Tag Archives: jurassic park

Movie Review – Jurassic World: Dominion (2022)


People spend so much time thinking about how to do it they never stopped to think about if they should do it, that is to say, to make this movie, 3.5 readers.

BQB here with a review of the latest installment to the ongoing prehistoric monsters meet modern times saga.

At the outset, let me say this: I didn’t think it was as bad as the critics are saying, but I do think the concept of modern day dinos is played out and it’s going to be a long time, if ever, when writers think of a new setting to put our giant scaly predecessors in to make them interesting. The previous film stunk the big one, making me think that was all she wrote to this franchise, but by God, they managed to make one last flick that is passable.

The plot? Owen and Claire (Chris Pratt and Bryce Dallas Howard) are hiding out from the law and dinos with their clone kid who set the dinos free in an act of defiance against the villains of the last picture and don’t ask me to explain it any better than that because if I try, my eyes will glaze over.

Somehow, they go down the rabbit hole of uncovering a plot to control the world’s food supply courtesy of Dodgson (I always thought he was Dobson) the dude that Wayne Knight aka Newman aka Dennis Nedry sold the shaving cream can full of dino dna samples to in the last one. It was never mentioned in any of the other movies, but apparently this evildoer spent the last 30 some odd years starting and running his own evil biological company, though to the outsider, he comes across as a typical Tim Cook-esque Silicon Valley mogul.

Yes, these bad dudes have managed to use dino DNA tech to create prehistoric bugs designed to devour all the world’s crops except the bad guys’ crops and ergo, yadda yadda yadda, the villain will control all the food and you’ll have to sell your right testicle to get a damn candy bar.

One source of criticism might be that, you know, if there’s a villainous plot afoot, it should involve killer dinos instead of killer bugs, but the dinos are still present. Another source of criticism is that the last film ended with a teaser of a new world where dinosaurs have run amuck. I thought we’d see more of that and we do, just not in the ways we thought. Here, dinos do cross paths with and endanger humans but in most cases, it’s kind of like when a bear gets lost and wanders around a suburban neighborhood, “Damn it! That brontosaurus is getting too close to the city! Better call the cops!”

To be sure, there are evil dino breeders, underground dino black market clubs, and the evil corporation’s dino sanctuary to give you the visual dino feast you crave, but yeah, I thought based on the last film, this one would be all about a world destroyed by T-Rexes wreaking havoc on major metropolitan areas, chomping up everything in sight.

Then again, I mean, dinos being released into the world would be dangerous, but in reality I suppose we have the army, police, national guard and enough gun toting rednecks to take these beasts out and the remaining stragglers would be an annoyance and/or relegated to the black market. So I guess kudos to this flick for embracing that reality but then again this film is the last place I go to for reality. I wanted to see T-Rexes stomping all over downtown, damn it!

Bonus points for bringing the original cast back together. Laura Dern, Sam Neil and Jeff Goldblum all reprise their roles as Doctors Ellie Satler, Grant and Malcolm and much to the film’s credit, these aren’t brief cameos. While many franchises trot out their older stars for a quick walk-on, this trio is very integral to the plot. They get a lot of lines/scenes and have screentime for well over half the movie so if you’re nostalgic for the first film, look no further.

DeWanda Wise and Mamoudou Athie round out the cast as a pilot whose plane gets turned into pyterodactyl lunch and a whistleblower who fights the evil corporation, respectively.

STATUS: Shelf-worthy. It seems this will be it for Jurassic films for a while and that’s probably for the best. I applaud the film for its overall message of “while scientific breakthroughs are awesome, let’s be careful while we’re playing God” but seriously, how many times can some idiot mess with dino dna before the government steps in and bans everyone from starting dino dna labs?

Tagged , , , , , ,

Daily Discussion with BQB – Life…uh…Finds a way

Life…uh…finds a way, 3.5 readers, and it has been reported that Jeff Goldblum has…uh…found a way into the Jurassic World sequel.

Is this a good development?  Bring an original cast member into the project?  Is it silly?  Should the folks behind the new film bring us new characters and not recycle old ones?

Also…does life really…uh…find a way?

Will life…uh…ever find me with more than 3.5 readers?

Discuss, 3.5 readers.

Tagged , , , , ,

#31ZombieAuthors – Day 29 Interview – Rick Chesler and David Sakmyster – ZOMBIE DINOSAURS!!!

