First Man Opinion — Standing on the Shoulders of Giants

When I was in college, I worked at the United States Space Academy. It was an amazing experience. I grew up fascinated with space and science. I literally cried when my parents dragged me out of the Space and Rocket Center after our first, and only, visit. Years later, when I got to work there, it was rewarding to have the opportunity to help young children experience the joy and wonder I had when I was their age.

Obviously I’ve never flown in space, but I understand better than most the incredible technical hurdles it took getting to the moon. I’ve studied math, physics, and history, and the history of space exploration in depth. There is no doubt that the United States of America achieved something wholly remarkable when Neil and Buzz landed on the moon. But it is truly an epic achievement by all humanity. The USA would have never achieved all they did, in the time they did, if it wasn’t for the German engineers that came to America after WWII. Those engineers would have never come to the USA had the Allies not defeated Germany.  And the Allies couldn’t have defeated the Axis powers if not for the sacrifices of the British people early in the war, and more so the Russian people throughout, who sadly endured horrors that are hardly acknowledged today.

How could anyone land on the moon without radio communications — invented by an Italian? How could they navigate to the moon without calculus — invented by an Englishman and a German? (Note: Newton did it first; Leibniz did it better.) Without Modern Analytic Geometry — invented by the Frenchmen René Descartes and Pierre de Fermat — Newton and Leibniz wouldn’t have the tools to invent calculus in the first place.

As Newton said, If I have seen farther, it is only because I stood on the shoulders of giants. The United States of America finished a long endurance race that began millennia ago when a group of hominids — Homo erectus — discovered that putting meat and vegetables in fire made them more palatable and, unknowingly, more nutritious. Without that discovery, the moon would be nothing more than a bright source of light for a week out of the month to a bunch of bipedal hominids who don’t know what a month is.

The night before Apollo 11 returned to Earth Neil Armstrong signed off by saying:

The responsibility for this flight lies first with history and with the giants of science who have preceded this effort; next with the American people, who have, through their will, indicated their desire; next with four administrations and their Congresses, for implementing that will; and then, with the agency and industry teams that built our spacecraft, the Saturn, the Columbia, the Eagle, and the little EMU, the spacesuit and backpack that was our small spacecraft out on the lunar surface. We would like to give special thanks to all those Americans who built the spacecraft; who did the construction, design, the tests, and put their hearts and all their abilities into those craft. To those people tonight, we give a special thank you, and to all the other people that are listening and watching tonight, God bless you. Good night from Apollo 11.

Apollo 11 Trivia Quiz

Where’s the American Flag in First Man?

Movie Review – First Man

Creator of RunPee. Aspiring author.

Movie Review – The House With A Clock In Its Walls

I wish this film was better. It started out lively, with some nice funky humor for a while. There were good production values throughout. Unfortunately, the story went downhill fast at the middle mark, and became a dreadful muddle by the end. I watched the children in the theater to make sure it wasn’t just me, and yup…the kids were bouncing around, completely bored, even during the climax. Bummer.

Here’s my thinking: it’s not Harry Potter, folks. Don’t toss your money away to see this in the theater. The kid is decent enough (he gives the erratic script a real go), but he’s hampered by the adult actors at every turn, and sadly, the work of the other children as well. The “Turby” stuff went nowhere — a pity.

Jack Black has a few good moments in the beginning, but this isn’t his best work (although there’s few movies he’s impressed me in, granted — Jumanji 2 being the exception). Why is this man getting work? His comedic timing is just strange. That works, somewhat, in the early stages of this wacky, kiddie horror house movie. Then the plot gets…well…”stupid” (that’s the only word that fits), as the story ineffectually tries to escalate the jeopardy. The “stupid ball” is passed around a lot in the finale.

Between the increasingly weird script and missed narrative opportunities, I can only say, “WTF were the writers thinking? Who greenlit this garbage? And why was a chair the best character?”

Even Cate Blanchett couldn’t elevate the lackluster material presented. How did she decide to throw her lot in with this? Did she hope to become the next Professor McGonagle? (Harry Potter reference, again, but Blanchett must’ve badly misjudged this.)

