I am so hyped up for Jurassic World.

My aunt, Joette, took me to a lot of movies growing up, and there’s a bunch that really stand out to me. Masters of the Universe, BatmanAn American Tail: Fievel Goes WestTeenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Hook, Batman Returns… All of these movies have external memories and feelings attached to them that make those viewings significant to me. Only one movie we went to was the centerpiece of so many more memories: Jurassic Park.

The first time I saw Jurassic Park was opening weekend in 1993, about a week after my 10th birthday. I was a kid fascinated by dinosaurs in elementary school, borrowing the same encyclopedia of dinosaurs from the library so much that they suggested to my parents that they buy me my own copy. I was excited for JP because it was dinosaurs, and my aunt liked Michael Crichton and read the novel. It was the summer movie we were most excited for, and it did not disappoint.

Juarssic Park Dr. Grant and Velociraptor Toys
Some lucky mook’s pictures of Dr. Grant and a Raptor. I still have mine, but they’re not in this good of a condition.

Right after the movie, we took our customary trip to K.B. Toys to pick up a figure related to the film we just saw. After JP, I picked up Dr. Grant and a Velociraptor because, “You can’t have a human and not a dino.” I know now that she was into it as much as I was, but back then I just thought I was getting spoiled as hell.

The next few days, I couldn’t stop talking about the movie. I had Dr. Grant and the Raptor decimate every other toy in my collection. I was obsessed. That next weekend, we went again.

After that trip, there wasn’t a visit to K.B. We went to Border’s instead, where Joette got me my own copy of the book. She kept talking to me about the differences from the book to the movie, and wanted me to experience it the same way. The catch was she didn’t want to give me her copy, because she was revisiting it after she fell in love with the movie.

I read the book in two days, and we saw it again the following weekend. It was the first time we went to the same movie more than once, and after it came out on video, it was on constant rotation on my sleepovers at her house. Hell, 22 years later I still get glued to the screen if I’m looking at the guide and see it on HBO.

I am so excited for Jurassic World tomorrow. It’s a week after my birthday, and I know that Spielberg went through eight different scripts before letting it go to principal shooting. My expectations are high, but deep down I know that 10 year old me won’t let me be disappointed either way.

Size Matters

There’s something that’s always spoken to me about Spider-Man and his villains. They all had human problems, often without clear-cut solutions. Venom was the best of the best. A dude that was jaded and corrupted, constantly torn between right and wrong. The only thing he knew, though, was that Peter Parker was the cause of all of his strife, and he lived for his destruction.

The thing that really creeped me out about Venom was that he was undetectable by Petey’s Spider-Sense, and he knew all of his secrets. He was a guy that could be watching you at any time and knows everything about you.

Look how intimidating he is.  He wasn’t OMG HULK HUGE in the beginning, and that let him seem more real to me. His build was above average, but it was feasible. He was jacked and sleek, and had the most disturbing set of fangs you could imagine.

Oh, and did I mention? He could lunge at you from the shadows without detection at any time!

Venom was by far my favorite toy (pictured with the tongue I removed from mine), and I had him decimate everything else I owned when I played. He’d wipe out the X-Men –silly punks in their stupid outfits and non-walking leader– and the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants –Juggernaut? Ha! Let me toss you across the room, bitch— and if that wasn’t enough, he’d pick apart the Batman family of heroes and villains.

Then came the obnoxious prehensile tongue. For some reason, his bulk and fangs weren’t enough, so he was given a tongue that was made out of Mr. Fantastic’s DNA. (Not true, but I say it since it could grow and shrink at will, often times dwarfing Venom’s Body.)

I guess I can live with the tongue. It adds another level of creep to Venom’s character. I get it. What I really hate though, is the slobber. I swear he could wet the entire Eastern Seaboard with one fell swoop of that thing. It’s just gross.

Unfortunately, we all know that they couldn’t get enough of making Venom over-the-top. They made him as gigantic as the fucking Hulk, and with that slobbery tongue and those steroid-infused muscles, he put other veiny-cock-looking-idiots —I’m looking at you, Baneto shame.

I’m not going to recap all the shit Venom has done over the years, I don’t care. I’m not going to build a gallery of all the different iterations, I don’t care. I just wanted to give a little shout out to my favorite childhood villain, from before the time he was ruined by the over-the-top body types of the 90’s. Size matters, and bigger is not always better.