Wednesday, March 28, 2012

F This Movie! - The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Patrick and Alex traveled to Site B, and guess what they found? More dinosaurs. Also, garbage.

Download this episode here. (33.1 MB)

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Also discussed this episode: The Hunger Games, Jeff Who Lives at Home, Columbiana, Lucky, Being Elmo


  1. This movie is the textbook definition of 'movie betrayal'. I remember feeling bad after seeing this - like I had done something wrong. I went back the following week, making up the excuse that I must have been in a bad mood and it was my fault for not liking it. Turns out, I wasn't wrong and I grew upset that the filmmakers took a would-be fun experience and turned it into this void. I think I was still chasing that 'fun time' that I was expecting and I had nowhere to turn except seeing this piece of crap again. End of that rant.

    Things that really bug me in this movie are
    1) in the trailer over the cliff sequence, they're making jokes about ordering takeout? - the movie is tone deaf and
    2) the editing is weird in one spot, the pete postelthwaite character is saying something and it cuts to the beginning of the next scene before he's done talking (for no reason whatsoever)
    3) when they show the stegasourases, it's the obligatory awe moment (like the brachiosaurus in JP) but the movie is so cynical it almost is derisively saying itself 'yeah, yeah let's move on'. It's like someone showing you a funny you tube video that you've already seen 10 times.

    Movie that I'm surprised never had a sequel is Independence Day. Worst Speilberg movie is Indy 4 by far.

    1. It's not for lack of trying:

      Fox wants back-to-back sequels to "ID4" real bad. The studio even arranged it so Dean Devlin and Roland Emmerich (who parted company a decade ago) will re-team to do the movies; they already worked together on writing the scripts. Everybody is waiting for Will Smith to say a definite 'yay' or 'nay' to coming back though, because Will being in the sequels will determine everything from budget to release date. It might still not happen, but for now "ID4" is very likely to have sequels.

      And even though they're totally different movies, all the post-"ID4" disaster flicks ("2012," "Deep Impact," "Armageddon," the upcoming "Battleship," etc.) are kind-of spiritial sequels to the "ID4" phenomenon. It wasn't the first alien invasion movie (the original "War of the Worlds" is pretty cool) but every disaster movie after "ID4" has tried to at least copy the beats and routines of that 1996 blockbuster blueprint.

  2. "Empire of the Sun" comes out on Blu-ray June 19th Patrick, so no more excuses. ;-)

    I don't hate "The Lost World: Jurassic Park," just indifferent to it the couple of times I've seen it. Didn't remember much about it before listening to your podcast except there's a black girl (Ian Malcolm's daughter?) that knocks some dinos away by doing some gymnastic routine on a parallel bar. I also remember a dinosaur attacking a bus and a video store with fake movie posters meant as jokes before something (a vehicle or dinosair) crashes through it. I do remember the little girl at the beginning. Maybe in the original pre-release version she was meant to die but, during test-screenings, audiences didn't like that so they changed it (via dubbed ADR) to 'she was injured' status?

    I kind-of want to see "The Lost World" now that you've mentioned that Private Cowboy is the movie's human bad guy. Glad to see Arliss Howard recovered from that sniper gunshot he suffered in Vietnam (only a flesh wound?) and went on to have a lucrative career in the 'private' (get it?) sector. :-P Last time I saw him Arliss was doing some behind-the-scenes MLB work on "Moneyball." Dude gets around.

    Roger Corman did his own version of "Jurassic Park" back in '93 with "Carnosaur." As rushed and unpolished as "Jurassic Park III" is compared to its prequels it's still 1,000 times better made than what Corman could do even in '01. You want to see really bad dino action AND do a 'Heavy Action' movie at the same time? Get a hold of 1997's "Future War" which is a combination of "The Terminator," a Jean-Claude Van Damme kickboxing movie (star Daniel Bernhardt even looks/sounds like JCVD) and force-perspective killer dinosaurs from outer space on a bloody rampage in Los Angeles. All these done on a budget lower than what it costs to get the 'F This Movie' blogspot/podcast running. "MST3K" got a hold of this during its last year (#1004) but on its own without riffers "Future War" is unbelievably goofy because it takes itself very seriously. Worth seeing for someone wanting to cleanse their sour palette after tasting "The Lost World" sour grapes.