I really, really don’t know what happened here. It’s ultimately a movie mess that started out quite nicely. I’m grading it in the (low) C range and not worse, because it looked pretty, and had early potential with the surreal atmosphere,  incessant ticking clocks, and creepy toys. There was enough goodwill to carry the audience for part of the show. But by the time the pumpkins started puking,  I had to give up. Give this film a firm pass. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Movie Grade: C-

About the Peetimes: Here are 3 good, long Peetimes, spaced well thru the film. This was easy to get Peetimes for, since a lot of the exposition is either repeated, or provides plot points that kind of peter out, storywise. 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Jurassic Park Ride Goes Extinct

I kind of cried a little on this ride. Yeah, GEEK here.

I got to return to the CA Universal’s Jurassic Park ride this summer, before it closed, not knowing it was on its way out. The ride, yes, felt old and needed refreshing (many of the dinosaurs weren’t moving anymore),  but it was still a joyous experience. I even wrote it up on RunPee. I guess I should mention that it’s officially closed now, and being updated as a Jurassic World ride. Due…2019?

It was a great ride when fresh and new. I was in my 20s when I got to try it, and it was a dream experience; just spectacular. So I got to try it both new and at the very, very end of its lifespan. The flume fall, in particular,  was…um…actually breathtaking, and it totally held up, decades later.  It was longer than anything else I’d experienced on a drop, and you really feel it — it’s like “Wait, we are still falling….?!” YIKES! Loved it.

I really did, though the ride seriously needed updating. Now I wonder where they will take the ride’s narrative: Isla Nublar is no more. (Did you see Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom? Um, spoiler, sorry.)

So, what now? Maybe the new ride will showcase Jurassic World as a functioning park at first, with happy herbivores surrounding the boat, and then take the ride through the volcanic eruption…ending up with Isla Nublar dying from the volcanic event…including the sad Brachiosaur moaning while the boat pulls away from the dock, engulfed in the pyroclastic explosion. That was the best moment of JW2. So sad: I kind of cried a little there.  🙁  Good storytelling. 

The big flume drop could be re-worked as the moment Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady & company plummet to the sea, escaping the cataclysmic events. That’s my prediction. It would ROCK. It would put us right in the tumultuous moment.  What say you? This could be a great upgrade, like how Disney’s  Pirates of the Caribbean included Captain Jack Sparrow in the “new” narrative.

Anyway. Here’s the USA Today article, announcing/updating the ride’s demise. People from all over lined up to experience’s the ride’s final moments. That’s a great testament to Steven Spielberg’s original movie, the best of the series. So long, Rexie.

Here’s the Ride Review article from earlier this summer: Jurassic Park Ride at Universal Studios

Also On RunPee.com: 

Jurassic Park – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park: The Lost World – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park 3 – Movie Rewatch Attempt Number One

The Jurassic Park Movies Poll

Jurassic World Movie Review

Jurassic World Movie References

Movie Review: Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, Missed Opportunities

Everything Wrong With the Jurassic Movies (All the You Tube videos in one place)

Movie Rewatch Review – Jurassic Park III

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Star Trek Movies Lose Both Chrises

He's dead. Jim.
Chris Pine, boldly going.

Paramount’s rebooted Star Trek movie franchise has a Chris Crisis. Or maybe we should call this A Tale of Two Chrises. 

As of this week, the current Trek feature films lost both of their actors named Chris — as in Pine (James T. Kirk) and Hemsworth (James T. Kirk’s late father George).  Both men reportedly walked after a breakdown in salary negotiations.

While the Kelvin Timeline can probably get by without Chris Hemworth’s contribution (Papa Kirk died in the teaser to the first rebooted film), it’s hard to imagine new Trek without Pine as Jim. It seems too early in the series, with only three prior flicks, to recast or totally remove the famous Captain Kirk role.

The upcoming 4th film was supposed to be about the Kirk family father and son dynamic (possibly through flashbacks, multiple universes, or time-travel).

The world also lost Anton Yelchin — the new Pavel Chekov — after the 3rd Trek film, in 2016 when the actor sadly died. This still leaves a robust supporting cast, but no Captain. What to do? Stop the new series entirely? Reimagine the character lineup with Spock as the new Captain? Hire a new actor to play Jim Kirk?

