With the release this weekend (May 9th) of Jurassic Park in 3D I thought it was time as “the book guy” to compare the original book byMichael Chrichton to the 1993 film. I chose to re-watch the original since I argue the need to see movies done for 3D effect. Movies are meant for escapism and since I already see the world in 3D I don’t need to escape into those same dimensions.
Now we all know you can’t capture every element of a book when that book is made into a movie. There’s not only time constraints to consider but changes get made in the narration to better move the story along, and occasionally there are changes in character development. In the case of Jurassic Park the movie is better served from those changes.
There are subtle differences in some characterization that really don’t need to be mentioned but the exist. And there are a few recognizable pieces of dialog in the book that end up being said by different people and at different points in the movie. Two of the most glaring differences in character are: 1) Dr Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum in the movie) is a bigger ass in the book as he drones on for pages over-explaining chaos theory until it becomes pages of “I-told-you-so” speeches. And 2) even though the ages of the grandkids are reverse and Lex (played in the movie by Ariana Richards) is a younger girl, she does little more than whine and complain. I ended up rooting for a dinosaur, any dinosaur, even the herbivores, to kill them off and have done with it.
As a book Jurassic Park reads as one-half science report on how one might go about bringing back the dinosaurs and one-half adventure novel. The two mingle together so awkwardly it makes me want slap Michael Chrichton with a copy of the book (were he still alive). I know that he was a doctor and a scientist but he was also a screen writer and movie director. So you’d think that he would understand the idea of pacing and not want break up the book with pages of written DNA codes, graphs, charts and lines of computer coding. Did he think he needed to prove how smart he was? Or did he just feel it was acceptable to let his readers’ eyes glaze over in boredom as mine did?
As a movie however (with which he shares a writing credit with David Koepp), the audience is given just enough of the scientific background to make you understand how the creation of the theme park came about. It also allowed us to “visit” the park along with the characters and wonder at the sights; a feeling you don’t get from the book. There’s also a larger sense of immediacy and danger once the dinosaurs get loose than there is in the novel. I have no doubt that this has more to do with Steven Speilberg’s ability to tell a story than Crichton’s.
I’ll admit, this was my first time reading the book and I know people will argue my opinion is biased because I saw the movie first, I really don’t think it made a difference. Some of the book is still fun to read, if only the get caught up in the idea that someone thought recreating dinosaurs was possible. But because of the mere structure of the novel this is a case when the movie far exceeds the book. Still… remembering how bad Jurassic Park II was i’m confident that I’ll never want to read The Lost World.
WARNING: The following are the opinions of a man (with pubes and everything) who has NOT read any of the Walking Dead comics (or graphic novels if you prefer). I would venture a guess that all my esteemed colleagues have read some, if not the entire series. Those of you who have read them can debate which incarnation is “better” than the other. Usually that honor goes to the version we’re exposed to first and since I have no such point of reference, here goes…
In case you’ve been exploring the depths of Uranus (or your anus if that’s what you’re into), for the last two and a half years, you know AMC’s The Walking Dead is based on the comic/graphic novel series created by Robert Kirkman and Tony Moore which chronicles the exploits of Sheriff Rick Grimes and his rag-tag group in their struggle to survive the non-stop party known as the zombie apocalypse.
Episode one premiered on October 31, 2010 and I can admit to you (on account of how we’re such good pals), I’ve been hooked ever since. Rick (played by Andrew Lincoln) wakes from a coma and discovers things aren’t quite the same as he remembers them. The trek to the CDC in Atlanta is the main storyline of the season, with requisite twists and turns along the way; the Rick-Lori-Shane triangle being the most prevalent of these. The finale takes place at the CDC facility. The sole survivor there, Dr. Jenner (Noah Emmerich) whispers something in Rick’s ear just before the group makes its escape.
WHAT COULD IT BE???
Art By: James Chung
When the initial solicits for Young Avengers came out in 2006 I was angered. There are many things that I hate in life and one of those things are kid versions of established characters. From the Muppet Babies to the Muppet Babies, I hate hate em’! The problem I had going into this teen gimmick comic soon disappeared when I actually read it. Heinberg and Chung changed my mind with great twists in story and beautiful artwork on every page. So from that point on I was a Young Avengers fan…Until volume 2 came out and I was slapped in the face with a mediocre story that at least had brilliant comic book art.
Now to this third installment of Avengers: Children’s Crusade. Chung once again proves that he’s one of the best in the comic book industry with page after page of unforgettable images of flowing story telling. Even when the characters just talk to each other it’s worth taking note of. Heinberg also returned as he originally had with quick dialogue and well placed character emotion. Next to not liking the children characters gimmick I have a great hatred for the resurrection gimmick, yet the way they bring the Scarlet Witch back to the Marvel Universe proper is done in what I feel is a great way. On par with Whedon bringing back Colossus even. The ending is also worth noting that I feel it’s touching and yet on point with how teenage heroes would act after going through the traumatic events of the Children’s Crusade. While Allan doesn’t write often I still look forward to his next installment.
Art by: Charlie Adlard
Collects Issue #73-84
I’ve been a huge fan of the Walking Dead comic since the beginning, I stress again the comic and not the TV show with 3 minutes of good and the rest an exercise in boredom. In the last book we started to see moments of our heroes turning out to be more aggressive than they used to be while still staying true to their characters. A lot of the new people are introduced here and then dismissed as the cannon fodder that they were created to be. Kirkman used to set up characters well in the beginning to where you formed a connection with them, so that when they died, you felt the gravity of it. In vol.7 newly introduced people are offed just so Rick can go on a lame speech about humanity being the real threat. I fear that Kirkman may be phoning it in now with his TV show being the major hit that it is. I kind of wished the Walking Dead would just end before I start to hate it.