Thursday, September 25, 2008

Thursday's Ways Not To Die

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It was tough, getting a good screen-grab of that moment there at the end, when our poor, child-abandoning lawyer-slash-weasel Gennaro (yes, I knew the character's name without having to look it up) gets thrashed back and forth in the T-Rex's jaws. Too much motion!

Anyway, I'll just come right out and say this: I consider this scene - from the moment the reverberations play across the cup of water's surface announcing the Tyrannosaur's approach until Sam Neill and the two kids get chased down a tree by a falling Ford Explorer not long after where I've cut off the screen-grabs above - well I consider this scene to be one of the finest accomplishments in all of cinema. It's up there with Eisenstein's Odessa Steps as far as I'm concerned. I have seen this scene literally dozens of times (I saw Jurassic Park in the theater alone fifteen times the year it came out) and it never fails to make me hold my breath through its entire duration every single time, and I never realize it until its over, but I don't think I blink either. And it's ten minutes long! It's one of the most perfect, basic realizations of what film can offer us.

The film as a whole has loads to offer - I love this movie with all of my heart - from the Velociraptor attack in the kitchen to Samuel Jackson's shredded-off arm (that reveal kicks so much ass), but its centerpiece, this T.Rex attack, is in the pantheon. It is love, written in goat's blood and sealed with a guttural chomp.

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Previous Ways Not To Die: Hoisted By Your Own Hand Grenade -- Having The Years Suction-Cupped Away -- Criss-Cross -- Turned Into A Person-Cocoon By The Touch Of A Little Girl's Mirror Doppleganger -- Satisfying Society's "Pop Princess" Blood-Lust -- Done In By The Doggie Door -- Tuned Out -- Taking the 107th Step -- Rescuing Gretchen -- Incinerated By Lousy Dialogue -- Starred & Striped Forever -- Vivisection Via Vaginally-Minded Barbed-Wire -- Chompers (Down There) -- Run Down By M. Night Shyamalan -- Everything Up To And Including The Kitchen Toaster -- Sacrificed To Kali -- Via The Gargantuan Venom Of The Black Mamba Snake -- Turned Into An Evil Robot -- The Out-Of-Nowhere Careening Vehicle Splat -- "Oh My God... It's Dip!!!" -- Critter Balled -- Stuff'd -- A Hot-Air Balloon Ride... Straight To Hell!!! -- Puppy Betrayal -- High-Heeled By A Girlfriend Impersonator -- Flip-Top Beheaded -- Because I'm Too Goddamned Beautiful To Live -- By Choosing... Poorly... -- Fried Alive Due To Baby Ingenuity -- A Good Old-Fashioned Tentacle Smothering -- Eepa! Eepa! -- Gremlins Ate My Stairlift -- An Icicle Thru The Eye -- Face Carved Off By Ghost Doctor After Lesbian Tryst With Zombie Women -- Electrocuted By Fallen Power-Lines -- A Mouthful Of Flare -- Taken By The TV Lady -- Bitten By A Zombie -- Eaten By Your Mattress -- Stuffed To Splitting -- Face Stuck In Liquid Nitrogen -- Crushed By Crumbling Church Debris -- Bitten By The Jaws Of Life -- A Machete To The Crotch -- Showering With A Chain-Saw -- In A Room Filled With Razor Wire -- Pod People'd With Your Dog -- Force-Fed Art -- Skinned By A Witch -- Beaten With An Oar -- Curbed -- Cape Malfunction -- In The Corner -- Cooked In A Tanning Bed -- Diced -- Punched Through The Head -- Bugs Sucking On Your Head
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6 comments:

Joe Reid said...

Fifteen years later, it still retains all the wonder and awe of the first time you saw it.

elgringo said...

How have I missed this series so far? This is AWESOME. I love it. Your screencaps are so clear too.

This was on TV the other day. Just flipping channels. Noticed that JPark was on. Two commercial-filled hours later...I was still sitting in front of the TV, loving life.

Joe Reid said it better than I could have.

JA said...

I've done the same thing so many times, elgringo. It's one of those movies that it doesn't matter what I'm in the middle of, if it's on TV I will sit my ass down and watch it again. Even though the DVD is right on my shelf! Weird how that works. But there's something comforting about it.

AB and the Bear Suits said...

Way to be a film nerd about it (name-dropping Eisenstein). But I do agree that it is a moment that has held up over time.

JA said...

Hey, me and Sergei go way back! We peeps! BFF! Homies!

josh said...

fantastic! i'm so happy you did this - i am absolutely rewatching JP tonight :) it's just such a rewatchable movie