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Re: The Lost Child...



(Stuff snipped for space)
>What about movies like 
>"Apollo-13" and "Glory"? The entire point of THESE movies is to tell a
>story that is as true as possible.  A talented director can make us see
>the inherently fascinating and absorbing aspects of real life without
>distorting reality, if that is the objective of the film.

        Except for the fact that there are numerous things that are 
historically wrong with both movies and the westerns that you mentioned 
earlier in your post. As an amateur historian I am extremely amused by the 
parallels between this discussion and the discussion about movies on the 
history list that I subscribe to.
        On the history list, there is much hand-wringing about the horrible 
devastating impact of such movies as "Last of the Mohicans", "Braveheart", 
and "Rob Roy". One of my favorite movies, "Glory" (Got it on letterboxed 
laserdisc) also contains historical inaccuracies and gaps that got in the 
way of telling a story in 2 1/2 hours.
        There is much wrong with these movies, but they are trying to tell 
an effective story, and some of the details of reality tend to bog down good 
storytelling. In all of the movies people are wearing things they shouldn't 
be, doing things they couldn't have, and speaking in ways that are more 20th 
century vernacular than 18th and 19th century and 1960's idioms.

>Did you scream during the T.rex attack or think "hmmmm.... 
>interesting concept"?  Was the T.rex scary because it behaved like a
>six-tonne predatory animal, or Godzilla?

        I screamed because there was a six-ton animal with really big teeth 
bearing down on an open-topped jeep with a chewy center.

>Are the best actors the ones
>that are convincing, or the ones that go over the top? 

        Both, depending on the role. For over-the-top, see Tim Roth in "Rob 
Roy" and Ralph Finnes in "Schindler's List". Also see Joe Pesci in 
"Goodfellas" For a highly nuanced performance, see Andre Braugher and Denzel 
Washington in "Glory".

>Honestly, do you
>think the misrepresentations of paleontology and Chaos theory enhanced the
>film, or were they just errors?    

        Honestly, do you think anyone went to see a movie about dinosaurs 
running rampant for a lecture on chaos theory and the nitty gritty of 
paleontology? I've never been to a fossil site, but I've done some volunteer 
archaeology, and when I saw the "matrix" they were working on at the 
beginning of the film, I laughed out loud, grabbed a handful of popcorn and 
took a sip from my soda. 

                
>    "This is probably something that will really happen someday".  Watch
>some of the old interveiws with Speilberg and Chrichton.   

        Golly, you mean Speilberg and Crichton hyped a movie they had 
invested millions of dollars in? I'm shocked, shocked!!! You sound as if it 
is a personal betrayal, and that Speilberg was unknown for making 
multi-million dollar merchandising machines that he has hyped through 
everything from cereal boxes to fast food promotions. Heck, he practically 
invented the "making of" bs documentary (ie. 1/2 hour to 1 hour commercial 
disguised as a program) form.

>      Phil Tippet made some animatics of the Velociraptors in which thier
>tongues flicked in and out, like a lizard.  Horner came down on them like
>a ton of bricks and they changed it.  Would Jurassic Park have been half
>as convincing and real as it was if the filmakers and paleontologists
>hadn't worked together to give it authenticity?  

        No, but what is your point? I have worked with directors who 
couldn't give a damn about what is documented and correct. If it didn't fit 
his preconceived notion of what a shot should look like, he shot the scene 
how he wanted it, authenticity be damned. At least Speilberg listened. So in 
answer to your question, no. In the same way, would "Glory" or "Apollo 13" 
be as real or authentic if they didn't have historical and (in the case of 
Apollo 13) NASA consultants on board to tell them what is right and wrong? No.

>LN Jeff
>O-

        Jurassic Park is FAR from a perfect movie. There are tons of things 
I would have liked to have seen, and tons of things I wished I hadn't. 
However, I accepted it for what it was: A Saturday Matinee thriller.
        You seem to be upset about the central conceit of the movie; that 
dinosaurs could be brought to life using strands of DNA extracted from 
insects trapped in amber. I agree, this is far from possible (from what I 
have read in magazines and journals in articles inspired by the release of 
the movie) but I think the movie would have been really boring if Hammond 
would have taken the two paleontologists to the island, directed them to a 
lab, and showed them scientists who shrugged their shoulders and said "can't 
get it work. It just isn't possible. Can you help us design animatronic 
robots to take their place in this really neat park we have?"
        If it helps, the creatures in the movie and book aren't really 
dinosaurs. They're dinosaur/modern amphibian hybrids, and their 
uncharacteristic behavior and appearance are mutations.


William C. Ward
rasgt@charm.net