‘Jurassic Park’ ‘Cold in July’ ‘The Hustler’
Did we really turn the lame “Jurassic World” into a billion dollar hit? Whoops! Like a one night stand you regret come sunrise, the reboot stomped all over the summer movie season despite its considerable dodginess. Luckily we can atone by firing up Netflix and watching at least the 1993 original, in which Steven Spielberg wows us with still sharp-looking dinos then flips that wonder on its head, terrorizing us with a relentless back half. The two sequels, also on Instant, aren’t as loved, and deservedly so. But they each have their pleasures. “The Lost World” is delightfully nasty, and “III” is trashy and witty — though not so much Sam Neill’s forehead-slapping raptor dream.
Like “Blue Ruin” and “Green Room,” “Cold in July” is a thriller with a great hook: What if the heroes were regular folk? What if they were not only in way over their head but frequently acted stupid, as one probably would in hairy circumstances? The half-wit in Jim Mickle’s indie goose-bumper is played by Michael C. Hall: a yokel with a mal-formed mullet who accidentally guns down an intruder, then has to contend with the guy’s menacing ex-con father (Sam Shepard). The story keeps twisting and shape-shifting, eventually turning from one film into another. Even better, it continues the Don Johnson-aissance, eventually pairing the star of “Miami Vice” with the playwright of “The Buried Child” — as you do.
A great New York movie and a great Paul Newman movie, Robert Rossen’ 1961 pool shark drama is also a ’70s movie that arrived a decade early. Newman’s “Fast Eddie” Felson is a magnetic jerk who needs to be schooled, but whose redemption won’t come until he’s destroyed all those near and dear to him. Here’s where we put in a good word for its improbable 1985 sequel, Martin Scorsese’s “Color of Money.” Though it can’t touch the first, it’s every bit as deeply felt, catching up with a character undone by age, regret and Tom Cruise.
‘Cold in July’