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The Lost World: Jurassic Park

tn_lostworldMan, this review has been in development almost as long as JURASSIC WORLD. After I typed this up I found an old version I wrote in a notebook a couple years ago, when I had mentioned liking THE LOST WORLD and readers wanted me to defend my position. I went in and stole a few phrases out of it, like I found them encased in amber.

I always thought THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK was a solid part 2 to a very enjoyable part 1. Maybe it helps that I didn’t consider the first one to be such a classic at the time. I loved it as a fun execution of a cool gimmick, but I was comparing it to JAWS and that’s a way to make it seem kinda dumb. Over the years, as it’s continued to hold up and be better than many similar movies that have come after, I respect it more. Even still, I enjoy watching part 2 and I think it’s miles better than Part three-claw-scratches. Much of the world disagrees with me, though, so here is my brilliant Perry Mason style defense. Or something.

This is the only non-INDIANA-JONES sequel that Mr. Spielberg has directed, and it opens with pure Spielberg filmatism. Ominously crashing waves intimidate the frame as a rich British couple, their young daughter (holy shit, I never realized that was 10,000 BC‘s Camilla Belle, in her movie before Seagal’s THE PATRIOT) and a pack of yacht crewmen stop for an impromptu picnic on the shore of an unsettled island. It must be nice to be rich, be able to do anything you want. But next time don’t do it on the island that Jurassic Park used to breed their dinosaurs. When Mom worries about the girl running off to play, an obvious concern would be the violent tides, but of course the real threat comes from within the island. She meets a tiny, quick-moving lizard. “What are you, a bird or something?” It’s a cute little thing, and she feeds it a piece of meat from her sandwich. But then all the sudden there are more of them, and they want some too. And next thing you know there’s a swarm, and they’re jumping onto her like piranhas on a cow, and she’s screaming…

Later in the movie Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm makes fun of the new characters being in awe of the dinosaurs. “Oh, yeah. Ooh, ahh, that’s how it always starts. Then later there’s running and, um, screaming.” But this scene zooms in on Mom’s face as she screams in terror… which dissolves into Malcolm on the subway yawning. I guess Sam Neill and Laura Dern probly turned the movie down, but it was a smart idea to turn the cynical wisecracker and chief-worrier into the lead. He wears a cool guy leather jacket, gets recognized on the subway, gets to tell off the new InGen head for covering up what happened, and Jurassic Park founder John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) when he tells him that dinosaurs have survived on one of the islands and become their own eco-system.

mp_lostworldHammond has become a conservationist and wants Malcolm to join a team going to photograph the dinosaurs thriving free of captivity before the board of directors do something stupid. This yacht incident is making them nervous. Malcolm basically tells Hammond to PG-13 go fuck himself, until he finds out his crazy paleontologist girlfriend Sarah (Julianne Moore, ASSASSINS) already snuck off to go to the island. Then he decides to go as a rescue mission to make sure she doesn’t get eaten off the toilet like the lawyer in part 1.

If you think about it it’s kinda the same setup as ALIENS, though admittedly he doesn’t change or get shit done like Ripley does. He does fight an angry mother and protect a little girl, though.

I can understand that this thing with his girlfriend is awfully convenient, as is the more widely hated story element, the young daughter Kelly (Vanessa Lee Chester from A LITTLE PRINCESS) who stows away with them so they can have a kid there like in the first one. Also, watching it now that it’s old enough to vote I notice that Sarah going around spewing paleo-facts like she has Asperger’s is pretty grating at times. And there are a few animated parts that to me look more dated than anything in the first one, which relied less on the computer generated imageries since nobody had made a movie like that before. But I don’t think any of this gets much in the way of Spielberg’s great setpieces, the fun ways that he ups the ante on spectacle, or the moodier cinematography courtesy of Janusz Kaminski, who had started with Spielberg on SCHINDLER’S LIST the same year he did JURASSIC PARK with Dean Cundey.

The good guys are science and nature types, they know they’re dealing with animals, not monsters, so they’re always trying to understand and care for them. When they’re attacked they try to escape from the dinosaurs, not kill them. The bad guys are still capitalists who foolishly endanger the public in their search for money, and now they also have a team of hunters who rough the dinosaurs up and call them names while capturing them.

In place of the majestic dinosaur stampede scenes from part 1 we have a great scene of these rugged adventurers roaring through in Jeeps and on motorcycles lassoing dinosaurs, rustling them like cattle, muzzling them, sometimes having to fight them to put them down. It’s a cool VALLEY OF GWANGI type scene with that great Spielberg feel of sounds and activity going on all around you, shaggy-haired professionals doing their work and talking their jargon. They’re macho but not evil. They don’t respect the animals the way the good guys do, because they’re mercenaries. Spielberg plays it just right by not having the good guys say anything about it being wrong what they’re doing. He just pulls back to show their sad eyes as they watch it all go down from a hill. That expression is the depressing postscript to the famous look-of-awe shots.

Well, maybe one of them is evil. Peter Stormare is there playing the Peter Stormare character. He tortures a small dinosaur with a cattleprod and he gets what he deserves. His couple of scenes could almost be in a later sequel of some slasher franchise. But he’s not in it that much.

One member of Hammond’s pro-dinosaur squad is Nick Van Owen (Vince Vaughn, PSYCHO), a videographer who says he used to be with Greenpeace, and is later recognized as “that Earth First bastard.” We eventually discover that he’s really there for his experience in sabotage, which means he’s gonna open the cages and let out all the dinos they just caught. The triceratops ramming a Jeep during a satellite meeting with investors is an enjoyable piece of mayhem, and the only one done by the good guys on purpose. It’s a dangerous thing to do, but it reflects the movie’s belief that now that man has played God he must allow his children the right to live.

They also make the foolish decision to bring an injured baby t-rex to their medical facilities. They understand what they’re risking, but their desire to right the wrongs of the InGen team, and mankind in general, takes precedence. Plus it proves Sarah’s theory that t-rexes were protective parents after all, and that leads to a Spielbergfest where the trailer hangs off a cliff with them inside and Sarah is on a window that’s slowly cracking under her weight.

I think Pete Postlethwaite’s character Roland Tembo is interesting. In a sense he’s the most obviously “bad” guy besides Stormare, because he’s a macho big game trophy hunter in a Crocodile Dundee hat who doesn’t want payment for his services, he just wants to be allowed to hunt one t-rex, “a buck!” And he does this by cruelly tying up a crying baby t-rex, breaking its leg in the process. He plays it as cold-hearted, but not evil, and when dinosaurs kill his partner he doesn’t turn vengeful like a true bad guy does. He gets disgusted with it all, quits and goes home. So there’s a little something to him.

To make it more intriguing, he is possibly gay. I remember long ago a buddy obsessed with these movies told me that there was some comic book adaptation or something with an extra scene that revealed that the “partner” he’s upset about losing later is not a business partner, but his life partner, and that later this scene was put back in the movie for the extended TV version. I’ve always believed this to be true, but now that I found what I believe is the scene on Youtube I guess maybe not:

I’m not sure hugging the guy and sending him cologne every year (even added to Tembo’s prominent earring seen throughout the movie) are enough evidence for that. They just act like old friends, not even ones who see each other that much. I still believe Tembo might be meant to be gay, but if so it was never made explicit like I’d been led to believe.

The deleted scene is interesting in another way, though, because it would’ve introduced Tembo in what is usually a heroic scenario: the character seeing some yahoos harassing a helpless person in an eating or drinking establishment, then intervening, not being taken seriously and surprising the bully with an extraordinary and humiliating ass-beating (see also: BILLY JACK, A BETTER TOMORROW 2, ON DEADLY GROUND, DELTA FORCE II). This shows Tembo as a badass who stands up for the innocent, although his friend then spins it as a sign of his boredom and hey man want to hunt a dinosaur? They have dinosaurs now.

Although I have not done a scientific poll yet I’m positive that the most hated aspect of the movie is Malcolm’s daughter Kelly, and particularly the gag where she spins on makeshift uneven bars to fight off a raptor. Okay, I get that one. This isn’t BORN TO FIGHT, so an impromptu gymnastics routine (though foreshadowed in dialogue) seems outside of the reality established in these movies, and a silly way to have her impress her inattentive father. I can’t really defend it except to say that I thought it was funny, so sue me. This is a sequel to JURASSIC PARK, where two kids were on the dinosaur island and one was an expert hacker who used her computer skills to help save the day. I prefer this more absurd contribution and the punchline it sets up for her dad (“They cut you from the team?“). I also think Chester gives a very natural, likable performance and gets some odd laughs.

A word about Kelly: she’s black. For some reason that bothered some people. Hopefully they’ve gotten over it by now. Do you guys know the @AmznMovieRevws twitter account? It always cracks me up with its collection of stupid and/or befuddling user reviews found on Amazon. A couple months ago there was this one:

 

… and I found it weirdly heartening, because the fact that he posted that review shows that it’s seen as an unexpected and crazy thing to write about the movie. But I’m old enough to remember that it was a very common complaint at the time.

(Here and here are some of the debates that happened on the current films newsgroup.)

What is so confusing about Malcolm having a black daughter? Maybe her mother is black, maybe she’s from a previous marriage but Malcolm raised her, maybe she’s adopted (like Spielberg’s kid). Who knows? Who cares? There are various possibilities, none of which are relevant to the story. I’m pretty sure Spielberg didn’t slip up and not look at the headshot closely enough during casting. Why is this an issue? It suggests weird racial hangups that I can’t fathom. I shudder to think what kind of cringe-inducing idiocy unfolds when these people run into various types of foster children, mixed race families, gay parents, children from surrogate mothers, or any other type of not-the-most-common family situations. It’s gonna end up being either an uncomfortable faux pas or one of those horror stories you hear about where somebody accuses a parent of kidnapping their own child.

