Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Sir Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, BD Wong, Bob Peck, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, Martin Ferrero.
Rated: PG-13. Sci-Fi/Adventure. Running Time: 2 hours 7 minutes.
Another blatant money grab? Absolutely. But who cares! Maria and I took Ethan to his first PG-13 movie (he’s almost 10). He was a trooper and what a great movie to cut your teeth on, one of the all-time greats. I’ve seen the movie numerous times over the years, but watching it again on the big screen was fantastic! The 3-D was mostly useless, but we were in an IMAX theater, and the overall experience couldn’t have been better. Jurassic Park was certainly not showing its age. At twenty years old, it still felt like a new release. One could forget what a cutting edge film it really was, it basically started the CGI age. Beyond that it’s just a really great story, presented to us by the finest director of my lifetime, Steven Spielberg. I’m sure that everyone knows the plot, so no need to recap. It’s the indelible images that stay with us forever. Laura Dern elbow deep in Triceratops poop. The “blood sucking lawyer” (Ferrero) bitten in half right off the toilet. The T-Rex chasing the Jeep as Goldblum and Dern bellow out some awesome screams. Timmy (Mazzello) getting blown off the electric fence, “three.” The car chasing Tim and Dr. Grant (Sam Neill) down that tree! Even if you’ve seen it a million times it keeps you on the edge of your seat. Then there are the unforgettable lines (Goldblum has most of the best ones): “Must move faster!”, “You are eventually planning to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour?”, “Hold onto your butts.”, “We’ve spared no expense”, “Life found a way.”, “You know what that is? That’s an impact tremor.” It sure as shit is, and you may want to get the hell out of there before you get eaten!
My favorite Goldblum line: “Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend.” I was mostly excited to see this on behalf of Ethan and his rite of passage into PG-13, but also a little amped myself for a T-Rex’s huge dome in my face. I had some big expectations and Jurassic Park did not disappoint. I’ve always loved dinosaurs and I remember the first time I saw this ’90’s classic. I didn’t get to see it in the theatre and the premise was a bit over my head at the time, but the visuals were still vividly spectacular. I can’t recall exactly how old I was, but I remember being impressed by the movie magic I was witnessing. It was an honest thrill to get the chance to see it in an IMAX theatre. Although, I thought they would have used the 3D with more vigor. However, Ross made an excellent point that perhaps the cameras it was first filmed with are not compatible with today’s technology. The T-Rex, incredible. The Velociraptors, amazing. The Brontosaurus’, magnificent & my personal favorite. It will always be the Brontosaurus to me…
…I don’t care what the scientists and history books say.
I loved dinosaurs as a kid. I even sent away for these free booklets on them from the Rex Trailer Show for my whole class, when I was in first grade. Recently read an article in EW about the 20th anniversary release of Jurassic Park, and apparently Spielberg was a dino fanatic too. He can also get you squirming in your seat with fear, anticipation and delight, all at the same time. He did this to me for the first time with his directorial debut, 1971’s Duel. I’m not sure if many of you have had the opportunity to see this one, but if you ever get the chance, watch it. Preferably at night, alone. A somewhat dated story of a travelling salesman played by Dennis Weaver (best known as McCloud) who is terrorized on the back roads of America by a semi-truck driver who is trying to run him off the road, or just plain run him over. This was far before the age of cell phones, so the story wouldn’t work today, but take yourself back, and this is a terrifying tale. The kicker? You never see the truckers face. His booted feet once, but nothing else. Just that ominous, almost living truck, ever gaining and loud, filling up the rearview mirror. This was a harbinger of things to come from Spielberg. I won’t attempt to list even a portion of the true classic entertainment this man has brought us, but who else could have turned a movie with a broken mechanical shark, into the iconic Jaws phenomenon that swept the World. Did you know that you don’t see the shark in it’s menacing, monstrous entirety until 90 minutes into that movie?? A movie 128 minutes long! That is genius…the genius that is Spielberg. Thank you Steven, for EVERYTHING. As far as Jurassic Park goes, at the very end Dr. Grant, following his numerous brushes with death, tells Richard Attenborough’s character: “John, after careful consideration, I’ve decided not to endorse your park.” I certainly don’t blame the good doctor, but I can’t concur. I think the Park is spectacular and here to stay. Hey, “there are people dying out there!”
Jurassic Park has still got it – even after 20 years. And it always will. If you’re a fan, go treat yourself. It truly was worth the price of admission to see this on the big screen. And bringing Ethan with us was a trip. During one part of the movie he looks over at me and goes, “Hey, are all the scary parts done?” I honestly couldn’t remember, so I said, “I think so.” Within the next minute, a Velociraptor erupts on the screen – only inches away from Dern’s throat. He almost jumped across the theatre, but he took it in stride. Of course, I got the blame for not knowing the full sequence of a 127 minute movie! We had a lot of fun, to say the least. The only thing I was feeling nostalgic for were the old prices. Between tickets, snacks and parking we spent over $60.00!! Chew on that number for a while.
Ross’ Rating: 5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Maria’s Rating: 4 Gummies.