Rapid Review: The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997)

jurassic park the lost world poster“Okay, so there is another island of dinosaurs, no fences this time and you wanna send people in, very few people, on the ground? Right?”
– Dr Ian Malcolm

SYNOPSIS: With the apparent public discovery of the ‘Site B’ production island full of dinosaurs, John Hammond assembles a team to visit and document the area before it is exploited by others. Included in the four man team are Dr. Ian Malcolm and his girlfriend, Dr. Sarah Harding. When the team reaches the island, they soon discover the presence of another group of people. This new group however are not there for biological data but instead have something more sinister in mind. After a series of events, both groups become stranded when all their communication equipment is lost. It is then that the terror really begins as both groups scramble for their lives. – via IMDB

jurassic world t rex meets the city

GRADE 6.5Yes, I am aware I might catch some flak for this (but maybe not too much). Now, naturally when Jurassic Park is your predecessor, you have quite the big achievement to top. It is little wonder that, no matter how fun The Lost World is, it never hits the heights of the last one. Not that it is bad, it just cannot rival it. Anyway, to visit a new concept of an island with dinosaurs roaming freely was, of course, going to be a lot of fun. Pair that with the fact that you are bringing back the snarky Ian Malcolm, and you should have a winning recipe. You should, except that you threw in Julianne Moore’s Sarah Harding. A lot went downhill from there. What a bloody nuisance. There is no other way to look at her character at all. I mean, this is saying something because I really, really like Julianne Moore, but she worked on my nerves here. Goodness, she was silly and daft and just… no. Why?! Just, why?! A young Vince Vaughn was also entertaining, but despite all these things and a decent cast, things did not come together as well as one would hope. The movie feels like it never found its footing. Naturally a kid had to be dragged in here somewhere so that every kid in the world watching this had someone to identify with, which was great back in the day. However, now I am older and more grown up, and want to know exactly how the T-Rexes were convinced that they should just be patient, get baby, then strike back and toss them off the cliff? Not to mention (and I really, really need to know about this one) you have dinosaurs on Isla Sorna. They live there. They stay there. They won’t move. But you have flying species there, too, and no way to contain them on the island? How does this even make sense? It got a little out of  hand in places. Also, that ending felt very Man of Steel – it felt like it was over, setup for a new movie, but wait! There’s more! The T-Rex is taking the city! Oh well. Not the worst movie in the world but definitely not a highlight of Spielberg’s.

Rapid Review: Jurassic Park (1993)

jurassic park poster

“Yeah, yeah, but your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could that they didn’t stop to think if they should.”
– Dr Ian Malcolm

SYNOPSIS: Huge advancements in scientific technology have enabled a mogul to create an island full of living dinosaurs. John Hammond has invited four individuals, along with his two grandchildren, to join him at Jurassic Park. But will everything go according to plan? A park employee attempts to steal dinosaur embryos, critical security systems are shut down and it now becomes a race for survival with dinosaurs roaming freely over the island. – via IMDB

jurassic park

GRADE 8.5Ah, the joy, the love, this movie! I know you are all fans. Why? Because Jurassic Park. Do I need to elaborate? This was the things that dreams were made of as a kid. A dinosaur park? Count me in! Even if the T-Rex was on a munch mission, I still wanted to see it then, and I would still like to see it now, though I honestly don’t think I will be getting out of any vehicle, anywhere, and I won’t be travelling in something that is anything short of a tank. Why? That T-Rex. And anything that big. Any meatosaurus. I am not sticking around for that for longer than needs be. The raptors were also scary as hell, definitely dinosaurs to be afraid of to the nth degree. They are just too damn smart. Anyway, Jurassic Park is a right adventure, even with the kids all over the show. I thoroughly enjoyed Sam Neill here, his Alan Grant was just way cool. Then, of course, there was the rockstar Ian Malcolm, portrayed b y Jeff Goldblum. My biggest question? Why in the world did his chest need to be on full display for so long?! Other than that, he provided plenty laughs. There was Samuel L Jackson and his totally strange “hold on to your butts” line, and Richard Attenborough was a crazy old coot with huge, elaborate ideas that he certainly did not think through properly. Laura Dern was a very good Ellie – she was smart and worked hard, though goodness she could hanker after having kids! Besides that painfully obvious “she must be a woman” moments, she was sassy and she knew what she was doing, super capable and I liked that. Also, the way the entire concept was laid out in the beginning was great – concise, fast, let’s you know what’s happening without inundating you with an overkill of information, and then you are good to go. The deliberate setup worked wonders, too, because you really get involved with discovering this amazing new world with the crew. Jurassic Park is just magical. There is so much work that went into it, and it is extremely obvious, and it comes together well. The movie also holds up wonderfully 22 years later. Steven Spielberg just understands how to realise adventure movies, and this was no exception. It was fun and it was intense, because the movie is set up in such a way that you never really know if anyone is safe. There is so much tension and doubt about everything, which keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the dinosaurs themselves look fantastic so you very easily get sucked in and see how quickly they can go from fascinating to terrifying. John Williams scored this wonderfully, too, and his music just rounded this out, as his scores always do. They always contribute to the films they are in – always so super memorable. Obviously I really loved this, everything about it was fantastic – the concept, the implementation, the dinosaurs, the terrifying situations, all of it gives us an immensely fun and enjoyable adventure film.

