Facing the T-Rex

A three hour tour.
Don't let anyone kid you, males of the species do have thoughtful and emotional depth, we just more often than not choose to ignore it. It's better that way because most of the time we guys tend to screw things up whenever we start thinking we're on to something "deep," and besides, females don't want that from us anyways (no matter what they say... search your feelings girls, you know it to be true!). But when our emotions do come out, they do so in the strangest of places, particularly when you're eight-years-old and your already-favoritist movie has landed on the big screen, finally, after three months of  commercials and previews. It was a clear summer night in June of 1993 and me and my brother were out for whatever reason with mom and dad, begging them to let us into a little monster-movie-at-heart known as Jurassic Park.

I tell you this because I have proof, but more importantly because it won't make me look any worse in front of the half of you who share a Y chromosome because I already conceded that I'm a dork. Now I know lots of guys across the ages (comedians) have testified on behalf of our half in saying that "nothing much goes on" in our heads, and while it's probably true for those ones who perpetuate this, I'm going to put my foot down and say that it's not true of the vast majority. In fact, a lot does go on in our heads when we're watching movies like Jurassic Park on the big screen, but it usually devolves into "oh man that's so awesome," or "holy shit I want one," or just "oh man is she hot." That may not seem like much, but trust me, that's the 8yo brain firing back on, which I think it has to if you're actually sitting down to a movie like Jurassic Park. Yeah yeah "playing God." Yeah yeah "morals." You want the money shot. You want the T-Rex.

So there we were. We packed in the movie theater and watched the spectacle unfold as if we were ascending to little boy heaven on the spot. A lush jungle hung before us, full of eye-opening carnage and huge dinosaurs, presided over by Sam Neill, paleontology's answer to Harrison Ford from the decade prior (whatever "paleontology" meant). I wanted to BE this guy. Seriously, how much cooler does it get than to be one of them paleo-tolo-orthodontics, but actually be wearing the Indiana Jones hat and literally running with the gallamim-i? To literally stare down a T-Rex and have the fucking T-REX blink first! He's the gruff muscle of the movie, okay, but who's the brain? Ian Malcolm. Now if you're like me, your body is about 2% muscle and 95% bone marrow, so you're going to need someone to represent you, and they couldn't have gotten a cooler nerd for this part than good ole Goldblum, Ladies Man Extraordinaire (it's part of the name). Only he could do the water drop trick on the hand and actually win the female over by doing that (don't ask how I know). His uh... seduction was uh... all in the ahhh! Strange attractors anyone?

So what do they add to balance out all this bridled (Grant) and unbridled (Malcolm) testosterone but... a girl? Why yes, and a girl who actually knows her shit for once and still managed to put thoughts in my head late at night. The amazing thing is, she's not just there to get hit on. With Grant off with the kids (Timmy pretty much being my avatar in the movie at that point), and Malcolm half dead in the hay, it was really up to the girl to save all the guys. Heck, Timmy is reduced to completely useless quivering while his SISTER (also a girl) literally HACKS into the park to turn the power back on. Everyone has their moment of glory in a way, so it's great that movies finally caught up with real life. Oh but this is getting too deep, gotta switch back to 8yo me and talk what I actually liked about this movie growing up.

Jurassic Park cars that drive themselves: "awesome dude, I want one." Taser guns to shoot at raptors: "awesome dude I want one." Helicopter: "oh man that's so awesome." T-Rex car chase: "holy shit this is the best thing I ever seen! I need a change of pants!!" But the T-Rex was too lumbering and mechanical after a while, so that's when we got the raptors. That's when we got those spitty green guys. That's when we got raptor chase scenes! That's when we got cutesy Three Stooges-y slip squeal sound effects when Newman hit the deck down a waterfall! Ha ha. Heck, the only thing missing is a guy on a toilet... no wait! There he is! How do you manage to make a toilet joke into a terrifying death scene (in a movie that's not called Bad Taste)? I don't know, but they done it, and was the 8yo me certainly glad they did! Oh man. But let's take it a step even further. Let's remind our "target audience" here (KIDS!) that dinosaurs do, in fact, poop. "Big piles of shit" too! Gross!.. but more importantly: Hahahaha! 

And so there I was, seven-years-old, totally enjoying it, totally not scared, and totally unable to follow what chain of events lead to this string of awesome, hilarious, and unforgettable scenes. As far as I was concerned the "story" had something to do with a bunch of people going to see an island with a bunch of dinosaurs on it. What did I care how they got there? They had me at "island with dinosaurs on it." Give us walky-talkies, stun guns, and Unix-based OS's. Give us raptor run-ins, big "birds" with teeth (yes, I did learn something), a T-Rex tossing a car off a cliff, and give us at least one guy getting eaten off a toilet, and you've got us hooked. In fact, we'll spend the next year and a half begging for the coloring books, backpacks, pencil cases, video games, and whatever dinosaur cereal box you can find (yes, Jurassic Park Crunch! Bring it back!). "You've patented it, and packaged it, and you DID slap it on my plastic lunch box and now *bang* you're gonna sell it *banng* you're gonna sell it!!" 

And I totally bought it, and happily kept buying it, because what can I say? I loved this stuff. And I mean it. But no matter how silly, simple, and unfettered the male mind may seem, I promise you this, we'll still cover our heads in our blankies at the "scary parts" in the dark theater, and still "love" every minute of it.

"Man creates dinosaurs, dinosaurs eat man... 8yo me loves it."

2 comments:

  1. I was, like, 4 when Jurassic Park came out. I fell asleep in the first half, but when the dinosaurs got out, my mom had to tell us to literally shut up cause my sister and I were excited. =P

    I cam to like the movie a lot more when i got older. The toilet scene will always be the most memorable to me. =P

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    1. You know how some movies you loved as a kid, you grow up and realize that they really weren't that great, or even were bad movies? Jurassic Park is like the opposite of that. You watch it as a kid and it's the best movie ever. You watch it as an adult and it's still a great movie. Real developed characters. Real suspense. There are parts that still make me laugh. And the special effects still look great.

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