Jurassic World Alive App Is Here!

There’s a dinosaur in our backyard…
 

Jurassic World Alive is a new app that is sure to grab every dino lover’s attention. In the app, you are a member of the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG), and you are on a mission to save the dinosaurs. Much like Pokemon Go, you explore your surroundings in search of dinosaurs. Once you track down a dinosaur, you pilot a drone and collect DNA samples from them. You can create normal dinosaurs, or pretend you’re Henry Wu and make some hybrids! After assembling a team of dinosaurs, you then head over to the battle area and face off against other players. Prizes for winning include (but aren’t limited to): coins, DNA samples, and darts for DNA collecting.

The app is now available for Android on Google Play, and for iOS in the App Store. Start hunting those dinos!

 
As mentioned above, this game is similar to Pokemon Go in a lot of ways. The game uses your location for placement of dinosaurs and supply drops, and it has warnings about being safe while playing (thanks, Owen!). The drone/firing the darts can take a little getting used to, but the controls seem very responsive. All the dinosaurs in the game have profiles that detail their battle stats, which you need to pay attention to once you step into the battle area. They start you out in the Fallen Kingdom arena, and there are different battle arenas that unlock as you win more battles! Battles get more exciting as you level up you dinos (by gathering more DNA), and mixing up your team combinations. Unlike Pokemon Go, supply drops are not always at landmarks, and they appear more frequently in suburban/rural areas.

Jurassic World: Alive also has a fun AR feature, allowing you to bring the dinosaurs you’ve captured to life in the real world via your phones camera. This creates a fun photo and video opportunity many fans are already taking advantage of!

Have you played Jurassic World Alive yet? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Jurassic Park’s New 4K Blu-Ray Release is Scanned from the ORIGINAL Camera Negative

With 2018 marking the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park, Universal Pictures are ensuring fans don’t go without this year! It was recently revealed that all four Jurassic Park movies would be receiving the 4K treatment, with the release of a new Blu-Ray collection this May.

An exciting announcement none the less, but many were left wondering how exactly the film will be transferred to 4K – for lack of a better word. There were a few concerns that the films would be upscaled from the HD prints/versions, meaning they would not be true 4K.

Luckily for us however, it sounds like the Jurassic Park 4K release will be true 4K, having been scanned from the original camera negatives!

Universal Pictures confirmed this with us, detailing the process:

4K Restoration conducted by Universal Pictures with restoration services provided by NBCUniversal StudioPost
ARRI scan at 4K resolution from the original camera negative
4K workflow with High Dynamic Range color correction

This is great news for fans and movie buffs alike – never before will Jurassic Park have been watched at this quality, but better yet, the transfer will likely be closest to the original colour that was played in theatres back in 1993, closer than any release we’ve had before!

It’s important to note that due to way film-making and the technology behind it evolves, not every movie in this franchise will be archived by the studio in the same format, meaning the transfer for each movie could differ.

But one thing is for certain: this release will allow you to watch the Jurassic Park franchise like never before!

Unfortunately there doesn’t appear to be any new bonus features attached to this release. The press release states:

Available for the first time ever in 4K Ultra HD featuring newly remastered versions of the films, the collection also includes Blu-ray and Digital via the all-new MOVIES ANYWHERE app. This special anniversary collection features premium book-style packaging and is packed with hours of bonus content including deleted scenes, storyboards, revealing interviews and behind-the-scenes featurettes that make this a must own film for everyone’s library.

Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection will be available on 4K Ultra HD in a combo pack which includes 4K Ultra HD Blu-rayTM, Blu-rayTM and Digital. The 4K Ultra HD disc will include the same bonus features as the Blu-rayTM version, all in stunning 4K resolution.

And in regards to bonus features:

BONUS FEATURES INCLUDE:
• Return to Jurassic Park: 6-Part Documentary – This six-part documentary features interviews with the many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers and Steven Spielberg.
• Welcome to Jurassic World – An in-depth take on the creation, look and feel of Jurassic World. Director Colin Trevorrow and Steven Spielberg discuss how the idea of the film came together and how the casting was decided with actors’ commentary on their roles and filming locations.
• Dinosaurs Roam Once Again – Behind the scenes look at the making of Jurassic World’s visual effects, how the dinosaurs came to life, and actors filmed scenes.
• Jurassic World: All-Access Pass – Chris Pratt and Director Colin Trevorrow discuss key moments in the film, supported by behind-the-scenes footage and VFX breakdowns.
• Deleted Scenes
• And Over Forty Additional Bonus Featurettes from All Four Films!

The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection releases May 22nd and will retail at $79.98 (although it is currently $49.96 on Amazon!). This will be an 8-disc collection with each 4K film on their own disc, and the bonus features on another.

How excited are you to see Jurassic Park like never before? Let us know in the comments section below, and be sure to stay tuned to Jurassic Outpost for more!

OPINION: The Jurassic Myth

To make an unpopular observation is to dispel a beloved myth.

Initially, I felt reluctant to write this piece. Not so much because I’m concerned about its reception. Had I been a few years younger I possibly would have worried and questioned my very own loyalty to the Jurassic Park franchise and its creators.

No, I doubted my desire to pen all of this down because I’ve written several articles on Jurassic Park and Jurassic World through the years. Could this one add any new insights? Would it not be a useless exercise, partly revisiting already existing material?

Jurassic Park has been part of over half my life. I grew up with it, watched it countless times – I would not dare venture a guess as to the number of combined viewings through the years. I’ve played with the toys endlessly, read the books over and over again. My love for these films, flaws included, is deeply rooted; not a day goes by I do not, in some capacity, think of it, or look at material from these films or their merchandise. I can only assume I am preaching to the choir, my experience being hardly unique.

However, love and loyalty for this franchise (or any product, artist or franchise, for that matter) do not constitute unwavering devotion, no matter how dreadful the material is or has become. Rather, I believe being a fan is daring to be critical; to scrutinize, reconsider and demand (or perhaps more accurate, to hope for) respectful treatment of a property we so dearly love, not blindly accepting everything presented to us.

