Fourteen Ways to Celebrate Jeff Goldblum Day on October 22nd #JeffGoldblumDay

Everyone loves Jeff Goldblum. Or, if you don’t, you should. And what better way to celebrate Jeff Goldblum and the month of October than with Jeff Goldblum Day on October 22nd (which, depending on what day you’re reading this, is today!)

Why October 22nd? Because that’s his birthday, and now it’s his holiday. Why does Jeff Goldblum deserve a holiday? Why wouldn’t he?

And now, fourteen ways to celebrate Jeff Goldblum Day:

1. Watch The Fly

This, like many Goldblum films, exists between genres. The Fly, a remake of a classic, is a blend of horror and science fiction, a hybrid a la the titular character. Classic Goldblum.

Scary stuff.
Scary stuff.

Also, it’s directed by David Cronenberg.

(it’s available on HBO Go and HBO Now, for those of you who use such things).

2. Watch Invasion of the Body Snatchers

Okay, admittedly Goldblum isn’t the main character here, but it’s another terrifying remake of a sci-fi staple. One of the highlights is the bizarre, tense dynamic between Goldblum and Leonard Nemoy.

These guys!
These guys!

(Also, this one is easy. It’s on Netflix.)

3. Have a Wes Anderson and Jeff Goldblum double feature evening in which you watch The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and The Grand Budapest Hotel

What’s better than the scene where there’s a shootout and Goldblum’s character just stands there watching?

Couldn't find the scene I was referencing, so here's this one instead.
Couldn’t find the scene I was referencing, so here’s this one instead.

4. Watch Independence Day

Obviously. Always a good option. Whether it’s Independence Day, Jeff Goldblum Day, or any other day.

5. Watch The Big Chill

I’m not saying this movie is good. But for many people out there, it’s their first Jeff Goldblum memory.

6. Have a Jeff Goldblum Costume Contest

Always a fun time, and a good way to get ready for Halloween.

7. Have a Jeff Goldblum Trivia Contest

See this page for ideas.

8. Have a Jeff Goldblum Impression Contest

“I go visit her in high school and all the guys she goes to school with are, like, strong and handsome and really, like, funny and do good impressions of Jeff Goldblum and shit like that.”

-Dale Denton, Pineapple Express

Just don’t say this:

9. Watch Annie Hall and see if you can detect Jeff Goldblum during his brief scene.

It’s tough but pay attention and you’ll see him.

10. Watch Jeff Goldblum’s Tim and Eric videos.

These are weird. Don’t say I didn’t warn you. But they also prove how cool Jeff Goldblum really is.

11. Start a petition to have Jeff Goldblum in the next Jurassic World.

It shouldn’t be too hard to shoehorn him in. I’m not saying he should be the action hero, as we saw how that didn’t exactly work in The Lost World. But if he can provide both insights and comic relief like he did in the original, then it could only make it a better movie.

Yep, that's Vince Vaughn standing behind him.
Yep, that’s Vince Vaughn standing behind him.

12. Write a letter to Jeff Goldblum, thanking him for being in the upcoming Independence Day sequel.

You know who isn’t in it? Randy Quaid and Will Smith. But we don’t need those guys, because Goldblum is reprising his role of “unlikely hero.”

This guy.
This guy.

13. Watch any of his roles on various television shows, from Friends to Portlandia to Sesame Street.

You can start here:

14. Or, just start planning for the next Jeff Goldblum Day. You have a year.


Five Films That Would Benefit From Force Ghosts

There is at least one major question about the new Star Wars film that goes unanswered: will there be Force Ghosts?

Will you be back?
Will you be back?

At least, this is what I’m wondering. Obi Wan’s Force Ghost really kicked up the original trilogy a notch, and I doubt I’m the only one who thinks Liam Neeson should have made a few posthumous appearances in Episodes II and III.

But the question is, why don’t all movies have Force Ghosts in them? And I don’t mean all Star Wars movie. I mean all movies. (I’m also unclear on whether or not Force Ghost should be capitalized, so I’ve chosen to capitalize it throughout the article).

Carl Weathers as Apollo Creed in Creed.

The new Rocky spin-off (or whatever you want to call it) looks amazing. But Rocky training Wallace Creed is not enough.

Where's Apollo?
Where’s Apollo?

I understand that the creators felt it would be too much to bring back Creed senior, considering he died in Rocky’s arms in the fourth film of the franchise.

We need the original Creed, Mr. Weathers, and if we are going to stick to the canon then the only option is through a Force Ghost.  Imagine if, as Wallace gets up there for his big fight, he looks and see the original Apollo Creed standing next to Stallone. Cheering for him. It has to happen.

Han Seoul-Oh in every Fast and Furious future sequel.

This dude is the best thing about the fifth and sixth fast, furious films… although he died at the end of the third one. Which makes no sense, but it is what it is. (They’ve explained it by saying that the third one takes place AFTER the sixth, which makes no sense but let’s just accept that and try to work around it.)

This cool guy.
This cool guy.

Unless they decide to retcon him back to life, which I would be okay with because I think it’s something that this franchise should be okay with, the only other way to bring him back is that he’s a Force Ghost driving a Ghost Car. Or he appears in Vin Diesel’s passenger seat and gives advice and reminds people not to drive too fast or they might die in a fatal car accident like he did.

Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic World

How much better would it have made Jurassic World if, when the kids find the jeeps in the old abandoned Jurassic Park complex, there was a ghost of Jeff Goldblum hanging out there.


He could discuss chaos theory and give them advice based on his previous dinosaur adventures. Maybe he can be in Jurassic World 2: Jurassic Universe?

All the previous James Bonds, lined up in a row, looking at Daniel Craig, at the end of his last James Bond movie

Something like this. (Photo from this site.)
Something like this. (Photo from this site.)

