Tag Archives: Steven Spielberg

Top 5 Underrated Jurassic Park Characters

With the IMAX re-release in full-swing, and this week’s discussion of it on the podcast, we’ve decided to pay tribute to those Jurassic Park characters who don’t get the same love as spotlight-hoggers like Alan Grant, or Ian Malcolm. These are the unsung heroes of the classic film, our Top 5 Underrated Jurassic Park Characters:

5. Gerry Harding (the Triceratops guy)

harding

Although he plays more of a role in the original novel, the character of Gerry Harding is relegated to a brief cameo in the film. Harding is the park’s veterinarian, also he’s the worst veterinarian that’s ever lived. For instance, he doesn’t seem all that concerned that the dinosaurs are surrounded by poisonous plants, stating that the animals stay away from them… you know, just because. Really? You’re even worse at your job than I am, and I’m spending my work day writing an article about Jurassic Park.

Based purely on his mustache, you’d think Harding would be played by, say, Tom Skerritt, or Tom Selleck. But no, for some reason the role is filled by JP producer Gerald R. Mollen. While his non-actor status explains some of his awkward line-readings, it doesn’t explain how he got the job in the first place. Was he hired because his name is basically ‘Gerry’ already? Incidentally, Mollen produced several other Spielberg movies, including Schindler’s List, and would go on to produce the recent film 2016: Obama’s America (which from what I understand, is the documentary equivalent of an angry internet comment thread).

Gerry Harding’s legacy would not end with his brief, poop-filled, scene, however– according to the Jurassic Park Wiki, it is heavily inferred that Sarah Harding, Julianne Moore’s character in The Lost World, is Gerry’s daughter! Twist!

4. Mr. DNA

dna

When we think of the casualties of Jurassic Park, we often think of Muldoon, Sam Jackson’s butt-holding Ray Arnold, and of course, the lawyer, Gennaro. But after the story we see in the film, one could imagine countless catastrophic repercussions as a result of the park’s failure: from the unemployed janitorial staff and culinary team, to the merchandising contracts that will fall through, financially crippling the lunch-box/stuffed animal industry. Even factoring in these deaths, layoffs, and economic recessions, there is one beloved character who deserved more: Mr. DNA.

If Jurassic Park is never opened to the public, then no one will ever tour the lab, meaning they will never watch the introductory cartoon starring the delightful Mr. DNA, thus depriving the world of a would-be classic character. With his Foghorn Leghorn-esque Southern drawl (voiced by Greg Burson) Mr. DNA could have had his own movie, breakfast cereal, Saturday morning cartoon! How about a crossover where Mr. DNA helps the forensics team on CSI? Too bad it will never happen… Stupid InGen…

3. Volunteer Boy

boy

Of course, Jurassic Park wouldn’t be Jurassic Park without the scene in which the film’s hero, Alan Grant, terrorizes a small boy, describing his violent death in graphic detail because he called a species of dinosaur a silly name… you know, like kids do.

What’s always bothered me about this scene is the lack of parental presence– I always assumed the kid was the son of one of the other paleontologists, part of some sort of Take-Your-Child-To-Work-Day. But then why did no one punch Alan Grant in the face and yell “Don’t pretend to disembowel my son you psycho!” If his parents weren’t around, what was that kid doing there?

The disturbing answer comes from the full cast list on Imdb, which lists the boy’s character as “Volunteer Boy.” That kid was there because he was fucking working! This is the dark secret behind Alan Grant and Ellie Sattler’s paleontological digs: Child Labour. And he’s a volunteer! They’re not paying him anything! Why share all that Hammond grant money when you can get some Junior High kid to work for free, and pocket the rest? Also, don’t forget to psychologically torture him in front of the other researchers to keep him in line.

2. Dodgson

dodgson

“Dodgson! We’ve got Dodgson here! See, nobody cares.” Wrong. We care. He only appears briefly, but Lewis Dodgson (yes, his first name is Lewis) sets the whole calamitous story in motion, paying off Wayne Knight’s Nedry to steal dinosaur embryos from the titular theme park. Not only is he an essential character for the story, he is played by an actor named Cameron Thor (yes, his last name is Thor).

Maybe in Jurassic Park 4 they will finally explain Dodgson’s backstory, but until then we will have to settle for the enigmatic, sunglass-wearing character we get in the film and rely on crazy, Room 237-esque theorizing to fill in the gaps. Who does Dodgson work for and why does he need dinosaur embryos? Is he planning on starting a knock-off dinosaur zoo? The Royal Crown Cola to Jurassic Park’s Coke? I like to think that he works for a pre-existing theme park company that wants to start incorporating dinosaurs into their parks, like Six Flags, or Disneyland, or Knott’s Berry Farm.

1. The Dilophosaurus

dilophosaurus

When people talk about Jurassic Park, it’s usually “T-Rex this, Velociraptor that, something, something Jeff Goldblum’s gleaming chest.” But there’s one dinosaur in the flick that rarely gets its due: The Dilophosaurus. Think about it, the Dilophosaurus kills the main antagonist in the film, Dennis Nedry, the guy who endangered innocent people, including children, to satisfy his own lust for money and revenge (you can tell he’s evil and greedy because he’s overweight and wears glasses… well played Spielberg). Looking at the film in these terms, one could even argue that the Dilophosaurus is the hero of the story!

