Jurassic Park 3D

tn_jurassicparkSomehow I’ve gone all these years and never reviewed a JURASSIC PARK movie. Somewhere in a notebook I think I have a partly written review of THE LOST WORLD from the last time I watched it, and I could’ve sworn I reviewed part 3 back when it came out, but no. Nothing. Until now. So hold onto your butts… IN 3-D!

JURASSIC PARK would be a hard one to find a new angle on. It’s been around for 20 years, widely seen since day 1, broadly enjoyable and rightfully appreciated. In the rankings of Spielberg’s summer blockbuster movies I’d have to put it way below big daddy JAWS, because the characters are less nuanced, their actions are less believable, the quiet moments aren’t as deep, the emphasis is more on spectacle (if only because the special effects worked this time), the whole feel is more artificial. But just holding it up against these type of movies in general it places pretty fuckin high on the totem pole.

At the time, since the other Spielbergs and the STAR WARSes and T2 were still the gold standard it seemed like this was a kind of dumb but extremely well-crafted version of the type. But then there was INDEPENDENCE DAY and ARMAGEDDON and THE MUMMY and THE TRANSFORMERS and etc. and all the sudden it’s 20 years later and it starts to feel like they don’t make ’em like this anymore.

Considering what a big deal the digital FX were back then it’s hard to believe it holds up so well. I remember the first time hearing about they used computers to make the dinosaurs, I wasn’t sure how they would do that, I couldn’t picture what it would look like. Computer effects still meant shiny metal morphing guys. Of course that type of animation has evolved like a dinosaur into a bird in the time since, but by necessity it was used sparingly in this one, so you’re also looking at alot of animatronic puppets (some of them huge) that are awesome and barely ever used in modern movies. Since it was such a new thing, and since it was Steven Spielberg, they worked really hard to make the illusion as convincing as possible, and the dinosaurs are animated with thorough animal-like personalities that I think aren’t matched in, for example, the more technically advanced part 3.

mp_jurassicparkFor all the credit I think Spielberg, Stan Winston and Phil Tippet deserve for the successful execution of the movie, I also gotta give it up to climate change/theme park skeptic Michael Crichton for the ingenius premise. It’s his WESTWORLD combined with the traditional science fictional superstition against “man playing God,” a combination that makes for a hell of a story. The idea of cloning from dinosaur DNA found in a fossilized mosquito seems logical, that they would use it to make an expensive zoo seems sadly believable… they have the gift shop all set up and fully stocked before they have the security system figured out. But at the same time, wouldn’t you want to go there if it was safe? Everybody would. It would be awesome!

Also this is good movie material because, in my opinion, people like to see dinosaurs eating people and attacking cars and stuff. And roaring.

The way it all goes down is pretty reasonable. They’re reaching too far, they’re being secretive, they’re still testing it out, some parties (correctly) don’t believe it’s ready, so it makes sense that this is when everything goes wrong. They have some good ideas (like breeding them all as females [Hrumph. Women.]) but they haven’t foreseen everything, because nobody’s ever done anything like this before. Not counting that time they made the robot cowboys.

But there is alot of silly shit in this movie: that they would bring our team of expert protagonists to the park without warning them that there were dinosaurs, that they would immediately get out and go walk up to the dinosaurs, that they would get out of their Jeeps and walk around when they know there are t-rexes and velociraptors on the island, that the lawyer’s death is played as a joke because he’s a lawyer.

Man, I hate it when there’s a hand on your shoulder or you hold somebody’s hand or something and you think Oh, hello, I didn’t see you there and it is comforting to feel your hand grasp me, but then you realize it’s a severed hand or arm. Ah, that explains why it felt cold and stiff and dead. I should’ve guessed.

I remember the nationwide outcry against that goofy scene in part 2, THE LOST WORLD, where Ian Malcolm’s daughter does gymnastics to escape dino damage. But in this one there’s an even younger girl who can break into the computer system and quickly do what the adult trained expert Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t able to do. This was set up by her claiming to be a “hacker” at one point and I know it’s supposed to be a counterpoint to Grant being bad with computers, but it’s pretty fuckin ridiculous.

And all of this is easily forgivable.

It’s yet another movie that reminds you what a master of the action and suspense sequence Spielberg is. God damn, that t-rex-attacking-the-car scene. I thought I’d seen it too many times for it to be effective anymore, but I was wrong. Hubris. Those poor kids, they look like they could be crushed even by the special effects dinosaur, let alone the living one that you imagine it to be while watching. And the problems just keep coming. It’s gonna see us. It’s gonna eat us. Does it smell us? Oh, it’s eating the car. Is it gonna eat us too? Are we gonna get smashed by the car before it gets a chance to eat us? Are we gonna fall off the cliff before the car gets a chance to smash us before it gets a chance to eat us?

I can’t remember if I picked up on it before that when it’s eating the car’s undercarriage it must think the car is an animal and it’s trying to eat its intestines. Stupid dinosaur. You must have some frog DNA in there or something, you don’t know what the fuck you’re doing.

Another thing: the famous vibrating water as harbinger of approaching eating machine. It’s so cool! You’d think it wouldn’t seem cool after being so familiar with it. Good one, Spielberg. Learning from the floating shark barrels. Bonus: the sounds of the electric cables from the tops of the security fences snapping. Not comforting to the ears.


This was such a good idea to re-release this. It’s a great one to see big and/or with a crowd. I wish it was on a bigger screen where I saw it, but it was still cool. You don’t see too many revivals these days, especially of a modern mainstream movie like this. Everybody seemed to appreciate it, and there was a whole bunch of applause at the end. When that happens and it feels genuine it’s a good feeling, reminds you why the joys of seeing a movie with a crowd might outweigh the fear of sitting near some dumbfucks that don’t know how to control their fuckin yaps for a short period of time out of basic decency.

In so many ways JURASSIC PARK seems timeless. It’s mainly just the onscreen computers that seem dated. There was a little chuckling at mention of an interactive CD-ROM, and at how excited the kids were about a GPS screen type technology in the Jeeps. You see 2.5″ floppies. I like that Nedry (that’s not supposed to be an anagram of “nerdy” is it? That would be kinda dumb) is drinking a can of Jolt and also has a glass bottle of Jolt nearby. But everybody’s wearing safari type clothes, not Zubaz or MC Hammer harem pants. No ridiculous hair cuts or anything. I don’t think there are any ’90s pop culture references, it all ages well.

You know what dates it? The supporting role that Samuel L. Jackson plays. He was still climbing the ladder. A little over a year later we’d see PULP FICTION and he’d be the Samuel L. we know today. At the time this was a big for him, to be in a movie this major, but he was just the guy sitting at the computer and telling everybody how doomed they are. He was just before that crossover point where he’d get to spend most of a movie outside of the control room. He does steal the show in one scene by bopping his cigarette up and down while he talks. Also I forgot that he says “hold onto your butts” two times. That’s more times than he said the “motherfucking snakes” line, so it should be known as his big catch phrase.

It’s great to be transported back to this time when a movie was interested in showcasing how awesome Jeff Goldblum is. Ian Malcolm is such a goofy character, calling himself a “chaotician,” being real obvious about hitting on Laura Dern through the medium of explaining chaos theory. He dresses in all black, wears shades, John Hammond calls him “a rock star” and he acts like he is one. I love the idea that some arrogant math theorist could be treated that way. He should probly be the bad guy. But because he’s the cynic and gets all the smartass lines and delivers them in his distinct, stuttery way, we love him for it. And part 2 promotes him to the lead and treats him even more like a rock star. I wonder what he has on his rider?

I was struck by the tense scene where the kids are stalked by the raptor in the kitchen, that it goes for several minutes with no dialogue at all. Even the previous scene of them eating a bunch of cake is done without comment. You don’t get that enough. Too much jibber jabber usually, especially when they got kids on screen.

And both of the kids are really good, I’m not sure I every properly appreciated that. They give them some corny precocious dialogue (like the boy knowing all about different archaeology books) but they get some laughs and they seem genuinely fucking terrified at times and this time I actually found it touching when Grant promised Lex that he wouldn’t abandon her like the lawyer who got eaten on the toilet did. (And maybe their dad, who we know nothing about, we just heard mention of a divorce.)

The grown up boy, Joe Mazello, is also onscreen in G.I. JOE: RETALIATION. The girl, Ariana Richards, doesn’t act as much. She’s in some SyFy movie coming out this year. I forgot she was in TREMORS too. I wonder if that’s how she got the part in JURASSIC PARK? ‘Cause they knew she had experience acting scared of special effect monsters.

Speaking of kids… man, Alan Grant really stuck it to that little kid at the beginning! This is the character transformation he goes through. At the beginning he hates kids so much that when one of them compares a velociraptor to a turkey he gets in his face, puts a real claw to his belly and lovingly describes disemboweling him. (Might I add that a large group of adults fails to intervene and just laughs like it’s cute!) At the end, because of not getting eaten by dinosaurs, Grant sits embracing two sleeping children and gives Laura Dern a look that either means “okay, we can have kids” or “I guess they don’t smell as bad as I said they did.” We may never know whether he learned more about paleontology or about life.

I thought that kid looked real familiar when he showed up and by the end I figured out it was the titulational Dream Child of A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET 5. I don’t remember ever making that connection before. His name is White Hertford and he’s still acting today and probly still scared shitless of paleontologists. Hadn’t he been through enough already with Freddy, you gotta fuckin threaten him with another claw? Inappropriate.

For the record I saw it projected in Real D. It’s also in Imax but I’m not sold yet on their digital projection system. Let me know what you think if you see it. They also have regular 2D projection at the multiplexes, if you want to see it theatrically but don’t dig on 3D.

I don’t have much to say about the 3D except that it must be the best post-conversion one I’ve seen so far. Since they’ve been planning this for a while I imagine they spent more time to perfect it than these new movies that are post-converted out of laziness and poor judgment. But I imagine there’s an art to it too, the stereoscopers need to be willing to add alot of depth and not be timid about it. It definitely looked more noticeably and consistently dimensional than the converted PHANTOM MENACE. It also just happens to be a movie that translates well. It’s generally shot with alot of things in the foreground and background, lots of layers, and with smooth camera movements, reasonably paced editing, and not whatever camera movements it is that causes the digital jitters. And ever since MY BLOODY VALENTINE 3D I’ve known that car windows look cool in 3D. This one happens to have alot of car windows.

Since this proves it can be done well I would be totally down with more of these conversions for movies where it makes sense. I hope Disney lets them finish doing the STAR WARS movies, and it could work on some horror movies, like TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE 2 would be great. And of course the obvious things that were probly meant to be shot in 3D in the first place, like GUMMO and HOLY MOUNTAIN. Maybe MY DINNER WITH ANDRE.

I would also be excited if they did THE LOST WORLD. Maybe you guys will be sold on the gymnastics when it’s comin’ at ya.

This entry was posted on Monday, April 8th, 2013 at 12:47 pm 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.

145 Responses to “Jurassic Park 3D”

  1. Lost World is a pretty bad movie Vern. Even Spielberg said so!

  2. Uh oh, Mr. Balls. You don’t want to diss LOST WORLD in this crowd. You will call down the wrath of Franchise Fred.

    For the record, I also like it a lot and think the trailer-hanging-off-the-cliff sequence (easily the most underrated set-piece in Spielberg’s career) would be phenomenal in 3D.

