The Lost World: Jurassic Park
|The Lost World: Jurassic Park|
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Steven Spielberg|
|Produced by||Gerald R. Molen|
|Screenplay by||David Koepp|
|Based on||The Lost World|
by Michael Crichton
|Music by||John Williams|
|Edited by||Michael Kahn|
|Distributed by||Universal Pictures|
|Box office||$618.6 million|
The Lost World: Jurassic Park is a 1997 American science fiction adventure film and the second installment in the Jurassic Park film series. A sequel to 1993's Jurassic Park and loosely based on Michael Crichton's 1995 novel The Lost World, the film was directed by Steven Spielberg and written by David Koepp. The film stars Jeff Goldblum, returning as the chaos-theorist and eccentric mathematician Ian Malcolm, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite, Vince Vaughn, Vanessa Lee Chester, and Arliss Howard. Taking place four years after the events of the original film, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) sends a team, led by Malcolm, to Isla Sorna, the second island InGen used to make the dinosaurs, to study the animals while coming into conflict with a team led by InGen to bring some of the dinosaurs back onto homeland.
After the original book's release and the first film's success, fans pressured Crichton for a sequel to his novel Jurassic Park. Following the book's publication in 1995, production began on a film sequel. Filming took place from September to December 1996, primarily in California, with a shoot in Kauai, Hawaii, where the first film was shot. The Lost World's plot and imagery is substantially darker than Jurassic Park. It makes more extensive use of computer-generated imagery to depict the dinosaurs, along with life-sized animatronics.
Released on May 23, 1997, the film received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the visuals and action sequences, but criticized the writing and character development. The film was a box office success, grossing over $618 million worldwide, becoming the second-highest grossing film of 1997. It earned an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects. A sequel, Jurassic Park III, was released on July 18, 2001.
On Isla Sorna, a girl named Cathy Bowman wanders around during a family vacation, and survives an attack by a swarm of Compsognathus. Her parents file a lawsuit against the genetics company, InGen, now headed by John Hammond's nephew, Peter Ludlow, who plans to use Isla Sorna to recover losses from the incident that occurred at Jurassic Park four years earlier. Mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm meets Hammond who explains that Isla Sorna is where InGen created their dinosaurs before moving them to Jurassic Park on Isla Nublar. He hopes to stop InGen by sending a team to Isla Sorna to document the dinosaurs and attract support against human interference on the island. Malcolm is reluctant, but after learning that his girlfriend, paleontologist Dr. Sarah Harding, is part of the team and is already on Isla Sorna, he agrees to go to the island, but only to retrieve her.
Malcolm meets his teammates, Eddie Carr, an equipment specialist and engineer, and Nick Van Owen, a video documentarian and activist. Arriving on the island, they locate Sarah and discover Malcolm's daughter, Kelly, stowed away in a trailer being used as a mobile base. They watch an InGen team arrive to capture several dinosaurs. The team is led by big game hunter Roland Tembo, and includes his second-in-command Dieter Stark, his hunting partner and friend Ajay Sidhu, mercenaries, hunters, paleontologist Dr. Robert Burke, and Ludlow. Tembo hopes to capture a male Tyrannosaurus rex by luring it using the cries of its injured infant. That night, Malcolm's team sneak into the InGen camp and learn that the captured dinosaurs will be taken to a newly proposed theme park in San Diego that was abandoned for the islands. This prompts Nick and Sarah to free the caged dinosaurs, wreaking havoc on the camp.
Nick frees the infant T. rex and takes it to the trailer to mend its broken leg. After securing Kelly with Eddie, Malcolm realizes that the infant's parents are searching for it and rushes to the trailer. As he arrives, the infant's parents emerge from both sides of the trailer. The infant is released to the adults, who attack the trailer, pushing it over the edge of a cliff. Eddie arrives, but as he tries to retrieve the trailer with an SUV, the adult T. rexes return and devour him. The vehicles plummet off the cliff. Malcolm, Sarah, Nick, and Kelly are rescued by the InGen team. With both groups' communications equipment and vehicles destroyed, they team up to search for the old InGen compound's radio station. Lost in the forest, Stark is killed by a pack of Compsognathus.