Having mulled it over in my mind continuously for weeks on end, I was close to considering it a pointless endeavour. Yet, I could not entirely let go, feeling the desire to explore the origins of the park, the foundations lain out in the two novels and original three films once more – and possibly for the last time.

But where to begin when you want to write about film canon and storytelling?

Canon remains a hotly debated issue. Not just within Jurassic Park’s fan communities. Every film franchise and TV-series sooner or later has to deal with the implications of its own storytelling and, possibly unfitting, additions finding their way in through sequels. In some cases, Terminator for example, it includes the consideration of excising events from previously made films to make way for new interpretations. The ALIEN franchise has a loyal fan base that considers the third and fourth films non-existent. Furthermore, ALIEN’s prequels have brought significant changes to the origins of the infamous titular creature(s), not necessarily for the better.

Perhaps the Jurassic Park saga is not so badly off in comparison. Yet, I can’t help be intrigued by the phenomenon of canon and how easily it can be messed up. It’s the one issue I keep returning to most in my mind. After all, the entire franchise stands or falls with its respective storytelling.

My continuing fascination for the subject stems from a dissatisfaction with the lack of attention for the finer details of the franchise as it progresses; the sequels were, and are, created based on previous success, contemporary popularity and demand, not necessarily the established story. This in itself isn’t entirely odd. The original wasn’t made with a sequel strongly in mind, and the original’s sequel was not created in that spirit either. Jurassic Park is a “make it up as you go along”-franchise. It’s not alone in that department; most film sequels are conceived that way.

For Jurassic Park, a film that deals with specific, limited locations, it can cause trouble when future authors are not absolutely informed about every nail and rivet, each miniscule, seemingly insignificant detail. After all, contrary to popular belief, the Jurassic Park universe isn’t one of endless possibilities; because of the chosen locations (remote islands) and the subject at its very core (recreated dinosaurs), stories run the risk of becoming either repetitive or, trying to introduce new and exciting elements, bordering on the ridiculous.

Anyone taking on the task of writing a sequel in this series must have more than just a basic understanding of the park’s history and its very conception to make new entries into the franchise work.

“Only slightly dead.” From paper to celluloid: adaptation

Looking at the Jurassic Park films, what should we consider canon? And, for that matter, what is canon, exactly?

Meriam Webster offers the following definition: “a body of principles, rules, standards or norms.”

That’s quite clear. The story mandates an adherence to previously established details. Deviate, and the illusion crumbles, exposing inconsistencies and errors.

To keep it simple: canon to the films is everything that happens within the films. Anything outside of it (novels, cut scenes, novelizations of the films’ stories, board- and videogames, merchandise, apps and viral websites) is not to be included.

Yet, deviate is exactly what Michael Crichton himself did when he wrote The Lost World; mathematician Ian Malcolm had died by the end of the novel Jurassic Park, but lived in the film version. Working on the book’s sequel, Crichton resurrected Malcolm, given how popular the character had become. About this magic return from death, Crichton said:

“Malcolm came back because I needed him. I could do without the others, but not him because he is the ‘ironic commentator’ on the action. He keeps telling us why it will go bad. And I had to have him back again.”

You can see the irony in my quest of untangling Jurassic Park’s initial canon. Crichton himself, the founding father of the Jurassic Park universe, unashamedly had a previously deceased character return alive and well to propel the story forward. Malcolm’s return was a surprise to readers of the original book but presented in the novel without much pomp and circumstance, it was largely accepted.

With Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) surviving the events that took place in the first film, The Lost World’s film adaptation had no such hurdle to overcome. It did utilize the new location Michael Crichton invented for the sequel, the abandoned research facility located on Isla Sorna.

Let us briefly examine three key scenes from The Lost World: Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III. While there is no real need for a lengthy deconstruction of either scene, it proves worthwhile to take a look at those moments from the original trilogy that became the groundwork of Isla Nublar’s fate.

What both films clearly radiate is the notion that Isla Nublar is no longer of interest to anyone. The public, through the course of these two films, has become aware of the island and its unfortunate history, the dinosaurs having either been killed or died off; in The Lost World: Jurassic Park this becomes clear throughout the dialogue between John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) and Ian Malcolm. Hammond simply confesses to Malcolm there is another island where dinosaurs roam freely (“thank God for Site B,”) and Malcolm finds himself unpleasantly surprised by this notion. Neither man worries about Isla Nublar, it’s hardly brought up.

At the end of The Lost World: Jurassic Park Hammond snatches his “likeable showman”-opportunity and argues in favour of the protection of Isla Sorna and the surviving dinosaurs that inhabit the island.

Jurassic Park III reintroduces us to Alan Grant (Sam Neill), who is beleaguered with questions about his experience on Isla Nublar as he attempts to lecture about paleontology. Two persisting students question if he truly has no interest in traveling to Isla Sorna the moment different governing bodies have decided how to properly approach the island, enabling scientists to conduct research on location. Grant denies interest, professing to the desire of staying as far away from the island as possible.

These three scenes hold the keys to that fine detail; Isla Nublar is not considered a mythical location, spoken of in revered, hushed tones. No, it’s a monumental financial headache for InGen, and unceremoniously cast aside by John Hammond.

Isla Nublar is completely written out of the films for the next fifteen years.

“Something unexpected has evolved”: complications

After The Lost World: Jurassic Park, different screenwriters wrote each new entry in the franchise, causing a parade of annoying irregularities. Some are relatively minor, for example Isla Sorna looking different in Jurassic Park III: while mainly covered with temperate forests in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III sees dinosaurs and humans placed in tropical jungles.

Other errors are slightly more troubling. These vary from design variations in the same species of animals throughout the films; the once free roaming Pteranodons being magically locked up in a gigantic aviary in the third film; to Kauai’s Na’Pali coastal mountain range first seen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park as part of Isla Sorna accidentally being reused in Jurassic World as Isla Nublar’s coastline.

