Big dinos deserve a big screen
Jurassic Park | 1993 | 127 min | Dir. Steven Spielberg | Universal
I was so stoked to see Jurassic Park 3D I bought my tickets in advance. I envisioned terrifying T- rexes snapping their jaws over the audience’s heads and vicious velocoraptors stampeding around the movie theater. I forgot. That’s a ride, not a 3D movie.
Steven Spielberg’s groundbreaking adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestselling book made a gargantuan splash when it stampeded to theaters in 1993. Most people regard it as the premier movie about dinosaurs. For its 20th anniversary, Universal gave the film a 3D facelift and gave us a chance to relive the earth- shattering terror.
People call today’s blockbusters, like The Avengers, shallow special effects vehicles. That’s Jurassic Park. This is not a thought- provoking piece of cinema. The main point of the movie is to see dinosaurs. I thought it held such an esteemed place in the cannon of American film because it was a well- rounded cautionary tale about tampering with the Earth’s genome. Now think it’s just because no one’s made a better franchise starring a T- Rex.
There are a few mentions of social responsibility and the ethics of gene manipulation, but they come from New Age hippie Jeff Goldblum and are thereby as laughable as he is. Jeff doesn’t even fight the dinosaurs, he lays on a table wearing a crystal and a chest wig. Nevertheless, the LA times calls Jeff “the best reason to revive Jurassic Park for its 20th anniversary”. As chaos theorist Ian Malcolm, Jeff utters gems like this:
“If there is one thing the history of evolution has taught us it’s that life will not be contained. Life breaks free, it expands to new territories and crashes through barriers, painfully, maybe even dangerously, but, uh… well, there it is.”
After everything Malcolm says comes true, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), who hatched this bright idea, gets deep with Laura Dern.
“With this place … I wanted to give them something that wasn’t an illusion. Something that was real. Something they could see, and touch. An aim not devoid of merit,” he says.
To which she replies, “Let’s see some more dinosaurs.”
Granted, the dinosaurs are pretty damn cool. Everything you remember about Jurassic Park rocks on the big screen. The kitchen scene, the bathroom scene and the finale will terrify you as much as they did when you were a kid. Steven Spielberg remains the master of emotional manipulation, and he takes you on a rollicking ride as thrilling as any you’d find in an amusement park. Even one like Jurassic Park.
So why see it in 3D? The film has great sound and picture, and Dean Cundey’s cinematography leaps off the screen even without 3D. For me, 3D always starts out really cool, and then my brain gets used to it and I hardly notice it. 3D makes the movie look more like real life. My problem? When I go see a movie, I already know it’s not real life. I just want to see something cool.
That said, Jurassic Park brought me a satisfying 3D experience. Jurassic Park 3D was WAY better than Titanic 3D. Looking back, I don’t know why anyone would want to see Titanic in 3D. I guess the “Jack, I’m flying!” scene was pretty cool, but Titanic really was a multi million dollar chick flick. I think people just figured James Cameron was a 3D god and the movie he made before Avatar happened to be Titanic.
I would have rather seen Jurassic Park in IMAX. I, like Christopher Nolan, prefer IMAX to 3D. The only thing better than seeing dinosaurs on a big screen is seeing dinosaurs on a HUGE screen. Now you can.