Pick of the week: “Jurassic Park“ — Perhaps getting ready to release “Jurassic World” later this summer, Netflix has posted both “Jurassic Park” and the sequels, “The Lost World” and “Jurassic Park III,” on June 1. Especially when compared next to the bloated and unfocused “Jurassic World,” Steven Spielberg’s original “Park” is a perfectly-balanced summer movie, with just the right amounts of humor, horror, thrills and wonder. “Lost World” seemed like more of the same upon first viewing, but has some dynamite suspense sequences. And “III” is a fun and occasionally clever B-movie that follows in the same big footsteps.
“7 Chinese Brothers” — My full review is here. Austin writer-director Bob Byington finds a narrow groove and stays in it, in this charming and plot-allergic comedy starring Jason Schwartzman as a minimum-wage slacker whose social life revolves his bulldog and his equally tenacious grandmother (Olympia Dukakis). What does the R.E.M. song have to do with it? I got nothing.
“Cape Fear” — Martin Scorsese took the traditional elements of the B-movie thriller, with a bad man stalking a good man, and made something genuinely lurid and disturbing, with Robert De Niro as the unstoppable ex-con Max Cady and Nick Nolte as the upright attorney who gets pushed beyond his limits.
“Bridge on the River Kwai” — A rousing adventure movie wrapped around a memorable character study, as William Holden leads a team to blow up a bridge held by the Japanese and Alec Guinness plays a British POW who, misguided by notions of pride and British resolve, helps his captors to build the bridge.
“Cold in July” — My full review is here. A family man (a mulleted Michael C. Hall) shoots an intruder in his home and, this being Texas, nobody blinks an eye. But when the deceased’s vengeful father (Sam Shepard) comes around, the vigilante becomes embroiled in a much deeper and darker mystery than he first thought. With Don Johnson in a wildly entertaining role as what may be cinema’s first combination private eye/pig farmer.