9 items from 2016
Exactly a year ago today, millions of us swamped to theaters all over the world to see a sequel we had been waiting 14 years (though some might argue 22) for. Yes, a year ago today Jurassic World stormed into theaters to the tune of very ridiculous record setting numbers and breathed new life into a beloved franchise that had been basically dead for a decade and a half. Now that we have all had some time to cool down, love it or hate it, this presents a good opportunity to reflect on Jurassic World and understand what it did and what the future of the franchise will be as a result.
Jurassic Park just turned 23 and in case you haven't watched it in a while, it holds up on a level that very few effects heavy films, or any films for that matter, ever do. A few years after that, we got The Lost World which isn't without its problems, but in hind sight is actually a really good sequel and still holds some of the most awesome moments in the franchise. And then Jurassic Park III happened. It takes a lot to almost totally kill a franchise as monumental as the Jurassic Park franchise, but Joe Johnston's third installment damn near did it.
The film is far and away the lowest grossing of the franchise according to Box Office Mojo, it was panned by critics, introduced a very big, dumb dinosaur that killed the face of the franchise and had almost no stakes because none of the characters were allowed to die after the first 30 minutes of the film. After Jurassic Park III, Universal clearly didn't know where to go with it, but development on Jurassic Park 4 started and went through countless iterations ranging from predictable to utterly ridiculous. We've all seen the human/dino hybrid concept art by now.
However, thanks to a simple yet brilliant idea from the series creator Steven Spielberg to have a fully functioning version of Jurassic Park, now we're here. Ever since 1993, we all pretty much knew that it was a bad idea to have a lot of people around man eating dinosaurs, but not one of us who grew up watching the original films wouldn't go to a dinosaur filled version of Disneyland. And that is what Spielberg realized. Jurassic Park III failed for a lot of reasons, but primarily we all just realized that dinosaurs chasing people on an island with no purpose somehow gets old fast. The driving idea behind Jurassic World gave the installment purpose and not only that, but it played heavily on the nostalgia factor of the audience that was going to see it.
Sure, there were prevalent themes of man's relationship to nature and greed present, but really this film was all about nostalgia and on that level, no matter how you feel about Jurassic World, it is incredibly effective. That is why it was able to garner $1.67 billion worldwide, good enough for the number four spot all time, behind only Star Wars, Titanic and Avatar. The film was perhaps the absolute definition of fanservice and it paid off for the studio, sure. But outside of over analytical cynicism, it is hard to imagine anyone didn't enjoy watching the movie and at least have moments of that childlike sense of wonder that the Jp franchise is good for. Plus, Chris Pratt totally rode a motorcycle alongside a pack of raptors.
The potential problem is that Colin Trevorrow and Spielberg put most of their eggs in Jurassic World's basket. They gave us what is by most accounts the Jurassic Park sequel we deserved, but in modern Hollywood one sequel isn't good enough. We are getting at least two more sequels to the film and honestly, it is hard to imagine where anyone can go with it from here that isn't pure Furious 7 style bananas kind of crazy. But here is what we do know will happen and what might happen.
First off, we know that military applications for dinosaurs are going to be a factor. Hopefully we aren't going to venture into raptorman style hybrid territory, but Dr. Henry Wu, played by B.D. Wong, made it off the island with the dino embryos and clearly had some kind of deal worked out with InGen to further their exploration of militarized dinosaurs. First they bred raptors, then they trained raptors. That whole thing. To what degree this idea is going to be explored, we don't exactly know, but we do know we are finally going into the real world with dinosaurs and not just hanging out on an isolated island, or in San Diego for a brief period in 1997.
Trevorrow won't be back to direct Jurassic World 2, but he has worked on the script and story for the sequel and has dropped some big hints about what to expect. Point blank the director has said that this stuff won't be limited to theme parks in the future of the franchise, which actually makes a lot of sense. There are lots of scientific applications for this kind of thing and those seem to be the ideas that will be explored in the future. Here is what Trevorrow said in an interview with Wired about it.
"I feel like the idea that this isn't always going to be limited to theme parks, and there are applications for this science that reach far beyond entertainment. And when you look back at nuclear power and how that started, the first instinct was to weaponize it and later on we found it could be used for energy."
Some people may hate on Jurassic World, but if Rotten Tomatoes and box office receipts are to be believed, the vast majority of people are very happy that we got the fourth installment of the franchise. All we can do is hope that new installments won't totally bastardise it, but much like the Transformers franchise, people will very likely turn out in droves no matter what the quality. The only question is, are we going to get another pointless island adventure like Jurassic Park III, or is Universal going to go all out with it and do Rise of the Planet of the Apes, but with dinosaurs? We'll find out when Jurassic World 2 drops on June 22, 2018. »
As far as the McWeeny house is concerned, the decision-making process regarding Independence Day: Resurgence is over. Toshi let me know in no uncertain terms that we will be seeing the film and that he is very, very excited about it. He’s a fan of the original, which I’m not even sure when he saw. That’s how little fondness I have for the 1996 Roland Emmerich film, but the sequel’s coming, and at this point, I am on notice, evidently. One of the things that made the first film a global sensation was a truly brilliant marketing campaign. So far, the trailers for the new film strike me as business as usual. If there’s any blockbuster director responsible for the “let’s blow up the world in the trailer” culture that we live in right now, it’s Emmerich, and Independence Day’s trailer was a »
- Drew McWeeny
There's no greater brand name in directors than Steven Spielberg. And he's got another "Spielbergian" movie on the way, The Bfg, which just debuted at the Cannes Film Festival. There, he talked to New York Times critic Manohla Dargis about how he still tries to keep things fresh in his career, and these are some of the more interesting points: He Admits His Sequels Are Inferior "My sequels aren’t as good as my originals because I go onto every sequel I’ve made and I’m too confident," he says. "This movie made a ka-zillion dollars, which justifies the sequel, so I come in like it’s going to be a slam dunk and I wind up making an inferior movie to the one before. I’m talking about The Lost World and Jurassic...