A less offensive common complaint at the time: it seems like it’s over and then there’s more. I never understood that one either. They leave the island, that would be a very unsatisfying conclusion. The payoff to the movie is when InGen does exactly what has been feared throughout the movie: they try to bring a dinosaur to human civilization, foolishly thinking they can keep it under control. Spielberg does a great JAWS-buoy type move, giving us a boat headed for the shore, not responding to communications. So it’s just a boat coming at us but we all know what’s inside: an angry tyrannosaur that must’ve somehow overpowered its captors. (Another good one happened earlier when raptors attack the group in tall grass and we mostly just see the people getting snatched and disappearing.)

The t-rex loose in San Diego is a great sequence unlike anything else in the series. One of my favorite horror themes: polite society invaded by the inexplicable. It’s also the theme of that opening scene. Back when John Sayles was writing JURASSIC PARK 4, the one where genetically modified dinosaurs were teamed up like the Dirty Dozen (which must’ve evolved into the trained raptors that ended up being in the new movie), I read somewhere that his opening scene involved dinosaurs attacking a little league game. That’s the kind of shit I want to see!

I mean, imagine just going about your business, going to rent a video or driving home from work or something, and all the sudden there’s a bear right in front of you.

That would be fucking terrifying, right? Now imagine that it’s something bigger and more vicious and known to be extinct for millions of years! What the fuck. That’s a hell of a thing to come across on the street.

I could do without a couple of the broader jokes (Japanese tourists running like it’s a GODZILLA movie, jokey fake movie posters in a vintage Blockbuster Video) but most of it works. I like how Spielberg invades the picturesque suburbs famously depicted in some of his other movies. Little boy sees a t-rex in his backyard, goes to tell his parents, they don’t believe him. Real cute joke, and then it eats their dog.

In the city the panick-stricken drivers do more damage than the actual dinosaur, freaking out and driving backwards to get away, crashing into each other. And there’s a great moment where we’ve seen a Union 76 station with its big round sign, and then from offscreen it comes rolling down the street like a giant bowling ball.

Come to think of it maybe it’s a good thing this wasn’t more loved, because with JURASSIC PARK being only the subtitle people could’ve started thinking of it as the LOST WORLD series and the titling scheme would’ve gotten all fucked up like after RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II.

I’m not gonna hang this movie up in a museum, and I’m not gonna claim it’s one of the greats. But it’s a solid entertainment with at least 5 or 6 great setpieces that only Spielberg could do, and plenty of fun in between. I like it.

VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.

This entry was posted on Monday, June 8th, 2015 at 11:39 am and is filed under Reviews, Science Fiction and Space Shit. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

135 Responses to “The Lost World: Jurassic Park”

  1. Just like CASPER, I really enjoyed it when I was younger, but the older I got, the less I liked it.
    The trailer-over-the-cliff scene is basically the movie in a nutshell: Super awesome stuff (In terms of suspense and filmatism it’s very close to the near perfect T-Rex attack in part 1), bookended by pure stupidity (supposedly smart people taking a T-Rex baby with them because they are good people and otherwise there wouldn’t be a mid-movie action scene) and even more “Huh?” (Two full grown T-rexes don’t need more than one half or Richard Schiff to fill their tummies.)

    Sorry, Vern, but in terms of Jurassic Park sequels, we are totally on different teams. (For now?)

  2. Yeah. I still think it’s trash. Watchable trash; but trash nonetheless.

  3. Granted it came from a place of a kid who had 4 years earlier been completely blown away by the original. To the point that it encouraged me to buy my first “adult” novel (JURASSIC PARK) when I was 10. I was so hyped for what ended up being a giant kick to my “going through puberty” nuts. I totally understood then how the people who hated JAWS 2 coming out the theater as teenaged kids must’ve felt.

  4. The marketing for this movie was amazing though. The T-Rex in the thunderstorm teaser with the strobe light effect at the cinema is still one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.

  5. I understand the longstanding rumor on this one is that Spielberg basically directed a lot of it literally over the phone (or, well, videophone anyway). While I can find no official confirmation of that fact, I’ve heard it from enough different sources to consider it a justifiable, and if it is true it sure explains a lot about the movie. I don’t know that I could find 5-6 classic setpieces, but the stampede, the T-rex in San Diego, and especially the bugnuts insane danging trailer sequence, are all absolute Spielbergian gems. But so much of the rest of the movie is exactly as lazy and, well, phoned in as you would imagine from a guy who wasn’t even on the set the majority of the time. I mean, what the fuck is Vince Vaughn’s character even doing there? He contributes virtually nothing that couldn’t easily be passed on to another character, and then just disappears 30 minutes from the end and never shows up again. There’s what seems like an interminably long sequence where he’s alone in the abandoned building, I forget what he’s trying to do exactly, and it seems like it’s gonna be a suspense sequence… but then NOTHING AT ALL HAPPENS. I think he sees a painting of a raptor and jumps a little. There is no competent, professional reason to have that scene appear in this movie, it’s the kind of random, meandering pointless scene you’d find in a giallo or something.

    Overall, one of Speilberg’s lowest-effort films… except that every once in a while, out of fucking nowhere, it suddenly turns amazing. What to think of a film like that? I guess I enjoy it for what it is. Most of the obviously terrible things about it (inane dialogue, pointless characters, weird unfinished non-payoffs for obvious setups) don’t really bother me and honestly I don’t know that I would have enjoyed it more had they been more competent. But I do wish the structure was a little better. There are a bunch of great scenes, but they tend not to pay off anything and that can make them a bit unsatisfying.

    I do love Pete Postlethwaite’s cool, ambiguous character. I wish he had figured into the final 30 minutes somehow. What a terrific, hardworking actor that guy was, it’s kind of a shame it seems like he never quite got his classic role.

  6. Thanks, Vern. I don’t know if you know this, but THE LOST WORLD is actually my favorite JURASSIC PARK movie. Thank you for finally giving me a place to share that opinion.

    I like it precisely because it’s a hardcore Steven Spielberg action movie. I get why people who loved the awe and wonder of the original were disappointed the sequel went in this direction, but that’s also why I love sequels so much. You already got your awe and wonder movie. Now we can have the hardcore dino-action movie. But it’s a personal preference because I never bought into the awe and wonder of the original. The dinosaurs are a special effect. I knew they were going to be good special effects. I didn’t need to spend half the movie and a Mr. DNA tutorial to appreciate that.

    I’m sure it’s been in reverse, where I’ve loved an original and the sequel took a distasteful route. I suppose TEMPLE OF DOOM was like that but then it grew on me. It’s the common complaint of BACK TO THE FUTURE II but I adore the way that sequel complicates its own mythology. I’ll think of one, don’t worry. I am Franchise Fred.

    Let’s also not forget that this was still based on Crichton’s sequel book, written after the JURASSIC PARK movie was a huge success. While I understand Spielberg took liberties, I believe the book go the same criticisms. In conclusion, making Jeff Goldblum the star was the right call. He is noticeably absent from the second half of the first film (after he gets injured) which was a huge miscalculation.

  7. Jeff Goldblum starring is the only reason it’s even watchable. That guy is too underrated.

  8. It seems to me that the main discrepancy between people who hate it and people who think it’s alright is in what they thought of the first one. Me, I liked the first one. Still do. But I was a teenager when it came out, a little too old for that childlike awe and whimsy the movie was going for. I mostly just enjoyed seeing the dinosaurs fuck shit up, and the dinosaurs fucked plenty of shit up in the second one, too, so even though it’s not as good a movie, I felt satisfied. Still do. But to some people, the first one was their STAR WARS, a generation-defining classic that opened their eyes to the potential of film as a medium. To them, a decent monster flick like LOST WORLD is gonna seem like one giant pile of shit for even attempting to sit next to JP’s throne.

    I know it’s not a great movie. I don’t need it to be. But some people do, and they’ll never forgive it for not being one.

  9. I’ve come to enjoy it on it’s own terms these days, but at the time I was crushingly disappointed because I read Crichton’s novel before going to see the movie (HUGE mistake). I loved the book and was incredibly excited to see it re-created on then big screen and then the movie literally has NOTHING to do with what happened in the book.

    At least the first movie was pretty close (although i would love to see an R rated Jurassic park with all of the brutality from the book intact), but The Lost World basically just took the setting, Malcolm’s character, and that’s pretty much it. They even had a cool Chameleon type dinosaur that could camoflauge and then pop out of nowhere and eat you. Nowhere to be seen.

    The Dyson character from the first movie (the guy who gives Nedry the shaving can to sneak out the embryos) is the villain in the book and is going to the island to try to recover actual eggs to start a competitive park. The dinosaurs never reach the mainland.

  10. JP is my favorite movie of all time but I rarely if ever watch this sequel.
    I think this movie is super exhaustive. Most of it plays at night and
    Jeff goldblums weary character is nothing like how he was in the first one.
    scenes just go on and on and make me wish it would just hurry up.

    This movie also has complete T-rex overkill. Which I thought was impossible!
    In the first one I could not get enough of the king of dinosaurs.

    Anyway the lost world is kinda lost on me.

  11. I saw Jurassic Park once or twice when it came out on VHS, but I didn’t own it until well after I had already got The Lost World, so I’ve seen that quite a few times more than I’ve seen the first. I have the most memories of The Lost World because of that, although I haven’t seen any of the Jurassic Park films in quite some time. The scene where the T-Rex sticks its head through the waterfall, the trailer hanging off the cliff, the T-Rex’s ripping that one dude in half, the T-Rex attack in the city, and my favourite, the raptors in the tall grass, all stand out to me, amongst some more awkward scenes. Even as a kid I knew the gymnastics bit was corny. I read on the AV Club that apparently James Cameron wanted to direct the first film as “Aliens with dinosaurs” which would have been totally badass, but I guess this is kinda like that. Not as good, but in a similar vein. I want to rewatch this now, I’m sure I’d like it still.

  12. Have any of the people who hated the movie when it came out ever re-watched it later? It seems like many of the criticisms mentioned so far have to do with it being different from expected. I’m curious if you still have those complaints years later.

  13. “Tsunami Sunrise” starring Tom Hanks makes me laugh every time.

