Tag Archives: Ellie Sattler

25 Shocking Questions Buzzfeed Has About Jurassic Park

It’s been a slow few weeks, folks. We’ve only had two new castings for Jurassic World 2: Ancient Futures (?), Ted Levine and Daniella Pineda, and that’s about it. The New York Toy Fair is this month, so hopefully we’ll see some new Mattel Jurassic World toys, but until then this is the best I can give you: Buzzfeed has a trending piece called 25 Questions I Have About “Jurassic Park” Now That I’m An Adult, and I felt compelled to do Alfredo Murillo and his readers a favor by answering all of them.

1. Isn’t a goat too small a meal for a Tyrannosaurus rex?

Not really. T. rex stomachs were more easily filled than you’d think; this was addressed in the original JP novel. But not many people have both read the book and seen the movie, so I wouldn’t expect every single JP viewer to know this.

2. And why didn’t it eat the leg?

T. rex ate by picking up its prey and thrashing it around, so the leg probably just detached and flew off, it wasn’t purposefully omitted.

3. Why were there so few employees in that park?

John Hammond was very proud of how little staff it took to keep the park running. That pride, as we see throughout the rest of the movie, was one of the main reasons the park failed. Hammond liked to brag a lot in the novel about how much the park ran on automation.

4. What exactly is a mathematician supposed to contribute to this journey?

Ian Malcolm was one of the initial consultants on the project; his work in chaos theory applied to biological systems was highly applicable to an unstable system like this park. Malcolm deals with the unpredictable for a living, and Jurassic Park was very unpredictable.

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And does there really need to be a reason to include this face?

5. So people could go to the park and see NOTHING if the dinosaurs didn’t bother to come to the fence?

Probably; I don’t remember the book ever addressing this, but I would assume that park staff would take some kind of measures to make a couple of dinosaurs walk into view if absolutely none of them showed up. In the novel, the hypsilophodonts wouldn’t show their faces until the park’s speaker system played mating calls.

6. If the cars drove themselves, what did they need steering wheels for?

Probably for aesthetic reasons, and/or they just didn’t feel the need to take out the steering wheels when they repurposed the jeeps.

7. Couldn’t they do a better job on Mr. DNA, considering that they had CREATED DINOSAURS?

Can you blame Hammond for allocating more money to the dinosaur budget than the animation budget?

8. How could Alan Grant carry a six-inch raptor claw in his pocket for a whole day and still have a leg?

He probably positioned it in such a way that he wouldn’t stab him, or the claw wasn’t as sharp as it looked.

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Plus you know he does this often enough that he’s figured out how to carry around a claw comfortably– you know, for those times when you need to traumatize kids on the go.

9. Was it necessary for John Hammond to be in every single presentation at the park?

This is yet another factor that shows that the park wasn’t really so well-planned-out after all– more proof that Hammond didn’t think through all of this as much as he says he did.

10. How does Ellie expect to find anything in a five-foot-high pile of dung?

She’s… very dedicated to her work.

11. How the hell does the Dilophosaurus get into Dennis Nedry’s car?

It probably snuck in when Dennis opened the door to get in himself, or broke a window. I seem to recall the old Jurassic Park Legacy site having a more detailed answer to this; it’s archived somewhere if it did, but hell if I know where.

12. And how does the T. rex get into the visitor center for the final scene? Does it duck to fit its head through the door frame?

Rexy actually ducks her head to get through the area of the visitor center that’s still under construction and that’s covered by a transparent tarp– we see one of the raptors enter through there. JPLegacy also had a more detailed explanation of this, although you might have to PM someone on the Jurassic Park Portal Forum to get it.

13. Why didn’t Tim climb in between the wires rather than over them? He clearly could have!

If you look more closely at the wires, it’s actually a tighter squeeze than it looks at first glance, and he might’ve gotten scraped up if he’d tried to climb through. Plus, considering everything Tim’s been through in the past 12 hours, give him a break for having a little lapse in critical thinking.

14. Didn’t they go a little overboard with cooking if they were expecting only six guests?

Hammond probably just wanted to impress them and show that he spared no expense.

15. All right, they cloned the dinosaurs by using blood extracted from mosquitoes, but how the hell did they make the plants?

The (far superior) old Jurassic World website or the original JP novel could’ve given a more definitive answer to this, but Wu and the other scientists probably messed around with the DNA of modern plants that were related to ancient plants. Or, to extrapolate, they could’ve found plant DNA in the preserved stomach contents of herbivorous dinosaurs.

16. What did they tell this guy’s family? (in reference to the man who was eaten by the raptor at the very beginning of the movie)

According to the book, they told everyone who didn’t work for the park that the man was mauled in a machinery accident.

17. Whose idea was it to put explosives next to the enclosure with Velociraptors?

Probably Muldoon, the gamekeeper’s, idea, because he wanted to be able to kill as many raptors as quickly as possible in the event of a breakout.

18. Why are there Velociraptors next to the visitor center?

The raptors were one of the park’s showpieces, and Hammond probably wanted them to be the first thing guests saw when they came to the park.

19. Where the hell is the other half of this helicopter’s seat belt?

The sloppily constructed seatbelts of the helicopter are yet another example of just how poorly-executed Jurassic Park was. There’s also an excellent metaphor in that sequence.

20. What are glasses of water doing on the dashboard of a car?

If I had to guess, the guests probably got little glasses of water at the visitor’s center and just happened to put them on the dashboard. I wouldn’t be surprised if the jeeps didn’t have cupholders, too.

21. Why is the only thing left standing after the T. rex attacks Gennaro the toilet? Were there no sinks?

The sinks were probably attached to the walls, and the walls got knocked to the side; also, the toilet was cemented to the ground in a way that sinks wouldn’t be.

22. And why did they carry flares? Weren’t they a bit too well prepared for the worst case scenario?

The park was prepared for some things but not others, and while Hammond didn’t take every possible precaution for visitor safety, he did take some.

23. Why did the idea that the dinosaurs could change their sex occur to Alan Grant and not to the scientists who created them?

The idea probably did occur to Wu and the scientists, but they thought they’d successfully messed with the dinos’ genes enough to prevent it, that or they weren’t given enough time to do so because of Hammond’s deadlines.

24. How the hell does Alan Grant know that dinosaurs are warm-blooded simply by looking at them?

He doesn’t really know that so much as he guesses it, and he probably guesses it because they don’t look very reptilian.

25. And most importantly, Phil, where the heck were you while the dinosaurs were busy eating people?!

Phil himself has answered this one:

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Apologies to my regular readers for the unimaginitive post; hopefully the Toy Fair and further castings will provide me with something new to report on soon.

JP Topps Comic #1

I know I planned on doing a Fanfics You Should Be Reading for my next post, but this week I got a gift in the mail from my friend Fourth Mrs. Malcolm, and I thought it was too amazing not to share. If you’ve never read the first comic series, you’re in for a treat. But before I get to it, I have two announcements to make.

First, I wish I could report that FX is making a Jurassic World TV show, but unfortunately I can’t. As Sickle_Claw on JPL quickly debunked, FX bought the movie’s TV rights, but that was only in order to broadcast the movie, not to expand it into a whole TV show. Sorry.

Second, our own DinoReviews101 and Lord Kristine have started a new JP/JW podcast! Their first JW celebrity interview podcast has just come out, and it features an insightful interview with Stan Winston’s son, Matt Winston. Give it a watch, and keep on the lookout for other familiar faces in the future.

