52. Jurassic Park

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Movie: Jurassic Park

Release Date: June 11, 1993

Director: Steven Spielberg

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, BD Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards.

Tag Lines: “Life finds a way.”

“Welcome to…”

“Unleash the Beasts.”

“Caution! Alive Inside.”

“The Park is open.”

“An adventure 65 million years in the making.”

“The most phenomenal discovery of our time… becomes the greatest adventure of all time.”

Relevance: I never read the 1990 novel “Jurassic Park” by Michael Crichton. In fact, I never even heard of it until I started hearing about Steven Spielberg’s movie of the same name. ‘Jurassic Park’ was released in the summer of 1993 and became the movie that everyone talked about and everybody saw. It was a huge summer blockbuster eventually becoming the highest grossing film of 1993. It also received huge critical praise especially for its stunning visual effects. One would think with all of the brouhaha surrounding the film I would remember exactly where and when I saw it for the first time. Unfortunately, I don’t.

I was a huge Steven Spielberg fan. In fact, ‘Jurassic Park’ is his fifth film to show up on my list of most influential movies of all time (see 234. Saving Private Ryan, 169. Close Encounters of the Third Kind, 83. The Goonies and 61. E. T. the Extra-terrestrial for the other four). With a total of nine films, the most of any other director, he has an unprecedented seven in the top one hundred and three of those alone are in my top ten. He is arguably the best. His movies, even those not appearing as part of this project, are always well crafted, well written and completely entertaining. ‘Jurassic Park’ was no exception.

I had just graduated college in May of 1993 and was in the process of relocating to a town in upstate New York where I would be attending Graduate school that Fall. I was definitely preoccupied and had a lot on my mind. With that said, I do remember seeing some movies during that time (see 63. Sleepless in Seattle), but for some reason the biggest film that year and I have zero recollection if I went to the theater or not. Maybe early-onset Alzheimer’s is finally setting in or I have seen the movie and all of its sequels so many times, everything just kind of blends together. To boost my self-esteem, I will stick with the latter.

Despite not knowing when and where I saw ‘Jurassic Park,’ the one thing that was crystal clear was how much I was entertained and thrilled by it. The film was one of those movies that lived up to its hype as it was a thrilling adventure with spectacular visual effects. Not only were they good, they literally made you gasp in awe. One of my favorite elements of all Steven Spielberg movies is his knack for character development in the screenplay. He knows how to make an audience fall in love (or hate) with the characters and actually care about what happens to them. ‘Jurassic Park’ not only had those beautiful dinosaurs to “oooh” and “aaah” at, but it also had the story and characters to root for and care about. It was a two hour amusement park ride with laughs, drama and a whole lot of excitement.

I do know that when ‘Jurassic Park’ became available to own on VHS, my family purchased it and it became a part of our movie collection. I also bought the VHS for my own enjoyment and watched it numerous times. The film never got old for me. I know for a fact that I did not see ‘Jurassic Park: The Lost World’ and ‘Jurassic Park III’ in theaters. Those I saw via rental and loved both of them as well. ‘Jurassic World’ and ‘Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom’ I definitely saw in theaters and loved them just as much. I still get excited about seeing these stories as well as the dinosaurs and can’t wait for the future installments currently being developed and produced. ‘Jurassic Park’ is a franchise that has continued to entertain me for over a span of twenty-seven years with no sign of stopping. It all started in 1993, and as I have said numerous times, there ain’t nothing better than the original.

Today’s Thoughts: “God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.” “Dinosaurs eat man. Woman inherits the earth.”

‘Jurassic Park’ is a movie that I watch at least once a year, sometimes more. Every time it, or one of its sequels, pops up on television, I always top and watch them. I can’t help it. I now own the ‘Jurassic Park’ Adventure Pack DVD that contains the first three films. So, with a cup of coffee by my side, I popped in the first DVD and prepared myself to be entertained all over again.

‘Jurassic Park’ remains a fun, thrilling movie and I can’t help but smile every time I watch it. The effects still look fantastic and the story is just as fun as it was the first time. The cast is remarkable as well. Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, BD Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards are all great, but how could they not be under the fine direction of Mr. Spielberg.

This epic classic adventure, science fiction movie is one that should be watched by everyone, fans and film students alike. It is beautiful to look at, fun to watch and completely entertaining. Mr. Spielberg really did create a fantastic film that doesn’t seem to show any signs of slowing down as far as marketing and franchise expansion. Thank goodness for that.

Awards: Academy Award for Best Sound, Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy, Ron Judkins (winner), Academy Award for Best Effects, Sound Effects Editing, Gary Rydstrom, Richard Hymns (winner), Academy Award for Best Effects, Visual Effects, Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Michael Lantieri (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Special Effects, Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Michael Lantieri (winner), BAFTA Award for Best Sound, Gary Summers, Gary Rydstrom, Shawn Murphy, Ron Judkins (winner), BAFTA Lloyds Bank People’s Vote for the Most Popular Film (winner), National Film Registry (2018).

Ways to Watch: YouTube, iTunes, Vudu, Google Play, Amazon Prime, DVD Availability.

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