Jurassic Park

  • Directed by Steven Spielberg
  • June 9, 1993 (Uptown Theater) / June 11, 1993 (US)

When a power failure causes a park’s cloned dinosaurs to run loose, a group touring the almost completed facility must struggle to survive until they can be rescued.

Jurassic Park is one of the few films I saw in theaters twice which says something about how good I found it. Often I am once and done with a film until they get released on physical media of some type or even cable. This however was so good it became a rare exception.

At its core Jurassic Park is one in a long line of nature revenge films. Why do I say this? Because the people in this movie (enough of them both seen and unseen) thought they could control nature at its most basic level and a person/persons screwed with things and nature gave all involved the big middle finger.

Everything falls apart because the prideful thinking of one man-John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). He wants to leave a solid legacy to the world and his creation Jurassic Park is to be this legacy. Hammond is a visionary but a visionary that becomes blinded by his vision rather than the realities of the situation.

Wayne Knight is quite possibly the best slimy nerd ever to grace the screen. As Dennis Nedry he’s such an asshole. That scene at the restaurant when he is meeting the rep of the other company is just a perfect encapsulation of the character.

Jurassic Park is one of those movies created specifically for theaters. It’s good when you’re watching at home, but this film hits very differently when you’re in a movie theater. For example when you first see the dinosaurs by the watering hole or your first good look at the Tyrannosaurus rex.

I have seen numerous dinosaur movies over the years. They speak directly to the five-year-old kid who probably took out their first dinosaur book from the elementary school library on the first day they were taken to the school library in kindergarten. How could you not be pulled in and enchanted by dinosaurs. They are monsters-only real! They are unlike anything that has ever been on this planet but they are something humanize will most likely never get to see in the real world. With the then modern special effects and under the guiding hand of Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park promised to be as close to seeing them in real life as I will likely ever get. And in that respect it did not disappoint.

Jurassic Park is known for its dinosaur action. The T-Rex or the stampeding Gallimimus or the Velociraptors are what people think about but that action only begins in the last third or so of the film. I happened to pause my copy that I watched right when they begin to really show dinosaurs and I saw I was most of the way through the movie. The thing is this section what knocks the film out of the park and it is so densely packed at that portion that it feels like it takes up so much more of the movie than it actually does.

Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, and Laura Dern are surprising quality action stars. Then again you couldn’t have had Sylvester Stallone or Arnold Schwarzenegger in this movie. You needed a group of actors that could pull off intellectual and while Stallone Schwarzenegger may be smart individuals, given their catalog up to that point I just don’t think it would have worked with Stallone as Dr. Ian Malcolm explaining chaos theory rather than Jeff Goldblum doing that.

I remember the first time I saw Jurassic Park in theaters and there was one scene that got a collective reaction out of the entire audience and that was when the lawyer Gennaro (Martin Ferrero) died on the toilet. I remember there was a gasp and then loud laughter. Perhaps one of the finest moments of dark humor in a Spielberg film but then again Spielberg is not known for dark humor.

The special effects in this movie were absolutely groundbreaking. They were unlike anything done before. We have here an effective mixture of CGI and animatronic puppets. CGI should help make things better and not be the sole source of the effect. There is just some kind a quality that’s missing when people interact with something that will only come into existence once it gets done on a keyboard. This movie may be several decades old but it still looks fantastic and that’s because the CGI effects (admittedly by necessity) are used sparingly.

The only use of CGI that doesn’t look good, and it’s as true today as it was back then, is the first moment where Grant and the group sees a live Brachiosaurus. It is the fakest looking moment in the entire film. The only reason it works really and does not harm the narrative is that it lets the audience know you’re going to be seeing a whole lot more dinosaurs sooner rather than later. That’s why people mainly came to this movie. While Spielberg was and still is seen as a sign of quality, people came for dinosaur action.

The story benefits from people having realistic reactions. Like anybody would be those that show up are impressed with the miracle that Hammond has created. These are people who had only heard about dinosaurs that now get to see them in real life. Nobody is overtly evil or overtly stupid in this movie. Nobody is in the shadows twirling a moustache ready to unleash chaos just to be evil.

Jurassic Park is a well-done movie from beginning to end and a classic bit of science-fiction and nature revenge fantasy. It’s fun from start to finish and if you haven’t watch this why?

Published by warrenwatchedamovie

Just a movie lover trying spread the love.

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