    I loved this movie when it first came out (I was wearing my Burger King Lost World watch WHILE seeing the film, I was also a freshman in high school and didn’t have sex for another four years, if you can believe that), then years later I hated it for all the common complaints, then years after that I realized that it IS good, AND bad, and that I love it regardless. It feels like 80s coke Spielberg. I wish he could have fit Richard Dreyfuss in somehow. Anyway, it’s a fine movie.

  14. And re: his daughter being black, in the book he had a daughter, who was white (I believe, it might not have specified) and she had a FRIEND who was black (definitely specified), who also snuck aboard the trip to Isla Sorna with her….in the movie the character is just rolled into one. I always figured that was the inspiration, and that maybe Spielberg saw something in that as a parent of adopted kids or something.

  15. The Original Paul

    June 8th, 2015 at 11:21 pm

    I’m glad you brought up ALIENS, Vern, because for the first time in about fifteen years, I’ve just rewatched that one. And BOY does it stand up to rewatching. I always remembered the adoptive-parent relationship that Ripley had to Newt, but does anybody else remember just how well the cameraderie between Hicks and Ripley is built up? It starts as mutual almost-contempt – Ripley for the naive space marines, Hicks for the civvy novice; starts growing when Ripley first uses a power loader, and then just grows more and more into mutual respect as the film goes on. The part that really seals the deal, of course, is the famous “Nuke the site from orbit. Only way to be sure” line that Ripley uses, and Hicks repeats to Burke. It’s a beautiful way to punctuate how these two have grown to respect one another’s opinions.

    Oh, and Burke is still an asshole. Can’t remember who plays him now, but that guy does a spectacular job of bringing out just how slimy this character is, doesn’t he? Even in the opening two scenes, where Burke features prominently as an apparently sympathetic character, Sigourney Weaver does a great job of looking just a little on-edge whenever she’s around him. And meanwhile Burke himself comes off as just a bit plasticky, a bit false.

    See, I wanted to say something nice there because it seems like every action film I despise has been brought up around these parts these last few days. THE MUMMY RETURNS sucks. BLADE TRINITY really sucks. And THE LOST WORLD… well, you get the picture. It’s not just the daughter I have a problem with, you see, it’s ALL the stupid civillians who just fuck everything up for the professionals, yet they’re the ones we’re supposed to root for. They make the bickering married couple from JP3 look charming by comparison – that’s how bad they are. More than that, though, the film’s just boring as heck. I don’t care about the characters, the action, or the story. Entire set-pieces are lazily ripped wholesale from the original JURASSIC PARK (there’s a bus drop scene in LOST WORLD that’s pretty much the jeep drop from JURASSIC PARK, except without any of its tension or excitement).

    If I have to say something positive about THE LOST WORLD, and I would do so grudgingly, it’s that the bit with the Tyrannosaur at the end is genuinely what-the-fuck? but in a good way. It’s just so damn bizarre and so much is done with it that I kinda wish the whole film had been like that. It’d still be a disaster, but it’d be a fun one. As it is, the film is just a chore to sit through, with characters that I don’t want to spend time with. And that for me is the giant dealbreaker – in fact, it’s probably the most reliable indicator of whether I’d like an action movie or not. If I like spending time with the characters, I’m willing to overlook any number of other action movie sins. If not, it really doesn’t matter how good the movie is on a technical level; I’ll probably not like it anyway.

  16. I hate Julianne Moore’s character in this film. The Sarah Harding in Crichton’s book is tough, dry-humoured and fit. In the book’s trailer-over-the-cliff sequence, she doesn’t need rescuing; she bodily pulls unconscious sad-sack grumbler Malcolm up with her as she climbs out of the thing. She’s awesome.

    I never got the changes they made to Crichton’s book. I hazily remember hearing that they worked on both projects at the same time without really coordinating, so maybe that’s the explanation. I wouldn’t call the book good, exactly, but purely in terms of set-pieces, it’s got the edge on the movie.

    Oh and those two kids in the book, they weren’t at all related to Malcolm – they acted as assistants to Malcolm’s asshole scientist “friend”. (He came in to give a guest lecture at their high-school, or something) One, the girl, is white and from a low-income background, the other is a younger, bullied, rich, black genius. They stow away inside the trailer because, well, you gotta have two kids in these stories.

    I’m assuming they thought that making the girl Malcolm’s daughter would increase the stakes for the audience. They love doing this. Did the same thing on TIMELINE, where, suddenly, Billy Connolly’s Professor is also the father of the Paul Walker character, whereas in the book, he’s just, y’know, his professor. You can almost hear the execs thinking “Psh! As if anybody would travel to an alternate Medieval timeline JUST to save their professor – make that guy his father an we’re talking!”

  17. I’m still not convinced. I’ve seen the film twice, once in theaters and another time when it came out on video. I’m sure part of the reason why I was disappointed had to do with how much I loved Jurassic Park, which I watched repeatedly on VHS. But there are also way too many corny dad jokes in the film. I remember reading that at first Spielberg wanted to save bringing the dinosaurs to the mainland for a third film, but then he decided to create the final T-Rex sequence for the hell of it. For me, it feels tacked on. It also kind of ruins some of the atmosphere that Spielberg built up on the island.

  18. Tawdry Hepburn

    June 9th, 2015 at 7:21 am

    I love how mean this movie is. It’s got a black-hearted nastiness that I find very appealing. I’d actually say it’s closer to Joe Dante than James Cameron.

  19. Ace Mac Ashbrook

    June 9th, 2015 at 9:36 am

    I remember someone emptying their arse all over a glib comment I made on this site about me not minding The Lost World. I remember thinking then that the Jurassic Park thing must’ve meant such a lot to a whole bunch of people, while I was only ever giving maximum, 20% of a shit.

    On repeat viewing though, Vince Vaughn is dreadful in this. I’m sure I’ll want to blow him after True Detective 2, but until then he’s terrible.

  20. For all the problems in LOST WORLD, I never found not being JURASIC PARK to be one of them. It’s a totally different vibe, and that never really bothered me (especially since it lets you know almost immediately). I love JURASSIC PARK, but I don’t think it was going to be possible to do a sequel with the same kind of awe and fascination with the process. There’s not really anywhere left to go with that concept, so the only possible route for a sequel was to just have a bunch of dinosaurs fuck shit up.

    LOST WORLD is a total mess in a lot of ways, but I’d wager the same people who were disappointed with it for not being faithful to the tone of the original would be equally disappointed if it had been.

  21. The Original Paul

    June 9th, 2015 at 3:15 pm

    Mr S – See, my problem with THE LOST WORLD is that it is JURASSIC PARK. In many ways it’s a vastly similar movie, at least until the ending (which is pretty much the only part of it I can get any enjoyment from). The trouble is it’s so damn inferior to JP that it comes off as a bad copy. We’ve seen the running-with-dinos before, we’ve seen the person-rescued-from-falling-vehicle before, we’ve seen the least-likely-survivors-are-the-ones-who-make-it thing before. We’ve just seen all of this done way better.

    Of course that does come from somebody whose most-watched Spielberg movie is JURASSIC PARK. I’ve seen it at least ten times. I wouldn’t say it’s his best, but it stands out as the one I can watch over and over again and still enjoy.

  22. I’ve heard those rumours about Spielberg not being on set for a lot of the movie, too, but I take them only as unsubstantiated rumours. The visual filmmaking in Lost World is actually a lot more dynamic than it is in Jurassic Park (I feel Spielberg movies were at their least visually sophisticated between 1989 and ’93, with Schindler taking things to a new ballpark). The camera movement in The Lost World is pretty close to the style you see in Minority Report.

    I like the first Jurassic Park more every time I see it, but was fourteen when it opened, and it may have meant more to me were I a couple years younger at the time. But I’ve been defending The Lost World since ’97.

  23. I heard Tobe Hooper really directed it.

  24. I always wondered if and how the T-Rex was the one to kill the crew of the boat that was transporting it to San Diego. The animal was stuck in the hold and the bridge didn’t show any signs of it having broken through to there.

  25. Yes Vern I have watched it again since being disappointed by it at the flicks. About 3 or 4 times since 2011 matter of fact and yeah it still grinds my gears for the most part.

    Completely agree with those that point out how superfluous and atrocious Vince Vaughn was in this but Julianne Moore was also very obnoxious. I was hoping a raptor would just pop out of nowhere and bite her head off.
    Even King Goldblum who usually elevates anything and again does still make this one watchable still comes across bored as fuck throughout the whole thing. Like he owed Spielberg a favor or something.

    The characters are just really really dull and never truly engage you and that is the biggest flaw any movie can have. All the set pieces in the world won’t mean shit to me if I don’t give at least a modicum of a fuck about anybody in the damn thing. That’s why I never liked TRANSFORMERS or THE AVENGERS. None of the characters really hooked me and so the setpieces were just boring and lacked any real weight to me since there was nothing truly anchoring them.

    Ironically the much maligned daughter character is the one character I minded the least. Also wish that Richard Schiff’s character would’ve pulled through and Vaughn would’ve been flipped like a pancake by the rexes instead. He was the only character outside of the Malcolms and Roland that actually demanded any genuine attention.

  26. So after the initial “worst movie ever” viewing in the summer of ’97, and a rewatch somewhere in the 2000’s where I confirmed “yeah this is just as bad as I remember”, I decided to give it a 3rd shot last night because of Vern. And it’s graduated from “worst movie ever” to “aggressively mediocre”. It doesn’t seem like the huge letdown I remember it being and more like a typical bad movie from today – about on the level of perfunctory non-excitement as something like, I dunno, White House Down. (In fact the gymnastics routine is suspiciously like the color-guard routine in WHD)

    I agree that something seems off of about the whole thing – the non-dino parts are incredibly boring (that whole scene at Hammond’s house seemed to go on and on and on…) but the “action” parts are terrible too! The trailer scene is 12 minutes long and I think he was going for some Mission:Impossible style setpiece but it was just way too repetitive. You could have told me “the rest of the movie will be this cliff scene” and I’d believe you.

