The queue was as long as a dinosaur and just as fat. I was nine; slightly podgy from all the good food I had been eating for the past nine years, and there I was, standing right in front of the rusty gates with a slight pang of hunger. I have been there for almost an hour, and in less time that it takes for a girl to make up her mind as to which black blouse she wants to wear, the crowd swelled to a huge number only seen in a National Geographic documentary about penguins. And this was a school day. Aren’t people supposed to work on school days? Heck, aren’t the kids supposed to be in school? All this was at the theatre or cinema house as we oldies called them back in the day when watching a movie of that bygone era involved queuing for ages and you’d still never see the counter. And they had people actually writing the seating position. It was that long time ago. Only a movie that promised so much could whip such frenzy.
So, what movie could have generated so much buzz and teachers teaching to chairs and tables?
You guessed it:
It is first and foremost, a very entertaining movie. Seeing dinosaurs roaming the lush (very fake-looking now but damnit, it looked awesome back then) green forests and devouring cows faster than you can say “Kobe beef are good!” made a nine-year-old Chris a very happy brat and was well worth all the effort after almost being crushed by two very large Indian women with their bulging flesh poking out of their already small saris. For those who remember: did you squirm when the T-Rex flung the carcass onto the unsuspecting visitors’ jeep? Or did you scream when the raptors were chasing the heroes? I remember devouring every single scene, laughing at all the funny bits and excitedly jumping on my stinky seat whenever a dinosaur was in the frame.
Of course, besides the dinosaurs the other thing that made this movie better was the inclusion of Encik Lalat nee The Fly himself, Jeff Goldblum. Up until recently, my recollection of his performance was the famous line he utters when the good lady palaeontologist was digging into poo, and his incredulous exclamations of “Droppings? Droppings?” It still manages to make me chuckle. Coupled this with his trademark delivery of delivering smart-sounding babbles and yodel, which at the time sounded pretty darn smart to a kid like me but all of it was totally lost in translation because I couldn’t understand what the hell the meanings were.
Here’s probably the best piece of dialogue from the movie:
“I’ll tell you the problem with the scientific power that you’re using here: it didn’t require any discipline to attain it. You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn’t earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don’t take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could and before you even knew what you had you patented it and packaged it and slapped it on a plastic lunchbox, and now you’re selling it, you want to sell it!”
It’s funny that we read about lives being lost every single day but when a cloned cow with an extra udder is created, people react as though a cacodemon was summoned by half naked eldritch interns. I think cloning a human being is wrong (who the hell, seriously, wants a clone of themselves?) and goes against the laws of nature, the cosmos and whatnot. But cloning animals and organs, to me, is something I’m okay with. After all, the reason why the dodo and countless animals have become extinct is because of us. And organ cloning is a no-brainer, do we want to keep waiting for someone just so that we can get their organs?
But let’s leave Lassie alone, shall we. Just like Goldblum said, “Life finds a way.”
This is Chris, signing off.
PS: I wanted to eat some sushi the other day, but an assortment of innards and other offal delights were on offer. I didn’t feel like eating anymore.