016, (Oscar Eve), and will join the ranks of past winners: 2012: The Dark Knight Rises 2013: Gravity 2014: Guardians of the Galaxy 2015: ?????????