Saturday, 30 May 2015

The 100th Review: Jurassic Park

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

Jurassic Park is directed by Steven Spielberg and stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough. When I first saw this film it was the most mind blowing film I had ever experienced. On paper, the movie was made for Steven Spielberg: combining the scares of Jaws with the high tech, romance of E.T the Extra-Terrestrial , Close Encounters of the Third Kind and of course adding the challenge of creating the dinosaurs themselves. This 1993 dino-fest, has gone down in movie history as the film that cracked open the Pandora's box of cgi. This film is a true movie milestone, a real experience and it made an entire generation of children fall in love with dinosaurs. Jurassic Park changed the entire game of film making for ever, creating cgi dinosaurs that still holds up 20 years from then: good work Steven! He steped the bar so high that it's still there today. Michael Crichton who co-wrote the film with David Koepp presents his story on a fascinating and detailed note on both the possibilities and evils of modern science. Moreover, characters are all very good as each one of them have something special that make them human. Sam Neill isn't particularly close to children, Laura Dern actually has a strong female role and has a good chemistry with both Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum; who is one of those supporting characters that steals the entire show. Jeff Goldblum character is so much fun, he's smooth and smart, not this goofy guy that pops jokes every once in a while. Ian Malcolm is actually a well written character with a great brain and he seems to foreshadow what is going to happen. Plus, Richard Attenborough's character has so many layers which is very interesting. Each one of them are important and not just funny, they are likable characters who seems like real people with backgrounds and who all relate to the story. 

"Welcome to Jurassic Park" doesn't quite cover it. Spielberg did such a good job engrossing us into this world. From just a visual and technical aspect this film is near flawless. Watching this film 22 years later, there obviously some point where you can tell it's cgi but for the 95% of the film the cgi is still outstanding. The realism with which they were able to create those dinosaurs is amazing. They are all indeed a triumph of special effects artistry. Steven Spielberg created one of the most jaw-dropping scene in movie history.  The brachiosaurs Neill and Dern see for the first time are tall, majestic leaf-eaters, grazing placidly in the treetops. There is a sense of grandeur to them. Half of that is due to John Williams brilliant theme. This music is fantastic! I love it so much, I may even love it more than Star Wars. This very scene when Sam Neill stares at them, with this music, at that point everything's okay with the world. Everything's perfect. We don't make movies like this anymore. That kind of silence in a movie when a character stares at something and the music swipes you into it. I miss that awe. Nowadays most of the movies are so quick-edited, so packaged and ready to be delivered on a theatre, so an audience could sit there and not be bored. This movie takes its time to tell a story, get you to the characters, make you understand the plot and then the dinosaurs are everywhere. 

Clearly dinosaurs dominate Jurassic Park in every way. Amazingly graceful and convincing, they set a sky-high new standard for computer generated special effects. They create a triumphant illusion. You believe you have spent some time in a dino-filled world. Plus, Spielberg built up an imminent sense of threat over the first hour of the movie. In fact, Jurassic Park keeps its viewers on edge of their seats while leaving the real violence to the imagination. Besides, this film has the best jump scares ever, that I won't spoil if you didn't already see the movie  (but if you don't I beg you to), because Spielberg didn't go for the numb cliché. He knows how to create legitimate tension in his film and it's not just the tension in the last half which is so fun and impressive but the sustain wonder through the entire first half of the film. Two set pieces ares especially effective: the first one is a scene where a T-Rex mauls a car with screaming children inside, and the other one is when the children play hide and seek with two velociraptors in the park's kitchen. Everybody can stage a fight, but it takes Mr Steven Spielberg to show just how the plots and pans might go flying at the stroke of a velociraptor's tail. This scene also helps to look at the bigger picture. Who but Steven Spielberg could convince an audience that there are dinosaurs loose in a kitchen at all? 

Jurassic Park smacks everyone in the face with awe, imagination, and all the things that are the reasons why movies are made. Tastes in movies are subjective but in my opinion the answer to: why movies are made? Definitely is movies such as Jurassic Park, Star Wars or even recently Marvel Guardians of the Galaxy

Overall Steven Spielberg, the man who invented the summer event movie took Michael Crichton's book and transformed it into an awe-inspiring legendary blockbuster, using every inch of the screen he was given with cool characters, impressive cgi, wonder and danger. Jurassic Park changed entertainment at a genetic level.

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