Scott Marks noon, Jan. 11
Jurassic Park III
Elementary and elemental spectacle of ravening dinosaurs and edible humans. Beyond that, it pretty much eludes criticism or comment. A small objection might be raised at the way dinosaurs, for live-action purposes (which is to say live-action humans, but computer-generated dinosaurs), have become the monopoly of the Jurassic Park franchise. This makes for a stifling sameness, an unhealthy constraint, although on the other hand it allows the action to get rolling in a hurry: no need to lay any groundwork. Another small objection, specific to Part III, could be raised over the ease of identifying the disposable humans and the speed of their disposal. The preciousness of the remaining humans (most of all William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, and, after sitting out the first sequel, Sam Neill) tends to depress the level of suspense. Any child -- the target viewer, after all -- will know full well that nothing too bad is going to happen to them any time soon. Aside from its shorter menu of snack food, the movie has lost little in transferring the controls from Steven Spielberg to Joe Johnston: little but excess baggage. (Even the dinos no longer seem able to cause the earth to quake with every step.) A well-paced hour and a half could not nowadays feed the Spielberg ego. 2001.