What Dr. Ian Malcolm Means to the Jurassic Park Franchise

The 90ѕ wаѕ a great timе tо be Gоldblum. Nоt оnlу did he win rаvе rеviеwѕ for his finе turn as Dr. Ian Malcolm in Jurаѕѕiс Pаrk, but hе also found time tо star in Independence Dау, аnоthеr of thе dесаdеѕ more memorable ѕсiеnсе-fiсtiоn-lеd action mоviеѕ. In fасt, Indереndеnсе Dау director Rоlаnd Emmеriсh took inspiration of ѕоrtѕ from Jurassic Park whеn making hiѕ mоviе. Wеll, hе ѕtоlе a linе from thе lаttеr.

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The History of Isla Nublar

Isla Nublаr wаѕ an iѕlаnd in thе Jurаѕѕiс Pаrk аnd Jurаѕѕiс Wоrld univеrѕеѕ. Originаllу owned bу Cоѕtа Rica, thiѕ iѕlаnd was located оff the соuntrу’ѕ wеѕtеrn соаѕt аnd wаѕ 120 miles from thе nеаrеѕt shore. It had a ѕurfасе аrеа оf 22 ѕԛuаrе milеѕ, bеing еight milеѕ frоm north tо south аnd thrее miles from east to west. In the Jurаѕѕiс Pаrk univеrѕе, it was еvеntuаllу expanded in ѕizе, whereas in the Jurаѕѕiс Wоrld univеrѕе it rеmаinеd сlоѕе tо thе ѕаmе ѕizе but bесаmе altered in ѕhаре.

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Todd Smith Reviews Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

“Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton is a story about progress for the sake of progress and commercial success. It’s at best a weak attempt at a social commentary regarding greed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a much better read for most of us in place of the standard anti-greed novel in that it masks it in a story that captivates our minds and takes us back to the period of life when clay tyrannosaurs and coloring pages were our portal into the past. It chronicles the self-absorbed John Hammond’s attempt to build a zoo of unbelievable proportions and nearly mythical creatures. He sacrifices his family, corporate reputation, and several scientists in his unabashed unwillingness to accept failure.

For fans of 1993’s film version of “Jurassic Park” this book may be a bit of a shock. While the major themes of the book and its sequel “The Lost World” are intact in their film counterparts, the endings are dramatically different and the scope is greatly reduced. Also, the writing style of Crichton is quite technical in some aspects which lends itself into in-depth explanations that you miss in the films. The differences also include different dinosaurs, sequence of events, and several characters that didn’t make the movie. So be prepared for a little different tale.

That being said, the book, as many people say of every book adapted for film, is much better than the movie. Not only do we get a better sense of suspense through Crichton’s storytelling and foreshadowing of events such as the early raptor attacks and Malcolm’s dissertations, but we also see the internal struggles among the InGen staff. There are consistent hints dropped before you ever realize what’s going to happen on Isla Nublar that tell you the dinosaurs have escaped the island and their doing very bad things wherever they are. Malcolm is used as a delightful foreshadowing device as he espouses on the basic failure of thought the InGen scientists have made. One major difference giving this story a more believable stance is the presence of alot more people on the island and the use of characters such as Henry Wu, the head geneticist, and Donald Gennaro, the corporate lawyer. When the terror begins to rear its ugly head on the island we see the various figures work out their neurosis and character flaws either to great success or a bloody failure. Then there are also the additional dinosaurs that never made the movie such as the juvenile T-Rex and the pterosaurs in a wonderful scene that takes place in the aviary. And finally, the ending, while I can’t give it away, leaves you with an incredible guess as to where a later book will go. I’ll give you one hint, the second book didn’t pick up on the ending! Overall, a much better book than movie.

On a literary scale this wouldn’t be Crichton’s best work nor one that many people could stomach unless they really liked graphs. That’s right, graphs. There are lots of graphs and computer screen captures which is quite typical of Crichton. It helps lend credibility to those of us willing to suspend our disbelief or who have no idea of what we’re looking at anyway. However, to some really technical people the graphs will just insult your intelligence. Warning to geneticists and computer professionals–IGNORE THE GRAPHS. Taking a look at the general quality of the book and its ability to overshadow the film, pick this up and read! You won’t be disappointed and you’ll probably never see the movie again unless it’s for the special edition.

Author: Todd Smith

Further Reading

Check out all our coverage of Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton

Jurassic Park Goofs: Volume One

While of course we still believe that that Jurassic Park is a perfect film. We’re going to get right down into the details here with these movie bloopers. These are just quirks, the gaps in the genetic code of the movie are filled in with all the frog DNA.

The mysterious beach…

When Nedry meets with Dodgson in San Jose they are at a beach-side restaurant with the ocean clearly in the background. San Jose is situated inland, away from any ocean, in the mountains actually.

The disappearing tree…

When the cars break down before the Rex attack outside Grant’s window is a palm tree. Later we see the cars in the middle of the road. No palm tree in sight.

Squirrely Lex

When Tim is focusing the night vision goggles out the back of the Land Cruiser Lex is turned, watching him. Then after the cut, she’s is looking forward.

Magic roof!

When the Rex bursts through the plastic bubble on the roof it breaks, then (it seems) that it is again is in one piece.

Now that is a mess!

When the Rex flips the kids car over you can see a light on a tripod stand; the end of the set; the safety wires connected to the car; a tree in a big pot; and a large piece of wood (looks like a door) leaning up against the cement at the bottom of the fence.
The mysterious drop…

The ground behind the Rex fence before the attack is flat and level with the fence. After it, there’s a huge drop. That one became a real JP myth…

What a prop blooper!