The following night, the adult T. rexes find the group's camp by following the infant's blood scent on Sarah's jacket. The female T. rex chases the group to a waterfall cave and devours Burke; Roland tranquilizes the male. Ajay and most of the remaining InGen team are slaughtered by Velociraptors while fleeing through a long grass field. Nick runs to the communications center to call for rescue. After Malcolm, Sarah, and Kelly reach the base, they battle raptors until a helicopter arrives and transports them, and Nick, off the island.
A freighter transporting the male T. rex to San Diego crashes into the dock. Finding the ship's crew dead, a guard opens the cargo hold and accidentally releases the T. rex, which goes on a rampage in the city. Malcolm and Sarah retrieve the infant T. rex from InGen's unfinished Jurassic Park San Diego facility and use it to lure the adult back to the ship. Ludlow tries to intervene but is trapped in the cargo hold and maimed by the adult T. rex. He is subsequently mauled to death by the infant. Before the adult can escape again, Sarah tranquilizes it while Malcolm closes the cargo hold doors. The T. rexes are escorted back to Isla Sorna, and Hammond says that the American and Costa Rican governments have agreed to declare the island a nature preserve, securing it from human interference. While Malcolm sits at home with his family, the T. rexes are seen grazing with their infant as Hammond, regarding Malcolm's knowledge, affirms that "life will find a way".
- Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm: A mathematician and chaos theorist.
- Julianne Moore as Dr. Sarah Harding: Malcolm's girlfriend and a behavioral paleontologist.
- Vince Vaughn as Nick Van Owen: An experienced "documentarian," photo journalist and environmentalist.
- Pete Postlethwaite as Roland Tembo: A big-game hunter who adheres to his own strict moral code.
- Vanessa Lee Chester as Kelly Curtis: Malcolm's teenage daughter who stows away in a trailer.
- Arliss Howard as Peter Ludlow: Hammond's nephew who wants to build a San Diego version of Jurassic Park.
- Richard Attenborough as John Hammond: The former CEO of InGen who takes steps to redeem himself and preserve Isla Sorna.
- Peter Stormare as Dieter Stark: The second-in-command of the InGen harvesters under the control of Roland Tembo.
- Harvey Jason as Ajay Sidhu: Roland Tembo's hunting partner.
- Richard Schiff as Eddie Carr: A "field equipment expert". He saves his friends' lives by surrendering his to the Tyrannosaurs.
- Thomas F. Duffy as Dr. Robert Burke: The InGen hunters' paleontologist
- Ariana Richards as Lex Murphy: Hammond's granddaughter.
- Joseph Mazzello as Tim Murphy: Lex's younger brother.
Creatures on screen
While Jurassic Park featured mostly the animatronic dinosaurs built by Stan Winston's team, The Lost World relied more on the computer-generated imagery of Industrial Light & Magic. This meant the film featured larger shots that offered plenty of space for the digital artists to add the dinosaurs. Although technology had not advanced much since the release of the first film, Spielberg noted that "the artistry of the creative computer people" had advanced: "There's better detail, much better lighting, better muscle tone and movement in the animals. When a dinosaur transfers weight from his left side to his right, the whole movement of fat and sinew is smoother, more physiologically correct."
Winston said, "I wanted to show the world what they didn't see in 'Jurassic Park': more dinosaurs and more dinosaur action. 'More, bigger, better' was our motto." Some of the animatronics cost $1 million and weighed nine and a half tons. Michael Lantieri, the special effects supervisor, said, "The big T. rex robot can pull two Gs of force when it's moving from right to left. If you hit someone with that, you'd kill them. So, in a sense, we did treat the dinosaurs as living, dangerous creatures."
- Compsognathus, nicknamed "Compies" by Stan Winston's crew, are a small carnivorous theropod which attacks in packs. Visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren considered them the most complex digital dinosaur. Their small size meant the Compys had their whole body visible and thus needed a higher sense of gravity and weight. A simple puppet Compsognathus was featured in the opening scene, and the part where Dieter Stark was killed by the pack had Peter Stormare wearing a jacket onto which various rubber Compies were attached.
- Gallimimus was shown fleeing from the InGen Hunters.
