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Lifelike Dinosaurs Not Coming to A Theater Near You

I don’t know if you have noticed but the dinosaurs in Jurassic Park have never been what science would call accurate. When you go into a JP movie you are going there to see “real” dinosaur come to life. Just like you aren’t going to see any other Hollywood give you a look at reality with its other offerings. Yet I have heard from a number of people that they want accuracy for the movie, if only to “enlighten the general public.” The general public are exactly the people who would be turned off by a raptor that’s 3 feet tall and feathered. If you want accuracy from the world you will need to read the book. Michael Crichton did a lot of research going into writing the original Jurassic Park. Every decision he made was based off of something he found in his research; even the Velociraptor-Deinonychus name change was based on a hypothesis that Deinonychus was another species of Velociraptor. Though that hypothesis was later disproven, but still, that’s where it came from. I think Crichton was of two minds– for one thing, he favored research and he himself felt obligated to go through painstaking details to bring his story to life. However, he also knew that audiences expected entertainment and ultimately they were looking for entertainment first before learning about dinosaur accuracy. For as much research as Crichton put into his work, he also indulged the truth quite a bit for thematic purposes. If he wrote Jurassic Park in the present day, I can guarantee the raptors would be feathered and the dinosaurs overall would be far more bird like. Most people don’t care about being knowledgeable about dinosaurs, truthfully. And the fact is that every single JP movie, even the worst and least accurate ones, has contributed to getting a bunch of little kids hooked on dinosaurs where they will learn on their own what’s real and what isn’t. Bottom line is, just because the original JP was nice enough to provide fairly accurate (for its time) dinosaurs, and is a science fiction movie that leans hard into the science aspect, doesn’t mean they ‘owe’ us scientifically-accurate dinosaurs. Jurassic Park was praised for when it came out, both the book and the movie: for such an updated look at how dinosaurs behaved and looked. Wouldn’t you say the series has a standard to live up to in that regard? To live up to Crichton’s hard research and creative work that spawned from that research? I do. ~XO
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It’s in the Ending

I've always thought of it as really campy, but the ending of Soylent Green sort of made me smile when I was a kid. I learned later that the novel didn't even have cannibalisim in it, yet as a kid, I don't know, there was just something about it that made it good. Though the whole movie was for better or worse good.

On the off chance that I would find that again I tried to find some movies that were similar. My search efforts returned these results:

  1. Local Hero (1983)
  2. Miracle Mile (1988)
  3. Millennium (1989)
  4. Dark City (1998)
  5. Knowing (2009)
  6. Take Shelter (2011)

You could watch the trailers on YouTube, but for the older picks you would be wise in knowing that old trailers are crap. They pretty much just show the whole movie in condensed form and ruin everything, including the ending.

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I Miss Crichton

We don't have anybody like Michael Crichton anymore. People will tell you to try Brown (Dan) if you say that too loudly, but it is true.

Sure you can read Brown, but only if you consider dumbed-down pseudo-science and poorly researched historical conspiracies presented as fact 'the exact same', then maybe.

I suppose Dan Brown is Michael Crichton for the masses; he draws normally uninterested readers in with socially controversial topics and makes them feel like they have some ridiculous new insight into them. Dan Brown writes basically the exact same kind of books Michael Crichton does.

The big difference is that with Dan Brown books he throws in cliffhangers at the end of every chapter.

I have yet to find any other author that matches Michael Crichton's dedication to proper research for a novel nor one that understands the topics he writes about as well as he did.

Read some of his older books (Terminal Man, Congo) and nothing in them seems all the extraordinary because today all of that technology is commonplace. Apply that to his newer books (Prey, Jurassic Park, etc. even aspects of Timeline) and consider that he might able to give a very real view of the future and problems we might want to contemplate before it's too late.

If we're able to produce enough anti-matter to blow up the Vatican (or do anything useful), measure the weight of someone's soul, or even create a practical rifle that can compress/heat snow/sand into ice/glass bullets in the next 40 years, I'll come back here for my public shaming.

As far as I know, there's currently no replacement for Michael Crichton.

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Lathe of Heaven

Lathe of Heaven is a very cerebral book and an equally rewarding film. It has a non existent budget, being filmed for WNET in 1979, but it hides it well. It's a great idea and there are some pretty great twists and turns. This is a movie that I can't believe hasn't been remade with a massive budget.

But this version is very well written and just omits expensive scenes as best as possible. the budget is not a distraction at all, and it's a great story.

The Lathe of Heaven is a 1980 film adaptation of the 1971 science fiction novel The Lathe of Heaven by Ursula K. Le Guin. It was produced in 1979 as part of New York City public television station WNET's Experimental TV Lab project, and directed by David Loxton and Fred Barzyk. Le Guin, by her own account, was involved in the casting, script planning, re-writing, and filming of the production.
The film stars Bruce Davison as protagonist George Orr, Kevin Conway as Dr. William Haber, and Margaret Avery as lawyer Heather LeLache.