There are, of course, counterarguments for these discrepancies. First of all, not all errors, such as the location mix-up, can be blamed on the writers. The change in appearance in both animals and surroundings isn’t unheard of through the course of the films. The animals looking different, sometimes radically, can be chalked up to creative decisions in design and renewed insights; the island looking different could simply mean the two films each took place on different parts of it.

The same coastline used for both Isla Sorna and Isla Nublar might have been an oversight, considering the time that passed between the two respective films. Admittedly, it’s a location-scouting mistake most viewers probably won’t even notice.

These errors can be overcome, turning a blind eye. However, two elements both introduced in Jurassic World are inexcusable, and cause the film to run into deep trouble. The first is the surprise reintroduction of the original Tyrannosaurus from Jurassic Park in Jurassic World. The previous sequels taught us dinosaurs no longer inhabited Isla Nublar. Without even a modicum of explaining, the original Tyrannosaurus returns, as the deus ex machina she was in the original film’s finale.

Given what we know about Isla Nublar’s history, the Tyrannosaurus should not be there – yet she is still alive, albeit looking very different. This is not just due to old age; the shape of her head, especially the lower jaw, has entirely changed. Rumor has it the film originally would present us with a random Tyrannosaurus rex. Was this redesign a last-minute decision, a rush of nostalgia to please fans? We may never know.

Most unforgivable, though, and certainly to be blamed on the writing; the revelation John Hammond apparently supported Jurassic World’s construction before his death, completely undoing the emotional and spiritual journey the character made over the course of the original two films. This sudden change of heart is not entirely impossible, but without properly addressing it, the film falls flat and does Hammond’s character the greatest of disservices; making it appear he had a nefarious motive, the creation of a park on Isla Nublar at any and all cost, selfishly seeing his dream come true in the end.

All these moments display what could either be remarkable carelessness, a lack of knowledge or performance under pressure. We know the latter certainly applied to Jurassic Park III’s production process. But the others? Colin Trevorrow has professed to being a fan of the original work multiple times, and clearly voiced his devotion to create the best work possible. Yet, these errors and inconsistencies did not require a microscope to be found. And these inconsistencies are not just discussed by fans who spend much time going over the material, dissecting every frame; the discrepancies are out there, front and center, questioned by film audiences in general. If they can pick up on those, why not the director of the film himself? Were these elements truly errors? Did the filmmakers simply not pay enough attention, or did they possibly not care enough to gain a better understanding of this fictional world they were adding to? It makes Jurassic World operate in the same cinematic universe as Jurassic Park, but without properly addressing some of these issues it does so on its fringes.

This is the myth; we have been told the new trilogy (the Jurassic Park films are the first trilogy, the Jurassic World films the second) has been planned out beforehand. This does not seem entirely true.

I do believe a beginning (Jurassic World), middle (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom) and an end (Jurassic World III) were planned in broad strokes, but the writers of the script didn’t bother with the finer details established by the original films, instead introducing what was deemed necessary or even just cool.

With every new entry into the franchise the stories run the risk of becoming more complicated and asking for a greater suspension of disbelief. I believe it’s not impossible to write stories that fit the overarching canon and still be surprising and uncontrived, but this ordains a deep understanding of the source material; perhaps it presents authors with a creative challenge, but what else are professional writers for?

If we have to suspend disbelief and accept the dinosaurs as a reality, the details of the entire world they occupy have to be absolutely correct.

Both Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World, at one point or another, failed in this regard.

That’s not to say I am not appreciative of the work by both Joe Johnston and Colin Trevorrow on the Jurassic Park franchise. Though their films are not perfect, they offer entertainment and even bring new elements into the saga that will inspire, and be discussed by fans, for years to come. Both men and their crews did outstanding work in their own ways, and they both come across as men with sympathetic personalities and a genuine love for the original film.

Colin Trevorrow especially engages actively with fans, mainly through Twitter. This is commendable. He made himself available to the Jurassic Park community and teased or even outright shared material from Jurassic World’s set when he could during the production process.

Whenever Colin Trevorrow tweets something related to Jurassic World, fans are excited. After all, after a draught of nearly fifteen years, the franchise was brought back full-force, with Trevorrow at its helm this time.

Yet, his pleasant online persona and accessibility certainly do not make him exempt from fair criticism; a tweet proclaiming he considers several Jurassic World games being created “soft canon” was received with much enthusiasm by fans. But what is soft canon? What does it mean in regards to the franchise’s narrative?

The truth is, it has no definitive meaning, if any at all. It was Trevorrow’s personal opinion, having been asked a question about the games. Which of course is fine, as we all have an opinion. But his words weigh heavier in the fan community than someone else’s (mine, for example) because he once occupied the director’s chair and still serves as a writer for, and producer on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Colin Trevorrow, despite these impressive credentials, maybe should not be seen by us as the Messiah and his words not taken as absolute gospel.

I feel his choice of words on this specific matter diffuses the understanding of the material. Canon should be that; it either is or is not. Anything else should be relegated to an alternative universe where it’s free for all and anything goes.

Am I advocating against sequels, or directors expressing their own thoughts on the material? I’m certainly not opposed to films that follow up on an original work, expanding stories and fictional universes: I would never want to discourage anyone from expressing their opinions, insights and experiences. Above all else I would not dare argue in favor of discouraging Colin Trevorrow to share his personal opinion. His input and thoughts are highly valuable, and I truly appreciate his work on JurassicWorld and his activity and engagement with fans on Twitter and in the real world.

Though not a steward of the franchise, I do maintain the position not enough care and attention went, and possibly goes, into the understanding of these important details, the focus instead shifted towards pleasing audiences with films that entertain from start to finish, offering a fast-paced ride – but giving the public less to think about in the end.

