1993 - PG-13 - 127 Mins.
|Director: Steven Spielberg|
|Producer: Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen|
|Written By: David Koepp, Michael Crichton|
|Starring: Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Martin Ferrero, Samuel L. Jackson |
|Review by: John Ulmer
“Jurassic Park” plays with a very interesting and compelling idea: what if dinosaurs could be genetically created? Brought back to life? Based on the best-selling novel of the same name by Michael Crichton comes a film starring Sam Neil as Dr. Alan Grant, a world-renowned paleontologist; Laura Dern as Ellie Sattler, his fellow paleontologist and girlfriend; and Richard Attenborough as John Hammond, a man with quite a proposition.
John Hammond flies to Dr. Grant’s paleontology site and asks him to come out to his new theme park to test it out with some others, including Ellie Sattler. After much hesitation, Grant agrees to check out the park (after Hammond gives him some cash for his paleontology fund). So, Grant and Sattler fly out to “Jurassic Park,” not really sure of what it is or what is in it, per say (robots, puppets?). And then they find out the startling truth.
John Hammond has cloned dinosaurs. How? Well, think of it this way: “Millions” of years ago (supposedly), dinosaurs lived. I don’t believe they lived millions or billions of years ago, but that’s saved for different discussion. Anyway, back then, there were obviously mosquitoes around, right? They sucked dinosaur blood, right? Well, they also got stuck in tree sap and were preserved for all those years, right? You didn’t know that? Well, I didn’t know that, either, but the film sure is convincing. Anywho, Hammond and his team take some little gadgets and suck the dinosaur blood out of preserved mosquitoes. Then, using frog genes, they fill in any missing areas in the “dino DNA.”
Of course, this astounds Grant, who has studied dinosaurs his whole life, and will now be able to see them alive. However, he isn’t the only one who gets to. Hammond has to get his theme park approved so he can open it to public. Therefore, he must bring in a few other higher-ups to approve the site, including Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), an eccentric theorist known for his famous “chaos theory”; his two grandchildren; and a lawyer, of course.
And then there are the guys who run the park, including Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) and a disgustingly obese man named Nedry (Wayne Knight), whom would embarrass even Fat B$s&a%d; these two men are in the control center monitoring everything throughout the park.
But then something goes horribly wrong, and all the dinosaurs in the park are released, including the incredibly mighty and amazing tyrannosaurus rex.
First of all, “Jurassic Park” is an astounding film. I must make that point. I remember reading the book when it came out, and the film captures every piece of the book as I imagined it. Part of what makes the film so great is that they didn’t skimp on the visual effects, and never let anything stupid slide through. Even the plot, though it may be full of holes, was presented excellently and thoroughly, showing us how the dinos are created.
Then, the actors: Sam Neil fit Alan Grant like a glove. Laura Dern, though she’s nothing special, pulled off Ellie Sattler well; and then there’s Jeff Goldblum, whom everyone hates. Well, I must say that people wouldn’t hate him as much if they read the book, because he is just like the character he plays. I don’t like Jeff Goldblum, but I’ll give him his deserved credit for the role of Ian Malcolm, because he really pulled it off.
Director Steven Spielberg was the perfect choice for this movie. Many people said they were disappointed because they showed the tyrannosaurus in the beginning of the film, and shouldn’t have shown it; they expected Spielberg’s accidental technique that he used in “Jaws.” However, I don’t consider the thirty-five minute point of the film the beginning.
When Spielberg made “Jaws,” the shark robot didn’t work right, and that is why the film never showed it until the end. Otherwise, the film would have shown the shark in the beginning. Everyone gives Steven Spielberg credit for something he didn’t intend, when I think “Jurassic Park” is just as good as “Jaws” (well, almost as good), and Spielberg is put down constantly just because he didn’t wait until the end to show the t-rex. I, personally, am glad they showed it at the point they did. I DID want to see the tyrannosaurus.
The CGI effects in this film are completely ahead of their time. After viewing the latest installment in the series, I realized that the visual effects in it are barely any better than the first film; that’s saying a lot. Basically, that means that in the ten years since its release, “Jurassic Park” is still a competitor for the latest advances in computer graphics.
And as for the other aspects of the movie…
The score by John Williams is nothing short of moving; he perfectly blends excitement and surprises into music…brilliant…
And Stan Winston’s creature effects are nothing to laugh at – the guy seamlessly blends puppets to fit in with the CGI. In too many films, it is completely obvious when the creature of a movie is CGI versus a puppet. However, in “Jurassic Park,” Winston and the special effects people work together correctly for a change, making us say, “Is that a puppet or CGI?”
All in all, “Jurassic Park” is nowhere near as good as the novel, surprisingly, but it is one of the most well known films to come out of the nineties. It is constantly and utterly spoofed, has spawned two less successful sequels (though I did like the third), and is absolutely amazing, entertaining and mind-boggling. It is true to the novel, while entirely different in its own special way. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed this film. I want to write more about the movie, but I have almost reached my one thousand words maximum.
Bottom line: Entertainment just doesn’t come any bigger than this.