All right, now let’s take a look at the awesome first issue of the Jurassic Park Topps comic line! Before I get into the actual comic, allow me to show you the three trading cards that came in the packet with it. The first two are pretty amusing; one has the Big One making a “say whaaaaat?” face, and the other is the cover of the famous “terrifying faces”issue of the comic.

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But my absolute favorite is the third one, which came with an illustration of brachiosaurs and which features either the angriest or the most stoned sauropod I’ve ever seen in my life. It reminds me of the time a drunk girl from Hoboken got in my face and asked “Whaddya want? Whaddya want?” with the voice of a drunken zombie, or of this.

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Moving on– let’s get to the real attraction.

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Hi there, nightmare fuel.

Just like the original movie, it opens with the raptor-loading scene, goes on to the amber mines and continues on to the dig site, etc. However, one pretty crucial and weird thing was changed about the scene in the very beginning. Namely, Muldoon is replaced with Ian Malcolm, or at least his twin or doppelganger.

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What the heck could that mean? Aside from the possibility that the artist was just really lazy and/or didn’t want to give Muldoon the creepy-face treatment (more on that in a minute), there’s one of two things that Malcolm isn’t telling us in this universe. Either he has a long-lost twin or clone (and what a lucky universe that would be) who’s gone to the dark side, or he has a night job that he’s more than a little ashamed of. Honestly though, I can’t say I blame the guy. He’s a college professor, he probably needs this second job just to buy ramen and roach traps.

I also found it funny how the raptor attack began:

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*Translation– “So am I ripping a ****er apart now, or was this vacation just a waste of time?”

The amber mine scene isn’t really worth mentioning, except for the fact that it introduces us to this artist’s preference for drawing really, really creepy faces. That cover with all the grotesque gargoyles that we previously knew as the JP cast? That wasn’t a one-time occurrence. This guy has some sort of personal grudge against the human form, and it can be seen as either hilarious or horrifying. I personally go for the former. In other words, artistic liberties were taken.

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With Gennaro, though, maybe not many liberties.

We then move on to the dig site scene, which begins by showing off what’s obviously this artist’s strong suit: beautiful landscapes. Just look at what he does with the Badlands:

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I don’t really have any jokes about the next part, which is a conversation between Alan and Ellie that was either cut from the movie or added in. I just wanted to show it to you because it resolves a commonly-asked question: how did Grant know so much about raptor pack behavior if he’d never seen any raptors in action before he went to the Park? This comic shows that he got the information by deducing it from a fossilized raptor pack. (You probably knew that already– it’s not a question commonly asked by enormous JP fans.)

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Speaking of Grant and Ellie, remember all the adorable exchanges they had in the junior novel that were cut from the final film? It turns out there were even more that we didn’t get to see. They just get more and more adorable with every appearance, and the beginning of JP3 gets more and more tragic.

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Well, Alan and Ellie are cute. Ellie is spared the scary-face treatment, but by himself, Alan looks like– well, this:

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His description of the raptor attack in particular is illustrated in a level of detail that I would describe as entirely too loving.

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It’s not just the raptors you should be running from, kid. Hey, is that Lex’s face?

Also, I realize that I’ve made a career out of calling Ian an absolute dork, but in this version of the movie, Alan absolutely takes that cake. Look what his reason is for not wanting children. Look at it:

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I dunno, Alan, have you ever actually met a 3-year-old with a dinosaur interest?

Then we go through the motions of the trailer scene, which includes a glimpse at Alan and Ellie’s work space (it looks like they finally got rid of those “Aliens Stole My Face!” newspaper clippings and replaced them with actual equipment. Good for them):

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As well as a close-up of Hammond’s “scheming face” that I wouldn’t have minded if I’d died without seeing:

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It’s not just the way he’s drawn, but also in the way he’s written– Hammond seems a lot less like a hapless, friendly grandfather in this and a lot more like the version of himself from the original novels. He has a lot more biting things to say (particularly toward Malcolm) and far less wonder-filled promises about making dreams come true. It takes away from the whole “awe and wonder” tone of the original movie a bit, but I actually don’t mind. Book Hammond was an interesting character and a believable villain, and I commend the author for bringing him into more than one canon. If I ever get my hands on the rest of the comics in this series, I’d be very interested to see what else the comic line does with this version of the character.

Next we get a brief glimpse at the Nedry scene. The cafe that they’re in was supposed to be located in is in a part of Costa Rica that’s landlocked in real life; it was portrayed as being next to the ocean in the movie, but here it’s shown in a more realistic way. But background accuracy isn’t what the viewer’s eye is drawn to here. We’re more distracted by what I presume to be the last faces that quite a few people saw before they died.

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Dahmer! We’ve got Dahmer here!

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And then we transition to the helicopter scene, where the artist pulls off a feat that I had previously thought to be impossible– for one brief frame, he manages to make ’90s Jeff Goldblum look unattractive.

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But that’s quickly forgotten as we get a front-row seat to his and Hammond’s bickering. Well, more specifically, Hammond’s bickering and Malcolm’s face of absolutely no regrets whatsoever.

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Then we get a few deleted Ian lines, which is kind of a small thing in the big picture but is like a little ray of sunlight in my day:

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Topps interrupts this program to offer me the opportunity to enter a drawing and win a special “Amberchrome” edition of this comic book. If only, 1993. If only.

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Then we get another beautiful landscape as the helicopter flies over the island…

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…which is immediately interrupted by Hammond telling Ian to put his pessimism back in his pants.

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If you ask me, that doesn’t really fit in with the kind of thing that movie Hammond would have said, but I think it should have been kept in the movie regardless, because come on, it’s hilarious. There are actually a bunch of Hammond lines in here that shouldn’t have been axed. They actually fit in with his movie character, too.

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And then there are a few that were best left within these pages.

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Wh-why do you want to watch them?

But then we get to the best part of the whole comic– the scenery shots of the park’s entrance. Enclosed with jungle plants instead of out in the open like they are in the movie, the gates look much more mysterious and it looks far more like our heroes really are entering a magical nature preserve from the past.

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And then the famous brachiosaur scene is upon us. It’s presented a lot more like it was in the novel than as it was in the movie, but it doesn’t take away any of the wonder and joy– it just portrays those feelings with different visuals. I seem to remember this being in the novel too:

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Self-guided tours! Unsuspecting tourists driving cars all by themselves through valleys of dinosaurs! NOTHING could go wrong!

The brachiosaur scene in particular is drawn in a way that could have gone directly to the screen and looked just as good as the movie version did; its tease-and-reveal is fantastic. I took pictures of the entire scene because it’s just that great.

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Oh hello there, Alan. You look… different.

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Compared to “It’s a dinosaur!”, Comic Alan is a bit more eloquent.

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Don’t mind me, there’s just *sniff* something in my eye.

And that brings us to the end of Part One. Aside from the world of tie-dye dinosaurs, there’s a little section about how the movie was adapted from Crichton’s novel to the movie we all love.

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I mostly mention it because it includes my very favorite picture of Steven Spielberg.

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And aside from a couple of advertisements for Terminator and Spider-Man comics, that’s all, folks. If I were reviewing this as a collectible item, I’d definitely recommend owning it if you don’t already; at most it’s a lovely keepsake of one of the best parts of the first movie, and at least you’ll be able to own a photo of a pissed brachiosaur, possibly to keep in your wallet. And as an art piece, it’s just as wonderful. The scenery and dinosaur art in particular are great, and the comic as a whole conveys the spirit of JP in a way that I love.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to check in my closet and under my bed for Comic Hammond.