We’re looking at a science fiction universe full of canonized fantastical events, so the universe knows no bounds in explaining away anything unusual, story-wise.

—–

Here are five easy ideas to keep the Enterprise flying:

  1. Shelve the upcoming storyline for Film 4, and find a way to re-hire both actors for the subsequent 5th film, utilizing said father-son plot. Make current 4th movie a small story about something non-Kirky, and explain his absence by saying he’s on a Federation mission, elsewhere in deep space.
  2. Suck it up and hire a new actor for the role. It won’t be any worse than suddenly having a new Dumbledore in the Harry Potter films, or switching out The Oracle in The Matrix Trilogy.
  3. Promote Zachary Quinto’s Spock to Captain and focus on the remaining  ensemble, rather than making these movies the Kirk & Spock Show. They’ve got some good actors in Karl Urban, Simon Pegg, John Cho, and Zoe Saldana: they should use them.
  4. Try jumping in time a bit to tell stories of Captain Sulu on the USS Excelsior, which is known as a definite thing in the Prime Timeline, and could sustain all kinds of narratives. Bring along any of the current cast who are game for a new role on the new ship.
  5. Skip a generation completely by recasting/rebooting one of the “modern Treks” like The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, or Voyager. With the recently  announced CBS television Trek showcase for Patrick Stewart’s Jean-Luc Picard, there might be renewed interest in a fresh young ensemble, set in the 24th century.

It can’t happen, since Pine is a current actor in the DC Extended Universe (attached to Wonder Woman), but I’d love it if Hemsworth told Pine not to stress about pay talks for Star Trek, because he could just leapfrog over to the Marvel world.  It’s not possible because actors apparently can’t be both DCEU and MCU cast members, but it would be just darn cool for Marvel to “own” all four superhero Chrises:  Hemsworth, Evans, Pratt, and now Pine.

Sir Patrick Stewart Back as the Beloved Jean-Luc Picard in New Star Trek

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Star Trek Characters We Will Probably See Again

Engage!

Sir Patrick Stewart, in an emotional surprise speech this month at the  2018 Las Vegas Star Trek Convention, announced that Jean-Luc Picard is back. CBS, on their All-Access subscription streaming channel, will be gifting us a new Star Trek show centered around the beloved Picard character. It’s set to premier in the fall of 2019, to appear roughly 20 years after the end of Star Trek IV: Nemesis.

Some actors from previous Trek incarnations are still quite active and energetic about their characters and involvement in Star Trek as a whole, on many forms of media. When we look into the future of the 24th century, I’m positive there will be more than one familiar face as either cameos, regular guest appearances, or even as full-fledged cast members. In fact, CBS will probably have to beat these actors off with Klingon Pain Sticks. There are a lot of characters to choose from who could conceivably be still alive and around.

I’ve got my theories on who we’ll see again. I’m basing this list of who’s been continually active in this (or any closely-related) franchise.To the list!

Characters from Star Trek that will probably appear in the as yet unnamed Jean-Luc Picard series:

