CAROLE LOMBARD - My Favorite Actress

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Fun Summer Movies: JURASSIC PARK (1993)

Summer Release Date: 11 June 1993. Starring Sam O'Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, B.D. Wong. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Michael Crichton (based on his book).

The summer movie season got a big jolt of excitement in 1993 when Steven Spielberg delivered one of his biggest films ever. Jurassic Park showcased truly amazing visual effects than no one had seen up to that point. The too real looking dinosaurs left movie goers in utter disbelief. I remember seeing Jurassic Park when it first came out and everyone in the theater was screaming and cheering and having a great time. I won't go into details of the movie's plot because it has been done enough. But I will say that this is one of the best fun summer movies ever. With relentless action, well timed humor, narrow escapes, chases and just pure excitement, nobody does it better than Spielberg. Case in the point, the scene where the power to the park is disabled and the T-Rex gets loose and attacks the kids in the jeep. Spielberg ratches up the tension to an unbelievable pitch and you don't know if the kids are going to make it or not. That scene shows the T-Rex creation in all it's glory and it's a sight to behold.

Other notable scenes include the attack by the velociraptors and the grand appearance of the gentle Brachiosaurus. The entire cast is solid including Sam O'Neill as the paleontologist Alan Grant who becomes the hero because nobody else knows more about dinosaurs than him. Jeff Goldblum supplies most of the humor as theorist Ian Malcolm, who is just aching to tell everyone "I told ya so". Laura Dern is very good too as Ellie Sattler, a colleague of Grant's. And legendary director Richard Attenborough is on hand as the park's creator John Hammond. Also look for brief appearances by Samuel L. Jackson as a lab tech and Wayne Knight (Newman from Seinfeld) as an unscrupulous technician.

Jurassic Park was followed by two more sequels which were ok, but it's this one by far is the best.

Notable facts:

Harrison Ford turned down the lead role.

The first film to use DTS digital surround sound.

The raptors in the kitchen scene was filmed on Joseph Mazzello's birthday. Due to a misunderstanding, Joseph ran into one of the raptors on one of the takes and was injured.

Briefly held the box office record until it was beaten by Titanic four years later. JP is currently ranked 15th on the all time box office chart with $357 million dollars in North America.

Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) dresses entirely in black in both this film and its sequel. In the book, he tells Ellie Sattler that he only ever dresses in black and gray, so that he never has to waste time thinking about what to wear. Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) gives the same reason for his monotonous fashion sense in The Fly (1986).

It was while supervising post-production on this film that George Lucas decided that technology was good enough to begin work on the Star Wars prequels. Appropriately, Samuel L. Jackson was able to appear in those films as well.

Steven Spielberg was in the very early stages of pre-production for the film "ER" (based on a Michael Crichton novel), when he heard about the "Jurassic Park" book. He subsequently dumped what he was doing to make the film. Afterwards, he returned to "ER" and helped develop it into a hit TV series ("ER" (1994)).


kallim said...

I remember watching Jurassic Park when I was about 5 years old when it came out on tape. I was told I wasn't allowed to watch it, but I ended up seeing it at my grandma's neighbor's house. It scared me then! I love it now though. I watched it again for the first time this year.

Tom said...

That summer, the other big movie was "Last Action Hero". I didn't care for either of them. I think they both opened on the same day in June.

Then in August, "The Fugitive" opened, and I went to see it 3 times. :)

Anonymous said...

Jurassic Park is a near flawless movie for what it was trying to do. The blogger nailed it, speilberg is incredible here. The visual effects go without saying, but how he builds tension and sets scenes should also be noted. In the other movies, you see a lot more of the dinosaurs, and that actually takes away from the movies. I understand that the original gets to play around more and hold off on showing the big name dinos until later. I will say, I have read all the jurassic park books, this movie is better than the book. I don't think its even close. I've watched the movie 20 or so times, I can watch it over and over. The mental images that speilberg creates and leaves you with are so strong, and the musical score is also something the book has no capacity to provide.


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