WHEN: 6:35pm EST, February 23rd, 2013

WHERE: In my apartment in Portland, ME

FORMAT:  DVD on a 24” Philips CRT television

COMPANY: None

PHYSICAL AND MENTAL STATE: Tired. In a particularly unpleasant frame of mind. Had no desire to watch Jurassic Park. Mind was mostly elsewhere.

THE HEADLIGHTS:

If the Jurassic Park tour vehicles run entirely off of power from the tracks in the road, why are the headlights still on during the tree-chase scene?

treefall

Duel 2: Tree Trucker

The practical answer is: if the lights weren’t on we wouldn’t be able to see any of the action. While this is true, it is not particularly satisfying, and is completely irrelevant from an in-film perspective. Thankfully, someone thought of this and a piece of dialogue was included in the film which completely justifies the functioning headlights:

ARNOLD:
Vehicle headlights are on and they’re not responding. Those shouldn’t be running off car batteries. Item one fifty-one on today’s glitch list. We have all the problems of a major theme park and a major zoo, and the computers aren’t even on their feet yet.

In a few seconds, an excuse is given to keep the headlights on, while demonstrating the flaws inherent to Jurassic Park’s computer system. Fantastic. They even give us a nice graphic to demonstrate the problem:

headlights on

Boom.

I really appreciate that they made the effort. By all accounts, they didn’t have to. I’ve watched the movie seven times this year alone without noticing it. They could have slipped those headlights past us. Case in point:

SOMETHING THAT PROBABLY NEVER BOTHERED YOU:

You know that plant that Ellie Sattler is bewildered by? The species of vermiform that she says has been extinct since the Cretaceous period? How were they able to clone a prehistoric plant? It’s not as though there was any plant-blood inside the mosquitoes Hammond dug up. How did that wacky frond get there? There’s no explanation for it.

Deleted Leaf Grab

Maybe that’s why they cut the scene where Sattler picks it up.

In all likelihood, someone on the set knew this didn’t make sense. It was probably left in because they no doubt assumed that the audience would be too distracted by…

HEY! LOOK! DINOSAURS! beautiful dinosaurs

What was that you were saying about plants again?

The devil may be in the details, but what the audience doesn’t notice won’t hurt you.