It’s the 20th anniversary of Steven Spielberg’s last good film: Jurassic Park. Yes, it’s actually been that long since everyone’s favorite dino-sci-fi-adventure blockbuster hit screens. The VHS version—which is probably still the best way to watch it—followed an excruciating 15 months after its debut, and had kids cooped up inside their TV rooms for weeks. My own surviving tape is so warped from rewatchings that I hesitate to expose it to daylight anymore.
So, how are we marking the blessed occasion? First, to get into the mood, you should definitely take a “Journey to the Island,” John Williams style. My advice is to play this song with your eyes closed, and then imagine what your face looks like during it. If you’re human, it’ll put a gigantic grin on your face.
A perfect complement to this song, of course, is the immortal Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) laughing:
For those who want to dig deeper, there’s some fantastic fan art over at the blogDino-DNA, and reigning Jurassic Park expert Becky Ferreira, who has called the movie her “first religious experience,” tackles some errors as well as the philosophical brilliance of the piece. But as always, the true lesson here is quite simple: don’t get cheap on Dennis Nedry—that was Hammond’s mistake.
I love this. Out of all the absurdities presented in the Jurassic Park franchise, there is one bitter pill that is harder than any for genuine dinosaur experts to swallow. What they want to know is, Where the hell are the feathers?
Colin Trevorrow, director of Safety Not Guaranteed and the upcoming Jurassic Park 4, blithely tweeted that the new installment will continue to ignore the discovery that Velociraptors, for example, were covered in elaborate plumage. Even the T-Rex is supposed to have some feathers, apparently.
Those concerned with dino verisimilitude have been vocal in their insistence that the movies catch up with established science, and lament the existence of a middle America that would probably find feathered dinosaurs to be “totally gay.” Sorry dudes—I think the FX department is busy designing giant mounds of shit anyway.
There’s really not much you can do to influence the course of politics this week besides canvassing a neighborhood now intricately booby-trapped to keep away more canvassers. Time is up and yet you’re still here, waiting. Here are a few thought exercises to keep the mind off your ultimate powerlessness in matters of federal government.
For instance, what kind of dinosaur would make the best pet? Contrary to their depiction in the Jurassic Park franchise, I believe a velociraptor might work quite well. They’re not as big and fearsome as all that, though they’d be tough enough to act like watchdogs. And you could take them for runs in the park! Herbivore-wise, I’d go for a microceratops, only about five pounds and less than two feet tall, for the sheer ugly-cute factor. But there’s no wrong answer!
Or then, which would be scarier: blasting into the cold vacuum of space in a space shuttle or descending to the crushing blackness of the Mariana Trench in a little submersible. I say the ocean is way worse—to the best of our knowledge, space isn’t filled with creepy eyeless alien creatures. And, as a kid, I found The Abyss far more traumatizing than Apollo 13.
Finally, if you were a monarch of some kind, what title would they give you once you’d died? For me it’d probably be “Miles the Beneficently Bearded” or “Miles the Inhumane.” Go ahead, list some of yours! And think up some other thoughts to have, while you’re at it. I’m already back to tracking final state battleground polls.
If you’re like me, you spend your Friday evenings Googling Ryan Gosling. No, not because you think he’s the hottest person in the world (I would like to go on record as saying that Ryan Gosling is too perfect looking in the sense that he was probably an early Pixar creation), but because you are blogging on a Friday night. People love Gosling! So here is some news about Ryan Gosling. You’re welcome.
It’s an image from his new film The Place Behind the Pines, in which Gosling will most likely ride that motorcycle behind those trees and see what is behind them. Sounds riveting! It’s directed by the same guy who made Blue Valentine, the sad romance film that most of my friends who saw it collectively complained, “This movie was so depressing that I wanted to die.” (Paraphrasing.) It also features Bradley Cooper, who unlike Gosling, looks like he was merely hand-painted by the guys who are responsible for We’re Back, the animated flick in which savage dinosaurs are turned into compassionate, friendly dinosaurs by an alien voiced by Jay Leno. (I mean that as a compliment, because I think Bradley Cooper is super hot. I like to refer to his brand of hotness as “white trash in a suit.” Also, We’re Back is a great movie.)
Here’s a synopsis for Gosling’s new film:
Luke (Gosling) is a professional motorcycle rider who turns to bank robberies to support his newborn son, but when he crosses paths with a rookie police officer (Cooper) their violent confrontation spirals into a tense generational fued. THE PLACE BEYOND THE PINES is a rich dramatic thriller that traces the intersecting lives of fathers and sons, cops and robbers, heroes and villain.
Drive 2: Motorcycles has so many dichotomies! I can’t wait.