    And, since you gents asked for them, here are my least-liked Spielberg movies:

    5. 1941 (loud music/actors shouting + wasted SFX + unfunny comedy = an unfunny LOUD comedy)

    4. JURASSIC PARK (the movie gets really good when the survivors board the helicopter a minute before the credits kick in; that's when John Williams' majestic score soars without the annoying actors I wish the dinos had devoured -except for Goldblum, because "The Fly"- clogging the soundtrack with their idiotic dialogue. Even B.D. Wong was bad, and he's usually good in everything)

    3. INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM ("Crystal Skull" was lousy but this was both annoying as shit and overacted/overproduced to then-record levels of mean/violent; me not likey at all, because Kate Capshaw)

    2. AMISTAD (preachy school teachings with a heavy dose of liberal guilt masquarading as a historical epic)

    1. HOOK (the same way you feel toward "The Lost World" I feel toward "Hook," 'nuff said).

    Nice to have Alex back. Patrick and Alex are my favorite wingmen team when it comes to 'F'ing 'the shit' out of both really terrible ("Avatar: The Last Airbender" is an all-time classic) and terribly complex movies ("Vanilla Sky") and this was a reminder of why. What's next? "Hudson Hawk"? "Cutthroat Island"? "Ishtar"? "Antichrist"? :-)

  3. So, you didn't like it?

    On a more positive note, I saw Being Elmo recently as well and it's a rather lovely little movie. Sure, there's no huge conflict in it, but I didn't especially feel the need for one. Just a very enjoyable, interesting movie.

    1. Yeah, I didn't mind the lack of conflict, either. I just wanted to give an idea of what people could expect from the movie. Very sweet, and very positive. Also, puppets.

  4. Congratulations, Ross! You win the prestigious "THAT GUY" award!

  5. ^^^ Better Ross than me, the usual recipient of 'THAT GUY' awards around here! :-)

  6. Fear not, Ross. I knew you were joking.

  7. ^^^ I didn't know. Guess I'm 'THAT GUY' now, again! :-(

  8. Man, I was one of those kids who could spell "palaeontologist" when he was 5 (not now though, I just had to use spell-check :P), had actually read Jurassic Park at about age 10 before I even knew it was going to be a movie, had MY FIRST ORGASM when I found out about the first movie, had MY SECOND ORGASM watching the first movie...okay a little exaggeration at the end, but you get my point - I loved this shit. I only remember being mildly disappointed when I saw The Lost World COLON Jurassic Park in theatres - (a) I was only 17 and not the most discerning film watcher and (b) I had read the book (Ian Malcolm was the lead in the book btw and there was no San Diego rampage) so perhaps I was supplementing the movie with book info - but I'd say the first time I watched it again I started realizing what a piece of crap it is and having watched it on blu-ray not too long ago my dislike for it has only grown. At the same time, it is a piece of crap I DON'T MIND watching and do enjoy a few scenes, so I'm probably more in Alex's camp on this one than Patrick's, not that you were that far apart.

    Great F'ing guys and a good choice of movie because it is one of those weird ones that has all the right ingredients to be great (e.g. Spielberg, actual Crichton story, dinosaurs, gymnastics) but just falls flat in so many ways.

    As far as least favourite Spielberg movies I've seen (your podcast made me check out his list and there's a good half dozen I haven't seen) I think I've pretty much got the same obvious picks as everyone else: Hook, The Lost World COLON Jurassic Park and Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

    And just to be a little bit of THAT GUY and take some of the heat of Vargas - my favourite Indiana Jones movie is The Temple of Doom. Seriously.