Look for the mispelling of “Stegosaurus” in the cold storage of the embryos. There’s only one point where you can see this – when Nedry is stealing the embryos. Just click the image and see!
Left? Right? Shit!

The sign when Nedry falls down pointing up then after pointing left.

Waterfall Dripping?

When Nedry slips down the water fall the water is pouring over it in a torrent, when he reaches the bottom of the fall the water has changed the rate of flow considerably.

Runny Tar?

When the Spitter spits on Nedry the spit hits the eyes and forehead and shirt collar and lower neck. When he turns the spit is all over his face. It wasn’t runny enough to drip down his face like that, it was almost like tar when he touched it.

Beam me up!

When Malcolm is waiting for Ellie and Muldoon in the Jeep one second he is at the site of the attack with the other Landcruiser and the fence there, then when they take off, they are nowhere near the fence or Landcruiser!

Supernatural Tim!

When they find the eggs, Tim says “But Grandpa said all the dinosaurs were girls”. Tim wasn’t on the tour of the Visitor Center and Wu said it not Hammond. (Actually it is possible that Hammond told him separatly…)

Tub? no tub?

In the kitchen when the Raptor puts his head through the gap in the cupboard she knocks out a white tub. When we see the isle next, that tub is gone completely.

Again… supernatural Tim!

When eating in the Visitor Center, Tim has a lot of blood on his left ear. After the kitchen scene the scab is gone.

Lost shot…

When the Raptor is breaking through the glass after the heroes we hear four shots fired over the telephone. When we see the bullet holes there are only three in the glass.

C’mon Lex!

Lex let’s go of the bone she’s clinging to and then is clinging to it again in the next shot.

Yes, Geography is difficult!

Another geographical blooper. It’s the afternoon when the chopper leaves the island. The island is west of Costa Rica, which means they will fly east to the mainland. They are flying off into the sunset? No, the sun rises in the east. It’s a sunrise. Have fun in Thailand!

inGenNET Speaks With Dr. Jack Horner

Noted paleontologist Dr. Jack Horner (the real life version of Jurassic Park’s Alan Grant) has recently taken some time from his busy schedule to talk to inGenNET member Jack Thorne.

Besides being one of the world’s leading paleontologists with theories and discoveries that inspire, Horner has also served as the dinosaur consultant on all three Jurassic Park films thus far, and has written and appeared in several books and media projects. In addition, Dr. Horner is the head for the Museum of the Rockies’ paleotology program.

Introduction · Paleontology Talk

Jack Thorne: Hello, Dr. Horner. First of all, I’d like to thank you for taking the time for us to conduct this interview. I’ve been a huge dinosaur fan since I was three, so while my friends grew up on Barney and soccer practice, I naturally grew up watching TV shows with Jack Horner, Dale Russell, Phil Currie, David Norman, and Robert Bakker. Instead of soccer or hockey, I ended up competing in the Yale Paleo-Bowl twice. So, thanks once again for taking the time to do this.

Jack Horner: Sure thing.

JT: First of all, how did you get interested in paleontology?

JH: Well, I like digging up bones, and I liked being a detective. I wanted to do something like biology without all the messy stuff.

JT: You discovered the Miasaura, or, the “Good Mother Lizard.” The nesting grounds and fossils that you found at the site were the first definitive evidence that dinosaurs lived in family structures, and cared for their young. Can you tell us a little about the actual discovery, like where it was, and what your first thoughts where upon discovering the Miasaura?

JH: The first bones came from an amateur bone digger. They came to me and showed me the little bones, and I determined that they were baby fossils. We went back to the site. We found one nest, then another, and eight nests over-all. We found eggs in the nests. We also found fifteen of the Troodon nests in the area.

JT: Also, you used a computer to study Miasaura bones, concluding that the air sacks and hollows in the bones were used for blood vessels, making the dinosaur warm-blooded. What are some more examples of how dinosaurs are closer to modern birds than reptiles?

JH: Well, actually reptiles are reptiles, but come from dinosaurs. You see, dinosaurs are just built more like birds, with their similar ankles, up-right posture, similar bones, and feathers.

JT: Another one of your theories is that the Tyrannosaurus Rex was built for scavenging, not hunting, making it the jackal on the Mesozoic. What in the Tyrannosaur’s skeleton points towards it’s scavenging life style, and how do you feel about the general populace’s reluctance to consider the Rex as a scavenger?

JH: Well, I don’t think there’s any evidence for the T-Rex as a scavenger. The legs proportion’s all wrong, it couldn’t run fast, it had tiny arms, tiny eyes, it just wasn’t build to hunt!

JK: So when we see the Rex eating with the Compies in JP3, is it scavenging?

JH: I think so.

JT: I understand that you were the “dinosaur consultant” for all three of the “Jurassic Park” movies. When you work on these films, what exactly do you do to try and bring believable prehistoric creatures to life?

JH: It’s my job to make sure the dinos look real, so I work with Stan Winston and ILM. But I don’t have to make them act real, because the dinosaurs are actors, and like all actors, they’re under the control of the director.

JT: But the filmmakers can’t always take credibility over drama. For example, on the first JP, when you suggested that they show a T-Rex tooth stuck in Gennaro’s leg, because the Rex’s teeth were constantly breaking off and being replaced, like a shark’s. But, Steven Spielberg decided not to include that shot, because he felt it was too gory. How do you feel about the truth on dinosaurs being changed for the public?

JH: I’m not frustrated about that at all. I’m as interested to see a good movie as anyone.

Unfortunately we were unable to recover the remainder of this interview. If you or someone you know might have a copy of the text please reach out to use via email or twitter @ingennet so we can restore the complete piece.