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Dan the Man's Movie Reviews

All my aimless thoughts, ideas, and ramblings, all packed into one site!

Jurassic Park (1993)


Dinosaurs never have been, and never will be the same.

Two dinosaur experts, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler Laura Dern), are invited to test out a soon-to-be theme park from a millionaire named John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). Hammond has it all: he’s got the glitz, the glamour, the look, the style, and most surprisingly; he has dinosaurs. That’s right those things that you thought were exterminated almost 70 million years ago are in Hammond’s park, and are causing a ruckus like you’d expect. However, when that ruckus turns from playful to deadly in a matter of 24 hours, all hell breaks loose and it’s time for everybody to get their asses the hell of that damn island.

It’s been a long, long time since I made a return to this wonderful, but scary island but it was still a trip worth taking, even if it was in 3D this time around. Here’s the thing about the 3D since most peeps will want to know right off the bat: it’s nothing worth even talking about (even though that is exactly what I’m doing). The 3D is cool at times and definitely makes you feel as if you are a lot closer to the action than ever before, especially when it’s just jumping right out at you, but other than that; it’s nothing special that would really make me want to go out and see it, again and again. Even though I did see it in theaters, it was all because it was free, early in the a.m., and best of all, with my daddy waddy. Father-son bonding. Ain’t nothing else like it.

Aside from the 3D elements that are relatively lackluster at best, let me just get back with the movie and say that it’s still as fun and entertaining as much as it was all those years ago I watched it as a kid. I remember being scared of the big-ass dinos, I remember gripping my seat when those kids were running all-over-the-place in that kitchen, and I especially remember those freaky fuckers that used to spray poison/venom out of themselves, just as soon as they gave you the warning sign to “run the fuck away, now!”. Fond memories going into this movie and I was so happy to see none of them really tarnished, even if some glaring problems come in the way now that I’m a more sophisticated, and uppity-uppity film critic.

Lights off, idiot!

Lights off, idiot!

Some of the problems I seemed to have had with the script was not that it was lame or anything, it’s fine for what it is and what it tries to do, it’s just that when the initial plot where there is running, chasing, and panic all throughout the area, I felt like it could have been handled better, and written better without all of the plot inconveniences  For instance, the character of John Hammond just seemed like an idiot for even bothering opening up this park, for one reason and one reason only: there’s not enough security. The fact that the dippy was even thinking of opening up this park, where dinosaurs can easily get out of their safe-spots, just by knocking down a couple of wires, seemed really idiotic to me and not something that a rich millionaire would even forget about. Then, it goes on about how he’s cloning these dinosaurs from other gene-pools and turning them all into female, even if that proves a problem for evolution within this park, along with the rising tensions. I get that the guy had a passion and inspiration to create this park and allow everybody to see it, but you got to think things through man before you go all nutso on us.

There’s other problems with the script in certain areas, but the fact of the matter is that this movie is still fun, still entertaining, and still freaky, despite being released almost 20 years ago. Shit, I was actually three months away from entering the world when this movie came out. I’m getting old, man. The movie holds up in many ways because it shows what Steven Spielberg can do when he has a vision and that includes having a ball with his material. Some of it is a tad serious, but rightfully so. It allows us to feel worried for these characters as they constantly try to run and hide from these dinos, without losing a leg, arm, shoulder, knee, or life. It’s pretty scary even after all of these years, but I like how Spielberg was able to transition it back-and-forth, between serious and fun. It’s not light entertainment by any stretch, but if you bring your kid to it, I highly doubt they’ll be scared for life. Granted, they may wet the bed every night and never, ever want to see a dinosaur again, but that’s just life my friend. Quite frankly, it’s your call if you want to take them to see it, not mine. So please, don’t sue me if the kid ends up in a nut-ward or a serial killer. Just saying.

Another factor of this movie that works and also shows how much fun Spielberg seemed to be having while filming was the ensemble-cast he was able to assemble and make ready for this “dinosaur on a rampage” flick. Might have been a hard-sell at the time, but somehow, the man was able to get a lot of heavy-hitters that are still doing great work, even to this day. Laura Dern and Sam Neill are good as the couple that loves dinosaur bones as much as they love each other, and are good at what they do, whether they be together or separate  Dern is good at playing-up that tough, female-role where she can do almost as much dirty work, if not more than the boys in town; whereas Neill is good at playing-up his role as the type of dude who doesn’t like kids and doesn’t even want him, but yet, finds himself almost acting like a daddy when the shit hits the fan. Bedtime stories and all.

"What a pretty puppet."

“What a pretty puppet.”

