I've been devouring quite a bit of Michael Crichton. It started off with reading "Micro", his last published novel. Once I was told that this novel was finished by someone else I had to start reading other Crichton books. Several things:
1. I barely found out after reading "Micro" that he had passed away a year ago. Oops...
2. "Micro" is the first novel I read (mostly) written by Micheal Crichton
3. I loved "Micro"
3. Crichton is heavy on science and killing people
4. I keep confusing Michael Crichton with John Crichton...
5. The ending of "The Andromeda Strain" teed me off to no end.
Ultimately, this lead me to the realization on how many Crichton novels were made into movies: "The Andromeda Strain "(1971), "Congo" (1995), to name a few. So that ultimately led me to a series of blog posts I've been thinking of doing. Self-explantorily (is that a word? Well it is now) called "Book vs. Movie". I had the cool idea for an illustration but time slashed that idea to shreds..
Disclaimer: I watched the movie first.
A very rich man has decided to start an amusement
featuring dinosaurs. He does with the help of lots
of money, charm, and power. He is forced to prove
that his park is safe so he invites archaeologists,
a mathematician (this makes alot more sense in the
book), and his grandkids. As he tries to show the amazing potential for the park, all hell breaks loose. Literally.
One Corner: The Book
From the first chapter, I realized that the movie I grew up watching was different. The book starts off a doctor in costa rica. An injured young man with slash marks on his chest is rushed to her. She is told that it is merely a construction accident. Suspicious, she takes photos. Once the young man passes away, he whispers heavily accented words. Her assistant freaks claiming that it is the night monster or some thing. Once the man dies, a corporate who-ha comes in, takes the body, and leaves. The picture is also missing.
Right from the first chapter I was terrified. Yes, terrified. This was not the story that i grew up with. It became more bloody, horrific, and absolutely thrilling. I was completely transfixed as I read the novel. There was alot of lovely science theories my little head to ponder with. The chaos theory annoyed me. I loved the part with the computer "counting" the animals and the major flaw in that theory. It was amazing to read this novel. I loved it. The ending was a huge downer for me. I wonder if it's because I have to read the "Lost World" but it really felt anticlimatic. After all that chasing and intelligence spewing from the dinosaurs, they're reduced back to bird-like creatures intent on migrating. Eh.
Oh, I would love to have a mini-elephant.Just sayin',
The Other Corner: The Movie
I had to watch this movie again. The last time I saw it was more than 10 years ago. So long ago, that I had to watch it videotape! The movie starts off with the Muldoon character trying to place some velociraptors in the holding pen. Only to have chaos ensues as one of the creatures snags one of the workers and kills him. The scene fades as Muldoon screams for them to shoot her.
There was this amazing moment that it dawned on both my boyfriend and I that this movie....SUCKED. I think it was when Grant is giving the "scary" velociraptor speech. Where were the parents? Why was there a tour at an archeological dig?!?! The dialogue was so...baaaad. Jeff Goldblum...your leg is badly injured. Why are you striking a sexy pose?!?!?
After I was done smirking at the dialogue I have to admit two things: Spielberg is a great director for making entertaining movies. Not thought provoking ones. Really fun ones. Two: The dinosaurs still hold up. The animations are cool. The CGI for that time was pretty spectacular.
One thing that I still haven't been able to let go is the disappearing floor in the T-rex scene. You clearly see that the goat was raised up into the ground. You also see the ground around the fence. Then, once the cars are being pushed over, the floor disappears! Now its dramatic steep drop. sheesh.
The movie severely chopped through the first book. Events were simplified. The chaos theory was used a flirting technique. The characters were off. Ellen sucked except for the one cool part where she turns on the electricity. Then she's a bad-ass. Muldoon's character was not supposed to die and he was the most reliable on! The scientist played a huge moral part in the book but was just reduced to a sideline character in the movie. The evil corporation behind Ned's intent to steal the eggs was not even mentioned in the movie. They were the major explanations for Ned's stealing. In the movie, he's just shown as an overweight grunt. Grant is more of a wide-eyed dreamer in the movie, he was more practical and loved children in the book.
The book did spend too time on the chaos theory. So much that I skimmed through alot of it. I never fully understood the growing cubes. I guess it had something to do with ever growing chaos.
Hammond was inherently ignorant and crazy in the book. And spoiler alert: he dies!Very fitting!! He should have died. He brought about destruction and mayhem to bring to life a wish for dinosaurs. He ignored rhyme and reason just for "entertainment". I liked Hammond in the movie but I never felt he really learned much from it. At least movie Hammond seemed genuinely concerned that his grandkids were stuck in the park. Book Hammond didn't give a damn.
The Outcome: TIE!!
Despite it all, I can't choose on over the other. The movie was flawed in so many ways but I still enjoyed it. I still get excited over the same scenes and I still feel awe at seeing the dinosuars. The book gave me what it was meant to give: a deep rooted fear of people having too power over things that could kill them. Definitely a cautionary tale served with a spoonful of gasps.
I would recommend the book if you haven't read it. You won't be able to stop comparing them both!
Just a fun tidbit from the awesome Nostalgia critic: