Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park Ian Malcolm

As the summer winds to a close, I tend to look back at some of the activities I’ve done with my kids. Living in Ohio, I have access to one of the best zoos in the country, the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. However, after a couple visits, it gets tiresome of looking at the same animals over and over again. Thanks to the heartbreaking documentary Blackfish, it’s not cool to visit Sea World any more (and the old Sea World of Ohio location fled the state for warmer temperatures years ago). Without these options, there are few opportunities to look at new and interesting animals. Having recently watched Jurassic Park, I found myself wishing there was a real-life dinosaur park where I could take the kids. Of course, it should be humanely run and not include any velociraptors running amok due to a greedy programmer shutting down park security. I’m sure those issues of park life would be ironed out in beta testing. This got me thinking, at least for next summer’s family activities: How close are scientists to making a real-life Jurassic Park by cloning dinosaurs?

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Jurassic Park Mr DNA

It’s not every day that a baseless, completely insane internet rumor is proven to be in fact 100% based and sane. But yesterday was one such day. You see, a week and a half ago, JoBlo.com unleashed a torrent of supposed Jurassic World rumors on the world, and they were met with an array of eye-rolls, tut-tuts and other typical responses that convey the words “Yeah, no way pal.” But Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm had the stones to straight-up ask the movie’s director, Colin Trevorrow, if the rumors are true. Surprise! They totally are. Now for a brief disclaimer. Trevorrow mentions in all this that he’d prefer if “audiences could discover this on their own,” so those looking to have absolutely nothing spoiled about Jurassic World should turn away immediately. However, Trevorrow was also willing to spill the beans when asked, so it can’t be too big of a deal. If he wasn’t willing to go the J.J. Abrams “Yes, we all know it’s Kahn but I will continue to play coy for no reason” route, we’re probably in the clear here. So if you’re interested, let your eyes venture below.

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Ellen Ripley Alien

It’s one of the most frustrating phenomena in film to watch, seeing someone so clearly correct and potentially wise get shut down by the people around them because their theories or warnings seem too far-fetched. As an audience, we know that they’re right – that monster is ripe for striking the city, that megastorm is about to hit mainland any day now and that kid is up to something suspicious – but our poor, long-suffering protagonists just don’t have the luck of getting their pleas heard in time. If only people had known these crackpots were right all along. Here are 7 cinematic Cassandras.

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The Warriors Baseball Furies

We all feared that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was going to have too many villains. But the number of bad guys in the new sequel isn’t really a problem. You’ve mostly just got Electro (Jamie Foxx), who is the most powerful and most prevalent, and then there’s Green Goblin (Dane DeHaan) who joins him in the third act. Rhino (Paul Giamatti) is basically only in this movie for isolated scenes, and I’ll just keep the mention of him to that, so nobody thinks I’m spoiling too much (he’s in the ads, so his very appearance shouldn’t be a surprise). Oh, and there’s also that mysterious man seen at the end of the first movie doing whatever he’s doing somewhere in the background. It’s not that there are too many of these guys so much that they’re handled rather sloppily, though that’s par for the course of most elements of the movie. When fans worry about the multiple villain issue, what they’re really worried about is yet another movie that handles the idea badly. We’ve seen this before, in Spider-Man 3, Batman and Robin, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, X-Men: The Last Stand, Iron Man 2 and The Dark Knight Rises. The last one is an interesting criticism from people because the entire Christopher Nolan series has multiple villains for each film, with The Dark Knight championed (by us, six years ago) for being one the rare great movies to do it right with the balance of The Joker and eventually Two-Face. 

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Amazing-Spider-Man-Curt-Connors-DNA-Experiment

When Francis Crick and James Watson famously published their article “Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid” in Nature magazine 61 years ago, they didn’t reveal a discovery of DNA nor did they introduce the concept of genetics to the world. Their main contribution to history (with help from Rosalind Franklin) is in the illustration of the double helix model of DNA, which means they gave us a visual for a science that beforehand was only pictured in an abstract manner. Is it fair to say the double helix is an iconic image? That’d be like claiming cels and rocks and fire are iconic. DNA is just a part of life, and the double helix is what it looks like. Still, it is in most forms an illustrational icon rather than the real deal, and few sciences have such a distinctly recognizable visual representation, one that has made genetics a very cinematic area of study. Movies involving experiments and testing involving DNA would still exist without that imagery, but as you can see in the still from The Amazing Spider-Man above, they’re better for having something so easily rendered in CG form. The double helix shows up on computer screens and holographic displays of scientific plans and even in cases where it’s not a literal illustration of DNA, as in the case of the spiral staircase in Vincent/Jerome’s home in Gattaca. Occasionally DNA itself is depicted, though not always correctly, as in the case of the opening credits sequence of […]

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Jurassic Park

After building a theme park populated by dinosaurs, eccentric old billionaire John Hammond invites two top dino-scientists, a rock star chaos theory expert, and his grandchildren to come check it out. Fortunately for everyone involved, a horrible security breach unleashes the dinosaurs, and their lives are all terribly threatened.