 Jurassic Park did something remarkable. It presented its complicated science with a wonderful simplicity, making us believe this world we were introduced to was utterly real.

It’s a trick that from the outset could essentially only be performed once, considering the film hinged on the revelation of futuristic technology being successfully able in aiding resurrecting extinct animals.

Once this technology was introduced and the original film ended, that novelty, the excitement, the wonder and magic faded away more with every sequel, little by little falling apart and replaced with more spectacle and grander effects. But with a little less heart put into each new entry, slowly trading in genuine, inquisitive scientists for dull, anonymous military bravado.

Packed to the rafters with shots eerily reminiscent of the original film, Jurassic World became a lesser version of a grander work, at times feeling more as if truly a reboot rather than a sequel, a film that seems to have sidelined its two predecessors; and, more importantly, their content and lessons. As with the Tyrannosaurus, Jurassic World never directly addresses the issue of the state of the island(s). The individual islands are simply “shoved aside” from film to film, as if one or the other doesn’t matter anymore, then dragged back in to fulfill a filmmaker’s needs. Rather than Jurassic, it becomes Convenient Park, with the authors introducing elements they need to create a string of “cool looking” scenes and shots, instead of creatively building and expanding on the original material that came before.

In the end, it’s the film studio that approves the finished film scripts. If those in charge feel a script is good enough and sign off on it, the authors and directors might not even be aware of the irregularities. Who, then, should we consider responsible?

Conclusion: the myth undone

Originally, I started writing out of a deep desire to approach the subject of Isla Nublar’s origins and ultimate fate without much speculation, without the inclusion or consideration of “secondary” material, even going so far as to exclude Crichton’s own work, except for the respectful acknowledgement that his two novels are the very foundations of this franchise.

As my collection of notes on the matter expanded, my focus shifted. I found my original subject interesting, but as I explored further it lead to something more substantial; the complex art of telling a story that follows up on existing material.

With the mountain of hardly legible notes growing over several weeks, I could not help feel weariness, a fatigue – a regular disinterest in my own never-ending thoughts and musings, if you will. To be a fan, I suppose, is to question your own sanity every now and then; I’ve often asked myself why I feel such passion for these films and their fictional world, why I keep returning to them despite knowing them by heart. And sometimes, wanting to just cast it all aside and be done with it.

Yet, I always drift back into that world, returning to what I love and know, undeniably finding a familiar comfort in this fiction that shaped the way we perceive (accurate or not) dinosaurs on film, and the history of the people and companies that occupy its exotic landscapes.

This may sound awfully vague. Or perhaps not. It’s fascinating to examine my own attitude towards these stories and to realize this fictional world has its roots firmly planted in scientific reality. While it’s not possible yet (if ever) to resurrect dinosaurs, de-extinction itself is bringing the return of animals such as mammoths, far younger than the reptilian rulers, within reach. Is this why I love these films so much? Because they operate on the brink of reality, offering us a glimpse of technology to come? The far-off prospect of possibly coming eye to eye with animals brought back from extinction?

I certainly do not entertain the (rather vain) thought my word on the matter is final. But writing did lead me to reach and understand the most important personal question above all others: if the filmmakers and studios don’t care all that much about consistency throughout these films, why should I? Is it not better to let go, to be done with it and simply enjoy the films, no matter what craziness or irregularities they bring to the franchise?

Admittedly, as a fan with a passion bordering on religious, I’m undeniably susceptible to over-thinking these matters. This is possibly the most important lesson I learned as I progressed. I have undone my own myth: the once unshakable belief that these stories can and should be told without nearly unavoidable discrepancies finding a way in, either by accident or on purpose.

Maybe it truly is time to let go of the well-intended but foolish notion of wanting to protect a legacy that can’t possibly be saved by me alone – and, in the end, most likely does not need saving at all.

What are your thoughts on the franchise’s history, its storytelling, canon and being a devoted fan?

First Look at Classic Jurassic Park Toys Coming from Mattel!

The Mattel Jurassic World toys do not hit shelves until April 16th, however that hasn’t stopped some early items from slipping through the cracks!

While the majority of this years toy line was revealed at New York Toy Fair, that did not included exclusive assortments. One of the most anticipated lines is the ‘Jurassic World: Legacy Collection‘, which are toys based upon the first three Jurassic Park films! This line will be highly sought out by collectors, and it is exclusive to Target in the United States (availability worldwide may vary).

Only one item has shown up in stores so far: the Extreme Chompin’ Tyrannosaurus Rex – however the back of its packaging reveals Robert Muldoon and Alan Grant from Jurassic Park, both packed with a Compsognathus from The Lost Wolrd! Also from The Lost World is the male juvenile Tyrannosaurus Rex, and the Pachycephalosaurus.

The Jurassic World Facts App has revealed other dinosaurs coming to the Legacy Collection this year as well: from Jurassic Park 3 there is a male Velociraptor, Pteranodon, and a large Spinosaurus (the exact size of the toy is unknown). Additionally, from The Lost World there is the male tiger striped Velociraptor. It remains unclear if there will be dinosaurs from the first Jurassic Park (other than the large T. rex), but the line also includes Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm.

Check out the rest of the pictures below, and stay tuned for more toy announcements in the future, as both Walmart and Toys R Us* have exclusive toys.

*The fate of the Toys R Us toys currently remains unknown, as the company is closing every store in the US.

Huge thanks to shrieker_fan on the JP Toys forums for sharing!

All Four Jurassic Park Films Releasing in 4K this May! (Updated)

Hold on to your butts, and get ready to see Jurassic Park like never before.

Revealed on Amazon, all four Jurassic Park films (yes, that means Jurassic World) will be released in 4K on May 22nd, 2018 in celebration of the first Jurassic’s 25th Anniversary. For the first time ever, the Jurassic franchise has been remastered in 4K (also known as Ultra-HD), featuring a far higher resolution and ‘High Dynamic Range (HDR) for Brighter, Deeper, More Lifelike Color’.

Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection [4K Blu-ray]

Available to pre-order now the ‘Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection’ ($79.98) set features a total of 8-discs, with each 4k film on their own discs, and the special features on another. As they have likely gone back to the source material for these remasters, the transfers will likely be entirely new, and have a different more authentic look akin to the theatrical run of each film. Since running the article, the Amazon listing has been updated with pictures – the cover is very nice, and would be near perfect if it weren’t for that incredibly ugly looking logo (also, the head being replaced with the Jurassic World rex doesn’t look right).

There’s a small chance these sets will also include some collectible material – recently a 4-film Blu-Ray set (not 4K) for the 25th Anniversary went on sale on Amazon UK (pictured above), and includes concept art from the upcoming sequel, Fallen Kingdom. Much like the 4K set, it will be released this May. However, since the listing has updated with imagery, it seems unlikely this set also includes the concept art – but time will tell!

Are you excited for the 4K release of Jurassic Park – and will you buy a 4K TV just for these films if you don’t have one already? I know I’m considering it. Sound off in the comments below!

As always, stay tuned – as soon as images of the 4K transfers become available, we will be sure to run another article. Thanks to Jeremy Conrad for the heads up!

Source: Amazon.com (via Bill Hunt)

Opinion: Jurassic Park 3’s Importance to the Franchise

I was eight years old when Jurassic Park III was released.

I can vividly remember jumping in the car with my mom and dad and heading to the theater. It was hard to believe they had made a 3rd movie. Dinosaurs and the Jurassic franchise were my thing. My sister had Disney princesses, my brother had NASCAR —I had dinosaurs. I loved JP 3. I still do. For a long time after the movie’s release, it was by far my favorite of the three in the franchise. I can remember opening a huge (but very light) box on Christmas morning in 2001 to find that silver VHS. I couldn’t have been happier.

Over the years I began to love each of the three films equally, because I love the individual personalities that they bring to the screen. Jurassic Park brings wonder and awe of these amazing animals. The Lost World brings a feeling of wilderness and safari while exploring the dinosaur universe. Then Jurassic Park III came along and delivered a type of big-action, jungle vibe that was altogether different from the first two. I’m not saying that any of these three films are perfect. There are flaws in them as there are in every movie. However, they are darn good and entertaining. The question still stands — was Jurassic Park III a good stand-alone movie and solid addition to this franchise at the time? Maybe not. What is awesome, however, is that with the addition of a new trilogy and backstory, fans may want to take another look at it and its newfound place in the Jurassic universe.

Once I became more in touch with the internet as I got older, I realized something that both surprised and bothered me. There was some serious hate (and still is) being thrown JP 3’s way. I couldn’t believe it and had no idea why. Once I dug further, I realized it came from two main sources — Spinosaurs killing a T-rex (not even our beloved Rexy,) and the Kirbys.

The fight between the Spinosaurus and T-rex is something that will live in Jurassic infamy for fans. At that point in paleontology, Spino was considered the biggest and most ferocious animal to walk the Earth. I don’t think everyone properly understood at the time, but the T-rex in JP 3 is young. This information comes from the Wiki information of the Jurassic franchise, as well as the dinosaur size charts for the films. This rex was more than likely an inexperienced fighter as well. This fight could have absolutely been handled better by the screenwriters. But to hate the movie over a fight? That doesn’t make sense to me.

Dr. Grant said that Spinosaurus “wasn’t on InGen’s list,” and it made him wonder what else they were up to. Flash forward 14 years to Jurassic World — we can now venture a guess as to what InGen may have been dabbling in at that time. When Grant said that in JP 3, no one had any idea that the franchise was going to carry on, and the movie ended with hardly any other mention of InGen. We now know the origin of Spinosaurus, thanks to the Dinosaur Protection Group (DPG). Spino was one of several secret experiments by InGen, which began after Masrani acquired them in the late 90’s. DPG gave extra meaning to JP 3 by explaining where its main antagonist came from. No longer do we need to be confused as to why this beast seemingly fell from the sky.

Dr. Grant also gives a chilling warning in JP3 that now seems to foreshadow Jurassic World. He tells Billy “some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions.” In Jurassic World, Vic Hoskins makes me believe that he has good intentions, even though his end game is more than likely making big money from his Indoraptor idea. In the end he loses his life, but before that, a large part of his concern is saving the lives of soldiers via militarized raptors. Grant’s words can really resonate with you when you see clips of the Indominus and Indoraptor wreaking havoc. In fact, I would get chills if they inserted his quote into the Fallen Kingdom trailer.

If the new Jurassic World trilogy did not exist now, would you care whatsoever about what InGen was up to back in the early 2000’s? Or care to wonder where Spinosaurus came from? Most likely not. If you look back at the movie now and listen to the confusion in Grant’s voice, it’s interesting to think (and now know) what Masrani’s acquired InGen team was working on somewhere in the world.

Jurassic fans should be happy with how much raptor intelligence was explored in the third film. We learned about their communication, their ability to set traps and their fierce loyalty to keeping their young in their possession. Jurassic Park let us know the preliminary information on these animals, but JP 3 really dove in. For this reason, it allowed me to be able to buy into the fact that they can be trained. Raptors are supposed to be brilliantly smart creatures. If dolphins, gorillas and whales can be trained, why couldn’t raptors? This is especially true when they come in contact with their alpha from birth, just like Owen. I totally bought into the idea that raptors could be trained, and a large part of that reason was because of how smart they were portrayed to be in JP 3.

In the movie, the Kirbys may have been slightly annoying, but at the end of the day they’re supposed to be parents scared to death that their son is dead. Amanda also did something that had a roundabout effect on what is going on in the Jurassic universe today. When escaping from the Pteranodon enclosure, she doesn’t take the time to fully shut the door. This allows the Pteranodons to escape their cage and flee from the island. It is now a known fact that those Pteranodons ended up in Canada. Who was tasked with the job of corralling them up? Vic Hoskins. And because of the excellent job and manner in which he presented his team in Canada, he was hired by Simon Masrani. A few years later, with his job at InGen, Hoskins would be plotting with Henry Wu to make an ultimate weapon of war — the Indoraptor.

