There’s a lot of great stuff on streaming services these days. As a connoisseur of life without cable, I’m here to (sometimes) guide you through what’s available from the 1990’s. Welcome to What’s Streaming?!?
You know when an actor or actress shows up in a big budget Hollywood film and precedes to not give a shit? Those instances where a serious performer takes a break from their craft for a big payday or larger exposure, and then half-asses their way through whatever schlock they’ve signed up for. Think Bill Murray in Garfield, Gene Hackman in The Replacements, or Robert De Niro’s entire career after Analyze This. It’s common knowledge that superstar performers sometimes take a break from their mighty method moments to just play dress up and make believe for huge, HUGE amounts of money.
It’s also common knowledge that we, as citizens of the United States and members of the entire human race, love Jeff Goldblum. It’s impossible not to, with his trademark quirks inhabiting every performance he gives. The man is a truly gifted thespian, an American treasure who has entertained and thrilled us in some of the most unique performances over the past four decades. Every time he’s on screen, your eyes are drawn to him, no matter what he’s doing or saying.
This is particularly true in The Lost World: Jurassic Park, the Steven Spielberg-directed sequel that didn’t quite live up to, or have the lasting social impact of, its predecessor. It’s not difficult to grasp why The Lost World hasn’t earned the cultural cache of the original, beyond the fact that sequels are often lame imitations of their predecessors: the movie is boring and spectacularly lackluster. And no one more egregiously embodied that lack of artistic ambition than Mr. Goldblum himself.
For those who remember the film, The Lost World concerns Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm returning to a Costa Rican island (not the same as the original) where genetically-created dinosaurs have survived for several years without human assistance. Indeed, nature, uh, uh, found a way, and he convolutedly ends up back there with his girlfriend, Julianne Moore, his randomly black daughter who stowed away on the trip, and Vince Vaughn. I remember no one’s name, or details about their characters, because really, why would I? The plot barely matters, and we aren’t here to develop any affection for the lowly humans; we’re only here for more Velociraptors and Tyrannosaurus Rex(s)!
The story is irrelevant, and is SO much dumber and worse than the original. It’s arguably, in what wouldn’t be a very intense argument, the worst of the series, and features one of the laziest performance of Jeff Goldblum’s career. His first appearance on screen features him literally yawning on the subway, which feels like a real life moment Spielberg just decided to go with. The man legitimately seems to have only seen the script for each scene moments before cameras rolled. He offers no sense of urgency, or genuine fear or trepidation about returning to confront MORE dinosaurs after the first go round went so damn well.
Nor does he offer a genuine inkling of concern when learning his girlfriend, a woman he is ostensibly in a serious relationship with, is already on the island. His reaction to that news essentially boils down to: ‘women, amiright?’ Which pales in the face of his not-give-a-fuck reaction to his daughter ending up where living, breathing ancient creatures predatorily roam. When the group of humans end up in their contractually mandated cat-and-mouse chase with the velociraptors (RAPTORS! WOOOOO!!!), the daughter swings around on an abandoned buildings old pipes in a gymnastics maneuver. When she finishes her routine, ending with a kick to a raptor’s face, proud papa Goldblum’s only thought isn’t immense joy that his daughter was safe, but a quarter-assed quip about how, “they cut you from the team?”
Who am I to criticize an artist for taking the easy way out to make a few (million) extra bucks? I can only imagine living in a world where I’d be able to make untold gobs of money, more cash than I could spend in a dozen lifetimes, for a few months work. Life is hard for us all, and money can’t buy happiness, but it sure as hell seems to make the road to satisfaction quite a bit smoother. Kudos to Jeff Goldblum for taking the money and running right to the bank, not to rehearsal.