Tagged: Jurassic Park

Bob Ingersoll: The Law Is A Ass #361: JERK ASSHAT WORLD

Spoiler Warnings are for sissies!

That’s why I’m not going to give you any, even though I’m going to write all about Jurassic World. First, the movie broke both the United States and the global records for opening weekend box office, so there’s a good chance that you’ve already seen it and don’t need no stinkin’ spoilers. Second, everything I’m about to tell you has already appeared in the trailers, which have been appearing before every movie being shown for the past several months. So even if you haven’t seen the movie, you’ve seen what I’m about to tell you. Third, even if you haven’t seen the trailers, it’s fourth installment in the Jurassic Park series; telling you there’s this amusement park with dinosaurs and some of the dinosaurs break out of their cages and run around eating people isn’t telling you something you don’t already know. That’s pretty much a given in a Jurassic Park movie, because it’s pretty much all the Jurassic Park movies have given.

Twenty years after the events of the first movie, John Hammond’s dream of a dinosaur theme park has been realized. According to Simon Masrani, the current CEO of Jurassic World’s parent corporation InGen, when John Hammond, the original head of InGen and the originator of Jurassic Park, was on his death bed, Hammond made Masrani promise to fulfil the dream of Jurassic Park.

Bunk! The last line of dialog from the original Jurassic Park, after the T-Rex and the raptors chased Hammond’s grandchildren all around Isla Nublar, was John Hammond saying even he no longer endorsed his own park. I doubt he had a change of heart on his death bed.

The movie may want us to believe it was Hammond’s last wish, but I think there was some other reason that Masrani wanted to make his corporation the little InGen that could. Greed. Greed and the fact that Masrani, InGen’s scientists, and Jurassic World’s management were a bunch of jerk asshats. “Hey, let’s recreate the amusement park that failed and almost bankrupted our company once and then failed again when we tried to set it in San Diego and almost bankrupted our company again. I mean, third time’s the charm, right?” Listen up, it’s comedy that works in threes.

Anyway, now appearing on Isla Nublar is the full-blown theme park Jurassic World. (InGen called it Jurassic World, because it decided after what happened on Isla Nublar the first time, calling the place Jurassic Park would be tacky. So InGen did learn something from the first movie, just not the right something.) Jurassic World had been up and running for ten years. Which means attendance was down, because jaded park goers always want some new attraction. Every time Jurassic World introduced a new attraction, attendance spiked. Masrani ordered the genetic engineers of Jurassic World to create a new attraction. Something with a “Wow!” factor. Something bigger, faster, stronger. The Six-Million Dollar Dinosaur.

indominusrexjurassicworld

The geneticists complied and created Indominus rex, a hybrid dinosaur that was part … Well, that would be telling. Exactly what species comprised Indominus is one of the few things the trailers didn’t tell you about Jurassic World and I don’t want to ruin the surprise. I can say – because the pre-movie publicity already said – that Indominus is part T-Rex, part cuttlefish, and part tree frog. Oh, and part hubris. No, make that all hubris. It’s a veritable hubris hybrid.

Indominus is big, strong, fast. And very intelligent. So intelligent that, despite the fact that it would have no way of knowing exactly what technology is or how it works, it devised a plan to escape its compound by using the park’s own technology against it.

Now Indominus was running around loose on Isla Nublar injuring people. The people it didn’t outright kill, that is. And it managed to free a bunch of pterosaurs from their locked aviary. So soon, there was an Idominus running around injuring and killing people and pterosaurs flying around injuring and killing people. (Honest, none of this is spoilers, everything that I’ve described was shown in the movie’s trailers. Hell, you didn’t even have to watch the trailers, they showed the pterosaur attacks in a Dairy Queen ad for its new Jurassic Smash Blizzard . )

jurrasic_world_mp_41

But this is where I stop relating the plot. We’ve finally moved into the part of the movie that the trailers didn’t show us beforehand and the part of the column where I start analyzing some law.

