You Bet Jurassic’s A Pun

A couple weekends ago, some friends and I watched Jurassic Park (1993) for the first time in mumble-mumble years, and the experience brought a few things to mind.

First of all, I remembered reading Michael Crichton’s novel, and while the helicopter was flying to the island, I pondered how the movie took us back to a more innocent age, when the world and we were young, while in retrospect the book seems to look forward to Crichton the global-warming denier, Crichton the anti-scientist, Crichton the general jerk. (Yes, looking forward in retrospect is an odd feeling.) What do I mean by “innocent age”? Well, consider: back then, dinosaurs were just cool because they were dinosaurs, but if Jurassic Park came out today, in Year Two After Dover, the Young-Earth Creationists would bitch and moan on national TV that the movie accepts a 65-million-year gap between dinosaurs and people, and of course, the national media would give them equal time with the real scientists. Meanwhile, over at the Discoverup Institute, we’d have Dembski, Egnor and Behe saying, “Cloning dinosaurs from DNA is really Intelligent Design,” to which O’Leary and Cordova would add, “Yes, and Charles Darwin was a flatulent puppy-killer who didn’t know algebra and who was directly responsible for the Holocaust. Uh-huh. Jesus came to me and said that if I said potty-mouth things about Darwin, I’d get a pony in Heaven.”

We also noticed a few things which had passed us by when we had last seen the movie, years before. The girl, Miss “It’s a UNIX system!,” only has one or two facial expressions; I am now much more sympathetic to Sam Neill’s character and his discomfort with children than I was ten years ago. Furthermore, by Poseidon’s beard, Ian Malcolm is such a poser! Smug, irritating, jumpy and swaggering.

A few moments, like Richard Attenborough reminiscing about his flea circus and Sam Neill saying “Bet you’ll never look at birds the same way again,” seemed to belong to another movie, a better movie, where the children were real instead of cute — Jurassic Park as restaged in the Globe of dreams.

Also, midway through the second act, somebody noticed, “Hey, isn’t that Samuel L. Jackson?”

“Hey, that’s Samuel L. Jackson!”

For the rest of the evening, the air turned blue with remarks like, “I am tired of these muthafuckin’ raptors on this muthafuckin’ island!”

9 thoughts on “You Bet Jurassic’s A Pun”

  1. Oddly enough, around three weekends ago I watched JP with sis and a friend. Personally, JP was a great movie and novel, but I have to agree that you can the precursor to Michael Crichtonas he’s known nowadays. That is, the self-obsessed jerkoff with a Frankenstein complex and a darling of global warming denialists. It all reeks of “OH NOEZ, TEH GENOMICS IZ GOING TO KILLZ OUR AZZEZ!!!1″

    “Furthermore, by Poseidon’s beard, Ian Malcolm is such a poser! Smug, irritating, jumpy and swaggering.”

    Well, he is described as having a “deplorable excess of personality” early in the film. ;)

    “For the rest of the evening, the air turned blue with remarks like, “I am tired of these muthafuckin’ raptors on this muthafuckin’ island!“”

    LOL! I thought of the exact same thing. That may pretty much be universal at this point.

  2. Oh, the YECs bitched about JP, all right. I recall reading something from the now-late Henry Morris on the ICR website calling the movie evolutionary propaganda for talking about the dino-bird link and so on.

  3. If you’re really in the mood for some Crichton-bashing, you should know that the Rifftrax guys (formerly the MST3K guys) have
    just released a Riff-track on Jurassic Park, guest-riffed by “Weird Al”!

    I personally consider Jurassic Park to be the turning point of Crichton’s descent into idiocy. It was really the first book of his to get commented on and criticized by scientists (due to its widespread popularity), and I think that criticism did something really odd to his ego.

    And, yes, Ian Malcolm needed to be slapped something fierce: no sane mathematician would say, “Abstract mathematical theory predicts that your fancy zoo must fail!” To which, I would reply sarcastically, “Yes, I remember when Brookfield Zoo in Chicago catastrophically failed, and all the animals went on a rampage and ate everyone!”

    You know, I suspect that Samuel L. Jackson has to get paid extra if the director doesn’t want him to swear in his film…

  4. I still have a bit of a soft spot for Dr. Malcolm. Sure, he’s a nut, and even back then I could see how ridiculous it was to claim that math could prove the park would fail. But he’s at least an amusing nut.

  5. Sam Jackson’s repeated mantra of “Hold on to your butts!” in this film DOES seem somewhat muted compared to the rest of his oeuvre.

    I was pretty attracted to the girl, Ariana Richards, at the time (as she and I are of a similar age)..though I guess I was basically attracted to EVERY semi-cute, near-my-age girl in a movie at that time.

    That said, even then I found the children annoying as hell, an attitude which hasn’t changed in the interim in the least.

  6. Hey, I just watched that too. It was the midnight movie at the Egyptian in Seattle this past Saturday. I can’t believe not a single person in that theater made a snakes on a plane reference, must be slipping. I blame it on my jealosy of the large group dressed up as pretty much every character in the movie, even the annoying turkey kid.

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