It’s my theory that Hoskins and Wu worked to come up with something like the Indominus. They made it. They wanted it to escape. And when it did, Hoskins knew that he could exploit Owen’s raptors’ intelligence and tracking ability to hunt it. Then after their success, he could really push the idea of a shrunken Indominus without the T-rex DNA to use for war.

So now go back to Amanda running from the Pteranodon enclosure. If she stops to shut that door properly, does any of this ever take place? I think that’s a fair question. Would there be hybrid dinosaurs? Probably. In the late 1990’s, Wu was successfully creating hybrid plants. I think it would have only been a matter of time before he went to hybrid dinosaurs. However, would he have been corrupted in the way he was after Hoskins got to him? Hard to say for certain.

Is Jurassic Park III perfect? No. But, I find it highly entertaining, with great-looking dinos and fantastic graphics. Standing as a third and potentially final installment of the franchise, I would say this movie is lackluster. However, being the middle piece of the puzzle that fills in some gaps gives it meaning and value. When you watch this movie today, you can relate it to the future of the Jurassic franchise much better than you could have for the last 17 years. Today, its dialogue and premise makes sense and should be appreciated more for what it is.

What are your thoughts on what Jurassic Park 3 adds to the franchise? Sound off in the comments below!

The Jurassic Park Trilogy is Getting New Blu Ray Covers So Bad We Thought They Were Fake

The Jurassic Park name means something – whether it’s the seal of quality only Spielberg can bring, pushing the boundaries of visual effects, or the iconic dinosaur designs. It’s a mega franchise running over 25 years if you count the novels, and its name is synonymous with quality. So why does the franchise seem to lack any real quality control (or at least the budget for good Photoshop artists)?

Welcome, to B-movie quality cover art park. To truly appreciate the travesties on display above, you should first look at them at full size and resolution, because the compressed picture just doesn’t do it justice. Snarky jokes aside, those covers just are not good – and for more reasons than poor photoshop skills.

First up, Jurassic Park – conceptually it is a great cover (they all are – in concept), and Alan Grant and the Ford Explorer do look fantastic. Unfortunately, they look more like a previs concept. The Tyrannosaurus stands out of place, featuring a strangely modified male Tyrannosaurus head from The Lost World, not the female from Jurassic Park (plus it’s just poorly composited). In fact, the head used here is the bizarrely malformed head used on the 2015 Jurassic World products.

Wait. Is that a thumb on the Tyrannosaurus!? A moment ago we were going to point out Alan Grant wasn’t looking at the Rex, but now that issue seems Compsognathus sized. That’s not the only issue at play – the Tyrannosaurs right leg and foot are larger than the left, meaning they should be in front – however, the rear left leg has been photoshopped to land in the front.

The Lost World cover is plagued with just as many issues (ignoring the ugly logo, which would be an issue on its own). First off, the photoshop composition is just bad – which is frustrating, as the base image used (above) is a great choice. Of course the Stegosaurs pictured are far too large (even by The Lost World’s standards), but the idea behind the cover is fun. However, as Jurassic Park teaches us, intention doesn’t overrule execution.

The other issue is the two Stegosaurus’ on display aren’t from The Lost World: Jurassic Park – they’re the drastically different design from Jurassic World. In fact, the two renders on the cover are from Fallen Kingdom, and have already been spotted on early merchandise images. At least this can answer the raging question – do Jurassic World Stegosaurs have beaks like TLW and the real animal? Apparently not.

The Jurassic Park 3 cover is easily the least offensive. The composition of the overall image looks good, the Pteranodon is mostly accurate to the film, and it captures the feel of the movie. It’s just stuck with an ugly logo, and a really poorly photoshopped Billy Brennan face on the cover (perhaps he’s reacting to the other two covers).

Minus the logo, this one at least looks like a professional film studio released it, even if it’s a bit sloppy. Though we have to wonder – why is it Billy on the cover (or wait – is that actually Nicholas Cage)? Further, why not the Spinosaurus? Those aren’t really issues, but the choices stood out as discussion points none the less.

It’s not just us scoffing at the new covers and initially questioning their legitimacy. In fact, the whole community seems to be having the same overall reaction:

For more community reactions see our Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter comments plus this Reddit thread.

So, how exactly did this new cover lineup pass quality control? While we can’t answer that, we can say it’s not the first time something like this slipped by for Jurassic Park. In fact, it’s not even the worst. The worst would be the 2013 Jurassic Park 3D IMAX Poster.

 

Art is subjective, but when it comes to meeting the quality and established designs from the base material, the line is crossed to objectivity. To be blunt, the poster and covers above are just not good. In fact, they’re awful, and a poor representation of the source material. This isn’t a case of a fandom entitlement complex (which is a real issue), but simply a poor look for the films overall. When talented artists put out better unofficial work on a daily basis, there is a big issue.

While the above artwork looks like it came from the studio that brought you Sharknado, the next point is something more subjective. The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary key art looks more like a child’s coloring book cover than the celebration of the longstanding legacy of the film franchise.

The cartoony art style for the fossil backdrop is nothing at all like the visuals on display in Jurassic Park, nor does it mirror or celebrate the artwork used in 1993. 1993 used simple black backdrops, or the iconic jungle sunset motif. If they must insist on a fossil backdrop, at least go minimalistic and inspired by the pillars in visitors center (and actually illustrate dinosaurs depicted in Jurassic Park).

Though, as we said prior, this one is subjective – at least the artwork for Jurassic Park 25th looks professionally done, even if it does seem out of place. At the very least, it’s not another case of Velociraptor toys being released without sickle claws.