There’s a scene in the movie that occurs after “all the dinosaurs are running wild” where Vincent D’Onofrio’s character said to B. D. Wong’s character something like, “By Monday morning this park will be in Chapter 11.” Meaning that the park is going to have to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection to try to survive all of the lawsuits that will be coming from either all the people who survived the attacks or the families of all the people killed in the attacks.

That’s when I thought to myself – a silly phrase, we’re not comic books, when we think little bumpy balloons containing our thoughts don’t appear above our heads so that other people can read them, so who else could we be thinking to but ourselves – I thought, “More than just the park’s going to be in Chapter 11.”

Jurassic World’s scientists didn’t just build the Indominus on a whim. They built it on a budget. A budget approved because of the specific instructions of InGen’s CEO to make an new attraction that was bigger, stronger, scarier and wowier. In other words, they used InGen’s money to follow the specific orders of InGen’s CEO to build a new dinosaur that proved to be beyond their control. A new dinosaur that was highly dangerous, that escaped, that released other highly dangerous prehistoric creatures, and that caused massive amounts of big-budget, special effect-laden death and destruction.

The lawyers representing the injured parties should sue more than just Jurassic World. They should also sue InGen, which is more than a little bit responsible for Indominus and all the death and destruction she caused either. “More than a little bit” being lawyerly weasel words for “directly.”

In law school we were always taught to sue the deepest pockets. Why? Because when you sue for damages you’re looking for monetary compensation from the people you’re suing. If you’re looking for money, you go after the deepest pockets, because that’s where the most money is. If we use a real-world analogy, who has deeper pockets, Disneyland or the Walt Disney Company? Considering The Walt Disney Company is the world’s second largest broadcasting and cable company after Comcast and owns ABC, ESPN, Marvel Comics, Walt Disney Studios. Disneyland just owns Disneyland, which also happens to be owned by the Walt Disney Company. So, I’m going with the company not the park, itself.

Which means any lawyer worth his assault suits would sue not only Jurassic World but the parent corporation InGen, which funded Jurassic World, funded its research, and ordered the park to create the big bad dinosaur in the first place. Given the evidence the lawyers would have against InGen, the lawyers could be worth less than actual salt and still be good enough to sue the jerk asshats Jurassic assets off.

Molly Jackson: Where’s MY Science?

Wheres my science

Many, many months ago at Toy Fair they announced that a major trend for 2015 was dinosaurs. This was due in part to the upcoming Jurassic movie. Now, fast forward to last week. I bit the proverbial bullet and went to see Jurassic World.

I admit I didn’t have high hopes for the movie. Let’s be honest: you don’t really go for the plot. Almost everything people are complaining about is true. Poor character development mixed with the misogynistic undertones of the 1970s and the anti-war/government sentiments make for a poor plot. Not to mention, Chris Pratt is wearing eyeliner the whole movie which looks so weird.

Even through all of that, when the dinos came on screen, I loved it. I loved every poorly plotted minute of it.

After the fact, in chatting with some friends, I began to realize part of the reason I loved it was because I saw the original film at the right age. The original Jurassic Park made the happy feelings I had from watching the new one, only because they reminded me of what I felt as a kid. Jurassic Park is the movie my generation just loved. A film that had a leading female scientist as well as a young teenage female computer whiz. That film encouraged young girls like me in the sciences.

The new Jurassic World has no female scientist and the only featured scientist is portrayed as an evil, greedy loon. After my extensive years of enjoying science fiction, I know that good science fiction can encourage kids into exploring science. This film did not follow in the steps of its predecessor. It seemed to discourage scientific discovery and promote destruction.

I don’t mind destruction in my movies. I love it, in fact. Still, science fiction used to have the rare talent of showing the wonders of learning without kids realizing it. Educating them in a fun and unassuming way. Now, we just threw it out the window for a bigger killer with more teeth.

