This is gonna be another late entry. But you know... this has been an incredible journey.
I got to revisit several films that truly did recapture the wonder and curiosity of the prehistoric era. And did actually get me excited for the new film. Since this will be the last entry before my review, let's make this one count.
I've got some ideas on what to include. Some old and some new stuff. So in the wonderfully delivered line from The Lost World, "Saddle up! Let's get this moveable feast under way!"
This series started in 1993 with the original film. The world was introduced to a never-before-seen movie experience, using innovative and, at the time, state-of-the-art technology to bring to life an amazing world borne from the mind of Michael Crichton. With a budget of an estimated $63,000,000, the first film made over $50,000,000 in the US, opening weekend. It's safe to say, the first film was a gigantic success. Welcome... to Jurassic Park!
Four years later, just when you thought it was safe to take your family on a cruise, the dinos are back! This time, John Hammond is a "born-again naturalist" trying to keep people away from the super-secret island, where the dinosaurs have been living and thriving for four years. Without human aid, so much as it is. But as usual, things go south and Ian Malcolm is on the scene to play hero. The Lost World: Jurassic Park is loosely based on the sequel book penned by Crichton. And in my opinion, Spielberg seems to have lost his magic touch for what made the first one such a grand adventure. But, as a stand alone film, The Lost World was still enjoyable overall. With an estimated $73 million, and an opening weekend box office payout of over $90 million in the US, the second film was financially a success, but critically less so. Watch out San Diego.... There's a new giant in town!
That brings us to the subject of this post: simply titled Jurassic Park III. Released in 2001, it's unclear of the actual time that has passed in between movies. Where the first and second clearly follow the real time passage, it could be argued that the third film may be only a year or two after the second film. I believe it follows suit and is actually another four years later. This time, Spielberg seems content with the Executive Producer chair rather than the director, leaving that role to be filled by Joe Johnston, who's first directorial film credit was Honey, I Shrunk the Kids and most recent the first Captain America film starring Chris Evans.
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The most expensive Jurassic Park film at the time with an estimated $93 million budget, opening weekend brought in only $50.7 million, considered lack-luster in the film community compared to the budget to make the movie. We were treated to the return of Paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and Paleobotanist-turned-civilian Dr. Ellie Sattler. While the characters were developed by the original author, Michael Crichton himself, the rest of the script was penned by a newcomer to the series. I personally thought that was a good move, particularly because it brought fresh ideas to the franchise.
The third film seemed to return to it's roots of the survival/creature feature, which some critics found boring. I like the fact that this go-round brought in a whole new bigger, badder dino terror to overthrow the King of the Terrible Lizards. The film also took some chances with fan favourite creatures as well as a fresh, new look with the series' staple: the velociraptor. To the creature designer's credit, the scientific world made new discoveries of these real-life passed-on creatures, and the designers decided to incorporate those discoveries in this installment.
Overall, I enjoyed this film more than the second. Yes, there were some memorable moments in the second one. But as a whole, I felt the third film felt more like a sequel than the last in the trilogy.
Well, that about wraps up this review. Below is the trailer for the third film. After that is a little surprise I found on YouTube. All images and videos used belong to the copyright holders and are used without personal gain. Rediscover the magic... of Jurassic Park!
As promised, here's a little tidbit I found on YouTube. Written, directed, shot, and starred in by four midwestern friends that are clearly fans of the franchise, their film is called Jurassic Park Operation: Rebirth.
The premise of the film has the main character, in order to break out of the funk he's in from his father's death, convinces three friends to join him on a weekend trip to an abandoned childhood camp. We find out that the camp had been taken over by InGen (yes, that one...) and turned into a black ops facility in order to keep the company from going under.
All things considered, the guys did a decent job. It was shot with a home digital camcorder and a tripod at times. By no means a Hollywood quality film, save the opening and closing credits, the ambitious film has visual effects literally stolen from other shows and films, including it's source material inspiration, and "artfully" inserted. The scores from all three Jurassic Park films were used to accentuate and give the feel of an actual entry in the franchise. That's not to mention the glaring plot holes as well as choppy editing. The acting truly felt like a couple guys goofing off rather than any sense at all that the characters were in any danger. Those flaws, actually, are what seem to give this film it's, albeit slight, charm. Unfortunately, it had me questioning the whole time if these kids took the time to send in the proper copyright requests.
I suspect not, after seeing the credits roll. While they do give credit to the original creators of said "borrowed" material, it is presented as if it were a collaboration on this project, when clearly it was the friends using, cutting and pasting the source material for their own purposes.
I may be being a little hard on the guys. They may have taken the proper precautions. But just in case... tip for next time: make sure you cite your sources and give FULL credit where it is due!
With that being said, ladies and gentlemen of the internet, please enjoy Jurassic Park Operation: Rebirth:
One final gift: in honor of seeing the true fourth film in the franchise in a little under 12 hours, please feast on the Hollywood spectacle that is the trailer for Jurassic World!
Again, all rights belong to copyright holders and images and video are not used for personal or monetary gain. Only entertainment. All data and facts provided by the individual pages found for each film on imdb.com. Thanks for coming along for the ride.
I'll see ya in a few hours with my full review!
Til then: Stay classy, interwebs!