Thursday, July 22, 2010

#30 - Jurassic Park - 1993

Jurassic Park was my 2nd movie choice this week and ironically it too was released in 1993. 1993 must have been a great movie year because with this movie and the Fugitive alone there are two really good action/adventure flicks. This movie itself was groundbreaking for several reasons but mainly for its special effects and overall visual presence. I consider it to have been like Avatar for its time because that is how much hype surrounded this film. Below is my detailed review.

Jurassic park stars Sam Neil as Dr. Alan Grant, Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler, Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, and Richard Attenborough as John Hammond. These 4 characters are the film's main stars. Both William Hurt and Harrison Ford turned down the role of Dr. Alan Grant in this film while a list of actresses, and I mean a long list were considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler. Some included in that list were Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Sarah Jessica Parker, Jennifer Grey, and Linda Hamilton. I felt the cast was great as it was but then again I don't believe they necessarily made the film, the Dinosaurs and atmospheric presence did. With the being said there is no way this film would have been as entertaining had Jeff Goldblum not been in it.

This movie help the box office record for 4 years until Titanic knocked it out of 1st place and there was several reasons why. Like I said before, the ground breaking special effects and visual presence of this film was amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed how real looking the dinosaurs looked when this movie was released. Being immersed in the film you can easily loose sense of reality and I feel with this movie its real easy to do especially if watching it on a big screen tv in complete darkness with the surround sound pumped up. No I did not feel as though the dinosaurs were surrounding me but yes I did feel as though their depiction in this film was true and accurate to what history has told us about these creatures and thanks to technology and special effects they looked pretty damn real and the interaction with the environment and the people in general seemed very authentic.

Being a big fan of amusement parks myself I loved the amusement park theme this film took on. From the America Sings style introduction ride at the beginning to the doomed jeep ride through the jungle I loved that aspect of this film. I would have really liked to have seen a couple of other rides that would have been an option for this park but understanding that the run time of more than 120 minutes is quite long as it is it would have been difficult to add any additional scenes like that. Speaking of rides I think Universal Studios did a great job on their Jurassic Park: The Ride attraction in Hollywood, CA. I especially love this ride during the Halloween Horror Nights when you can go on it at night. Now if only they would dye the water red that would really make it cool!! Ok back to the movie.

I felt this movie had a great flow to it and not surprisingly it never really lost my interest. Not that a dinosaur movie really could but still. I had actually forgotten about the original opening scene where one of the worked gets killed by the dinosaur and then the lawyer is transported out to the island to investigate. On a side note, another side note, the picture below of the large diamond shaped rock was actually filmed in Hana, HI and my wife and I actually saw this in person when we took our drive to Hana while at a friends wedding in HI. It was very cool and now every time I see this scene in the film I will know where that was shot and most likely yell out, "I know where that is, we were there"! haha. It was very cool I gotta admit.

Besides the obvious visual treats this film had to offer there were other elements that I also enjoyed. The score for this film was great and that main theme will never be confused for anything other than the Jurassic Park main theme song. I loved it! The score and the sound throughout the entire firm was done perfectly and when you see a movie like this you sometimes tend to forget how different and dull a movie can be without sound and at some points a score. I learned this in film class and always think about that when watching certain movies. Although there were not a ton of action sequences in this film the ones they had were excellent. My favorite was easily when the T-Rex was chasing them in the jeep. In one of Goldblum's classic lines he says "must go faster"! I loved that line! The final battle scene with the raptors was pretty intense yet I found it odd that the T-Rex, the same T-Rex that was blood thirsty for humans earlier ended up saving the day. I guess it is a scene that Speilberg actually added therefore it was not the original ending they had in place.

My favorite actor in this film was easily Jeff Goldblum. He is one of my favorite actors as it is and he was great in this movie. One of my favorite movie lines ever was by Goldblum's character Dr. Ian Malcolm when he said "now eventually you might have dinosaurs tour on your, on your dinosaur tour, right? Hello?" John Hammond replies, "I really do hate that man". This was a hilarious exchange and to be honest with you Goldblum was really the only comedic part of this film.

Overall I thought this was an excellent film. Yeah it could have had a few more action scenes and yeah it the ending was kind of unrealistic but hey we are talking about a film with dinosaurs and people so we have to be kind of subjective don't we? The acting was good but like I said before it wasn't the main element in this film or driving force and Goldblum easily stole the show from an actors perspective. The film wouldn't have been the same without him in it. The visuals were amazing, the story was well written, and it never really lagged throughout which is nice but also expected for action films. Taking all of that into consideration I would easily give this film an A!

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