Now, going back to that tidbit about Toy Fair. There were some science toys but mostly destructive action figures. Let’s keep hoping those kids pick up the science toy first.

REVIEW: Terra Nova

Any time Steven Spielberg comes to television, it’s always with something different. He honored the anthology series of his youth with Amazing Stories and lent his storytelling expertise to get ER launched, making that into a smash hit for NBC. So, when Fox heard of a series about humans and dinosaurs and Spielberg, it seemed like a no brainer. If anyone could get dinosaurs to work convincingly on the small screen, it was the director of Jurassic Park. What the network couldn’t count on was the full extent of Spielberg’s involvement and in time the series was placed under showrunner Brannon Braga’s control. Braga cut his teeth on Star Trek: The Next Generation and has gone on to do other genre fare, but he can’t seem to repeatedly sacrifice characterization in favor of conspiracy and that’s where Terra Nova fell off the rails.

Delayed by schedule issues as the massive CGI prehistoric creatures proved more difficult to execute on a budget, the series debuted last fall and for 14 episodes, we were treated to a series with tremendous potential, most of it wasted.

In 2149, mankind has choked the world so badly that time travel to resettle humanity in the past was the best hope for survival. A colony was established and those fortunate enough to be picked were sent in waves, controlling the impact of man altering the past. We follow the Shannon family from this wretched dystopia to the clean air of the past and see if people can do better when given a better chance. Jim Shannon (Jason O’Mara) is in jail for violating population laws and conceiving a third child but is broken free and joins his wife, Dr. Elisabeth Shannon (Shelley Conn), 17 year old son Josh (Landon Liboiron), 16 year old daughter Maddy (Naomi Scott), and five year old Zoe (Alana Mansour), as they join the Tenth Pilgrimage 85 Million years back in time.

Terra Nova is a thriving colony under the command of Commander Nathaniel Taylor (Stephen Lang) and contains enough raw power to protect the populace from the mammoth critters that wander the jungles just beyond their walls. While the thrust of the stories should have been the struggle to adapt to the environment and its deadly inhabitants, Braga had other ideas. Apparently, The Others, I mean the Sixers split back during the sixth pilgrimage and are working with unknown forces back in the future to seize the pristine world’s resources. Then there’s the mystery of Taylor’s son, a genius who was either part of the conspiracy or its pawn. Add in a blackmarketeer, a teen turned traitor to save her ill mother, young romance, and a few other threads, you get a crazy quilt of plots that could actually be told in any other environment.

The show failed to be different from its genre competitors because it avoided the most unique element going for it: dinosaurs! Man versus nature! How do the people adapt to diseases, microbes, and minerals they never encountered before? How do they ensure each step they take beyond the colony does not in some way create a vastly different tomorrow? Nope, the show skips all of those possibilities for conspiracies and soap operas.

The appealing cast does its best with weak material but by the end of the series, it was clear that there would be little progress in solving these dilemmas and when the plug was mercifully pulled in March, it vanished without much of an imprint in the genre or prime time television.

The complete series is presented on four standard definition discs from 20th Century Home Entertainment. In addition to fourteen hours of drama, the set comes with complete with some vaguely interesting deleted scenes and an extended version of “Occupation/Resistance”, the two-part finale (there’s also an audio commentary from Stephen Lang, Brannon Braga and Rene Echevarria). There are a handful of somewhat interesting “Director’s Diaries – Making the Pilot” with comments from Alex Graves, whose work I have generally admired. Finally, there is a brief look at “Cretaceous Life: The Dinosaurs of Terra Nova”, which should enlighten younger viewers who can’t get enough dinosaurs, and “Mysteries Explored”, delving into the less interest aspects of this failed series. Rounding things out is a gag reel.

A series with potential like this is all the more disappointing when it does not embrace its strengths in favor of a creator’s personal interests. Had Spielberg been more hands on, things might have turned out differently, but as it stands, the show is a mildly engaging misfire.