    The great thing about Spielberg is he’s always been a great visual director but also an actor’s director – and he obviously didn’t care about his actors here. Goldblum has none of the energy from Independence Day or JP 1, Vaughn is charmless. And is there a worse major character in a summer blockbuster than Julianne Moore’s character here? (not named Sam Witwicky?) She has no development, she’s incredibly obnoxious, and for a genius who keeps spouting dino facts every 2 minutes (including the one about how great the T-Rex’s sense of smell is) – she literally gets everyone killed! She LITERALLY states “yeah this jacket I’m wearing is coated in baby T. Rex blood and it won’t dry”, but oh well. I guess it has sentimental value and you need a jacket in the hot ass jungle, and this jacket is worth more to me than this team of Hispanic stereotypes, deal with it. This is a character who pets a baby stegosaurus, freaks out its parents, almost gets herself killed (almost gets them killed too since Malcolm wants Richard Schiff to shoot them), then literally 30 seconds later is yelling at other characters about how they can’t disturb the dinosaurs. What??

    Oh yeah, the villain is terrible and the logistical gymnastics the movie takes to give him his comeuppance is ridiculous. Why on earth is he sitting there alone on the dock with nobody around? And why are we supposed to cheer when the T Rex breaks his leg and lets the baby get revenge on him, when it was an entirely different character who broke the baby’s leg? (and got off scot free).

    One thing I liked about it better now is that before I couldn’t get over the fact that the heroes created the entire mess and got every single person on the island killed (by freeing the dinos and destroying the other team’s camp/radio, which is the whole reason they have to hike across the island). Now I guess I’m more of an animal lover so I’m kinda like “oh well, fuck those dudes”. Then again, the only reason they took the T. Rex back is because Nick stole the bullets from the elephant gun – Roland wanted to kill it, not capture it – so Nick is totally responsible for all the San Diego deaths as well! (And wait, who did they find with the balls to pilot the ship back to the island, considering the entire crew was magically eaten all over the ship by a T. Rex stuck in cargo) Ugh, this movie.

  27. Neal — I will agree with you on every one of those points, particularly on how hilarious it is that our supposed “heroes” actively cause every single death on the island. InGen’s plan actually was working just fine. Maybe you think they’re assholes, but you can’t argue they were irresponsible or something. Vince Vaughn is basically Nedry here — a guy who has his own hidden, self-serving agenda which throws everything into chaos and gets everyone killed. But he’s supposed to be a good guy!

    However, there is one thing you are wrong about. That trailer sequence is absolutely one of the tightest, best actions sequences in Spielberg’s entire oeuvre. It’s the one truly perfect thing in the film. It’s long, but only because it just keeps building and building; each new wrinkle escalates things. Even not caring a lick about any of the characters besides Malcolm (who definitely is not going to die) the filmmaking is just so potent that you can’t resist being sucked in.

    As for the mystery of the dead ship’s crew, I think it’s fairly solvable: The T-rex got out somehow during the trip (maybe someone just wanted to take a quick look, or something?) and after a lengthy struggle which killed most of the crew, some brave soul lured him back down into the hold and with his last ounce of breath, another dying sailor hit the button to close the lid. The logic of who would be dumb enough to open the thing in the first place — along with the logic of what the fuck InGen intended to do with a loose giant dinosaur when they actually got to shore and had to offload him– is ridiculous, of course, but I think fitting with the general level of logic in the film.

  28. This morning I started to wonder which not-longer-than-10-seconds moment will be crowned by the internet as the “worst scene ever put on film that totally ruined the movie for me” in JURASSIC WORLD, after the kids telling stupid kid jokes in part 1, the kid gymnasting a Raptor to death in part 2 and the talking Raptor in part 3.

  29. So per IMDB, there were apparently more deleted scenes – one explaining that the asshole nephew actually WAS the one who broke the baby T. Rex’s leg, and one where Raptors stowed aboard the T. Rex ship, which explains the dead crew. They apparently didn’t even bother filming that one, which shows the level of care put into this movie.

    Subtlety – I will say that unbroken shot during the trailer scene which follows Eddie and then descends down into the trailer is next level stuff. As Mark said above, it’s like a blueprint for the show-offy filmatism of Minority Report. But yeah, I guess that scene still doesn’t work for me, mainly because the T. Rex’s disappear and reappear at random. First they get the baby back and then leave peacefully. Then they change their mind and figure we’ll knock the trailer off the cliff (they’re weirdly offscreen during this scene). Then they leave again. Then they show up again just to kill poor Eddie in a “kewl” way that Michael Bay would approve of. Then they leave again(!) and somehow just missed the other team, who declare that half a Richard Schiff is enough to satiate them for a few hours. Btw, other than splitting Eddie in half like a wishbone, was there any reason for there to be two T. Rexes? I know you have to up the stakes but I’m pretty sure after this scene they’re back to one T. Rex for the rest of the movie.

    I guess that’s what reminds me of modern day (read: Orci/Kurtzman) movies – it’s a bunch of images and setpieces that the filmmakers want (a disembodied hand piloting a ship, two T. Rexes splitting a guy in half) but absolutely no idea how to string them together or make them make sense.

  30. Talking raptor? Shit, I don’t remember that.

    About the t-rex on the ship, I learned that originally they were also bringing raptors to San Diego, and they got out and caused the havoc on the ship. I think when they simplified it to just the t-rex they realized it was better to leave as a completely unanswered mystery. Better for my tastes, at least. Me and the gymnastics girl both prefer it that way.

  31. The talking Raptor is a weird phenomenon. It’s just a quick shot of a raptor head saying “Dr Grant”, as a jokey way to end a short nightmare scene, but the internet talks about it as if he would be a supporting character with at least 1 hour of screentime. Like the Jar Jar Binks of JP3.

  32. There were some suggestions in contemporary reviews that the San Diego finale was added to pip everyone’s favourite Godzilla movie to the post, but I’m guess that was just conjecture

  33. Sorry if I’m a bit late on sharing my thoughts about this, so here we go…

    First a bit of background, JURASSIC PARK was a crucial part of my childhood, I was absolutely obsessed with it to an almost scary degree, there was a period of time in 1995 where I watched my beloved VHS tape of it almost every day and sometimes multiple times a day, by 1996 I cooled off on watching that obsessively, but I still watched it pretty frequently, it was around this time I first heard rumors of a sequel and I was like “JURASSIC PARK 2? Fuck yeah!” so I was at maximum level hype by the time THE LOST WORLD came out, I felt like I had been waiting my whole life for it (which is almost literally the case).

    So it’s May of 1997 and there I am watching it in the theater opening night, right off the bat a problem was how harder to understand the story is, in the first one it’s “a theme park with dinosaurs, got it”, in this one I never quite figured out what the deal with Site B was supposed to be, which I don’t think was solely because of how young I was but because the movie itself doesn’t really do a good job explaining, if you really want to know the full backstory of Site B you have to read the Michael Crichton book, in which the backstory is actually pretty interesting and it should have been conveyed better in the movie (for one thing the island of Site B is literally lost and forgotten in the book and there’s an early mystery element to it’s discovery, in the movie Ian is just told about it by Hammond and InGen is already aware of it’s existence).

    Another problem is beyond Jeff Goldblum I never really connected with any of the characters, the original JP has such a great ensemble cast and though they tried with TLW, they never quite succeeded and the big problem with Malcolm’s daughter for me is not that she’s black but that she feels so unnecessary, that whole character really should have been left on the cutting room floor if they weren’t going to keep the kid characters from the book, so I was a little disappointed as a kid, but I nevertheless had a good time with all the fun dinosaur mayhem, later when I got it on VHS I watched it a pretty good bit, though never as frequently as the original, so I enjoyed it for the most part but it was never a favorite.

    However when I re-watched the film on blu ray I was surprised to find myself enjoying it a lot more as a twenty something than as a kid, the problems are still there but I like how Spielberg didn’t try to replicate the first film, he just wanted to play with these dinosaurs some more and there’s a meanness to THE LOST WORLD’s mayhem that I think is pretty hilarious and fun.

    So what does that leave us? THE LOST WORLD is certainly not a great film, there are some not insignificant flaws and some things that are kinda half assed, but if you watch it with the right attitude and understanding that it’s just Spielberg having fun, breaking free from the typical “awe and wonder” style and letting his inner 13 year old out*, then it’s a blast, I’ll take it over any fucking Michael Bay movie any day.

    *this is a side of Spielberg I wish we saw more often, the only other examples I can think of would be TEMPLE OF DOOM and by proxy, GREMLINS, I wish he’d let that side out again today because it’d be the perfect antidote to all the stoic historical dramas he keeps making.

  34. Neal — I think your Orci/Kurtzman comparison if pretty fair. Did Spielberg ever work with a worse script? Even treacle-y crap like THE TERMINAL at least has some basic structure to it, seems like someone worked out the story ahead of time. LOST WORLD feels slapdash and unwieldy, exactly like it was sort of written piecemeal or stitched together from multiple previous scripts (just like every big studio movie these days seems to be).

    Man, maybe we’re just used to shitty, incomplete and nonsensical scripts more than we were back when this first came out, and that’s the reason a lot of us have warmed to it over the years? But even so, although this is a script that Michael Bay could work with (particularly considering its mean streak) there’s no way he’d execute these setpieces as well as Spielberg does. That’s the difference for me. Even totally empty, pretty logically ridiculous bits like the indecisive T-Rex couple (it does matter that they’re a couple, I think, since they talk so much about the parenting instinct) still make for exciting sequences in the hands of a scene-builder of Spielberg’s caliber. (At least when he’s making an effort; other action beats, for example the raptor attack in the tall grass, are pretty perfunctory)

  35. “But even so, although this is a script that Michael Bay could work with (particularly considering its mean streak) there’s no way he’d execute these setpieces as well as Spielberg does. That’s the difference for me.”

    It’s the same way for me, yeah the movie’s script is sloppy and a lot more effort could have been put into a tighter script, but the movie delivers on exiting action, which is what I don’t understand about Michael Bay, it’s not just that his movies are dumb and juvenile, they’re also boring, the guy can’t shoot an action scene to save his life, he takes all this large scale mayhem and shoots and edits it in a way that makes it hard to follow and thus all just a bunch of boring noise and commotion.

