Almost everybody has that one movie that leaves such an impact that it percolates into every aspect of their life and the degree to which I was obsessed with this movie is pathetic. To set the scene I was six years old and visiting my uncle. One night my dad took my sister to see “Rookie of the Year” and my Mom and uncle took me to see this movie. The screen was gigantic and the sound system was incredible. At the time I was already obsessed with dinosaurs and films such as the Ray Haryhaussan fair and monster movies like King Kong and Godzilla. Whenever I had seen dinosaurs in film they were either cartoons or action-figure looking stop motion puppets. The dinosaurs in this movie looked more real than I had ever seen. In my little six year old head these weren’t CGI models (oh how desensitized we’ve become) these were REAL dinosaurs. Already in awe I was not ready for the Tyrannosaurus. He ripped down the fence, let out that roar, and I ran screaming out of the theater….
With help from my Uncle I went back in, and ran out again when the Velociraptors came out….., then went back it again and this time stayed till the end of the movie. At the time it was the most intense movie I’d seen and still one of the best theater experiences of my life. Afterwards I couldn’t get enough. Christmas that year was dominated with the toys (all with the JP logo cause otherwise it’s extinct), I had the bedsheets, clothing, and even had a subscription to a Dinosaur magazine. I knew enough about them to know that in real life the Velociraptor stood only 3 feet tall. The real threats were Deinonychus at 6 feet and Utahraptor at 9 feet. Yeah I was a dork…
One question however is Nostalgia aside, does this movie still hold up? In my opinion yes it does. The story of man vs. nature combined with corporate greed is well done. The human characters while not the focus are interesting, especially Ian Malcolm. Yeah I know it’s just Jeff Goldblum playing himself, but dammit it’s the role he was born to play, if you don’t believe me read the book and try not to think of him. Love Sam Neil, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern. The kid actors also do a good job, they’re the right level of obnoxious. No matter whose name came first in the credits the effects and the dinosaurs are the stars and even compared to today’s standards of CGI the dinosaurs look incredible. I would even say the T-Rex and the raptors look more real than most of today’s CGI characters, maybe it’s because we’re so use to it now but who knows. I think it was because they had to match the CGI with the animatronics and the CGI department really wanted to prove it could work so they worked extra hard. It was only until I saw it on Blu-ray did they look alittle cartoonish, but not much! They seemed to treat the dinosaurs almost as characters with ILM and the animatronics of the late Stan Winston playing the parts, and they perfectly act like real animals would. On top of it, it has one of the most awesome endings of any action movies. (Spoilers) It’s like the T-rex is showing the Raptors who’s boss, looks at the camera and saying to everyone in the theater “I’m the star of this movie, BITCH!” A movie that can have a T-rex break the fourth wall is fine by me. Yeah it’s a movie that stars the special effects but they’re really well done and have great story and character to complement them. It’s not Citizen Kane or Goodfellas but it’s not supposed to be. It’s just a damn fun action adventure movie, and it can tap into the 6 year old boy in us all (well almost all, can’t please everybody).
As for the sequels I’ll keep it short and sweet. I understand why a lot of people don’t like “The Lost World” but I’m part of the minority that likes it. Yes the characters and story are just an excuse to have dinosaurs to destroy stuff, but I like it. I actually like the invasion of San Diego at the end BECAUSE of how like Godzilla it is. It’s a guilty pleasure, what can I say?
Jurassic Park 3 flat out sucked. Yea the dinosaurs look great, but it insults our intelligence but asking us to believe that a satellite phone is capable of surviving being swallowed by a dinosaur, is loud enough to be heard inside it, rings at the right time for the characters to find each other due to it, gets shat out where the characters can retrieve it, rings right as they’re passing it, and has just enough juice to make one phone call… Also it kills off the T-Rex in favor of some finned Alligator no one cares about. You literally killed part of my childhood, Screw You!
As far as the rumors of a fourth movie in the works, Que Sera Sera. There’s always a chance to redeem it and they already ran it into the ground. If they’re gonna make it I’ll go see it, the six year old me won’t allow otherwise.
Fun Fact: Even though it’s called Jurassic Park, most of the Dinosaurs in the movie are from the Cretaceous period, Again….. Dork!
Scribbled by Alex