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It may not be the biggest hit at the box office this weekend, but Escape Plan could wind up a cult favorite. As our review states, it’s “entertaining” and “gloriously silly.” And truth be told, it’s the first movie for either Arnold Schwarzenegger or Sylvester Stallone in about 20 years that deserves a sequel. Or needs one, because personally I found the team-up of these two 1980s action heroes a little less fun than I’d hoped. Honestly, I dozed off a bit in the middle. But Escape Plan 2 could be bigger and even more entertaining and much sillier in an even more glorious way. For starters, I’d like to see a follow-up where the actors are actually equal, dual protagonists rather than seeing Arnie as a sidekick along for another one of Sly’s adventures. Maybe the sequel could instead reverse the premise and have it be Schwarzenegger’s character’s story. Instead of coming up with original ideas to pitch to the makers of Escape Plan, and potentially just have them stolen, I’ve selected 10 plots that already exist in other movies, which could be remade for Escape Plan 2, Escape Plan 3, etc. And the good thing is many of these titles are already in line to be remade. Just tweak the scripts with some one-liners referencing both stars’ past hits, and you’re good to go!

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IntroMadGenius

Crazy science is so embedded in movie-making that it’s been with us since the very conception of film with such classics as Frankenstein and Dr. Caligari. While the best stuff was almost exclusively from the time of black and white – the 1980s and beyond have seen their formidable share of folks with PhDs in crazy. See for yourself…a lot of mad doctorates have been handed out recently.

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IntroWorstPlacesToWork

Forget Weyland-Yutani or Initech; statistically speaking they are fine places to work. Hell, you think Cyberdyne didn’t have a stellar employee benefits package, or at least decent break rooms? Sure – everyone dies, but day-to-day it’s not that terrible. In the movie world, there are far worse jobs out there. These are places that – from one day to the next – level out as the worst possible places to be employed.

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IntroEffects

Sometimes the best solution is also the easiest. When it comes to making movies, however, nothing tends to be easy. Then again, there have been a few instances where the solution – while still not anywhere close to easy – was at least simple. Cheap, even. Check out the following big budget effects that you could theoretically recreate in your own basement.

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The Great Escape

With a ton of classic films and an Oscar under his belt, producer Walter Mirisch joins us to talk about The Great Escape, Steve McQueen and the key to producing great movies.  Plus, with so much news landing, Geoff and I offer opinionated insight and some insightful opinions on Ray Harryhausen, the future of a potential Downey-less Marvel, a delayed Jurassic Park IV, and the best trailers of the week. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #18 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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fantastic four bill murray

Welcome to another edition of the Reject Recap, where we highlight the past week’s best news and original features from this very movie site and others around the web. It really wasn’t a huge week for stories out of Hollywood and the rest of the industry. Some of the biggest things involved sci-fi movie casting and trailers and the reminder of a remake nobody sees as necessary. In addition to the ten posts curated for your attention, we also share two goofy mash-up videos for your enjoyment this weekend. Start your weekend right after the jump.

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BJ Novak in Spider-Man 2

Tonight in Movie News After Dark, we’ve got actionable items of to-do-ness for you. From learning about Neill Blomkamp’s latest to watching Marc Webb show off his Spidey-sets to remembering KFBR392, we’ve got a big list of things that every movie lover should be doing this evening. Lets get started.

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Jurassic Park

As you may already know, Jurassic Park returns to theaters today in gloriously revamped 3D. It’s also not news that JP is one of the significant movies of my lifetime. Ten at the time of its release, my eyes opened wider and my imagination traveled further following a viewing of Steven Spielberg’s dinosaurs on the big screen. One could say that its release was a turning point in my life, one that has led us all here. To you reading Movie News After Dark, a nightly movie news column that tonight dedicates itself to one thing: Welcome to the Jurassic Park Edition.

