Patrick and JB count down their favorite and most disappointing summer blockbusters of the past.
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Also discussed this episode: Jurassic World
(2015), Terminator Genisys
(2015), Inside Out
(2015), Invasion USA
(1985), Down and Out in Beverly Hills
As a millennial, I have fond memories of All That. I haven't thought of that show in years. As for Terminator Genesis I thought it was fun for what it was. I just think the franchise should die at this point.ReplyDelete
JB - I watched Blade Runner for the first time in a high school class and hated it too. I have since grown to love it on re-watches. I think it's just a movie that might take time to warm up to? Or maybe it's the expectation of something with more action based on its star, director, genre etc.ReplyDelete
Am I the only one who likes the theatrical cut better than the Director's? I always loved that the voice over reminded me of an old detective movie. I know it wasn't the intention of Scott to have it, but I've always felt like it added to the atmosphere. Granted, I haven't seen the 10 other cuts that are out there :)Delete
I guess so, haha!Delete
I prefer the director's cut but I'm not against watching the theatrical as an example of how editing can change perspective on a film.Delete
I will say this: Guillermo del Toro actually prefers the theatrical to the director's cut! So consider yourself in good company!
Great discussion! I am truly jealous of your younger cinematic experiences. We didn't have a theater close to my house as a kid, so anything I wanted to see was a big deal. I often chose poorly. Godzilla, Batman Forever, Batman & Robin, Wild Wild West, Spawn....I was there baby. Even when I got older and could make better choices, it didn't improve. The first movie I ever drove to was Terminator 3.ReplyDelete
But I'd like to throw in my favorite summer blockbuster that I was actually in the theater for has got to be The Dark Knight. Drove 45 minutes each way about 5 times to see it. And most disappointing, from the same year, is Quantum of Solace. Woof.
Thank you JB! You're the first person I've heard to speak the obvious thought I had about Jurassic World. The premise makes no sense because of the existence on the ZOO.ReplyDelete
"Shut up! We're not in your living room now" That story was brilliant, Its like Inception, Was the top spinning when you heard this?ReplyDelete
I'm looking forward to the Brain Damage Overlooked column, im a big Frank henenlotter fan, I have a friend who's second name is Elmer and all his life I have annoyingly quoted Brain Damage to him, "Elmer! You F###ing named him Elmer!" He's actually called Aylmer but it sounds the same
A cool song based on a movie is My Chemical Romance - Early Sunsets Over Monroeville, a subtle homage to Dawn of the Dead
Great fun Guys cheers. I feel I should go and watch Waterworld now
Thank you JB for finally helping me understand my feelings on JW and TERMINATOR. And I know it's been discussed on the podcast before but I had forgotten, and it so perfectly encapsulates what happened to me. I actively disliked all of the choices, but wasn't actually bored and that's precisely what was happening. The movies are not unentertaining but they crumble as soon as you try to handle it at all.ReplyDelete
Great podcast, fellas! Glad to have JB back on the air.ReplyDelete
It's great to have the JB & Patrick team back.ReplyDelete
My most disappointing is The Matrix Reloaded. I loved The Matrix & the trailers for Reloaded had me convinced it was going to be 10x better than the original. The same cast & directors were back, a bigger budget, & they stuck with the R-Rating. (Remember the days when we didn't have to worry about R-Rated franchises selling out for the PG-13.) I was just disappointed with the long metaphysical speeches that barely advanced the story & the action scenes abandoned the wire work from the original & instead we get CGI puppets. Even the big highway chase felt phony & underwhelming. When the credits rolled, I had no interest in Revolutions.
For favorite, I'll go with The Avengers. I know it has some problems, but it just delivers on the spectacle, fun, & payoff of the other Marvel movies.
Being the same age as JAWS (well, a month older), I never saw the film in a theater until this past June. I didn't expect a major audience turnout, but that theater ended up being half full. There were some teenagers in there probably seeing the film for the first time, and yet the movie worked for them just as well. There were some shocked screams when Ben Gardner's disembodied head appeared, and that pleased me to no end. Damn film still works. The only gripe I had at my AMC was with presentation. Right in the middle of the Indianapolis speech, the house lights and sconces came up, and stayed on until well after the trio were back topside. I can understand the lights are preprogrammed for whatever was showing there before and after JAWS, but it doesn't mean the timing can't be changed to accommodate the special screening. To add insult to injury, the house lights and sconces did not come on at all. They're lucky no one got hurt. There were a few seniors shuffling around in the dark. Beyond that, the picture looked incredible, no complaints there. Except...no mattes came down to obscure the black bars bordering the 2.35:1 frame. Seeing it in a theater with a large group of people was great fun. Watching it the way AMC had it presented was the epitome of what Quentin Tarantino would call "DVD in public."ReplyDelete
**To add insult to injury, the house lights and sconces did not come on after the movie ended.Delete
James Cameron's endorsement of Terminator: Genisys could be attributed to his friendship with Arnold Schwarzenegger. He may just be doing the production a favor due to his relationship with Arnold. Cameron also claims to be a fan of Alien Vs Predator, but again, it stars his friend Lance Henriksen.ReplyDelete
I do find it interesting that Cameron's quote on the Terminator Genisys tv spot is strategically placed ahead of a shot stolen from T2.Delete
It was reported that Cameron never took any money for endorsing Terminator Genisys.Delete
I wanted to clear up some of the theme park stuff that you guys were talking about in the podcast. Over at the backlot tour at Universal Hollywood they our updating the finale to a Fast and Furious show. Also hope you werent too attached to the Waterworld stunt show cause thats going away for the addition of The Wizarding World of Harry Potter land (yes its still that popular.) Also the show where an angry western Bandit takes over your car, I assume you mean the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios?ReplyDelete
Back to blockbuster talk I do remember a great time with Jurassic Park back when it came out in '93. Another awesome one was Speed for me, perhaps my favorite viewing of a film in one of those dollar theatres back when there used to be a lot of those. I agree with Joseph W on Matrix Reloaded, that movie just sucked all the joy out of the room. I remember seeing Revolutions years later finally and just being like "what happened Wachowskis?"