    On a similar note, I wish Spielberg would stand up for himself sometimes. It’s such a natural-born placater that if it seems like popular sentiment is against a movie of his, he turns on it immediately.

  3. Uh oh, Mr. Balls. You don’t want to diss LOST WORLD in this crowd. You will call down the wrath of Franchise Fred.

    For the record, I also like it a lot and think the trailer-hanging-off-the-cliff sequence (easily the most underrated set-piece in Spielberg’s career) would be phenomenal in 3D.

    On a similar note, I wish Spielberg would stand up for himself sometimes. He’s such a natural-born placater that if it seems like popular sentiment is against a movie of his, he turns on it immediately.

  4. (Sorry for the double post. Tried to correct a typo before it went through but it all went wrong. I tampered in a domain man is not meant to touch.)

  5. The Simpsons already made ANDRE into an arcade game.

    It’s sad but understandable how Spielberg seems dis-interested in directing these kinds of films now, preferring the more character and story driven stuff. He was good at combining that with spectacle with this film and others (and even WAR OF THE WORLDS, which I’m thinking I might need to evaluate again). This shows my age, but I think this is his best popcorn movie and that MUNICH may well be his masterpiece.

  6. This was pretty much the only time when I really saw German movie theatres check the IDs of the kids who came to see the movie. It is rated “12” over here, but because of all the man eating, it was pretty controversial at that time. Even I didn’t make it into the theatre because I was just 11 years old! My sister and I had to go back home and ask our mother to come with us. She didn’t even want to watch it, but did it, which might be the coolest thing that she had ever done for us. At first they didn’t want to let us in anyway, because we didn’t have a PG rule until 2003, but yeah, we made it. A few seconds too late, but still early enough to see the first guy get eaten by an off screen raptor.

    Shit, that movie blew my mind! I was chewing on my wallet most of the time, because I couldn’t take the suspense! When I left the theatre after the movie was done, my head was all red and a woman who worked at the theatre asked me with a smile: “You liked it?” One or two years ago I re-watched it again on DVD. Of course the “sense of wonder” that we all felt after seeing those dinosaurs for the first time, is long gone by now, but HOLY SHIT, the T-Rex attack and the kitchen scene still hold up!

  7. Munich is a piece of shit. Not only is it not spielbergs best, it might well be in his bottom five. And I’m not even talking about my issues with tony kushner’s (weirdly, my cousin through marriage) didactic self-loathing politics.

  8. Wait, I would have sworn Vern reviewed JURASSIC PARK III. Does no one else remember that? Wasn’t it part of his “Summer of 2001” retrospective?

  9. Tawdry, may I ask respectfully that we save a rehash of your anti-MUNICH thing for another day? Today belongs to the dinosaurs. (also I knew it was a mistake to make the last line be about LOST WORLD.)

  10. Ah ha! Found it. Vern, you did review JP 3 as part of your 2001 retrospective… here’s the proof. https://outlawvern.com/2011/07/18/programming-note-jurassic-park-3/

  11. One Guy From Andromeda

    April 8th, 2013 at 3:17 pm

    Who will start the kickstarter to post-convert Holy Mountain to 3d? Lets get rolling on this, people!

  12. One Guy From Andromeda

    April 8th, 2013 at 3:21 pm

    Jurassic Park 3 is so forgettable that Vern couldn’t remember if he reviewed it – twice!

  13. I re-watched this fairly recently (in 2D) and was surprised at how well it holds up, especially the CGI. The velociraptors do their fair share of leaping, but they have a weight and gravity to them that a lot of modern digital monsters lack.

    Nedry (that’s not supposed to be an anagram of “nerdy” is it? That would be kinda dumb)

    I read somewhere (perhaps on the JP trading cards I had when I was a kid) that Dennis Nedry is intentionally an anagram of “Nerdy Sinned”, which is a good example of the kind of subtlety that Crichton operates under. Did you guys know that science is bad?

  14. Was it just me or was this the first movie to really put THX to good use? I saw T2 and every other spectacle movie of the time but nothing sticks out like the memory of seeing JP and feeling the whole theater shake when the T-Rex came around. It’s common nowadays but to me there was everything before Jurassic Park and everything after.

    Then Last Action Hero came out the next week. Arnold didn’t stand a chance.

  15. Mr. Subtlety, and Vern I guess, that post specifically says it’s not a review and when building the Timeline I asked and was told to leave it off. In fact it says a lot of what Vern leads with here, remembering he started a review but didn’t know what happened. You’ll also note it shows up here as the very first related post lol.

    At the end of the day Jurassic Park suffers from an affliction of a lot of lesser slashers: too few potential victims. PG-13 or not, it coulda used a shot of a few dozen people getting stepped on. Hey, they all could have been lawyers! Cheers all around!

  16. “But in this one there’s an even younger girl who can break into the computer system and quickly do what the adult trained expert Samuel L. Jackson wasn’t able to do. This was set up by her claiming to be a “hacker” at one point and I know it’s supposed to be a counterpoint to Grant being bad with computers, but it’s pretty fuckin ridiculous.”

    Vern – Not really. You must remember they had to reboot the system to erase Newman’s hack-fuckery. If Nick Fury hadn’t become Raptor Lunch and got back to his computers, he would’ve been able to simply finish what that kid finished. (OK still sorta filmsy, but not as much as you believed, mate.)

    I reviewed this recently, and you know what? I consider it a masterpiece. Yes the story flaws you can pick out, but the characterization complaints are shit quite frankly. THE GREAT & POWERFUL OZ had more characterization, and….oh yeah, that movie wasn’t better than this, now was it? Spielberg was inspired by the best 50s sci-fi movies, where the “stars” were the monsters, and the intriguing ideas around them. That’s the thing, JURASSIC PARK for me was intrigued by the concept of dinosaurs and how you would maybe try to deal with them in real life if they did come back. Contrast that with many movies who use them as simply an excuse for mindless mayhem (see LOST WORLD.)

    If we accept and appreciate summer blockbusters as a genre, spectrum of their own, then JURASSIC PARK is one of the classics of that field. Good adventure but not an ADHD-philic action orgy. FX that has aged well (but the stampede does scream 1993.)

    Mr. Majestyk – LOST WORLD is a worthless (well, mostly) piece of shit. People who “like” that movie are the same ilk you find in Greenwich Village who love things that the establishment, mainstream despises out of triteness. Its quite possibly Spielberg’s worst film. But hey, if it makes you feel any better….

    (Seriously anyone notice LOST WORLD tried to be to PARK what ALIENS was to ALIEN? Except Spielberg did Cameron’s plotting retake in a shitty, convoluted, boring sort of way.)

    I think what makes that infamous gymnastics scene stupid wasn’t the gymnastics as much as the kid yelling LOOK! at the Raptor, who then stands there as she complaints her complicated routine.

  17. And for the record, why does PARK really fucking hate lawyers?

    Look at the context of when the movie was made, a handful of years after Spielberg got cleaned out by Amy Irving in that divorce. Obviously Spielberg had to cathartically get his release from that sensitive, ego-bruising defeat period of his life.

    Just imagine how different PARK would’ve been if Spielberg didn’t have that happen.

  18. I’m glad to finally know what sort of straw man I am.

  19. Always thought it was funny that Crichton’s book is actually closer to something like JAWS than the final movie. It’s a fairly mean-spirited and dark book. Spielberg could’ve made this into one of his scariest films ever, but you can tell he lost his damn mind for the dinos and chose to embrace the notions of adventure and joy.


  20. JURASSIC PARK is easily my favorite movie, hands down, it’s hard to underplay just what a big fucking deal that movie was to me as a kid, it’s the first movie that I can even vaguely remember seeing in theaters and once it came out on VHS, man, I estimate there was a period of time from when it came out on video to when I first started Kindergarten that I must have watched that movie a couple of times a week, at least, I use to watch it over and over in just one day and even after I was in school I used to watch it all the time

    I consider it to be my generation’s Star Wars, I understood that it “belonged” to me in a special way as a kid, while I liked Star Wars, Indiana Jones and Ghostbusters too, I understood that those were from before I was born, Jurassic Park was what my generation could claim as their own latest and greatest blockbuster

    it is a shame though that 20 years later Blockbuster filmmaking has become so frequently bad, guys like Michael Bay could learn a lot from Jurassic Park

  21. Mr. Majestyk – Not true. I just know how fickle your anus can be. Very sensitive, especially after that bleach job. You’re just different from me.

    Griff – Funny thing I was reminded that you all remember that PARK wasn’t released on VHS until SIXTEEN MONTHS after it premiered in theaters? Times have really changed.

    I stick by the idea that JURASSIC PARK 20 years was merely very good. But its transcended time, and indeed because of your Bays and Emmerichs and so forth, its aged like wine.

  22. now, as for everything else, JURASSIC PARK 3 is not awful, but it is very mediocre and forgettable, while I happen to like THE LOST WORLD a lot, while I wont say it’s as good as the first movie, it’s just Spielberg letting loose and having fun, something that I wish he would do more often these days and it results in a fun movie

    I’ll put it to you this way, I’ll take THE LOST WORLD over any Michael Bay or Roland Emmerich flick any day

    and as far as Michael Crichton goes, every non-dinosaur themed book I’ve tried to read by the guy I’ve given up on because of boredom (save for PREY, which I only finished because it was so short and *RISING SUN which I stopped because it was very racist), but he caught lightning in a bottle with JURASSIC PARK: THE BOOK, it’s a very good book and makes a great companion to the movie, it’s darker, deeper and a lot more stuff happens, plus it’s way, way more violent than the movie, there’s descriptions of guys getting their guts ripped out and chewed on by Raptors and stuff, awesome! (his book of THE LOST WORLD is pretty good too although very, very different than the movie)

    *Michael Crichton seemed to have something against the Japanese, in the JURASSIC PARK book it mentions that the investors in the park are Japanese, which I got the vibe that that was supposed to seem sinister and RISING SUN is just a 90’s version of the Yellow Peril

  23. RRA – yeah, it’s weird how movies took longer to come out on video back then, I wonder why that is?

  24. “RRA – yeah, it’s weird how movies took longer to come out on video back then, I wonder why that is?”

    Griff – Just a much different movie industry back then. The opening weekend was important but not OMG THE WHOLE F’N SHOW like it is obnoxiously now.* Plus movies had a much much longer lifespan in theaters. Blockbusters have what, 4-8 weeks before they go away or to the 2nd run theaters?

    I seem to remember 5-6 months was the regular wait time for a movie to come to VHS. Maybe longer, I can’t remember. It was even worse if it was a Christmas movie, which was released the next holiday season (a year later) to cash in. I think they still do that shit, don’t they?

    I fondly remember Disney being really picky about what shit they released on video. They acted like they were sharing vintage wines with the world, and if you don’t act know, this shit is going back into the wine cellar until years later. (Though to be fair, Disney were the last studio to still be doing theatrical revivals real up into the 1980s and 1990s. I saw FANTASIA and THE GREAT MOUSE DETECTIVE and SNOW WHITE in theaters as a result.)

    And I appreciate that Disney is sorta back into that re-releasing game. I wish they did more classic Disney animated films beyond the Pixar catalogue. If they’re wondering why the Pixar re-releases aren’t making as much money as say THE LION KING did, its simple: Not enough time has passed for those (terrific) Pixar films to get that multi-generational impact. If I remember right, KING came back almost 20 years after it came out. So why not Snow White? Pinochio? (According to the Internet, they’re re-releasing THE LITTLE MERMAID later this year.)

