For those not familiar with Fog’s Movie Reviews, check him out. Fogs has soem great posts and he’s one I make a point of reading regularly, even when I don’t have time. He’s also good at responding to comments. Anyways, he has a section/column/bit called Movies That Everyone Should See and so far I can’t disagree with the movies he’s picked. Anyways, this week he picked Jurassic Park, which light a fire under my ass to re-watch that, 1. because it’s a great movie 2. I love Steven Spielberg 3. I really love Steven Spielberg and 4. I need to start posting more often now that schools done.
So I re-watched Jurassic Park. I know I’ve watched it at some point in the last two years. I definitely remember watching it at some point during my college career, but I don’t remember when. Apparently it wasn’t recently enough, because I did not remember a lot of little things that happened in the film (like the fact that Samuel L. Jackson is in it).
Movie still kicks ass. As complicated and riddled with gobbledygook as Michael Crichton’s novels can be, Spielberg did a good job fo simplifying the film without really dumbing it down. The “tour” that is given is pretty genius. It gives a lot of expository information without making it dull and complicated. The tour helps make it entertaining.
Spielberg also did a great job with the special effects. The dinosaurs were for the most part animatronics. There was some CGI mixing by ILM, but that was the early days of CGI. The specifically effects still stand. They really don’t look hokey at all. The only instance that really stood out was where Sam Neil is standing next to the Brachiosaurus. Even then, though it wasn’t that bad. I mean this came out in 1993 and those effects still look badass. Granted that wasn’t necessarily all Spielberg, but they did a wonderful job. I don’t think the film would have worked as will if they dinosaurs were poor CGI or very blatantly miniatures being filmed.
John Williams once again does a good job with the score. Another fine example of his relationship with Spielberg working out. The pipe band at my school actually plays the theme song sometimes while screwing around (which doesn’t sound to bad on bagpipes).
The cast is excellent. Same Neil does a great job as does Jeff Goldblum, though Goldblum is pretty much just doing his normal thing of being the bizarre character in any movie. Richard Attenborough holds his own as well, as do the two kids. What really stands out in the cast though, are the number of actors playing small parts that are actually quite famous now. Again, Samuel L. Jackson or Wayne Knight (Newman from Seinfeld) for starters. A lot of names in the cast list of people you may recognize now.
There are a lot fo things that make this movie work. I mean, the premise alone certainly helped Spielberg get started, but what really made this film stand out so much is that Spielberg made it. This is a family film. I remember having nightmares about a creepy eye staring into my window after watching this as a kid, but the movie is still a family film. Spielberg kept kids and families in mind when he made this (something very evident in a lot of his early films especially). This could have very easily have become a horror film and it isn’t. It didn’t. Spielberg does such a fantastic job making it clear how important imagination is regardless of age. Some may think he’s overly sentimental with happy endings, but there is a place for those kind of films, especially when done well, which Spielberg has mastered. His early films that were done in a similar style, especially thematically, are my favorite Spielberg films and Jurassic Park is one of them.
Fogs was right. This is definitely a Movie That Everyone Should See and if you have not seen it yet, you should. Personally I think you should go on IMDB and check out a number of Spielberg films, especially his early ones, but you should at least see Jurassic Park. It stands the test of time.