a/perture Cinema, AFI, Amazon Prime, Dinosaurs, IMDb, Jeff Goldblum, Jurassic Park, Laura Dern, Martin Ferraro, Michael Crichton, Movies, Netflix, Richard Attenborough, Rotten Tomatoes, Sam Neill, Samuel L. Jackson, Stephen Spielberg, The Less Desirables, Wayne Knight
a/perture cinema, the Official Movie Sponsor of The Less Desirables, presents The Less Desirables Movie of the Week, Jurassic Park (1993), starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough and Jeff Goldblum.
Per IMDb: “During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok.”
Mr. Hammond (Attenborough) wants Drs. Grant and Sattler (Neill and Dern respectively), two prominent dino-era experts to endorse and deem his new dinosaur themed park, Jurassic Park, safe after a Velociraptor kills a staff member. It seems that Hammond’s scientists have found a way to extract DNA from amber-encased mosquito fossils and clone that DNA into various dinosaurs. Each taking on the characteristics of the depicted version; essentially becoming a real dinosaur.
Unbeknownst to Hammond, one of his employees, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight, Newman from Seinfeld), is stealing this dino embryos and selling it on the black market. While Drs. Grant and Sattler along with mathematician and chaos theorist Dr. Malcolm (Goldblum) along with the investors’ attorney, Gennaro (Martin Ferraro), and Hammond’s two grandchildren were on a test tour of the park, Nedry is in danger of losing money on his stolen embryo so he goes to steal more. Doing so, he has to turn off the security around the embryos and in doing so also turns off the electric fences that keep the dinosaurs from the tour guests. It leaves Hammond and one of his engineers played by Samuel L. Jackson, to try and reboot the systems. Yep, you guessed it, the dinos get loose and calamity ensues. To what extent and how many people die? Well, you have to watch for that info.
I had absolutely never seen this film before this. I really didn’t even know what the premise of the film was, outside of cloned dinosaurs and them going nuts. From 1993 until 1999 or so, everything was dinosaurs, dinosaurs, dinosaurs, just like a few years back everything was all about zombies. It was cliche, in your face and overdone. That being the case, I didn’t care to see it. So, I put it off. I am quite sorry for that decision.
The first thing that I had to gravitate to the CGI. I had to imagine myself back in 1993 when I watched this just a few weeks ago. This was probably the first hoorah for CGI and director Stephen Spielberg made sure to use it to its fullest extent, even though he was simultaneously filming Schindler’s List. There was stuff before, but not a lot in this scope. This was the CGI breakthrough. I can see, watching closely, the CGI layers and there was green screen stuff, and compared to today’s computer graphics, it’s somewhat primitive but it is really great stuff. The dinosaurs look so real.
But, there was so much more than the dinosaurs. The lush landscapes of Costa Rica (where which only a few outdoor shots were actually taken), Hawaii and Dominican Republic along with the Mojave desert were vibrant and large. The actors were all top notch. Some of the best acting I’ve ever seen in a film overall, this was amazing. Michael Crichton’s story (both novel and screenplay) was vivid and full. There were a few times I found myself finding ‘goofs,’ but for the most part, I let myself get lost in the story. It was intense and even though I knew that most of these characters were in the next (tw0?) made it to further sequels, I was truly scared for the characters. I will say, that I found my hair standing up on the back of my neck more than once. Edge of seat situations. And, any film with a John Williams score is automatically enhanced by 300%. The sound was nothing shy of the intensity of the scenes they represented.
This was one of the 400 nominations for AFI‘s 100 Years… 100 Movies list in 2007. In fact, it was the absolute last film on the list for me to complete it. By now, there’s already another post that covers me completing that list. It was nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Sound Editing, Mixing and Visual Effects; winning all three. Rotten Tomatoes has it rated at 93% Fresh with an Audience Score of 91%. IMDb has it rated at 8.1 stars out of 10. It is currently only available streaming by rental from Amazon Prime. It was a handful of months ago that it showed up on Netflix and then disappeared just about two months ago. I’d venture to say that it will be back before too long. I own the whole Jurassic Trilogy (before Jurassic World came out) on Blu-Ray and that’s how I watched it. I highly recommend this if you’ve never seen it and I rate it 4.75 stars out of 5. Have you seen it? What did you think? What would you like to read/hear me review?
Until tomorrow, same blog channel…
“Big Tim, the human piece of toast.” – Dr. Alan Grant