    I mean take JURASSIC PARK. Alot of us saw it in theaters, maybe as kids. (Or saw it on VHS, too young to see it in theaters) 20 years later, our age group is old enough now we could take our own kids to go see PARK and let them experience it for themselves. Or again they saw it on VHS and never saw it in theaters for themselves.

  25. Rewatched this one a couple of months ago. The T-rex setpiece is still one of the most exciting sequences ever committed to cellouid, and the rest of the movie suffers terrible from it. I`ve never been able to put my finger on why the movies last half doesn`t work for me despite having some of the best suspense-scenes ever. I actually like the characters, care for them and think that the first hour of the movie is almost perfect in it`s slow build up. But, I believe that Spielberg made a huge mistake by insisting on portraying the park as a “magical place”, even after the main characters have been through one of the most harrowing and traumatizing experiences of their life. The t-rex attack is so fucking relentless, that it feels like total bullshit that the characters sit in a tree and pet a dinosaur with huge grins on their faces a couple of hours later.

  26. RRA – I wonder if the actual production of the tapes had something to do with it? I’m sure it takes longer to manufacture a VHS tape versus burning a dvd

    but you’re right that Hollywood puts a ridiculous amount of emphasis on the opening weekend these days

  27. Before Jurassic Park was released, a lot of the major dino imagery was kept under wraps, right? That trailer does a good job of not giving away too much; if it was a trailer released today, you would probably have a good idea of what every single scene with a dinosaur looked like and how it would play out. I vaguely recall not even knowing what the full CG T-Rex looked like until I saw a news anchor reveal a clip of the movie on opening night.

  28. – Joe

    If I remember correctly, the only image released of a dinosaur before opening day, was the bit with the raptor breathing on the window in the trailer.

    Oh boy, I miss the good old days where you knew almost nothing about a movie before watching it. I remember waiting in the cinema foyer before the showing, and hearing the audience screaming through the closed door. Got me pretty excited.

    – griff

    Have you seen Welcome to the Space Show? It`s from the guy who made Read or Die and pretty good.

  29. dna – Its like with all the trailers and TV spots, IRON MAN 3 is almost spoiled for me. But its a sequel, starring one of the world’s biggest movie stars, and the first Marvel-run movie since that billion dollar movie last year. Nope don’t matter apparently. Then again we also suffer from living in a culture that needs more and more and more footage and goodies.

    Griff – I understand why Hollywood/the trades/box-office gurus do that for big budget movies, because they’re so expensive and backed by sometimes just as expensive ad campaigns…again obvious reasons, even if its overrated. What I don’t get is why they extend this mentality to the non-blockbusters.

    Consider HANSEL & GRETEL: WITCH HUNTERS, which incidentally opened #1. But it opened too weak (for gurus at least) and with the bad reviews, it was effectively written off as the turkey that been on the shelf for 2 years. OK whatever, except H&G only cost $50 million supposedly. This wasn’t $200+ million colossus like JACK THE GIANT SLAYER or JOHN CARTER. So in America, H&G did 60 million if I remember right. Worldwide it did business in every territory, to the point that it hunted down $200 million total.

    Now mind you, H&G wasn’t those budget-busting blockbusters that have to totally drain each foreign territory in order to just merely breaking even. It could do decent, reach the action/horror audience fans in those countries and then move on without harm. Now H&G is getting a sequel, and I wonder if Jeremy Renner is considering that sequel to be a karma revenge for him whining about not having a big enough part in AVENGERS?

    I think a bigger problem than the misguided opening weekend religion* is how ridiculously expensive Hollywood movies have become. At least with Marvel, them paying cast and crew members shit for several movies, they (hopefully) put more of that saved dough into FX and explosions. But that’s too naive, right?

    *=Here’s another perfect example: Remember summer 2002? Both Ben Affleck and Matt Damon had movies that season. Affleck’s SUM OF ALL FEARS (which honestly was decent) opened bigger than Damon’s movie did. But SOAF had the legs of FDR. (Too soon?) Meanwhile, Damon’s BOURNE IDENTITY had good legs, did gangbusters on DVD, and sequels happened. Meanwhile, Paramount has rebooted Jack Ryan.

  30. – RRA

    I only watch trailers in the cinema, so it`s hard for me to judge how bad trailers are at the moment when it comes to spoilers. I think that The Avengers were pretty secretive about the cool stuff in the movie. And the new superman is pretty tightlipped about it`s content, which actually makes me REALLY excited about watching it, even though I don`t give a fuck about the character.

    Being secretive is just an awesome tool for marketing and creating hype, but is rarely used nowadays. Campaigns for ET, JURASSIC PARK, CLOVERFIELD, THE ABYSS, SUPER 8, T2 etc shows that it works fine, if not better, than showing all the best bits before the opening of the movie.

    As a filmmaker, it puts you in a pretty tight spot. It`s pretty difficult to tell a good story when somebody has already told all the best parts of it. It must feel like doing stand-up, while some drunk asshole screams all the punchlines before you have finished telling the joke.

  31. dna – unfortunately I have not seen Welcome to the Space Show yet

  32. The only Crichton book I read was TIMELINE, which I quite enjoyed (medieval nerd) except that Crichton spent so much time going out of his way to explain why it WASN’T time-travel that it got distracting. I understand the movie was not very good.

  33. Has anyone else noticed how much Spielberg is influenced by things going on in his life?
    That spiked dildo stalker must really have freaked him out looking at Saving Private Ryan.

    Jurassic Park was the last film I took my mother to see that she didn’t fall asleep during.
    The dinosaurs completely blew her away bless her.

    Also in regards to spoilers I remember reading about this film in the papers.

    It was a tiny paragraph in the bottom of the film gossip section saying that Spielberg was making a film about dinosaurs in a theme park.
    Which, given the goofy dinosaur movies that went before it [Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend], I dismissed with a ‘hrmphf’.

  34. I am incredibly pleased with myself about that Baby Lost Legend reference.
    Look at the influence!


  35. “That spiked dildo stalker”

    wait, what? did you just make that up?

  36. ok, I see you didn’t, that’s fucked up, good thing that guy got sent to jail

    man, celebrity stalkers, that’s some scary shit, talk about a downside to fame huh?

  37. RRA, I also remember that back in the 90’s when VHS ruled before the days of DVD that not all films that where released for rent on VHS were also available for purchase at a price to own. For example when True Lies came out on VHS you could rent it but if you wanted to own a copy on VHS you had to pay the retailer price of hundreds of dollars.

  38. I liked JURASSIC PARK back in 93 and saw it again recently. The T-Rex sequence is easily the best thing in the movie, although the car crush in the tree is also excellent. I have to say, after this point it got pretty pointless to a repeat viewer – you know nothing is coming to top those. First time round though it was a hoot and I remember the tension in the cinema audience was beyond anything I have experienced since. Also there were some genuinely terrified kids. Hope they weren’t traumatised. At least a phobia of dinosuars shouldn’t slow you down too much in life.

    Anyone else notice that the pattern on the grid for the air conditioning ducts that shows up on the velociraptor heads is A,C,T,G, the initials of the bases of DNA? A bit of detail there!

    I also liked LOST WORLD though – the trailer sequence with the cracking glass was one of the most dramatic things I ever saw in a ‘kids’ movie.

  39. I read somewhere that decreased time between theatrical release and home video release is a result of the DVD boom and fear of internet downloading. When DVDs first came out there was a huge market for them. I guess owning VHS, because they are clunky and of lesser quality, was less common. People would only own VHS copies if they were big cinephiles or there were a select few movies they wanted to watch over and over again. Most people would just rent. But because DVDs were smaller, easier to store, and had better quality visuals, people started to pick them up in large numbers. Hollywood started to make a lot of money on the DVD market, so they decided to release their movies much earlier. Around the same time, illegal downloading also became more popular, so they thought if the movie was available shortly after it went out of theaters, then people would be less inclined to download it illegally.

    I kind of understand where Hollywood’s coming from, but there are times when it’s difficult for me to get to the theater right away. I was lucky to catch Django just a couple of weeks ago. For most movies, they would have already exited the theaters three months after their release.

  40. See, a couple of you had to go do it. I kept my mouth shut despite Vern again bashing a couple of films he’s never reviewed, but here in the comments similar shit is seeping in so you asked for it.

    Jurassic Park is a great movie, one I enjoyed a lot in the theater and own in multiple formats. I dig it out every couple of years and it never fails to entertain. Saying it’s better than TRANSFORMERS is a no-brainer since all the Shia parts are horrendous. But the others. There’s no question. INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE MUMMY and ARMAGEDDON are much better than JURASSIC PARK. I don’t have the same love for ARMAGEDDON but it is better paced and far more entertaining but Vern has reviewed it so I’ll stick to the other two, movies that I can rewatch endlessly and spank JURASSIC PARK in every way.

    INDEPENDENCE DAY has perfect pacing and a smart script that brings in a wide range of real-world science fiction theories to tie up its story while at the same time playing with them. It put a new spin on a long-dead movie type, the disaster film. It has a lot of laughs, real ones, swings between set pieces and small moments, effectively uses models and other practical effects on a huge scale and hey, aliens! Goldblum gets to have a character arc, something he doesn’t have in JURASSIC PARK. It’s a compulsively watchable film, a button-pusher, and also more than a little silly at times. But I watch it a few times each year, even the extended cut moves excitedly in often imperceptible ways.

    As for THE MUMMY, Vern has at least hinted at the reason for his distaste: it’s relentless. I don’t know what movie Vern was watching instead, but THE MUMMY is expertly paced, alternating between slow burn but visually interesting setup to action-packed and fun. The basics of a mummy movie are all there and if played straight it would have been a horror movie with the eyeballs and corpse sucking, but they went for action adventure and pulled it off in a variety of entertaining ways from the dual-layered backstory to a number of action beats that are always thrilling no matter how often I watch it.

    Of course Spielberg is a master and he sets things up and knocks them out of the park (heh). You kinda expect it. But Emmerich and Sommers pull out greatness from much humbler past work, and also helped create their films by writing or co-writing. Emmerich came to a new studio with a giant idea coming off two successful but much smaller-scaled efforts while Sommers was coming to a new studio after years working on kiddie stuff at Disney other than his awesome but non-blockbuster DEEP RISING. Spielberg had new toys to play with but was already a master, the other two pushed effects along as well while also amping up the comedy and producing a better flow of action and thrills rather than having two expert set-pieces surrounded by a lot of waiting.

    Unlike some of you it’s a no-brainer, I’d always pick INDEPENDENCE DAY or THE MUMMY (or ARMAGEDDON) to watch over JURASSIC PARK. In fact if the only way I ever got to see them was by agreeing to never watch JURASSIC PARK again it wouldn’t be a sacrifice. Those films have legs and are endlessly rewatchable, JURASSIC PARK is just a great time at the movies.

  41. clubside- It´s good to hear someone else liking THE MUMMY for basically the same reason I do. All I usually get to hear is how shitty it is, but I don´t really think it is at all

  42. Count me in on team MUMMY. It is a fun film that gets more hate then it deserves.

  43. JP is great spectacle, but not a film I would want to revisit on a regular basis.

    Vern, did they touch up the digital effects when they put the film through the 3D conversion process? I remember watching JP a few years ago and thinking that some of the CGI effects looked a little dated.

