Jeff Goldblum is an exceedingly unlikely movie star. The man looks like a human goose and speaks in a cadence that suggests that he could be, at any time, doing slam poetry. I have a fascination with Goldblum’s vocal stylings. My grand movie idea (and we all have one) is to put him, Christopher Walken, and William Shatner in a car and simply film whatever happens. It would be human jazz. Goldblum first appeared as “Unnamed Freak #1” in 1972’s Death Wish. As his career incredibly nears half a century you have to seriously admire what sheer nebbishness has accomplished onscreen. Goldblum has to be paired with the right role because, let’s be honest, we’re pretty much always watching JEFF GOLDBLUM IN (insert name of movie). But…if you have a quirky character who needs an actor who brings that in bushels, Jeff Goldblum can be the paprika in your casting stew. Continue reading Jeff Goldblum’s 10 Best Movies
We continue our countdown to Jurassic World, with a look at the second film in the Jurassic series: The Lost World. This was a sequel that was pretty much demanded, but there was no story for it. Michael Crichton wrote the novel as a kind of quasi-screenplay for Spielberg to operate from, but in doing so had to make a lot of retcon changes to his first novel (for example, Jeff Goldblum’s character dies in the first novel….which was awkwardly remedied). It borrowed sequences from the first novel, like the opening with the girl finding the compys, but it was more a muddled journey than a cohesive film. Then you had the dinos eating San Diego and it became a 1950’s monster movie. Plus, let’s just say Jeff Goldblum is great in small doses, not as a leading man.
There are cool parts to the film, several exciting set pieces, but the most visually striking thing about the film to me was when they’ve escaped the T-Rexes and run pell mell into this field of tall grass and you see an overhead shot of the raptors closing in on them as a pack from all these angles, but all you see are increasingly speedy furrows forming in the brush. It’s a brilliantly directed scene and had the whole movie been this good, maybe we’d have ended up with something as memorable as the original.
How can it have possibly been 20 years since Jurassic Park was released? I can remember the first time I saw the teaser poster with the black and red Jurassic Park logo and the “65 million years in the making” and just the anticipation leading up to its release. They were so good in hyping it without showing you hardly anything at all. I can’t remember before or since a non-franchise (at that time) film having that kind of buzz about it before it opened. Plus, every boy goes through a dinosaur phase at some point and I was no exception.
Jurassic Park was the first PG-13 movie I was allowed to go see in the theater. My parents were…let’s just say strict about moviegoing and I was only able to go because it was my best friend’s birthday and his dad did some voodoo on my parents to get me permission. I, for the record, was perfectly fine throughout the movie. My friend ran screaming from the theater when the Dilo eats Nedry. Oh yes, I remember. YOU RAN, DUDE!
Revisiting it 20 years later, it really is a movie that demands the big screen. I’ve seen it a hundred times, but in the theater it really is just a whole different level of spectacle. The 3D is well-done. It’s not intrusive. The F/X still look fantastic. In fact, I’ve watched the other two (shudder) since and I think the dinosaurs look better in the first film still than in any since. The wonderful reveal as the jeeps pull to a stop on the hillside and you see the slow dawning dumbfounded expression cross the characters’ faces and then the pan up to the Brachiasaur. Still gives me chills
Steven Spielberg had in 1993 possibly the best year a director has ever had. He released this and Schindler’s List in one year. There’s no way he could make this movie now. Somewhere along the way he lost the ability to craft adventure pieces and tightly pace his films, but this was right at his peak. This stands beside Raiders of the Lost Ark for me as perfect adventure moviegoing fun. It’s a classic. It changed moviemaking forever and 20 years later, it’s still as good as the day it was released. Go see it and take your kids like so many adults in my theater did so they can be permanently scarred by the T-Rex attack. Or maybe they’ll break at the Dilo like a certain KT reader who’s swearing at me right now…