Raptor Does Orlando

I realize that I’ve updated in even longer than I usually do, and while I apologize for that, there was definitely a reason: I was out in Florida, turning 18. That’s right, I had a birthday celebration and it was awesome! As always, there’s more JW news under this post and I understand if you don’t want to look at vacation photos, but this is on topic, I promise.

My adventure began the day before my birthday; I went to CityWalk, the shopping center in the Universal Studios complex. Doesn’t mean I didn’t get at least a bit of the Universal’s Jurassic Park experience, though. For instance, the lot we parked in:

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In the area between parking and the actual park area, there was a giant screen where a virtual reality simulation was playing. It was sponsored by Chase cards, I think, and it involved projecting computer-animated scenarios onto a certain area. One of them was an alien abduction, and one of them was Jurassic Park. That person you see kneeling next to the compys is me, as if that weren’t evident enough from the Ian Malcolm costume and the aura of total dorkiness.

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The scene also involved a special visit from the queen:

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What you don’t see in those pictures is me cooing happily and reaching out to watch myself pet the triceratops on the screen. You also don’t see me throwing my arms out and yelling “Come at me, Rexy!” Yep, I’m a mature adult now, all right.

I didn’t get to go to any actual Universal parks although I would’ve liked to, but that’s not to say I didn’t have an awesome time while I was there.

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For instance, I’ve said before that I got to visit Margarita Guy’s house, but this time I think I actually got to step into his permanent residence, since the official Jurassic Park theme park is less than a mile away from the place.

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And the guy has a sense of decoration that’s, well… unique.

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Did he kill all those stuffed sharks with alcohol poisoning?

That was all of the especially JP-themed stuff at that particular place, other than the stuff at the Universal gift shop, where I found a beautiful, well-made, Universal-exclusive Blue plushie. We had some good times, her and I.

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She’s such a flirt.

To go slightly off-topic, the mini-golf course at CityWalk was truly phenomenal and if any of you live near there, I recommend checking it out immediately. It was like a theme park ride in golf form. The theme was “alien invaders” and the designers truly went insane with it. And when I say insane, I mean giant ****ing robot and Area 51 set insane.

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They also have an extraordinarily detailed Forrest Gump-themed restaurant there called Bubba Gump Shrimp Co. (Some of you may have been to one, but I’m told they don’t exist outside of this country.) Here’s my awesome dad outside of it.

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The next day (my actual birthday) I went to Downtown Disney, which is also a shopping center on theme park property. They did have a couple of JP screen-used props, and while they aren’t too momentous, they are pieces of original-trilogy canon.

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They have a map of Isla Nublar that was used on screen. Surprisingly, it isn’t as detailed as the maps made by fans such as the encyclopedia people at JPLegacy. It showed dinosaur paddocks and locations of facilities, and not much else.

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They also have a brochure used in the film. I think the art on the front might be one of the original, unused ideas for the movie poster, and I believe the art on the inside is what would eventually become the mural on the Sorna production facility’s wall (the one Nick Van Owen finds).

There were a lot of awesome props there (lots from The Hunger Games) but a couple of them stood out. For instance, the miniature for the alien ship in Independence Day:

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As well as a Brundlefly puppet from The Fly:

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I gotta say, seeing that Goldblum monster in person was a huge highlight. It was so detailed and so wonderfully scary. Here I am grinning like an idiot next to it.

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Doesn’t mean I’d wanna meet it in a dark alley, though.

The last major, awesome thing I got to see was the T. Rex Cafe. It’s like the Rainforest Cafe except bigger and with dinosaurs, and it’s exactly as awesome as it sounds. I must’ve spent two hours there, marveling in the sets and cooing at the baby dinos. I normally don’t advocate for touching animatronics, but it was my 18th birthday and I was going to pet some freaking baby dinosaurs.

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The whole place was beautiful in general– it did a great job of replicating a prehistoric forest, complete with pteranodons on the ceilings, prehistoric trees and dinosaur families hidden among the foliage. The prettiest part of it, though, was the ice cave. It shifted colors and everything, and it really drove home the Ice Age feeling of one section of the restaurant.

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There was also a very lovely aquatic section, featuring a giant octopus with moving tentacles.

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I’m, er, not the biggest fan of giant octopi.

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This was my personal favorite baby: an apatosaur. I named him Fred, and what we had was special.

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His mother wasn’t as happy, but I managed to earn her respect with an offering of side salad.

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The dinosaurs, flying reptiles and woolly mammoths there may not have been the most accurate, but they sure were amazing.

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There were several tyrannosaurs and the same went for them, but c’mon, who can argue with a life-sized T. rex that bellows at you?

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Or a cute little rex baby, for that matter?

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I made a few good decisions regarding proximity to the animals–

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One of the little paras turned and honked at me. My heart melted.

— and some Sarah Harding decisions.

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But considering who I was, there was no way I wasn’t going to take care of the animals Ellie did. Specifically, the adorable triceratops, of which there were many.

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The fact that I was dressed as Ellie also afforded me some awesome cosplay photo opportunities, such as:

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Paleontology…
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…showing off my specimens…
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…and feeling conflicted as a feminist.

And that, friends, leads me to my final photo and story. At the beginning of the day, when my dad was getting a coffee at Starbucks, a man walked behind us who looked just like John Hammond. Beard, white shirt, hat– all that was missing was his cane. I whispered some sort of joke about wanting to tell the guy off about not recognizing the power of this place, and I thought that would be it. But what did my father do? He flagged the guy down and asked for a picture. Luckily, the man was very sweet, and that’s how it came to be that my Ellie costume came in a lot of handy.

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God bless you, unintentional Hammond guy.

Special thanks to my parents, who got me Jurassic World on DVD and a set of 15 blindbag dinosaurs for my birthday; and to Fourth Mrs. Malcolm, who is an angel/ precious cupcake/ all-around wonderful person and who sent me a set of vintage JP hatchlings, an Ellie figure, a lego Malcolm and the JP soundtrack on CD, along with all sorts of other awesome things, for my birthday. You rock, guys.

Jurassic Park Junior Novelization

As some of you may know (I legitimately don’t know how much I’ve posted about this in the past) I’ve been looking for a Jurassic Park Junior Novelization for quite some time now. Mostly this was because I wanted to see if it showed any deleted scenes like the Jurassic World novelization did, but also partially because of the Jurassic Park Legacy Encyclopedia article that says that Ian Malcolm was described as an ex-hippie in it (he was not). But I was unsuccessful in obtaining this bit of unique canon until my friend Mike Jenkins graciously sent me a package of Jurassic Park stuff that included a copy. Let’s dig in, shall we?

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The book comes with some cool full-color photos. As you can see, there are a few shots of the cast members, the only prelude to which could possibly have been, “Picture time, get in character and make it snappy, we’re on a schedule here! Smile!… Eh, or don’t, the kids won’t care.” It also includes a snapshot from the deleted scene where Ellie grabs the fern. This one:

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Just like the JW novelization, a couple of short deleted scenes and lines are included. For instance, the explanation of the sick triceratops’ ailment. Just like in the novel, Alan and Ellie figure out that the root of the problem is the triceratops swallowing West Indian lilac berries when she gulps down her gizzard stones:

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As for deleted lines, there are quite a few of them. Muldoon drops some sick puns:

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Malcolm snarks it up. Everybody say it with me— IAN, YOU COMPLETE DORK:

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Hammond makes an offer that no sane person could refuse, yet everyone does. Why? Who hurt you, scientists, why would you throw away the opportunity to pet a dinosaur:

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Nedry hurts the poor dilophosaur’s widdle feelings! He deserves what he gets:

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And we learn why there were kids at the dig site, a question that people who are just into the movies enough to thoroughly question the logic in them but not enough to actually make an effort to find the answers to their questions have been asking for a long time:

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Plus Mr. DNA gets one of the creepiest lines he could possibly have had—“I’m Mr. DNA. I come from your blood.”

