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JURASSIC PARK

 

STARRING: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight

1993, 126 Minutes, Directed by: Steven Spielberg
 

Description: Steven Spielberg's 1993 mega-hit based on Michael Crichton's novel about an island amusement park populated by cloned dinosaurs Amazon.com

Dinosaurs are big business. And so was novelist Michael Crichton after Jurassic Park - his Congo and Disclosure novels got made into movies soon after. Spielberg has always been big business too. And so was Jurassic Park - becoming, according to some business analysts, one of the biggest box office grossing movie of all times. (This is not to mention the numerous successful spin-offs: Jurassic Park baseball caps, Jurassic Park mugs, Jurassic Park coloring books, Jurassic Park comic books, Jurassic . . .)

And is the movie worth all the hype? Partially yes, but mostly because of the special effects. Some magicians at Industrial Light and Magic (the special effects unit bankrolled by George Lucas and also responsible for the Star Wars movies as well as the technical wizardry behind Terminator 2 - Judgment Day) made some dinosaurs live and breathe like we have never seen them do before. These are no longer the slow, klutzy and rubbery creatures we have seen in countless B-grade dinosaur pics. They are well-researched and realistic enough to appease today's dinosaur obsessed hip kids.

But at its heart the movie is empty - the humans in the picture serve as little else than dino fodder.  It lacks the heart and soul Spielberg managed to inject into ET and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. See it for the effects - like everybody else did.

The ultra-violence in Crichton's novel (obviously) got toned down for mass consumption, leading one thirteen-year-old kid I know to complain to me that the movie wasn't gory enough. Sheesh, are today's kids really this jaded?

Followed by two superfluous sequels, namely the dismal The Lost World: Jurassic Park in 1997 and the slightly better  Jurassic Park 3 in 2001. 
 


 

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