This weekend, all these questions will be answered.
“Dinosaur,” Disney’s computer-animated, kiddie-themed take on the “Jurassic Park” phenomenon, makes its long anticipated debut this week, posing the first serious threat to knock “Gladiator” (which, as of Tuesday, had raked in $79 million and counting) from the No. 1 position at the box office. It’s got everything kids (especially little boys) want: dinosaurs, dinosaurs, more dinosaurs and even a few lemurs.
Meanwhile, Allen releases his latest, “Small Time Crooks,” which actually promises to be funny — unlike his past few movies. Then there’s “Road Trip,” this year’s first candidate for a raunchy teen comedy hit a la “American Pie.”
Here’s a rundown of this weekend’s new releases:
“DINOSAUR” (See the trailer) The skinny: It’s “Tarzan,” but with a twist. An orphaned Iguanadon is raised by lemurs (a monkey-like primate), and he’s treated by all the other dinosaurs as an outcast. The upside: The dinosaurs are cute ‘n’ cuddly, unlike those carnivorous critters in “Jurassic Park.” The downside: Kids can’t be fooled: Everyone knows there were no lemurs during the Age of Dinosaurs!
“ROAD TRIP” (See the trailer) The skinny: One of those wacky comedies about college students. In this one, some guy (Breckin Meyer) drags his buddies along on a 2,000 mile trek from upstate New York to Austin, where he’s reunited with his girlfriend (Amy Smart). Of course, hijinx ensue along the way. Also stars up-and-coming funnymen Tom Green and Andy Dick. The upside: There’s nothing quite like a good road movie. The downside: Then again, there’s “Kalifornia.”
“SMALL TIME CROOKS” (See the trailer) The skinny: Woody Allen revisits his roots (e.g. his directorial debut, “Take the Money and Run“) in this screwball comedy about a bumbling bank robber. The upside: If it’s anywhere near as funny as “Take the Money …” this could be Allen’s best film in years. The downside: “Manhattan Murder Mystery” aside, Allen hasn’t made a funny movie in a long time. Fact is, we sort of think he forgot what’s funny (hint: Movies where 60-something Woody romances Julia Roberts, Juliette Lewis and Elizabeth Shue are generally not funny). Elsewhere, “U-571,” “Where the Heart Is,” “Frequency,” “The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas,” “Screwed,” “Center Stage” and “Keeping the Faith” all will try to avoid being bumped out of the Top 10.