The Secret World of Arrietty Opens Tomorrow

The Anime adaptation of Mary  Norton’s classic novel The Borrowers, known as The Secret World of Arrietty, opens tomorrow across the nation. Walt Disney continues its associate with Studio Ghibli with this release, featuring a stellar array of American vocal talent as seen in this picture with Amy Poehler, Bridgit Mendler, and the legendary Carol Burnett.

The G-rated film features the vocal talents of Mendler, Poehler, Burnett, Will Arnett, David Henrie, and Moises Arias. The movie was directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi from a screenplay by Hayao Miyazaki and Keiko Niwa. Producers of the English translation, Kathleen Kennedy, Frank Marshall, hired Karey Kirkpatrick to handle the screenplay.

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger.

Notes:

  • Hayao Miyazaki is one of the most influential and admired filmmakers working in animation today and is a major figure in the Japanese cinematic landscape. His films have inspired moviegoers and colleagues around the world, from Pixar’s John Lasseter to fantasist Guillermo del Toro to Chinese director Tsui Hark, and consistently top the box office in his native Japan.
  • Director Hiromasa Yonebayashi, a top animator at Studio Ghibli, was responsible for the animation in a signature scene in “Ponyo,” in which Ponyo runs atop ocean waves.
  • English language voice talent director Gary Rydstrom is a seven-time Academy AwardÒwinning sound designer/mixer (“Terminator 2: Judgment Day”). He joined Pixar Animation Studios as an animation film director in 2003.  His directorial debut for the studio was the Academy Award®-nominated short film “Lifted,” and he directed the short film “Hawaiian Vacation,” which was released with “Cars 2” in June 2011.
  • Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall are highly successful producing partners whose films, separately and together, include The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, E.T., Who Framed Roger Rabbit?, the Indiana Jones films and the Jurassic Park films. In total, Kennedy and Marshall have earned 11 Oscar® nominations.
  • English language screenplay writer Karey Kirkpatrick’s credits include Spiderwick Chronicles and Over the Hedge, which he also directed (with Tim Johnson).

Fortress of Solitude Print Lauches Mondo/DC Comics Poster Series

Austin, TX— Wednesday, November 23, 2011 — Mondo, the collectible art boutique arm of Alamo Drafthouse, is pleased to announce its new licensed poster series for DC Comics.  The first poster in this epic lineup will be Superman’s “Fortress of Solitude” on sale Black Friday (November 25, 2011) at http://www.mondotees.com. Follow Mondo on Twitter (@MondoNews) for exact sale time.

FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

Artist: JC Richard
Size: 12×32
Edition: 390
Price: $50

The DC Comics series, in partnership with Sideshow Collectibles, will encompass both comics and films as Mondo artists tackle some of the most iconic characters of all time.  “We wanted to kick off the DC Comics series with an art print from arguably the most famous character ever, but in a unique way which focuses on the iconic Fortress of Solitude,” said Mondo’s Creative Director Justin Ishmael.

“This marks the second time we’ve worked with artist JC Richard, who wowed us all with the subtle beauty of a lost world in his Jurassic Park print; and he again knocks it out of the park with a stunning vision of Superman’s lair,” said Mondo’s Mitch Putnam.

Review: “Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy”

The advent of CGI allowed anything to become a reality if you could afford it. The promise seen in Terminator 2 quickly led the big budget producers to play with the new technology and the 1990s saw a shift in storytelling as these extravaganzas grew larger. When Steven Spielberg announced he was adapting Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park for the screen, we knew this was going to be the pinnacle of an era. From the lush and note-perfect John Williams score to the familiar and welcome cast, we were in for a treat. That first establishing shot of the park and its legendary inhabitants was a jaw-dropping moment in cinema. Done right, the CGI didn’t overwhelm, but fit seamlessly to convincingly tell a story.