Rick Chesler


Amazon        Website

Facebook        Twitter



Amazon       Website

Facebook       Twitter

Holy Crap, 3.5 readers.  Holy Freaking Crap.

I’m so excited I’m about to plotz.

Since the beginning of time, there have been two badass varieties of monster:

  1. Zombies who ravenously devour any humans in their way.
  2. Dinosaurs who ravenously devoured any other dinosaurs who got in their way.

Zombies, as far as I know, are fictional.  At least I think they are.  Maybe that’s just what “The Man” wants me to believe.

Dinosaurs, on the other hand, were very real.  Long ago, they walked the Earth, stomping and chomping along, ruling all they surveyed like a bunch of gruesome lizard kings.

My next two guests have taken the sheer awesomeness of zombies and the raw power of dinosaurs to create two novels about….drumroll please…ZOMBIE DINOSAURS!

Oh my God I’m so excited I’ve got to pop a Xanax.  (Kids, that’s just a joke.  Say no to drugs.)


Rick Chesler and David Sakmyster are the co-authors of Jurassic Dead.
When a research team uncovers fully preserved dinosaur corpses buried underneath the surface of Antarctica, what begins as a major scientific discovery turns into a deadly race to save the world from zombie dinosaurs run amuck.

The zombie-saur madness continues in Jurassic Dead 2 – Z-Volution.  A maniacal villain attempts to conquer the world, starting with Washington, D.C., with an army of zombie dinosaurs!

I…I can’t even begin to describe how cool this all is.  I need to sit down.

NOTE: BOLD = BQB; ITALICS = Rick and/or David

Q.  Rick and David.  Thanks for joining me for this interview.  Can we just get right down to it?  Do you dudes realize how epically fabulous this idea is?  How did you come up with it in the first place?

A.  RICK: Thanks very much for having us! We’re glad you like the concept. I’d always been interested in dinosaurs and am a Brontosaurus-sized fan of Jurassic Park (and now Jurassic World). So decades after that book came out, when my 4-year old kid was playing with plastic dinosaurs on the floor the night after The Walking Dead was on TV, and he started having the dinos attack imaginary zombies, a little light bulb flicked on for me and I thought, “Now that would be interesting, how could that happen…”

BQB EDITORIAL NOTE:  I hope you buy that kid all the toys he wants.  Totally earned it.

Q.  Listen, I have zero pull in Hollywood, but I have to say, these books seem made for the big screen.  I would surely be in the front row on opening day stuffing my pie hole full of popcorn.  On the off chance that Steven Spielberg stops by this blog on accident, please give him a pitch as to why we need Jurassic Dead: The Movie.

A.  DAVID:  “Hey Steve, listen… You know that Jurassic Park thing you were involved with? How about this? Similar feel and style, yet instead of cloning the things, we make them zombies. Yep, they’re even hungrier, nastier and oh a heck of a lot harder to kill. What do you say?”

Q.  Without delving too far into spoilers, can you give my 3.5 readers the lowdown on the science behind how a zombie dinosaur, in theory, might be possible?

A.  RICK: The way it is presented in JURASSIC DEAD, without giving any plot spoilers, is that dinosaurs have been found frozen whole in an Antarctic underground lake (real life Lake Vostok). This means that their blood, and whatever it had been infected with before they died, is still in their veins, frozen solid. So suppose that all the dinosaurs on Earth were actually wiped out by some type of microbial infection as opposed to, say, a meteor…Well, these frozen ones would be thawed out with that infection still in their blood. In the novel it is suggested that the infectious agent could be a prion, a type of protein well-known in real life for causing mad cow disease.

51kOXrbmxsL._UY250_Q.  Zombie-saurs.  Dastardly villains.  Heroes.  Are you guys students of the action/thriller genre?  Because it seems to me that you’ve packed all the elements an action movie fan would be looking for into these books.

A.  DAVID: Of course being a fan of the genre(s), we made sure to pack this book with not only a lot of our favorite action tropes, but also tried to keep it fresh and exciting and take the action in different dimensions than what you’d expect. That carries true in the next two books as well. With a subject like this, there’s the danger of having it perceived as being too obvious and SyFy-movie-of-the-week, but we tried to elevate everything to keep readers on their toes, to shock and surprise, and make you think too in new ways about everything you thought you expected.

