Monday, June 15, 2015

Jurassic World—The Park is Open!

Jurassic World opened on Thursday June 11 and the numbers are in.

The tagline for the film is:
“The Park is Open”
And how! According to Forbes, Jurassic World had the largest worldwide opening for a film ever—taking in $524 million over the weekend.

From the article:
It is already the fifth-biggest worldwide grosser of 2015 (it will be third in a matter of days), the third-biggest domestic box office champion of the year, and the 134th-biggest worldwide box office champion ever.

I’m imagining a sign reading “The Park is Open” in giant letters. Underneath is smaller printer reading:
We’ve got it right this time. Really. You can trust us.
And in even smaller print:
Please read all the legalese on the back of your ticket regarding our liability for your safety.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Grantland Article Examines Michael Crichton's Literary History

His Jurassic World: Author Michael Crichton’s Entertainment Odyssey and Lasting Cultural Impact

This article by Michael Weinreb, (in which yours truly is quoted), examines Crichton’s earlier works.

From the article:
My favorite of the John Lange books is Drug of Choice, a trippy little book involving that inexplicable blue urine and models and an illusory island; it ends with a lecture about the power of corporations. “Do you want to live in a certain neighborhood?” a villain named Harvey Blood (seriously) declares. “Do you find certain food tasty? Do you prefer certain climates, clothes, cars, paintings, movies, books, films, toilet paper, soap, toothpaste, singers? Don’t you see your preferences are all conditioned? Don’t you see you are manipulated every minute of your life? You’re manipulated by Procter and Gamble, by Ford, by MGM, by Random House, by Brooks, by Bergdorf, by Revlon, by Upjohn—’’

Monday, June 8, 2015

Waiting for Jurassic World

It’s coming in three days. Jurassic World, the fourth installment of the franchise, will hit theaters on Friday June 12, 2015. Follow the countdown on the official website.

Though I, like many people, plan to see it on Thursday June 11. That date marks the 22nd anniversary of the release of the film Jurassic Park on June 11, 1993. And that is apropos because Jurassic World is meant to be a direct sequel of the first film, and will not be referencing The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) or Jurassic Park III (2001).

Spielberg returns as executive director and he created the story along with Mark Protosevich. I won’t expect the film to be better than the original, because I think that would be impossible.

From the description:

Twenty-two years after the events of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar now features a fully functioning dinosaur theme park, Jurassic World, as originally envisioned by John Hammond. After 10 years of operation and visitor rates declining, in order to fulfill a corporate mandate, a new attraction is created to re-spark visitor's interest, which backfires horribly.
Things backfiring horribly is pretty much business as usual in any Jurassic film. The only character from any of the earlier films to return for Jurassic World is Dr. Wu, played by BD Wong. Dr. Wu is in charge of manipulating the dino DNA.

Quotes from the trailers:

Claire: Corporate felt genetic modification would up the 'wow' factor.
Owen: They're dinosaurs, wow enough.
Claire: Every time we unveiled a new attraction, attendance has spiked.

This does tie in with the Jurassic Park novel, in which Dr. Wu suggested engineering the dinosaurs to be slower, so they would match people’s expectations. John Hammond rejected the idea, saying that people want to see real dinosaurs.

So at what point does a dinosaur park become like an amusement park that adds a new roller coaster every year? Zoos already have the challenge of attracting more visitors while at the same time ensuring the health and safety of the animals.

Here are three stories concerning visitors to zoos whose expectations are not being met:

Story One
Visitor wants zoo personnel to stop the gorillas from fighting because “it’s a bad example for the children.”

Story Two
Visitor complains that the bears are boring and wants the zookeeper to make them do something.

Story Three
A zoo has added a robotic dinosaur exhibit. A father complains that the dinosaurs are fake. The mother says, “You know dear, maybe you should get real dinosaurs. That way, you won’t have problems like this.”

She wants real dinosaurs….be careful what you wish for.