    And as sloppy as THE LOST WORLD’S script may be, it’s still nothing compared to Orci/Kurtzman’s STAR TREK INTO DARKNESS, which was essentially literal gibberish, but I can see how TLW could be a precursor to such things.

  36. Interesting! Thanks for clearing that up, Vern.

  37. So the reviews of JURASSIC WORLD are already in http://www.avclub.com/review/jurassic-world-goes-back-park-danger-missing-220691 http://thedissolve.com/reviews/1646-jurassic-world/

    And I’m really breathing a sigh of relief, it sounds like it’s not a runaway success but it’s not a total disaster either, it sounds like a lot of fun.

  38. I understand alot of the criticisms you guys have brought up, but I’m still trying to understand the problem people have with the San Diego finale. It seems to me like *of course* we want to see a t-rex loose in civilization, that we didn’t know this would be there is clearly an added bonus that we should all be thankful for. And as I said in the review I absolutely don’t see cutting before that as an acceptable ending to the movie. I also remember at the time people did compare it to a Godzilla movie, as a negative thing. Which begs the question “Do you know you’re watching a movie about dinosaurs eating people?” I don’t understand how you are pro-dinosaurs-eating-people-movie but laugh at the very idea of enjoying one that takes place in a city.

  39. Oh, I’ve never had a problem with the San Diego finale, I forgot to mention that.

  40. The Original Paul

    June 11th, 2015 at 5:40 am

    Vern – I don’t get that either. The San Diego finale is the one part of this movie that doesn’t either infuriate me or bore me to tears. It doesn’t redeem what’s come before – I don’t know what could possibly do that – but it certainly makes me consider the movie a little more kindly.

    I mean, if my main criticism is that the movie does basically nothing new, well, here’s something new. And it’s something that I want to see. As for the hateable characters being the ones who will obviously survive until the end… I think by that point they’ve just about fucked everything up that they possibly can on the island itself. The difference being, instead of fucking up a situation themselves (and then taking zero responsibility for it), they’re now entering a situation that’s already fucked up. If that makes sense. Put simply, they’re dropped into a city that’s under attack by a T-Rex. Even Julianne Moore can’t make that situation any worse than it already is.

    I think if the rest of the movie were like the finale, it’d still be bad, but it’d be fun bad. Not “I hate spending any time with these awful characters and don’t give a shit about anything that’s happening” bad. If the movie were 50% people reacting incredulously to T-Rexes before being comically eaten up, I would have no problems recommending it.

  41. The Original Paul

    June 11th, 2015 at 8:23 am

    And since there’s zero chance of me seeing it in the cinema after my FURY ROAD experience (seriously, why, Odeon, why?!) I’ve taken the liberty of reading some JURASSIC WORLD reviews. Not something I usually do before seeing a film. They make it sound like the T3 of the JURASSIC PARK franchise – stupid as hell, but fun. Which I might be up for if it didn’t require going to the cinema to see.

  42. I’ll bite and explain why the San Diego bit used to bother me – basically it should have happened a little earlier in the movie and be longer (i.e. the way King Kong used New York), or maybe happen a little later and be shorter (i.e. the Queen Alien’s reappearance in Aliens). As it is, it’s like a weird compromised middle ground between a natural 3rd act and a gotcha! epilogue, and doesn’t work as either. I will have to admit that 4th acts in movies (like Casino Royale or The Dark Knight) usually only throw me for a loop the first time and they don’t bother me at all the next time I watch them.

    But unfortunately the ending is also really really bad – there’s the aforementioned “how did the crew die?” conundrum. There’s Goldblum taking the time from all the chaos to sneak up behind the bad guy and whisper menacingly in his ear (“Now you’re John Hammond!”) and then go back to the action. There’s the disappearance of Vince Vaughn, who’s not a good or even memorable character, but it’s still weird they drop the 3rd main character like that. There’s the fact that only two characters in a giant city seem to take any action to solve the problem. The movie already teased us by having dozens of mercenary characters with machine guns who never even shoot at a dinosaur, now it brings a dinosaur to the mainland where he has time to go from the docks to the suburbs to downtown, where the only interference he has is from 4 cops who comically scurry away in reverse when they see him. Isn’t there a Naval base in San Diego?? Anyways, the bad guy is shown yelling at someone to “shoot it!” which I think we’re supposed to find villainous even though we just saw the T. Rex eat a poor guy on the street. Why shouldn’t they shoot it? How come when Goldblum and Moore steal the baby from the zoo, the guards just stand there like idiots? I’m glad that a yuppie couple can just roll into a secured area with a convertible, steal the most prized captive animal in history, and leave while the security guards just stand there.

    I dunno, like I said earlier, the movie has a Bay-esque tendency to check things off its list in either perfunctory or over-complicated ways. I get that they needed a) the heroes to save the city, (as Paul pointed out this is the one problem they didn’t really cause (well Vince Vaughn did by stealing the bullets) and this is the only time they actually do anything heroic. b) the T. Rex needs to not get killed because God forbid a human kill a dinosaur in any of these movies (the velociraptor who got uneven-barred to death was actually still alive I noticed this time), c) the villain needs to get his comeuppance. I get all that. Just the way they do it by putting the T. Rex back in the exact same boat with the villain (which I guess is perfectly driveable even though it ran aground) is head-scratchingly dumb and dramatically unsatisfying. I don’t mind if it’s one of the other, but once it’s both you’ve got problems.

  43. The finale is actually the fun part!
    But my problem with it that it feels completely tacked on.
    Like something else was planned before but got scrapped.
    Everyone but jeff goldblum and julianne moore just dissapears for the rest of the movie. It feels kind of out of place to have these characters survive and
    Not be involved in the final act.
    It comes also pretty out of nowhere to just bring the rex to the mainland.

    The finale itself is pretty great. it has some fun ideas and scenes that the rest of the movie does not have. (Like mentioned by The Original Paul the movie uses many upscaled scenes from the original if you ask me)

    I love that the rex decides to bite a traffic light and decides it’s not for him
    While cars crash all around it.

  44. The Original Paul

    June 11th, 2015 at 2:40 pm

    My favorite T-Rex moment is when the kid tells his parents about it and they don’t listen to him because they’re too busy being self-absorbed and arguing with each other.

    I didn’t mention how much worse the villain of JURASSIC PARK 2 was than John Hammond from JURASSIC PARK. Hammond is basically a misguided idealist in JURASSIC PARK, whereas the guy from JP2 is a bureaucrat who wants a quick paycheque. They go from a morally “grey” character to an incontestably evil one. And not even fun-evil. He’s just a cold-hearted business guy. I do give them some credit for having him show some regret at the end, which at least shows a bit of character development, but still… it wasn’t the same.

  45. The Original Paul

    June 11th, 2015 at 2:41 pm

    And I put that badly… “not the same” would be a good thing. Say rather “completely unoriginal, just didn’t fit in a JURASSIC PARK movie.”

  46. Speaking of the villain, my DVD has a deleted scene where he explains to the boardroom the financial cost of the deaths of the first one (but leaves out Nedry for some reason). It’s EXACTLY like the boardroom scene from Aliens, but interestingly he mentions the giant bill for destroying the island and all the wildlife on it. So yes, if you go by deleted scenes, the island from Jurassic Park 1 got nuked or something offscreen. (I never got the tagline “Something Has Survived”, btw – doesn’t that suggest something DID happen to the island in the first one?)

    It’s so bizarre to me that Crichton wrote his book as a sequel to the first movie, and yet the movie doesn’t even use most of it anyway except the second island bit, which they now didn’t need! There’s zero reason Lost World had to take place on an entirely different island – they could have even ADR’d in a line about it being the same island as the first one and nobody would have noticed. My friend actually went to the bathroom or something during the Hammond scene and literally didn’t know the movie wasn’t set on Site A until I complained about it years later. True story. (Btw, I still can’t remember if JPIII takes place on the first or second island, that’s how unimportant it is)

    Also, since Site B is the breeding island, are we to believe that the original T. Rex from Jurassic Park 1 was born there and shipped in a container to Site A via another brave boat crew (and hopefully doctors who actually knew dosages of tranquilizers unlike the incompetent fools in this movie?)

  47. “Btw, I still can’t remember if JPIII takes place on the first or second island, that’s how unimportant it is”

    It takes place on Site B, but there’s a cheeky reference to the theme park island when one of the mercenaries asks “what? there’s two islands with dinosaurs on them?” which goes unanswered, it’s clear that they decided to leave the fate of Nublar vague so as to leave it open for a potential sequel, which JURASSIC WORLD has now taken advantage of.

    I like that they did that because to be honest the ending of the book, where the island and all the dinosaurs are destroyed by the Costa Rican military, I’ve never been too fond of, both because Costa Rica has no military and it was overall a bit too grim of an ending, it’s much more intriguing for it to be left open ended.

    But now JURASSIC WORLD is probably going to bring things full circle and not explain what ultimately became of Site B.

  48. I thought the purpose of the second island was

    1) to allow for different types of dinosaurs that we would’ve known were on the island in the first one, such as the flying ones, the little ones and two adult t-rexes
    2) to have all the fences and things out of the way and just have them in a natural habitat

  49. According to The Lost World book, Site B served several different purposes, the first was the location of the original lab where the process of cloning a dinosaur was first discovered, which later became a “dinosaur factory” where well, you remember in ALIEN RESURRECTION where they had all the “failed” clones if Ripley? It was like that, as it turns out it took many different attempts cloning an individual dinosaur before you got one without any birth defects, the lab on the theme park island was primarily just for show, the actual process of cloning dinosaurs was a lot more messy and gross.

    This laboratory is actually briefly seen in JPIII, but it’s not really explained what it is and the characters leave almost as soon as they get there.

    Beyond that it also contained a village where Hammond and the head scientists actually lived (that’s the place where the infamous gymnastics raptor kill happens, remember? though they shortened the size of the village in the movie)

    Finally there were large open areas (the island is actually supposed to be much, much larger than the theme park island) where they would let the dinosaurs roam free in order to study their behavior.

