Jurassic Park III comes out today
July 18, 2001 11:56 AM   Subscribe

Jurassic Park III comes out today and is getting surprisingly good reviews (I'm going to see it in a couple of hours)! Most seem to have the tone of "Not great cinema, but a fun popcorn-chomper summer movie". Thank god, because this has been a mostly sucky year at the movies so far...
posted by hincandenza (41 comments total)
I'm throwing this up as the obligatory "Whadya think?" post necessary for major movie releases. I'm sure we'll be doing this when Planet of the Apes comes out in a week and a half... :)
posted by hincandenza at 11:57 AM on July 18, 2001

Please, please, please let this be better than JP 2. hincandenza - wouldja be kind enough to give us an update later on? I'm looking for more dinos, less character. Seriously.
posted by davidmsc at 12:00 PM on July 18, 2001

The Hollywood types seem to be pretty disappointed in the summer product's ability to deliver the dollars, according to a summary on Yahoo via Reuters. Big, huge, expensive titles like Pearl Harbor, A.I. and Lara Croft have tanked off over 50% in their second weekends of release - seriously bad. Financial hopes really are riding on the dinos, the apes and Jackie Chan now to salvage the summer numbers.
posted by m.polo at 12:19 PM on July 18, 2001

John want apes. John want apes NOW!
posted by jpoulos at 12:22 PM on July 18, 2001

According to the Imdb, Planet of the Apes isn't finished yet because the Studio wants Elfman to redo or modify the score.
posted by Cavatica at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2001

i don't think it can get any worse than a.i.
posted by panopticon at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2001

Jeez, I dunno about getting all excited about PoA. Inside.com had a story the other day about some drastic last-minute reshooting and other big fix-its that don't bode well...
posted by briank at 12:27 PM on July 18, 2001

Did anyone here actually see Jurassic Park II? And when did that come out? I had a dream about it, actually -- well, involving the sequel. Someone took me to see the thing, in the dream, and there was Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny and the Martian guy with the broom helmet, along with a bunch of Dinos on a basketball court. And the critics had said, in the dream, that the film was a worthy sequel. I gave the flick a thumb's down, because generally I didn't know what the hell was going on, and then I woke up.
posted by raysmj at 12:37 PM on July 18, 2001

I just saw JP3.

It was much better than 2, a fine sequel, certainly worth seeing.
The ending is a little abrupt, but no other real complaints.

No, you do not see Tea Leoni's breasts.

Planet of the Apes looks like total poo-poo to me.
First rule of movie making, never remake something that doesn't need it.
Remember that Psycho piece of crap from Gus Van Zant?
posted by dong_resin at 12:39 PM on July 18, 2001

I've used my crystal ball and written off the whole summer after seeing the trainwreck that is A.I. I still don't understand those DAMN FISH...

Hollywood will be getting my money in December when Fellowship of the Ring comes out. Till then, I'll be renting Dr. Strangelove for the umpteenth time.
posted by Tacodog at 12:40 PM on July 18, 2001

m.polo - every year we go through the same thing: big budget thrill rides don't live up to expectations and subsequently drop off the face of the planet after three weeks.

Yes, it's the studio's fault for not producing a worthwhile product. But it's also due to the huge number of screens available to release things on. Back in the day, big budget movies would last for weeks or months not due to better quality, but due to the fact that demand to see a movie outlasted the supply (number of screens and seats available to see said movie).

Nowadays, opening weekend sales continue to grow, as more screens become available for each major release. The downside to that is that sales drop off much more quickly as demand to see the film is met in the first or second week of release.

The perennial, season-long blockbuster has been replaced not because quality has decreased so much over the years, but because the multiplex has taken over. Studios knew this was going to happen years ago, which is why it has become so important to blitz the airways with ads for the big opening weekend rather than keep interest up as the weeks go on.
posted by dogmatic at 12:43 PM on July 18, 2001

For a good adult popcorn movie, go see The Score (De Niro, Norton, Brando).
posted by Ben Grimm at 1:04 PM on July 18, 2001

I saw The Score last night. It was good, though I felt the story was left unfinished at the end. I asked a friend for the time just as the credits started to roll.
posted by hobbes at 1:18 PM on July 18, 2001

First rule of movie making, never remake something that doesn't need it.


