I watched Jurassic Park for the first time last night and I’m genuinely sad it wasn’t a part of my childhood, cos it is the shit! It’s still great after twenty years.. the science behind the rebirth of the dinosaurs feels realistic enough that I accept it without question, but rather conversation with my friends about how solidly simple and reasonably feasible it feels.
The character development and plot moves along quickly but doesn’t ever feel forced, it’s super balanced over all. My favorite character moments are when the Archeologist says “they do move in herds” in such a way where he demonstrates such pride in his research and theory and later when he is in the tree with the kid and he trumpets through his hands at the long necks happy to just be able to experience his life’s work–a distant, unknown, magical past– in present life.
Well written, paced and cast, I was continuously being engaged–there wasn’t a lot of fluff to throw me out and they cut down the characters to the core group really effectively with the storm and outages.
I feel like it’s genius to have kids be part of the main group, it expands the audience, adds to the fear with the gut instinct to want to protect kids, and develops the other characters really effectively– especially the Archeologist and Botanist.
The cinematography was excellent, there was clever shot after clever shot of dinosaurs approaching–with the cup of water and the puddle and rearview mirror. And giving the raptors human like qualities felt really smart too, like the times they squint menacingly at the kids or glance back and forth through the window.
Just a series of smart choices and editing, and embracing of the limitations of the special effects–which I still think is excellent considering, it made me miss this kind of filmmaking.. sometimes it feels a little more real than entirely CGI, more tactile–which leads to a great sense of humor throughout because they aren’t ignoring the limitations.
Plus I’m a sucker for jumpy scenes, so every time legs are dangling and about to be chomped I involuntarily pull my legs up sharply to avoid the chomp–my best friend always says directors would love to watch me watch their films because I’m so reactionary, they’d feel like my flailing was a validation of their work.
I noticed some little cliche things, however, I’m pretty sure they’re only cliche now because they’ve been overused since then–such as that guy from Seinfeld getting stuck In the mud and falling down. The only “complaint” I have is minor: sometimes the dinosaurs seem weaker than the humans and I’m not sure how realistic that is.. question mark. However, they are the babies from that one pen, so I guess it makes sense that they’re weak.. plus they can’t just kill all the people really easily because then it’s not a full length movie. And maybe the fact that the little girl is a hacker is a little meh.. but it’s smart to make the kids useful and not play into the stereotype that kids are useless in high stress dinosaur attacks.
My favorite kill: the cowardly lawyer getting chomped on the toilet.
My favorite scene: near the end when they’re in the visitor center and they’re holding onto parts the T Rex skeleton and they fall and get surrounded by the raptors who end up getting chomped by the T Rex while they run to safety– when the T Rex turns around to stand in place of the skeleton display and the banner falls, fucking sick!
All in all I really super enjoyed it! If you lived under a rock like me for the last twenty years and haven’t seen this movie, do yourself a favor and watch it immediately. Share it with your kids, along with the original Star Wars and Indiana Jones movies.
To quote myself after the movie last night: “this is a friggin masterpiece!”