  50. Spielberg introduces his fascination for Swedish gibberish in this one, when Stormare swears in his native tongue. Spielberg might have thought that have sounded cool, because in MINORITY REPORT Stormare has an entire sequence devoted to the “Små grodorna “song.

  51. In my experience most Swedes talk gibberish…

  52. On the website of jurassic world it is mentioned that
    Site B is now a wildlife preserve under the protection of
    the security company that vincent dinofrio runs in the film.

    The whole different island thing is weird because they obviously filmed it with
    the intention that the first island was destroyed.
    Only to come back on it and never revealing it’s fate.
    Which in turn is creating massive plotholes.

  53. pegs- As you are well aware of we like to poke fun at Norwegian for sounding silly. I wouldn´t try to talk tough using Norwegian.

  54. I don’t know about that. The Coens made Stormare a Norwegian in FARGO. And he’s seldom been tougher. Or crazier…

  55. Just saw JURASSIC WORLD. To Griff and you other 90s Kids: my condolences.

  56. Yeah, but aren’t you the guy that didn’t like PACIFIC RIM?

  57. The Original Paul

    June 13th, 2015 at 3:30 am

    Nah, Majestyk’s right. I hadn’t thought about that aspect of it, but look at it this way: I was still a child when JURASSIC PARK came out. My parents took me to see it at the cinema and it was freakin’ awesome. I don’t even want to think about what the kids who had that experience with THE LOST WORLD must’ve thought. Probably put a few of them off films for life.

  58. Well, considering that I thought THE LOST WORLD was super awesome when I saw it in theatre, I’m sure the kids loved it.

  59. Vern, I hope you don’t mind if I do a bit of promotion for some buds of mine. They do a podcast called The Michael Crichton Book Club where they watch Crichton’s movies (but they recommend not reading the books) while drinking wine and then talk about them. In the first episode they watched The Lost World. After that they covered Disclosure, Looker, Sphere and Rising Sun. They’re building up to Congo. I think it’s a really fun podcast and I recommend it to anybody else like me who fell down the Crichton rabbit hole after Jurassic Park came out in the early 90s. You can find the podcast for free here:

    https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/michael-crichton-book-club/id979806705

  60. I’m seeing JURASSIC WORLD today and will share my thoughts when Vern posts his review.

    But I will say this beforehand, even if the movie is shit it was at least nice to have JURASSIC PARK back in the public consciousness again for a while, I’ve been following news of a fourth JURASSIC PARK movie since 2006, back when it only seemed like a handful of hardcore fans still gave a shit, so the fact that JP was considered important enough to have a place at the table of the numerous franchise reboots of the 2010s is nice, especially when for years it seemed deader than the dinosaurs.

  61. That’s a good attitude, Griff. Don’t let this astonishingly, even fascinatingly awful movie become your generation’s PHANTOM MENACE.

  62. The Original Paul

    June 13th, 2015 at 9:39 am

    Wait – isn’t THE PHANTOM MENACE Griff’s generation’s THE PHANTOM MENACE?

    I’m confuzzled.

  63. “Don’t let this astonishingly, even fascinatingly awful movie become your generation’s PHANTOM MENACE.”

    Well God damn it, now I have to see it.

  64. If my math is right, Griff was still a child when PHANTOM MENACE came out so he didn’t have time to build up the decade and a half of high hopes that caused so many Eighties Babies to become insufferable whiners for the rest of their lives. I’m hoping that since he and his generation have seen the damage such disproportional disappointment can cause, they’ll have some perspective after the initial nostalgia sugar rush wears off and turns into rancid bitterness. Learn from our mistakes, Griff.

  65. The Original Paul

    June 13th, 2015 at 12:03 pm

    In all fairness, this is the Interenet, it would pretty much cease to exist if the insufferable whiners went away.

  66. Don’t worry, pornographers and cat lovers would keep it running.

  67. I’m sure everyone’ll be diving into it when Vern reviews it, but I saw Jurassic World last night too. As someone who had no particular reverence for the original and no particular antipathy for the sequel(s), my opinion is ‘That was fine.’ None of it got me riled up enough to call it awesome or awful.

  68. The Original Paul

    June 13th, 2015 at 2:34 pm

    CJ – Yeah I gotta give you that one.

    Majestyk – don’t worry, the babies only get that whiny when a franchise based on a toy commercial from their childhood is threatened. Jurassic Park is a relatively new thing. No nostalgia value there.

  69. The movie’s 22 years old, Paul. That’s as old as STAR WARS was when PHANTOM MENACE came out.

  70. The Original Paul

    June 13th, 2015 at 8:05 pm

    But JP was never a toy commercial in the same way that STAR WARS or TRANSFORMERS or TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES or something were. Those are the things that get the Internet riled up. (I may be being a bit harsh on STAR WARS there, but whatever the motives behind its creation in the first place, it’s certainly spawned multiple spin-off TV series, cartoons, comics, toy franchises, etc.) JURASSIC PARK had some books that most people who saw the films had probably never read, and three movies, two of which aren’t generally considered to be much good. People don’t have fond memories of watching the JURASSIC PARK cartoon every day after school, because such a thing never existed (as far as I know; if it did, it never made it over here or into mass public consciousness in the way that the TRANSFORMERS cartoon did). There wasn’t daily exposure to JURASSIC PARK-related stuff via Saturday morning cartoons or action figures or comic books pullouts. There was just the movies.

    Nope, if you really want to whip the public into a product-placement-inspired mass hysteria, you either need your main characters to invade the stage of a Vanilla Ice concert and join him in a rap, or you need giant robot testicles. That’s how it’s done!

  71. Do a google image search for “jurassic park merchandise.” I’ll wait.

  72. I saw JURASSIC WORLD tonight and I just can’t wait, I gotta share a few quick thoughts.

    Long story short, I liked it, it’s not a Spielberg caliber movie, no, Spielberg’s style is very Hitchcockian, always slowly building up the tension and that’s great, but we’ve seen that already and there’s something to be said for JURASSIC WORLD’s balls to the wall action and chaos, it’s like the ALIEN vs ALIENS approach, one is very subtle and suspenseful and the other is an exciting action movie, but neither style is necessarily inferior to the other, it’s just different.

    I’m genuinely confounded as to why it’s supposed to be awful, comparing it to THE PHANTOM MENACE is absurd.

  73. It was a lot better than JURASSIC PARK 3 at the very least.

  74. Griff— the reason it’s [being considered] awful is the same reason the uncouth masses are stampeding to see it: JURASSIC WORLD is a no-brainer action packed crowd pleaser with cool FX. The true beneficiary here is Chris Pratt, who can now (combined with last summer’s GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY) be without a doubt mistakenly considered to be some box office talisman. Similar to the good fortune Will Smith encountered with INDEPENDENCE DAY and MEN IN BLACK in the summers of ’96 and ’97, respectively.

    Behold: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=jurassicpark4.html

    Now, that’s a one-day total, minus about $18 million if you factor in Thursday night U.S. screenings. Scary huge, innit? To me it’s a fart in the wind of the 2015 major release landscape. Of the 3 previous JP movies, THE LOST WORLD was the only one I truly enjoyed.

    What’s all this ruckus aboot THE PHANTOM MENACE? My prediction is that any residual bitterness SW geeks still have about it will be exonerated in six months by STAR WARS: JJ ABRAMS’S OLD SCHOOL GALACTIC FUNFEST. I’m getting a strong impression that it’s more in tune with the verve of the OT than the sterility of the PT, and it’s endeavoring to be the movie SW fans truly want rather than Uncle George’s “take it or leave it” approach from the PT.

  75. JURASSIC WORLD is the sequel to THE LOST WORLD I’ve been waiting for. Another hardcore dinosaur action movie with a mean streak and body count! Franchise Fred approves.

  76. The Original Paul

    June 14th, 2015 at 4:37 am

    Majestyk – Well… well… ok yeah, take your point.

    I had to stop myself from buying a Raptor hatchling bobblehead. Why do you tempt me like this?

  77. Say what you want about JP3 especially now that there is a shiny new toy in the franchise toy box but that aviary sequence is fucking masterful. I just watched it on TV again last night and man that new guy has his work cut out for him if he thinks he could ever structure an action sequence like a Spielberg or even a Joe Johnston. I guarantee you that JURASSIC WORLD doesn’t have anything that matches those 2 guys finesse. Of course they’re seasoned pros and the new guy is still wet behind the ears but it still says something considering how many action sequences I heard the new one has. And no I will not bother watching it. I was fiending for a new JP about as much as I was for a new STAR WARS or TERMINATOR: meaning not at all.

  78. What would the sequel to JURASSIC WORLD be called anyway? THE LOST PARK: JURASSIC WORLD?

  79. Huh. So I was under the impression that JW was so obviously terrible in every aspect—from the dialogue that was written by an 11-year-old, to its suspense-, spectacle-, and wonder-free action, to its incompetently structured script, to its across the board terrible acting, to its half-assed post-modern apology for its own suckiness, to its immensely lame 90s Kids pandering, to the worst romantic pairing since THE SPECIALIST—that no one would be able to make a case for it. Live and learn, I guess.

  80. I mean, I can see having a good time with it. I had fun, in a “How much worse can this get?” kind of way. In any case I’m not attached enough to JURASSIC PARK to be angry about it. I’m just surprised, is all. I was sure this would be a real pitchforks-and-torches moment.

  81. Well, I wouldn’t expect pitchforks because the sold out Cinerama crowd was very into it and wildly applauded at the end. Then again I guess that happened when I saw CRYSTAL SKULL there too. I’m sure people will find some part in it that I like to fixate on as an example of the worst thing that could ever be in a movie that only a moron could possibly think was good.

  82. BTW, can we please lay “(Sense of [awe and]) wonder” to rest when we talk about movies? That became such a hollow catchphrase, that it makes me groan whenever I hear it. Not to mention that it has always been a thing that nobody could explain anyway.

