Jan 25 2013

Jurassic Park Is Literally The Greatest Thing Ever

Published by at 9:00 am under Editorials,Movies

jurassic-park-la-1-24-13

There are three things I remember vividly about my childhood: inline skates, Easy-Bake ovens and Jurassic Park. I gave up on the first two when I realize skorts were not cool. But I would never in my life walk away from Jurassic Park because it is literally one of the greatest things ever.

In 1992, Steven Spielberg got a bunch of amazing people to make a sci-fi adventure movie about dinosaurs. Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Wayne Knight and Samuel L. Jackson got to eat Jell-O and scream their lungs out before huge animatronic dinosaurs, while one of the best movie directors since Alfred Hitchcock told them what to do. I mean, what could possibly be better than that?

Spielberg pulls you in right away. The very first scene teases all of the dino drama that’s coming. We catch a glimpse of a fierce velociraptor who snatches a human being by the legs and just won’t let go. But Jurassic Park is about so much more than just a preview tour gone horribly wrong. It’s about nature. Alan Grant is a man who would much rather dig up a dinosaur skull than be a father. He spends the first half of the movie terrorizing and avoiding kids. Then Colonel Sanders-lookalike John Hammond steps in and takes him and his lady friend, Dr. Ellie Sattler, away for the weekend to an exotic Island in Costa Rica. There, Grant and Co. find out that huge advancements in scientific technology have been made to create living, breathing dinosaurs. We all proceed to freak out.

Jurassic Park

We’ve all had dreams and/or nightmares about dino-birds and T-Rexes. But no one has ever painted a picture as alive and real as Mr. Spielberg. Even though the script was derived from a book, without Spielberg’s talents and unique vision, Jurassic Park would have been a series of shots of dinos fighting against dinos. Just meaningless action. But thanks to him, we have well-rounded characters and actors who were suitable for such strenuous parts.

When the preview tour goes down the toilet, Alan is forced to save the kids and runs from a T-Rex. Meanwhile, Dr. Ian Malcolm is shirtless, Ray Arnold is smoking the last cigarette of his life, and Ellie is saving the day like a kickass woman.

I didn’t realize it when I was a young girl, but Dern’s character is empowering to women. She saves the day by braving up to do a “man’s job.” She goes and manually turns on the park’s power so that some of the security can be restored. And later, Ariana Richards’ Lex Murphy outsmarts everyone and figures out how to lock a door to keep a Raptor from coming into the computer room where they’re all hiding.

Jurassic Park – Lex Murphy

There are a lot of things that I didn’t catch on to as a child. Like, I had no idea what the lawyer was doing on the trip. All I knew was that I enjoyed seeing him get eaten by a T-Rex while he was sitting on the toilet. That was hilarious stuff, along with the scene of Ellie putting her hands into a pile of doodoo.

Jurassic Park is a fond memory. It’s a childhood friend. It’s the popular movie that everyone’s watched, yet it’s still able to feel so personal. It’s two hours of fantastic facial expressions, ’90s animatronics, rain & mud, and extinct creatures. And in the end, a T-Rex saves the day. And we all proceed to freak out.





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11 responses so far

  • Frothy_Ham

    Awesome article.

    Jurassic Park had a huge impact on me as a kid. In fact, I used to say that everything in my life that occured after that movie came out was “AJ” (After Jurassic Park) and everything before was “BJ”.

    Being a 8-9 year old at the time, I was not aware of the other use of “BJ” so I’m not sure how many times I embarrased my parents.

    It’s hard to describe just how important it was for me, already having been a super dinosaur freak since before I could walk. It may seem like I’m just being an old fogey…but movies just don’t feel the same anymore. It was a perfect mix of fantastical optimism, cautionary sci-fi, and horror all backed up by special effects that I have a hard time believing are actually 20 years old.

  • http://www.phoenixwave.com Lucas

    The age of Jurassic Park and movies around that time were a great time for film. This is Spielberg at his best … and quite honestly, adventure movies at their best.

    Not putting down others such as Indiana Jones etc. but it goes to show when a film is this good and can stand the test of time even today – because I’ve also watched it recently and it still amazes me how good every scene is, and how awesome everything looks.

    This is what the movies are all about – entertaining and showing the audience something that they’ve never seen before. Something truly awe inspiring.

  • Charlotte

    I always loved dinosaurs when I was little so I was thrilled about Jurassic park, but it turned out I was just a little too young at the time and I was terrified by the scene where the t-rex kills everyone! I made it up until it starts ripping the tyres off the cars and I have a vivid memory of running from the room.

    Needless to say, once I grew up a bit, I loved it! And I still do.

  • http://fig-tv.com Patrick

    I just finished the book and it made me love this movie and franchise even more. Michael Crichton is a phenomenal writer who puts so much background into what the characters of Spielberg’s interpretation. Not only that, it is also a very philosophical book detailing what the limits of what human kind should do just because they can do.

    What I like here is that you outline how Grant is a child avoiding man, though while in the book he’s not that type at all. Spielberg really put the focus on actual people with dinosaurs in the background, which made it all that more interesting to watch.

    Now excuse me, I’m gonna go watch Jurassic Park again for the bajillionth time.

  • DocDoom

    Yes, yes, a million times yes!

    Just this weekend, my road trip mates scoffed at the idea that JP would be in “Top 5″. What a bunch of dweebs.

  • trashcanman

    Psh. Jurassic Park the movie it not literally the greatest thing ever….. because the book is better. The movie is merely one of the greatest cinematic experiences of my life and the only film I ever went to see three times.

  • E. Lee Zimmerman

    Terrific article. I could nitpick a few points, but, overall, yeah, sure. It’s nice to see some 90’s flicks get some love ’cause there was so much garbage in the 90’s, as well.

    I think the point overlooked, though, it how central John Williams’ stirring score meant to the first Jurassic Park. It was a pretty solid home-run for the go-to-Williams, who’d languished in some second-tier crap for about a decade. JP’s seminal moment is when Dern and Neill see the dinos for the first time — across that grassy plain — with Williams’ theme tugging on everyone’s heartstrings. It’s GD movie magic, it is, and, even today, it still brings a tear to this old geek’s eye.

    Seriously, though, you could’ve gone on for three, four, five, or six more paragraphs on the film’s greatness. Don’t EVER cut it short when you’re knocking one outta the park about a film that knocked one outta the park.

  • Allan

    Great article and a funny coincidence.. I finished reading yesterday Michael Crichton’s book, which I hadn’t read in ages… when I was a kid I was obsessed with Jurassic Park and it was nice to come back to that wonderful world of my favorite film ever
    and it is quite nice to see so many people who think like me
    (and the film is better than the book)

  • Steve2

    Once you listen to this, you can never unhear it: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-w-58hQ9dLk

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  • http://crazylazysilly.blogspot.com MCW

    Great article…couldn’t agree more. I was actually in my 30’s when this film came out, but I remember turning to my best friend on the way out of theater and saying, “Wow, that’s the first time in a long while that I recall getting my money’s worth out of a movie!” I can remember the excitement that I hadn’t felt since being 13 years old and standing in a loooong line to see “Jaws” (more than once)… coincidentally, another Spielberg classic.

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