Hey there gang. Pete here with you as always letting you in on my mental ramblings about cinema. This time around, I’m filling you in on Jurassic Park… 25 years later.
I can remember being filled with anticipation, excitement and to be honest, a little anxiety waiting in line to see Jurassic Park at the age of 12. I went with my mom, who of course insisted that we get there an hour early, at noon on a Friday, so we could be first in line. We were. But there weren’t a whole lot of people there. That’s what gave me the anxiety. Did people know something I didn’t? Was it a horrible movie and I just didn’t get the memo?
My short attention span disregard the thought as soon as the lights dimmed. I was now seeing a movie about dinosaurs. DINOSAURS!!! Holy cow!
As with most of Spielberg’s work, the big reveal isn’t immediate. He takes time crafting the characters. Providing background. And most importantly, building anticipation. We all saw the previews. We knew what to expect.
And one must remember, this was the dawn of CGI. James Cameron had already blown our minds with T2; bringing about the endless possibilities we now take for granted today. So scale sized dinosaurs, something that you could always tell was an effect because of the use of unconvincing miniatures, were now something that seemed to actually be there! When you actually get your first glimpse of the giant Brachiosaurus and the cast’s reaction to them, it all feels so real.
The combination of practical and computer generated effects combine to create a sort of magical experience. One that as a 12 year old, I wished to repeat over and over again.
But how does the film hold up when compared to what has come in it’s wake? After all, it set the bar pretty high and as the sequels have shown, as is usually the case in any film series, recreating the magic of the original is almost impossible. So where does it rank on the list of blockbusters that had come before and after?
Still pretty high up there gang.
I recently viewed the film again with the gift of clarity. Many of you may not know, but I am abstaining from drugs and drink. For me, I’m granted the ability to sort of return to seeing the film like I did in my youth.
It was actually the summer before I began my failed experimentation with drugs and drink. Movie viewing, for me anyway, had become a lethargic process in the ensuing years as a result.
So coming back to Jurassic Park now and seeing it almost like it was that first time gave me the ol’ goosebumps again. After a quarter century, it still delivered the imagination stimulating adventure we even bother to go to movies for in the first place.
I’m going to have to give it a solid 5 out of 6 reels folks.
It truly stands the test of time.