  44. Naw, I don´t really get the love JURASSIC PARK gets. But I guess, whatever rocks your boat. It´s a fun movie, though.

  45. Duh Dah Duh Dah Duh Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Daaahh, Duh Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dah Dahh Duh Duh Dah Dahhhhhhh….

  46. The original Paul

    April 9th, 2013 at 10:59 am

    Ok, quick rundown…

    Jurassic Park… my absolute favorite Spielberg movie. Not the best, but the one I’ve watched the most often. I love the pacing, the set-pieces, the suspense, pretty much all of the adult characters, and Jeff Goldblum is aboslutely on fire. My only minor gripe with it is that it really started the tradition of really annoying kids in Spielberg movies. (Which somehow still didn’t spoil the kitchen scene. I wasn’t, for some reason, rooting for the velociraptors there, which is a measure of just how invested I can get in this film.) I mean, how stupid do you have to be to wave a torch at a freaking Tyrannosaur? And the worst part is, I actually buy that this character would do it. This is what makes Jaws great: the annoying kid gets eaten.

    But still, great movie. I liked #3 as well, although it’s definitely not got much substance to it and the criticisms levelled at it have merit. #2… horrible characters, acting stupidly, in ludicrous situations, for the entire running time, with not a single beat that feels natural or real. Yeah, I REALLY hate that movie.

    I quite liked the original “The Mummy”. The sequel, on the other hand… one of the worst experiences I’ve ever had at the movies. For a while it replaced “Bad Boys 2” as my go-to comparison for terrible, terrible action movies. I haven’t seen #3 but I can’t imagine it could possibly be as bad as #2.

    ID4 is really bad, but really fun. I guess I missed the “smart” sci-fi in between watching Will Smith snarl “Welcome to earth!” and punching an alien in the face. I must’ve watched this movie six times at least, and it still hasn’t lost its charm. Bill Pullman’s presidential address – set to solemn orchestral music – must rank as one of the all-time great “unintentionally hilarious” moments in cinema.

    “The Andromeda Strain” is a good Michael Crichton book and a good film, if you don’t mind lots of rather dry science-chat. I have no idea how accurate any of it is, but it all sounds plausible enough. There was also a decent film of “Rising Sun”, starring Sean Connery of all people, in which they did something pretty smart that helped to cut out some of the more blatant racist overtones. I won’t spoil that for anybody who hasn’t read the book or seen the movie.

    And yes, I tend to hate how much cinema trailers give away nowadays. I really liked the movie “Chronicle”, but the trailers managed to 1) make the movie look like the worst kind of cliche’d teen-tripe, while 2) giving away pretty much the entire plot. Unforgiveable. The worst part is, unless you come into the cinema really late, you can’t avoid them either.

  47. Well since we’re bringing up the theme song….


    Goddamn that never stops making me laugh until I cry a little.

  48. I guess I were too old to really get into the dinosaur craze that went on in ’93 (I got married that year), and after a few weeks of hearing how realistic the creatures looked in this movie (how the hell would they know, maybe the f****ng animals were pink in real life?) I started to dislike it even before I’d seen it. And when I finally saw it I realized that you had to be a dinosaur fan to appreciate it. So, yes, I’m more of a MUMMY’s boy than a dino boy. But when I once in a while want to see something big and silly I tend to go to the world of Bond rather than Spielberg’s amusement parks.

  49. “Where are they taking him?”
    “To be hanged. Apparently, he had a VERY good time.”

    THE MUMMY rebellion.

    Paul, I tried to be very specific when using the word “smart” in relation to INDEPENDENCE DAY. Taking decades of conspiracy theories and making them part of the backstory, the news alert about shooting handguns at the spacecraft, tabloids, entertainment news… It was smart in relating history and popular culture at the time into building its world. Much like Vern calling out the imagined reality of a theme park with “real” dinosaurs and various plot points you cold imagine would be part of such a reality, INDEPENDENCE DAY did a lot of the same.

  50. “There’s no question. INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE MUMMY and ARMAGEDDON are much better than JURASSIC PARK.”

    oh fuck off with that shit, I’m sorry but I think this is the first time I’ve read something on here that legitimately pissed me off, them’s fighting words buddy

    look, I’ll agree that ID4 and THE MUMMY are decent flicks, THE MUMMY especially, but better than JURASSIC PARK? hell no and fucking ARMAGEDDON better than JURASSIC PARK? fuuuuuuuuuuuuck no

    to me that’s pretty much counts as blasphemy buddy, I’ll put to you this way, I did not see ARMAGEDDON but I did see it on video, I was maybe 8 or 9 years old, still a kid and even as a kid I thought it was fucking stupid

  51. *I did not see ARMAGEDDON in theaters but I did see it on video

  52. You know one thing which still annoys about this otherwise top-notch movie? It’s smug anti-science message. As if it’s the geneticists’ fault that this one asshole turned off all the power to everything. There IS an interesting subtext about the hubris of thinking you can predict and control nature, but it gets swallowed up by a bunch of moaning about how man should not play God, and there are things man wasn’t meant to know, and so forth. Which strikes me as particularly odd in a movie where the whole fuckin’ point is that people want to see dinosaurs and marvel at the cool idea they had for bringing them back! What, the people who think it would be amazing to see a live dinosaur are crossing lines man was never meant to cross? Fuck you, movie!

  53. clubside – I must concur with Griff on your…interesting picks over JP.

    In a strange way, LOST WORLD is if Bay or Emmerich had made a JURASSIC PARK-type story. That messy, that unintrigued by the possibilities of dinosaurs, that boring mindless mayhem.

    And Mr. M will probably defend you on your picks, so don’t feel bad.

    At times like this, I relish my snobbery over the peanut gallery. *smokes pipe*

  54. I could be wrong but I think Michael Crichton was more skeptical of modern corporate culture than science, the point seemed to be that cloning dinosaurs was not necessarily bad, it was the idea of using that as just a way to make money that was bad

  55. For the record, I actually enjoyed THE MUMMY of that bunch clubside mentioned.

    Sommers to me is a hack who is usually inept in that childish larger than life spectacle that we all like when done right, and VAN HELSING he just had a hell of a traffic jam enough for 3 movies, all fit into 1.

    But the one time he pulled off a charming movie with positive energy radiating from my grin, it was THE MUMMY. I don’t know how the fuck he did it, but yeah he did it. THE MUMMY RETURNS though is Sommers being Sommers, so I’ll take it as just a fluke.

    But picking JP over MUMMY is still nuts to me.

  56. Griff — that’s how I remember the book (although it’s been a long time since I read it) but the movie is pretty unambiguous in its Frankenstein-esque displeasure that man has meddled with nature. The excellent scene with Ellie and Hammond in the restaurant is the most blatant example, but the whole movie is peppered with glib jabs at science. Maybe it’s more David Koepp than anyone else, I don’t know, but it’s an annoying element to an otherwise pretty flawless film.

    And people, your trollishness notwithstanding, THE MUMMY is not better than anything let alone JURASSIC PARK. But INDEPENDENCE DAY, despite being much, much dumber, is not that far away in terms of a classically directed big spectacle film with a great cast. JP clearly wins for it’s elegant simplicity, classic score, and flawless construction, however.

  57. Griff, I am not going to argue that ARMAGEDDON is better than JP (I probably hold them in equal esteem), but I would be curios to hear from you why you feel JP is so much better. There are some great sequences in JP and it featured ground breaking effects for the time it was released, but most of the characters are pretty thin.

  58. and the characters in ARMAGEDDON aren’t thin? puh-lease, at the characters in JP are cool and memorable

  59. Griff, I am not trying to give you a hard time. I agree that the characters in ARMAGEDDON are also thin, but so are the ones in JP. ID4, JP, THE MUMMY, and ARMAGEDDON are all big on spectacle but light on character. I am just trying to understand why you think JP is so much better than those other popcorn films. What does it have those films don’t that set it apart?

  60. well, how about Spielberg’s direction and John Williams’ music? shouldn’t that easily be enough

    plus, I’ve always loved how Jurassic Park creates a “world”, I use to always wonder what it would be like to visit Jurassic Park for real, I can’t say I’ve ever wanted to visit the world of ID4 or THE MUMMY

  61. Fair enough, but do you like it more than SW episode III? SW III has action directed by Spielberg & tunes by JW.

  62. yes I do, because the script’s better

  63. The original Paul

    April 9th, 2013 at 4:24 pm

    Griff – I think Crichton was more into corporate culture, but Spielberg had different ideas. The film is quite a lot different to the book in more ways than just the superficial.

    I don’t really care, I enjoy both the film and the book in different ways.

    I’m kinda with you on the question of “INDEPENDENCE DAY, THE MUMMY and ARMAGEDDON are much better than JURASSIC PARK.” Sorry, but nooooooo. I actually enjoyed all three movies in different ways, but I wouldn’t rewatch any of them every summer like I pretty much have with “Jurassic Park”.

  64. No trolling here Mr. Subtlety, if anything the people who think JURASSIC PARK is better would be the trolls. And RRA those weren’t necessarily picks, they were called out by Vern in the review, though most get bashed here from time-to-time. As I said in my first comment, I didn’t come here to talk about the other films, it was only because a few others decided to call them out after Vern’s passing reference that I had to defend my preferences.

    Look Griff I’m willing to ignore your love for horrendous technically garbage Japanese cartoons when you’re talking about other movies, no need for fisticuffs. I don’t care how awesome Spielberg’s direction is or how great Williams’ score is, while both statements are true they don’t make up for the fact that the other movies are more fun.

    People have different criteria for what makes a great film. I am a child and therefore repetition is the greatest virtue. So at the end of the day a great movie I have no interest in ever watching again can’t be as good as one I want to watch over and over. I have the Collector’s Edition Blu-ray of the three JURASSIC PARKs. The one with the cool mountain. As a collector and fan of the film I enjoyed watching it again in hi-def and like displaying the model on my shelf with other collector’s edition trinkets. But if I’m lying in bed thinking about taking a break from rolling through all the seasons of FRASIER, INDEPENDENCE DAY and THE MUMMY come to mind, never JURASSIC PARK.

    And RRA in case you missed it, put aside any Sommers hate for an hour and a half and watch DEEP RISING if you’ve never seen it. Another great cast in a very derivative film with a lot of humor, shooting, monsters and plenty of stuff stolen from ALIENS to make call-outs fun.

  65. ” your love for horrendous technically garbage Japanese cartoons”

    hey now, that’s a low blow

  66. “And RRA in case you missed it, put aside any Sommers hate for an hour and a half and watch DEEP RISING if you’ve never seen it. ”

    clubside – I did. Not impressed.

    Oh God, I wish people would quit citing that movie in defending Sommers. Its like people bringing up EVENT HORIZON to defend Paul W.S. Anderson. (So you all liked him taking PRINCE OF DARKNESS, getting a bigger budget and better FX and castrating its fascinating theological politics in favor of a lame horror movie? Good for you.)

    Then again, you know what blockbuster I loved as a kid? INDEPENDENCE DAY. Rewatching that as an adult, its not aged well, to say the least. I know nostalgia is a powerful emotion, but its the things I found as a adult in rewatching PARK that makes me respect its popcorn and (shall I say?) artistic merits as well?