  83. I mean…seriously! People always talk about that “sense of wonder” when it comes to Spielberg, but are you telling me that something like seeing CGI Dinosaurs for the first time is more magical than seeing a bunch of Indonesian stuntpeople somehow manage to not get themself killed on screen or even seeing Laurie Strode surviving by poking Michael Myers in the eye with a wirehanger?

  84. (That kinda came across like an anti CGI rant, but you know that I’m super pro CGI. )

  85. Vern: Everybody cheered at every screening of every Star Wars prequel I attended, as well. I wonder what planet all those people were visiting from because nobody here on Earth will admit to doing that now.

  86. I think it’s pretty clear that the “real world” and “the internet” are two alternative universes when it comes to movie anticipation and reaction. JURASSIC WORLD just had the 2nd biggest opening weekend ever, although the internet had decided that the trailers look boring and nobody really cares for another JP movie, over 10 year after the last one.

  87. I’m not talking about box office. (I’m never talking about box office.) I figured it would make a ton of money because it’s the first shot fired in the Nineties Nostalgia Boom that’s been percolating for a while. But I’m surprised anybody really thinks it’s good, or even just alright. I think the third one is pretty bad, and this one makes that one look like the first one. I figured it would be pretty bad, but I didn’t think any movie with rampaging dinosaurs and Chris Pratt could be THAT bad. I mean, just…wow. There’s really nothing good I can say about it beyond “It wasn’t that hard to sit through, really.”

    Am I really alone in this? Again?

  88. The person I went with was a huge fan of the original Jurassic Park and he didn’t like this one (his reasons included not liking Bryce Dallas Howard and “too much time spent on the kids”) so you’re probably not alone. But as someone who thought it was just alright, I honestly don’t understand reacting that adversely to it.

  89. Well, like I said, I’m not angry about it. I just thought, if such a thing exists as an objectively bad film, this was it.

  90. Mr. Majestyk – No, I’m sorry, I just don’t understand where you’re coming from, it’s not the movie doesn’t have it’s flaws or that it isn’t a little on the cheesy side, sure, but it’s not some stupendous failure.

    I’m dead serious, I know a shitty movie when I see one, like TERMINATOR: SALVATION, which I love TERMINATOR so don’t think I’m going easy on JURASSIC WORLD just because it’s JP (also, funny how both movies have Bryce Dallas Howard) and I’m scratching my head as to what’s supposed to be so terrible about JW to put it on the level of, as you said, THE PHANTOM MENACE.

  91. I’ll get into it when the review is posted, Griff. I have some theories about what makes it more than just a poorly made film. In short, I think it’s a failure not just of execution, but of intent.

    For the record, I brought up PHANTOM MENACE as an example of an infamous backlash, not as a cinematic abomination. Filmatistically speaking, there’s no comparison. PHANTOM MENACE is a fucking master class in cinematic storytelling next to JW.

  92. The Original Paul

    June 14th, 2015 at 3:45 pm

    Well I was never going to see JURASSIC WORLD at the cinema anyway… if there was any chance of gleaning any kind of enjoyment out of it, I’m pretty sure the multiplex would ruin it somehow, FURY ROAD-style.

    I do love this little quote from Majestyk though:

    “…the worst romantic pairing since THE SPECIALIST.”

    All I can say to this is 1) woooow, that bad? and 2) I love your choice of comparison (that shower scene is still the only part of THE SPECIALIST that I find remotely memorable, and for all the wrong reasons). Honestly Mr M, you’ve convinced me to check out JW for that one comparison alone. I’ll probably wait until it comes on TV though. I get the distinct impression I probably shouldn’t be paying money for this thing!

  93. Just got back from the film. Not sure what Majestyk’s basis is for disliking it … I mean, I assume it’s because of the its aggressive incoherence, but it’s a leap for me to go from that to declaring the film unsuccessful on a dino-mayhem level.

    I would give the film about a 3.5 ACR, and that alone should excuse it from being the blunder Mr. M is implying, right? Looking forward to the official thread and comments to explore this more.

  94. By the way despite JW’s numerous idiocies, I can confidently say that the most insulting moment in all four Jurassics is what neal2zod mentioned: Julianne Moore traipsing around with baby Rex blood on her shirt. Not only does SHE notice (and she’s the world’s number one proponent of dino’s parental instincts) but Tembo notices too….the only people who notice are the two most likely to fix the situation. I swear this whole scene was just a blackhearted joke at the audience’s expense.

  95. It’s just a bad movie. Badly written, badly acted, badly directed, cynical as a motherfucker, and sexist to boot. And normally I like that sort of thing.

    And have we really been conditioned to expect so little that “I could basically see everything more or less!” gets a movie a free pass? Yeah, sure, the camera clearly showed what was happening. But what was happening sucked, so does it really matter if you can see it or not?

  96. I mean, you guys know me. I’ve seen DEEP BLUE SEA like June 20 times. I like a good piece of ridiculous garbage about ten times more than the next guy. I just saw SAN ANDREAS, and while that movie is total horseshit from beginning to end, it gets the job done. I figure you either have to possess a workmanlike sense of setup/payoff, or you have to go completely balls-out crazy. JW did neither. It just had no idea what it was doing. That’s not a recipe for good crap.

  97. I don’t know where that “June” came from.

  98. Well, you mention setup/payoff. There’s great setup all over the place in this movie. I was 100% with the film during introduction of Megafuckosaurus and the park owner’s reverent and terrified reaction to this thing they had wrought at his bidding, and how Aunt Claire misinterprets his observation of the white scales.

    “Will it scare kids?” she asks without much expectation. “It will give fucking parents nightmares,” he returns, tone hushed. For me at this point and at several others, this is a great monster movie.

  99. Really? I thought it was probably the most boringly designed monster I’ve ever seen. I never even realized it was supposed to be white until I read reviews, and if they ever showed it using its camouflage powers, I must have missed it. It just looked like an off-brand T-rex to me. Nothing interesting about it in the slightest.

    I am really just stunned, you guys. Is it me?

  100. It looked like what it was, a cross between a raptor and a T-rex, I’m glad they didn’t go too crazy with the design actually.

    I think it’s you Mr. Majestyk.

  101. No Mr. Majestyk, I’m with you. I love monster movies and I make excuses for a good many subpar ones, but Jurassic World was crap. It wants to be a ‘commentary’ on blockbusters post Jurassic Park but it just goes and makes the same exact mistakes that all of them make just so it could be one itself.

    As for the poor monster design, we never even get a good look at it any like the movie is embarrassed by its shit design (though lets face it, it actually due to poor directing).

    Really wish the director made the movie that he keeps talking about in interviews.

  102. Does it at least look cooler than the spino? that one looked like a big doof.

  103. Yes, I would say it looks cooler than the spino.

  104. Mr M, I wasn’t talking about box office either, but just like I still have to meet someone in “real life” who hates the Star Wars prequels, “real life” apparently decided that JW is a movie totally worth checking out on the first weekend, while everybody on the internet hates the prequels and talked about how they weren’t planning to see JW at all.

  105. JURASSIC WORLD is not as politically preachy as Part 2, and not as fun as Part 3, and not as good as Part 1 (which is the best, obviously).

    I like Part 3. On par with the average Marvel movies, as far as entertainment. JW was fine, but when I go see big summer movies, I’m looking for something to pull me up out of the “big, stupid fun” and this one didn’t really. Some good scenes, some dumb execution.

  106. How exactly does it pander to 90s kids? Does it have a NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY/COOL WORLD style soundtrack of 90s club tunes? If so I can dig that. If Chris Pratt makes a big deal about liking orange soda though, I’m out

  107. From what I’ve heard, Pratt consumes and promotes many a corporate product throughout JW, irrespective of decade relevance. Don’t know if I’m willing to pay $20 to watch two hours of advertisements.

  108. CJ, that is exactly why I was never so attached to Jurassic Park. A special effect doesn’t make me feel awe and wonder. I expect them to make dinosaurs in a movie about dinosaurs. Of course it’s more than that. It’s the way Spielberg reveals them, etc. But it wasn’t my jam.

    T2 made me feel awe and wonder. It might’ve been the T-1000 effect but I think it was more the idea of liquid metal, something I’d never imagined before, and how he used it.

  109. “Does it have a NIGHT AT THE ROXBURY/COOL WORLD style soundtrack of 90s club tunes?”

    There is in fact a scene where Bryce Dallas Howard dances to a My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult song and later Chris Pratt bobs his head while listening to Haddaway, I remember thinking those parts were pretty out of place but now I understand why they were there, because of all the 90’s kid pandering.

  110. The Original Paul

    June 15th, 2015 at 3:09 am

    CJ Holden – Well I’ve yet to meet someone in real life who likes OUT OF SIGHT or CASINO ROYALE, which apparently the Internet has decided are both actually good films. And yes, that fact still baffles me. (What the fuck, Internet? Why you do this?)

    On the other side of the fence, I’ve also yet to meet someone in real life who likes SAVING PRIVATE RYAN, and I’ll defend that one from the filmmaking standpoint at least. I guess I’m just better at separating the “trampling on the graves of British war heroes” thing from the actual quality of the film (which I still maintain is very good, even if its politics are not). I also know exactly one guy in real life who liked CAPTAIN AMERICA: THE FIRST AVENGER, several who not only liked but recommended TRANSFORMERS: THE MOVIE, and a couple who thought SKYFALL was the worst movie they’d ever seen.

    And to the best of my knowledge, none of my friends are STAR WARS fans. We’ve never discussed the prequels so I have no idea if they like them or not. Actually that means that there are people out there who haven’t given an opinion on the STAR WARS prequels one way or the other, which may be the most surprising fact of all.

  111. The real world/internet movie taste discrepancy really needs to be analyzed by all kinds of people with a Dr in front of their name.
    (Remember when the internet thought that SNAKES ON A PLANE would be the biggest movie of 2006?)

  112. I personally haven’t seen one person besides myself on the internet claim that they were not going to watch JW (which; surprise bitches! I didn’t!). Same with STAR WARS: THE ABRAMSING or whatever the fuck it’s gonna be called.

