The Lost World (1997) from Johnny Web (Uncle Scoopy; Greg Wroblewski)

Juraissic Park wasn't the best movie of the 20th century, but it had some real positives. In addition to revolutionary computerized special effects, it managed to convey some of the wonder humans might feel in encountering live dinosaurs , and some of the greater wonder we feel when we imagine the as yet undiscovered possibilities of science.

And then there is the movie sequel, which lost all of the good things about the original, all of the good things about Crichton's original book, and even the few redeeming elements of Crichton's own 1995 sequel, which formed the most direct source for The Lost World.

Steven Spielberg directed, it has a great cast, and brilliant special effects, and all they could manage to come up with was a new Godzilla movie with Pete Postlethwaite playing the part of Tokyo.

It's just people running from sophisticated monsters and getting into cliffhanger situations (literally, in one case). Period. Nothing more.

How could Spielberg have directed anything this bad? Never mind. I just remembered "1941".

The movie drove me so crazy that it prompted me to write two more unities:

  • The "Lost World" rule. Creatures in movies which move faster than the creatures they pursue must catch them in the proper amount of time. People run about 20 feet per second. Cheetahs cover about 100 feet per second. Therefore, if a Cheetah is 20 feet behind you, it will catch you in a quarter of a second. A T-rex isn't as fast as a cheetah, I suppose, but if a T-Rex can catch a speeding bus, it can outrun humans by 60 feet every second. So if it's 60 feet behind you, you don't have much time left.
  • The "Frankenstein" rule. Creatures in movies which move slower than the creatures they pursue must lose them appropriately. You run about 20 feet per second. A guy lumbering along with his knees locked will cover about three feet per second. Therefore, if he chases you for five minutes, he will be a mile away, and you can safely stop at a pub for a pint and a smoke, because it takes him about half an hour to cover a mile.

No nudity. Except dinosaurs.

Box Office: It made a monstrous profit. Produced for $73 million, it turned $229 million at the domestic box office, including $93 million on its opening weekend on about 3300 screens. People love dinosaurs. People love Spielberg. Well, at least they did at the START of the movie.

I suppose you know that the original is the fifth-highest grossing movie of all time in domestic box office, and did nearly a billion dollars worldwide. In terms of the number of ticket buyers (based on inflation-adjusted dollars), it is the 19th highest grosser ever, and The Lost World is not that far behind, 70th of all time.

IMDB summary: 5.3 out of 10. And that's just where it belongs. And it only rates that high because of voters under the age of 18, who rated it a more generous 5.8.

Available in zillions of different DVD's, in combination with Juraissic or without it.

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