- Mamenchisaurus was shown on the game trail scene where an InGen hunter drove his motorcycle in-between the sauropod's legs.
- Pachycephalosaurus was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.
- Parasaurolophus was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.
- Stegosaurus was, according to Spielberg, included "by popular demand". Stan Winston's team built full-sized versions of both the infant and adult Stegosaurus, but Spielberg eventually opted to employ a digital version for the adults so they could be more mobile.
- Triceratops was shown being hunted down by the InGen hunters.
- Tyrannosaurus is featured as a family, with two adults and an infant. Featuring two practical T. rexes required double the work and puppeteers. They also had to have the sets built around the animatronics, so they would not need to leave the soundstage. The baby T. rex had two different practical versions, a "fully contained" remote controlled version the actors could carry, and a hybrid operated by both hydraulics and cables which lay on the operating table, and had the added complexity of moving as Vince Vaughn held its head.
- Velociraptor had a mechanical version which depicted the upper half of its body, and a digital full-motion computer raptor.
- Pteranodon makes a brief appearance at the film's end.
After the release of the novel Jurassic Park in 1990, Michael Crichton was pressured by fans for a sequel novel. Having never written one, he initially refused. While shooting the novel's film adaptation, Jurassic Park, director Steven Spielberg believed that if a sequel film were made, it would involve the retrieval of a canister that contained dinosaur DNA lost during the events of the first film. Talk of a sequel film began after the 1993 release of Jurassic Park, which was a financial success. Spielberg held discussions with David Koepp and Crichton, who wrote the previous film, to talk about possible ideas for a sequel. The production schedule for a second Jurassic Park film was dependent on whether Crichton would write a sequel to the first novel.
In March 1994, Crichton said there would probably be a sequel novel and sequel film, saying he had a story idea for another novel, which would then be adapted into a film. At the time, Spielberg had not committed to directing the new novel's film adaptation, as he planned to take a year off from directing. In March 1995, Crichton announced that he was nearly finished writing the sequel, scheduled for release later that year, although he declined to specify its title or plot. At the time of this announcement, Spielberg had signed on to produce the film adaptation, with filming to begin in summer 1996 for release in 1997. Spielberg was busy with his new DreamWorks studio and had not decided if he would direct the film, saying, "I'd love to direct it, but I just have to see. My life is changing." Joe Johnston, who offered to direct the sequel, directed the following film, Jurassic Park III.
A production team was assembled in spring 1995, as Crichton was finishing the second novel, titled The Lost World; simultaneously, Spielberg and Koepp were developing ideas for the screenplay. Crichton's novel was published in September 1995, while Spielberg was announced as director for the film adaptation in November 1995. Production designer Rick Carter traveled to the Caribbean, New Zealand, and Central America to scout possible filming locations. By February 1996, northern New Zealand had been chosen as a filming location. While the first film had been shot in Kauai, Hawaii, the filmmakers wanted to shoot the sequel in a different location with new scenery. New Zealand was also chosen because it was believed to better represent a real dinosaur environment. Crichton wanted the film to be shot on Kauai.
In August 1996, it was announced that Humboldt County, California, had been chosen as the filming location instead of New Zealand, where filming would have been too costly. Humboldt County offered financial incentives that would keep the film's production costs lower. Other locations that had been considered were Costa Rica and Oregon. Filming locations in Humboldt County were to include the redwood forests of Eureka, California. This location was picked because research indicated dinosaurs did not inhabit tropical habitats, but forests like the ones in Eureka.
The plot for Crichton's Lost World novel involves a second island with dinosaurs but no reference to the canister of dinosaur DNA (the canister was later used as a plot aspect in a rejected early draft for Jurassic Park IV). After the novel was finished, Crichton was not consulted about the sequel film, and it was not until he declined to approve certain merchandising rights that he received a copy of the script. Kathleen Kennedy, the film's executive producer, and producer of Jurassic Park, said, "In the same way Michael doesn't see writing as a collaboration, Steven went off and did his own movie. When Michael turned the book over to Steven, he knew his work was finished."
