Open Letter to People Who Found My Blog Accidentally

Inspired by Amy at Lucy’s Football, I looked at searches that led readers to this blog. And oh boy, I had no idea what you all were looking for! My blog doesn’t get nearly as much traffic as hers, so I pulled up everything from the life of this blog—say, this spring when I transitioned to WordPress: Continue reading

Rwaaar! Jurassic Park in 3D

Two decades after I saw Jurassic Park in the theater, I was just as excited and giddy to be watching it again on the big screen—and in 3D!

My mind is blown. Again.

Yes, it’s about dinosaurs, and that’s pretty awesome. It’s got Jeff Goldblum as a flirty chaos mathematician, and that’s awesome. It’s got a hurricane, a remote island, and Richard Attenborough. Awesome, awesome. All that aside…

Does the 3D work? Yes. Dimensionality is increased and yet does not take away from the primary effects—the dinosaurs and their environment. 3D is slightly noticeable in some of the slower scenes, but so masterfully integrated in the action sequences that it’s a wonder we’ve survived so long without it.

Overall, I felt the 3D effects were appropriately conservative in this movie. And the real stars were not overshadowed by them. By real stars, I mean the velociraptors, the T. Rex, and the rest of the creatures. They are still richly imagined and extremely terrifying. The movie works very efficiently to convey a lot of information while not making the audience work to understand it. (The DNA mini-movie is bearable only because it doesn’t last too long.)

Science Fiction for a Pop Culture Audience. I am self-admittedly not a sci-fi fan, so I enter those worlds skeptically. But what science fiction can do well is explore the dark side of culture and society. I appreciated that this film allowed for the creationist conversation to occur. It elevates Jurassic Park beyond mere spectacle or monster or effects movie. It questions our role in nature’s evolutionary cycle. And who has the right to create / alter / command life into existence? Who are the real monsters? What obligations does science have to morality? Who keeps whom in check? Who has the right to profit from pure science? These ethical questions are still being explored today, and are always worth asking.

Largeness in Largess. Wholly enjoyable in the dark den of our private homes for the past twenty years, Jurassic Park in a darkened cineplex filled with strangers is an entirely different experience. The large screen heightens everything: the giant lizards, the terror, the helplessness, the fierceness of natural selection. It is a prime example of why monster movies are best viewed on the big screen.


Another Opinion of the 3D re-release

My Career as a Paleontologist

My Career as a Paleontologist

I’m going on a dinosaur dig in Inner Mongolia and I can only wear the clothes on my back. I’m leaving first thing tomorrow morning. My outfit is going to have to be durable, practical all-occasions wear. I’m thinking blue jeans, a white cotton T-shirt, and a denim jacket. And yes, my red bandana, for wiping the sweat off my forehead as I toil. This is the exact outfit I set out for myself the night before Career Day, 1984.

Dino Skull

I was nine years old and attending Lakewood K-12. I was in Ms. Dye’s third grade classroom, a late comer. My family had moved to St. Petersburg, FL shortly after the school year had started. The school was a confusing maze of hallways and a cacophony of bells and hall monitors. Florida school was so different from Vermont school—no story time for one thing. No recess, PE every day. There were no pencils or pads of paper. I was automatically enrolled in ESL without a language proficiency test. I was a bright kid, but not an exceptional or motivated student. The best parts of my day were lunch and racing home to turn on the TV. Continue reading