Nor are they the frog faced, green Jurassic Park 2011 Blu Ray statue (the original female Tyrannosaurus is brown, and certainly doesn’t look like this):

In the 2010’s the Jurassic brand hit an awkward stride, with products and images that don’t reflect the brand they belong to. With 2015’s Jurassic World, most chocked it up to rapid growing pains – but over two years later, the excuse seems a little less genuine. Perhaps a lack of a visual style guide and story bible has led an inability to properly vet creative outputs (but that doesn’t explain poor composition – that simply looks cheap and rushed).

This isn’t meant to be an attack piece – Universal Pictures releases some of our favorite films, and their offices are filled with talented, kind, smart, and enthusiastic people. This isn’t personal – just an observation of the some of the high profile Jurassic misfires. We digress. Rant over.

The Blu Rays are listed on Amazon.com, and judging by the back covers are simple releases of the other standalone Blu Rays, with no new content. Considering the cover art, these are easy skips, unless you’re an absolute completionist collector. If you’re on the market for Jurassic Blu Rays, be on the look out for these – they have great covers, and the same content:

This begs the question – if there is no new content on the Blu Rays, will Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary get its own release with new content in the coming months? The demand is there for a 4K release, and the 25th anniversary would the perfect time!

Sound off in the comments below, and let us know what you think of the covers! If you’re a photoshop wizard, perhaps you can take a stab at making your own custom covers and share them with us. As always, stay tuned for the last news – with the Jurassic World Fallen Kingdom trailer coming within a month, things are sure to get exciting soon.

Source: Amazon.com (Via @gencinexin and Blu-Ray.com)

We’ve got the scoop on the future Jurassic World toys from Mattel! (spoiler free) #JurassicJune

The year is 1993 – Kenner releases the Jurassic Park toy line which shaped many of our childhoods. From there on, Kenner (and eventually Hasbro when they entirely overtook Kenner and their products) made Jurassic Park toy lines. Whether it was a spin-off like ‘Chaos Effect’, ‘Jurassic Park: Dinosaurs’ or ‘Camo-X-Treme’ or a film line, the franchise was handled by the same company.

Most recently, Hasbro released the ‘Jurassic World’ toy line in 2015 – and to be blunt, the toys were not good. Velociraptors were missing their sickle claws, toys were poorly sculpted, poorly and cheaply painted, prone to breaking, and riddled with gaping screw holes. Not to mention, there was no sense of size consistency in the line, and it did not feature traditional human action figures. Fans were bummed.

Apparently, so was Universal Pictures – while Hasbro began to improve the quality with much better paint application on 2016’s ‘Dino Hybrid’ line, they lost the license that summer to Mattel. This is now uncharted territory – and truth be told, when I first heard the news I wasn’t excited. Mattel has no current lineups that prove they could do the classic Jurassic style of lineup (which is quite similar to current Star Wars offerings from Hasbro), and Hasbro had just put out some of the best Jurassic Park toys ever a few years back (see: Jurassic Park 2009/2011).

Art by James Flames, click for full

Let me just jump to the point: I was wrong to doubt Mattel. While the final quality of the toys remains to be seen, the lineup style is what fans have wanted and true to the legacy of Jurassic Park.

Recently, Mattel held a showcase for vendors, licencors, and more where they showed off their in-development and upcoming lines. As you can imagine, Jurassic World was there – and from what we have heard, it was easily the biggest highlight of any Mattel offering. We’re going to avoid going into too deep into specifics, as certain items will spoil future surprises, including things about the new film.

However, this is the lay of the land for the upcoming Jurassic World toys from Mattel (the images used below are from past Jurassic Park offerings, and used for demonstrative purposes only):

3 3/4″ Human Action Figures ($10)

Yes, human action figures are back – they will be roughly 3 3/4″ tall, and in scale with past Hasbro offerings. They will follow the Kenner styling of including a small or hatchling dinosaur, and some gear/weapons. However, from our understanding the gear skews more towards collectors than play factor (as in Dr. Ian Malcolm includes a film accurate flare – not a net launcher) – and the toys have articulation that will surely please.

Basic Dinosaur Figures ($10)

The bread and butter of the line – the dinosaurs are back! Roughly 6″ long, these are comparable to the basic non-electronic dinosaurs of the Kenner toy lines (or the Bash & Bites from Jurassic World). Much like classic Kenner, these dinosaurs are not dressed with permanent mortal wounds, and have simple articulation tied to a basic action feature. One of my favorite bits of news: size of the dinosaurs are considered when choosing what type of toy to make. There will be no miniature adult Tyrannosaurs – it will focus on smaller species like Velociraptor, and Gallimimus.

ROARIVORES (Electronic Dinosaur Figures) ($15)

Slightly larger than the basic dinosaur figures, these toys focus on electronic roars tied to a biting mechanism. They again do not have open wounds, and while they are not posed as neutrally as classic Kenner toys, they are less awkard than the Jurassic Park 3 offerings. Again, the size of the dinosaurs were considered when developing these toys – so at this time, there are no electronic Velociraptors, but rather species of a larger size will be focused on.

SUPER STRIKE DINOS  (Deluxe Dinosaur Figures) ($20)

Slightly larger than the electronic figures, these hearken back to the classic non electronic Kenner dinosaurs of the medium size. An example that was described to use was a Stegosaurus with a tail swinging action that was very Kenner in looks. However, it was apparently closer in size to the JP 2013 Dino Showdows Pachyrhinosaurs.

Large Dinosaur Figures (prices vary)

Yes, they have a Tyrannosaurus Rex (two in fact!) and we have heard both steal the show. We’re going to avoid describing them anymore, as they’re worth waiting for the official reveal to be surprised! But it’s worth noting that there are more than Tyrannosaurs in the large scale, and some figures use a “Real feel” latex/rubber, have action features, and electronic roars.

Vehicles (prices vary)

Not much to say other than they’re film accurate, look awesome, and are scaled to the human figures. Everything in this line is sized correctly, much like the classic Kenner toys. The classic Jurassic Park Jeep has a few details super fans are sure to LOVE!