As for recent good summer blockbusters, the herd of quality ones has been thinning. Save for the uniformly excellent Fury Road and Inside Out I dont think I've seen any other summer films that have really wowed me. On another side note, I've always wanted to give a shot at the 96'er from The Great Outdoors, I think it exists somewhere
You realize that you have to eat the gristle and the fat too, right?Delete
I work at Disney World and Universal Studios JB, I gotta deal with a lot of gristle and fat :)Delete
When someone gives me the "you just need to turn your brain off" excuse for enjoying a specific movie, or any movie, it gives me all I need to know about that person's point of view on cinema -- it's disposable and holds no lasting significance except for those ninety to one hundred twenty minutes to 3 hours that the movie is playing. It's a very ignorant reaction and does away with half the fun of watching movies. It's also the laziest way of deflecting criticism and analysis. I also don't subscribe to the notion that just because another person legitimizes my impression of a movie, that any other point of view that differs from mine is inherently wrong. The only defense for liking a movie that I consider verboten is "you just need to shut your brain off." If you can back up why you like a movie in a way that works within the context of the movie, then that's fine. If I don't like a movie and someone brings a compelling argument to the table, I've been known to turn coat on my preconceived opinion.ReplyDelete
I think critical divisiveness became more commonplace with the rise of the internet. If it weren't for the advent of the internet, I wouldn't have ever known half the movies I've grown up loving were hated by a wide number of people. But I've come to realize that I'm going to meet a lot of different people in my life who do not like the same films I do, or who will like films that I do not. It's inevitable. You will never know someone who agrees with you one hundred percent of the time, and if you do, then something's sketchy and you need to be wary of that person. But that's the point -- you need to have differing opinions, otherwise what fun would it be to agree on everything? So, considering I'm already on the "wrong" side of this discussion, let me back up why Jurassic World doesn't bother me:
Zoos have been around for a long time, granted. However, I can't remember the last time I was ever at a zoo. At a guess, I'd say it's been about 25 years. I am not against going to the zoo again in my lifetime. But I can tell you I'm not rushing to go anytime soon. We see animals plenty, on tv, in movies, in pictures, in video clips. Do I need to go to a zoo to see them? It's not a necessity. But should a zoo feel the need to create a new species, and they exploit it in news and marketing without presenting it to the public unless they come to the park to see it, then people would probably come in droves. That's not exactly the argument presented by Claire in Jurassic World; she was describing waning attendance numbers. (You mean, like theater attendance in recent years? Hmmm...) But unlike your everyday zoo, the cost of going to a place like the one depicted in Jurassic World must be exorbitant, and that includes the price of tickets to the park, the cost of a roundtrip flight, transit by cruise ship to Isla Nublar and back to the mainland. If there isn't a "coupon day" for your trip to Jurassic World, you'd be paying a mint. And you'd need a really good excuse for hacking such a hunk of cash from your savings. But even if what Claire says about zoos, dinosaurs, and guest attendance sounds totally off the mark, I would argue that what she's talking about, in a subtextual sense, goes along with the film's thesis statement about blockbuster filmmaking, with "zoo" being a stand-in replacement for "the cinema," or simply " film." A similar subtextual thesis can be applied to Spielberg's superior Jurassic Park. Jurassic Park is just as much about commercialism (represented in several clever pans across gift shop shelves) as it is about people running from genetically created dinosaurs. Yes, Jurassic Park is a better film. I consider Jurassic Park the prestige picture, and the sequels the drive-in style followups. This falls in line with how I imagine Spielberg thinks about sequels he himself has made. Jurassic Park and Raiders of the Lost Ark are prestige films -- Spielberg took B movie conceits and raised them to loftier thematic and aesthetic heights. But then when shifting over to sequels -- and the subsequent Indiana Jones films are sequels only in the strictest sense, at least according to Spielberg -- he makes what I would call "go for broke" films. They adhere closer to their B movie forebears. That's why I think it can be argued that each subsequent followup shifts in tone, either by getting progressively goofier, or even darker. It's no surprise to me that the first sequel of both franchises is darker in tone. And the Jurassic Park franchise is still continuing that trend set by Spielberg.Delete
If Devin Faraci's perspective holds weight, I think John Kenneth Muir's is just as worthy of joining the critical discussion. Here it is:Delete
