Top 365 Films – #012 – Jurassic Park (1993)


Top 365 Films - Jurassic Park - T-RexDIRECTED BY: Steven Spielberg

STARRING: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, Martin Ferrero, Bob Peck, Wayne Knight, Samuel L. Jackson, Cameron Thor, Miguel Sandoval, Jerry Molen, B. D Wong, Richard Kiley and Greg Burson

BUDGET: $63m

EARNED (Worldwide): $1bn

AWARDS: 3 Oscars (Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing and Best Visual Effects) and a BAFTA (Best Special Effects)

 

SYNOPSIS

During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.

 

Jurassic Park takes us to the island of Isla Nublar, where founder and CEO of bioengineering company InGen, John Hammond, inviting the likes of a lawyer who represents the park’s investors named Donald Gennaro, Palaeontologist Dr. Alan Grant and his assistant Dr. Ellie Sattler and chaos theorist and mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm to visit the park and certify that it as safe. They’re shocked to discover on the island however is that the park is populated with living dinosaurs. As the experts have their doubts on what Hammond has done, his grandchildren Lex and Tim tag along with the group in a tour of the park. At night a major power breakdown allows the dinosaurs to get loos, leading to a frantic fight for survival.

 

There’s a number of films that capture your attention as a kid at the cinema, leaving you with a sense of awe and wonder. Luckily for Jurassic Park, it still carries that sense of awe but more on the technical aspect these days in comparison to the overall story, mainly due to the fact that as I’ve got older, a few things irritate me….fine it’s the kids having more lives than a cat, pretty minor though in the overall scope of the film. From the reveal of the Brachiosaurus and herd of Parasaurolophus, to the reveal of the T-Rex and the first sighting of the Velociraptors, Spielberg sets the scenes terrifying in the buildup for these reveals and the practicality of the dinosaur designs mixed with the special effects still hold up very well to todays standards and some will argue that the mixture of the practical and digital looks for the dinosaurs feel more authentic than the digital designs of the dinosaurs in this years sequel Jurassic World, which says a lot considering that the original is twenty years old. The characters are well developed in their though process of this surreal breakout in cloning, with Dr. Alan Grant growing the most out of the characters in terms of personality as a man that starts off a dick towards children to maturing and taking responsibility in taking care of children through Hammond’s grandchildren to get them to safety, with a sterling performance from Sam Neill in the role. It helps that Richard Attenborough’s performance of John Hammond is a man with a sense of childish joy in living the dream of bringing dinosaurs to life rather than a cold businessman because you feel sympathy for him when chaos ensues on the island. The performance I always enjoy upon rewatching Jurassic Park is Jeff Goldblum’s here as Dr. Ian Malcolm, the guy just carries himself well as a guy who just instantly believes that the park itself is a bad idea.

 

 

FAVOURITE SCENE: The loud thud. The water rippling in the glass of water. The remains of the goat. The eventual reveal of the T-Rex followed by the roar.

FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Life found a way.’ – Dr. Alan Grant

DID YOU KNOW?: When the T-Rex comes through the glass roof of the Ford Explorer in the first attack, the glass was not meant to break. Due to this, some of the screams heard in the final cut are screams of genuine fear. When Hurricane Iniki hit, the cast and crew were all required to move into the ballroom of the hotel they were staying in. Richard Attenborough, however, stayed in his hotel room and slept through the entire event. When asked how he could possibly have done this, Attenborough replied, “My dear boy, I survived the blitz!” All of the cast were given a Raptor model, signed by Steven Spielberg as a gift. It looked very frightening, and Ariana Richards has it in her house to shock anyone coming in, like a guard at the gate. Jeff Goldblum’s model has a prime spot in his house and is a cherished object. Laura Dern put her Raptor model in her son’s room near his crib. When he was older and saw it he screamed like never before. She had to put it in storage but hopes one day the two will be friends. In the shooting script, it was written that, during the Tyrannosaur’s escape, Malcolm would simply get out of the car and run away, much as Genarro had done moments before. In fact, this is how Malcolm behaves in the scene as written in the book. When the time came to film the scene, it was Jeff Goldblum’s idea to make his flight more heroic, by having him distract the Tyrannosaur so Grant could save the children.

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