‘Jurassic Park’ – Spielberg’s Thrilling Blockbuster That Made Dinosaurs Cool Again
Can you believe it’s been 30 years since the release of Jurassic Park? I’m sure there are some of you out there who are saying “But, Jurassic Park isn’t horror.” I beg to differ. It has dinosaurs that do not belong in the time period in which they inhabit, therefore that makes them monsters. It has several scenes of children in grave danger of being turned into Happy Meals by said monsters. In other words, Jurassic Park is typical Spielberg in ‘let’s make a summer blockbuster that won’t be soon forgotten’ mode. With this review, I’m not going to gush about the movie and tell you it’s one of the greatest movies of all time. It’s not. The acting is average and the plot of the film is a bit on the thin side. Jeff Goldblum acts like he does in every movie; he acts like Jeff Goldblum. To even things out we have Samuel L. Jackson in the film acting just like he does in virtually every movie; like Samuel L. Jackson. Throw in a couple of children played by Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards who are just-wait-pinch your cheeks like grandma when you read this-too ‘cutesey wootsy’ to be eaten by any bad old dinosaurs-you may let go of your cheeks now. Again, like I said, typical Spielberg.
But we didn’t go to see Jurassic Park for the acting or the story. We came to see Jurassic Park for the dinosaurs. In that area, Spielberg and crew do not disappoint. Watching the film again recently, I am still in awe of just how realistic looking these creatures is. Of course, the T-Rex is the unaccredited star of the film. Its presence alone in the film is enough to make grown-ups wet their pants. How many of you weren’t secretly cheering him on when he ate the lawyer? Jurassic Park is a film about dinosaurs first and people second and that’s perfectly alright.
Leave it to Steven Spielberg to resurrect dinosaurs as popcorn icons with 1993’s record-shattering blockbuster ‘Jurassic Park’. Bringing Michael Crichton’s bestseller to stunning life via revolutionary CGI effects, the film reignited mainstream fascination with prehistoric beasts by framing them as the ultimate movie monsters. For all its B-movie roots, the masterful blend of wonder, terror, and groundbreaking visuals ignited a worldwide dino-mania.
When an eccentric billionaire opens an amusement park stocked with cloned dinosaurs, a team of scientists escorts his grandchildren on a preview tour. But a disastrous power outage unleashes the attractions, transforming a theme park jaunt into a primal battle for survival.
While the human characters are thinly sketched, the dinosaurs deliver everything we could want. The towering T-Rex and cunning velociraptors brim with menace and personality thanks to state-of-the-art effects. Spielberg balances adrenaline-pumping action with moments of real majesty, frequently reminding us of nature’s immense power and indifference.
‘Jurassic Park’ forever embedded dinosaurs into the pop culture pantheon. By framing the prehistoric giants as simultaneously terrifying and wondrous, Spielberg tapped directly into the imaginations of awestruck kids and adults alike. The result was a monster hit that made dinos reign supreme once more.
It seems that Spielberg has a pattern of making a summer blockbuster followed by a serious film. As long as he continues making films like Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan he can make all the Jurassic Parks he wants.
Michael Crichton’s agents circulated the book to six studios and directors. Warner Brothers wanted it for Tim Burton to direct while Columbia was planning it for Richard Donner. Fox was also interested and was intending the project for Joe Dante, while Universal wanted ‘Steven Spielberg’ to direct. Crichton was reluctant to submit to a bidding war, He instructed his agents to put a set price on the film rights and he could decide who was more likely to actually get the film made. After interviewing all the prospective directors, he agreed to sell the rights to Universal and Steven Spielberg, who was already his first choice.
Generally speaking, any shot of a full dinosaur was computer-generated, but shots of parts of dinosaurs were of animatronics.
In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi (1982) also beat Spielberg’s E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) as Best Picture).
Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant
Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler
Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm
Richard Attenborough as John Hammond
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by David Koepp and Michael Crichton
Based on the novel by Michael Crichton