  • Jean-Luc Picard. Naturally. It’s his show. But it’s super doubtful he’s still a Captain, or even anywhere near the flagship Enterprise. In The Next Generation (TNG) series finale, Picard went on to be a Federation Ambassador, a role the ever diplomatic, passionate, and suited-for-speechifying Picard seems born to play. While the future events seen in All Good Things never came to pass, I’m going to go on a short limb and say Picard is more likely now an ambassador than an admiral (he doesn’t seem to like very many of the admirals we’ve seen), an archaeologist (one of his lifelong hobbies), or something random, like an underground radical (unlike Spock, in TNG’s Reunification).
  • William Riker. Jonathan Frakes LOVES Star Trek. His TNG character kept on coming, in the TNG feature films, as Tom Riker in Deep Space 9, and as his original role in  Enterprise’s finale (and name-dropped by wife Deanna Troi in Voyager). Frakes also directed a lot of Trek, is STILL directing Trek (for the CBS all-access show ST: Discovery) and even episodes of fan favorite TNG expy The Orville.  No way will Riker not be in this.
  • Deanna Troi. Marina Sirtis, of TNG, appeared in the feature films, was a frequent regular on Voyagerand will probably appear with Riker.
  • Reginald Barclay.  Lt. Barclay, ostensibly a TNG character, was on Voyager enough times to be an honorary member of that crew. Actually, the crew DID nominate him for that role. Last we saw, Reg was working on the Pathfinder Project, although if Voyager series finale Endgame is to be believed (in an alternate timeline), he’s now a teacher at Starfleet.
  • Worf. Michael Dorn played his stoic Klingon as a full cast member on bothTNG and Deep Space 9, and in the trek movies. He’s racked up more episodes in Star Trek than any one actor in the entire franchise. Of course, he’s been off the map since DS9 ended, but one can hope the Klingon Ambassador is still around.
  • Geordi LaForge.  Aside from the films, I’m basing this on TNG engineer Levar Burton’s one captaining guest role he played on Voyager’s fine episode Timeless, and his directorial interests. I bet he turns back up as that captain.
  • Kathryn Janeway. All I have for hope on the Voyager Captain (Kate Mulgrew) showing up is her fun little cameo in the otherwise awful Nemesis, but she was an admiral then, and could still be one.
  • Tuvok. Not only has Tim Russ had multiple roles in Trek, but he’s returned to his Voyager Vulcan roots in several fan spinoffs online.  He’s clearly still interested.
  • Q. John deLancie reprised his awesome TNG regular Q on Deep Space 9 and Voyager, as well as appearing in several online fan Trek shows.
  • The Doctor. The talented Robert Picardo could bring his Voyager hologram back anytime. He had a role on The Orville last fall, which shows he’s still interested in Trek-like work.
  • Wesley Crusher.  Wil Wheaton is still young, and the actor is both an internet celebrity and a regular on the very popular, long-running, geek-oriented show The Big Bang Theory (as a version of himself). The character himself might be still wandering through space and time, as we saw him last in TNG’s Journey’s End, but that even makes things easier: he travels as easily as a thought. Literally. He saw Picard as a father figure, so there could be stories to mine.
  • Data/B4. Brent Spiner made an appearance on Enterprise as his own creator’s ancestor, and played himself on The Big Bang Theory. While Data himself is dead (if you accept Nemesis as canon), early “Data” version B4 could still be traveling with Picard, maybe as his attache or something. B4 might even be just like Data by now, and for all purposes BE Data. Okay, please?

Less Likely:  Characters from The Original Series and Enterprise

Could anyone from The Original Series pop in? The problem here is that 1. said characters would have to be alive and long-lived, and 2. their actors would need to still be alive and in good health. This counts just about everyone out, in one form or another, unless we use flashblacks, time-travel, or other well-worn sci-fi tropes. Sulu is a possibility if we go with one of those (George Takei had a well-received flashback episode on Voyager — named, appropriately, Flashback — and is a very active on the internet celebrity). There is also Chekov (although Walter Koenig has been conspicuous in his acting absence).  William Shatner’s Kirk is long dead, though the actor remains hale and is still acting, so….maybe? Note: I’m going to use the Prime Timeline-verse here. That would  muddy up the spaceways too much.

It’s even less likely we’ll have anyone from Enterprise on the new show, since their timeline is set even earlier than TOS. However, as these actors would be younger than anyone from TOS, TNG, DS9, or VOY, a flashback/time travel appearance could surprise us. One problem is that Enterprise is the least-loved, least watched show of all the old Treks, and producers probably want to sweep the memory of this one under the carpet.

What about Star Trek: Discovery?

This brings us to the much-derided Star Trek: Discovery. Even a die hard Trek fan like me won’t watch this show. I caught the free first episode on television, and HATED it. Nothing I heard since seems good: it’s still dark, it’s still weird, and it doesn’t feel anything like the Star Trek we know. But since it’s going to be playing concurrently with Picard’s show, CBS showrunners will probably create a cross-over anyway.

Star Trek Movies Lose Both Chrises

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Everything Wrong With The Jurassic Movies (YouTube series)

YouTube has some ongoing series related to movies that are so clever and fun, like the Honest Trailers, or How It Should Have Ended. Here we have the Everything Wrong With shorts (each about 15 minutes). These are funny and insightful, and if some of the nits they pick are petty, even they admit some movies just don’t have much that went wrong. Like in the original Jurassic Park film — a classic that still holds up after all this time. (In our RunPee Rewatch, we gave it a rare A+).

