Movie Quote of the Week – 4/21/17

Answer to MWL 4/19/17: Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) – Jurassic Park

Ian Malcolm: Don’t you see the danger, uh, John, inherent, in what you’re doing here? Genetic power is the most awesome force the planet has ever seen but you wield it like a kid that’s found his dad’s gun.
Donald Gennaro: It’s hardly appropriate to start hurling generalizations —
Ian: If I may? Um, I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to obtain it. You know, you read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had, you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunch box and now you’re selling it. You want to sell it!
John Hammond: I don’t think you’re giving us our due credit. Our scientists have done things which nobody has ever been done before.
Ian: Yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.

Thanks for everyone’s submissions and one piece of Jurassic Park merchandise to the following people for answering correctly:

Carl (Listening to Film)
Rob (Movierob)
Realm Reviews

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The Lost World: Jurassic Park Review

The Lost World: Jurassic Park movie posterSynopsis
When a British couple stumble upon Isla Sorna, another island filled with dinosaurs, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) sends Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), survivor of the incident at Jurassic Park four years prior, and a small team to photograph the dinosaurs in the natural habitat to rally support for the island’s isolation before Hammond’s nephew, Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard), can remove the dinosaurs from the island.

Review
It can be difficult to create a sequel to a movie that perfectly balances action, characterization and humor the way Jurassic Park does. It is even more unlikely to do so successfully with the most obnoxious character as the sequel’s main character. However, The Lost World: Jurassic Park somehow manages to be a decent follow-up by doing just that.

Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) was the character in Jurassic Park that you loved to hate. He is obnoxious but charismatic at the same time. I thought it was interesting that he was the main character in The Lost World. I almost would have expected Alan Grant, played by Sam Neill, to take the spotlight again. There was a sense of humor Goldblum brought to the character, but it is not as prevalent this time around. He still has his funny moments, with Goldblum’s signature humor, but not as much as before. It is clear the character has matured since the last movie.

In Jurassic Park, there was a moral to the story. However, this film tries too much to imitate that message but is unable to do so as strongly. Survival becomes a big part of the story and the movie begins to slip into B-level monster movie territory. It doesn’t make it quite that far, but it comes awfully close.

Every time I watch The Lost World, I forget that Vince Vaughn and Julianne Moore are in it. This movie doesn’t seem like their usual type of film but both do well in their parts. Goldblum was the comic relief in Jurassic Park, this time Richard Schiff has that responsibility. Too bad he didn’t stick around longer because some of his scenes were the most humorous of the film.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex didn’t get as much screen time as I would have expected in Jurassic Park after watching the trailer. Instead, the velocirapotors were the main dinosaurs. In The Lost World that is reversed. Velociraptors have one or two scenes in the middle of the movie but that’s it. Otherwise, the T-Rex is the main dinosaur focused on most in this movie. I really liked that because, after all, the T-Rex is the king of the lizards.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park takes the Jeff Goldblum, the comic relief from Jurassic Park, removes some of his humor and makes him the central character. Somehow this manages to work, if not by himself then with the cast around him, particularly Richard Schiff. This movie tries to have the same moral as the previous film, but begins to degrade into monster movie status when the story becomes about survival. The Tyrannosaurus Rex finally gets the spotlight and velociraptors, the main dinosaur in Jurassic Park, were relegated to only a few scenes. It may not be the perfect sequel, but The Lost World brought dinosaurs back on screen, so that’s something, right?

Rating
3.5/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Steven Spielberg – Director
David Koepp – Screenplay
Michael Critchton – Based on a novel by
John Williams – Composer

Jeff Goldblum – Ian Malcolm
Julianne Moore – Sarah Harding
Vince Vaughn – Nick Van Owen
Richard Schiff – Eddie Carr
Vanessa Lee Chester – Kelly Curtis
Pete Postlethwaite – Roland Tembo
Arliss Howard – Peter Ludlow
Peter Stormare – Dieter Stark
Harvey Jason – Ajay Sidhu
Thomas F. Duffy – Dr. Robert Burke
Richard Attenborough – John Hammond

Jurassic Park Review

Review #81

Jurassic Park movie posterSynopsis
Archeologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and archeobotonist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are invited by John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to visit Jurassic Park, Hammond’s unique prehistoric wildlife preserve, along with choatition Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and Hammond’s grandchildren (Joseph Mazello and Ariana Richards). When systems start failing across the park, Grant and the other guests must survive on an island where dinosaurs are roaming free and causing havoc on the island.

