Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Discuss: Dinosaur Movies


Karen: Were you all surprised by the enormous popularity of Jurassic World? I was shocked! I mean, I sort of felt like, been there, done that...but there seems to be endless appeal when it comes to dinosaurs. And I did enjoy the film, but Heck, I saw Jurassic Park when it first hit theaters! Of course before that, I'd grown up on a diet of films featuring dinosaurs, like Valley of Gwangi, Land That Time Forgot, One Million Years B.C., Beast from 20,000 Fathoms, and the classic King Kong, as well as the pseudo-dinosaurs like Godzilla and his kaiju pals. It seems dinosaurs never go out of style. Let's talk about the big guys!








18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Pretty much any film I can think off would be improved by the presence of a rampaging dinosaur or two.
If Marvel studios are as sharp as most Hollywood commentators would have us believe, why haven't they green-lit a Devil Dinosaur flick yet?

-sean

Redartz said...

Dinosaurs are (were? -although current science considers them no longer extinct; only now represented by birds) a blast, and as Sean says, are a great addition to any film. My personal favorite Cretaceous cameo was actually in Fantasia (do animated films count today?). The sequence for Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring" with the rise and fall of the dinosaurs is powerful, dramatic and matches the music as if Stravinsky intended it that way himself...

William said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Colin Jones said...

Don't forget 'When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth' which was the first film I ever saw at the cinema and is incredibly daft - stone-age humans and dinosaurs living at the same time, a silly prehistoric "language" that everybody uses and, best of all, the moon doesn't yet exist at the beginning of the film and comes into being at the end !!

William said...

I was a certified dinosaur fanatic when I was a kid. I had dozens of dinosaur books, and I knew the names of most species by the time I was 8. My dad was sure that I was going to be a paleontologist (until my mind was corrupted by comic books).

I used to dream about having a pet Tyrannosaurus (my favorite dinosaur) and of course, I watched every movie that came along with dinosaurs in it. (Or any giant creature for that matter). Godzilla was my favorite fictional character throughout my early childhood. And "Destroy All Monsters" was hands down my favorite movie.

One of my other favorite dinosaur movies was "The Last Dinosaur". I thought that one was really awesome, and I loved the theme song as well.

I just wish that Jurassic Park had come out when I was a kid. As it is, I love those movies, but if I'd been nine years old, my head would have exploded!!

We are living in a golden age of dinosaur (and superhero) movies. Ahhh, to be young again so that we could enjoy them with the unbridled (and uncorrupted) enthusiasm that only children can experience.

Martinex1 said...

Like William and others here I was a dinosaur fanatic as a kid. And they seemed to be everywhere. I remember collecting giveaway dinosaur coins from cereal boxes. And who can forget "Land of the Lost"? The fascination for me was how large the beasts were. I spent a lot of time imagining dinosaurs as big as houses coming down our street.

I think some of the interest comes from a general fascination with animals. The urban sprawl has made it less likely for me to see anything on a normal basis in the wild. In my area, I still pullover the car when I see a small group of deer or the occasional coyote. And this happens about once a year, and I yell to the kids "Look, Look!" Just the thought of something so massive and dangerous as a dinosaur or wooly mammoth wandering around is mind boggling.

I saw the latest movie. It didn't excite me as much as others or when I was at a younger age. Well done technologically no doubt, but it felt a little empty to me. And I really get distracted when supposedly smart people do really dumb things.

Anonymous said...

Yeah like William I was a certified dino freak when I was a kid. Still, the success of this latest Jurassic World movie, considering the lackluster reception of the last two entries, was a surprise. It shows that there is still a big market for dinosaur movies, and also the huge appeal of Chris Pratt.

While I love dinosaurs, I'm looking forward to the next pseudo-dinosaur movie, the Godzilla sequel, more than any Jurassic Park/World sequels. Hope we see more Godzilla and some classic monsters.

Movies like Jurassic World also raise the question of the ethical aspects of resurrecting dinosaurs. I assume most of the appeal is the ensuing havoc which such creatures would wreak. I would love to see a real life dinosaur (OK I know we have crocs and birds) but then again you realize that if that meteor had not wiped out most of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago then Mankind would not be here today.


- Mike 'bring back Mothra!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Rip Jagger said...

"The Valley of Gwangi" is he big one for me. I got the Dell Comic and (believe it or not) was wowed by the Jack Sparling adaptation and the awesome cover from the poster art by Frank McCarthy. Years later I got to see the movie and it held up, but has always been richer in my imagination.

Here are the ten more dino movies I adore (in no particular order):

1. King Kong
2. The Lost World (original silent)
3. Gorgo
4. Gojira
5. Rodan
6. Jurassic Park: The Lost World (my favorite of the three originals)
7. The Beast from 20,000 Fathoms
8. The Giant Behemoth
9. One Million Years B.C.
10.Godzilla (1996 version)

I'm sure I'll think of one not on the list.

And let's not forget the awesome dinosaur TV show Land of the Lost!

Rip Off

Anonymous said...

When I was a kid, dinosaurs were my favorite thing in the universe. More than super-heroes, aliens, robots, or spaceships, I loved dinosaurs. Tyrannosaurus Rex was my favorite until I discovered Deinonychus (the animals they call Velociraptor in Jurassic Park). I drew endless pictures, including an epic multi-paper series in which I tried to draw every single dinosaur in my favorite Dino encyclopedia.