Spielberg and Koepp discarded many of the novel's scenes and ideas, choosing instead to devise a new story while including the two ideas from the novel that Spielberg liked: a second island populated with dinosaurs, and a scene where a trailer dangles from a cliff after being attacked by T. rexes. To prepare before writing the script, Spielberg was more insistent that Koepp watch the 1925 film, The Lost World, than he was on having him read Crichton's novel, which Koepp also did.
During an early meeting with Koepp, Spielberg determined that while the primary conflict of the original film involved herbivorous dinosaurs vs. carnivorous dinosaurs, the script for the new film should involve humans who are "gatherers" (observers of the dinosaurs) and "hunters" (who capture the dinosaurs for a zoo). Koepp said the plot of the 1962 film Hatari! — about African animals being captured for zoos — had "a big influence" on The Lost World's script. Koepp named the characters Roland Tembo and Nick Van Owen as a reference to one of his favorite songs, "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner", by Warren Zevon. Koepp said "since Roland is a mercenary in the song, that seemed like a good name for the hunter-for-hire in our movie. While I was at it, I thought it would be fun to make his nemesis' last name Van Owen, like in the song."
Crichton's novel revolves around Malcolm's team and a rival team led by InGen's corporate rival, Biosyn, which was written out of the film adaptation in favor of two competing InGen teams. Several characters from the novel were excluded from the film adaptation, including Lewis Dodgson, the leader of the Biosyn team, and field equipment engineer Doc Thorne, whose characteristics were partially implemented in the film's version of Eddie. Spielberg regretted excluding a scene from the script that would have depicted characters on motorcycles attempting to flee velociraptors, similar to a sequence in the novel. An alternate version of the scene was added to the 2015 film, Jurassic World.
Dieter's death scene was inspired by John Hammond's death in the first novel, where Procompsognathus kill him. The film's opening scene came from an early chapter in the first novel that was ultimately excluded from its film adaptation, where a Procompsognathus bites a girl on a beach. The first novel included a scene where characters hide behind a waterfall from a T. rex; this scene was not used in the first film but was ultimately added into The Lost World: Jurassic Park. According to paleontologist Jack Horner, the film's technical advisor, part of the waterfall scene was written in as a favor to him by Spielberg. Burke greatly resembles Horner's rival Robert Bakker. In real life, Bakker argues for a predatory T. rex while Horner views it as primarily a scavenger. Spielberg had Burke written into this part to have him killed by the T. rex as a favor to Horner. After the film came out, Bakker, who recognized himself in Burke and loved it, actually sent Horner a message saying, "See, I told you T. rex was a hunter!"
In the original script, the film ended with an aerial battle, where Pteranodons attack the helicopter trying to escape Isla Sorna. Three weeks before filming began, Spielberg suggested the T. rex's attack through San Diego instead. He was interested in seeing dinosaurs attacking the mainland. Initially, Spielberg wanted this scene to be saved for a third film but later decided to add it to the second one when he realized he would probably not direct another film in the series. The sequence was inspired by a similar attack scene involving a Brontosaurus in London in the 1925 version of The Lost World, adapted from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's 1912 novel of the same name, both of which inspired the title for Crichton's novel. Koepp wrote a total of nine drafts for the film.
In November 1994, Richard Attenborough said he would reprise his role as John Hammond from the first film. In 1995, Spielberg met Vanessa Lee Chester at the premiere of A Little Princess, in which she appeared. Chester later recalled, "As I was signing an autograph for him, he told me one day he'd put me in a film." Spielberg met with Chester the following year to discuss The Lost World: Jurassic Park before ultimately casting her as Malcolm's daughter, Kelly. In April 1996, Julianne Moore was in discussions to star in the film alongside Jeff Goldblum. Spielberg had admired Moore's performance in The Fugitive. In June 1996, Peter Stormare was in final negotiations to join the cast. In August 1996, it was announced Vince Vaughn had joined the cast. Spielberg was impressed with Vaughn's performance in the film Swingers, which he saw after the filmmakers asked his permission to use music from his earlier film, Jaws. After meeting with Spielberg, Vaughn was cast without having to do a screen test.