Q.  Rick, you hold a Bachelor of Science in marine biology and have long been interested in the ocean and the mysteries locked in its depths.  You’re even a master scuba diver.  As a scientist/ocean explorer, do you draw on any of your experience in your writing?  How did you do so with Jurassic Dead?

A.  RICK: Many of my novels are set in and around the ocean or have threats born directly from the ocean that the main characters must deal with (HOTEL MEGALODON, WIRED KINGDOM, OUTCAST Ops: The Poseidon Initiative). While JURASSIC DEAD is not an “ocean novel” or sea monster novel per se, there are definitely significant story elements involving the sea that I had a lot of fun with.

For starters, the opening Antarctic scenes and the ice-breaker ship to transport the dinosaurs. The ocean voyage through a storm and ultimate shipwreck to reach the tropical volcanic island the bad guy has set up as his mad scientist base of operations. And in JURASSIC DEAD 2: Z-volution, there are actually a few prehistoric sea monsters swimming amok in modern times, which of course is great fun while scary at the same time.

Q.  Similar question for David.  Your Morpheus Initiative series has been described as a mashup of the archaeological adventure and paranormal genres, or in other words “Indiana Jones meets the X-Files.”  On your blog, you discuss how when other kids were checking out Disney tales, your father was reading you Edgar Allen Poe’s greatest hits, and that you dreamed of becoming an author at a young age.  Can you tell my 3.5 readers and I how you drew on your interest in archaeology and the paranormal to create zombie dinosaurs?

A.  DAVID: Historical mysteries are my favorite obsession, and pairing that interest with the paranormal made for a thrilling combination with the Morpheus Initiative books. When the opportunity to write about zombie dinosaurs came along, naturally I gravitated toward speculation—what would have made them turn into zombies back then (and allow for their continued existence in the present day? That line of thinking led to some interesting alternative theories about what did the dinosaurs in back then, and allowed us to play with some really intriguing ideas.

Q.  How did you two find each other?  One or two of my 3.5 readers are aspiring authors.  Any advice for finding and working with a writing partner?

A.  RICK: David and I were (and are) both members of the same writer’s “support group,” where a small number of us discuss the business of writing from time to time. We had also both been separately published by the same small press a few years earlier, and in fact both had short stories appear in an anthology called THE GAME, which featured stories based on the classic adventure-thriller, The Most Dangerous Game, where big game hunters track humans for sport. So when I decided to seek a co-author on JURASSIC DEAD, I wanted someone with significant horror novel experience whom I also trusted to get the job done. David was enthusiastic about the book and the rest, as they say, is history.

As for working with writing partners, first ask yourself, “Why do I need a co-author on this—why can’t I just write it myself? What is the other person ideally bringing to the table?”

It can be that you would like to work on two stories at once—co-authoring can allow you to do that. Or it can be that each author brings complimentary experience to the project. It can be both of those things. It can absolutely be a learning experience for each writer, both in terms of craft, where you’re seeing how other writers approach the creation of the same material, and in terms of project workflow and business, seeing firsthand how other writers get things done. I have worked with many different co-authors now and it has taught me a lot about the writing and book creation process.

Q.  What’s next for you guys?  Are more zombie-saurs coming our way in the future?

A.  DAVID: I wouldn’t rule out anything, but for sure Jurassic Dead 3 will be out this year, where we wrap up things in a true trilogy fashion. Although as with any venture, this is such fun that it’s not one we may find easy to leave. I could see revisiting the world again—either in another novel or spin off stories (ala Fear the Jurassic Dead!?). We’ve created a fascinating and wildly open-world situation where there are any number of side stories that could be told. How about a story about extracting the dinosaurs or the behind-the-scenes madness that went into the villain’s plans? Stories of various rebel adventures or individual stories of everyday people (besides our main characters) fighting for survival.

Q.  Thanks Rick and Dave.  This was a lot of fun.  Before I go, do you have any advice that might help my friends and I survive the East Randomtown Zombie Apocalypse?

A.  RICK: Gear up and read a lot of zombie novels.


Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Pop Culture Mysteries – Fan Dime Drops – For the 3.5 (Part 2)


Part 1


In a cramped study room, we sat across a table from one another, sizing each other up, waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Delilah was a gorgeous specimen of a lady, everything perfect, not a single hair out of place.  My inner animal wanted to gobble her up, but we weren’t there for hanky panky.

We were there to bargain.

Never cross a lady lawyer.

Never cross a lady lawyer.