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“I live inside you at this very moment. I run through your veins. Do not try to escape.”

But the novelization also leaves out some of the most memorable parts of the movie, leading me to think that most of said lines were either added at the last minute or ad-libbed (which would be awesome— can you imagine Bob Peck being really into character and surprising everyone, even himself, by saying “Clever girl”?). For instance, Ellie’s line about sexism in survival situations is gone (as well as the part where Malcolm took over instructing Ellie and reading the schematic despite being out of his mind on morphine; thanks for throwing out one of the most bad*** things he does in this, novel):

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As is “Clever girl”:

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Oh yeah, and “raptor” is always capitalized in this. I suppose they’re very dignified and high-ranking creatures.

It also leaves out something that bothers me as a Malcolm fan: it just says that Ian ran from the Jeep and got hurt (it doesn’t even mention the flare), therefore negating the extremely important reason why he did it. I realize that this is told largely from Grant’s perspective (which I’ll get to in a little while) and that this wasn’t exactly the time for deep character analysis, but it bothers me nonetheless. It’s a huge part of Malcolm’s characterization that he was completely willing to risk certain death to save two kids he’d known for less than a day, and that he was distracting Rexy with the flare to buy Grant time to get the kids to safety; this could’ve been shown with a quick mention that he was yelling “Get the kids!” while running. But eh, what are you gonna do:

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Malcolm isn’t the only one who isn’t shown getting the redemption and character development that the movie gave him. In this version, Lex doesn’t hack the system, everybody does:

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Yaaaay, TEAMWORK!

But what’s left out doesn’t ruin the book at all. In fact, compared to the JW novelization, I’m thrilled with how this handles the characters, as well as the scary subject matter. The scenes are very suspenseful and well-described, and it isn’t afraid to get a little gory now and then:

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It should also be noted that the way it shows Rexy’s comeback is fantastic. The mighty T. rex!:

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“I’m a mother****in’ T. rex!” *wicked guitar riff*

As for the different types of non-kiddie subject matter, this reminds me a lot of how the JW book handled Claire and Owen’s relationship. For instance, it skips over Malcolm’s incredibly awkward flirting attempt:

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But it’s totally fine with showing his far less appropriate line about lifting up the dinosaurs’ skirts. No problem there at all, why on earth would they cut that out:

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As I mentioned, this book is very much told from Grant’s perspective.

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Although it doesn’t even pretend to know about his profession.

It shows a lot of really, really sweet moments between him and Ellie, which I would’ve loved to see in the movie. Heck, I would’ve even taken some of this adorable banter if it had happened in JP3:

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Of course, Alan. You’re leaving your girlfriend alone with an attractive, flirtatious mathematician and the Wizard of Oz’s Cowardly Lawyer. What could POSSIBLY go wrong?

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Interestingly enough, we also discover that it wasn’t that Alan didn’t mind that Ian was hitting on his girlfriend in the car less than 2 feet away, it was that he legitimately didn’t notice. Interpret freely:

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By far, though, my favorite parts of the book are the extra bits where we see him connecting with the kids and really growing to love them. If you ask me, he had plenty of development in that department in the movie, but this goes the extra mile with it and I love it.

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Shh, shh, he’ll take care of them!
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He uses psychology on them!
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The drainpipe scene from the novel!
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He lets Tim hold his other hand!
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He comforts them!
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HE FREAKING KISSES THEIR FOREHEADS! AWWWW!
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He hold their hands while they snuggle!

In addition, Lex’s crush on Alan is played up a lot more, and although it’s cute, I can kind of see why some of it didn’t end up in the movie:

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And in the final scene, the book does a great job of capturing the spirit of the movie’s end. You can hear the soft piano theme playing as you read:

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So overall, I love this book, even more than I loved the JW one. Its writing was enthusiastic and fun, it kept the heart of the movie and I’m not kidding one bit when I say that I laughed and screeched out loud at the parts that weren’t included in the movie. I don’t know where you could get one besides Ebay, thrift stores or having an amazing friend unexpectedly send one to you, but if you can get your hands on one, this would be a great keepsake for any fan of the first movie. Oh yeah, and kids might like it too.

Jurassic Park: The Animated Series

Recently, we got a glimpse at what would have been an incredible addition to the Jurassic Park universe (I’m gonna start referring to it as a universe even more often now, just to annoy Trevorrow) but which never came to be. After the release of the first movie, artist William Stout was brought in to design a Jurassic Park cartoon show:

“Although I own a copy, I don’t think this trailer is available anywhere.

“Upon the success of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park movie, all kinds of ancillary projects abounded: toys, games, novelties, apparel, etc.

“Towards the end of all of this merchandising I got a call from artist Will Meugniot, asking if I’d be interested in designing a Jurassic Park animated series. This was not going to be a kiddy show (although kids of all ages, including myself, could enjoy it). They wanted the show to be a mature prime time series with top writers and state-of-the-art television animation augmented with quite a bit of CG animation. Universal Cartoon Studios wanted a “graphic novel look” to the series. I came in, showed my portfolio and was hired.

“We made a trailer to communicate the look and feel of the series, also showing how we would combine computer animation with traditional animation. All we needed was Spielberg’s approval.

“I heard through the grapevine that he never bothered to watch what we had done. By that time the word was out that he was burnt out on Jurassic Park merchandising and all of the film’s commercial exploitation. So, it never got made.”

First of all, I hope you guys understand that it is this fandom’s mission now to find this trailer, or at least for the more talented among us to recreate it. Second, a primetime show with a lot of viewers would have not only been amazing, it also would have run out of ideas concerning people on the island pretty quickly. Sure, it could recreate some scenes from the Jurassic Park Paint and Activity Center and the first novel (some scenes from which I would kill to see in the context of the first movie, not sequels) and maybe it could have an ongoing theme of everyone trying to survive on the island until help arrived, but eventually viewers would want more, and that might entail things like moving dinosaurs onto the mainland and all different kinds of new dinosaurs that weren’t canonically on the island– as well as some that were, like Metriacanthosaurus. It might also entail more of a romance element since it was also for adults, which would almost definitely involve Ian trying just a bit harder to snag Ellie, and a consequent love triangle that would no doubt be milked for all it was worth. (If you’ve read the near-final script for the film, you’ll see where I’m coming from– he was a little more insistent with his flirting there, and it’s not too hard to see him acting similarly here.) Whether those possibilities are good or bad is subjective, but I personally would have wanted to see all of them, provided they were done tastefully. And third, Spielbergwhy would you turn this down? It would be a cash cow and fans would have bothered you for a sequel a lot later! Daddy, you left us with Jurassic World, why would you do this?

Some possibilities that definitely would have happened are shown in the concept art that Stout produced recently, and which you can buy. First, though, let’s look at some character designs:

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Grant’s design here isn’t bad, per se; it’s very accurate. However, something about this gives me the impression that he’d be much more of a generic action hero in this cartoon than he was in the movie. Maybe it’s the pose that’s making me think this. Anyway, I could live with a paleontological semi-superhero.

