A series of film reviews and opinion pieces from a film student and all round movie lover! Happy reading!
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Produced By: Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen
Written By: Michael Crichton, David Koepp
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
Running Time: 127 Minutes
What a year 1993 was. In Utero and Pablo Honey were released, I was welcomed to the world, and a man named Spielberg achieved the impossible; releasing two of the greatest films ever made within four months of each other.
Not only did Steven Spielberg present us with one of the most tragic masterpieces of our time in Schindler’s List, we were treated to what would become the biggest film in the world; Jurassic Park.
Based on the novel by Michael Crichton, Jurassic Park explores the common fantastical thought that is; ‘what if science was able to bring Dinosaurs out of extinction?’
The film also addresses a juxtaposing archetypal floor in the human race; greed, excess, immorality and the consequences that ensue. Jurassic Park is a theme park soon to be opened, but whilst in its development, archeologist Dr. Alan Grant, along with Dr. Ellie Sattler and Dr. Ian Malcolm are invited for a preview tour.
After a loss of central power, the captive cloned dinosaurs are able to escape their confines, which of course lead to some horrifying life or death situations.
Starring Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern and Sam Neill, one of Jurassic Park’s greatest qualities comes from the art of character building, chemistry and progression. The three central leads are all diverse in their attitudes, appearance and age, whilst the slew of supports offer diverse and unique attributes, keeping the audience interested and concerned throughout the entire runtime.
Jurassic Park is a prime example of balancing character and action within the blockbuster spectacle. Spielberg is able to develop the characters within the story so that we care for them and don’t sit there mindlessly absorbing these gargantuan fantastical images.
A quality lost within the modern day blockbuster, it’s a mystery as to why a mere handful of primary examples since 1993 have captured the essence of Spielberg’s character-driven adventure.
The other, and most iconic quality of the film is it’s incredible animatronic and computer-generated technology that quite literally brought these prehistoric beasts back from the dead. The quality of the CGI surpasses all of what we saw that decade, and even some of what we see today.
The way in which the dinosaurs are presented in their most fearsome state is through intelligent cinematography and direction; a standard you’d expect from Spielberg. The Tyrannosaurus Rex’s introduction is arguably the most memorable scene from the entire film, with good reason. The sequence hits every beat and leaves you fearing for everybody occupying the scene.
The animatronic T-Rex is nothing short of extraordinary; the nighttime, rainy setting adds to the immense threat, whilst the subtleties such as the water tremor and the dilating pupil are indicative of just how masterful a scene this is.
When people think of the 1990’s, few things spring to mind faster than Jurassic Park (besides the birth of yours truly!) Iconography dominates this action/adventure classic, and it’s an absolute thrill to watch unfold.
Although Jurassic Park inspired countless films that followed, it’s upsetting to see films continue to fall short when it comes to filming grandiose action set pieces. In order to emulate a classic style of filmmaking, one simply has to observe this masterpiece; it’s pretty straightforward. There are even some CGI animators that need enroll in a crash course, simply because the standard was set more than twenty years ago.
The iconic John Williams score provides the perfect tonal accompaniment to the blockbuster, in every fluctuating moment. From the epic-establishing tune to the chilling monstrous string pieces, the score remains one of the all-time greats.
Spielberg is the man who changed the film going experience forever. With 1975’s Jaws coining the term of ‘blockbuster’, it was evident in films that followed that a new standard had been set.
To succeed Jaws with an iconic adventure trilogy and an equally beloved alien feature seemed impossible, but to then take the leap and create Jurassic Park (along with Schindler’s List) in 1993; was something truly special.
Although logistical faults dampen the solid conclusion and some continuity errors appear jarring and loud, Jurassic Park is a timeless, sensational ride, worthy of major recognition for the pioneering achievements in modern day cinema.