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Ranking the Jurassic Park movies because here we are

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Ranking movies is about as arbitrary as it gets, and then there’s ranking movies within a specific franchise… Yeah, I’d say it’s an exercise in futility, so you may be wondering, “Why do it?” The fact that you’re reading this is the answer. Anyway, here’s my ranking of worst to best of the Jurassic Park movie series, and just for the record, I don’t care how many Jurassic World movies they make, I’m not calling it that EVER.

5. Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

This movie is boring and a carbon copy of the previous installment – all they did was substitute “the park is open” with “the park is covered in lava” and then immediately abandoned what could have been an intriguing ticking clock gimmick for BORING. Meh.

4. Jurassic World

A pale imitation of the original with a pale imitation of Indiana Jones in the lead. There’s a few cool things to look at, but this is a bland affair – aside from the most brutal inessential character death to ever be put on screen.

3. The Lost World: Jurassic Park II

Sure, it’s a clunker, but it’s MEMORABLE.

“We’re not going to make the same mistakes again.” “No, you’ll make all new ones!”

“You got kicked off the team?!?”

And so on. The trailer falling off the cliff is neat, too.

2. Jurassic Park III

This movie gets better every time I see it. The phone gag never gets old. I know the dream sequence is silly, but I look forward to it and I laugh every time.

1. Jurassic Park

Or, as I like to call it, “Jaws for people who think Jaws is boring.” It was visually dazzling in it’s day, but there’s a lot of tension here, too. It’s definitely one of the best of the big budget blockbuster of the 90s.

Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom? More like Failing Franchise! (Movie review)

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(And by “Failing,” I mean artistically, obviously not commercially.)

Journey with me into the depths of Universal Pictures and see how a Jurassic World movie gets made… if you DARE.

“Okay everybody, it’s time to open the cash register that is the Jurassic Park franchise. Does anybody have ideas for a script?”

“That’s easy. Just take the script for Jurassic World and cross out “The Park is open,” and replace it with “There’s lava, but not for the entire movie, because that would get expensive,” and that’ll do. For the rest of the time, we’ll just do the exact same ‘genetically engineered dinosaur on the loose’ and ‘dinosaurs can be trained, bond with humans’ thing we did last time.”

“Okay.  I think that’s lunch.”

It’s just that simple, folks.  They put shiny thing in front of us and we open our wallets.

Speaking of which, Director J. A. Bayona gives us some interesting things to look at during the course of 128 minutes where there’s nothing to think or feel about – he does this trick with shadows that’s both effective and cool to look at, but he does it more than once, which was probably not a good idea.

Meanwhile, the idea to bring human cloning into the movie reeks of both “Look, here’s something NEW! Don’t you see how this movie is totally different?” and “This may be way off brand, but the next movie can now be able human-dinosaur hybrids,” and man, do I NOT want to see that movie.

Anyway, Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard are both likable enough, Daniella Pineda and Justice Smith are both welcomed additions and Jeff Goldblum isn’t really in this movie, it’s just a cheap gimmick.  Toby Jones and B. D. Wong could really use a mustache to twirl, and that about rounds out the cast.

What else can I say about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom?  It’s especially engaging – I’ve never seen so many people leave the theater to go to the bathroom during a movie.  It’s not that it’s fundamentally broken, it’s just lazy.  If this is your first Jurassic Park movie, maybe you’ll enjoy it. but as a twenty year veteran of the franchise, I was just waiting for it to be over.

San Andreas movie review

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“I guess this is as good a time as any to talk about our failed marriage.”

I was on a flight from Newark to Denver and I said to myself, San Andreas is exactly the sort of movie you watch on a plane; dial your expectations down and watch The Rock be charismatic.”  I was right, but more than that, this is actually a pretty tight action movie.  Read the rest of this entry

Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation movie review

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I am by no means a James Bond aficionado, but if you’d of told kid-me that I’d like the Mission Impossible movie series more than 007’s alcohol infused, STD covered adventures, I’d of sad you were nuts, and I’d have been wrong.  Rogue Nation is, for me, the final iteration it takes for me to realize that Ethan Hunt is just as credible as any other legendary action character and, in a lot of ways, more so.

Oh, and I liked the movie, too.  Read the rest of this entry

Catwoman movie review

2004’s Catwoman is a mess of pandering, lazy and sloppy writing that the filmmakers hoped would be covered over by Halle Berry’s beauty.  SPOILER ALERT:  it is not.  Read the rest of this entry

Darkman quick movie review

What can I say about Darkman?  It’s very much a product of its time in terms of its action movie-ness, yet it’s clear Sam Raimi wanted to make a superhero movie back when studios weren’t knocking each other open to buy up licenses.  So we can an original character and a new franchise and get to hear Liam Neeson do an American accent.  Read the rest of this entry

Ant-Man quick movie review

Marvel’s Ant-Man is the latest installment (by my count, this is the 11th movie in the franchise) in their Cinematic Universe and is currently soaking up all of the box office money.  Isn’t it amazing that Marvel has just released a movie starring one of its lesser known protagonists and yet it’s still debatable whether or not DC Comics can even get their franchise off the ground?  I digress… frankly, Ant-Man is business as usual (more than usual, actually), but that doesn’t mean it’s not good fun.  Read the rest of this entry

Living in Oblivion quick movie review

There’s movies about making movies, and then there’s Living in Oblivion, headlined by Steve Buscemi, Catherine Keener and Peter Dinklage.

Also, this is one of the worst trailers I’ve ever seen.

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Mission Impossible movie review

It’s the original, it’s the best of the bunch, it’s one of the most underrated action movies of the 1990s, it’s Mission Impossible – franchise starter protocol!  Read the rest of this entry

Dawn of the Planet of the Apes movie review

Like the first installment of the rebooted franchise, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes features little in the way of surprises, but is generally superior to Rise without being especially remarkable. 
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Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron movie review

I was entertained by Avengers: Age of Ultron, but I also have to rip it to shreds.  There’s a lot to like, but honestly, it’s a bladder punishing two hours and twenty minutes that carries too much bloat.  
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Iron Monkey movie review

Iron Monkey is the sort of action movie that doesn’t bury the lead.  Iron Monkey is the hero of the film, he’s a badass in the Robin Hood tradition and this movie gets right to the point – surreal kung fu fighting!  Read the rest of this entry

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