Um..sorry. It's not often I'm actually excited to see a Summer Blockbuster, but it sounds like PoA's a dog, so I am sad.

John want hobbits. John want hobbits NOW.
posted by jpoulos at 1:25 PM on July 18, 2001

This is hopeful: Jurassic Park 3 is just 90 minutes long! IMDb says that the first two were both over two hours. That mean less character development in dialog and exposition, and more dino fun per minute!

Also, William Macy is such a great fucking actor.
posted by nicwolff at 1:31 PM on July 18, 2001

If you are looking for a decent TV movie tonight, tune in to VH1 at 9pm (check local listings) to see Hysteria: The Def Leppard Story. The band says there are some discrepancies, but on the whole it's not that bad.
posted by riffola at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2001

Hobbes I definitely agree,
At the end of The Score I asked, where's the denouement? (yep, I was trying to sound pretentious) The twists didn't end up completely tied up. I definitely enjoyed it.
posted by Octaviuz at 1:43 PM on July 18, 2001

So I'm sitting in my chair last night, havin' some beers, when a friend whom I have known for many years drops by. 'Cept she's wearing a skirt and blouse. This is a woman I go to hockey games with and all she wears EVER are shorts and t-shirts. But no, she had to dress up to rub shoulders with the important people at the world premier of Jurrasic Park III. And just to make me even more bitter, she got in free to this (minimum) $25 show because another friend had a spare ticket garnered from an obviously over-indulgent boss. She raved, she ranted, she nearly came with her bad self telling me what an exciting and action filled movie this is. "The dinosaurs look sooooooo much more real, and there are sooooooo many more of them" she says to me. And just to rub a salt pack in all my many wounds, she has to quiz me on what species all the dinosaurs were. Oh yeah, baby, I'm a bitter, bitter man now. Never in my life have I wanted to see a movie more, over and over again.

John, you want Hobbits? I want Dinos, I want Dinos to eat hobbits. I want Dinos to eat anything. I want Dinos to eat anything NOW!

posted by Wulfgar! at 1:49 PM on July 18, 2001

> John want hobbits. John want hobbits NOW.

Yeah, yeah. Dear Ghod please let it be good.

In the meantime I have some hopes for Harry Potter in November. The stills look very much as I imagined it (as do the Hobbits.) If summer is boring, maybe fall will compensate the patient...
posted by jfuller at 2:05 PM on July 18, 2001

Someone took me to see [Lost World], in the dream, and there was Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny and the Martian guy with the broom helmet, along with a bunch of Dinos on a basketball court.

Yep, that's pretty much the movie.
posted by bilco at 2:37 PM on July 18, 2001

Okay, I'll say it: Legally Blonde was pretty damn good. Clueless good, but still good.
posted by jennak at 3:11 PM on July 18, 2001

Just waiting for Jay and Silent Bob. "I hate how fake Hollywood is!"
posted by ChrisTN at 3:28 PM on July 18, 2001

Hey, folks, back off on AI. It wasn't that bad. You thought the movie was artificial? How about the expectations of all those show-goers who thought those robots were aliens?
posted by mrbula at 3:54 PM on July 18, 2001

Bad summer for movies? Sure. But didn't anyone see Sexy Beast? That was the closest thing to come to a smart popcorn movie more than anything else that came out this summer.

As for the cowardly and hugely dissapointing A.I., it's on my top 10 worst films list for this year.
posted by ed at 3:59 PM on July 18, 2001

You're right, dogmatic, there has been a definite shift in the past few years, even with all the chains going under because of the proliferation of screens. It's also worth remembering that American first run hasn't been the real moneymaker in a long time. Even films that die the death here do big box overseas and produce rental numbers, so even with the fall offs, it's not like they're really hurting financially... Probably more of an image thing than anything else.