  113. Pacman 2.0 – OK you know what? I will watch this if I find out that at some point the I-Rex (Ugh!) starts shimmying to ANOTHER NIGHT ANOTHER DREAM or ALL THAT SHE WANTS.

  114. Paul – I think the OUT OF SIGHT love comes from the fact that Clooney rarely ever has a decent movie on his plate. So when he does it gets blown out of proportion. I personally have never sat through the whole thing myself. It always bores me and I rarely make it pass the Ray Nicolette scene. Which is weird since I like Elmore Leonard and the source material but the combination of the movies NYQUIL photography coupled with J.Lo actually thinking she can act just pulls me out.

  115. On the other hand CASINO ROYALE is the only Craig Bond I enjoyed. I tried to watch the other 2 but could never make it. Hopefully the next one keeps my interest I mean it has Blofeld; I don’t think I could pass on that.

  116. The Original Paul

    June 15th, 2015 at 4:55 am

    Broddie – I also would like to see Blofeld back. I’m just scared of what they’re going to make of him.

    Although having said that, DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER had him dressed as a rich old lady in drag, so I think it’s probably only going to get better from there.

    I have zero interest in either the new STAR WARS or JURASSIC PARK films. I’ll probably catch both when they come on TV, but there’s no way I’m seeing them in the cinema.

  117. My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult you say? Well, that accounts for the $10million over AVENG2RS

  118. “Well, that accounts for the $10million over AVENG2RS”

    Wow, that’s awesome.

    So with JURASSIC WORLD making a mint and Hilary most likely being our next President, does this officially mean the 90’s are back? (in Pog form?)

  119. A return to the 90’s? ugh!

  120. If it makes them finally leave the 80’s the hell alone, I’m all for it.

  121. The only 90’s years I’d like to see return or go back to are 1994, 1995 and 1999. Other than that I’m perfectly fine here in good ol’ 2015 where I’m in a better place than I ever was back in the 90’s.

  122. If 90’s-style jeans come back, I’m outta here.

  123. The thought of people wearing 90’s era BOSS jeans all over the place is pretty frightening indeed. I’m already starting to see kids rocking CROSS COLOURS again like that shit just hit the market yesterday. Only a matter of time before I see someone like Rick Ross rocking a Africa Medallion.

  124. I was thinking more of those baggy-ass jeans that hung straight down over the shoes so it looked like you didn’t have any feet. They always dragged on the ground so you’d be wet to the knees every time it rained. Often worn with a wallet chain and a 311 T-shirt.

    Or those humongous black parachute pants with all the straps you’ll still sometimes see on South American metalheads.

  125. Broddie, I honestly forget which movies you like or are planning to see. You just said you refuse to see or learn the name of the new STAR WARS and can’t finish OUT OF SIGHT? You know more about comics here than anyone and every time a comic book movie comes out we hear about how you have no interest in seeing it. What movie are you going to see? There must be something.

  126. Vern this year I had only planned to see FURY ROAD (because well you know…it’s George Miller!) and FURIOUS 7 (because well you know…OVER THE TOP CAR SEQUENCES!)

    However there are still some joints this year that do have my interest now actually more than I had initially anticipated earlier this year

    TERMINATOR5 – Looks like a beautiful disaster in the making so my curiosity is gonna give it my dollars.

    SOUTHPAW – Cause Jake G. is pretty reliable though I might wait for video on this one it will eventually be seen.

    M:I 5 – Cause the Cruiser is also pretty reliable and it’s a JACK REACHER reunion between he and McQuarrie.

    MINIONS – Cause I liked the DESPICABLE joints.

    PIXELS – Cause I grew up with many of those games. Hey go easy on me I haven’t watched a Sandler movie since LITTLE NICKY (unless HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA counts), however long ago that was.

    Might see FANTASTIC FOUR (would be my first superhero movie since X-MEN: DOFP) and NWA: The Movie (because as you guys know I’m a lifelong hip hop head since the late 80’s) but still unsure about those.

    CROUCHING TIGER 2 – Been a long time coming.

    ROCK THE KASBAH – Both Murray and Bruce seem to be having a lot of fun in the trailer so it got my attention.

    JESSIE EISENBERG IS STONER SPY – Depending on how you guys here receive it since I trust your judgement on these type of things.

    THE LAST WITCH HUNTER – Well cause you know we all love that type of shit around these parts.
    TRANSPORTER REBOOT – See my blurb about the Eisenberg movie.

    THE MARTIAN – Ridley’s return to sci-fi this time without Lindeloff so yeah that’s got my bucks.

    SPECTRE – Cause of Blofeld.

    CREED – It’s Rocky!

    HATEFUL 8 – Really liked the last Django so more westerns from QT are welcome here; especially with that cast.

    I don’t expect them all to deliver but I hope at least half of them really come through.

  127. The Original Paul

    June 15th, 2015 at 6:02 pm

    Man, I want to see some of these movies at the cinema so I can discuss ’em with you guys, what was good, what was bad, what worked, what didn’t, etc. And I fucking can’t. It really sucks.

    I feel like I’m bitching too much about this issue, and yet I don’t see a way to get around it. I guess I could drive for an hour and a quarter to the arts cinema or something, which would at least mean I wouldn’t have to use the local multiplexes. I did that for COHERENCE, which was great, at least. They don’t play many blockbusters there. I believe they did play FURY ROAD there, and I kinda wish I’d seen it there instead of at a multiplex where I was too worried about my own hearing to concentrate properly on the film. I wonder how much better my experience of it might have been if the volume in the cinema had been a little lower. At least it wouldn’t have temporarily brought back my tinitus (which is a complaint I haven’t had since I was a teenager, until FURY ROAD at least). Of course, the trouble with the arts cinema is that you’re a lot closer to the screen, and a lot of the stuff they show is shot on hand-held cameras these days. Which basically makes the multiplex vs arts cinema question a choice between hearing damage or motion sickness. Fuck that.

    I’m thinking I should reactivate my Netflix account or something. I got rid of it when they stopped showing a lot of stuff I was interested in, but I think they have a lot of films not long after they’ve been in cinemas so maybe I can see ’em then.

  128. The real reason Jeff Goldblum’s daughter was black: Chaos Theory.

  129. The Original Paul – You might want to consider ear plugs. I use musician ear plugs when I go to the theater in an effort to stop my tinnitus from getting worse. Musician ear plugs are nice because they keep the sound clear, just at a lower volume. With the added bonus that they quiet everyone around you. I’ve had friends complain about talky patrons that I only kind of heard whispering. Sadly they can’t help with the texters.

  130. The Original Paul

    June 19th, 2015 at 5:25 am

    Jake – I might try that actually. I have ear-plugs. My only worry is missing some of the dialogue (this is especially a problem in movies where the sound isn’t particularly well-balanced, like THE DARK KNIGHT RISES.)

  131. Rewatching this made me so happy. It’s like Spielberg said, “Okay, now I know how to make a dinosaur movie” and did everything he really wanted to do. Koepp’s script has great banter about forwarding the themes of Ingen’s continuing mistakes.

    In all these movies, it never doesn’t look like the actors are looking at things that are added in later, but there’s still a good way to have fun with it.

    As for abandoning the supporting cast in the third act, Ian and Sarah are the only ones who have amen interest in stopping Ingen. If Vince Vaughn survived Isla Sorna, why would he hang around? He’d get the fuck out. It’s clear Roland was not interested in staying on the mission. He turns down Ingen’s offer and walks away.

  132. I just found this typed response on a New Rich Text Document and realized I never posted it. So in the spirit of current racial controversies, and in the spirit of unearthing amber-encased opinions:

    I disliked this movie and believe that Part 3 is better and funner. Here are two things:

    1. The race of the daughter – I thought then and still do – was distracting. Not discomforting, just distracting. That’s my only problem with it. She doesn’t look white at all – like, not even 25% white, let alone 50% white, which she should be (Like Obama). It took me out of the movie a little, and made me wonder if the film makers cast her to push some kind of point. I dunno. Let’s all be color blind or something. Having read Crichton’s book I think it had more to do with melding the two kids (one is a pubescent white girl, the other is a younger, nerdy black boy) and no one thought it would be too distracting if they made her Malcom’s daughter. Anyway, her performance is fine and she has some funny moments but that gymnastic scene is stupid silly. Dumber than Hammond’s grand-daughter hacking into the computer in part one? I roll my eyes more with the computer scene, which lasts longer and has its own dramatic cue in the score, so you have a point, Vern. Anyway, had they cast a white or even a mixed actress who could pass for Goldblum’s biological daughter it would’ve been less distracting. Felt less shoehorned. At least Richard Schiff makes a joke about it, which I appreciate. But in any case, making Ian Malcom a father was an attempt, I think, to make him more of an “every man.” Which Malcom isn’t.

    2. With the exception of Postelthwaith, the villains are just comically shallow – much more so than in the other movies (Part 3 doesn’t even have a human villain). I suppose this can help if you really want the audience to root for the predators – like in a slasher movie – but I prefer the way they did it in the first one. And it’s weird, because in the first book, Hammond is this greedy, impatient asshole who we dislike the entire way and who gets eaten by compys. Yet in the movie he’s different; he has childlike wonder, is genuinely friendly, and wants to share his creations and amaze people. It’s not really about the money or the power. He has goodness and emanates passion and so it makes his ethical choices more tragic, and I think more believable. I like the movie version of Hammond more. I think more thought went into it.
    I can’t totally blame Spielberg for making the villains in LOST WORLD more dispicable by comparison, because they’re fairly awful in the book too (Dodgson basically tries to murder Sarah Harding by “accidentally” pushing her off a boat) but it doesn’t make the movie any better. It’s not like the deaths in the first one were less entertaining because we didn’t hate the characters – in fact I think they were better because we like them more. Muldoon is a smart badass. Sam Jackson smokes. Even the lawyer isn’t really that awful. None of them – except Nedry I guess – deserve to die. And it makes the danger more real.

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