She clacked open her briefcase and handed me a dossier.  Inside?

Printouts from the Bookshelf Battle Blog.

“Your reports have pleased Mr. Battler.  Sometimes his readership spikes to a grand total of 17.5 readers when there’s a Pop Culture Mysteries post.”

“Good for him,”  I replied.  “He might as well start packing his bags for LaLa Land.  He can have it.”

“Mr. Battler’s readers have enjoyed your files to the point where they have mysteries of their own.”

“As much as I’d like to stare at your lovely face all day, Ms. Donnelly, I’ve got a beep boop machine class to get back to, so let’s grab a pair of scissors and cut to the chase, shall we?”

“Very well.  Three readers have stepped forward with entertainment related questions that deserve an answer and as Mr. Battler’s resident detective, that task falls on your shoulders.”

“How much?”

“Nothing,”  Delilah said.  “You’ve already agreed to do it gratis.”

The conniving counselor handed me the contract I signed the night I first met her, as well as a magnifying glass.  I scrutinized the document and low and behold, she wasn’t just whistling dixie:

Mr. Hatcher agrees to solve any Pop Culture Mysteries posed to him by Mr. Battler’s 3.5 readers.

Take a note.  When you’re dealing with a foxy broad, always check the fine print.

“What in the name of J. Edgar Hoover’s evening gown are you trying to pull here, sister?!”

I took another peak through the magnifying glass.

“What’s this about selling my kidneys?!”

Delilah snatched the paper back.

“Best we focus on the matter at hand, Mr. Hatcher.  You should be delighted.  Mr. Battler’s renewing your tales for a second season.”

“I don’t care about any of that, doll.  I just want to go home.  Your client is a real snake in the grass for holding out on me.”

Our client, Mr. Hatcher.  Now then, Mr. Battler does not expect a thorough investigation for these questions.  He has simply asked me to relay his 3.5 inquiries and to obtain your reaction.  Certainly, these shorter mysteries will be no match for a investigator of your skill.”

I doubt she meant it, if there was any way to win over the shattered pieces of my heart, a compliment from a good looking lady was it.

I’m sure she knew that and used it to her advantage.

DELILAH:  Mr. Hatcher, Michael Gunter of “Michael Gunter’s Tales of Today and Yesterday” contacted Mr. Battler with this concern:

Here’s one for ya, Hatcher!

The mark’s name is Nedry. Dennis Nedry. He ticked off the wrong people (don’t mess with mega-corporations) and got eaten by a dinosaur. But that’s not your problem. What we want to know is why the idiot shut down ALL the security systems. If he programmed the whole system, why didn’t he just set it up so he could shut down specific systems, instead of letting every dinosaur in the park loose? I’d make a joke about buggy code, but he got eaten, didn’t he? Joke practically wrote itself.

I lit up my cigar and had a puff.  The carcinogens danced to and fro in my lungs as I mulled over my answer.

“Gunter,”  I said.  “Another one of these Mickey Spillane types with a blog-a-ma-call-it?”

“Indeed,”  Delilah said.  “I’ve heard he can even be followed on twitter @GunterWriting.”

I turned away and exhaled my exhaust.  I’d no sooner coat Ms. Donnelly’s visage with fumes than I would the Mona Lisa.

“I’m the last cat you want to be asking questions about beep boop machines,”  I said.  “After all, I am a student in an introductory computer course taught by an old broad who can beep boop laps around me.  Why was this Nedry character on the lam?”

“Corporate espionage,”  Ms. Donnelly answered.  “Mr. Nedry was secretly paid for a rival company that wanted Jurassic Park’s dinosaur genetic material.”

“Yeesh,”  I said.  “The stuff that passes for cinema now.  Well, like I said, computers go over my head higher than a Boeing, but I’ve caught a lot of crooks and I’d wager Nedry did it just to screw with the employer he was already screwing.  Maybe he thought it’d be harder to track him down if his co-workers were busy wrangling dinosaurs.  Or, and I know this is probably an unsatisfactory answer, but maybe he just did it because it wouldn’t have been much of a flick if all the dinosaurs remained in their cages in a safe and secure manner.”

“An astute answer,”  Delilah said.  “I shall have Mr. Battler contact Mr. Gunter with the details shortly.”

“Who else wants a piece of the Jersey Jabber?”

Do you have a Pop Culture Mystery?  Drop a dime!  Tweet your entertainment questions to @bookshelfbattle or leave them in the comments below.  

