Thursday, April 7, 2016

860. Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park
Directed by Steven Spielberg

I know a lot of film buffs are probably repulsed by big budget Hollywood movies like this.  I have been known to have this attitude as well.  I do my best to avoid every superhero movie that comes along.  But I actually adore this movie.  It has the best of everything Hollywood has to offer: talented stars, a beautiful score, and realistic special effects. And hey, how can you dislike a film that features Samuel L. Jackson saying "Hold onto your butts!"

John Hammond is a billionaire eccentric who is building a theme park populated with genetically cloned dinosaurs.  He invites a team of experts to his island to verify the safety of the park.  This includes Ian Malcolm, a mathematician, Ellie Sattler, a paleobotanist, Alan Grant, a paleontologist, and Donald Gennaro, a lawyer.  He also has his two grandchildren, Tim and Lex, come along on the tour, because he is just the worst.  I do have to warn everyone that the kids are rather obnoxious.  Thankfully, the film has enough redeeming qualities that a couple of bratty children don't completely tank it.

I am unsure if I would like this movie so much if I hadn't read the novel.  If I didn't have the background knowledge of the story, I might agree with some of the criticisms that the plot of this is really thin.  I do wish some of the characters were more fleshed out like they were in the novel, but I suppose people watch this film to see the dinosaurs.  I usually don't get very excited about special effects, but I was in awe of this movie.

Definitely a film you must see before you die, as it is a visually spectacular ride.  Hold onto your butts.

RATING: *****

Interesting Facts:

Steven Spielberg made $250 million from this film.

George Lucas supervised post production on this film.  After seeing the movie, he decided that technology was good enough for him to create the Star Wars prequels.  Make of that what you will.

Jeff Goldblum and Laura Dern started a relationship after meeting on set.


  1. As a film buff, I believe that I am contractually obliged to claim that Westworld was better.

    I thought that there just wasn't enough of a film underneath all the special effects and was rather bored watching it in the cinema at the time. The scene in the kitchen with the little dinosaurs was good, I admit. Possibly I'm just using unrealistic expectations based upon the scale of the hype? It certainly wasn't a stinker, just seemed all a bit average to me.

  2. Well .. I'm sort of caught between the two of you. A big budget Spielberg, special effects, kiddie friendly, family movie is decidedly not my thing .. but I was a lot more tolerant of this one than most of his other mass produced stuff. It trundled on quite happily, entertaining. The worst I can throw at it is 'predictable', in that the 'kid in peril' bits were so obviously going nowhere, they lacked real tension.
    (At this point we go back to my comments on 'Sabotage' and Hitchcock's decision to put a 'kid in Peril'. See what I mean? If all films were Spielbergish, we know what is going to happen - a better director gives us real tension)

    You know how we often talk about those films you find whilst 'browsing' through late nights.. some you start to watch 'just the next bit'.. and 90 ins later you are still there? Well, this isn't one .. I watch for a few minutes, then give up because .. well, as discussed's all to obvious.

    Sorry for not backing you up fully Dessie (as people may well think I would).. but I will agree '' catching 'Westworld', probably would keep me watching to the end.

  3. I haven't seen Westworld. Yes, I sort of wish the kids weren't in the film, although I suppose that would mess up Grant's character arc. Have you two read the book?

  4. I have , yes .. quite enjoyed it a a bit a pulp escapism.

  5. This was a great escapist film. It delivered what it promised and the special effects were amazing. Obnoxious kids aside, it was fun. I too loved "Hold onto your butts!" What can I say--silly sometimes works!

  6. I agree with both of you. Michael Crichton is great for that.

  7. Haven't read the books as it's not the sort of book I'd read. But then, not entirely the sort of film I'd watch either, I suppose, so a little unfair of me to attach too much importance to my critique of a film that isn't really my thing.

    Anyway, to be clear, I'm dismissing it as average, not as outright awful.

    1. Did you guys see Jurassic World? I think statistically it's likely that you have. I enjoyed it because of my feelings for Chris Pratt.

    2. Never seen any sequels. Why be tempted to watch something universally agreed to be poorer than a film I wasn't terribly impressed with in the first place?

      Now, a sequel where the dinosaurs finally catch some of the kids and come out on top, that's something I might watch.

    3. Because Chris Pratt is a dreamboat. Clearly a winning argument in this case.

  8. Is that the 'new' one .. no 4? No, I haven't and don't intend to.

    1. Well if you don't appreciate Chris Pratt's biceps for some reason, there isn't much else there.