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Now this I love– not just Ellie’s design or her confident pose, but the scientific equipment in the background that suggests that she’d do experiments and whatever else she could to understand the environment better and help everyone survive. She would probably take an active role in figuring things out and creating solutions to problems, like making a substance to repel dinosaurs and, undoubtedly, digging through more droppings. And I couldn’t think of anything more fitting to her character. Ellie is the hero we deserve, but not the one we need right now. Actually, we do need Hero Ellie. She’s not the hero we get right now.

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There are three distinct things I love about this– the fractal pattern on the computer in the background (oh, what I wouldn’t give for Malcolm’s lectures on fractals and chaotic patterns from the novel), his Zoolander pose, and the fact that he appears to be wearing some variation on Kamina glasses.

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“Your drill is the, uh, drill that will pierce the h-heavens!”

I like what this picture implies, too– that Malcolm would find computers on the island and use his knowledge of chaos patterns to discover valuable things, like he did with the population charts in the book.

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Hammond seems to look a lot more like Book Hammond here, especially considering the compies at his feet that allude to his book counterpart’s death. Obviously he wouldn’t die in the series, at least not permanently, but maybe that plot point could be worked in via a compy attack or something. His presence here begs the question– since the whole island incident was Hammond’s fault, how would he be treated in the show? Obviously Malcolm wouldn’t be too chummy with him (again, I would love to see one of their arguments from the book included in the show) but how would Grant and Sattler react? I mean, they wouldn’t feed him to Rexy, but I imagine he’d be handled a lot differently than he was in the movie.

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Tim looks adorable, and I think he would take on a role in this show similar to Eric in the third movie– he’d spout off simple dinosaur trivia for the audience to understand things better, and he’d be the perseverent kid that we would all root for despite our many questions about the state of his brain after that electric shock. He might also be the Baby Dinosaur Whisperer, judging by the two little ones with him. (Does that mean we’d also get Ralph the baby triceratops from the novel?) Which brings me to this:

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Tim would apparently have a baby pterosaur for his trusty sidekick, which I find adorable and appropriately 90s-cartoonish. Actually, if Tim had enough of a natural talent with taming dinosaurs to train a baby pterosaur to sit on his shoulder and presumably fetch things for him, I wonder how much of a stretch it would be for us to have seen him taming raptors in JW, instead of Owen?

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Lex is even cuter, and judging by the computer in the background, she’d still be putting her hacker skills to use in the show. Combined with the fact that Malcolm would likely have had some sort of computer bank (maybe in the control room) to use, it’s entirely possible that the two of them would have the sweetest team-up imaginable, and that they’d fight together with the power of fractals and UNIX. Presumably Lex would be shown as she was in the movie, but with all the other allusions to the novels, she may have had traces of Book Lex in her, although hopefully not enough to make her annoying. I say this because she looks a bit younger here than in the movie, but that could just be the art style.

Some concept art regarding plot points in the series was also released. See if you can guess what I love about this:

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There are so many things about this that make me want to devolve this post into a series of seal-sound onomatopoeia, so I’ll just hit the highlights: the method of feeding that’s straight out of the novel, the inclusion of hypsys, the way the survivors still care enough about the dinosaurs to raise and care for the babies, the way Tim is dressed exactly like Grant, and squealing newborn hypsys acting like Tim is their mom. I wanted to see all of these in the first movie, and now they have been provided. Merciful William Stout, we thank thee.

Now that I think about it, I’m starting to wonder if this wasn’t meant to be an alternate universe where the helicopter never came to help, but one where nothing went wrong in the first place and everyone stayed on the island for… some reason. The exclusion of Muldoon, Nedry and everyone else who didn’t survive makes this kind of unlikely, but still, it’s worth consideration.

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“NOPE NOPE NOPE BAD IDEA, BAD IDEA, BAD IDEA, NO MORE WATER FOR ELLIE THANK YOU VERY MUCH.”

THE SEA QUEEN OF ISLA NUBLAR HAS CROSSED OVER INTO THE SECOND DIMENSION AND RULES HER LAND WITH AN IRON FIST THERE AS WELL! EVEN WHEN MADE OF INK, NO MORTAL CAN AVOID THE JAWS OF THE MIGHTY MOSASAUR! NO ONE IS SAFE!

Boy, it felt good to do that again. Both of these animals show us two things: a massive retcon, and the fact that no one would care about a massive retcon if we’d gotten the aquatic predators we’ve been asking for since Lost World before Lost World. It’s good to know that aquatic animals have been part of the plan since day one, at least, and that they weren’t just tossed into Jurassic World for the same reason that Indominus was. It would have been downright incredible to see an underwater chase scene with either of these guys– Spielberg, you could’ve done a shot-for-shot Jaws scene remake with a mosasaurus, why would you take this away from us– and even better, Mosasaur could have had the same deal that Rexy did and reclaimed her throne in Jurassic World. (The fact that Mosasaur was even there would put her in direct rivalry with Rexy for the Big Bad position, since she’s basically the T. rex of the water, but it’s not exactly a debate we can have based on so little material for for the former.) Finally, I find it worth noting that the boat, background and relative location of the mountains in the Plesiosaur picture look like they could have given the answer to a certain mystery.

This is some truly incredible art for what would have undoubtedly been a great show, and I would love to see the trailer that was created, no matter how rough it is. Hopefully Stout or Spielberg will give us a look at it soon.

(Thanks to JPLegacy and Mike Jenkins for the tip-off.)

Lego Jurassic World Part 1

Welcome to a series that I hope extends for a long time because I hate it when there’s nothing going on and I can’t post at least twice a week: my Lego Jurassic World review! For the first few posts I’ll be reviewing the game’s cutscenes, and after that I’ll start on gameplay. I know everyone’s way more excited about gameplay (probably because of the chance to make your own hybrid dinosaurs and everything) but I’ve been hyped for the cutscenes for quite a while. I can’t wait to watch and review all of them bit by bit, because it should be cute and hilarious.

From having watched this ahead of time, I got one thing clear in my head: My expectations were too high. I know, I know, I just said I was really excited about it and I’ve been saying that this will be the best game ever for a while, but I set the bar too high. I don’t usually play Lego games because I am not a gamer in any sense of the word, so I didn’t know what to expect in terms of the animation and stuff, and so I ended up expecting something on the level of The Lego Movie. I expected the level of detail and intricacy– both in the animation and the storyline– to be on the level of the movie and not a regular video game, which was a mistake. If I sound disheartened during this review, that’s why. Otherwise, though, the game met and exceeded my expectations! Let’s take a look, starting with the first movie. Keep in mind that these are just the cutscenes, so it’ll jump around sort of abruptly, and I’m really just reviewing the basic outline and the stuff I particularly like.

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We begin with the raptor-loading scene, of course, and with two recurring trends: hot dogs and the deliberate avoidance of anything scary or suspenseful. The first is silly but excusable, and I didn’t mean the second as a bad thing. It’s a LEGO game, we aren’t here for the Jaws treatment.

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The hot dog thing was because instead of Jophery’s arm being graphically devoured, the hot dog gets chowed on by the raptor instead. This is how the whole game is– silly, based off the source material with a couple of alterations, and food-based. Anyway, I don’t feel bad for Jophery’s hot dog. He should have been having a churro in the first place. That’s one of the official Jurassic World foods now, dontcha know? (Now that I think about it, I’m severely disappointed in the lack of churro mentions in Jurassic World. We could’ve had Churro Guy instead of Margarita Guy.)

