// top five – Dinosaur Movies
// As of today I’m going to be doing some ‘top fives’, like Rob Gordon in High Fidelity. I am looking for suggestions on future top 5’s as well so please send me your suggestions. In addition if you think I’ve over looked a glaringly obvious choice please don’t hesitate to come and find me and throw eggs at my hair.
Today we kick off with my top 5 dinosaur movies. Dinosaurs are not just a passion they are an obsession, so this is my tribute to these pre-historic monoliths. In no particular order…
The Land Before Time – 1988
The dinosaur movie that I think spawned my interest in dinosaurs and in movies. I would like to say a personal thank you to the film makers for shaping the way I am today. The Land Before Time is the heart breaking tale (it still makes me release fluid from my eye balls like a fucked fridge) of an orphaned Brontosaurus named ‘Littlefoot’ who sets off in search of the legendary ‘Great Valley’. A land of lush vegetation where the dinosaurs can thrive and live in peace. A bit like the Centreparcs of the Jurassic period. Along the way he meets four other young dinosaurs and they learn to work together to over come some great obstacles, including the scariest T-rex ever seen on the big screen. Yeah you heard me right Mr Spielberg. If you are a new comer to the dinosaur genre, start here. You won’t regret it.
Gojira (Godzilla) – 1954
The grand-daddy of the dinosaur movie and pertinent reminder of how the movie industry frequently reflects the concerns of the time. In the 50’s nuclear war/experimentation was not all the rage, but certainly as much of a buzz phrase as ‘The war on Terror’ is today. In the movie a 164-foot monsters/dinosaur/reptile with radioactive breath (awesome) is revived, thanks to nuclear testing. It goes on a mad rampage, destroying Tokyo which kind of sucks. If it isn’t a dinosaur it’s a natural disaster. The Japanese just can’t catch a break. The question is, how will they kill it ? Definitely worth checking out if you share an enthusiasm for Ray Harryhausen-esque styled movies.
Not strictly an out-and-out dinosaur movie but let’s face it, Rex is the show stealer, or at least he was and always has been for me. A dinosaur with an inferiority complex? Genius. Voiced by Wallace Shawn, the best line delivered has to be “What if Andy gets another dinosaur? A mean one? I just don’t think I can take that kind of rejection!” Rex’s inferiority complex was not aided when he auditioned for a part in Monsters Inc. and failed to get the part. You can see his attempts to secure the role during the credits of Monsters Inc.
One Million Years B.C. – 1966
Another old school choice and largely famous because slamming hottie of the time Raquel Welsh wore a bikini made entirely of mammoth fur (or some poor dead creature). You may recall Andy Dufresne had a poster of her up in his jail cell… The plot is looser than a wizards sleeve and I’m under the distinct impression that the movie was simply made to get Welsh into the afore-mentioned bikini. A caveman named ‘Tumak’ is banished from his savage tribe. He finds a brief home among a group of gentle seacoast dwelling cave people until he is banished from them as well. Missing him, one of their women, Loana leaves with him, deciding to face the harsh prehistoric world with its monsters and volcanos as a couple. Yawn. The real reason to watch it is obviously for the bikini, but if you get your kicks from dinosaurs going at it there’s a T-Rex/Stegosaurus fight scene. Bam!
Jurassic Park – 1993
Arguably the most famous and the immediate go-to dinosaur movie, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, set a new bar for not only dino movies, but movies in general. Groundbreaking animatronics and CGI were implemented during the shoot and even when watched today look less ropey than the effects seen on more present day action movies. I’m looking at you Clash of the Titans. It really is a tremendous movie and it’s the earliest memory I have of physically moving in my seat due to the action on-screen. You may recall the scene towards the end where they are all trying to avoid the Raptors and the little girl, Lex (Ariana Richards) has here leg dangling out of an air vent and only just misses getting snacked on my a jumping raptor? Well, you’ve never seen such a quick retraction of legs by yours truly from the cinema floor. In addition I think my Dad got showered down by a half eaten box of popcorn and the ice from my Pepsi. Epic dinosaur times. The other two are ok, but for genuine scares and the greatest scene ever set in a kitchen, it really needs to be the original instalment.
Thoughts/feelings/emotions? Should I have included more?
Suggestions for future top fives?
Thanks for reading.