Tag Archives: summer blockbusters

The Bitch Is, Regrettably, Back: Jurassic World, reviewed.

jurassic-world-pratt-howard

Stuff I Ran Out of Space to Say in My Just-Posted NPR Review of Jurassic World:

1) Yeah, the sense of wonder that still comes through in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 original comes back, fleetingly, a little, just in the opening act. I think that’s mostly down to Michael Giacchino’s score, which interpolates John Williams’ stately, noble Jurassic Park theme the way John Ottman’s music for Superman Returns interpolated Williams’ march from Superman.

1a)  I haven’t been able to stop humming Williams’ “Theme from Jurassic Park” in the two days since I saw the new one. Giacchino is the busiest and probably best composer in the blockbuster game these days, as ubiquitous as Williams was 30 or 25 years ago. But I can’t recall any of his original Jurassic World music.

2) This movie, while enjoyable, is even better if you imagine there are subtitles under all the shots of dinosaurs’ faces, like when dog and bear confer in Anchorman.

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For The Village Voice, L.A. Weekly, and affiliates, Ten Summer Movies I Hope Don’t Suck

Disney•Pixar's "Inside Out" takes us to the most extraordinary location yet - inside the mind of Riley. Like all of us, Riley is guided by her emotions - Anger (voiced by Lewis Black), Disgust (voiced by Mindy Kaling), Joy (voiced by Amy Poehler), Fear (voiced by Bill Hader) and Sadness (voiced by Phyllis Smith). The emotions live in Headquarters, the control center inside Riley's mind, where they help advise her through everyday life. Directed by Pete Docter and produced by Jonas Rivera, "Inside Out" is in theaters June 19, 2015.

It’s Memorial Day weekend, which a long time ago in a galaxy far, far away used to signal the start of the summer movie season. Sometime around the turn of the century, the summer movies began arriving the first weekend in May. In recent years the first weekend in April has become a perennial launchpad for Marvel movies and Fast & Furious flicks.

But I’m the sentimental type, so I (and The Village Voice and L.A. Weekly) waited until this week to post my look at ten releases coming up in roughly the next 10 weeks for which I’ve got grand or at least moderate hopes. Plus Magic Mike XXL, which I was asked to add so the list wouldn’t be “too straight.” I am aware that Channing Tatum is what the former John “Cougar” Mellencamp would call “a real good dancer,” but Steven Soderbergh is not un-retiring from theatrical filmmaking to direct this sequel, so I’d probably rather see Jurassic World or Ant-Man, neither of which made the cut.

Have a great summer, movie lovers.

Quizzed on Pop Culture Happy Hour’s 200th episode, live!

Audie Cornish and Linda Holmes compete in the Wonder Woman quiz administered by Glen Weldon, June 24, 2014.

Audie Cornish and Linda Holmes compete in the Wonder Woman quiz administered by Glen Weldon, June 24, 2014.

This was my enviable view for most of Pop Culture Happy Hour’s special 200th episode live show at NPR headquarters last month. But I did have the honor of briefly ascending the stage to join All Things Considered film critic (and my Washington City Paper colleague) Bob Mondello in absolutely crushing NPR’s Tanya Ballard Brown and Petra Mayer in the blockbuster movie IMDB plot keyword quiz conceived by PCHH host Linda Holmes. That’s about halfway through the quiz segment of the show, posted today.

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Anyway, We Delivered the Bomb: On Choosing the 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters

Scheider in "JAWS." I knew Spielberg's 1975 genre-starter would be No. 1.

In honor of the historic 25th anniversary of the release of Lethal Weapon 2, give or take a couple of days  — no, that’s not actually why I did this — I elucidated the agonizing process of logrolling and negotiating required for me to determine my votes in The Dissolve‘s list of the 50 greatest summer blockbusters in this essay for NPR Monkey See.

Sometimes you need the Socratic Method and math to discover you’re dead inside.

(My Contributions to) The Dissolve‘s 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters

It’s only July 1, but thanks to the ever-accelerating start date of the summer movie season — it kicked off the first weekend of April this year, when Captain America: The Winter Soldier came out — summer movies are done. I still want to see Snowpiercer, which will roll out to Washington, DC this week, but the less-than-enthusiastic early notices from critics I respect has tempered my enthusiasm for that. There’s no Dark Knight coming in two weeks. There’s no Terminator 2: Judgment Day opening at midnight tomorrow night. Does that sadden me? It does, a little! Shut up.

Anyway, I was honored to be one of a dozen critics who determined — through three rounds of voting — the 50 Greatest Summer Blockbusters for The Dissolve. Numbers 50-31 were posted yesterday; 30-11 went up today. Tomorrow you’ll all find out what we deemed the Top Ten.

I had the honor of writing the entires for three of my favorites: Steven Spielberg‘s Minority Report, from 2002, which placed 46th; Nic Meyer‘s Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, from 1982, which placed 37th; and at lucky no. 13, James Cameron‘s Terminator 2: Judgment Day, which is probably my personal all-time favorite summer movie. (I still love you, Jaws, but so does everyone else, and you arrived before I did. Whereas I had the experience of discovering T2‘s greatness at the same as the rest of the world.)

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