Posted on 4/14/13 02:05 PM
Dinosaurs have always been an interesting subject. Each and every day, paleontologists are taking another step closer to finding out just how these mysterious creatures functioned in their time periods, as well as just what caused these creatures to become extinct millions of years ago. Many children, boys in particular, seem to have a fascination with these creatures as well, and Jurassic Park can be thanked for that. Ushering in a new era of special effects, Jurassic Park changed cinema forever.
Based on the best-selling Michael Crichton novel of the same name, Jurassic Park is the story of a discovery by Mr. John Hammond. Hammond has done the unthinkable; along with a team of scientists, he has successfully cloned pre-historic DNA and created dinosaurs. These dinosaurs are stored on a Costa Rican island, which Hammond plans to turn into a one-of-a-kind amusement park experience.
Unfortunately for Hammond, his investors aren't quite sold by such a potentially dangerous idea. Needing endorsement for Jurassic Park to go into business, Hammond and his lawyer, Donald Gennaro, find a small group of people to come out to his park and check it out. Among these people are Dr. Alan Grant, a paleontologist, Dr. Ellie Sattler, a paleobotanist, and Ian Malcolm, a mathematician.
Although Hammond's creation infuses awe into each of these guests, the intended getaway slowly becomes less and less enjoyable. When Jurassic Park's power system is wiped out entirely, the dinosaurs break free from their electrified fences and wreak havoc on the few people on the island.
At it's core, Jurassic Park is a thriller. A fine good one too. The movie actually takes a little while to build up to the suspense and the thrills, but director Steven Spielberg and his screenwriters do a spectacular job of building up to the downfall of Hammond's ideas.
The acting is fantastic as well. Sam Neill, in what is probably his best known role, plays Alan Grant excellently. Laura Dern doesn't have nearly as much screen time, but her performance as Ellie Sattler is a strong female protagonist. And how can anyone forget Jeff Goldblum's utterly hilarious performance as Ian Malcolm? He's witty, but also offers up important themes: should we interact with nature for our own personal reasons? Rounding out the supporting cast is Richard Attenborough and a young Samuel L. Jackson, who are both great.
Where Jurassic Park really shines is the special effects department. For a movie made in 1993, Jurassic Park has visual effects that surpass most movies before it, and even some after it. The dinosaurs are both animatronics and CGI creations, but it's not easy to tell. Each dinosaur is amazingly detailed, right down to the dilation of the T. Rex's eye in an easily recognized scene.
The score by John Williams is also a nice touch. The main themes are instantly recognizable, and add a lot to the atmosphere of the movie. Even days after viewing, the music will be burned into the minds of viewers forever.
Spielberg's adaptation of Jurassic Park is a great one. It doesn't perfectly follow the Crichton story, but it tells the same story, better suited for the big screen. The movie is awe-inspiring from start to finish, with great acting and visual effects that can't even be described. Calling Jurassic Park a good, even a great, movie is an understatement. It is one of the greatest films to ever grace the silver screen.
Note: The 2013 3D re-release is equally great. Jurassic Park is one of those movies were the sense of depth you get from digital 3D is an advantage. Although it was post-converted, it still looks great. Plus, there's no reason NOT to go see Jurassic Park on the big screen again and celebrate 20 years of filmmaking genius.