Jurassic Park (1993)
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Written by David Koepp and Michael Crichton
Warning: Spoilers ahead.
After Jaws, Jurassic Park is my favorite Spielberg. By and large, it’s a great big piece of blockbusting cinematic magic. So what if its plot does little beyond getting characters where they need to be in order to get attacked by dinosaurs in the most spectacular of fashions—and often ungracefully? (Where exactly did that goat come from?) It ain’t Tarkovsky, guys—it’s purely entertainment for its own sake. It’s a creature feature about a dinosaur zoo going haywire. If this prospect alone isn’t enough to excite you, go back to your art films you pretentious tosser, because if you’re not too full of yourself to buy into it, this movie is a serious treat. Even almost 20 years after its theatrical release, Jurassic Park remains one of the greatest cinematic thrill rides ever released.
Continue reading Jurassic Park Was Almost Ruined By The Technology That Made It Possible
The Master (2012)
Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Warning: this review contains spoilers I guess. Nothing happens in this movie though, so you can’t really be ‘spoiled’.
The Master isn’t a movie. It’s a bunch of footage. I’ll get to that, but first I need to walk you through how I feel about P.T. Anderson’s filmography. Excluding Hard Eight. Let’s just pretend Hard Eight doesn’t exist. That’s not difficult, since nobody has seen it or even heard of it. So, starting with Boogie Nights:
Boogie Nights is about a guy, Dirk Diggler, that part is clear, but then, for no reason, there’s a bunch of footage of other guys—ancillary ones. This is because P.T. Anderson wanted to make a three-hour movie. Which is insulting. It’s insulting because rather than try to make a good movie that people will like, he simply wanted to make a three-hour movie. And the way he attempted to do this (I say ‘attempted’ because the finished version is 155 minutes) was through loading it with superfluous side characters whose arcs don’t matter. They matter so little that their conclusions are either mind-blowingly lazy (the shot of Rollergirl sitting in a high school classroom shoved into a montage at the end) or completely nonexistent (we must visit the deleted scenes on the DVD to see what happens to the black porn actress. Apparently the guy she married beats her for some reason.)
Continue reading The Master: P.T. Anderson’s Bunch of Footage That Got Released Somehow
Mrs. Doubtfire (1993)
Directed by Christopher Columbus
Screenplay by Randi Mayem Singer and Leslie Dixon
Adapted from the novel Alias Madame Doubtfire by Anne Fine
Shut up, I’m serious. It’s a superhero movie, I swear to god. I’ll explain why and everything and it’ll totally make sense. But first, a little backstory.
I worked at a hole-in-the-wall video store for about five years, in my teens. This was in a neighborhood with tons of little kids. I saw what they took out and what they didn’t. Mrs. Doubtfire went out all the fucking time. This was not during the 90’s, mind you—this was 10-15 years after the movie came out. We couldn’t keep the thing on the shelf. It outperformed all other kids movies, and was the absolute most rented DVD and VHS in the place.
Kids would rent it over and over, too. I’d see the same faces bringing it up to the counter every few weeks, which is strange, because you’d think if a kid were renting it that often, their parents would just buy it for them already, rather than constantly shelling out $3 every time they wanted to watch it. Fishy.
Continue reading Mrs. Doubtfire is one of the Greatest Superhero Movies Ever Made
The second most interesting thing that happens in Meek’s Cutoff.
Meek’s Cutoff (2010)
Directed by Kelly Reichardt
Written by Jonathan Raymond
Warning: Mild spoilers ahead.
One review I read of Meek’s Cutoff called it an “anti-Western”, and that title is apt. Director Kelly Reichardt does approach the genre from a unique perspective. She shows the earliest journeys made by settlers to the American far West as they really were: really fucking tedious most of the time.
There’s a wagon train of eight people lost and thirsty in the Oregon desert. They think their guide—the asshole racist Stephen Meek—is responsible, either from negligence or malice. A lone Native American shows up and Meek captures him. They think the Native American might know how to find water, so they take him along. They get into an argument when one of their wagons crashes. Then they see a living tree. I guess that means they find water, but I don’t know because the movie ends before anything else happens. That’s not a synopsis, that’s literally every significant plot point in the whole thing.
Continue reading Meek’s Cutoff is a Tedious Nightmare
Directed by David Brooks
Written by Chris Sparling
Warning: This review contains spoilers, but it doesn’t matter, because this movie sucks.
In ATM, a guy parks his car about a hundred yards from an ATM for no reason. I guess just to make his friend walk really far in the freezing cold. What an asshole. Then, a few minutes later, after a bunch of stupid devices have conveniently put all three of our main characters in a glass-enclosed ATM together, they’re afraid to exit because they see a guy 25 feet away wearing a coat. I’m not kidding. They live in New York City, yet they’re afraid of a guy, I guess, because he’s wearing a coat. It literally just looks like he’s waiting for them to leave so he can use the ATM. But then, to prove their illogical suspicions were actually correct, the coat guy suddenly murders a guy walking a dog. As it turns out, the coat guy is a weird murderer who stakes out people at ATMs.
Continue reading ATM: The Worst Movie Ever to Come Out of the Worst Genre Ever (A Bunch of Dudes Stuck in a Room and They Don’t Know Why)