Read the book, then saw the movie: Jurassic Park

I’m all for dinosaurs eating humans, especially when they’ve been genetically recreated and brought back into a world that is just annoying and full of product placements.  I’d be pissed, too.

 

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Jurassic Park was originally written by Michael Crichton, god rest that brilliant man’s soul, and published November 1990. I distinctly remember this, because it was my senior year in high school and my scifi nut father brought it back from one of his TDY’s (temporary duty – military jargon…just go with it) out to Fallon, Nevada with his squadron.  Dad walked in the door, pulled it out of his suitcase of stuff, and said, “You have got to read this.”

 

(Time passes)

 

Throws the book on dad’s desk.  “This is the best book I have ever read.  I’m reading all his stuff now.”  I did, too.

 

In 1993, Steven Spielberg adapted the book into a screenplay and released the movie, “Jurassic Park” and I took my parents to see it.  Couple hours later, I turned to my dad.

 

“That’s totally not what happened in the book.”

 

Dad shrugged, “Yeah but it was still a good movie.”

 

The movie was, in its own right, fan-fucking-tastic, but anyone who’s read the book did the same exact thing I did.

 

“What the…the old guy is nice?”

 

Crichton wrote John Hammond, InGen’s billionaire CEO and the park’s creator, as the book’s antagonist.  Spielberg decided to make the velociraptors the bad guys. Really, you try and get some lunch and kill almost everyone left in the park, and you get a bad rep? I’m jumping ahead of myself – let’s start with the plot.

 

Jurassic Park is about greed, the folly of man. What’s the difference between dinosaurs and humans?  Dinosaurs died out by meteors or rising temperatures – whatever you want to go with, but they didn’t do it to themselves. Humans? We’re killing ourselves, with help from fossil fuels from dinosaurs, in some cases. InGen CEO Mr. John Hammond figures out, through research and billions of dollars, how to make a dinosaur by the unlikeliest source. Mosquitoes trapped in crystallized liquid amber.  Why and how?

 

Mosquitoes, even prehistoric ones, ate off dinosaurs, sucking their blood, but sometimes they would get trapped in tree amber, blood from their lunch still intact.  InGen figured out a way to extract it and blahblahblah scientific explanation blahblahblah – dinosaurs are genetically grown in labs. So why not make a buck and release them into a park?

 

Mr. Hammond needs insurance.  I would imagine a lot of insurance.  So he enlists the help of several scientist, and a mathematician, and brings his grand kids to the island and all hell breaks loose when someone else wants to make a buck and releases the dinosaurs.

 

The difference between the movie and the book? I’m going to spoil this for you, so if you don’t want to know what happens at the end of the book – because it is TOTALLY DIFFERENT – look at some porn or skip…oh hell, I don’t care.  If you haven’t heard yet, I’m disappointed in you.  Go read the book right now!

 

Mr. Hammond, sweet old Richard Attenborough’s character, gets eaten.

 

The adaptation was flawless, I won’t lie, so I wasn’t overly upset when I balked at all the changes. Books to movies ALWAYS loses something in the translation. You can’t fit everything into the movie, as much as I’d like for that to happen, but changing characters, or worse – combining them (I’ll get to that when I review ‘Silence of the Lambs’ – just seems foul to me.  But it worked for Spielberg’s version.

 

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John Michael Crichton (October 23, 1942 – November 4, 2008)

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