Patrick Crowley

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Jurassic World Review

Good

With studios afraid of anything new or original, it's not surprising that the dinosaurs are back on-screen nearly 15 years after the rather disappointing Jurassic Park III. The good news is that this film has a clever script and solid characters to go along with the first-rate digital work. So even if the effects kind of take over the movie in the final act, it's still a great ride.

The massive island resort Jurassic World has been running safely for a decade off the Costa Rica coast, so it needs ever-scarier attractions to bring in visitors. The owner Masrani (Irrfan Khan) has been instructing his top scientist (BD Wong) to genetically engineer a bigger, scarier species, and he's come up with a beast called Indominus rex. Park manager Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) has her doubts, but her velociraptor trainer Owen (Chris Pratt) is downright furious when he finds out. Sure enough, just as Claire's nephews (Ty Simpkins and Nick Robinson) arrive for a visit, the I-rex escapes and threatens the 20,000 visitors on the island.

The screenplay sets everything up in fine disaster movie style, with quickly explained back-stories to add some emotional undercurrents to the big-scale chaos. There's also, of course, a requisite villain in the form of the meathead Hoskins (Vincent D'Onofrio), who thinks dinosaurs could be used by the military and welcomes this catastrophe as a chance to prove his point. Thankfully, the cast dives in with gusto, adding hilarious personality touches to every scene. Pratt is terrific as the swashbuckling action-man, nicely set against the feisty Howard, who trumps him by doing all her action scenes in heels. Simpkins and Robinson have a lively adventure all their own that adds to the film's overall appeal. And there are superb side roles for the talented likes of Omar Sy, Judy Greer and Jake Johnson that add both humour and emotion.

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Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic World'

Patrick Crowley and Cathleen Summers - Premiere of Universal Pictures' 'Jurassic World' at Dolby Theatre - Arrivals at Dolby Theatre - Hollywood, California, United States - Tuesday 9th June 2015

Patrick Crowley and Cathleen Summers
Patrick Crowley and Cathleen Summers
Patrick Crowley and Cathleen Summers

The Bourne Legacy Review


OK
Writer Gilroy adds directing to his Bourne chores, shifting the franchise into a cerebral thriller punctuated by plodding action sequences. It's watchable, but doesn't have enough sense of character or purpose to make us care about anything that happens.

Genetically altered government agent Aaron Cross (Renner) is part of Outcome, a parallel programme to Treadstone, which created Jason Bourne. Since Bourne's antics have lifted the lid on Treadstone, Outcome director Eric (Norton) decides to terminate his programme by brutally killing everyone involved. But Aaron slips through the net, as does geneticist Marta (Weisz), whom Aaron needs for the meds that keep him going. As Eric's team hunts them down, they head to Manila to find a solution.

Continue reading: The Bourne Legacy Review

The Other Guys Review


Excellent
A sharp script sets this fast and furious action comedy apart from other brainless summer movies. And it's played with such deadpan precision that it keeps us laughing from start to finish, even when things get bogged down by the plot.

New York cops Gamble and Hoitz (Ferrell and Wahlberg) have been relegated to unimportant positions by two teams of flashier detectives (Jackson/Johnson and Wayans/Riggle). But when Gamble arrests a millionaire investor (Coogan) for a minor infraction, he and Hoitz are plunged into a murky case involving a ruthless Aussie goon (Stevenson) and bribed city officials. Even their captain (Keaton) tells them to leave it alone, but Gamble can't let go and Hoitz sees this as a chance to stop being the "other guys".

Continue reading: The Other Guys Review

Eight Below Review


Grim
When you see the phrase "inspired by a true story," you assume the accompanying movie will have the intimate perspective of someone affected by adversity. Eight Below, Disney's sled dogs in peril picture, is a case of false advertising. You get a true story only told by someone rattling off headlines and first paragraphs: "Dogs Abandoned in Snow," "Owner Sad About Dogs Missing." The only adversity worth following, which the movie doesn't cover, is how Paul Walker kept his dreamy tan in the Arctic cold.

The year for some reason -- the actual events happened in 1957 -- is 1993. Walker plays a guide at the National Science Foundation's base in Antarctica, where he and his eight sled dogs cover the terrain, helping with expeditions. Bruce Greenwood plays a big-shot scientist who comes to the cold continent looking for the remains of an asteroid or something else out of a Michael Bay movie. The men head out on the sled, encounter a heap of trouble, and barely return to headquarters.

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RoboCop 3 Review


Terrible
As a franchise, there are several signs that you should stop making the movies, and top on the list of signs that the horse is dead is this: Nobody but the bit players who can't get work elsewhere come back for the next sequel.

Such is the case with RoboCop 3, which replaces its title character (Peter Weller) with Robert John Burke and cameos every other bit player from each part of the RoboCop franchise.

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The Bourne Identity Review


Good
Last year, Christopher Nolan took memory loss to a new level with his masterful thriller Memento, in which the hero tattoos notes on his body to help him cope with his condition. This year, the amnesiac champion of The Bourne Identity uses brains and brawn as a means of sorting out his memory loss. Doug Liman directs Identity with the same degree of creativity as he demonstrated with Swingers and Go, despite some reportedly epic studio and script squabbles. This time, however, he works on a much grander scale.

The Bourne Identity is based upon Robert Ludlum's famous series of spy thrillers about the elusive and extra-human Jason Bourne. Matt Damon plays Bourne, a spy who survives a shipwreck in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea but does not remember his identity or past. Implanted in his back are a series of bullets and a capsule containing an account number for a safety deposit box in Zurich. Once inside the box, he uncovers a supply of passport identities, money, and weapons - which only adds to his confusion.

Continue reading: The Bourne Identity Review

Patrick Crowley

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