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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

It’s worth revisiting Jurassic Park just for Jeff Goldblum

From left, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Sam Neill and DeWanda Wise in “Jurassic World Dominion.”  (Universal Pictures)
By Ed Condran For The Spokesman-Review

Jeff Goldblum is tall for an actor but short for a dinosaur. Even though Goldblum is dwarfed by the gigantic reptiles in “Jurassic Park,” the veteran entertainer, who is 6-foot-4, routinely steals scenes in the original film and its sequels.

“To be part of something as amazing as ‘Jurassic Park’ is just wonderful,” Goldblum said during a chat in a New York hotel room in 2004 while on a junket for Wes Anderson’s wonderfully quirky film “The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou. “I had as much fun as you could have. It was like a kid in the candy store experience.”

Goldblum, 70, might be considered a dinosaur, particularly by Hollywood standards, but he stands out in “Jurassic Park,” which is about cloned dinosaurs running amok in a theme park, courtesy of a number of killer lines.

“If the Pirates of the Caribbean (ride) breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists,” Goldblum cracks.

That might be the best line in the series and it was delivered by Goldblum, who portrays Dr. Ian Malcolm. The burn from Dr. Malcolm arrives after he is told that all theme parks experience malfunctioning issues.

“Life finds a way,” is another great line from the original from Malcolm. It’s as if the good doctor is rendering the thesis of the whole franchise of films, as this explanation applies to all of the Jurassic films.

When discussing if bringing back dinosaurs is a good idea, Dr. Malcolm nails it: “Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether or not they could, they didn’t stop to think if they should.”

Goldblum laughed when asked about the memorable lines.

“People get excited about the dinosaurs, but they forget how well written the movie is,” Goldblum said.

It should come as no surprise that Goldblum was knocking it out of the Jurassic Park with memorable lines. The lanky actor-musician has been hitting Hollywood homers with lines throughout his entire career.

Goldblum had one line in Woody Allen’s classic “Annie Hall,” and it was a memorable four words. “I forgot my mantra,” Goldblum’s character said at a Hollywood party.

My favorite line was from 1983’s “The Big Chill.” While in high school, my garage rock band mate, Crazy Julie, said that I reminded her of Jeff Goldblum’s character in “The Big Chill,” a reporter for People magazine. I felt the same way after catching the film since I was about to study journalism at Temple University I couldn’t help but relate to the tall, awkward character, who in one scene bumps his head on a ceiling. And then there is the best line in the film: “I’m getting tired of everything I write being read in the can.” That’s a common entertainment journalist’s lament.

The first movie I reviewed, which is still one of the most difficult assignments I had, 1984’s “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension,” remains inscrutable, but there were some great scenes.

“Why is there a watermelon there?” Goldblum’s character, New Jersey, asks Banzai. “I’ll explain it later,” Banzai said.

It never was explained, which fit the unpredictable flick.

“Change is like death,” Dr. Malcolm explains during “Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom.”

“You don’t know what it looks like until you’re standing at the gates.”

How deep and profound. I never knew that Goldblum was such a line machine. Many of those zingers or philosophic phrases are from the Jurassic films. It’s one more reason to go back to the movies that start with one of the many fine works by Steven Spielberg.