Saturday, January 12, 2008

REVIEW: Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park

Year: 1993
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson
Distributor: Universal Pictures
MPAA: Rated PG-13

Jurassic Park was released in 1993 and was another highly anticipated film from director Steven Spielberg. After movies about sharks, an archaeologist adventurer, an extra-terrestrial, people were wondering whats next from the creative mind of Mr. Spielberg. In comes Jurassic Park, a film that has grossed over $914 million worldwide and considered one of Spielberg's hallmark films. To tell you the truth, people didn't expect the film to be good since its a dinosaur movie, but Spielberg proved them wrong. Jurassic Park was so successful that it spawned 2 more films from Universal Pictures. Jurassic Park was one of my first VHS tape and I have been a fan ever since.

Plot Outline:
John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) follows his dream to own the most spectacular theme park on the planet. Jurassic Park, a park filled with living, breathing dinosaurs, but after the death of a park worker, Hammond must convince his investors that the park is actually safe. To do this he invites three scientists, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neil), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to his Island to give their expert opinion and to convince the investors that the park is safe. When a double crossing computer expert, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) risks the life of the crew and invited guess of "Jurassic Park" by shutting down the power since he's payed to steal dinosaur DNA by a mysterious buyer, the prehistoric creatures break out to destroy anyone and anything in sight.

The story is based on Michael Crichton's famous novel "Jurassic Park" so that's what we get here, a good film. The film has many suspenseful moments that make for one entertaining film. I didn't expect a film about dinosaurs to actually end up being good, but I was just as surprised as anyone else was in 1993 after seeing the film. The film has many wonderful characters that are fun to watch and listen too. There are many memorable moments in the film such as when the T-Rex makes his grand entrance or when we first get the glimpse of a baby velociraptor. Sure the film is missing some sections from the novel and some things/areas are changed in the film, but we do have to appreciate Spielberg for bringing a book about dinosaurs to life. This film would have seemed almost impossible to shoot at the time considering technology hasn't been as great as today.

The cast of Jurassic Park is pretty good. Everyone seemed perfect for their roles and looked like they had a blast playing their characters. Sam Neill plays the paleontologist, Dr. Alan Grant and he looked great for the part. Laura Dern plays the paleobotanist, Dr. Ellie Sattler and even she has her moments in the film where she shines. Jeff Goldblum plays the enthusiastic theorist, Dr. Ian Malcolm and hes really fun to watch, but also keeps some laughter in the film without making the film too serious. Richard Attenborough plays the owner of the theme park, John Hammond and even he does a great job in his role. There were some parts of the film where I thought the cast could have been alittle better, but they were very minimal. I thought the cast was overall very good.

The special effects for the film were considered phenomenal at the time of its release. The film even won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects so they were really top notch at the time. Now 15 years later, the special effects still manage to hold up. Sure the effects aren't has detailed as King Kong, but they still look damn good for a 15 year old film. This film looks even better than some movies produced in today's world. The dinosaurs are very well produced and shot on film. They move they way they should move with realistic eye movements. The environments look very lush and perfect for the films location. Its amazing this film was even made 15 years ago. I never knew they could pull off the special effects in this dinosaur movie, but they did. I give big props to the special effects crew and Stan Winston Studios for creating some great looking dinosaurs for this film.

As much as the special effects for the film are great, the soundtrack is even better. John Williams who won an Academy Award for Best Music in the 1975 Spielberg directed film "Jaws" also composed the score for this film. The music is absolutely amazing with great sound effects. The dinosaurs live and breath and we can all hear them so wonderfully good. The film has its very own score that is perfect for the film and matches the films surrounding. I never knew how great this film really sounds. There are many moments where theirs suspense and the music helps us feel that tension. The film also consists of many bass that go extremely well with the T-Rex scenes. John Williams in my opinion is the best composer in the world, Jurassic Park sounds amazing.

Jurassic Park is a film that was meant to thrill you, but also entertain and it did just that. This is a great film that people will remember Spielberg for. I was surprised on how the story actually worked. The cast is good with many of the stars playing great characters. The special effects for the film still manage to amaze me even to this day. The music is well made and has areas where your jumping out of your seat because of how well produced the score really is. Sure the story ain't 100% faithful to the novel, but its such an entertaining film that I don't care if it was based on the novel or not. Jurassic Park is recommended by me if your looking for an entertaining thrill ride of a movie. Its not perfect, but its definitely fun.

Grade: B

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