(A big ol' "Me, too!" for Sexy Beast. If you're old enough to remember Ghandi, Sexy Beast is worth seeing for one shot alone - plus great writing and several outstanding performances...)
posted by m.polo at 4:15 PM on July 18, 2001

So just got back from JP3. Not bad! Not great, not a classic, but an enjoyable action flick, better than most that have come out this year because it seems to drop any pretentions of greatness and just gets on with running and screaming and crashing and dinosaurs. Granted, at this point the dinosaurs aren't as novel as in the first or even the second, and other than this new huge dinosaur they introduce, and more about the raptors' intelligence, the movie doesn't really break new ground or add some new twist. Mostly, it's an action film that wants to put some thrills into your afternoon and not much more, which is nice- a little straightforwardness and humility is a nice change of pace in Hollywood this year. The critics are split on it at this point, but I think Roger Ebert's review said it best:
In a summer when B-movie ideas like have been blown up to gargantuan size and length with A-movie budgets, here is an action picture we actually wish was a little longer.

Worst film of the year? Hands down, "Saving Silverman". I hope everyone who was in any way involved in making that piece of cosmically bad trash spends an eternity being sodomized by a velociraptor.
posted by hincandenza at 4:22 PM on July 18, 2001

I saw Sexy Beast and I gave it a big "Ennnh." It's a renter, maybe, but it's too slow to be action and too dumb to be an intellectual movie. Ben Kingsley is superb and I'd rather the tale be told from his perspective. I don't know what the other actors were up to, but it amounted to a lot of waiting. The Spanish kid was a good touch, and I liked his mystery. I also liked the similarities of the plot to Michael Corleone in exile.

The Score was the best summer movie I've seen so far, but that's not saying much. Fairly smart, not over-the-top, good De Niro, a fruity Brando, an eager Ed Norton, a good appearance by Angela Basset: I liked it. But like others, I felt the ending was weak. I've seen that unexpected twist in too many movies not to expect it in an inside-the-gentleman-criminal's-world flick. Also, when will they stop using jazz as an identifier for sophistication? It doesn't hold, though it's not quite as bad as the sunglasses, used in promoting movies other than this one to indicate that someone is cool. Sunglasses in movie ads and posters are clichéd, hackneyed, trite, boring, idiotic, stupid, etc. Stop it. Sunglasses are not cool, but a sign you should avoid the film. Witness Get Shorty, an awful movie.

A.I was forgotten 15 minutes after I saw it, when a friend called and asked what I'd been up to and I couldn't remember. Not only forgettable, but disposable, unredeeming and less effective than the seven-page short story it was based on.

Planet of the Apes trailers make me scared the movie will be filled with horrendously obvious studio shots, in which there's no depth to the sets and multiple shadows from the the bad lighting (the kind of multiple shadows you'd only get from a planet with two or more suns, like Tatooine). Not on my must-see list: I suspect those tiresome action shots used in the trailers will appear in the released film between long, boring stretches of dubious dialogue. Just a suspicion.
posted by Mo Nickels at 4:31 PM on July 18, 2001

Sexy Beast had nothing but strong performances at its disposal, which is why I suggested that it was a smart popcorn movie. I felt McShane and Winstone were as good as Kingsley, even though the plot was essentially a heavy-handed comic book formula and Kingsley brought the most psychology to the role. Despite my relative satisfaction with the movie, however, I still can't believe that this was the best movie I've seen so far this summer. Better than the overblown Memento, Moulin Rouge and The Princess and the Warrior. But that ain't saying much, given that Dario Argento's magnificent films have been spinning of late in my DVD player. Is Sexy Beast really the best anybody can do?

Here's what we've had in June and July:

Dr. Doolitle 2
The Fast & The Furious
Kiss of the Dragon
Legally Blonde
Scary Movie 2
The Score
Tomb Raider
What's the Worst That Can Happen? (a loaded title, if ever there was one)

Not exactly an inspiring list of selections. (However, I still haven't seen Tsui Hark's Time and Tide) The last eighteen months have featured some of the dreariest films I've ever experienced in one period. The trailer for Planet of the Apes angers me, with its suddenly speaking Nova, passionless Markie Mark (who won't hold a candle to Heston's original portrayal) and its cheap soundstage look (compared to the original's appropriate location work). I suspect it will trash everything that the other Apes movies stand for.
posted by ed at 4:55 PM on July 18, 2001

Just got back from JP3- I really enjoyed it. I was gripping my wifes hand about as hard as she was mine. It was very enjoyable, but I agree- the ending was a bit abrupt. I'd recommend it. I may even see it again with friends- love $3 first run movie theatre!!
posted by TuxHeDoh at 6:16 PM on July 18, 2001

I did like Moulin Rouge and Memento, but I saw Memento last year*, so I forgot to include it in this year's movie list, and Moulin Rouge, as sweet as it was, doesn't last. Like a Tootsie Pop.

