Jurassic Park III (2001)

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JurassicPark3

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
A decent addition.

According to certain critiquing websites that shall not be named (all of them), the rate of how film franchises seem to go is, more or less, worse for every sequel – and Jurassic Park III is no exception. You’ll notice that the overall rating for each film drops every time a new film comes out in the franchise – and the third is rated the lowest. HOWEVER, most people that I know actually find the third one decent, but don’t care too much for the second. Well these are different opinions that I must understand. So here I go once more – let’s talk about JPIII.

Jurassic Park III once again introduces Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, as he’s thrown into the world of Jurassic Park once again…but not because he chose to. This time, it’s a rescue mission, as two parents search for their young son, who went missing at Site B eight weeks earlier – and Dr. Grant knows those animals best – so they let him believe he is getting paid to guide them from the air – but that doesn’t last long. Before long, they’re running from something bigger and badder than a T-Rex, as well as coming face-to-face with smarter raptors. It’s Dr. Grant’s first time on Site B, and first time fighting an enemy like this.

I remember this movie taking place on the original island from the first film, but nope. Both sequels take place on Site B, which isn’t an issue. What I noticed helped this film tremendously was Sam Neill, who I absolutely believe is the face of Jurassic Park. He’s basically the Jack Sparrow of the series, so once he returned, I was instantly a fan. It was also the shortest film in the franchise, which means it didn’t feel too long. It’s just a lot of fun. The film also focused pretty heavily on the danger aspect, keeping the dinosaurs the threat – instead of the humans. Not only that, but when it came down to the visual graphics, this actually had the realest looking CGI and it didn’t abandon the legendary animatronics that the series is known for. Finally, the music was still present – even more so than The Lost Worldand for the most part, my conclusive decision is definitely that Jurassic Park III is better than the second.

Here’s where I had a little bit of a problem with – the introduction of the new dinosaur. It was interesting when this was released, but this was the part of the plot that looks similar to the trailers of Jurassic World. In fact, even the raptor voice simulator in this film has a similar concept to something we see from the raptors in the upcoming film as well – I fear that the originality in the next film won’t be very high. As for how it was used in this film? It wasn’t too bad, but I did want to see more of the T-Rex, because in general, the T-Rex is a main character in the franchise.

I’m actually having issues even finding many flaws from this movie. If anything, it would be because the production company just wanted money, so they made another movie. Maybe it’s too flashy and not made of too much substance…I don’t know. All I know is that it is actually quite a bit of fun, contains a lot of action and danger, and feels like it fits especially thanks to Sam Neill.

The Good:

Sam Neill’s entire participation in the third film made this movie special, as well as keeping to the basics of man vs. predator. The story was also founded on something believable and relatable – so all in all, this movie fit pretty well with the franchise.

The Bad:

If I could say one major flaw, it would probably just be – in general, it doesn’t feel like it has the same spirit as the first. Meaning, it starts out and there is danger, and there is danger until the end. Instead of having slower scenes where they contemplate what’s right and wrong. This was mostly just action action action.

John Q (2001)

John-Q

Dave’s 3-Word Review:
America’s Favorite Captor.

So, I discovered MGO the other day – a site that partnered with Viggle and I was able to use the points I accumulated to rent a HD movie for free. John Q was a movie that I’ve been meaning to re-watch for a good long while – as it’s one of my favorite films by Denzel Washington. However, Rotten Tomatoes has this film grossly underrated and I can’t figure out why. Sure, I rated it above and beyond, which most may not agree with – but it’s still way better than what RT gave it, my god!

John Q is about a desperate man that needs to figure something out for his son, whom needs a heart transplant, like, yesterday. The only problem is that his insurance doesn’t cover the medication costs and the hospital is basically begging him to pay cash instead – but he can’t. He can’t even cover a down-payment after selling everything he has and getting charitable donations from friends and family – so he resorts to holding the hospital hostage until they do what he asks…and everyone starts to fall in love with his story.