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No yellowed, poorly-kept teeth on Muldoon. I am disappoint.

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There’s a short scene of these two at the dig site. I’m glad their outfits are correct and not just the ones they wear for the rest of the movie; also, does Alan say “No, not velociraptor” at any point during the movie? He says it here and it sounds authentic (a lot of these characters, such as Muldoon, are voiced entirely through clips from the movie) but I can’t remember that particular line. And someone should make that Paleontology Assistant lady into an OC. Technically she’s canon, so I wouldn’t be as annoyed as I am by other ~~super speshul assistant~~ OCs.

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I had to commemorate the hand-holding. A moment of silence for this beautiful, now-sunken ship.

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Hammond is, of course, voiced entirely by Richard Attenborough. The scene where he meets the two paleontologists is very rushed, but a lot of things are in this game; it plays very much on the assumption that you’re at least a moderate JP fan and that you know what happens in the movie by heart. And if you’ve spent $50 on a Lego JP game, this is a pretty fair assumption to make.

There are a couple of cutscenes that we’ve seen already and that I’ve consequently already reviewed. The helicopter scene is one of them, so I think it’s safe to mostly skip past it. Same with the brachiosaur scene, except for this bit with Lego Gennaro:

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The eyebrows live!

A lot of iconic lines (Hammond’s “In 48 hours, I’ll be accepting your apology”, Malcolm’s “Don’t you mean extinct?”) and scenes (the amber mine scene, Nedry and Dodgson’s meeting) are dropped; again, because they assume you already know the movie by heart. That’s fortunate, because without the setup for Nedry’s plot, not all of this would make sense. We’re really here for the jokes. Case in point, a minute of witty banter on the stairs is replaced by dead silence and a guy with a fossil stuck on his head:

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The Mr. DNA video bears very little resemblance to the original:

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That’s another assumption I made that turned out to be wrong. From the trailers, I thought the whole game would be a painstaking homage to the original, crafted by hardcore JP fanboys fueled by Mountain Dew and a burning desire for fame in their Jurassic Park forum circles. However, although I don’t know much about the game’s backstory so I can’t tell you about the creators personally, this doesn’t seem to be entirely the case. It’s a tribute to the movies, sure, but it’s not a recreation of the film like I thought it would be. These people took liberties, and there’s nothing wrong with that, they just went for the easy route sometimes by animating things in simpler graphics instead of taking the time to perfectly recreate these iconic moments (which isn’t true all of the time; for instance, the Jeep attack scene). In other words, the creators valued the jokes and wider audience appeal more than the approval of the movies’ serious fan base. And, again, there’s nothing wrong with that– not being screen-accurate doesn’t detract from the game’s overall value. It’s just not what I had my money on.

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It’s also disappointingly sparing with the Malcolm speeches, although it captures his looks of disgust beautifully well. I haven’t watched much of the Jurassic World cutscenes yet, but I really hope it does the same with Masrani. Here, by the way, is Malcolm’s idle animation. When he doesn’t have anyone around to flirt with, he just kind of stands around rolling water drops off his hands and grinning like a maniac about it. Just watch this loser:

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I feel like I should also mention that the game follows a storied tradition among bad fanfiction writers– it has him declare that things are “the essence of chaos”, even when the term barely applies and the phrase is sort of inappropriate for the situation (in this case, a man about to be viciously torn apart by raptors). Congratulations, Lego guys. Come by later to collect your FF.net membership card:

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But they did do something great in this scene. They recreated one of my favorite shots from the trilogy:

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Everyone else is horrified, but Hammond– Hammond can do nothing but smile and whisper, “But the fun is only beginning.”

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I have made it my personal mission to document every hand grab/ shoulder touch/ other bodily contact between Alan and Ellie in this game, simply because we haven’t had any new canon interactions between them in years since JP3 destroyed our dreams. Anyway, shoulder touch.

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The Lego kids are very adorable, and they show up during the raptor feeding for the sake of time. This means that the Hammonds have a delightful family reunion and share a hug while, for all they know, a man is being torn limb from limb right behind their backs.

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Just like in the movie, Malcolm reaches out and holds the kids back to make sure they’re safe. I don’t have any feelings about that at all. None. Stop looking at me like that.

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The car-flirting scene is cut down on, possibly in an attempt to play Ellie up as even more of an action heroine than she already is, not someone who just lets people hit on her in Jeeps. Actually, I just wanted to show this because of Alan’s (who, faithfully to the source material, manages to completely ignore the fact that a stranger is hitting on his girlfriend a foot away) expression.

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The triceratops scene is adorable and full of the original scene’s wonder…

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…until it isn’t.

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D’aww, happy ending!

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Grant, Muldoon and Malcolm are voiced entirely with the original movie’s clips, Ellie’s voice is a blend of a voice actress (who does an amazing job) and Laura Dern, and the jury’s still out on Arnold and Nedry. If their voices are indeed impersonators, wow. Hats off to them. I mean, I don’t know how lucrative the profession of “Wayne Knight impersonator” is, but you could probably make a good few bucks with this kind of thing and by posing for pictures in Times Square.

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You never quite know when Ellie will show up behind you, but when she does, she will be as silent as the breeze. She will stand behind you, completely still. She will wait. She will watch.

That’s all I have for now because I’m hoping to drag this out for kind of a while, but rest assured that I plan to actually follow through with this review. Next week we’ll get to the T. rex attack scene!

I Got Toys!

I finally got my hands on all of the Wave 1 toys that I’ve wanted for so long! I got all of them at Toys R Us except the T. rex, which I found at Kmart; if you live near one, you might want to check it out, I also found some Basher-Biters and Brawlasaurs there. Let’s begin with a little toy review from probably the last person in the fandom to get her hands on these things!

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The first one I got was Ankylosaurus, my favorite herbivore since I was a kid and now one of the centerpieces of my collection. It has a lovely sculpt, the face isn’t misshapen like I thought it was and the Dino Damage wound is the least conspicuous in the whole line (and the screw holes are the least conspicuous as well). It’s also very playable, having a neck that sticks out when you move its leg and a swinging tail. I’m still deciding what to name this one; I feel the strange and inexplicable urge to nickname it Ham.

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Next is the Stegoceratops which, as I’ve said before, has the best sculpt and paint job in the line. If you’re buying for quality, you’ve decided to accept a very possible movie-involved reality like I have or just want a nice herbivore in a brand where they’re fairly rare, this is a must-buy. It sticks its neck out as well, much like an iguana. I’ve named mine Stegoclaireatops for obvious reasons.

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Next I got the I. rex and gyrosphere set. If you want an I. rex but don’t want to pony up $35 for a Bad Boy, this is for you. Of course, Bad Boy is still far superior, but this isn’t a bad alternative at all. Of course there are design flaws, like the screw holes and the extremely annoying Dino Damage slider (seriously, that thing gives a new meaning to ‘on a hair-trigger’) but it also looks great overall and has a very nice head sculpt. It might be the poor man’s I. rex, but it’s still a pretty great toy.

It came with a Gyrosphere and a very tiny ACU:

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The ACU is, well, expendable (more on that later) but the Gyrosphere is great. It looks film-accurate and it’s sized pretty well with the larger figures and Anky, so you can reenact the Gyrosphere attack scene easily. And my mom is fond of it, so it can’t be too bad.

