Tag Archives: Chris Pratt

Review: Jurassic World

With Jurassic World’s 500 million global first-weekend box office take, it is already commonplace to glorify the return of a franchise that has been some combination of long-dormant and actively awful for almost two decades now. Championing its return to quality is not a new point, although it is an incorrect one. Jurassic World is a bad film. Not only that, it is peculiar and abnormal in its badness. A great number of corporate tentpole blockbusters are soulless and mediocre – look at Age of Ultron just a month post-release – but seldom are they bad in a particular and notable way. Corporate spending on audience-testing mandates that blockbusters will be spic and span, not necessarily good, but not disconcertingly or notably bad. They may be corporately bad, or bad in a sterile way, but not specifically bad, and not especially bad. Jurassic World does a great many things that are specifically, especially bad, and that is, if not a good thing per-se, at least an accidentally worthwhile one. Continue reading

Review: Guardians of the Galaxy

guardians-920x584Above all, Guardians of the Galaxy is notable as the most auteur-like (yeah I said it) film within Marvel Studios’ ten-headed monstrosity of a pop-culture phenomenon. It is very much the product of James Gunn’s pen and camera. That it also happens to be the best film of the bunch is not necessarily linked to this fact, but you know, the connection is there after all. While Marvel’s other films have varied from ehhh to pretty good, right from film number two they seemed more interested in building up a brand than functioning as unique, thoughtful films with identities on their own. None are out-and-out bad, but fatigue set in fairly early, and only the original Iron Man really maintains its spark and, above all, its character-focused sense of nervy, anxious fun today (I also have a soft-spot for Shane Black’s profoundly messy second sequel for the character). Continue reading