Top Ten Steven Spielberg Films: Cinema Parrot Disco

I am so happy to host Table 9 Mutant from Cinema Parrot Disco today. Though she proclaims to be a procrastinator of note, she sent through an epic top ten. Table 9 Mutant runs a really neat little blog that you really should check out if you have not done so already, featuring the occasional book review, plenty of movies and top ten lists and a general amount of good fun. She also recently finished a seriously intense John Hughes blogathon. Head on over there, but check out her top ten list first!

Should you be interested in submitting a Top Ten list, draw up a list of either your top ten personal favourite movies or a top ten list by a specific genre/theme and send it along to me at sporadiczoe@hotmail.com. Hope to see a few more lists!

cpd

10. Catch Me If You Can

10

Fascinating story and excellent performances. I’d always known Leonardo DiCaprio was an underrated actor but, being the same age as him, it took until I saw this one for me to finally see him as a proper grown-up actor.

9. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind

MCDCLEN EC009

This one doesn’t seem to get the credit it deserves. The mashed potato mountain, the entire ending and, of course, those musical notes: Classic.

8. Always

CLH1.CA.OE.1025.Spielberg.O.1

My controversial choice, maybe. I don’t care. I LOVED this movie when it came out and watched it over and over. So romantic and full of quirky, loveable characters – why don’t more people like this one?

7. Schindler’s List

7

Truly a masterpiece but very hard to place in a list like this. It’s not, as I like to call it, a “multiple watcher” for me. Too tough to watch more than once, I can’t “love” it in the same way I do the rest on this list.

6. Jurassic Park

6

This was mind-blowing when it came out. And it still looks a hell of a lot better than some of the CGI nightmares they’re giving us these days. This movie is pure fun.

5. Indiana Jones and The Temple Of Doom

5

I love all the Indiana Jones movies and if this was my list with my usual rules (I like to cheat), I’d put the first three films together as one entry. But I better play fair on Zoë’s site! So here you have Temple Of Doom, that crazy and violent one with hearts being RIPPED out of chests and chilled monkey brains!

4. Jaws

4

Starts out a little slow (trust me – re-watch it) but when the three of them get on that boat to go find the shark, this becomes a true classic. And, come on – that MUSIC! John Williams is a genius. Which is why Spielberg uses him all the time, including for all of the films in this top ten I believe. Spielberg is a genius too but those John Williams scores are just as much to thank for his films becoming the classics that they are (I won’t go into this too much  – we’d be here all day!).

3. Indiana Jones and The Last Crusade

3

Fun fun fun! And I loved Harrison Ford & Sean Connery together in this. I’ve watched this film so many times!

2. Raiders Of The Lost Ark

2

The film that introduced us to one of the all-time best movie characters – Indiana Jones. Harrison Ford was so awesome (and sexy) as Indiana and we’ve not had “adventure” films like these since. Why can’t they make movies like this anymore??

1. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

1

Number one and two are so close and, to be honest, I changed them around a few times. I don’t know what to say about this one… Who hasn’t seen E.T.? Who doesn’t know the image of that flying bicycle with the moon behind it? Who doesn’t like this?!?! It’s the first film I ever saw in the theater more than once. (Oops – showing my age!) E.T., like Indiana Jones, is such a great character and just thinking about this movie never fails to make me smile. 🙂