In one place now, enjoy the whole Jurassic oeuvre and have a good-hearted laugh at What Went Wrong.

See, here, the first JP “Everything Wrong With” is only 3 minutes long (contrast with the 15 minutes for JP III). Not even these guys could pick a lot of fights with this truly good film:

With Jeff Goldblum headlining the show for The Lost World, the movie should have been a lot funnier. But it’s still the 2nd  best Jurassic film, and the plot mostly hold it together with a coherent story, super gymnastic dino fighting powers aside:

In this third movie, JP III, everything went wrong, and it killed off the series for about 15 years:

Jurassic World reinvigorated the franchise by going back to basics and hiring Chris Pratt, who brings a vitality and casual humor to everything he does:

For comparison, there’s also a Everything Great in Jurassic World.

Since the Everything Wrong guys haven’t released their video for Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom yet, this will do for now:

(SPOILERS FROM HERE ON IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN FALLEN KINGDOM)

And for a bonus video, can you name every dinosaur that escaped in the end of Fallen Kingdom?

I nabbed them all. (But then, my nickname could have been DinoGeekGirl.) Which dinosaurs did you recognize?

 

 

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Rewatch Review – Jurassic Park III

I finally  made the effort to rewatch Jurassic Park III – something always came up to distract me, and I’m easily distracted if I don’t want to see the movie in question. But I’m glad I did it: the movie isn’t so bad once you’re aware of the retched parts.

It’s like rewatching Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. I know Jar Jar and midiclorians are going to bother me. So I just ignore those things and enjoy what’s nice, like the Pod Race, or anything with Qui-Gon Jinn, and the Duel of the Fates lightsaber battle. Anyway. Back to Jurassic Park 3. (See — distracted even now.)

Jurassic Park 3 is an acceptable offering in the series, as long as one acknowledges the really annoying things, like Alan Grant’s little raptor daydream (“Alan”), and the constant yelling the humans do on Isla Sorna. Way to hide from mega predators, guys. Sheesh. They all yell, except Grant (who knows better but no one listens to him). Tea Leoni is the worst, and I feel bad that she had this terribly scripted character to work with. She’s a decent actress, normally. But her presence in this movie marks the series’ nadir…at least she didn’t come to the island in high heels (Hi there, Bryce Dallas Howard).

One thing I totally forgot in JP3 is that this all takes place on Isla Sorna. I thought it was another excursion on Isla Nublar. So this isn’t the T-Rex from the first film: it’s one of the three from The Lost World. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s the juvenile T-Rex, all grown up, who got a taste for human flesh from that dumb villain (who’s name I can’t be bothered with), the one who ran InGen — remember, he was hobbled by the San Diego T-Rex to teach her baby how to hunt.

In any case, this T-Rex, as usual for EVERY Jurassic film, saves the humans by fighting another threat. Seriously. Watch every film in the 5 we have so far, and notice how Rexie saves the day. In this case, she/he fights the Spinosaurus, and dies, which is sad. I like the T-Rexes. They act more like animals than monsters, which is another “bone” (haha) I have to pick with this series. What makes an animal aggressive?

Several things. Hunger. The desire to protect resources/territory or fend off invaders. Protection of their young. To fight potential rivals to their mates. And that’s really it. If you aren’t a threat, and you leave sated large predators alone, they won’t hunt you. This isn’t Godzilla, after all.

In the African Savannah, prey animals can freely walk by a sated lion. Said lion only needs to hunt a few times a week. I don’t know how much dinosaurs need to feed, but I’m going to say that a nice meal should be plenty for awhile for these types of barely warm-blooded species.

And speaking of the Spinosaurus, I don’t know who would win in a fight. They seem evenly matched to me. This video addresses the issue. (I’m Team T-Rex, BTW. He’s much smarter, despite the ridiculous arms.)

