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some days you just need more Marjoe in y

I know something else that sounds like thunder, har har har

Let's run down a bit of a checklist, shall we?

Based on well-known short story by a famous author? Check.

Misuse of modern CGI technology to simulate the look of the future? Check.

Sir Ben Kingsley mugging and having a good time while daydreaming of the yacht he's going to buy with the money from this? Check.

Suggested by lunargeography's sister (the one who lives in Tulsa)? Check.

Dino-monkeys? Check.

Does the time travel involve vaguely insulting science-like talk with no actual attempt at science? Um, duh.

Did the ending remind me of Kobo Abe's Inter Ice Age 4, the first book alphabetically in the fiction section of my high school library? Yeah, sort of. What does that have to do with anything?

Lots and lots of dino-monkeys? Oooh, yeah. Check and mate.

Dino-monkeys hunt in packs!


Loosely based on Ray Bradbury's 1952 short story "A Sound of Thunder," this film revolves around Time Safari, Inc. They take ludicrously-rich people into the past to hunt an allosaur (yes, every client hunts the same allosaur; no, no attempt is made to explain this). They have their own force field generator thingy that creates a safe pathway in the past. Nothing is left behind (the bullets are liquid nitrogen, which dissolve on their own), and nothing is taken to the future (the time machine has a bio-filter that make sure what happens in the Cretaceous stays in the Cretaceous). But just to be sure, you must stay on the path!

Of course, one of the rich idiots doesn't. Something goes wrong, and he accidentally steps on a butterfly. Now, with a volcano five minutes from erupting, you wouldn't think the death of one butterfly would be a big deal. Oh ho ho, this is because you know nothing about the necessities of the script complexities of evolution.

The present starts to change, in weird ripply time waves. At first it's just the climate, then the vegetation, then the lower forms of life (dino-monkeys!), then finally humans. This is because they wanted to make the movie jungle-like yet also urban for reasons of science. It's because humans evolved most recently. It has to be true. A scientist said it.

Anyway, there is a race across town to figure out what was changed in the past. They encounter lethal plant-life with thorns that drive men mad! And also, this is when we first run into the roving packs of dino-monkeys. They end up in a futuristic garage arguing about how best to steal (what must be) the Hummer of the Future. "It has a sonic lock," says one scientist. "If I had some sort of auditory wave generator, I could break into it." They natter on about this, while the expedition's doctor uses his futuristic gun to smash in the driver's side window. He climbs into the car, and suddenly it roars to life. Everyone else looks at him quizzically, and he says, "How do you think I put myself through medical school?"

As the movie goes on, their numbers attrition until finally it's down to the chick scientist and the guy scientist. The chick scientist jerry-rigs a time portal out of a nearby particle accelerator (don't ask; just don't), and the guy scientist takes the roller-coaster ride through time to warn/stop the first team, but in such a fashion that will keep events from repeating. And oh yeah, he'll only have about twenty seconds to come up with something.

One final time, because it undoubtedly would have been Your Friendly Neighborhood Promotional Ninja's favorite part of this movie: dino-monkeys!

In the original story, the title refers to the sound of gunfire. In the movie, though, the futuristic weapons made weird little pswee! noises (as they fired the aforementioned bullets of liquid nitrogen). The time waves would be a nice referent ... but the time waves are pretty much effectively silent. I don't think there is even any thunder thunder in the movie. Maybe it refers to ... the big stompy noise the allosaur makes? Yeah, sure. It's as good a random choice as any the film might make (better, even, because it's almost logical).

Let's see.... Weird animals, strange plant growth, screwing up the present through successive trips to the past, fighting giant critters from a large motor vehicle, cutting corners to save money -- which rebounds to disastrous effect, a big-name actor slumming, the invocation of a real science thing (Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle) by a scientist to explain something it's irrelevant to (nothing is infallible; accidents happen). It would be interesting to find a list of sciency b-movie tropes and see how many of these are relevant to A Sound of Thunder.


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<Suggested by lunargeography's sister (the one who lives in Tulsa)? Check.>

What about the Tupperware aunt? Why doesn't she get to suggest movies, too??
Just because I haven't seen her recently. :)
Ah! Got it :)
Are you & LG going to the MST3k meet up tomorrow? If you want to carpool, please let me know drpattis (at) comcast (dot) net