2017 log (5)

(3 May) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, James Gunn) 93
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(6 May) Jurassic Park (1993, Steven Spielberg) 68
[ The casting of Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum is inspired, the John Williams score is iconic and there are definitely a few riveting set pieces (the first T-rex attack, the velociraptors hunting), but it takes almost an hour of alternately interesting and corny exposition to get to the good stuff. Solid entertainment, but not on the level of Spielberg’s best work. ]

(7 May) Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017, James Gunn) 93 94
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(10 May) Alien: Covenant (2017, Ridley Scott) 41
[ Reviewed on Extra Beurre ]

(12 May) Jumanji (1995, Joe Johnston) 61
[ Hadn’t seen this since it came out on VHS. It’s nice to see the late great Robin Williams, plus Kirsten Dunst as a kid. Very silly and rowdy, especially early on and towards the end (second act is mostly a bust). Uneven CGI. But fun more often than not. ]

(19 May) The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997, Steven Spielberg) 58
[ This film proves that nobody directs a blockbuster like Steven Spielberg. The script is lame, the storyline is ridiculous, it’s predictable, there is some cheesy sentimental BS, but it’s still mostly entertaining thanks to Spielberg’s magical touch. The special FX are awesome, even better than in the first film. And there are a whole lot more dinosaurs! The attack scenes are killer, with some effective suspense and clever gags. The cast is excellent, even though the likes of Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore are kinda wasted in nothing roles; Jeff Goldblum remains super cool, but his character’s preteen gymnast daughter almost ruins it all. One of the things I dug is the people getting eaten, smashed or killed by dinos – there is a lot of (implied) death for a PG-13 film! One almost-classic Spielberg set piece is the truck-hanging-over-the-cliff bit. The T-rex chase in San Diego is great as well. Definitely flawed, but it still works pretty well as a popcorn movie. ]

(20 May) Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl (2003, Gore Verbinski) [ review ] 65

(21 May) Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest (2006, Gore Verbinski) 53
[ Turns out I quite like the universe of these movies: the open sea, the tropical islands, the ships. ‘Tis a pity said movies tend to be overlong and overstuffed. Plus when this second film finally ends, it doesn’t, really, settling instead for a frustrating cliffhanger. Still, I love Johnny Depp in drunken cartoon mode and there are a few wonderful gags-and-stunts sequences, notably the one on the island with the cannibals and the bit with the watermill wheel. Plus there’s the slimy Davy Jones and his gang of sea monsters, including the mighty Kraken! ]