- Christopher Campbell
With just under six months until Marvel's second Phase 3 movie, Doctor Strange, hits theaters, the studio has brought in its composer, Oscar winner Michael Giacchino. The movie will mark his first foray into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but he is no stranger to superhero tales, having composed the scores for Pixar's The Incredibles and Disney's Sky High. While this is his first Marvel movie, the composer has a long history with Disney.
Michael Giacchino won his first Oscar for composing the original score for Disney Pixar's Up, and he was nominated two years earlier for his work on another Pixar classic, Ratatouille. He got his start composing music for video games, such as the game tie-in for The Lost World and another Jurassic Park game, Warpath. He eventually moved on to features with The Incredibles, Sky High, The Family Stone, Mission: Impossible III, Speed Racer, Star Trek, Mission: Impossible: Ghost Protocol, »
With a seemingly endless amount of streaming options — not only the titles at our disposal, but services themselves — we’ve taken it upon ourselves to highlight the titles that have recently hit the interwebs. Every week, one will be able to see the cream of the crop (or perhaps some simply interesting picks) of streaming titles (new and old) across platforms such as Netflix, iTunes, Amazon Instant Video, and more (note: U.S. only). Check out our rundown for this week’s selections below.
As Hollywood struggles to reinvent their array of superheroes with each iteration, it’s no surprise that audiences would become hungry for something off the beaten path. While it’s not the first post-modern comic-book adaptation, Deadpool is billed as ushering in a new direction: a fan-spurred, self-aware tentpole that’s R-rated to its core, featuring a wise-ass character (don’t call him »
- TFS Staff
David Koepp, a longtime Spielberg collaborator who wrote the screenplay for 1993’s Jurassic Park, has been hired to pen the fifth film in the Indiana Jones franchise. Having written the previous Indy film, Indiana Jones And The Kingdom Of The Crystal Skull, as well as Spielberg’s The Lost World, and War Of The Worlds, Koepp is no stranger to family action flicks.
Plot details are being kept extremely secret, and it’s unclear if Mr. Koepp will be working off any existing treatment or story ideas. George Lucas’ involvement also remains shrouded in mystery as does the extent of the role of Harrison Ford who will be 77 years old by the time the film hits theaters. The script might be based heavily on a flashback set in the classic Jones time period (circa 1930s-40’s), bookended by Jones in his current age.
Indiana Jones 5 has a working scheduled release date for July 19th, »
- Kellvin Chavez
David Koepp has been hired to pen the screenplay for the fifth film in the "Indiana Jones" franchise at Disney Pictures.
It will be a familiar job for Koepp who penned the previous film, "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull," along with numerous other Spielberg films including "Jurassic Park," "The Lost World," and "War of the Worlds".
Harrison Ford is set to return to the role of Dr. Jones once he wraps work reprising his role of Rick Deckard in Ridley Scott's "Blade Runner" follow-up. Producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are also onboard, but - for now at least - it looks like neither George Lucas or Shia Labeouf will be involved.
"Indiana Jones 5" is currently slated for a July 19th 2019 release.
Source: Heat Vision »
- Garth Franklin
Steve Backshall should have been around about 150 years ago, when posh chaps went to godforsaken places to hack their way through jungles, conquer mountains and catch insects in their nets. The planet is smaller now, it’s been explored, caught and climbed.
Except that there is a land that time forgot, the Canaima national park in Venezuela. Massive, sheer, prehistoric lumps of rock called tepuis rise from the jungle. Steve has targeted one called Amaurai to attempt, and, if successful, find out what the hell lives up there. Maybe it really will turn out to be The Lost World or Jurassic Park. For now it’s Steve Backshall’s Extreme Mountain Challenge (BBC2, Sunday).
Continue reading »
- Sam Wollaston
In 1993, Jurassic Park hit theaters, shattering and setting box office records and earning the love of fans young and old the world over. After spawning two more sequels, 1997’s The Lost World and 2001’s Jurassic Park III, the franchise had taken a massive plunge in financial returns and critical praise, with the series laying dormant until the overwhelming success of last year’s Jurassic World proved beyond a doubt that Jurassic Park still means a lot to people.
Throughout all four films, the series has featured a wide range of human characters – some beloved, some not – from kids to adults, hunters to naturalists, lawyers to paleontologists. With another sequel already lined up for release in 2018, let’s look back at the four films we’ve been given so far to stack up all the characters to sort out which ones were the worst or more forgettable and which ones »
- Geoff Cox
9 items from 2016
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