This Reprisal is dedicated to Lyndsay McDade. Being that it is all about imagination, or rather the lack of imagination and she suffers it more than anyone I’ve met in a while, I felt it appropriate. Here you go Linds… Nate Pike Reprisal - February 2007

February 2007

Jurassic Park Stole My Imagination…

Honey, I Shrunk Our...

Right.

As we were.

So I’m watching one of the many sequels to Honey I shrunk the Kids entirely by accident a couple of days ago. I don’t know if you know, but after the original Honey I shrunk the kids, there were a whole slough of Honey I shrunk the house, the dog, us, no I didn’t shrink that you should know by now it was always that small after all it’s been sixteen sequels and two kids.

OK, maybe not the last one, but I am so sure about the first three.

Having said that, once I had gotten past the dual nightmares that were the script and acting I noticed something odd about the whole affair…

Primarily the bad special effects. Moreso, the fact that I found it necessary to comment on the fact that the acting and plot (chock full of family values mind you) were not the only things to sink this movie as if they on their own weren’t up to the task.

Which they were.

Omigod they didn’t need any help.

Nonetheless, for some reason I had to point out how terrible the “special” (the bad short bus special, not the good special) effects were.

Which got me to thinking.

When I saw the first movie, I was 12. Now granted I was 12, but I was completely blown away by the special effects. Kids my age (at the time) were shrunk down to the size where they could ride an ant!

“Imagine that!” I would say to myself.

Which is, I realized when confronted by this more than slightly terrible instalment, something that when confronted with fantastic and unbelievable stories, something that I have been saying at a less frequent amount over the last few years.

And for this, I blame Jurassic Park.

Jurassic Park stole my imagination.

Let me explain.

Four short years later I found myself in a giant movie theatre that has since been torn down and made into a mega mall (whoops there I go with the whole gentrification thing again) with a giant bucket o’ popcorn and my parents ready to screen the latest and greatest Spielberg Mega Masterpiece which as I hope you have guessed by now was…

Wait for it…

Jurassic Park!

Boy, betcha didn’t see that one coming now did you…

It is important to take you back to the time Jurassic Park was released. First of all, the big hype was that the dinosaurs actually looked real! Having grown up in Drumheller I considered myself something of an expert on things dinosaur, so I wanted to see what this was all about. Second of all the second biggest hype was the hype itself. This was a time before you could pre-buy your tickets, this was show up, get in the line that wraps around three city blocks and hope that there was a seat that you could fill before someone else did.

Going to the really big releases at that time was like going on a hunt, the bigger the movie, the longer and more dangerous (enough time to get popcorn and licorice, one last bathroom break in the space between the theatres letting in and the movie starting) were the hazards of the hunt.

As if that wasn’t enough to get a 16 year old kid all wound up about going to the movies, my dad was involved in the research of that film, so going to see the blockbuster film that my dad was part of making brought me pretty much to an anticipatory boil. I don’t think that I have ever been that excitied to see a movie in my life.

So the movie starts and the tension builds right up to the moment when you finally get to see the dinosaur and it really looks real. This isn’t like puppets or claymation, this is absolutely real. And Big. And Scary.

And for the very first time in my movie watching career, I did not say to myself, “Imagine that!”

And as I walked out of the theatre with the exact same reaction of all those that came before me of “Wow, those dinosaurs were all just so real!” I didn’t realize that there was a very big change going on in my head.

I would now look at movies that had been billed as having amazing special effects as if those special effect somehow got to define the quality of the film, and a very important part of suspension of belief was lost.

In a movie, or any story for that matter, the audience grants a certain suspension of belief in what they are about to watch, they will forgive certain mistakes.

Prior to Jurassic Park, people watching movies knew what was real and what was a special effect. Special effects had for a very long time been a device through which to tell the parts of the story that wouldn’t be told using something that represents as closely as possible the idea of the thing because it couldn’t quite be real.

And so we all said, “Imagine that!”

And we did imagine it.

But Jurassic Park has robbed me of that. I still find myself saying “Imagine that!” with older films, but with newer movies that instead of asking you to imagine things are trying to do the imagining for you I simply can’t. I judge them on the basis of their special effects.

Which is a shame in my mind. I like imagining things.

And usually the special effects aren’t that real anyways.

Right then, I’m off to watch some old George Romero Movies and see if I can’t scare this cold out of me. I know the zombies aren’t real, but the cold maybe not. Worse case scenario it gives me a good excuse to crack a new bottle of Nyquil.

Final Note

Oh, on a final note, you should check out the band http://www.lionsandtigersandbears.ca/ I’m told that they are awesome. In fairness I can only assume that this is the band to which Lindsay is referring because a google search for the string lions-music-calgary-band revealed some show band in Saskatchewan and a bit of these guys so I can only assume so much coincidence.

I don’t know myself having never played with them or seen them play, but good authority is exactly that so what can you do but follow?




From : Lindsay McDade
Reply-To : Lindsay McDade
Sent : January 26, 2007 10:13:32 PM
To : nate@natepike.com

Subject : your musics shite, it keeps me up all night


Stop already,you are a knob. The lions are better than you can ever dream of being, I saw you andthem play a gig and they killed you man, So do us all a favour andquit.cheers






You know where to find me. Evidently.