    1. ^^^ Congratulations Sol. You are 'THAT GUY's' 'THAT GUY.' Or is it 'THIS GUY's 'THAT GUY!''? Or 'THE PREVIOUS THAT GUY's NEW 'THAT GUY!''? Or... ;-)

      I'll give this much complement to "Temple of Doom." I never knew how the SFX people did those tunnel mine cart sequences until the DVD bonus features showed how they were made. On that basic technical level I have to tip my (fake) hat to "Temple of Doom," some of that practical effect stuff was awesome and runs circles around modern day CGI shit.

      That said "Temple of Doom" still blows chunks and, on top of that, has Kate Capshaw's shrill performance tilting the scale into the almost-unwatchable level. As bad as "Crystal Skull" is (and it's pretty bad, bottom 10 of Spielberg's career easy) it has Karen Allen back on a movie franchise she shouldn't have been left off of for 27 fucking years! Just seeing Indy and Marion interacting again (with Allen looking a lot better than Ford's worse for wear mummy) papers over, but doesn't eliminate, the truckload of crap that this movie has wrong about it.

      If "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" (I refuse to write the word COLON in-between these, I'm a grown man! :-P) gets a good 'F'ing in a podcast then "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" most certainly deserves the same treatment. "Temple of Doom" does too but I'm a realist (i.e. the minority) and know that's not gonna happen. A guy can still dream, can't he Bueller? Bueller? Bueller?

    2. Well, to be fair, I've never sat down and given Raiders or Last Crusade a chance in my adult years and likely will when the blu rays are released. I think Temple of Doom was the first one of the series I watched (and taped off the TV or something so watched it over and over) and then for whatever reason I just found the other two kinda boring - perhaps Temple of Doom appealed to my childish sensibilities more than the other two, which quite possibly would now appeal more to my childish ADULT sensibilities!

  9. I had blocked The Terminal from my memory until RossReeder honorably mentioned it. It's not one of the worst but it annoys me greatly.

  10. Lost World is definitely the worstest of the worst from Spielberg. Hook and 1941 are also at the bottom of the list. I am surprised to hear Always mentioned in this company. I think I have affection for it because it was the first VHS movie I could rent that was letterboxed. Haven't ever rewatched it though.

  11. To answer a few of your questions/concerns:

    - The reason for Site B's existence is actually very well explained in the novel. Malcolm points out that any brand-new manufacturing industry always takes a lot of trial and error to create a good product, so the pristine, homey little lab seen in the first movie/book was never a very credible source for all the dinos. Site B was the factory; the lab in Isla Nublar was the showroom.

    - The movie is only very loosely adapted from the book. It retains the basic Site B concept, Malcolm's presence and Julianne Moore's character, but the villains in the book are Dodgson (Dennis Nedry's employer) and a handful of his goons, not a bigger, better-funded InGen team. (Hammond died at the end of the first book - as did Malcolm, actually, but the the opening of the second book handwaves that away as an exaggeration.) Also, there was no Grant in the second book.

    - Though the cliff attack sequence occurs in the book, the San Diego finale does not.

    - There are two kids in the novel, a rich black boy and a poor white girl, who get caught up in the adventure mostly by chance by way of another character who didn't make it into the movie. Maybe because Spielberg didn't want to repeat the two-kids dynamic, the characters were merged and the resulting girl became Malcolm's daughter.

    Overall, both books are definitely worth a read, and Malcolm is one of the coolest characters ever, with lots of awesome speeches. Reading the book The Lost World, it's easy to see why the filmmakers decided to overhaul the story - apart from the actually legit Site B concept and the cliff-hanging sequence, a few goons in a Jeep isn't the most cinematically compelling band of villains - but really, how many stories can be told in the Jurassic Park framework? Dinos get loose and eat people. Perhaps not coincidentally, Conan Arthur Doyle's original The Lost World spends half its pages getting to the prehistoric plateau, throws in a few dinos for a chapter or two, and then becomes a cavemen-versus-savage apes war story. Where all this leaves next year's Jurassic World is anyone's guess.

    Hope this is informative! :)

    PS. Jurassic Park III just plain blows, man...

  12. Can't download...must listen to podcast about Spielberg defecating on dinosaurs.