There’s an old expression about how “one person’s trash is another person’s treasure.” Truer words were never spoken about the world of movies. Art is completely subjective and there really is no accounting for taste. As an open-minded guy who believes everyone is entitled to their opinion, I’m willing to accept almost any argument in favor of a movie; I may not agree with it, but I’d never deny someone their right to express themselves. The only argument I automatically reject on principle is “turn off your brain.” If the only way to enjoy something is to turn your brain off, then it probably isn’t very good.
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The good movies are supposed to come out in the second half of the year. January through June, that’s the dumping ground; the crap that was so toxic it had to get buried in the winter, followed by the empty-headed excitement of summer blockbuster season.
Jurassic World just had the biggest opening weekend of all time, so yeah, there’s going to be a sequel. And yeah, there’s no way Universal is going to going to wait 14 years like they did after Jurassic Park III. They’re not even going to wait four years like they did after the first two movies. They are going to fast track this thing like you wouldn’t believe. Expect a Jurassic World sequel in two years, maybe three.
When viewers head to the theater to watch Jurassic World this weekend, they’ll find a movie that transports them, almost literally, back to the first Jurassic Park. Colin Trevorrow’s new film is a sequel to Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original — and only that film. In an interview with ScreenCrush, when Trevorrow was asked about whether his movie pretended The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III never happened, Trevorrow explained, “Our film is just more of a direct sequel to the original Jurassic Park.” He made a similar comment to Yahoo! Movies; he told them the earlier sequels “aren’t being written out of continuity so much as placed to the side, as they both unfolded on a different island.”
Every movie fan has that moment that transforms them from a casual viewer into a full-blown fanatic. It’s the screening that resonates with them for the rest of their life, where you enter the theater and re-emerge a few hours later as a fundamentally different person. They will probably never reach that high again, but that’s okay. The moment was your moment. That screening was your screening. That movie was your movie. Your name may not be in the credits, but it belongs to you.
Any horror movie fan can tell you about this scene. A character, whether it be the blank-faced heroine or the ill-fated, bumbling cop, is investigating a noise. Or they’re searching for their friend/partner who said they would be right back and then weren’t. As they conduct a seemingly monotonous search, the film’s sound design goes silent. The score slips away. It’s quiet. Too quiet. Something bad is going to happen. The film is telegraphing something horrible. Something big! And then a cat suddenly leaps out of the darkness with a vicious “meeerow!” because that’s what cats do in horror movies.
That old familiar standby of Community signing off has again arrived, perhaps a bit more under the radar than in previous years, but nonetheless completing the first half of its #SixSeasonsandaMovie pledge. Meta as ever, “Emotional Consequences of Broadcast Television” said a heartfelt goodbye to Season 6 as it envisioned a potential Season 7, but would fans (or Dan Harmon) even want it?
What if there was a place, a secret place where nothing was impossible? How would you introduce people to that place? For Tomorrowland director Brad Bird, the answer to that question was a show-stopping, six-minute unbroken take that follows its heroine as she explores this magical wonderland for the first time. She watches men in jetpacks zoom overhead, rides a floating monorail, and nearly accepts an invitation to board a rocket ship headed for outer space — until her invite runs out of juice and she’s returned home.
Tonight at 11:35PM, for the very last time, a new episode of The Late Show with David Letterman airs on CBS. Even though I stopped regularly watching Letterman years ago, I, like a lot of folks of my generation, are approaching the occasion with a heavy, nostalgic heart. David Letterman was a late-night institution for over 30 years; my entire life as a conscious human being. I cannot remember a time before David Letterman. In a changing world, he was a constant, as certain as death and taxes.
The best science fiction stories are smugglers. Underneath the high concept that drives the action lurks an ulterior motive, a message that is being quietly transported into your mind. Genre filmmakers have long used the impossible to comment on the mundane, jumping into the distant future to comment on the here and now. Politics and science fiction go hand-in-hand – H.G. Wells’ War of the Worlds slyly revealed the harsh terrors of colonialism and Robert Wise’s The Day the Earth Stood Still pointed an angry finger at mankind’s war-like nature. Both of those stories were indebted to the times in which they were made, drawing on the ugliness of the world around them to bring weight to the fantastical. It’s easy to settle in for what you think is a movie about aliens, only to find yourself watching something else entirely. Truly great sci-fi gives you what you need, not what you want, even when it tastes bitter in your mouth.