‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ and 9 other movies John wouldn’t mind seeing in Summer 2018

The idea of “summer movies” is already past its time, as “Black Panther” and “Avengers: Infinity War” prove that “summer” is now year-round in the movie business. Still, old habits die hard – such as my annual Summer Movie Preview post. Here are one blatantly obvious and nine not-so-obvious films on the summer schedule that I wouldn’t mind seeing:

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John’s top 10 movies of 2015

These were my 10 favorite movies of 2015:

1. “Spotlight” — This chronicle of the Boston Globe’s 2001-02 probe of rape allegations in the Catholic Church is a thank-you letter to the dying art of investigative journalism. An all-star cast of actors including Mark Ruffalo, Michael Keaton, Rachel McAdams and Liev Schreiber does a marvelous job of capturing the small details of how reporters live and behave – particularly Ruffalo, whether he’s boiling hot dogs for dinner of scrounging through his bag for a pen. Meanwhile, the case itself works as a meat-and-potatoes procedural potboiler. (Full review.)

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Why aren’t the ‘Jurassic Park’ movies scary anymore? (Movie commentary)

In my review of “Jurassic World,” I mentioned that these movies aren’t scary anymore, but I didn’t theorize about the reason beyond noting that I’ve outgrown being scared of dinosaurs. But there’s more to it. In the ensuing days of discussing the film with fellow movie fans – some of whom loved “JW,” some of whom loathed it – I’ve formulated five theories of why the “Jurassic Park” films are no longer scary. (Spoiler warning: Plot points from “JW” will be discussed.)

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‘Jurassic World’ is ‘Jurassic Park’ on steroids (and that’s mostly a good thing) (Movie review)

“Jurassic World” — the franchise’s fourth film but first in 14 years – follows pretty much the exact same plot as the original “Jurassic Park” but does everything bigger and better (at least in a technical sense). While I wouldn’t have cared if any of the characters got eaten by an Indominus rex, it is unmatched by any previous “JP” film – and very few blockbusters overall – in terms of utter spectacle.

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10 movies John wouldn’t mind seeing this summer (Commentary)

Here are my picks for 10 movies to check out this summer:

“Maggie” (May 8) – This could be what “Cop Land” was to Sylvester Stallone years ago: The movie where critics respect Arnold Schwarzenegger’s acting performance. Or maybe not, but I already give the filmmakers credit for trying. In this mood piece, Arnold plays the father of Abigail Breslin, who seems to be slowly turning into a zombie.

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: IDW’s ‘Dangerous Games’ (2011-12) (Comic book review)

Writers Greg and Erik Bear and artist George Jimenez repackage Richard Connell’s classic short story about man hunting man, “The Most Dangerous Game,” into a “Jurassic Park” yarn in the entertaining “Dangerous Games” (2011-12), which as of now is the franchise’s last comic title.

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: IDW’s ‘The Devils in the Desert’ (2011) (Comic book review)

It’s been the inclination of most “Jurassic Park” comics that old characters and new dinosaur species are the key to success. But the opposite approach – new characters and old dinosaur species – has produced the best comics, first with Topps’ “Return to Jurassic Park” Issues 5-8 and more recently with IDW’s four-issue “The Devils in the Desert” (2011).

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: IDW’s ‘Redemption’ (2010) (Comic book review)

Following 2001’s “Jurassic Park III,” the franchise entered a dark age for nearly a decade. Serious fans could follow the development hell of the fourth movie (which, after many fits and starts, finally will come out in June), but the drought of new material didn’t end until 2010’s “Redemption,” a five-issue series from new license-holder IDW Comics.

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: ‘Jurassic Park III’ (2001) (Movie review)

“Jurassic Park III” (2001) is a stripped down B-movie that has a blast playing with the saga’s tropes, one classic character and dinosaurs old and new. It’s the first movie not based on a novel (although “The Lost World” diverted from the novel, it still had the heft of a novel adaptation) and it didn’t feature a comic book adaptation or a “making of” book (there were toys, though). Director Steven Spielberg and composer John Williams stepped aside, handing the reins to the capable-but-less-celebrated Joe Johnston and Don Davis, respectively.

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‘Jurassic Park’ flashback: ‘The Lost World’ (1997) (Movie review)

Director Steven Spielberg and screenwriter David Koepp’s “The Lost World” (1997) abandons so much of the 1995 novel that it’s almost false advertising to say it’s “based on a novel by Michael Crichton.” Still, they retain the lost world idea, and that’s the film’s hook: Whereas “Jurassic Park” gave us hints of dinosaur behavior – such as the T-rex chasing the gallimimus flock – the sequel is all about seeing dinosaurs in their “natural” habitat; it’s a modern take on Arthur Conan Doyle’s concept. (Obviously, there’s nothing truly natural about a small island of cloned dinosaurs, but I’ll set that aside for now.)

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