Movie Night: Jurassic Park

Year: 1993

Director: Steven Spielberg

Production Company: Universal Pictures

Leads: Sam Neill, Laura Dern

Jurassic ParkI’ll admit to being caught up in the hype of Jurassic Park‘s recent 3D re-release, and it gave me that hankering to see it again you get with a good movie you haven’t seen in a really long time. I didn’t go to see it in the theater, though – no 3D for me, thank you very much. I bought it in HD on iTunes instead.

Oh, what a treat it was to revisit this cinematic masterpiece. And when I say cinema, I really mean visual: I don’t think anyone can claim the plot isn’t as full of holes as the dinosaur DNA it purports to use to generate real-life sauropods. Considering that the film is twenty years old now I can give it some slack; a lot of the discoveries and advances in paleontology have happened in the past decade or so (did anyone know that birds are now taxonomically considered living dinosaurs?).

But whether he can pick a good story or not, Steven Spielberg knows his visuals, and in Jurassic Park he pulled out all the stops. It’s truly telling that only now, after twenty years, does the CGI begin to show through. The effects used at the time were monumentally groundbreaking, and he used such a clever mix of miniatures, animatronics and CGI that it even today is hard to discern the truly fake stuff from the tangible, real-world models.

My biggest concern in approaching it with a nine-year-old, of course, was that Jurassic Park has some pretty intense scenes, and I remember being scared the first time I watched it – how was Little Satis going to react? Remember this scene?

Jurassic Park - 11 - Where's the goat - the goat leg lands on the roof of the jeep

Or this one?

CaptionContest1

Steven Spielberg seems to have a thing for severed limbs.

But surprisingly, he didn’t seem too fazed. There were moments when he asked to snuggle, but at the end of it all, he stood up and said, “That was one of the best movies ever!” I thought he might have nightmares (I know I did), but he slept sound. Kids these days.

I’m glad I bought it, because it’s one of those movies that you end up wanting to watch over and over again (now I want Forrest Gump for some reason). I really didn’t expect the visuals to hold up nearly as well as they do, and even though my eye is better trained to look out for the tricks now, I could still very much sit back and enjoy the film for itself; the technology (ironically) never got in the way of the film. The scene with the breathing triceratops still blows my mind to this day.

Picture 23

★ ★ ★ ★ ★

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2 thoughts on “Movie Night: Jurassic Park

  1. The visuals are one reason why I feel everyone should see this in the theatres, at least once (preferably their first time). We got on board the hype too. This is one of my son’s favourite movies and he never got to see it in theatres.

    I remember being a teenager when it came out and watching it in a huge theatre with my mom, cousins, aunt, and uncle. My big, stout, unflappable uncle. Every. Single, Person. In the theatre pulled their legs up, right into their chairs and then laughed at themselves and each other when the velociraptor jumped and snapped at Lex’s dangling leg. I remember looking down the row of seats and seeing my uncle’s legs in his chair too! It’s an odd position to see a grown man in hehehe.

    Anyway, we still jerked our legs during that scene in the theatre, even my big, stout husband. Knew it was coming, still did it.

    One thing I will say for watching it dozens of times over the years and then in theatres again…they love getting butt shots of all the cast, mostly the guys. The butts were everywhere, often (near) center-screen…I also easily noticed the car door during T-Rex in the storm scene being left opened, but being magically closed for two separate shots before the kids needed to draw Rex’s attention by finally closing the opened door which was already closed but now open. Only point to that…if you love a movie enough to watch it a lot, then see it at theatres again, you’ll notice more gaffs.

    All the same, we had great fun and my son was so excited at having seen one of his favourite movies in (my opinion) the best format you can view it…as large and surround-soundy as dinosaurs themselves. The 3D was just okay, sometimes it looked weird or was hardly noticeable, sometimes it was kinda neat. It’s just 3D *shrug* That wasn’t our purpose in going 🙂

    I’m glad you showed a version to little Satis and he loved it so. It’s not just good effects for its time. I think it’s good at capturing the imagination, especially in those that love dinosaurs.

    • Wow…I’m so glad the movie made such an impact on you and your family. I love films that can do that. I remember not being able to get the water glass scene out of my head for weeks. And now I’m definitely going to have to go back and look out for the butts again.

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