  67. Can’t go out to the movies these days unless I keep my phones turned on and on my lap (I’m on on-call readiness status for a possible assignment.), which makes me feel like a dick and makes me nervous and ruins the movie-watching vibe for myself and possibly the people around me, so maybe the universe is yin-ing out the yang of joy I got from repeat viewings of STEP UP 3D in 2010 by forcing me to miss JP3D in theatres today. Oh well. I might have to check it out at an afternoon showtime soon, if I bring my go-bag with me. I never totally loved JP, but it’s good stuff.

    Velociraptors are fucking badass. At least, the Spielbergified version of velociraptors are. Science’s more “accurate” version of velociraptors might have been little bitchasses who couldn’t even operate doorknobs, whatever.

    I remember abstaining from previous episodes of The Great Jurassic Park Sequels Debate on this websight, but I did recently find time to rewatch THE LOST WORLD for the first time since opening weekend, when I think I sort of hated it. Well, younger me was wrong. And current RRA is wrong. THE LOST WORLD is probably Spielberg’s best comedy.

    There’s hardly a single stretch of 5+ minutes in TLW that doesn’t feature at least one good/ridiculous visual gag.
    I mean, come on, there’s not 1 but *2* shots where offscreen dino dining makes a river run red with blood!
    Spielberg must have been inspired by Y.K. Kim’s MIAMI CONNECTION.

    THE LOST WORLD is probably better on the small screen (for me, at least), b/c it does feature an excessive amount of one of my most hated filmatisticisms — “The Spielberg Face.” (begrudging h/t to Kevin B. Lee)

    That kiddie E.T. stuff is unbearable when projected large in a cinema auditorium; it activates my misanthropy and retards my action movie enjoyment. But it is so prevalent, so repetitively included in *all* the “let’s show people being awed at the wonder of dinosaurs” shots in THE LOST WORLD (between awesome chase & kill scenes) that it becomes comically pervasive, even to the point where Spielberg is surely engaging in self-parody; he has to realize the excessive number of slow push-in close-ups he’s including here. And there’s a bunch of those shots in JURASSIC PARK, as well, but there the feelings of awe & wonder are still fresh & justified & appropriately emphasized by Laura Dern’s gaping mouth, etc..

    And, indeed, there is a tremendous little steadicam-y shot at the 61 minute mark of TLW, tracking a doomed good guy and his cable winch from exterior horizontal ground to a horizontal interior space to a perpendicular vertical space with 3 cliffhanging protagonists. It’s pretty great. They should, like, put that in 3D and make a theme park ride out of it or something.

  68. oh yes, THE LOST WORLD is very funny (but intentionally so), that’s a big part of what makes it awesome

    I love stuff like the T-Rex causing a bus to crash into a Blockbuster where there’s cardboard cutouts of fictional movies, like Arnold Schwarzenegger’s HAMLET, JACK AND THE BEANSTALK’S (which is supposed to be a sequel Robin William’s JACK, I kid you not) and Tom Hank’s TSUNAMI SUNRISE where Tom Hanks is on a surfboard

    plus how can you not love the “there haven’t been many visitors to this island, it has no reason to fear man…….now it does” scene?

  69. oh and don’t forget Pete fucking Postlethwaite as Roland Tembo, a very underrated badass character

  70. I read Jurassic Park before I saw the movie, and was somehow disappointed on first viewing with the movie’s plot which had some major changes which in reality didn’t matter in any way. Crichton’s forte is not plotting or story, he’s an idea man and he just throws a plot over it without much care or thought. I have since seen the movie a half dozen times on TV or whatever and I agree, it has stood the test of time much better than you would think. I plan to take my 8 year old to see it in 3D and hope it doesn’t give her nightmares.

    The Velociraptors in the movie are much closer to Deinonychus (sp?) which really was person-sized, had a huge claw for disemboweling you, and has kind of a lousy name for an action movie villain. So yeah, Velociraptor was much smaller in real life but the “Velociraptors” as presented in the movie did exist just under a different name.

    Regarding the rest of the movie being a letdown after the T Rex vs Jeeps scene — I would argue that the Velociraptor kitchen scene is close, if not in spectacle then in suspense.

  71. but for real clubside, that comment about anime pisses me off even more than you saying ID4 ad The Mummy are better than JP

    the films of Hayao Miyazaki, Satoshi Kon, Katsuhiro Otomo and Mamoru Oshii is stuff that any movie buff should be able to appreciate, you calling it “horrendous technically garbage” is exactly the kind of reductive attitude that pisses me off

  72. Well, the animation you get out of flipbooks are superior to most anime in my experience


  73. “Pissed off”, “fighting words” and “blasphemy” we’re your words Griff, so I came to play as well.

    On a technical level Japanese cartoons are garbage since animating three frames a second and panning over stills is barely animation. Cartoons from Japan are like everything else Japanese, like their ridiculous language they’re over-complicated, messy and steeped in a tradition out of place in the modern world. The Japanese are great at stealing other people’s shit and iterating it, but their culture is much like their height, coming up short. And I will never use the term “anime”, cartoons come from every country on the planet, the only reason Japanese animation deserves its own word is to indicate how it leaves you wanting. But they’re just cartoons, better drawn than many but animated with the care of Hanna-Barbara.

  74. I like their language. It’s logical, almost mathematical (in a good way), and very very polite & formal (which I like as a formalist) until you learn the contractions & slang.

    Japan[ese] is also probably the most technologically advanced country & culture; they’ve even had that stereotype for decades, so I don’t know what “out of place in the modern world” could possibly mean.

    Until customer service & public utilities improve in certain other “first world” nations and until racism dies in certain other advanced places, Japan is the only country in the world with as high a standard of living as that of the United States, yet Japan has a significantly better life expectancy.

    And Japanese girls are just the right height.

  75. I was thinking that this was going to be a replay of the “That’s not a link to a white supremacist website, it’s just a website about how slavery was black people’s own damn fault” incident, but then I realized that random bursts of anti-Japanese sentiment are completely appropriate for a Crichton thread. Carry on.

  76. wow, so now you’re going to even attack the Japanese in general? this is starting to get ridiculous, so whatever clubside, be an asshole if you want

    anyway, so Jurassic Park, does anyone think the 4th movie has any chance of being good?

  77. Such a dour and humorless bunch. And some wonder why so few different people contribute comments. Between an inability to take a joke and lying in wait to whip out an -ism or -ist, really, what could be the reason? lol

    You may be a formalist Mouth, but I’m a one-worlder, so there’s no logical or practical reason for more than one language in a connected world. But there are loads of hot Japanese chicks of varying heights.

    And I loved Star Blazers (Spaceship Yamamoto I believe) as a kid Griff.

    As for an additional JURASSIC PARK sequel I’d hope it’d continue to keep the events of the previous ones in the storyline. Given the gap in years and the Internet it’d be interesting to see how rumors and news and opinions shaped a modern thought on the whole idea and how that in turn affected whatever machinations led to a revival. Bring on the drones!

  78. Yeah yeah, I got your sarcasm about the height thing and all that, clubside, but I get defensive about the awesome language, facetiousness or no, and then I didn’t have the ability to speak intelligently sarcastically about anime to respond in kind and continue the tongue-in-cheek once-removed Griff-bashing, so I just submitted whatever.

    My heart’s not in this fight. I suspect someday I’ll hit my anime phase; it’ll be a shiny new object for me, something to fill a niche I didn’t realize existed somewhere in the recesses of my art-curious mind. I’ve enjoyed some of what I’ve seen so far (RAHXEPHON, THE GIRL WHO LEAPT THROUGH TIME, etc.) and hated some other stuff.

    My timing on these things is always weird. I sought out quiet arthouse period pieces when I was in junior high school and hated virtually all cartoons between ages 8 and 21.5. I used to think Nickelodeon tv channel was a devil responsible for the stupidest fucking things ever produced by people with cameras, but today I would drop everything & watch an iCarly marathon if I weren’t concerned that my cheek & ab muscles would cramp up halfway through the 3rd episode.

    I guess that’s the weirdly cool thing about Spielberg, though. Other than deeper technical appreciation now for, say, JAWS and DUEL, I feel pretty much the same way about all his movies now that I felt when I first saw them years or decades ago. Kid, teen, adult, whatever, my reactions to & understandings of Spielberg’s films haven’t changed. Yet. I can’t think of another serious major filmmaker about whom I could say the same thing.

  79. – clubside

    I was very tempted to respond to your post, but last time I had a nerd fight on this site, I felt stupid for weeks. I love anime and have defended it several times in various threats. Yes, some anime is clearly produced with a lower budget than in the west, but as an lifelong animation-fan, I`ve always thought anime to be artistically way above western animation. If you check out the directors that Griff recommended, you`ll probably agree.

    To be honest, I prefer when threads turn into weird discussions on unrelated topics. It`s usually pretty funny and entertaining. And I miss the potpourri-threads. The forum just doesn`t work for me. Are you guys sure that they are a good idea?

    No matter what, this is still the finest movie sight in cyberspace, so keep up the good work.

  80. “I’m a one-worlder, so there’s no logical or practical reason for more than one language in a connected world.”

    Nah, language isn’t just a means of communication, it’s a means of cognition, and different languages enable different cognitive approaches. Another language is another way of thinking.

    I can’t BELIEVE that Vern is permitting people to claim that ARMAGEDDON is better than JP on his sight. I died a little inside today. I’m usually the first to bash Griff for his 90’s cheerleading but come fucking on, ARMAGEDDON is basically the poster boy for everything wrong with billion dollar blockbusters, and JP is one of the best from the guy who LITERALLY invented the summer blockbuster.

    And then you rag on anime, not even a genre mind you but an entire medium! Sigh. Strive for excellence guys.

  81. clubside – well sarcasm can be hard to detect on the internet sometimes and I’m a little sensitive about the subject, since us anime fans are like the Rodney Dangerfield of nerd culture, no respect, no respect at all…..

    anime is not something I expect everyone to be into, it’s an acquired taste, I get that, I just wish more people respected it, is all, as renfield said, it’s a medium, not a genre

    Mouth – whoa, the fact that you’ve seen any anime at all blows my mind and reaffirms that you are one cool mother fucker

  82. I’m also, I admit, a little bit bitter because there WAS a period in the first half of the 2000’s where anime did seemingly get respect (right around the time SPIRITED AWAY won the Oscar and you had stuff like THE ANIMATRIX) but now that’s over with

    that was one reason I loved Roger Ebert though because the guy DID respect it

  83. Ebert even gave Wings of Honneamise a good review, if that don’t make him a bro I don’t know what does

  84. Ah, fuck it…

    – Griff

    Love Wings of Homnesia. It has one of the most beautiful endings to a cartoon ever. I`ve recently been going through the entire Lupin the Third franchise. There`s a lot of really good stuff besides Castle of Caligostro. And since it spans from 1968 to 2013, (four tv-shows spanning hundreds of episodes, five theatrical movies, 23 tv-movies and a handfull of OAV, it`s really interesting as an animefan to see the development of the style during the different decades. The noughties use of cgi is terrible and made me realise why I stopped seeking out new anime around the millennium. But, it`s getting back on track, and still going strong.

    And Spielberg is apparently a big fan of the franchise. He has publicly called the opening car-chase from Castle of Caligstrio one of the best car-chases ever, but he also actually ripped off the opening of Raiders from a Lupin episode from `78, complete with the big rolling stone etc. That was pretty weird.