It is the story of a young man who has the ability to change the future when he dreams. His doctor, Haber begins to use Orr's "effective dreams" to first create a prestigious, well-funded institute run by himself, then to attempt to solve various social problems.

These solutions unravel quickly: Haber suggests that Orr dream of a solution to overpopulation. This results in a plague which wipes out three-fourths of the human population. The end to all conflict on Earth, which results in an alien invasion uniting mankind, and an end to racism. This has the effect of a world where everyone's skin becomes a uniform shade of gray.

It is immensely satisfying and Ursula K. Le Guin is rarely a disappointment.

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Horror Movie Binge

I have been on a horror movie binge for a while now, mostly since I sprained my ankle and have been resting it. Oh, I guess I forgot to tell you that part. But now you know. I have also been putting a list together as I go. I love Netflix, it is easy to enjoy a movie and then go back and see what you liked and didn’t. I have been watching two or three a night when I get home from work. So far my list contains:
  1. The Woman in Black
  2. The Orphanage
  3. Grave Encounters
  4. 1408
  5. Paranormal Activity 3
  6. Insidious 1, 2 and 3
  7. The Conjuring
  8. Dead Silence
  9. Sinister
I was told I should try Lake Mungo (2008), but it left me cold. Out of all of the movies I have watched recently it was the one that made my least favorite list. The reason that I tried it was purely off of the positive comments I’ve seen about it and was unfortunately disappointed with it. I liked the documentary feel to it, and I did think it worked well in eliciting empathy for the family. It was un-engaging and the ending was just sort of there.
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Non-paranormal Horror Movies

While I enjoy a good paranormal movie, I have watched my share for sure, anything with ghosts, zombies, spirits, and haunted houses do not scare me at all. I know that the people that are really frightened are those that “believe” in them, but that isn’t how I work. They can be fun when they are well made but it doesn’t go much further than that.
  • Frozen (Not the Disney movie)
    • Frozen is both haunting and effective for a budget indie. Too bab more people don’t know about it.
  • Eden Lake
  • Hunger
  • Session 9
    • It also has this perfectly delivered line from David Caruso.
  • In My Skin
  • Vacancy
  • Texas Chainsaw Massacre: Next Generation – really more comedy than anything else, but definitely worth watching
  • An American Crime
  • Boxing Helena
  • Jacob’s Ladder
I wouldn’t call A Clockwork Orange horror though it is more horrifying, more disturbing and demented than horror, it is too real.
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Updated My Sci-fi List

Based on suggestion I received I decided to add some more options to my list. They include:
  • Alien Nation
  • Apollo 13
  • Battleship
  • Chronicle
  • Cube
  • John Carter
  • K-PAX
  • Pandorum
  • Paprika
  • Pi
  • Screamers
  • Sleeper
  • The Girl Who Leapt Through Time
  • Titan AE
  • The Signal
  • Timecrimes
  • The Day the Earth Stood Still
  • Invasion of the Body Snatchers (Both the version from 1956 and the 1978 remake)
  • The Thing
  • The World’s End
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Sci-fi Movie Binge

So I was looking for some good sci-fi movies to watch. I had been in the mood for sometime now but just never seemed to make the effort to watch them. So I put a list together and decided that it was now and never.

The List

  1. 2001: A Space Odyssey
  2. A Clockwork Orange
  3. The Abyss
  4. AI
  5. Alien
  6. Aliens
  7. Avatar
  8. Back to the Future
  9. Brazil
  10. Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  11. Contact
  12. Chronicles of Riddick
  13. Dark City
  14. ET
  15. Elysium
  16. Equilibrium
  17. Event Horizon
  18. eXistenZ
  19. The Fifth Element
  20. The Fly
  21. Galaxy Quest
  22. Gattaca
  23. Gravity
  24. Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  25. I, Robot
  26. Idiocracy
  27. Inception
  28. Independence Day
  29. The Iron Giant
  30. Jurassic Park
  31. Logan’s Run
  32. The Matrix
  33. Men in Black I & II
  34. Minority Report
  35. Moon
  36. Oblivion
  37. Pitch Black
  38. Planet of the Apes (1968 through 2001)
  39. Predator II
  40. Spaceballs
  41. Species
  42. Star Wars: I-VI
  43. Sunshine
  44. Surrogates
  45. The Time Machine (2002)
  46. They Live!
  47. Total Recall (1990 * ), (2012)
  48. Twelve Monkeys *
  49. Underworld
  50. Wall E