Samuel L. Jackson shows up and is good in his couple of scenes where he infamously utters the line, “Hold on to your butts.” A bit corny, but it’s classic because of Mr. Jackson. Or Samuel L. Whichever one that mofo desires. Despite the problems I had with his dumb-ass character, screen-vet Richard Attenborough was actually very good at giving us a glimpse into a man that has too much money, too much ambition, but not enough smarts to fully think things through. I felt bad for him, until I realized that he allowed his grand kids to show up for this wonderful weekend. I guess he won’t be invited to Christmas din-din any time soon. And lastly, need I not forget about the one, the only, Mr. Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm, aka, the rock-star scientist who always lays low, always lays cool, and always has something hilarious or witty to say. It’s classic-Goldblum, whadda ya expect?!?

Consensus: Though the extra-dimension isn’t needed, Jurassic Park still holds up as one of the best, and most entertaining Spielberg flicks because he never seems to lose that fun-aspect that makes it such a ride (they actually have a pretty sucky one in Universal), and also the serious side to it all where you feel like anybody could die at any second, you just don’t know how to expect it coming. Trust me, not as gruesome as it sounds so show your kiddies and see what they have to say. Unless they get traumatized for the rest of their lives. Once again, don’t blame me for not listening to your inner-soul.

9 / 10 = Full Price!!

If all parks ended their tours like this, family-trips wouldn't be so painful.

If all parks ended their tours like this, family-trips wouldn’t be so painful.

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19 responses to “Jurassic Park (1993)

  1. Terry Malloy's Pigeon Coop April 7, 2013 at 9:23 am

    Nice write up Dan. Absolutely love Jurassic Park. One of the first films I remember seeing at the cinema that made me feel like a grown up.

  2. ckckred April 7, 2013 at 12:24 pm

    I haven’t seen this in years and I was thinking about going to see it for the rerelease. Nice review.

  3. mettemk April 7, 2013 at 1:17 pm

    Makes me want to go back and re-watch this one. By the way, I read the book a few months ago and I felt that John Hammond seemed less like an idiot in it. Of course he still is an idiot, but it all seems pretty well-planned, or as good as you could do it… except that’s not good enough.

  4. Parlor of Horror April 7, 2013 at 4:19 pm

    They have it in 3D at the IMAX theater near me, I’m wondering if that will give it a better 3D feel. The one thing I hate about 3D is when subjects get to the end of the frame and just dissappear – It keeps reminding you that you’re just watching a movie. With the IMAX, you can’t see the edges of the screen so it may be a better experience. But mostly I think 3D is over-rated.

    • CMrok93 April 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

      It is somewhat fuzzy at times, but the rest of the movie is still worth a watch if you want to have a nice trip down memory-lane for giggles and funs.

  5. Fogs' Movie Reviews April 7, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    LOL. For awhile there when you were criticizing the script, I thought you were going to bash this one! I was like, wait, he’s not going to give a 7 or something to Jurassic Park is he?? 8O
    :D Nice review Dan. Sorry to hear the 3d is lame. :(

    • CMrok93 April 8, 2013 at 4:37 pm

      Hahah don’t worry, Fogs! I wouldn’t let ya down like that, bud. It was great to watch again, even if the 3D wasn’t that outstanding. Thanks!

  6. Pingback: The Second Spill | films and coke

  7. Nostra April 8, 2013 at 7:00 am

    Wouldn’t want to see this in 3D (which seems doesn’t add much anyway), but it’s been way too long since I last saw this so it is time to return to the park :)

  8. Evan Crean April 8, 2013 at 11:53 am

    I’m an old man compared to you Dan haha. I saw Jurassic Park during its original run in the theater when I was 7. And I loved it just as much now as I did then. Such grand spectacle and special effects. Surpringly they still look pretty good. Like you said, the 3D is entirely unnecessary, looking meh in most places, cool in a few, and down right awful in some of those close-up shots. Plus Wayne Knight (Newman) appears even more massive. Poor guy. The clothes and technology are dated, but the performances are still fun. And god is Jeff Goldblum still as obnoxious as ever. Rewatching this, I was surprised how much certain scenes border on horror.

    • CMrok93 April 8, 2013 at 4:39 pm

      It still works as a movie, even by today’s standards, but that 3D did tick me off a bit. I could only imagine seeing this back in the day on the big-screen as a 7 year old. Life would be very different for me in many ways.

  9. Erin @ YA Book Crush April 8, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    Wow, I’m feeling old right now! Yes, I actually saw this in theaters when it came out (I was a bit older than Evan) and it has always been one of my favorites. I just saw it again yesterday and, like you, noticed some problems, but was happy it has held up so well. I agree the 3D was not spectacular, but it worked in certain scenes. Definitely worth the price of admission! (It sure made me miss the old Spielberg, though.)

  10. mikethemovieguy April 11, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Saw it in IMAX 3D. AWESOME.

  11. Cassie April 13, 2013 at 7:39 pm

    I was so excited when this returned to the theatre! It’s completely and totally worth paying for. Nice review!

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