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From Kmart today, I got the Chomping T. rex! Honestly, I have to say that this doesn’t deserve all of the flak that I and others have given it. It’s actually a pretty decent toy– not anywhere near Kenner level, but good enough on its own. The body is nicely colored and detailed, and the much-bemoaned head sculpt isn’t so bad up close:

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If for no other reason than as a placeholder until the Mega Strike rex comes out this fall, I’d recommend getting this one. It’ll look nice and menacing on your desk or as a prop in your to-scale Jurassic Park River Adventure model. I thought it was appropriate to name this one Sue.

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Finally, I got the Blue raptor growler! Out of all the toys, this one is my favorite. The sculpt and paint job are phenomenal– I’d even commit the heresy of comparing it to a Kenner raptor– and the sound effects and lunging-claw attack are very cool. The only problem that I have with it is that it can’t seem to stand up on its own for too long. If you get the balance juuuust right it might stay upright for you for a bit, but a stiff breeze will knock it right down. But don’t let that discourage you– it’s an otherwise great toy. Here’s the best I could do, with my incredibly shaky camera hand, of capturing her light-up wound:

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Here’s a close-up of the new brand-name leg tattoos, a squarish JW that all the dinosaurs have in some color or another. They were very enthusiastic about their ink, and demonstrated the tattoos’ significance by telling me they cared about my soul and offering me free copies of The Watchtower.

But what are toys for if not for playing? I had some fun with mine for sure. I don’t know why, especially since I normally take huge care when handling any of my JP stuff, but I felt that this ACU guy needed to be shown his place, possibly because he dared to be the sort of human who’d shoot at a dinosaur without provocation. I needed to take him down a peg. He needed to be destroyed.

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Even my truly horrible, years-old attempt at a Mosasaur statue hesitated before accepting him as prey.

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Meanwhile, I. rex (name TBD; I’d welcome suggestions, has anyone got ideas? I’m going for something death-metal yet feminine here) and Stegoclaireatops were having a very productive meeting of their support group when Sue came in and crashed it, thinking it was a party. T. rexes do have a terrible habit of crashing into buildings without prior warning.

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Immediately after I took these, Ian began requesting that everyone call him either “Malcolm the Dinosaur Slayer” or “Ian the Great, Beast-Tamer”. Fearing the power of the guy who before this called himself “Chaos King”, the dinosaurs complied.

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There was a family reunion, and the whole gang got back together!

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It was, however, not without disputes. Tensions mounted. I fear things may come to blows sometime soon.

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But everything turned out okay in the end. Here is a dark but mostly all-encompassing (there’s a vehicle and two hatchlings missing) picture of my collection, solely for bragging reasons:

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Just because I felt like it, I put on my Ellie cosplay and took a couple of shots with Sue. Luckily I live right across the street from some very Nublar-like woods; I have a whole cosplay album with Ellie, Ian and Alan and maybe sometime I’ll post it here.

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Don’t judge too hard, I didn’t have enough daylight left for a decent makeup job.

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That’s it, and as you can see I’m very happy that I finally got my dinos! If any of you guys have gotten yours yet, please feel free to put them in ridiculous situations and send me pictures, there’s no end to the possible hilarity! Especially if you have a similar need to abuse the ACUs. And speaking of cosplay, I’d better not be the only one in the fandom going to the midnight premiere in cosplay. I’ll probably end up going as Malcolm; I’d love to see some kindred spirits and I’ll probably keel over from happiness if I see an Ellie there with me. So if you’ve got a similar plan, send your pictures so at the least I can gush over them and at the most I can feature you in a cosplay post! We’ve got a huge opportunity here and I for one plan to explain chaos theory to at least six people that night. Let’s not just see this movie. Let’s freakin’ storm it.

Lego Jurassic Park– Game Review

We’ve got quite a few things to cover today in the way of Lego Jurassic World! First and possibly most importantly, if you live in Georgia, go check your local WalMart as there’s a good chance you’ll find a few JW Lego sets there. I found the Dilo and two Raptor sets at mine; I didn’t buy any as they’re majorly overpriced, but I’m sure at least one of you is rich enough to.

Next we’ve got some official art:

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There’s so much going on in this picture and all of it is hilarious. T. rex is running like an excited puppy. Muldoon, surrounded by raptors with bananas on their heads, is so done with his job. Dilophosaurus chases Henry Wu, who looks more like he’s being mildly inconvenienced by his Labrador than about to be eaten. Malcolm is the sleaziest Lego character ever manufactured. Grant is, I dunno, shaking his booty or something, and whatever he’s doing, the kids are giggling at him. This seems to showcase the first movie more than anything– maybe we’ll be lucky enough to get posters like this for the other three? It’s fun and colorful and I love it.

Some new screencaps:

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Spino looks absolutely demented, I’m like 95% sure Alan’s clothing colors are all wrong and the scenery isn’t anywhere near as detailed as what we’ve seen in the sections for the other two movies. The JP3 part of the game might imitate its movie in more ways than we think.

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Not much to say here, except that this part and the trailer attack are my most-anticipated parts of the Lost World section. I really want to see the entire workers’ village set.

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I’m not one to harp on about “any changes in depictions of these movies whatsoever will ruin my childhood you guys!!!1!!”, but I’m enjoying this while I can because in the actual game, it’s pretty much a given that the brachiosaur they see will trip and crush the tree or something, and then it ain’t gonna be full of wonder anymore.

Finally, we have new footage of gameplay from the actual game! Keep in mind that I’m not a gamer and I can’t tell you about gameplay mechanics or anything. I’ll mostly be talking about cutscenes and character stuff. Sorry.

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The first scene we see is the sick trike scene. I had previously thought that the characters’ voices would consist entirely of sound clips from the movies, but this isn’t the case. The characters are played mostly by voice actors who don’t sound exactly like the original actors, but who don’t do a bad job either.

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Here’s some Lego snot in case you had any doubts about what kind of game this is.

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I have allotted myself a limited amount of times to comment upon what a total dork Lego Malcolm is, and this is one of them. He jumps six feet in the air over a thunderclap.

That’s the end of the cutscene. After that we move to actual gameplay. If you’ve ever felt the inexplicable yearning to see what a pile of Lego droppings looks like, allow me to fulfill your wishes:

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Ellie literally does a swan dive into the dino’s droppings– on more than one occasion– and we find out that the objective of this level is to collect 3 different items, like a cherry and a carrot, to cure the trike with. The characters use their special abilities (like tracking and using a sniper for Gerry Harding) to find clues. While this goes on, the hosts of the video tell us that the game has 20 levels to play through and that there’s open-world exploring you can do on both islands.

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Once you cure the trike, you can actually play as the dinosaur, running around charging stuff and collecting coins. She’s out of control and it looks like a lot of fun.

The game stays with Ellie until the evening, so we don’t get to witness any awkward Grant-Malcolm tension. We do, however, get to see the rex attack scene! But first, gaze upon Lego Mr. DNA:

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In a cutscene voiced entirely by sound clips from the movie, we see a pretty suspenseful recreation of the leadup to the rex attack.

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The water ripples are replaced by cups falling off the dash. This is what it’s come to.

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Malcolm smirks after every single line.

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If you pause it at just the right moment, you can hear every single player in the world squealing in happiness in the background.

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There are times in the game when you’ll laugh at the T. rex, but this isn’t one of them and the game is all the better for it.