It would make for a pretty powerful moment, and would also be a nice way to confirm the old “James Bond is a codename” theory.

Bobby Fischer in Searching for Bobby Fischer

One controversial element of the film Searching for Bobby Fischer is that Fischer never saw the film, didn’t like his name being used, and received no monetary compensation for it being made.

Fischer in Leipzig in 1960. Perhaps he could be added back in with a hologram, similar to Tupac at Coachella?
Fischer in Leipzig in 1960. Perhaps he could be added back in with a hologram, similar to Tupac at Coachella?

But what if they had offered him the role of himself, as a Force Ghost, at the end of the movie, cheering on the protagonist? That would’ve both made Fischer feel better AND made it a better movie.

Every movie ever?

The real question might be: what movies shouldn’t have a Force Ghost in them?

Should We Celebrate the Return of the Brontosaurus Like We Mourned the Loss of Pluto?

Everyone knows where they were when Pluto stopped being a planet. Well, maybe not exactly where you were, but you remember the general conversation. There are still Facebook pages dedicated to remembering when Pluto was a planet, petitions to bring it back, disappointment over childhoods ruined.

Ice mountains don't make you a planet, Pluto.
Ice mountains don’t make you a planet, Pluto.

But what about when the opposite happens?

I remember as a child, learning that the Brontosaurus wasn’t a dinosaur anymore. This surprised and confused me, as Brontosaurus was one of my favorite dinosaurs.

It turns out that at no point during my lifetime was Brontosaurus ever considered to be a real thing. Its history is a lot like that of Pluto: someone discovered it, got excited, declared it a thing, and later people said “no, this isn’t what you think it is and we should stop calling it that.”

Othniel Charles Marsh. The guy who discovered it. Or did he? (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)
Othniel Charles Marsh. The guy who discovered it. Or did he? (Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Up until 2015. In June of this year, I read in Harper’s Findings that Bronosaurus was restored as a genus. Of course, in the typical style of Harper’s Findings, this was the only information I received, context-free.

A bit of time on the internet revealed to me that the story had failed to blow up a few months earlier, when Wired, Scientific American, and a few other sites and magazines wrote articles about it.

Here’s what is strange to me about the entire thing: where it the excitement? Where is the joy? Isn’t this great? We can say Brontosaurus again? At the very least, it’s a fun word which makes talking about these animals fun. Isn’t this great news for any ’90s kid who like The Land Before Time and Fantasia and Jurassic Park?


And so I started to wonder: does this resemble that quote that Mark Twain never said about how a lie spreads across the world before the truth has put its boots on? Does the same thing happen when it comes to nostalgia: only the bad is celebrated, and not the good? Does the bad news about twisted fan theories and childhoods ruined make good headlines and good Facebook posts and good tweets, but the fun stuff, the happy stuff, what’s the point?

But then I realized that maybe there was a different reason for the lack of celebration. I asked friends, co-workers, members of my book club: “Did you hear that the Brontosaurus is a dinosaur again Isn’t that cool?”

And the response?

“When did the Brontosaurus stop being a dinosaur?”

Sounds like no one ever realized it went anywhere. So maybe that’s why no one else is celebrating.

One Month Later: Regarding Joyce Carol Oates and Dinosaurs

Something that never ceases to interest me is how different the world can be, depending solely on what news you consume. I noticed this more than ever one month ago, in the situation in which Joyce Carol Oates, in her confused glory, tweeted a very confused tweet about dinosaurs and Jurassic Park.

You can click on the link above, if you want, to figure out what I’m talking about if you were lucky enough to miss it when the news agencies mistook it for news. The situation is not worth rehashing, especially because everyone has already forgotten about it, as it never mattered in the first place.

We are talking about the author of one of the most widely-anthologized, beautifully-written, intelligent stories by a living author.
We are talking about the author of one of the most widely-anthologized, beautifully-written, intelligent stories by a living author.

The fascinating part to me is the way different magazines, websites, and blogs reported this story-that-should-never-have-been-a-story. Specifically, how did they describe who Joyce Carol Oates is? Did they assume their readers already knew her? If so, what did they say? If not, how did they explain who she is? Continue reading “One Month Later: Regarding Joyce Carol Oates and Dinosaurs”

Why Bale Should Reboot Jurassic Park

The rumors continue to mill regarding a new Jurassic Park movie.  Stephen Spielberg has officially announced that it’s happening, and the release of the trilogy on Blu-Ray has gotten people talking about it again, but there seems to be virtually no information available beyond that there will be another movie with “Jurassic Park” in the title, and that it will probably also have a “IV” in the title.  The other rumors include that Keira Knightley will be in it, that Sam Neil and/or Jeff Goldblum will be back, and that there might be some nonsense regarding genetically-created human-dinosaur-super-monster-soldiers, or that there will be a dinosaur-caused global epidemic or something.

Let’s be honest here: a fourth Jurassic Park movie is a terrible idea.  When was the last time you saw a fourth movie in a series that really worked. Before a fourth movie comes out, you have a trilogy.  Once a fourth film is tacked onto an original trilogy, you either have a new trilogy (as in the case of The Phantom Menace) or, far more often, you have the beginning of a franchise landslide.

Look at this guy. He clearly has better things to do than be in Jurassic Park IV.

Consider, for a moment, some of the fourth installments out there.  First of all, most of the times that a franchise reaches a fourth installment, it doesn’t stop.  It becomes a disaster, careening off the rails.  Usually, this fate is reserved for trashy horror franchises such as Halloween 4 (which was the fourth of eight), Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter (followed by seven sequels), Saw 4 (which is 4 of 7 and apparently a midquel?), and Nightmare on Elm Street (I didn’t bother looking up how many there were.)

Continue reading “Why Bale Should Reboot Jurassic Park”