Unfortunately, as CGI technology became widespread and cheaper, it got used and misused with abandon. Similarly, the wild box office success of the first Jurassic film prompted Universal Studios to go ahead with a second and third installment when really all you needed was the first with a satisfying beginning, middle and conclusion. Still, kids love dinosaurs and the movies did well enough that even today talk of a fourth film surfaces now and then.

In time for the holidays Universal Home Entertainment has collected the trilogy, spiffed them up a bit and collected them as the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy, a three-disc Blu-ray box set in a handsome case. (more…)

First look at The Secret World of Arrietty

Walt Disney has released the first images for their forthcoming Japanese import The Secret World of Arrietty.

Residing quietly beneath the floorboards are little people who live undetected in a secret world to be discovered, where the smallest may stand tallest of all.  From the legendary Studio Ghibli (Spirited Away, Ponyo) comes The Secret World of Arrietty, an animated adventure based on Mary Norton’s acclaimed children’s book series The Borrowers.

Arrietty (voice of Bridgit Mendler), a tiny, but tenacious 14-year-old, lives with her parents (voices of Will Arnett and Amy Poehler) in the recesses of a suburban garden home, unbeknownst to the homeowner and her housekeeper (voice of Carol Burnett). Like all little people, Arrietty (AIR-ee-ett-ee) remains hidden from view, except during occasional covert ventures beyond the floorboards to “borrow” scrap supplies like sugar cubes from her human hosts. But when 12-year-old Shawn (voice of David Henrie), a human boy who comes to stay in the home, discovers his mysterious housemate one evening, a secret friendship blossoms. If discovered, their relationship could drive Arrietty’s family from the home and straight into danger. The English language version of The Secret World of Arrietty was executive produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall, and directed by Gary Rydstrom. The film hits theaters Feb. 17, 2012. (more…)

Jurassic Park Trilogy Comes to Blu-ray

We’re still savoring the goodness found in the Superman and Lord of the Rings treasure chests but now we have something to put on our Christmas list. Coming in October is a Blu-ray box set of the three Jurassic Park films and there’s something to recommend in all three. Here’s the formal release:

Universal City, California, June 27, 2011 – The wait is finally over to experience one of the most anticipated motion-picture trilogies of all time like never before when Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III debut as a trilogy set on Blu-ray™ October 25, 2011 from Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Acclaimed filmmaker Steven Spielberg’s award-winning cinematic franchise, based on the best-selling book by  Michael Crichton, generated nearly $2 billion combined at the worldwide box office and featured groundbreaking visual effects that changed the art of movie-making forever. Now, all three epic films have been digitally restored and remastered in flawless high definition for the ultimate viewing experience. Additionally, the films’ visceral sound effects and the unforgettable music from legendary composer John Williams can now be heard in pristine 7.1 surround sound. Arriving in stores just in time for holiday gift giving, this collectible three-movie set also features hours of bonus features, including an all-new, six-part documentary and digital copies of all three films that can be viewed on an array of electronic and portable devices anytime, anywhere.  The Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy is also available on DVD, as well as in a spectacular Limited Edition Blu-ray Trilogy Gift Set which includes a custom T-rex dinosaur statue. (more…)

Michael Crichton Dies

Michael Crichton Dies

Michael Crichton, the million-selling author of such historic and prehistoric science thrillers as Jurassic Park, Timeline and The Andromeda Strain has died of cancer, his family said. He died Tuesday in Los Angeles at age 66 after a long battle with the illness.

Michael started his career writing under the pseudonyms "John Lange" and "Jeffrey Hudson" but was soon published under his own name and developed a loyal following of readers. He is also credited as creator of NBC’s long-runing hit series ER.

Although many felt he was a crusader for "anti-technology" this was more of a commentary on scientists who would make breakthroughs without considering their impact on society around them.

At his family’s request, the details of his funeral are being kept private.