There weren't too many dinosaur movies around when I was growing up. I remember Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend being crap. I loved Godzilla movies and especially King Kong. I caught whatever Dino movies I could on tv, but none of them were as good as I wanted them to be. I was 17 when Jurassic Park came out, and really liked it. It was worth sitting through the lame human drama to get to the good stuff.

Jurassic World was terrible except when it was fantastic. Two scenes - the pterosaur attack and the climactic fight- were worth the price of admission but most of the movie was stupid. Still, that climax was one of the best monster fights I've seen on the screen. Also, my son loved it.

- Mike Loughlin

Edo Bosnar said...

Seems like dino-fanatic as a child is the default setting here: I was really, really into dinosaurs as well. Unlike many, though, who seemed to prefer the predators, my very favorite dino was the triceratops, and I still think I like the ceratopsids more than any other species.
As for movies, yep, I always loved it when dinos made an appearance, regardless of how bad the overall movie may have been. Also loved Godzilla, far more than King Kong (and I still say there's no way any confrontation between them ends with anything other than that big monkey being turned into a pile of ashes and charred bones).

Dr. Oyola said...

Is there a kid who doesn't love dinosaurs? I know I did. All kinds, both paleontologically and in terms of entertainment. one million years BC was on the TV at the pizzeria the other day and my buddy and Ken and I ooohed at it, since it had been so long since I had gotten a glimpse of it (he'd never seen it, but heard about it). Then again, I think Raquel Welch is REAL appeal of that movie.

I remember going to see Baby: Secret of the Lost Legend when I was 14. It was a bomb and it turned out to be a terrible movie, I just had to see a dinosaur movie no matter how bad or good it might be!

To this day my favorite dino movie is the scene in Fantasia that uses "Rite of Spring" - well, it is the whole creation of the Earth, but still amazing. Watch it here.(the dinos come in just afet the 13:00 mark)

david_b said...

Wait, there were dinosaurs in 'One Million Years B.C.'...??

Sorry, perhaps focusing too much on Rachel Welch.

I enjoyed the Godzilla movie last year.., great fun in 3D. May have to collect some of the 50s/60s films one day soon.

Anonymous said...

I went through a dinosaur phase as a kid, but it didn't last long. I hate to admit it, but I haven't even SEEN Jurassic Park...although I did read the book.

By the way, today's webcomic over at Our valued Customers is particularily on topic.

Mike Wilson

Karen said...

I still get giddy over stop-motion dinosaurs in films like Kong or Gwangi. In my head, I guess I will always see dinosaurs moving that way.

Jurassic World to me was fun, but pretty much everything in it felt like it had been done better back in Jurassic Park. The original film had superior characters and a better story. Sure it didn't have a giant-whale dinosaur, but most of the action hearkened back, sometimes deliberately, to the first film, and it didn't out-shine its predecessor. I mean, the scene where we first see the T-Rex, attacking the kids in the overturned jeep in JP, is so superior to the similar scene with the two boys in the gyrosphere in JW. I'm finding this is a problem with most of these sequels or re-imaginings of old films. They seem so unnecessary. I have similar feelings about Terminator: Genesys. I enjoyed seeing Arnold again, but most of my enjoyment of the film stemmed from feelings of nostalgia, not actual admiration of the film itself. Overall it was pretty weak. Like many, I long to see more original work on the screen. Heck, there are many great science fiction novels that have not been filmed yet...but I digress.

Doug said...

But in other thread-hijacking news:

Marisa Tomei to be the new Aunt May? What will George Costanza think??

Doug

Anonymous said...

I dunno Doug, this is one of those casting choices which has one scratching one's head. She's 50, so unless they age her with makeup and prosthetics she's gonna be a really young aunt for our beloved Peter, quite a contrast to the aged frail aunt we've known for all these years. Hmm maybe they intentionally want a young aunt May? I was amused at some comics portrayals of a young May who was drawn as being quite a looker!


- Mike 'if they cast Johnny Depp as Uncle Ben I'll quit watching Spidey movies cold turkey!' from Trinidad & Tobago.

Anonymous said...

RE William: I remember THE LAST DINOSAUR! It was universally panned, but it had a certain cheesy gravity to it. Richard Boone's presence lent it a certain ominous dignity.
It's best if you see it as a little kid in the late '70's. It wouldn't fly today.
My problem with the Jurrasic movies was that only the ugly or ordinary-looking people got eaten. The stars and the annoyingly-cute kids got away. Just like you knew they would. Predictable.
C'mon, who wouldn't have enjoyed seeing those obnoxious kids get eaten? Or Jeff Goldblum get devoured? m.p.

Edo Bosnar said...

Actually, Anon, I kind of liked Goldblum in JP, he was probably my favorite character. But yeah, I agree about those annoying kids, and I found the two paleontologists played by Dern and Neill rather bland (and I also thought it was silly that they were a couple in the movie; they weren't in Crichton's novel), so a dino could have chomped on them as well as far as I was concerned.

Otherwise, Marissa Tomei as Aunt May? Is this for real? I wouldn't even bat an eyelash if Tomei had been cast as someone like Janet van Dyne, but Aunt May? Yeesh...

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