Matchbox (prices vary)

Gone are the fictional vehicles – they’re being replaced with small film accurate vehicles from all five films! Some include small dinosaurs, and the entire lineup was described as similar to the Micro Machines (but bigger) sold alongside The Lost World. This includes some very cool playsets based upon movie moments!

Games (prices vary)

There will be games – including something tied to pivotal plot elements of Jurassic World 2!

Various ‘smart’/electronic toys (prices vary)

Drones, remote control vehicles, and more! While a lot of these won’t be cheap, they do offer great modern play functionality.

Some key notes: Mattel’s first Jurassic World lineup will be called something similar to ‘Jurassic World: The Classic Collection’. This lineup is scheduled to hit stores late this year or early next year, and is mainly based upon the first Jurassic Park. While they boast film accuracy for all their items, it does seem to also borrow from Kenner by featuring dinosaurs never seen in the films.

Sometime early spring (mid April) in 2018 the Jurassic World 2 toys will begin to arrive in stores. Much like the classic Jurassic line, it boasts film accuracy and a multitude of figures and offerings. From there, the line should continue to populate shelves with new waves featuring figures from the latest sequel, or past films. There are apparently quite a few more classes/skus of toys from Mattel than those listed above, so there are plenty of surprises in store!

It’s worth noting that some of the basic dinosaur figures were described as slightly exaggerated looking, with proportions and poses that were more cartoony than realistic. Our hope is that between now and release, those items will be refined and perfected to better match their film counterparts (and proper realistic anatomical poses). Otherwise, we’re thrilled by what the line is slated to offer, and cannot wait to see photo’s from it – there are quite a few more surprises Mattel has up their sleeves, so stay tuned!

As always, sound off in the comments and let us know what dinosaurs, characters, and vehicles you want toys for. Happy #JurassicJune, everyone!

Dr. Jack Horner sits down with us and talks Jurassic Park, Jurassic World 2, Chickenosaurus and more! Listen!

On Sunday April 2nd, the Jurassic Outpost team met with Dr. Jack Horner at the first official fan event we sponsored in collaboration with Universal Pictures. To say the least, we were thrilled that he joined us at the event – and there is no question, he stole the show! He sat down with Darice Murphy from Universal Pictures and answered numerous questions from fans before moving on to a more personal meet and greet with those attending (we believe roughly 100+)!


While video from the event is still coming from us soon, yesterday Dr. Horner was kind enough to join us for a more intensive chat and answer our biggest questions as we geek out over dinosaurs. Spoilers: yes he is working on Jurassic World 2, and says the script is great. He also dishes out his thoughts on the Jurassic Park Dilophosaurus, feathers, Velociraptor size, and much more – and it doesn’t stop there! Dr Horner also chats Terra Nova, his sweltering experience on the Jurassic World set, Chickenosaurus, and how he accidentally tortured a sum of money out of George Lucas!

I imagine some of you are sitting here asking “What on earth is Chickenosaurus?” Well, let me tell you, it’s nothing short of amazing. Dr. Horner is working with top minds in an attempt to reverse engineer a chicken, bringing out its dormant biological features such as a snout with teeth, hands with claws, and of course a tail. He hopes to have successfully engineered these dinosaurs within 3 years – I ask if we can expect a park to visit, but he took it a step further and suggested them as pets. Now you’re John Hammond, Dr. Horner.

So what are you waiting for? Give our hour long interview a listen on Youtube above, or podbean below! Be sure to sound off in the comments below, on youtube, and rate us on iTunes.


Huge thanks to Dr. Horner to taking time out of day to speak with all of us fans!

Would You Want to See Dr. Ellie Sattler Return to the Jurassic Park Franchise?

When thinking of iconic characters from the Jurassic Park franchise, Alan Grant, Ellie Sattler and Ian Malcolm usually appear at the top of the list. The chemistry between these characters in Jurassic Park still holds it’s own as some of the best character development in the entire franchise, so it’s no surprise that many people want to see these characters return.

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Laura Dern spoke about how she landed her role as paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler in the first movie. With an Oscar nomination for Rambling Rose under her belt, the offers for films were beginning to roll in. After being offered to star in Jurassic Park, Laura Dern spoke with her Wild at Heart co-star Nicolas Cage who insisted she take the role.

“I remember telling Steven I had to do the movie, because Nic told me he’s always wanted dinosaurs to be his costars.”

A fun piece of trivia for sure, and I don’t think there’s anybody who would have suited the role more than Laura Dern. As EW state, her role became an essential part of the blockbuster hit’s cult fandom, and led to one of the most quotable moments in that most quotable of films: “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the Earth.”

When speaking about the character and future sequels, Dern replied:

“As I said to the people who are making the new series, ‘If you guys make a last one, you gotta let Ellie Sattler come back. She’s always the one who’s saving the day, man!”

Ellie Sattler briefly appeared in Jurassic Park 3, but perhaps that won’t be her last appearance in the franchise? Would you like to see the paleobotanist return in Jurassic World 3?

I have always found it interesting that in the 14 years that Jurassic Park 4 was in development hell, many of the original cast members claimed to have been called by Steven Spielberg himself about returning in the “next Jurassic”. In 2007, Laura Dern hinted that Spielberg had given her the call:

“I’m told its happening and I’m told they’re calling me. I’m told that Ellie Sattler is involved in it. I think they want to release it in 2008. Well a certain fellow is the one that called me and it’s hard to say no to him cause he’s always got something totally genius up his sleeve so we’ll see what they have in mind.”

At some point during it’s development, Ellie Sattler was involved. It was never clear in what capacity and perhaps we will never know, but maybe now is the time for her to reprise her role!

What do you think? Would you like to see the return of Dr. Ellie Sattler in Jurassic World 3? Let us know in the comments section below!

Source: EW, Slashfilm