*There's so much advantage to seeing a movie pre-hype, I'm thinking of flying to Paris for two weeks each year, before Cannes, to catch those US movies that are released there for the festival but won't appear in the States for months.
posted by Mo Nickels at 6:31 PM on July 18, 2001

holgate: being sodomized by a velociraptor

Good lord...that's one of the most evocative phrases I've ever heard. (((shudder))) Glad you enjoyed JP3. Sounds like it is the movie that JP1 should have been...?
posted by davidmsc at 8:40 PM on July 18, 2001

Except for Planet Of The Apes, which I can't wait to see, I'm swearing off any movies that aren't in my Netflix queue.
Some recommended rentals: The Big Tease, Requiem For A Dream, State And Main. I think I'll skip Jurrassic Park III.
posted by culberjo at 8:47 PM on July 18, 2001

Amen, culberjo. Been a Netflix member for slightly over a week. Already seen 5 movies... I F*CKING LOVE NETFLIX...
posted by fooljay at 9:50 PM on July 18, 2001

I, for one, am waiting for Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. It looks like Mallrats, but I know that it will be better, seeing as Kevin Smith publicly apologized for it. In the meantime, I'll be renting movies. Requiem For A Dream is definately a movie that you should rent before going to see any of these movies in the theater.
posted by rift2001 at 10:15 PM on July 18, 2001

Cool discussion. Looking forward to JP3 and Jay+Silent Bob, liked Moulin Rouge, really impressed by startup.com, still want to see Sexy Beast, Memento. Blase about PoA.

I have to respond to something though...

Mo Nickels:
"Sunglasses in movie ads and posters are clichéd, hackneyed, trite, boring, idiotic, stupid, etc. Stop it. Sunglasses are not cool, but a sign you should avoid the film."

(Old) Counterexample: Lolita (1962)

"Witness Get Shorty, an awful movie."

Disagree highly with that. Get Shorty was actually a helluva lot of fun. Love Gene Hackman, Delroy Lindo, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito and a baby James Gandolfini in that movie. And the score by John Lurie is a lot of fun too.
posted by artlung at 10:58 PM on July 18, 2001

I'm waiting for the Planet of the Apes and Rollerball double-feature at the drive-in for a night of dumb fun.

On a side note, everyone must rent Requiem For a Dream. The best, most disturbing movie I've seen in years.
posted by ttrendel at 3:11 AM on July 19, 2001

Rift, got a link for that public apology? I kinda liked Mallrats.
posted by MarkO at 7:13 AM on July 19, 2001

The best movie I have seen this year is MEMENTO. Hands down Memento was the most interesting, thought provoking, you must-own-a-brain-to-see-this-movie, flick I have seen all year.

the heard the DVD comes out Sept. Ill be 1st in line to own it when it does.
posted by Qambient at 7:15 AM on July 19, 2001

MarkO, here you go. This is from The rocky rise of Kevin Smith, about half way down the page:

One evening, after Mallrats was a confirmed failure, Smith spoke before an audience of independent film makers. He started by publicly apologizing for Mallrats. Smith liked Mallrats (and still does), but he though this would be a good way to show that he had a sense of humor about it all. But what started as a joke won't be forgotten: Every time Roger Ebert writes about Smith, he never fails to mention the apology.

I thought Mallrats was good, but it was not a Clerks, Dogma, or Chasing Amy. It was more typical in terms of the jokes it made than his other films. Definately the worst of the Kevin Smith movies, but it wasn't at all unwatchable.
posted by rift2001 at 3:42 PM on July 19, 2001

I agree it has been a crappy summer so far. And it is sad that right now Sexy Beast would rank pretty high on my list of best.

It's sad because I didn't really like it, but it still gets many points for intelligence and creativity. I would probably put Moulin Rouge above it. For mindless fun I have to say Shrek has been my favorite so far.
posted by obfusciatrist at 4:37 PM on July 19, 2001

ttrendel: Not a chance. Rollerball got pushed back to February 2002.
posted by ed at 5:18 PM on July 19, 2001

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