Something I did like from the film was the Carnosaurus cameo. While the humans were sticking their arms in gigantic steaming piles of poo, the Carnosaur, who looked ready to attack the humans, sniffs the Spinosaur scat and just…walks away. He knew better than to hang around the Spinosaur’s habitat. That was a nice touch.

What wasn’t good, besides all the yelling, was the satellite  phone. Holy hell. This phone can take being eaten, sitting in digestive fluids, and is workable on the other side of the gastric tube. Not to mention that the kid could hear it ringing while inside the Spinosaur. What kind of magical phone is this? I want one. Also –they hear the phone jingle, but not the footstomps of this 9 ton predator? The movies established that we hear and FEEL the movements of the largest sauropods and theropods. This is yet another nit to not pick, to enjoy the film at all.

So, since this is Isla Sorna, and not the Isla Nublar from three of the five other films, we can assume that there are still dinosaurs on this island, even if (SPOILER) Isla Nublar exploded in Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. I think the Jurassic World films conveniently forgot about the second island. Things would have been simpler to remember Site B when Fallen Kingdom came around. Continuity can be fun!

What else is notable? It features yet another divorced couple who see each each other in a new light after running for their lives. It has the “dashing” Billy, who I suppose was intended to be a popular character. He’s like a really roughly sketched version of Chris Pratt’s Owen Grady from the Jurassic World films, and not a touch as good.

The ending had pterodactyls flying over the ocean, presumably to the mainland. So…we’ve seen this referenced in several of the films now. And it’s not until Jurassic World 2 that something comes of it. Continuity, people!

Alrighty. Good things from JP3, and there are surprisingly quite a few:

  • Some of the Velociraptors had feathers, which was a nice touch if you know that some of these Oviraptors went on to become birds.
  • Although the Spinosaurus followed the humans across the entire island like a rabid dog, it still acted like an animal and not Godzilla. (We can save that strange behavior for the engineered creatures in the Jurassic World films.)
  • The scene with the embryonic dino incubators was an homage to Aliens, especially with the raptor looking through the tube, giving everyone (and the audience) a well deserved scare.
  • The Hadrosaur running scene was a fun callback. (“They’re flocking this way!”)
  • The obligatory kid was smarter than any of the adults: he survived alone on the island for 8 weeks. He was almost better off not being saved. And how he acquired T-Rex urine? “Better off not knowing.” Heh. One can only imagine.
  • Alan Grant still doesn’t like Ian Malcolm. (“Did you read his book?” “It was kind of preachy.” And Grant sits back, satisfied. That moment kind of completes his arc. )
  • The raptors were smart enough to set a trap for the humans. The implications of this are disturbing, in a good way. (“Clever girl.”)
  • The best scene, by far, was the set-piece in the misty and unstable Aviary. I still get chills from it. It has all the great atmosphere of the best scenes in this series, with a genuine sense of growing suspense, dread, and horror. What an amazing scene. I appreciated that this was a leftover passage from the first Jurassic Park book, as was the ‘jungle cruise’ segment. It’s not a surprise that the better scenes were the ones originally penned by Michael Crichton.
  • They included a scene with some downtime: namely, the conversation in the water truck with Grant and Eric (the kid). All the better movies have these little scenes where the characters catch their breath, since it gives us, the audience, the chance to do so as well. Plucking at our adrenaline strings for two hours makes for an exhausting film experience.
  • The Astronomers vs Astronauts conversation reminded me of Angel’s (the vampire TV series) running conversation about Cavemen vs Spacemen. Probably not a real homage, but: cool.
  • There is one stirring, magical scene, when the little boat goes by a peaceful pasture of herbivorous sauropods co-existing. The familiar musical theme from John Williams swells, and we feel transported. I’m happy the film had that moment.
  • The odd juxtaposition of Barney the Purple Dinosaur on television, while Ellie’s toddler clutches the phone  — with people dying from actual dinosaurs.
  • Cool early use of a 3-D printer, making a raptor vocal organ. And nice callback  use of said organ later.

Well, that’s a decent list of good things from a really poor movie. But I might be grading on a curve, since I love dinosaurs and the original Jurassic Park. After seeing five of these films, I can safely say this one is the worst, but has definite watchable elements. It’s worth viewing for those, if you can ignore the stupidity of humans blundering and yelling about in the brush, ostensibly trying to hide from very large predators. The shouting goes on the entire movie, and only Grant never once gives in to the impulse. He’s not an idiot.