Copyright (c) 2015 Bookshelf Q. Battler.  All Rights Reserved.

Image courtesy of a shutterstock.com license. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Movie Review – Jurassic World (2015)

Dun dun…dun dun!  Da da dun da dun dun dun!

That was me trying to type the Jurassic Park/World theme song.


To paraphrase Jeff Goldblum’s line from the original film, this franchise, like life, keeps finding a way.

Bookshelf Q. Battler here with a review of this summer’s blockbuster dino-fest Jurassic World.

Movie Trailer – Jurassic World – Universal Pictures

Do you remember Jurassic Park?  I do.  As a kid, I spazzed out over the movie’s sheer awesomeness.  In fact, that flick was the first to use CGI on a massive scale to bring dinosaurs to life, thus ushering in an era of computer generated monsters, beasts and assorted bad guys.

In short, it blew peoples’ minds, mine included.  The best description I can give is for me, seeing Jurassic Park was probably a lot like how young people felt when they saw Star Wars in 1977.

The only downside?  Are we at the peak of what special effects can do?  Are we spoiled now?  Are we used to CGI?  Will someone ever figure out some other awesome thing to do in a movie that will knock our socks off, leaving a new generation of kids’ jaws to drop the way mine did when I saw the first film in this series?

Time will tell, but a movie growing public that’s grown used to the wonders of CGI reminds me of the line uttered by Chris Pratt’s character Owen Grady – “Aren’t dinosaurs enough?”

He asks that in response to Bryce Howard’s Claire, the administrator of the new Jurassic World theme park, who notes that every few years a new and even more fearsome dinosaur has to be created to keep the public’s attention.

Sorry Owen.  In theory, you’re right.  Dinosaurs should be enough and so should a steady diet of CGI effects dished out by Hollywood over the past twenty plus years.

But it never is.  Once the “wow factor” dissipates, whatever wowed us becomes yesterday’s news and we’re left wanting something bigger and better.

Here, we find it in the form of the Indominus Rex, the super dinosaur engineered to bring tourists to the park but alas, and perhaps as can be expected in these movies, he escapes, thus giving Owen a Claire a run for their money.

Owen is a dinosaur handler on the island working on a project to train raptors to work with humans.  The raptors were arguably scarier than the T-Rex in the first film.  Sure, the T-Rex might stomp or chomp you but the highly intelligent raptors will haunt you in a pack and find you wherever you’re hiding.

Raptors as the good guys in this film?  Say it ‘aint so!

There’s plenty of homages to the original film.  There’s a nerd with a soda cup and a messy work station ala Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight who went on to become Jerry Seinfeld’s arch enemy Newman).  Claire’s nephews (the children in peril in this film) find a long discarded goggle hat similar to the one Tim wore when he and his sister Lex where the children in peril in the original.  Mr. DNA makes a cameo.  And of course, there’s a statue of John Hammond.

I don’t want to give much more away but suffice to say, it lives up to the hype and since the original, it is the first sequel to do Michael Crichton’s vision justice.

Sadly, we lost Crichton in 2008, but his books and the movies based on them live on.  After watching Jurassic Park, I ran out and got a copy of the book and I remember being inspired by a man who didn’t make his way into the entertainment industry through the usual route (i.e. I’ll jaunt off to Hollywood and see what happens!) but rather as a doctor who took his scientific/medical knowledge and used it to churn out stories that kept us in suspense.

Chris Pratt continues to inspire nerds everywhere.  Honestly, when you first started watching Parks and Recreation, did you think the guy playing Andy would ever find himself as a summer blockbuster leading man two years in a row?  He’s not that cookie cutter, exceptionally handsome dude that looks like he got yanked off the Hollywood assembly line that we’ve grown used to.  Rather, he kind of looks like a guy we’d want to have a beer with after the movie.

Bryce plays the bean counting administrator well, obsessed with work and dollars only to realize the gravity of the situation when the Indominus goes for a stroll.

Dr. Wu (B.D. Wong of Law and Order fame), was in the first film and he reprises his role here.  SPOILER ALERT – he runs of with some dino DNA, thus leaving this reviewer to speculate that the door is opened for yet another sequel.

It’ll have to be awesome, because apparently, the average, run of the mill dinosaur just isn’t good enough anymore.

STATUS:  Shelf Worthy

Tagged , , , , , , , , , ,