Filming began on September 5, 1996, at Fern Canyon, part of California's Prairie Creek Redwoods State Park. It continued for two weeks in other state parks and on private land in northern California, including Eureka. Throughout the fall of 1996, filming continued on stages at Universal Studios Hollywood. The Site B workers village was constructed there and left intact after filming to become a part of the theme park tour. For the scene where a trailer dangles from a cliff, a whole mountainside was built over the structure of Universal's multi-storey car park.
In October 1996, it was announced that filming would take place over five days in December at New Zealand's Fiordland National Park, where the film's opening sequence was to be shot. Scenes involving Hammond's residence were shot during the final week of filming, at Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, California. A scene where Vaughn's character emerges from a lake was also shot in Pasadena.
In early December 1996, plans to film in Fiordland were abruptly cancelled. Principal photography concluded ahead of schedule on December 11, 1996. However, in mid-December 1996, plans were approved to shoot the opening sequence on a beach in Kauai after the cancellation of the New Zealand shoot. Filming in Kauai was underway on December 20, 1996, with plans to finish two days later. Although Spielberg was in Kauai at the time, and had visited the production, the opening sequence was filmed by a second unit crew.
Although the T. rex's rampage takes place in San Diego, only one scene was shot there. In it an InGen helicopter flies over the wharf and banks towards the city. The other sequences were all shot in Burbank, California. Scenes set in San Diego were shot behind barricades to maintain secrecy; Spielberg noted that, "It looked like road-repair work was going on." Various members of the film crew were featured running from the Tyrannosaurus, with screenwriter David Koepp playing the "Unlucky Bastard" who is eaten during a scene set in San Diego.
Inspired by how Jurassic Park featured the Ford Explorer, Mercedes-Benz signed an endorsement deal to use the film to introduce its first sports utility vehicle, the M320. Spielberg did not allow for cast rehearsals, saying, "You want to capture the actors when they taste the words for the first time, when they look at each other for the first time — that's the sort of magic you can only get on a first or second take." Cinematographer Janusz Kamiński, who had worked with Spielberg on Schindler's List, was brought onto the project to give a darker, more artistic look to the film, leading to a "more elegant and rich" approach focused on contrast and shadow. The film was shot on a budget of $73 million.
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For the sequel, composer John Williams avoided using most of the previous film's main themes, writing a more action oriented score. The soundtrack was released on May 20, 1997. It, along with the soundtrack to the first movie, was re-released and remastered on November 29, 2016.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park premiered on May 19, 1997, at a Cineplex Odeon theater in Universal City, California. The Los Angeles Times called the premiere "low-key". The film received a wider release on May 23, 1997. Fox Network paid $80 million for the broadcasting rights of The Lost World, which debuted on November 1, 1998. The television version was expanded with deleted scenes, that included John Hammond's ouster by InGen executives.
Marketing and promotion
On February 10, 1997, Universal announced a $250 million marketing campaign with 70 promotional partners. It was even more extensive than that of Jurassic Park. The leading partners were Burger King, whose promotion was concurrent with one for another Universal dinosaur-based franchise, The Land Before Time; JVC and Mercedes-Benz, whose products are featured in the movie; and Timberland Co., making its first film tie-in. Another partner was a then-sister company of Universal under Seagram, Tropicana Products. Other promotional partners included Hamburger Helper and Betty Crocker, while General Mills introduced Jurassic Park Crunch cereal. Derivative works included various video games, including both a pinball machine and an arcade game by Sega, and a four-part comic series released by Topps Comics.
Other promotional items included a toy line of action figures by Kenner and remote-controlled vehicles by Tyco, as well as a board game by Milton Bradley Company. Also produced were Hershey's chocolate bars that featured holographic dinosaur patterns. Universal hoped for promotional profits to exceed $1 billion.