At least, not as completely an idiot. He should have kept to his instincts and not gone to Isla Sorna in the first place.

Movie Rewatch Grade: C

Here’s a fun look at JP3 by Honest Trailers – It’s kind of better than the actual film: 

RunPee’s Jurassic Movie Reviews: 

Jurassic Park – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park at Universal Studios: Ride Review

Jurassic Park: The Lost World – Movie Rewatch Review

Jurassic Park 3 – Movie Rewatch Attempt Number One

The Jurassic Park Movies Poll

Jurassic World Movie Review

Jurassic World Movie References

Movie Review: Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World – Fallen Kingdom, Missed Opportunities

Everything Wrong With the Jurassic Movies (All the You Tube videos in one place)

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Rewatch Attempt – Jurassic Park III

Known and reviled by most as the “worst Jurassic movie,” I sit here and wait for a for Jurassic Park III rewatch at the most dinosaur-themed brewpub I’ve ever seen, The Bronto Meadery in San Diego. Bronto Meadery is hosting a  viewing all four Jurassic movies before Fallen Kingdom weekend hits the US, drinking handcrafted mead, and enjoying dinogeek fellowship. (I recommend the Pure Bronto, if you get a chance to sample the mead.)

JP III is the one with the Spinosaurus and the telephone, if you forgot which one this is.

What’s good: Dr. Alan Grant is back, and so is Dr. Ellie Sattler. They do a  decent job. Nothing great, but they show up and try to act a little, more (Grant) or less (Sattler). Also good: the Aviary Scene, which is a callback passage from the first Michael Critchon novel that didn’t make it into the first movie. Also, the kid in this one isn’t annoying — a definite plus.

What’s terrible: Tea Leone. Her character screams and squeals her way across Isla Nublar, attracting every predator in range, warm blooded or cold. I have a hard time getting past that. These guys should have died in the first ten minutes. And the director should have made the Grant character smack her upside the head.

What else it lacked? Any sense of magic, or wonder, or fun. This is the movie that killed the franchise for a long, long time.

The Bronto Brew didn’t manage to get the movie up and playing, so I had to write this short blurb based on some old memories. I downloaded the film and will watch it as soon as I can, and post a legit rewatch soon. In the meantime, tell me what you thought of the (now) 5 Jurassic films, and which ones stood out in a good or bad way.

Movie Grade: C-

 

More on RunPee.com: 

The Real, Complete Re-Watch Review for Jurassic Park III (with fun bonus videos)

Review of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom

Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Missed

Or click here to read everything we’ve written about the Jurassic movies. RunPee loves science. Even bad science, because it’s fun to pick those apart.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Welcome to Jurassic Poll…

Lots of Dinosaur action this week. I’m getting ready for my Jurassic World Double Feature on Thursday (all Thursdays are movie nights here at RunPee...) Here’s a poll of the state of dinosauria in Twitterland. Poll results will drop in when the time limit is up, but feel free to head to Twitter and add your POV.

NOTE: Poll is complete. Notice how not one vote appeared for Jurassic Park III. I can’t say I’m surprised.

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.

Movie Rewatch: Jurassic Park – The Lost World

While enjoying a lovely pint of hand crafted mead at the San Diego Bronto Brew Meadery, I got to view a free social rewatch of the entire Jurassic oeuvre. With Jurassic World 2: Fallen Kingdom opening in the US this week, that’s five fun movies. Or, well, some fun movies and one that sucked (Hi, JP III).

While it’s got it’s detractors, The Lost World is a decent film, the second best in the series. It has a real plot that’s explored organically, with good characterizations, and some intensely riveting dino action.   Its main problem is that it can never be as tightly gripping or simply magical as the original. And it still has the goofy kid sequences that plague the franchise. But let’s talk about what we liked.

How about that RV scene? You know the one. Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum, playing Jeff Goldblum), not quite as dead as supposed, talks about the running and the screaming to follow. He’s in that turbo-charged Tech RV ( I WANT ONE) that a T-Rex couple industriously push off the side of a cliff. The humans did, as humans do, something incredibly stupid with the baby T-Rex, and now the parents need to rid their territory of the pesky people, in the most dramatic way possible.