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Jurassic Park

While it’s easy enough to knock films that get a post-production 3D-conversion (err, sorry, G.I. Joe: Retaliation), this week’s Jurassic Park 3D is a true exception to the rule. The difference? Well, starting out with a solidly entertaining crowd-pleaser from Steven Spielberg sure doesn’t hurt. Turns out, Jurassic Park in 3D is still one hell of a ride, and that extra dimension is exactly what it should be – a nice bonus, but not essential to audience enjoyment. Are you ready to journey back to Isla Nubar, now with bonus raptor-popping? You should be. After the break, we eschew the standard review format to talk about Jurassic Park 3D (because, well, this movie came out twenty years ago) and give you eleven big reasons why you should shell out your hard-earned movie-going dollars to see the movie this weekend. Really, spare no expense on this one. Take the kids. Find the most giant screen you can. Get the big popcorn, too – all the better to jump out of your hands when a huge raptor leaps from the screen right into your face.

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JoeyOroscoPaintsTriceratopsonLocation01

You’re going to need some foam core, a few Jeeps and some black-tinted KY jelly. Such is the glamour of the filmmaking business. With Jurassic Park in theaters again, renowned special effects artist Shannon Shea joins us to talk about what it was like building dinosaurs and being on set for the Steven Spielberg picture. He was also nice enough to share some very rare behind-the-scenes pictures (and a dramatic reading of a scripted scene that never made the film). For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #13 Directly Or subscribe Through iTunes

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Life of Pi Without VFX

Several companies at the top of their game have now gone bankrupt, hundreds protested outside the Oscars, the Jaws theme added insult to injury, and it all adds up to the VFX industry being in trouble. But how can something so central to modern filmmaking be struggling to stay alive? If blockbusters earn billions on the back of stunning CGI wizardry, why are the best in the business failing? Industry veteran Jim Hillin joins us to explain it all in simple terms and to offer a few solutions in the face of a complex, dire situation. Plus, Geoff and I share a few big visual effects moments that changed movies by delivering real magic. For more from us on a daily basis, follow the show (@brokenprojector), Geoff (@drgmlatulippe) and Scott (@scottmbeggs) on the Twitter. And, as always, we welcome your feedback. Download Episode #9 Subscribe Through iTunes

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Jurassic Park Hugs

Universal Pictures has just announced that their Jurassic Park IV will hit theaters on June 13, 2014. And, yup, that’s pretty much it. Beyond that, we only know that Steven Spielberg will produce, it will likely be in 3D, and it (may possibly?) come with a script by Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver. That’s right, there’s no word on plot details, who could star in it (or even what sort of roles they are looking to cast), and who will direct it. The summer of 2014 is already shaping up to include a monster (very sequel-heavy) lineup, with May seeing the release of The Amazing Spider-Man sequel, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, that new Godzilla, and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes; June featuring both How to Train Your Dragon 2 and Transformers 4; with July set to feature both The Hobbit: There and Back Again and X-Men: Days of Future Past; and August already slated for that Guardians of the Galaxy opening. Geez, save your movie-going dollars now, people. This has been Friday news. [Universal Pictures]

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Unless you were living under a rock during the ’90s, the new trailer for Jurassic Park 3D probably seems pretty familiar to you. It’s basically just a trailer for Steven Spielberg’s ubiquitous 1993 blockbuster Jurassic Park, with some stuff about the film being re-released in 3D tacked on at the end. But, that doesn’t mean you don’t need to watch it. Chances are it’s been quite a while since you’ve last watched Jurassic Park, and chances are you’ve forgotten how much a movie like this lends itself to making great trailers. The sense of grandeur, the big reveals, the breakthrough special effects, Jeff Goldblum draped across various things all shirtless and sexy, the ripple in the glass of water, Samuel L. Jackson saying “Hold on to your butts,” it’s all here. But, what strikes you about watching this trailer more than anything else, is the music. The second the first few notes of John Williams‘ iconic score for this dinosaurs run amok adventure start playing, you find yourself instantly transported back to being however old you were when you first saw this movie. And by the time the song gets to the soaring crescendo, well, it’s done its job of convincing you that you’re going to want to shell out some money to experience this classic up on the big screen one more time pretty effectively.

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Jurassic Park Raptor Suit Winston

How does a human fit inside a raptor? The standard way would probably be as bite-sized chunks, but if you’re Stan Winston and the effects team behind Jurassic Park, you’d want the human being to be in one piece. This amazing behind-the-scenes video takes the raptor from a “garbage bag” test in foam to the terrifying final product. The actor inside the suit, John Rosengrant narrates and explains the process (as well as the challenges). The video is part of a larger blog post from the Stan Winston School which features even more information and still photos, but the video itself is remarkable (if only to watch a raptor ripping up a towel in front of The Terminator). There’s no doubt that this movie had a profound impact on audiences, and that scene in the kitchen is one of the keystones that made raptors a household name more frightening than T-Rex. It’s priceless to be able to see the ingredients that went into it, partially because seeing how the trick was done only manages to make the magic more impressive. More like this, please.  

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