Aesthetically, the Dilophosaurus is also the most stylish dinosaur, with his psychadelic neck frills, and pseudo-mohawk. He’s also got the best special-skill: he spits venom, kind of the dino equivelent of Roberto Alomar. Of course, like most of the best things in life, all of this cool shit was just made up by some guy. Michael Crichton decided to punch-up nature in the original novel, pimping-out the Dilophosaurus, either because he thought it would be snazzier, or he’d gone mad with power.

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 57- Indiana Jones: The Trilogy + 1

It’s Indiana Jones week on Rewatchability– we rewatched Raiders of the Lost Ark, The Temple of Doom, The Last Crusade, and apparently The Kingdom of the Crystal Skull wasn’t a fever dream I had in 2008, it was a real movie. Made by adults…. *cough*

Are the first three as good as we remember? Is the fourth one as bad as we remember? To find out download the link below, or better yet, subscribe on iTunes! And be sure to follow us on Twitter!

Episode 57- Indiana Jones: The Trilogy + 1

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised. In case of emergency, find a lead-lined fridge.


Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

Top 5 Minor INDIANA JONES Characters

In anticipation of Episode 57, in which we’ll discuss the Indiana Jones series, we’ve compiled our Top 5 Minor Indiana Jones Characters. When we say minor, we mean minor—not Sallah or Marcus, we’re talking about the people who support the supporting characters such as–

5. The Librarian Who Thinks His Stamp is Magical

One of the highlights of The Last Crusade is a comic interlude involving a librarian simultaneously stamping books as Indy smashes through a, probably priceless, ancient mosaic floor. Most librarians can hear a teenager whispering, or opening an unauthorized beverage from a mile away, but for some reason this guy doesn’t notice the flagrant vandalism occurring right under his nose. He then uses inductive reasoning to conclude that his small rubber stamp is responsible for the loud metal clanging sound echoing through the room. We love that guy.

4. The Monkey

Perhaps the most diabolical character in the franchise is The Monkey from Raiders of the Lost Ark. He initially befriends Marion and Indy, only to be revealed to be a spy for that guy with the eye patch, who works with Belloq or something. The Monkey starts out a loveable animal sidekick (like Toto) then turns into something more sinister (like the band Toto). He is so evil that he even gives a Nazi salute at one point (and Thora Birch thought she had Monkey Trouble, at least her monkey wasn’t a damn Nazi).

3. Sacrifice Guy

There’s no one in the Indiana Jones films who we sympathize with more than this guy—the poor schlub in The Temple of Doom who has his heart ripped out of his chest to both sacrifice his life to the gods and instill terror in every child who grew up in the ‘80s. Anyone who’s been through a break-up knows how this guy feels… also anyone who watched Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.

2. Hitler

Okay, so he’s not the “best” character, in fact, he’s downright evil. However, there’s no denying he’s one of the most significant cameos of the series, even Indiana Jones seemed a little starstruck—so much so that Indy doesn’t even consider shooting the megalomaniacal dictator who’s standing like 6 inches away. Seriously, think about the future Dr. Jones! Stopping the Nazis from getting the Holy Grail is one thing, shooting their leader in the head unexpectedly is quite another.

1. Sword Fighting Man

Maybe the scene that best defines Indiana Jones as a character: after a skilled swordsman demonstrates his skills, Indy casually unholsters his gun and shoots him in a very unsportsmanlike manner. Famously, there was supposed to be an elaborately choreographed sword fight scene, but in yet another case of laziness begetting artistic brilliance, Harrison Ford suggested that Indy should just shoot the guy instead, thus creating cinematic history, but also robbing the poor actor of several minutes of screen time.

HONOURABLE MENTIONS

The Knight from The Last Crusade

 

 

 

 

“He chose wisely, act a little more excited!”

Shortround from The Temple of Doom

 

 

 

 

“Indy, people are starting to talk about how much time you’re spending with your little friend…”

Everyone in Marion’s bar from Raiders of the Lost Ark

 

 

 

 

“They should make some kind of Cheers-type sitcom about these guys.”

3 Comments

Filed under Top 5 Lists

Episode 23- The Flinstones

Goodman, Moranis, Perkins, O’Donnell, and Elizabeth Taylor get their Bedrock on in 1994’s The Flinstones. This adaptation of the classic cartoon series was a box-office hit in its day, resulting in a prequel and oodles of product tie-ins. Does The Flinstones hold up on repeat viewings? Will Fred stop the evil Kyle MacLachlan? Who is Steven Spielrock? How many “rock” puns can you fit into a 90-minute movie? We answer these questions and more on this week’s Rerockability. I mean, Rewatchabilty

Episode 23- The Flinstones

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 6- Hook

Dustin Hoffman, Robin Williams, and Phil Collins… briefly… for some reason. Yes it’s Hook, Steven Spielberg’s often maligned  reworking of the Peter Pan story. Spielberg himself admitted he was disappointed with the results, but is it better than even he remembers?

In this week’s episode of Rewatchability we ask the tough questions, such as “Which would be a worse job on the Hook set, washing Julia Roberts feet, or shaving Robin Williams upper body?”

Episode 6- Hook

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

Leave a comment

Filed under Podcasts

Episode 2- The Jurassic Park Trilogy

For Episode 2 of Rewatchability we turn our attention to Jurassic Park, The Lost World, and the aptly named Jurassic Park 3. Do these three movies hold together as a trilogy? Why do Velociraptors hate gymnastics? Was Jeff Goldblum ever considered a sex symbol? We attempt to answer these questions and more!

Episode 2- The Jurassic Park Trilogy

Download the link above, or subscribe to our RSS feed in the top right of the page.

WARNING: the podcast contains strong language and immature subject matter, please be advised.

3 Comments

Filed under Podcasts