You run around as Grant after the rex gets to the kids’ car, hacking through bushes with your raptor claw to find an item that will help save the kids. After you find it (it’s a giant bone for the T. rex to chew on, because of course) you rescue the kids from the Jeep. One of Lex’s special abilities is breaking glass with her scream, which is just as perfect as you’d expect.

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Well it’s about time! After following Alan around biting his nails and jumping around nervously, Ian pulls out the flare and distracts the rex while Alan halfheartedly yells “Ian, freeze!” while standing there, collecting money and chatting with Lex. It’s pretty funny. Also, is there something wrong with me or were the flares in the movie not always pink? The one in Jurassic World is and now this one is too. Have flares always been pink? Am I color-impaired?

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Wait for it! It’s coming! Here it comes!

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The rex tosses Gennaro up in the air and catches him in her mouth. He takes a moment to brush her teeth before stepping off his mortal coil (though the host says he actually survives; I would love to know exactly how that happens). Freakin’ lawyers, man.

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There’s a very cool shot-for-shot cutscene of Lex and Grant falling off the edge of the paddock (during which Lex’s golden scream is heard in its full glory at least twice), and then the scene shifts to Ellie and Muldoon driving up to investigate in a Jeep.

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I can’t emphasize this enough: it’s shot-for-shot.

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Ian gets injured right in the overacting gland.

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He just can’t turn it off, can he? DORK.

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This game is rated LLF, for Lego Lens Flare, by the ESRB.

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And now it’s time for my personal favorite part of the game, the famous Jeep chase scene! You drive the car as Muldoon, escaping the rex and gathering money and items along the way. Ian throws flares/rockets at the rex as you go along, though they don’t damage the rex; they get you some kind of special item if you hit the rex’s mouth. In this scene and the previous one, we’re told that players will get the chance to play as the T. rex, which sounds like the best part of the game by far. I AM T. REX! I AM FIRE! I AM DEATH!

The scene continues with a distinct lack of Ellie screaming “S**t!” until finally, this happens:

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Dork.

Ian snarks at us one more time–

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–and that’s the end. All in all, I really love the way this game looks so far. It’s fun, lighthearted and everything you’d expect from a great Lego game. The jokes are great, the design is beautiful and it pays tribute to the movie very, very well (it even keeps the original soundtrack). If you’re planning to get it, don’t forget that you can preorder the game from Gamestop and get a free Lego set with it! And if you don’t want the Lego set for some reason, I know a dinosaur blogger who will throw herself at your feet to buy it from you! Watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7HZcbskY7M

Unrelated: I won second place in my school’s talent show last night! I did a skit with my friend Laura and apparently we did pretty well.

Fanfics You Should Be Reading #8

Welcome back to Fanfics You Should Be Reading! Today I’m going digging into the older Jurassic Park stories on Archive of our Own because not a lot of stories have been written recently and I feel bad for neglecting this blog. I’m a terrible blog-parent. Forgive me.

Most of these stories are really good but short, so I’m doing a couple more entries to make up for it.

#1. Trixie Seven by Innerbrat– http://archiveofourown.org/works/592410

Summarization: If you read the first novel, you know that the sick-triceratops scene in the movie involved a stegosaur in the book, and you know how that little plot arc was resolved. If you haven’t read it, though– no judgment, although you should, the book is gold– all you know about the sick-triceratops scene is what the movie showed, which didn’t include a resolution or explanation as to why the trike was sick. This story wraps up the scene and bridges a gap in Ellie’s part in the movie.

Why you should be reading it: I know a story that mainly just wraps up a minor plot arc doesn’t sound too exciting, but this is just short enough to get its point across and still be enjoyable. It’s written in a very similar style to the movie’s dialogue, making it nicely blend in with the source material, and the characters’ voices are done just right. I like how the triceratops’ name is Trixie, which is cute, but also connotates–

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To hate her or to hug her? That is the question.

#2. You in the Dormant Past by jazzfic– http://archiveofourown.org/works/297724

Summarization: Told in vignettes– and you all know how much I like that– this is a short story about Ellie’s life, mostly before the Park. There’s not much else to say about it, but click the link, you won’t regret it.

Why you should be reading it: This is told in a short and beautifully simple style that still manages to hurt you. Alan and Ellie had an undeniably emotional story together in the movies, and there’s a lot of ways that people have tried to retell their story and convey all the deep emotion in it, but I haven’t seen a lot that have shown it in a way quite like this. It always annoys me when people say the humans in these movies are one-dimensional or only there as dino bait, because stories like this emphasize and add to the very real character development in them.

#3. Fantasy by SG1SamFan– http://archiveofourown.org/works/389658

Summarization: An Alan and Ellie drabble (flash fiction, if you’re unfamiliar) set after the Park, that will tear your heart out.

Why you should be reading it: It’s beautifully written and it will tear your heart out.

#4. Objects of a Class by foolish_mortal– http://archiveofourown.org/works/230530

Summarization: This one’s a little longer. Billy Brennan goes to Dr. Grant’s university and begins working with him, programming computers and helping with his paleontology classes. It takes place mostly in college, but if it’s an AU I can’t tell.

Why you should be reading it: We don’t get a lot of stories about the doctors’ everyday lives in the colleges they teach at, which I actually love and wish there were more of. If you like those kinds of stories too, you’ll love this one. It’s excellently written and the character voices are done just right, and even if you aren’t invested in the story, you’ll at least enjoy the banter. And if you’re like me about Billy– ambivalent to annoyed with his character in general– this portrays him in a generally likeable way. I guess it made me realize why people in the fandom care so much about him, and if you already do, icing on the cake. The tags say this is an Alan/ Billy pairing story, but personally I think you’d have to read it pretty closely to get that impression.

#5. In All Things, Chaos by jazzfic– http://archiveofourown.org/works/195851

Summarization: In a little break from canon, Malcolm and Grant follow the sick triceratops (I’m probably gonna start calling her Trixie now whether I’m conscious of it or not) away from the field.

Why you should be reading it: Again, it’s all in the banter. These characters (all of them, but these two in particular) play off each other so well, and it’s always fun to read them throwing witty one-liners at each other. It concentrates solely on a happy aspect of Jurassic Park as well, which is pretty rare in stories about the main three characters– in AO3 in particular, there’s more trauma going on in the Jurassic Park archive than an ER ward. Basically, it’s short and fun and what’s not to like about that?

#6. RAR! by Merlin Missy– http://archiveofourown.org/works/300470

Summarization: And thus we save the best (at least in terms of uniqueness) for last. Velociraptor writes an advice column and answers questions from Liopleurodon, Malcolm (it’s a little unhealthy how much I love fanfics about him) and some sort of Titanic survivor, I guess. I can’t overanalyze this, it would be like cutting apart a stained-glass window to try to find out why it’s pretty. Just read it.

That’s all for today; I’ll have a little time over the weekend to try and breathe a little more life into this blog. I don’t like my absences either, but the closer we get to the movie (less than two months!) the more awesome stuff I’ll have to write about. As a side note, I absolutely encourage anyone with the urge to write Jurassic Park fanfiction to do so– the world will always need more– but if you plan to, then please don’t name it “Chaos Theory”. Going through older stories, I must have seen at least 20 stories with that name on one site alone. “Fractal Dynamics”, “Dragon Curve”, “Final Iteration”– please, anything but yet another “Chaos Theory”. Although that’s the name of a pretty long but good story on FF.net. Maybe I should review that next.