  85. my wife calls it Wings Of Hollandaise. it’s a good flick though.

  86. I guess I am going to have to watch JP again and try to figure out what i am missing because I am surprised by all the love for it. It is not that it is a bad film, it is a good movie, but to me it has always been an example of Speilberg at his most commercial. It is slick and well crafted, the technical execution is flawless, but it lacks the heart and character of Speilbergs best work.

    I would rather watch any of the first 3 Indy movies over JP any day, or if we only talking 90’s Speilberg I think SAVING PRIVATE RYAN is a far superior film.

  87. I wish I had a wife that would even know what the fuck Wings of Honneamise is

  88. They’re out there, Griff. My lady schooled me on anime hard and made me a lifelong believer.

  89. I was going to go there even if Vern hadn’t mentioned THE LOST WORLD. I even tweeted it last week when JP3D hit theaters. I’m fully aware the sequel is not a beloved film that will warrant a 3D rerelease. In fact, I sort of count my blessings that they made a sequel that would so not appeal to fans of the original but that I would prefer. It happens sometimes for Franchise Fred.

    I won’t retread how I prefer the cold hard action movie to the magical family film, but the comedy description is a good complement to my analysis. I’d rather a movie be wild and crazy any day.

    I guess I already read film in a different way than the mainstream when I was 15 watching JURASSIC PARK. What was constructed as a magical discovery felt like a distraction to me. I also never thought that first shot of the brontosaurus looked real. I could see the composite lines. I called them matte lines back then because that’s what they were called before digital, but still I could tell they were not in the scene. And of course they weren’t. They were the special effect, but I could never get with all the ooh and ahh, as Ian Malcolm says.

    That’s a subtle flaw back then, but I think it’s evolved to 3D and 48fps. Different eyes see differently. 3D looks way better to some than others. Some people didn’t see any flaws in 48fps. Maybe some eyes see CGI better than mine too.

    Look, Spielberg is a master. I appreciate the craft and he did exactly what JURASSIC PARK was supposed to be and it worked. I sort of can’t believe he went the other way for the sequel but it’s amazing. Disappointed to learn he’s backtracked, as he did immediately on CRYSTAL SKULL. Own it, man.

    Oh, and Vern thank you for pointing out the hacking thing, very astute. Interesting where some audiences’ lines are. Some audiences refused to accept wire work in a non MATRIX movie. The Chinese are cool with it though.

  90. I think JURASSIC PARK and THE LOST WORLD compliment each other well as a matter of fact, the original has the “magical discovery”, which there’s nothing wrong with that

    and the sequel is more just “oh shit! dinosaurs are chasing me!”, which there’s nothing wrong with that either, but it also fits the context of the story, this aint a theme park anymore, it’s an island where the dinosaurs roam free

  91. there’s some seriously cool set pieces in the Jurassic Park book that got left out of the movie (some of which were in fact recycled in Jurassic Park 3), there’s a lot more time spent with Grant and the kids as they’re wandering around in the jungle trying to get back to the visitors center, along the way they go for a ride in a raft where the T-Rex swims after them and then they find themselves in an aviary for pterodactyls, where they discover that it’s been more or less abandoned since the pterodactyls are very territorial and dive bomb anyone that sets foot inside

    Robert Muldoon (who lives in the book) gets in a showdown with the T-Rex where he drives around in a jeep and fires giant tranquilizers from a LAWS rocket launcher at it, fucking awesome! later he uses the same LAWS rocket launcher to blow the fuck up some of the velociraptors, even more fucking awesome! like in the movie, the finale involves the velociraptors, but this time some of the characters are trapped in a hotel

    if there’s one complaint I have though it’s that the character of John Hammond is more or less just a greedy asshole in the book, in the movie he’s more of a tragic character who means well but is in over his head, I find that more interesting

    the book of the Lost World is not as good, but at least you learn a lot more of what Site B is actually supposed to be, which is pretty glossed over in the movie and one thing that’s really cool is that Lewis Dodgson (of “we got Dodgson here!” fame) from the rival company BioSyn, the same guy that hired Nedry to steal the embryos, is the main villain instead of Hammond’s nephew and the way he dies at the end is awesome

    overall Jurassic Park is an excellent book and The Lost World is a worthy sequel, I’m disappointed to find that Michael Crichton was basically a one hit wonder (although to be fair it’s not like I’ve read every book by him)

  92. I forgot that Muldoon survives in the book. I read it in sixth grade, so it has been a while. I do, however, remember a scene where Grant and the kids hide from the T-Rex behind a waterfall. I finally got around to seeing the movie. I must have watched Jurassic Park at least a half a dozen times in middle school, but I haven’t really watched it since then. I was happy to find that it really held up. All of the action scenes are incredibly well put together (of course, with Spielberg this is normally a foregone conclusion). The anti-science stuff gets a little tired, and watching the movie now, Goldbloom’s problems with the park seem pretty reactionary. I mean, at one point he says that the dinosaurs will find a way to breed because…well, he never gives a reason. (This anti-science message makes more sense in light of the fact that Chrichton became a crazy global warming denier). And Spielberg found a nice balance of sentiment with the relationship between Grant and the kids. Anyway, I had forgotten what a great movie Jurassic Park was. I still wish that Muldoon could have killed at least ONE of the damn raptors.

  93. Rbatty – Yeah I’m sure it’s been mentioned elsewhere but I don’t get how the only time a human kills a dinosaur in the entire trilogy is when the raptor gets impaled on a spike after the gymnastics routine. Oh, I guess there’s the shooting of the raptor in the crate in part 1 too.

    Not saying it needs to be Starship Troopers or Aliens or anything, but it seems weird that this is a series of monster movies where they only run away and nobody ever fights back against the monsters. And two out of the three movies feature heavily armed mercenaries that never use their guns. And I’ve always wondered what was up with the weird cutaway when Dr. Grant uses the gun in Part 1 – it’s a great movie but that one part feels like a TV edit or something, like they didn’t want to show an actual shot of gun use.

  94. Neal2Zod – It’s been so long since I saw the other movies that I forgot that they never actually kill any of the dinosaurs. That’s mostly forgivable in the first film, since we’re following around (mostly) a bunch of academics. It’s less forgivable in the sequels. The reason why I don’t think Muldoon gets his due in the movie is because he actually understands how dangerous the raptors are. He knows they’re smart, and he respects them. Just for that reason, they should have let him take out at least one of the raptors. I’m not as forgiving about The Lost World as a lot of people around here, but I do like Pete Postlethwaite’s mercenary character. I actually wish he had more screen time.

  95. Michael Crichton did have some weird ideas about science and technology, in Jurassic Park Ian Malcolm talks about how we think we have it so good as modern man, but in reality prehistoric man had it better because all he had to do was a little hunting, he could spend the rest of the day sleeping, having sex, just being lazy, he didn’t have a 9 to 5 job, bills and taxes to worry about and while yeah, there’s a chance you could get eaten by something, at least that would make you appreciate life more and not feel depressed over existential reasons

    there’s also a subplot about velociraptors hiding on a cargo ship on the way to the mainland that the characters are trying to stop, John Hammond worries that if dinosaurs were to roam free off the island it could mess up the world’s ecology resulting in the “end of the world”, Ian Malcolm corrects him telling that although it could makes thing bad for humanity, nature in general would find a way to adjust and that it’s arrogance to think we could ever “destroy the world”, the only thing we could do is destroy ourselves, nature and life on Earth would go on, just like it did after the dinosaurs went extinct (this seems predicative of his stance on global warming)

    I did try to read his global warming book, State of Fear, once but it was so boring and dry, I didn’t make it far, I could pretty much tell that it was gonna be preachy without also being entertaining

    I think basically Michael Crichton didn’t buy into the idea that humanity is “king shit” of Earth and that we’ve got nature by the balls, I think he believed that we’re just one species of many on Earth and just because we have tools and language doesn’t mean we “own” the Earth anymore than any other living creature does

    p.s. I’ve said this before but that Rising Sun was undeniably racist, the whole thing is about how Japan is slowly taking over the U.S. from the inside out and that they’ll literally do ANYTHING for the corporations they work for, even murder, as an experiment try replacing “the Japanese” with “the Jews” in the book and you’ll see how blatantly racist it is

  96. Are we talking about the same Michael Chricton who made WESTWORLD? That movie is great. Shit,imagina having a robotic unstoppable Yul Brynner coming after you. I can imagine worse words written on my tombstone; “Gunned down down by Yul Brynner”. That would have been awesome

  97. Also what if they also had robotic versions of Clint Eastwood,Charles Bronson and Steve McQueen going on a murderous rampage in that western-themed park? That is some scary shit. The bodycount would be unfathomable.

  98. WESTWORLD is indeed awesome, I wonder how many people noticed the similarities between it and JURASSIC PARK back in 1993?

  99. I´m not sure if it´s that wellknown of a movie to be honest, I know I was never aware of WESTWORLD until years later.

  100. they were planning on remaking it for many years

  101. I don’t necessarily agree that Malcolm is unambiguously anti-science. I remember in the book he has a little speech about how progress ain’t all that, and despite having electric vacuums and shit it still takes a housekeeper about the same amount of time to clean your house as it did before all these technological niceties. That always annoyed me because it gives me this image of Crichton sitting there with a stopwatch yelling at his maid. But on the other hand, is most of the shit we buy developed and marketed to us because it genuinely benefits us or because somebody wants to make money selling it?

    Meanwhile all the shit he says about hunter/gatherers having it nice is totally true, the advent of agriculture really was a raw deal for our species. That’s when you start seeing crap life expectancy, infectious disease, having to work hard, unhealthy dietary habits. Then it gets like, exponentially worse with the Industrial Revolution. The problem isn’t progress per se but irresponsible progress. We still haven’t figured out a good way to protect the people who participate in the most dangerous elements of this system (third world underage factory workers being continually exposed to toxic chemicals, eg) and as long as powerful people are making too much cash, there’s little hope that things will improve. A dinosaur theme park is certainly a weird metaphor for corporate insensitivity to humanity but the underlying sentiment is perfectly fine in my view.

    In fact it seems like the exact opposite perspective as what would lead somebody to be a carbon emissions apologist. For example the lawyer in Jurassic Park doesn’t give a shit about safety once he starts to hallucinate dollar signs everywhere… kinda similar to a corporation having a vested interest in global warming not existing so they don’t have to clean up their production?

    But I guess you could construe it that Malcolm thinks that basically the natural world is going to march on regardless of our attempts to meddle… stupid to think that humans could do anything to affect an ecosystem’s ability to propagate, or … the global climate’s mean temperature? I suppose Malcolm’s perspective is painted in broad enough logical strokes in the film that you could take it either way.

  102. renfield – that’s what cool about Jurassic Park: The Book is it raises some thought provoking questions while also managing to be very entertaining

  103. Crichton isn’t a great writer, but he had some fun books. In addition to Jurassic Park, I remember enjoying the Andromeda Strain (both the book and the movie), Eaters of the Dead, and The Great Train Robbery. His books moved along at a good pace, and they were great for getting young kids like myself interested in reading.