The scene where Sarah lands on the RV window above the crashing coast is the singular iconic moment  in The Lost World. Never mind that someone with her education makes every  mistake from the Megafauna 101 class…at that moment, we’re with her,  holding our collective breaths, as the glass cracks spider outward. Brrr. Good scene. Silly stuff aside (these guys can’t hold that wet, muddy rope in their bare hands, much less

climb it, but whatever), it’s a stirring sequence. When poor Toby from the West Wing dies horribly we wince, and then cheer when the previously antagonist hunters lends their literal hands to save our guys. It’s all the people against the dinosaurs from this point on. 

There are chases, there are deaths. The chicken-sized Compys strike back against an arrogant human, and our unfortunate paleontologist dies a nasty death, somewhere between a snake bite, a waterfall, and one big set of jaws.

Things go pretty good, story-wise, introducing the Raptor area (cool shots of humans being hunted in the tall grass)…and then things start getting wacky. The gymnastics scene is obviously nuts, but the worst offense of The Lost World are the scenes on the ship and in San Diego.

One: If the T-Rex is still contained in the cargo bay, how come the bridge crew was eaten? No matter how many times I watch this, I still don’t understand how we’re supposed to believe this happened. There’s a hand gripping the steering wheel and no body…all while the large animal in question is contained. Below decks. Is there an invisible Raptor onboard?

There’s a scene showing how the T-Rex breaks out of containment after the ship crashes, and goes looking for drinking water (a pool) and food (poor doggy). I live in San Diego, and I don’t think they bothered to actually film down here. There’s some more unrealistic sequences of a hungry T-Rex “downtown” chasing trolleys, flinging cars, snacking on unfortunate people, and running after Tokyo businessmen (okay, the Godzilla nod was cute).

The climax scene, where the industrialist is used as a hunting lesson for the T-Rex Baby is…icky in its implications. I may not have liked the man, but no one deserves to be hobbled and eaten alive. It’s one of the things I don’t like about the Jurassic films: the deaths that people cheer at are just gristly. The assistant in Jurassic World 1 does NOTHING to deserve that horrific Ptherodont/Mosasaurus duo nightmare.  Did she have a villain scene left on the cutting room floor?

And Toby is split into two pieces in Lost World, while being a selfless hero. I guess I’m supposed to find it funny in Jurassic Park Classic when the “bloodsucking lawyer” gets chomped on the loo, but seriously, that’s some awful sh!t happening (no pun intended). I don’t know why that’s played for laughs.

I get it, people die when man meets beast. But I don’t feel good laughing about it. These films walk a thin line at times. But there I am again, talking about things I didn’t like. These movies are intended as a way to eat your popcorn and disengage the brain. These are movies where scientists are the heroes, and I very much appreciate that.

The things that are great: when the movies remember these creatures are animals, not monsters. When we feel the magic of our youth stirred by seeing “real” dinosaurs, and interacting peaceably with them. When John William’s stirring score carries us along, and we are reminded there are wondrous things ahead of us. I hope we might be wise enough to see them come to pass. I hope we will be ready, because, as we know…life finds a way. 

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Note: I’m definitely impressed with how John Williams manages to recall the beauty of the first film in his soundtrack, while also setting The Lost World apart with the fanfare of an almost military theme. It doesn’t have the softly nostalgic notes of the first film, but it stirs the soul nevertheless. The man is a national treasure. Get the movie and soundtrack here: 

Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World 1 are playing for FREE at San Diego’s Dino-themed craft beverage Bronto Brew Meadery. Come for two more free nights of giant screen movies, under T-Rex skeletons and beside a giant nest of Brontosaurus eggs. FREE events! Friday and Saturday nights, June 22 and 23, on 9235 Trade Place, D, San Diego, CA 92126 (619) 796 – 3096

Jill Florio

Co-Creator of RunPee, Content Director, and Managing Officer. RunPee Jilly likes sci fi movies, fantasy films, action thrillers, chick flicks, and zany comedies…and possesses an inspiringly small bladder.