Jurassic Park (1993)

DVD Cover (Universal)
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Overall Rating 82%
Overall Rating
Ranked #81
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Connections: Jurassic Park

Huge advancements in scientific technology have enabled a mogul to create an island full of living dinosaurs. John Hammond has invited four individuals, along with his two grandchildren, to join him at Jurassic Park. But will everything go according to plan? A park employee attempts to steal dinosaur embryos, critical security systems are shut down and it now becomes a race for survival with dinosaurs roaming freely over the island. --IMDb
Review by Chad
Added: March 27, 2006
Jurassic Park was one of the most successful movies of the nineties, and I'd imagine that anyone that was around back then has seen this movie. However, for the three of you that haven't, here's how the storyline goes. It all begins when entrepreneur John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), through the use of modern scientific breakthroughs in DNA research, creates a theme park that is filled with dinosaurs. Yes, using minute amounts of dinosaur blood that was found inside of preserved mosquitoes, Hammond and his team of scientists have managed to create an island filled with these prehistoric beasts, and it's destined to be bigger than Disneyland; well, until a small, nagging problem occurs in the form of a worker getting mauled to death by a (I believe) Velociraptor. This leads to the investors of the park getting worried about the safety issues of opening this to the public, which in turn leads them to demand that some outside sources come in to investigate the safety of this operation. Heading up this examination on the behalf of the investigating lawyer is Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), a scientist who specializes in the Chaos Theory, while Hammond brings along his paleontologist friends Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). At this point, Hammond decides that since he's having to give a tour to these outside sources, he might as well invite his grandchildren to come along as well, so we now have Tim (Joseph Mazzello) and Lex Murphy (Ariana Richards) tagging along with the group. With our rather large group assembled, it's off to 'ooh' and 'ahh' at the modern marvels that Mr. Hammond has created... up until a blunder by greedy scientist Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) disables the security at the park, letting all of the dinosaurs roam free. Whoops.

1993 was the year of Jurassic Park. If you thought that the marketing blitz surrounding the release of Spider-Man or the Lord of the Rings series was overkill, then you obviously weren't around before, during, or after the release of this film. The reason for this is because at the time, this was a revolutionary movie thanks to the special effects used to create the dinosaurs. Sure, there had been other dinosaur movies before this, and there had even been movies using the CGI technology implemented here; however, this was the movie that perfected the process, and with a big name like Spielberg attached to it, it was destined to become something big.

Another thing that helped this movie was the fact that it worked on many levels; for example, I was only twelve years old when it was released, but I enjoyed the hell out of because of the dinosaur effects and the tense storyline. Now, thirteen years later, I can still appreciate this movie for the same reasons, but I also see a lot of the things I missed as a child: there's actually a message here, and there's plenty of scientific facts and such supporting the flow of the storyline. Sure, these facts are rubbish in the real world, but it's beautifully scripted in this movie and it all sounds perfectly plausible. It's quite uncommon that a movie comes along that will appeal to both children and adults equally, but this is one of those rare films that pulls it off flawlessly.

As mentioned, those special effects were revolutionary back in the early nineties when this movie was first released. However, unlike special effects and similar breakthroughs in other films, these do not look dated even today. There have been some astounding advancements in CGI technology since then, and indeed, there have been some great-looking movies that have used the techniques perfected here... but regardless, this movie still ranks up there in my personal top five list of movies that have had the most realistic effects. When you watch these dinosaurs run around and when you see the humans interacting with them (be it petting them or getting devoured), it really looks as though the dinosaur is a flesh-and-blood animal that is standing right there with the actors.

Unlike other films, however, this was not an excuse to throw a bunch of CGI effects on the screen with no sort of storyline to move things along. There's a damned fine storyline here, touching on the "Man shouldn't play God" theory, as well as the tried and true "Nature will always find a way" subplot. Of course, there's also the whole "Man attempts to avoid being eaten by the dinosaurs" thing, and that side of things works out just as well. I wouldn't put this in the horror / thriller genre by a long-shot, but there are definitely some tense scenes when these humans come into contact with the Tyrannosaurus Rex and the Velociraptors. This storyline is also helped by the fact that the actors and actresses involved were all top-notch performers; hell, even the child actors were deserving of some praise here, praise which is very rare coming from yours truly.

An excellent slice of cinematic history, this film revolutionized the way that CGI effects would be used in later years, and even though it's thirteen years old, it still stands up to today's offerings. If that's not enough for you, it also boasts a storyline that is equally on par with the visuals, so when you combine those two aspects, you've got one hell of an enjoyable film. 9/10.
Kain #1: Kain - added 06/04/2007, 08:25 PM
Likely the only reason there are not additional comments on this particular film is that such would be nearly something of a superfluity. The review says it all, and in reality, it's not as though it was needed. Even children of the newest generation know this film for it's venerable impact on cinema history, and incredible execution. An adamant dinosaur fan as a child, this movie was a literal wet dream. Nothing on film before had ever so beautifully or so accurately depicted the lost saurian world. Now finding myself a massive herpetological enthusiast as an adult, I can always sit down in front of this movie and remember why. On that note, I can list my only real gripe with this movie; there simply were a few irksome errors in some of the animals' designs. Take for instance the venom spitting Dilophosaurus. This animal did in fact once exist, but in nowhere near the context in which it is represented in the film. The animal was far larger (similar to the Rex in stature, though not so large), posessed no frill around the neck (borrowed from the contemporary Australian Frilled Dragon), and did not spit venom. The Velociraptor is another case, as in truth, the animal was considerably smaller and less thick in build. The animal depicted in the film is far closer to the Utahraptor, the largest member of that particular family. These however, were artistic liscenses taken by the artists behind the masterpiece, and regardless of accuracy, masterfully executed. In fact, this was one of the first films to accurately implement the stance that the Rex takes during locomotion (rather than the 'tripod' stance of older reconstructions). Everything from the soundtrack to the sound f/x were incredible and memorable (I can hear that big fucker in my head any time I think about it), and as has been emphasized, the visual effects were and still are absolutely stunning. A true paradigm shift in cinema, that kindled the imagination of a generation.


Nirrad #2: Nirrad - added 06/21/2008, 01:31 AM
Still as great as it was last time I watched it well over 10 years ago. The water shaking in the glass still gave me shivers. Steven Spielberg is a genius. 10/10
Bliss From A Dead Embrace #3: Bliss From A Dead Embrace - added 01/30/2009, 01:53 AM
I remembering seeing this movie when I was about 7 years old in theaters. It still wows me to this day.
Lucid Dreams #4: Lucid Dreams - added 06/15/2010, 02:02 PM
I'm not huge into dinosaur movies, but this was back when Spielberg could make anything good. 9/10
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