Jurassic World is set to hit cinemas next week and I couldn't be more excited. I've been a long time fan of the franchise, so much so that I literally know 90% of the first Jurassic Park film off by heart, if not more. While I feel I know way too much about it, I'm psyched out of my mind for this new installment. A fully functioning theme park, the I-Rex, tamed velociraptors. This film is shaping out to be great, and Steven Spielberg's constant praise for it only increases my hype.
Just a couple of days ago, Jurassic World had its world premiere in Paris. While the film is under heavy embargo (which essentially means that anybody who's seen it is forbidden from talking about it), a few people have let slip on the film's quality. There's been a couple of tweets here and there that give us a little tease at what's to be expected in this much anticipated fourth installment of one of the greatest franchises of all time. Some of the tweets are below.
The early buzz is looking good (and these aren't all the tweets), but what I'm here to discuss is if early buzz is really trust worthy? Usually, and I'm not saying this is the case, a film can seem much better or worse than it actually is if the experience of watching it was fantastic. This could be the case for Jurassic World, although I sure as hell hope it's not. I'm going to look back at a few films from the last few years that received some early buzz you might not have expected. These are the genuine reactions from critics and audience members who attended preview screenings well before a film came out, whether that's at a festival or a premiere etc.
Tusk, Kevin Smith's body horror movie, graced our screens last year and it was quite a sight to behold. It's graphic, it's disturbing and it's full of Smith's typical raunchy humour. The film was hated and completely flunked at the box office. It's rotten on rotten tomatoes and currently sits at a gradually decreasing 5.4 on IMDb, which puts it as Smith's lowest rated film, even lower than Cop Out. Yet, after the initial screening at the 2014 Toronto Film Festival, the film received glaring reactions, such as the ones quoted below:
"TUSK, a body horror comedy that amounts to Kevin Smith’s sweetest film"
"So @tuskthemovie is totally bananas and really great. So committed to itself. A big #walrusyes"
"TUSK: Comedy slapstick that heavily borrows from The Human Centipede and/or Cronenberg’s The Fly. But who cares. It was so much fun!”
"Justin Long gives a career best performance in Tusk. Really, really strong work in an absolutely berserk horror-comedy.”
So Tusk is a film that's mostly hated, but was initially loved. Hmmmm. Next up? Paul Thomas Anderson's stoner comedy, Inherent Vice. it's one of my favourite films of all time, and in my opinion it's Anderson's best film to date, yet it received mixed reviews. The film was initially hated on, many calling it a mess and one critic even saying "But the sense of being blissfully out-of-it, which can have its pleasures, soon drifts into another aspect of drug use: detachment."
The words zonked, incoherent, never ending and many others were thrown around, leading one to question whether Paul Thomas Anderson had finally made a dud film. In my opinion, and this seems to be the general consensus, he hasn't yet. As the film came out and was released in more and more cinemas, people started digging it a bit more. Few are hailing it as Anderson's best, but they can't help but say they were entertained by it. Let's give it a few more years. Maybe the haze will wear off and people will start to love it more, just like they did with The Big Lebowski, another favourite of mine.
My next example is Fifty Shades of Grey, which has been one of the most talked about movies of the year, and not for good reasons. The erotic novel turned movie was hated from the moment the trailer came out. It's most certainly not a good movie, which is why it's actually rather hilarious when the first lot of reactions were positive. Don't get me wrong, none of them were ecstatic about how flawless the film was, but many claimed it to be a self aware and entertaining film.
"The stylish and mostly satisfying film adaptation by director Sam Taylor-Johnson will be too, and deservingly so... , but it certainly knows how to keep a girl happy during its running time."
"The movie adaptation of the smash-hit S&M novel is less tawdry than some are probably hoping, but about it nonetheless"
"This hotly anticipated bondage-porn romance is in many ways a significant improvement on E.L. James' novel."
"If Hollywood still has doubts about whether women can dominate at the box office, the steamy — if occasionally stilted — adaptation of E.L. James' S&M romance novel permanently."
Saying that the film is an improvement over the book isn't that big of a compliment, but it's truly odd to hear a film as terrible as it is getting so much praise. It's ridiculous that a film like that even exists, yet the fact that it initially got positive reactions is what I find harder to believe.
My final example of early buzz that proved to be wrong is Green Lantern, the 2011 DC superhero film starring Ryan Reynolds. I don't hate the film, although I wouldn't say I like it either, but most do consider it a train wreck. I like Ryan Reynolds as an actor and I am incredibly pumped for his interpretation of Deadpool, yet he doesn't work as Green Lantern. When the character hits our screens again in a few years time, let's hope the adaptation actually works. However, some of the initial reactions to the film goes as follows.
" GREEN LANTERN fucking ROCKED. The 3D was AWESOME. As a lifelong DC fan, the opening ten minutes made me squeal like schoolgirl. … Believe it. The first ten minutes will make you believe. The 3D is also outstanding. … GREEN LANTERN was terrific fun. The fact that it works at all is a miracle, but it really does cook. The first ten minutes sold me. … The 3D in the opening ten minutes is wonderful. But YOU MUST see it with polarized glasses. The color is great. … It’s not campy at all. The humor is earned. And Mark Strong as Sinestro was AWESOME. … I LOVED GREEN LANTERN. Don’t know why, but it kinda’ felt like THE LAST STARFIGHTER."
"Frakking-Un-Believable!!! I’m still spinning w/ delight & utter fangirl satisfaction!! #GREENLANTERN IS GO!!!” … #GREENLANTERNCORPbe sure to stay until the end of the 1st credit roll for the BIG PAYOFF!! U won’t be disappointed!! …. Torn between #MarkStrongas #Sinestro & #RyanReynolds as #GreenLantern on who rocked more! Hmm? Think we have a tie. Better be a sequel;)"
One of the most hated comic book films since Howard the Duck received the highest of praise after a preview screening, although we probably should've suspected something was up when one person used the word "amaz" to describe just how much they enjoyed it.
These are just a few examples of when early buzz was way off. I'm not trying to tell you that you should never trust early buzz, and I'm certainly not trying to convince you that Jurassic World is going to be a bad movie. It looks fantastic. What I am saying is that you don't need someone else's opinion to see a movie. Go see it. Don't go see it. It's up to you. I ignored every last one of these until I saw the movies for myself. Sure, some of them can be assuring, but one person's opinion will never be enough to sway mine. I hope the Jurassic World early buzz is correct. I honestly do. I'm just not letting it pre-decide how I'm going to feel, much like the majority of people did with these movies.