Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Green Drop Drink


It's the only Michael Crichton book I have ever read, even though I enjoyed (the first) Jurassic Park very much -- I think because of all the science in it.

(Though my nitpicky soul cried out at this exchange:
Mr. Hammond:  It's just a delay; that's all it is.  All major theme parks have delays.  When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked.
Dr. Malcolm:  But, John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists.
Ahem.  Disneyland opened in 1955.  And Pirates didn't exist until 1967.)

Anyway, I had seen the movie (for some reason, I allowed a friend to drag me to a variety of gory movies at the time...Congo was pretty gross, but Outbreak was the worst).

Shakespeare, it was not.

And what I remember most was Amy the gorilla, who was terrified of flying, and who had been fitted with a glove that voiced her signing, repeatedly asked for a "green drop drink" (a martini).

Now, at the time, I had very little understanding of how ASL differs from Signed English, how much facial expression and hand position affect ASL, nor even really an understanding of how very different word order can be in ASL, and I thought that it was a pretty neat idea.

(I still do, but the software would have to be seriously upgraded.)

In any event, that was about the last of it.

Then, of course, A&E produced its heavily marketed (at least on the Discovery and History channels that I primarily watch) Andromeda Strain miniseries.  So, like a good sci-fi fan, I TiVoed it.

Now, in the interim, it had been pretty roundly panned by critics and bloggers alike.

Also -- it took me three days to watch.

And I think the writers may have had too many green drop drinks.

Okay, it was earnestly acted by people that seemed good at their craft.  I was particularly amused to see Ted Atherton play yet another FBI-government-agent type, plus former SG-1 annoying guy Maybourne as...well, another annoying guy.  Eric McCormack was good, but I didn't really get what his character was about.

And then, there was the plethora of sci-fi cliches, all plugged into one movie: bucky balls, time travel, wormholes, aliens, killer viruses, mutations, surviving the virus because of something random, X-Files-like conspiracies...I'm sure I'm missing some here.

So, tonight, I went to pick up a copy of the book to see if all of that was actually in there.  (Did they even know about bucky balls when Crichton wrote the novel?)

ETA:  Googling says, "No, not by a long shot."  Huh.

Anyhow, Borders was out.  Weird.  I'll try to remember to update after I read the book...and find out what else was...err...enhanced.

Anyway, I did, because I'm a nerd like that, buy two other books.  I can't remember the last time I've entered a book store and left without a book....

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