http://reflectionsonfilmandtelevision.blogspot.com/2015/06/cult-movie-review-jurassic-world-2015.html?m=1As for Zara, it's become my feeling that her death actually contributes to Claire's arc. When we first meet them, Claire and Zara are like two peas in a pod. Both are shallow, consumed with their own conceitedness. Claire has "things to do" so she passes the responsibility of dealing with the kids on to Zara. Zara has "things to do" so she passes responsibility of dealing with the kids on to... wait, she doesn't even get that far. She's too consumed with her own bullshit to do her job. She is so attached to her cell phone that she nearly gets locked out of a building, and then loses the kids completely due to her ineffectiveness. When the kids finally become a concern for both Claire and Zara, that's when they finally flip out. But when Zara is finally reunited with the boys, does she show any remorse for not paying attention to them early? No, in fact she chastises them for standing around when they should be running away from pteronodons. Her death and Claire's change begin around the same point. When Claire is reunited with the boys, her change is cemented. You could say Zara died a death fit for two people -- and she did. This fits into a throughline concurrent through the entire Jurassic Park franchise (pointed out by John Kenneth Muir's analysis of Jurassic World), of adults coming to terms with parental roles.
I'm not the biggest advocate for Devin Faraci's criticism, but it's always an interesting perspective. Any criticism makes for interesting discussion as the years go by. I remember what reviews of Jurassic Park were like in 1993. Many critics held Jurassic Park to the standard of JAWS, and complained that Spielberg showed the dinosaurs too soon. They complained that character development was wafer thin or nonexistent, depending on which critic you were reading. Roger Ebert was one of them. And now time has buried those opinions. I'm not saying that means time will eventually be kind to Jurassic World and we'll all come to see Jurassic World as a classic in years to come. I'm not saying that at all. All I'm trying to illustrate is that every film takes its lumps. Even Jurassic Park. (Hell, even JAWS, back in 1975. A bad review of JAWS from 1975 , from Variety, I think,was posted to Facebook to coincide with thiose anniversary screenings.). We can talk about how well drawn the characters in Jurassic Park are today, but back then the film's characterizations got savaged. We can talk about how inferior Jurassic World is when compared to the brilliance of Jurassic Park, but we neglect to mention how Jurassic Park was considered inferior when compared to the brilliance of JAWS.
If Devin Faraci's perspective holds weight, I think John Kenneth Muir's is just as worthy of joining the critical discussion. Here it is:Delete
(Apologies on the typographical error above. )
Awesome, fun podcast, guys.ReplyDelete
Patrick, did I misunderstand the chronology of your stories or did you see Ghostbusters 2 before Ghostbusters? Your mom didn't take you to the first so you didn't see it until the 90s, but saw 2 when it opened?
I might have misspoke or was talking about not seeing another movie until the '90s. I saw the original Ghostbusters as soon as it came out on VHS and Ghostbusters II when it came to the second run theater near my house.Delete
In no way am I defending JW but the comparison of the theme park to a zoo is a little off. Zoos are supported by the city that they're in. They have benefactors who love animals and there are fund raisers on top of ticket sales and the gift shop. A theme park has to survive on it's own.ReplyDelete
And a warning to JB...Universal is releasing YET ANOTHER set of the monster movies in September. This will be a DVD set of Frankenstein, Bride, Dracula (no Spanish version included!), Wolf Man, The Mummy and The Invisible Man coming out for those who found the 30 film set they released the same time last year to be just overwhelming, I guess. Be strong. :-)
Late to this one! My top 5 would have to follow the rule that I saw the film in theaters in the Summer. With that criteria my top 5 are:ReplyDelete
Back to the Future
The Truman Show
Mad Max: Fury Road
Gremlins 2: The New Batch
Gremlins 2 holds a special place in my heart because I got to see it with my older cousin and his friends. I felt so cool at the time being 13 with a group of 17 year olds.
Oh boy Patrick, you've gotta teach those guys over at True Bromance how to organize their thoughts. You had the only succinct opinion on Terminator.
I really enjoyed this podcast, I was laughing a lot as I was on my late night jog and I'm sure freaked some people out. Also right after I was lucky enough to see Jaws in my local second run theater and it was fantastic on the big screen. Though not directly discussed in this podcast, the same week I saw Young Frankenstein in the same theater and that was one of the best theater experiences I've ever had, everyone was having a great time and it looked so good. Noticed things I never saw before. Great podcast look forward to more like it.ReplyDelete