    I do remember the moment in Jurassic Park where Malcolm claims that we can’t destroy the environment, but we can destroy ourselves, which is an interesting concept (that may not be true). But it does eject man from the center of the universe, which might be a good thing. The idea that the world was better before civilization, is a really old one. Starting in the 1600s (I think) there was the idea of the noble savage. The concept is basically that life is so much better for indigenous people because they live in this perpetual, Edenic state of nature. This probably isn’t true, but you could see why it would be appealing for people during early capitalism where you pretty much woke up, went to work, went to sleep, repeat until you die of a horrible disease. Life was pretty shitty for most of humanity until maybe the last one hundred years.

  104. Finally saw this at the IMAX 3D today. The crowd was definitely quiet and sullen in light of today’s horrible news, and I honestly couldn’t really concentrate on the movie either with all that’s going on in the world. I don’t want to hijack this thread or anything but will say thoughts and prayers are with Boston.

    The movie itself still holds up well – the early exposition scenes might be the last great expositional scenes Spielberg ever did. (Compare the great non-shark stuff in JAWS to the tedious non-dinosaur stuff in The Lost World, for instance). The FX are still good, even though the IMAX Digital showing I saw was downright terrible – blurry, not-really in 3D, way too dark. The same theatre played the T. Rex scene as a mini-trailer before I saw GI Joe 2 there – it actually looked great then and the sound was much more surrounding and thunderous. Not sure why the actual movie itself looked terrible. (I actually think alot of times movie clips look crisper in the trailer and the making-of featurettes than the movies themselves do)

    Even though it’s a good movie, I do have to bring up some new nitpicks I just noticed – it’s weird how one raptor gets the “just how good is she?” speech and they establish that it’s bigger, that it killed off the weak raptors, and is the leader of the other two, but then they never really establish which raptor that one is, unless I missed something. It’s odd how Malcolm has nothing to do in the final third of the movie- he doesn’t even say anything the last few times we see him. He might as well have died like he apparently did in the book.

    Also, did they ever explain what was up with the triceratops and why she was sick? Maybe fans of the book can help me out with that one.

  105. Well I gotta say I had similar misgivings when I saw it as neal2zod and Vern.

    -I’m sympathetic to the perspective that it’s sort of directionless after the first rex confrontation.

    -Why is the system for putting the raptor in its pen in the first scene so error prone? You can’t lock that shit in place and keep it from sliding?

    -Why do they interest you in several things, like the Big Bad Female Raptor, Malcolm’s character, and the sick triceratops, and then not really see them through? (with the triceratops, maybe they are misdirecting so they can separate Grant and Satler without it seeming too obviously foreboding) (if memory serves it IS more important in the book)

    -Why does Hammond say “off the coast of Costa Rica,” it sounds like he says “Costa Costa”. Rewrite pls.

    -What the FUCK is Hammond talking about with the “flea circus”. What is a flea circus???!?! “Oh look mummy can you see the fleas”??

    -Notice how the command line stuff Mr. Arnold does, trying to figure out what Nedry fucked with, is way more compelling and less dated then the stupid GUI Lex uses to turn on the door locks

    A few unexpectedly nice things:
    -I was terrified that the sunroof was going to decapitate one of those kids IRL

    -Nedry’s whole sequence, struggling to get to the dock to make the handoff, is one of the most exciting and underrated parts of the movie. Poor guy.

    -At the end, on the helicopter, they look at the flock of pelicans out the heli window with this newfound wonderment. It’s a really special moment, because after seeing CGI and animatronic animals for a couple hours, they look so vibrant and fluid; so that, combined with the stuff about them being the dino’s descendants, really allows you to see what Grant sees in them, I think.

    All in all a *little* underwhelming. I no longer think it’s 100% reprehensible to prefer THE MUMMY. As to ARMAGEDDON, I still echo Griff’s “fuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck no”.

  106. “-Why is the system for putting the raptor in its pen in the first scene so error prone? You can’t lock that shit in place and keep it from sliding?”

    the book makes it clear that one reason their security system is flawed is because the dinosaurs turn out to be way faster than they ever would have imagined, you’ll notice that the raptor moves so fast it seems to take the workers by surprise

    “-Why do they interest you in several things, like the Big Bad Female Raptor, Malcolm’s character, and the sick triceratops, and then not really see them through? (with the triceratops, maybe they are misdirecting so they can separate Grant and Satler without it seeming too obviously foreboding) (if memory serves it IS more important in the book)”

    I think in the book, the triceratops is sick because it’s eating modern plants that turn out to be toxic to it or something and I could be wrong but doesn’t Ellie actually say so in the movie as well? (or theorize?), also in the book, when Ian Malcolm gets injured he starts to trip out on the pain meds they give him and starts waxing philosophical, that’s the part where he talks about how much better prehistoric man had it and how it’s impossible for modern man to destroy the world and whatnot, they cut all that out in the movie, so he’s left with little to do

    as for the Big Bad Female Raptor, I think the scene was just to establish that the raptors in general are very smart, not jut one raptor

    “-What the FUCK is Hammond talking about with the “flea circus”. What is a flea circus???!?! “Oh look mummy can you see the fleas”??”

    a flea circus was little mechanical stuff like a seesaw that would move on it’s own, the idea being that there were tiny little fleas on them and kids would imagine that they could actually see them (yeah, it’s weird), Hammond dreamed of something that kids could gape at that would be real, not imaginary or mechanical, this was not in the book and was added in the movie to make him a more sympathetic, Walt Disney esque character instead of just a greedy asshole

    and speaking of Boston, I’ve actually had this strange feeling of dread the last week or so, a feeling that something bad was gonna happen, no joke

  107. by the way, when I was a kid I always assumed Sam Neill was from Australia, I literally never even heard of New Zealand until the Lord of The Rings

  108. Griff, you never saw BRAINDEAD or THE FRIGHTENERS before LOTR?

  109. Even to this day,it blows my fucking mind that the guy behind BRAINDEAD,BAD TASTE and MEET THE FEEBLES went on to make LoTR.

  110. pegsman – I did see THE FRIGHTENERS but I did not know who directed it at the time (nor did I know it was filmed in New Zealand) and I didn’t see BRAINDEAD (called DEAD ALIVE in the US) until after LOTR

  111. There were a lot of cool movies in the early 80’s that made a little bit of fuss about being made in New Zealand; WARRIORS OF THE 21ST CENTURY, RACE FOR THE YANKEE ZEPHYR, SHAKER RUN etc. So I guess I just started recognizing the landscape after a while.

  112. ONCE WERE WARRIORS was made in New Zeeland also right? Unbelievably from the same director of DIE ANOTHER DAY!

  113. Yeah I too forgot how tense the Nedry heist sequence was, especially with John Williams’ score weirdly ape-ing Under Siege!

    As for the triceratops, i could have sworn as a kid she found poisonous berries in the poo (backing up the whole “you chose such and such plants only because they’re pretty”), but watching it yesterday, she didn’t find the berries in there, so it’s just left as a minor loose end.

    Also, they briefly mention the “lysine(?) contingency” in the movie where they hint they can destroy all the dinosaurs by depriving them of some kind of protein, but I wasn’t entirely sure how it worked – are they implying all the dinos died after they abandoned the park at the end? Is that why Site B was still used in Lost World even though the island wasn’t nuked? Or did JPIII take place on Site A too? I like how JPIII is so unoffensively pleasant and forgettable that nobody remembers which island it takes place on.

  114. Also Griff – when you say you had a sense of dread the last week, do you mean just in relation to Boston or a terrorist attack in general? I ran a race in SC last week with 40,000 people and there was a lot of National Guard on duty there. I was surprised to see them, but a friend pointed out a race would be a pretty effective way to hurt a ton of people packed into one area. I run about 4 races a year and have never though about it that way until then, and now.

  115. “I like how JPIII is so unoffensively pleasant and forgettable that nobody remembers which island it takes place on.”

    JP3 takes place on Site B even though it looks different than it did in The Lost World

    “Also Griff – when you say you had a sense of dread the last week, do you mean just in relation to Boston or a terrorist attack in general?”

    either a terrorist attack in general or another mass shooting

  116. I was thinking, did Jurassic Park in a weird way predict the future?

    no, I’m not talking about the specifics, the cloning and whatnot, what I’m talking about is in a more metaphorical sense, in the 1990’s there was a combination of several different things, the end of the Cold War, the beginning of the internet and other exciting new technologies, a Democrat President who never started any wars, all these things came together to create the first real sense of optimism and hope for the future in America in decades

    I was there, I remember it, there was this sense that humanity had largely figured shit out, that because we survived the Cold War without nuking ourselves we were well on our way to easy street, we were on the verge of the New Millennium and the future was bright, oh sure, there was crazies preaching that the New Millennium would bring the end of the world, but the only ones that took them seriously were the crazies themselves

    but then it all came crashing down (quite literally, I’m afraid), the Great Big Beautiful Tomorrow prmosied by the 90’s never came to fruition

  117. SHIT, I accidentally posted that too soon

    anyway, what does this have to do with Jurassic Park? well the movie came out in 1993, the same year that the internet debuted and “the 90’s” as a specific cultural period started to come out of the shadow of the 80’s and become it’s own thing and with it came that optimism

    well, in Jurassic Park these characters are whisked away to this theme park and shown the awe inspiring power of the technology of cloning, which along with Virtual Reality, was technology that the 90’s was absolutely convinced would be “The Next Big Thing” in the near future (and in reality has resulted in Jack Shit so far)

    but things go wrong thanks to a few assholes that have to ruin it for everybody and Jurassic Park goes to hell and the dream is crushed

    in the movie you’re left fantasizing about what an amazing place Jurassic Park would be if it was real and succeeded, just like people fantasized about how great the 2000’s were gonna be, but what Jurassic Park seems to be saying to the denizens of the 90’s is “this wont last, you may think things are gonna be great but you’re in for a nasty surprise”, there’s always reality ready to crash your party like a T-Rex breaking through the fence, there’s always things you failed to account for that ruin your best laid plans, it’s not the Raptor you’re focused on, it’s the one you didn’t even know was there….

  118. Generally I do not learn write-up on weblogs, however want to say that that write-up pretty required myself for you to do therefore! The way of writing has become shocked myself. Thanks a lot, quite great write-up.

  119. it’s absurd to say THE LOST WORLD is better than JURASSIC PARK, but THE LOST WORLD does still kick ass and I’ll be happy if more people realize that

  120. Well, the article doesn’t actually say that. The headline is just some absurd clickbait.

  121. I know, I remember when The AV Club didn’t have to resort to such things

  122. No matter how many ways people try to justify it’s existence and any merit it may have THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK will always be a piece of crap.

  123. JURASSIC WORLD trailer.


    Star-Lord leading a pack of Raptors on a motorcycle? My inner 8 year old just crapped his pants.

    Also I like how they feed Great White Sharks to their big dinosaur fish.

  124. Overall it’s a very satisfying movie, even if cloned dinosaurs aren’t real.

  125. Ok, so I finally watched the Jurassic World trailer and-FUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUCK! I just came.

    I’ve been waiting almost a decade for a fucking fourth Jurassic Park movie, it was one of the first things I looked up on imdb when I got my first laptop in 2006, I even remember having discussions with people about the idea that it should be set in a “new park” and hearing rumors that it would involve aquatic dinosaurs, now you’re telling me that all these years later it’s really happening? it’s so exciting it’s surreal.

