Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Here's four points I want to make about Jurassic Park that make it lightning in a 25-year-old bottle.

I bought the 25th anniversary of Jurassic Park on 4K ultra HD off Amazon a few weeks ago, and I plan on watching it tonight with two teens who have never seen any of the Jurassic Park movies. It should be a lot of fun, as I've been educating them on some of the best offerings from the eighties and the nineties in a weekly "Wednesday" movie format. We eat popcorn, and I provide some insight into the film that we're about to watch to give it a little "educational" edge. The movie itself was a great deal. I got all copies of the Jurassic Park movies in 4K (including Jurassic World), blu-ray copies of the same movies (that I can give out as gifts) and an awesome carrying case that showcases facts about each movie, all for $40.00 (I think this was a super sweet deal).

In thinking about Jurassic Park and what I want to say about it, I've isolated four main points that I want to emphasize when it comes to this movie:

1) Jurassic Park was lightning in a bottle. For shark movies, there is really only one good story and that's Jaws. I think time has pretty much proven this to be correct. Everything else just isn't as good. The same goes for dinosaurs. That one good story was penned by Michael Crichton who was a genius and foresaw how genetic engineering could possibly bring back prehistoric/extinct animals if you could just get the D.N.A. blueprint from something. It's just enough of a stretch to make this tale believable. There's no old world sorcery or time travel element involved. The story just asks you to stretch the science we already know today a little further and bam...you are in Wonderland.

2) Michael Crichton obviously had a thing for theme parks run amok. HBO is currently running the critically acclaimed Westworld, based on a story by Crichton. In a similar vein, Jurassic Park is the same kind of show, taking a theme park and making it all break down in the most catastrophic and dramatic fashion possible.

3) Jurassic Park has many themes to it. One is that humans and greed are at the root of failure when it comes to realizing big ideas. A second (and sometimes overlooked) message of the story is parenting and acknowledging that parents oftentimes don't make the best decisions when it comes to children. They can also get completely overwhelmed by natural circumstances causing events to spiral out of control even in a world full of the modern luxuries and conveniences that we all take for granted. In the end, the character of Dr. Grant is every adult out there who finds himself suddenly caring for smaller humans and just winging it to try and keep them safe.

4) John Williams's musical score is perhaps the best one that he's ever done, and it's perfect to the tiniest degree in adding emotional punch to scenes in the movie. If ever there was a musical score that is a true masterpiece, it is Jurassic Park.

10 comments:

  1. Only one Jaws, only one Jurassic Park. And Spielberg knew how to bring the human element to life. That's something that really lacked in the last movie. (Not to mention the tons of mistakes.)

    ReplyDelete
  2. It's a good movie though it got a lot wrong about dinosaurs.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What things did they got wrong about dinosaurs? I remember 25 years ago being interested in this movie, and reading that they had tried to be as accurate as possible regarding the animals that they put into this movie.

      Delete
    2. The T-Rex not being able to see them standing still (something they changed in Jurassic World), the size of raptors (they were more like chickens), and probably some other stuff.

      Delete
  3. I loved that movie but always thought it would have been even better if the dinos had just eaten those darned kids!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Reminds me of the Weird Al parody: a T-Rex ate our lawyer so I guess they're not all bad.

      Delete
  4. These are examples of movies I ought to like and want to like but always come away just feeling meh.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I remember taking my oldest son to see Jurassic Park in the theater. When that first dinosaur walking onscreen, it was a magical moment for both of us. Nothing like dinosaurs to a boy at that age.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I remember how they kept the dinosaurs hidden in the trailers so people would have to see the movie to see how they came out. Then even hid the dinosaurs for the scoring. I was in college at the time, and my oboe teacher told me he played one day on it. (He occasionally did scoring sessions on the side.) And how the dinosaurs had been blanked out.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah, now they are so commonplace they just show everything in the trailers. The same thing has happened to Alien. They used to keep the xenomorph out of the trailer. Now they just don't care and put the xenomorph right there in plain sight in the trailers. Gotta say, it makes me think that the franchise (alien) and Jurassic Park has (if I'm gonna be honest) jumped the shark. They need to be put down and hard and not talked about for a hundred years when they can be reinvented at some point.

      Delete