Review
Jurassic Park holds a special place in my heart. Not only because it was the first PG-13 movie my parents let me watch before I was 13 (rebellious, I know), but because it was one of the first movies I would watch over and over again. After viewing it more recently, I realized I had missed several of the finer points of the story when I was younger. I guess the kid in me just enjoyed watching dinosaurs come to life, like most young boys dream of. Even today that is one of my favorite parts about this movie, but now I appreciate more of the nuances of the story, as well as the fantasy of living dinosaurs.

At the time, computer-generated imagery (CGI) was still in it’s infancy. Several movies had dabbled with the it previously, but nothing really substantial. However, Jurassic Park completely embraced the up-and-coming technology, revolutionizing it, leading to the flashy and spectacular effects we see today in blockbusters like Avatar, The Avengers, Pacific Rim, and the recently delayed Jupiter Ascending. And despite being twenty years old, the effects don’t look dated. It looks almost as good as effects you would expect to see today. An amazing feat considering it is one of the earliest films to use CGI.

Before CGI became the predominant method for special effects, animatronics were used. I think this movie is a perfect example of how to use animatronics correctly, and is the pinnacle of the technology (which is funny considering it also ushered in the age of CGI). If the movie had been done completely with CGI, the dinosaurs would not have come life as well as they did. That is one of the reasons Steven Spielberg is my favorite director, because he understood how to use both CGI and animatronics side-by-side.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex is largely featured in the marketing for Jurassic Park. However, the “big baddies,” if you will, are the velociraptors. From the very first scene, literally, they are set up as smart, cunning, and dangerous. First, a worker gets pulled into the cage and eaten. Then Alan Grant (Sam Neill) talks about how they are pack hunters. Later, the characters go to the raptor cage and they discuss how “they don’t want to be fed, they want to hunt.” Then there is a break away from the velociraptors to focus on the T-Rex, but there is a mention about the character causing the power outages knowing not to shut down the power to the velociraptor cage. So finally, when the velociraptors appear on screen, it is well established how deadly they are. It was a fairly slow process, but it did well to establish the threat they possessed.

To me, a movie’s soundtrack and score is very important. It can almost tell you how to feel more than what is happening on screen can. John Williams, my all time favorite film composer, writes a great and memorable soundtrack. But honestly, what would you expect? Everything the man writes is fantastic. His score for Jurassic Park is up there as one of my favorite film scores. I mean, try not to become filled with emotion and wonder and awe when John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) says “Welcome to Jurassic Park” and Williams’ Jurassic Park theme starts playing. Go ahead, I dare you.

Some movies have one character who is just fun to hate. In this film, that would be Jeff Golblum’s Ian Malcolm. He’s annoying and obnoxious, but he has a charm to him that I don’t think many other actors other than Goldblum could portray so well.

One thing that surprised me about this movie is how funny it can be. It is by no means laugh out loud funny, but every now and then someone says something that made me smile or even chuckle a little. Even though it wasn’t much, this small amount of humor prevented Jurassic Park from becoming too serious or dark.

Here is your daily fun fact. Several times throughout the movie, Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards) refers to herself as a “hacker,” even correcting her brother (Joseph Mazello). Back in the day, the term “hacker” didn’t have the negative meaning it usually is said with today. Instead, it meant someone enjoyed exploring computers as a hobby. This included building, modifying, and creating either hardware or software or both. There is your little slice of knowledge for the day. Don’t say I never did anything for you.

Jurassic Park is special to me because it was one of the first movies I really go into. When I was younger, I enjoyed it because of the action and the fantasy of dinosaurs roaming the Earth once again. As I grew older, I started to appreciate it for the story as well. A mix of revolutionary CGI and amazing animatronics give this movie a unique look and feel, truly bringing prehistoric creatures back to life. From the beginning, velociraptors are set up as a dangerous threat, so when they are finally shown on screen, the danger they pose has already been established. John Williams’ Jurassic Park theme is very emotional and one of my favorite movie scores. Although not laugh out loud funny, there is still humor throughout the film that prevents the movie from slipping into a dark tone. No matter how old I get, I will never lose the sense of wonder I felt when I first watched Jurassic Park and believing that, despite this being a piece of fiction, dinosaurs once again roamed the Earth.

Rating
5/5

Trailer

Cast & Crew
Steven Spielberg – Director
Michael Crichton – Screenplay / Novel
David Koepp – Screenplay
John Williams – Composer

Sam Neill – Dr. Alan Grant
Laura Dern – Dr. Ellie Sattler
Jeff Goldblum – Dr. Ian Malcolm
Richard Attenborough – John Hammond
Bob Peck – Robert Muldoon
Martin Ferrero – Donald Gennaro
Joseph Mazello – Tim Murphy
Ariana Richards – Lex Murphy
Samuel L. Jackson – Ray Arnold
Wayne Knight – Dennis Nedry