    Hold on to your butts…

  126. JURASSIC WORLD trailer made me laugh unintentionally quite a few times. I also really hate that they decided to go with the bland muted color trend of color grading in blockbusters today. It looks like every other generic big budget movie today how exciting (sarcasm). I seen every JP movie on the big screen but I’m almost sure that tradition is finally dead. I’m definitely passing on this. Haven’t seen one trailer for any movie in 2015 that actually interests me in anyway. What a depressing outlook at least as far as big budget Hollywood fare is concerned anyway.

  127. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 29th, 2014 at 5:45 am

    Broddie – watch the Kingsman trailer then. And keep in mind the first people who saw it mentioned on twitter that there’s a Colin Firth action scene that’s like The Raid meets Braindead. That’s gotta be at least somewhat interesting, right?

  128. The Undefeated Gaul – My tremendous dislike for all Mark Millar movie adaptations has kept me from even bothering with that trailer altogether.

    Overall though I’m just done with nerd hyped movies and their promos all together. It’s a combination of sheer disappointment from movies like THE AVENGERS, MAN OF STEEL, INCEPTIONand THE DARK KNIGHT RISES. As well as finally entering my 30s and genuinely not giving a fuck anymore about a quarter of the things geeks on the internet collectively obsess about.

    Hell if it wasn’t for good old fashioned TV showing the trailers to me via local news I wouldn’t even have seen the trailers for new Jurassic Park and Star Wars cosplay.

  129. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 29th, 2014 at 11:18 am

    That sounds pretty bitter! I too am experiencing a general lack of interest in 80% of blockbusters right now, but stuff like John Wick, Kingsman, The Raid luckily still gets my blood flowing.

  130. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 29th, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Also, quite unexpectedly, Interstellar. But I know I’m in the minority there.

  131. It has nothing to do with being bitter. If I don’t like something I just don’t like it and promptly move on. I did see JOHN WICK as we’ll and quite enjoyed it.

    I’m just over keeping every other movie under the sun on my radar at this point in my life. I’ve been watching and going to the movies for almost 30 years now I think I’ve earned the right to that luxury. Especially when I have completely different sensibilities then the majority of moviegoing audiences today.

    Today’s blockbuster movie formula is just really not for me. Unlike alot of other people I just don’t lie to myself and am conscious of it. So I save myself time because time is something I now really value over everything else.

    I’m not a masochist so I’m not going to be torturing myself by wasting time with stuff that doesn’t interest me just because the rest of the world feels it’s the greatest thing in the world.

  132. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 29th, 2014 at 11:43 am

    I think all of that goes without saying. Obviously don’t watch stuff if it doesn’t interest you and hype is usually meaningless so just do your own thing. Everyone has that right, 30 yrs of movie watching experience or not. Anyways, hope you still enjoy some of the (non-blockbuster) gems that come out each year. I’ve got a feeling Kingsman is gonna be one of those for me next year.

  133. My problem with KINGSMAN is that I simply can’t shake off the suspicion, that Firth’s character will die before the mid point and we are left behind with that teenager for the rest of the movie.

  134. The Undefeated Gaul

    November 29th, 2014 at 1:30 pm

    Yeah, he probably will die, but if he gets enough fun stuff to do before then and his death is as emotional as Big Daddy’s in Kickass then I’m ok with it. I like that sort of thing as it raises the stakes nicely for the finale. Motherfucker you killed my boy Firth, now it’s ON. Cue epic final battle.

    Besides, according to twitter he has that The Raid/Braindead style action scene. Does he wield a lawnmower against an army of evil martial artists? I have no idea but I’m dying to find out what could prompt that description!

  135. I’ve read the comic. If it follows that somewhat faithfully (because I can see some more filmy changes in the adaptation), then no, Firth does not die before the midpoint.
    Millar film adaptations tend to have more sentiment in them than their source material, and especially in the case of what they did with Bid Daddy compared to his end in the comic, I can’t see them being that callous about Firth. Though I do worry about how the trailers are so Firth heavy that the supposed main character is possibly going to get marginalised. He doesn’t make nearly enough of an impression, so when the film actually asks him to carry the ball, the audience may not be that keen.

  136. “It has nothing to do with being bitter.”

    Uh huh, sure, just keep telling yourself that old man.

    But in fairness I’m pretty bored with modern blockbusters too, I’m more than likely done with the superheroes, MAN OF STEEL pretty much killed it for me, I saw the AVENGERS 2 trailer before INTERSTELLAR and was pretty “meh”, speaking as someone who was never a comic book guy the appeal of seeing superhero movies to a casual viewer was that it used to be a novelty, like “oh wow, a Spiderman MOVIE!? what’ll they think of next?”, but today it’s the most basic, boilerplate type of movie you can make, superheroes are to the modern day what westerns were to the ’50’s.

    And God no am I never gonna see any MAN OF STEEL follow ups.

    But JURASSIC PARK is near and dear to my heart, the VHS of it was in constant rotation when I was a kid, so you better believe I’ll see any movie of that franchise, I will admit that I’m a little worried about two things in JURASSIC WORLD, one are those kid actors, as we all know kids can easily be annoying in movies, so here’s hoping they’re more like the kids in the original movie and not like the completely unnecessarily daughter in THE LOST WORLD (a movie I otherwise love save for her character, who really did suck), but those irritating modern haircuts has me worried and then you have Chris Pratt as lone adventure man guy, this worries me a bit because prior movies in the series were more ensemble deals, so focusing on just one main character might make it feel less like a real JURASSIC PARK movie.

    And then you have the fact that the director’s only prior movie is some indie comedy, now the mother fucker’s gonna try to stand toe to toe with Spielberg? good luck (but hey GODZILLA 2014 had a similar situation and that turned out great).

    But all that aside the premise of the movie is so exciting, the idea of the park being open and successful before all hell breaks lose is brilliant and I like how different this park looks, it looks like something you’d see in Dubai, it looks believable (as a matter of fact you can see a Jimmy Buffet’s Margaritaville restaurant in the background in one part, which is a clever bit of realistic world building).

    So, all in all I’m excited, I’m sure it’ll at least be better than 3.

  137. It also pleases me to see JURASSIC PARK back in the public eye in general, for many years it kinda seemed to be in the “cult classic” camp, with only hardcore fans like me still caring, but now we got sweet validation!

  138. I just can’t wrap my mind around people going to this place after witnessing not just the events of San Diego on TV but having Dr. Grant and Dr. Malcolm’s respective books around as well. Not to mention any recounts of the events of part 3.

    Then again people are generally stupid so…

    I never got the bad rap part 3 gets. Sure it’s not as good as the original but neither was the second. Sure it doesn’t have anything as tense as the t-rex trailer scene but it doesn’t have any pretenses about being more than it actually is like TLW had either.

    I love the fact that it tries to be a pulpy and fast paced adventure like the b movies of yesteryear. It had some much needed fun reinjected back into It that TLW seemed to lack. I think the only truly stupid thing that grinds my gear is the satellite phone thing

  139. Whoops hit submit too early. But yeah the phone thing and island rescue bits were dumb. But so were bringing baby rex on board, killing captors with gymnastics and the whole San Diego sequence. Potato/potahtoe. Tomato/tomahtoe.

    At least it influenced the hilarious spinosaurus standing around like an idiot instead of chasing prey scene with the phone jingle. That was genuinely funnier than some Asians yelling Godzilla at the sight of a dino. Plus to counter that we had a pteranodon chase which was worth the price of admission alone. I wanted to see something like that since the original.

    Overall JP III is more fun and entertaining than TLW to me and neither is a pimple on the ass of JURASSIC PARK.

    If the new one is a fraction as entertaining as either of those then It might be worth a watch on cable. The trailer and the premise though make it seem wack to me. Doesn’t help that even though I enjoyed Lego the motion picture I don’t get the hype of this Chris Pratt guy either.

    I don’t watch NBC sitcoms since it hasn’t been the 90s for almost 20 years now. I’m also the only movie going on the planet who still hasn’t seen and never plans on seeing the Guardians movie. what I do know is that you could interchange him with Sam Worthington in that trailer and it would have the same effect. His character just seems generic and vanilla as hell. Definitely no Dr. Grant or Malcolm.

    Maybe he’s not the type of actor who should be playing It more straight or any serious characters maybe he should be playing more comedic types but it came across very inorganic in the few scenes we saw him in. That could pose a problem since he’s the lead similar to this year’s Godzilla actually.

    I don’t get comparing this New guy to Gareth Edwards. The movie he did prior to Godzilla had monster movie elements and themes that were also explored in Godzilla. There was precedent there you could tell from that movie why they would choose him to direct Godzilla. The Jurassic World guy on the other hand seems random as hell. its like Spielberg just chose the first name he could pull out of his beard because he needed a director to get this movie out of development hell.

    Best of luck to him though but yeah I’m pretty sure I’ll pass. Not the first time I pass on an entry in a franchise that I have enjoyed and it won’t be the last. That trailer just sucked to me. Sorry. Label it bitterness if you want because I understand people on the net especially have to label everything and everyone in order to sometimes deal with individual opinions that don’t match their own opinions but I’m just really indifferent about it.

    Then again I never asked for a new Jurassic Park or a new Star Wars etc.

  140. “His character just seems generic and vanilla as hell. Definitely no Dr. Grant or Malcolm.”

    I agree 100% with you there, it’s one of the things that worries me a bit about the movie, but you know, that’s just modern Hollywood for you, they rarely give much of a shit about the actual characters in movies anymore, I agree that GODZILLA suffered from bland main character syndrome but it still was not enough to ruin it for me because like I said, that’s most movies these days, it’s just something you have to accept.

    Anyway the big problem for me with 3 is there’s literally no story, kid gets lost on the island, they go look for him and get chased by dinos for a while and then they go home, that’s it, it’s insultingly brain-dead, like the laziest damn excuse they could have come up with just to have dinosaurs chase people for a while, not to mention the overall storyline of the series does not progress at all, it feels like a side-story at best.

    And even if they kept the same setup they could have at least done SOMETHING more than they did, remember when they find that abandoned lab? That would have been a perfect time to slow things down a little, to maybe explain what this lab is and what it was used for, because unless you’ve read the Michael Crichton novel (which I hadn’t the first time I saw it) you’ll have no idea what it’s deal is (and the story behind it is actually pretty interesting*), but no instead they just have a raptor pop out at Tea Leoni and they run off, never to even mention the lab again, it’s just so random and makes you go “huh?”

    But all that aside it does feature some pretty good action, especially the pteranodon chase you mentioned, so I don’t hate the movie, I just don’t love it either.

    *the deal with the lab according to The Lost World book is thus, it’s not only the place where they created the method for cloning dinosaurs, it’s also a “dinosaur factory” where they would have to create clone after clone until they got one without any birth defects, it was where the “dirty work” was done versus the lab on the park which was mainly for show, it’s a nice, creepy detail that offers a sinister vibe on the whole “fun family theme park” idea, kinda like reading about those underground tunnels in Disney World.

  141. In the bit at the start of the KINGSMAN trailer where Colin Firth says “I find spy movies all a bit dry and serious now, give me an over-the-top theatrical plot any day” my initial reaction was “fuck yeah!” Then I thought, wait a second, don’t we have a series of really over-the-top theatrical movies that top the Box Office every year? Still, it looks fun, although it’s one of the few movies I wish were PG-13 rather than R as I find the “edgy” Mark Miller stuff a bit tedious

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