Friday, June 12, 2015

Life Found a Way....

Hey there Internetland!

As I write this, it is the wee hours of the morning. So if this doesn't make a whole lot of sense... well.. I blame the time frame!

Of course, I have to take some of that blame too. I could wait until tomorrow... but then I'd have to write TWO posts. Back to back. With out them seeming to blend together too much.

Before we begin, for those not in the know, an amazing, talented actor, beloved for starring in many franchises that geek culture claim as part of their own, passed away yesterday (as of the date of this writing). Sir Christopher Frank Carandini Lee passed away at the golden age of 93. Although his acting career started in the mid-1940s, with roles including Frankenstein's monster and working along side Errol Flynn, arguably, it was his role in The Curse of Dracula as the Count that got him notoriety. Personally, his later roles in the Star Wars and Lord of the Rings film series were some of my favorites. He will be missed. Thank you for the memories Sir Lee.

Hopefully you read my post from earlier. You know, the one that introduced what I'm doing. If not, that's okay. But really, you should go back and read it. If only so it doesn't feel like you're reading repeat info!

As promised, here is part two of this journey! So, click on past the jump and enjoy my rambles....

Part two finds me journeying back to the land of the dinosaurs. This time, though, it's not research... it's a rescue mission.

The year is 1997. The fictional company in the film/books, InGen, claims to be hemorrhaging funds over the last four years, so something drastic has to happen. As we are reintroduced to dear old John Hammond (the impression I got was he was on his death bed trying one last time to save his company...) we find out the dinos from the first film, supposedly sentenced to death by their own engineered genetics, have somehow not only survived, but thrived! Lovable and plucky Ian Malcolm is being asked to front a team to survey and photograph the entire island... with only four people. While NOT getting eaten.

Yeah... Jeff Goldblum's perfect, incredulous, deadpan response is what any sane person that survived the first trip would say!

In many ways, I felt The Lost World was lazy in its writing. Where the first one was edge-of-your-seat excitement, this entry felt lack luster. Trying to capitalize on the thrills of the first by changing the setting or adding more dinos. Some of that can be attributed to the film being adapted from the novel without the benefit of the original author. It can also be attributed to the lack of "newness" that the first film brought.

On the flip side, the second installment had something the first didn't... well, two somethings: character depth, and heart. This second outing had us feeling more in line with the characters as actual human beings rather than just people trying to survive a horrible situation. You had a real sense of human bad guys and good guys both caught in nature's grasp. I found myself rooting for the dinos as they preyed on some of the corporate stooges that were the typical "bad guy" archetype. I loved the dynamics between Malcolm and Kelly as the estranged father-daughter relationship took family time to a whole new level.

Overall, Steven and company did a decent job in telling a wholly different story set in the same world as the first. Paying homage where it was due and leaping forward to test the boundaries of the imagination and answer the "what if...." I would have liked to see this film stay more true to it's edgy, terror-filled roots. But ultimately the dino fantasy lives in childhood dreams, fueled by adult imaginations.

In getting ideas for this post, I ran across another post about this same movie. If you have the time, or are interested in reading this other article, please follow the link in the caption below! Also, to see more of Sir Christopher Lee's storied film history, check out his imdb page.

Until next time:

Get offa his lawn!
(photo courtesy: Emily Asher-Perrin via

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