Now here is a heartwarming story, and different than your typical hostage crisis film. It’s clearly about the love of a father for his son as well as commentary about health insurance policies and how much they suck for the people that need help the most. I think that was the critics main issue – that the message sometimes feels like its shoved down your throat – or repeated nonstop. “Well here’s another issue about what’s wrong with the health system!”. I get that, but I never once had an issue with it. I thought it was a story wonderfully told with performances that just put you in awe.

You love these characters – right from the start they do what’s necessary to make you fall in love with them. Then, as soon as the kid collapses during that baseball game…something inside you cries out “Oh no…” You abandon your knowledge that it’s all just actors in a studio and you love these people and you want to know what happens next. It’s not only that, but you also love the fact that his own captors and the rest of the world thinks he’s a genuinely good man and don’t really care that he’s armed.

This is, in my honest opinion, a very good and successful drama. You think that it might be an action suspense film going in, but it’s a very character-oriented drama in reality – and a good one at that. There are a number of possible ways the film could end, which makes it an unpredictable experience and fun all around. I’ve seen the movie a few times, and it always has the same effect on me – and I can’t say the same thing for many movies.

The Good:

This is one of my favorite films by Denzel Washington – before he went and type-casted himself. I fear that because of his current type-casting status people won’t take this film very seriously anymore – but it is a great movie with a lot of powerful moments between a father’s love for his child and his stance against a flawed health system.

The Bad:

Can you say grossly underrated? Rotten Tomatoes makes this movie look so ridiculously bad – but it’s really good. If I had to complain about anything, it would have to be on the fact that one specific part in the movie is easily interpretable for how the film will end – which is a little disappointing – but that’s it.

Head Over Heels (2001)

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Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Romantic Rear Window.

Alfred Hitchcock was an interesting and brilliant man. He was so beloved that everyone wanted to be him…heck, that’s true even by today’s standards. One of his films that I’ve seen redone in different lights was one of my personal favorites of his collection, Rear Window. It’s basically about a creepy voyeur dude that witnesses his neighbor kill someone through their windows, which face each other – and throughout the film, the hero of the story has to convince everyone else that it actually happened. Head Over Heels is one of the films that feature the same basic concepts, but is given the lighter tones of a romantic comedy…which is pretty interesting.

Monica Potter plays Amanda, a woman who moves in with a congress of superficial, stereotypical supermodels – and out her window spies on an attractive man named Jim Winston (Freddie Prinze Jr.). But Jim Winston has a terrible secret, when Amanda believes she watches him murder an innocent woman in his apartment, she tries her best to prove he did it, but it keeps getting increasingly difficult to seem serious with a bunch of ditsy super models right next to her. Regardless of her fears of the possible killer next door, she still begins to uncontrollably fall for his charms.

This is one of the few romantic comedies I actually enjoyed – simply because it wasn’t a natural romcom. It wasn’t original either, but in the terms of romance it somehow was. This was mixing horror/comedy with romance, and the strange genre mixture somehow really worked. It doesn’t make a ton of sense, because no woman in her right mind would date a guy if she thought he killed someone else…sure, love makes you do crazy things and create innocence where there is only guilt, but murder should be on some other realm, don’t you think? Oh, who cares, it’s a romantic comedy!

In all honesty, this is what I’d consider half predictable. On one side, they got the Hitchcock mystery which could go either way – and on the other half, you have the romance side which can only really end one way. So again, the mixture of horror and romance affected the predictability of the film – making a unique ingredient for the film which ultimately makes it memorable…which is really hard to do with romantic comedies – really hard. So, bravo, moviemakers, bravo.

As with any romance, you have to ask if the chemistry in the film is up to par. Well, this is Monica Potter and Freddie Prinze Jr we’re talking about. At this era, Prinze was considered a heartthrob, and Monica Potter grew up to be the mother on Parenthood. They did work very well together…imagine a previous generation of Katherine Heigl…she was pretty much that. Take that as you will!

The Good:

Head Over Heels is a very good RomCom that takes an Alfred Hitchock twist to the next level…and I loved that about it.

The Bad:

Unfortunately, it’s still a romantic comedy…and those can never be absolutely amazing. They are good for girls because they present love in a commendable light, but they never attempt to reach an Oscar-worthy presentation.