In December 1996, a special version of the film's teaser trailer debuted at 42 theaters in the United States and Canada, at a cost of $14,000 for each theater; the trailer used synchronized strobe lights that mimicked lightning during a rain scene. The film's first trailer was aired on January 26, 1997, during Super Bowl XXXI. A detailed website for the film was also created, and provided backstory for characters and events not referenced in the film. Shortly after the film's release, hackers broke into the website and briefly changed the film's logo to feature a duck instead of a T. rex. The film's title in the logo was also changed to The Duck World: Jurassic Pond. Universal denied that the hacking was a publicity stunt to promote the film, stating that it was traced to a "16-year-old hacker kid from back East." The website was still online as of 2018.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park was first released on a Collector's Edition DVD on October 10, 2000, in both Widescreen and full screen versions, in a box set with its predecessor Jurassic Park. The films were also featured in a deluxe limited edition box set featuring both DVDs, soundtrack albums, two lenticulars, stills from both films, and a certificate of authenticity signed by set's producers, inside a collector case. After the release of sequel Jurassic Park III, box sets including all three movies were also made available, as Jurassic Park Trilogy on December 11, 2001, and as the Jurassic Park Adventure Pack on November 29, 2005. The Lost World was first made available on Blu-ray on October 25, 2011, as part of a trilogy release. The entire Jurassic Park film series was released on 4K UHD Blu-Ray on May 22, 2018.
The Lost World took in $72.1 million on its opening weekend ($92.6 million for the four-day Memorial Day holiday) in the U.S., which was the biggest opening weekend at the time, surpassing the previous record-holder Batman Forever at $52.8 million. It held this record for four and a half years, until the release of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone in November 2001. The Lost World took the record for highest single-day box office take of $26.1 million on May 25, a record held until the release of Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace. It also became the fastest film to pass the $100 million mark, achieving the feat in just six days. However, despite these records, its total box office gross fell below the total of the original film. It grossed $229.1 million in the U.S. and $389.5 million internationally, for a total of $618.6 million worldwide, becoming the second highest-grossing film of 1997 behind Titanic. The film sold an estimated 49,910,000 tickets in North America.
On review aggregation website Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 54% based on 70 reviews and an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "The Lost World demonstrates how far CG effects have come in the four years since Jurassic Park; unfortunately, it also proves how difficult it can be to put together a truly compelling sequel." On Metacritic, the film has an average rating of 59/100 based on reviews from 18 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
Roger Ebert, who gave the first film three stars, gave The Lost World only two, writing, "It can be said that the creatures in this film transcend any visible signs of special effects and seem to walk the earth, but the same realism isn't brought to the human characters, who are bound by plot conventions and action formulas." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune also gave the film two stars and said, "I was disappointed as much as I was thrilled because 'The Lost World' lacks a staple of Steven Spielberg's adventure films: exciting characters. [...] Even in the original 'Jurassic Park,' the dinosaurs — not to mention the human beings — had more distinct personalities than they have here. Save for superior special effects, 'The Lost World' comes off as recycled material." Kevin Thomas of the Los Angeles Times saw improved character development over the original, saying, "It seemed such a mistake in Jurassic Park to sideline early on its most interesting character, the brilliant, free-thinking and outspoken theorist Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) with a broken leg, but in its most inspired stroke, The Lost World brings back Malcolm and places him front and center," calling it "a pleasure to watch such wily pros as Goldblum and Attenborough spar with each other with wit and assurance". The dinosaurs were even more developed as characters, with Stephen Holden of The New York Times saying, "The Lost World, unlike Jurassic Park, humanizes its monsters in a way that E.T. would understand." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a B grade; he remarked, "Mr. T-Rex was cool in the first Spielberg flick, sure, but it wasn't until [it was in] San Diego that things got crazy-cool. It's the old 'tree falling in the woods' conundrum: Unless your giant monster is causing massive property damage, can you really call it a giant monster?"
Spielberg confessed that during production he became increasingly disenchanted with the film, admitting, "I beat myself up... growing more and more impatient with myself... It made me wistful about doing a talking picture, because sometimes I got the feeling I was just making this big silent-roar movie... I found myself saying, 'Is that all there is? It's not enough for me.'"
During an interview with The New York Times, Spielberg admitted that he knows a major reason why his sequels tend to not live up to the quality of his original films: "My sequels aren’t as good as my originals because I go onto every sequel I’ve made and I’m too confident. This movie made a ka-zillion dollars, which justifies the sequel, so I come in like it’s going to be a slam dunk and I wind up making an inferior movie to the one before. I’m talking about The Lost World and Jurassic Park."
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