….and the world is better for it.
When Jurassic Park came out in 1993 I was only a year old. As you can imagine I never saw it in theaters, during its original release. I always wondered how it would look on the big screen. I mean, seeing it at home on TV is fine but it could never match seeing this movie in a theatre. Seeing the T-Rex on the small screen isn’t that awe-inspiring or terrifying but watching that monster roar at you from a 72 foot screen (yes, I looked that up) might be enough to make you soil yourself with joy…or fear. It depends.
That movie is my childhood. It might have been the first film I saw that wasn’t a Disney film. It is my Star Wars. The first big blockbuster I saw as a kid. I love Star Wars too but Jurassic Park is the film that made me fall in love with the movies. It’s classic Spielberg, you know when the action felt organic and exciting and emotions felt natural and not forced. Ok, fine maybe not all his newer films are bad but that classic Spielberg charm was missing. Spielberg made a few great films after Jurassic Park, like Saving Private Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, and Munich but those were all R rated. This meant I had to watch them secretly and not with my parents and not that often.
I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve watched this film. It inspired me. It made we love dinosaurs (the toys, the posters, the roaring I did), I even had a brief moment in my life where I wanted to be a paleontologist because of the film. I’ve never given credit to a film that begun my love for the movies, but I’m comfortable with giving Jurassic Park that credit.
I’m not going to recap the synopsis of the film, because it has been twenty years and you must have seen it by now. If you haven’t, read this first and then go and see it, immediately. I’ll summarize the plot for you, regardless. Cloned-bisexual dinosaurs. Life finds a way. Dinosaurs escape. Run.
There is nothing special about Jurassic Park’s plot. It’s a monster movie at its heart. The creatures escape, which leads to people dying and in turn running away.
I never cared much for the characters either, except for Ian Malcolm. He will always crack me up with his charms and his cynicism. On a side note can Jeff Goldblum please make a comeback, this needs to happen. Drs. Grant and Sattler are there, they do what they’re supposed to do but memorable they are not. The kids are cute…that’s all I got for them. I mean besides being scared what else were they doing.
No, the reasons why we all love Jurassic Park, and yes, even you too is because Jurassic Park was that movie that instilled awe and wonder in us. The moment Grant saw the Brachiosaurus for the first time we were filled with the same wonder that Grant experienced. We believed that these creatures were alive again.
Also not only was there wonder but the fear that some scenes could induce. You can never forget the moment you hear those tremors and then seeing the T-Rex that caused them. Lets not forget the raptors how those, clever girls, who when I was young were the living embodiment of terror. The hooked claws with the clinking sounds, a warming that you were about to die. They were some bad bitches who wanted nothing more than to gut you and eat your insides. The scene where the raptors attack the kids in the kitchen, is the most popular scene but my favourite is the one where Sattler is attacked in maintenance room. The whole sequence just bleeds with claustrophobia, darkness, and pure terror.
Jurassic Park runs for 127 minutes and Spielberg makes sure that every minute is never dull. Whether it is making us laugh with Malcolm’s witty one liners, or filling us with awe, or bringing out our fears. Spielberg always had a knack for bringing out our emotions in any sequence. Be it seeing Grant curl up with the kids in the tree or watching the raptors hunt someone down. He knows how to balance those things and how to properly pace the entire movie.
Jurassic Park came back to theaters in 3D and while I’m not a fan of the medium, the 3D in Jurassic Park is quite impressive. The 3D is hardly ever used to have things pop out at you but is mainly used to create more depth in scenes. There were two scenes that stood out for me. The first was when Nedry meets his end and the first T-Rex attack (the entire scene, even the sequence with the jeep in the tree). Did Jurassic Park change my mind about 3D? No, but the 3D does work very well here. The 3D is a lot better then when they put Titanic in 3D (that was a dark mess) but would I have still enjoyed it without the 3D? Of course.
The film also speaks well as a technical achievement for it’s time. The effects look amazing even by today’s standards. The dinosaurs look absolutely great, no bad CGI work. Yes, there are a few scenes where you can see the flaws in the special effects but there are so minor that with the fun you are having, you won’t notice them.
I love Jurassic Park. I love every moment of this film. When the T-Rex, becomes the unlikely hero and roars and the banner falls, that reads, “When Dinosaurs Ruled Earth,” I cried. I’m not ashamed. It ended and I wanted more. There’s nothing wrong with that.
What I’m trying to say is that even today, Jurassic Park is a damn good movie. Seeing it in theaters brought back all those emotions I had when I was a kid. Every scene brings out some kind of feeling. The movie is so brilliantly paced and the score is unforgettable. I know I’ve swooning over this movie but I can’t help it. To me a true test of a great movie is if everyone is talking about it years from now. Considering it has been 20 years I’d say it’s a freaking great movie.
Go see Jurassic Park 3D. It was the best two hours I’ve experienced at the theatres and I’m sure you will feel the same way. Oh and see it in IMAX. I did and it is the only way to experience this film.
Score: 4 out of 4