Sunday, August 23, 2015

Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park by Steven Spielberg
65 Million Years in the Making
On Thursday I re-rewatched Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (again). The 1993 dinosaur thriller is by a landslide the best dino flick out there and easily one of my all-time favorite movies. Since I'm doing an in-depth chapter-by-chapter breakdown of Michael Crichton's same-titled 1990 science fiction novel, I of course had to check out every installment (sacrifice!) with a critical eye and a notebook in hand. It only confirmed what I already knew: Jurassic Park is a truly magical piece of filmmaking, from its epic gates opening and the wonderment of dinosaur resurrection to the unforgettable characters and the touching John Williams score. Welcome to Jurassic Park!

Welcome to Jurassic Park

The skinny

Sparing no expense, billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has created a biological theme park on Isla Nublar. When a Jurassic Park gatekeeper is killed during an animal transport, the park's investors become antsy, demanding an expert inspection and evaluation of Hammond's island. Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), their lawyer, invites chaotician Ian Malcolm (the iconic Jeff Goldblum), while Hammond recruits paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). Wat should have been a walk in the park turns into a dino-disaster, with corporate espionage, a tropical storm and loose dinosaurs bringing, uh, chaos to the island.

The review

Jurassic Park takes me back to a lost world of childhood. The perfect mix of models and CGI effects made dinosaurs feel palpable in a way that few movies do today. You simply can't watch JP without awing over the dinosaurs. Spielberg's movie truly comes from a different age. It had character, action and substance, which starkly contrasts the agressively big, loud and bombastic ways of modern filmmaking. The effects and thrills still hold up 22 years later, proving that blockbusters don't have to be stupid. This timeless piece of nostalgia delivers on all fronts, and I bet that it will have kids eager to hunt for fossils in their backyard for years to come. For 127 spectacular minutes, Spielberg makes dinosaurs rule the world once more.

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