Shapstik’s Movie Clip of the Week: Jurassic Park (1993)

“What you call discovery, I call the rape of the natural world”

Known as the “lunch debate scene”, I have picked this moment in Steven Spielberg’s 1993 hit Jurassic Park, as it shows just how intelligent the film, and of course its literary source Michael Crichton’s book, actually is. I cannot help but feel that its place in science-fiction, as a genuine window into a world not quite yet discovered, is overshadowed by its contemporary mark on cinema at the time, with its ground breaking effects and suspenseful drama.

Although it is the late great Richard Attenborough leading the discussion, it is the brilliantly cast Jeff Goldblum who heads up the round of questioning on the moral and perhaps dangerous implications of resurrecting such powerful and barely understood animals. In a modern world where private and corporate enterprise wields the real monetary power in the world, it is slightly scary to think this sort of thing could actually be possible. With genetic capability being developed year on year, the movie also makes me wonder whether our tendency to loosen the moral boundaries for the animal kingdom, could see us saving, or perhaps even resurrecting animal species sometime in the near future.

Helicopter-Ride-to-Jurassic-Park

Fortunately though, there is enough dodgy science and poetic license in the film to make me believe that T-Rex will not be gracing the streets of an urban metropolis any time soon. But the film’s stark realism and fantastic acting that is encapsulated in this scene, does have the knack of creating an uncanny feeling of genuine possibility.

Hope you enjoyed my Movie Clip of the Week. Please comment with any ideas!

 

Shapstik’s Movie Clip of the Week: Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014)

“Before we get started, does anyone want to get out?”

Since I reviewed Winter Soldier earlier in the year, I have seen it a few more times and I really feel it gets better with every watch. I guess repeat viewings can filter issues you may have with the plot or narrative and give you the patience to simply look forward to the cool action scenes you love.

I try not to do brand new movies with my clips, but thought I would throw this elevator scene in because a) I think it’s great, b) it showcases exactly why Cap kicks ass in this film and c) it will hopefully give readers the incentive to give Winter Soldier a go if they haven’t already. It is such a simple idea for a scene and works so well in a comic book adaptation with its blend of humour and action, especially when that final group of clearly undercover bad-asses rocks in on the twentieth floor.

Quick, aggressive and clean, the action is top notch throughout the movie and finally gives Captain America some staying power as a comic-book movie icon. If Cap is handing out ass-kickins like this in next year’s Avengers 2 it will be awesome, and fans will finally get the hero they wanted to stand beside the likes of Hulk and Thor, instead of the underpowered “leader of men” that felt a slight let down in Avengers Assemble. With Abrams also taking the seat at the Star Wars helm, 2015 looks really good for movies.

Lost in Translation (2003)

“For relaxing times, make it Suntory time”

Sometimes a great actor who is typecast for such a large part of their career, often gets the hidden plaudits they possibly richly deserve in the latter years in their life. Bill Murray is the perfect example of this, an eighties comedy legend whose dry delivery made him the first point of call for parodic comedy movies, perhaps steering him away from roles that could showcase his ability. But it was his performance in 2003’s Lost in Translation that earned him a belated Golden Globe and Bafta for best actor, as well as a nomination for an Academy award.

Directed by Sofia Coppola, whose infamous and ill-fated performance in The Godfather III arguably also stunted an earlier positive response from critics, Lost in Translation tells the story of two people who develop a relationship whilst staying in the same hotel in Tokyo. Murray plays Bob Harris, an over-the-hill actor, whom is in Japan endorsing a very poor whiskey, whilst using the time to reassess his marriage and his place in this world. A young Scarlett Johansson plays Charlotte, whose photographer husband is wining and dining clients whilst she drifts bored about Tokyo looking for her own inspiration, a fitting juxtaposition to Harris’ busy and didactic schedule under the watchful eye of his over-zealous Japanese Entourage.

lost-in-translation

Sharing insomnia, Charlotte and Bob start to socialise on a level that is so, well, interesting. The age gaps makes the suggestion of romantic liaisons only hover under the surface like the shadow of a shark, and just when you think it possible, their body language resorts back to a more symbiotic father/daughter relationship that we can all recognise. Despite their lives being so polar, their problems are the same, as they live with decisions and choices that have defined them.

It is difficult to put your finger on where they are going as a pair, but that is because they do not know either. Nothing feels predetermined, which gives the whole movie its charm. The film teaches us that romance is incorrectly stereotyped in most films, where the characters simply act as puppets to cater for the emotional needs of the viewer. Sofia Coppola instead creates deep, layered and most importantly real characters and deserved her Oscar for best writing and original screenplay.

Shapstik Verdict: With enough subtle laughs to enjoy during Murray’s “Suntory” commercials, the slightly undramatic narrative is well hidden amidst the backdrops of Tokyo. The drama and suspense that surrounds so much of the mainstream cinematic realm is replaced by an understated and perhaps underrated example of how deep a writer can go in developing not just characters, but the relationships that define them. A film worthy of all the plaudits it deserves. 9/10