Ask anyone who knows me about my fondness and utter boyhood joy for movies and most likely you’ll begin to piece together personal fragments that ultimately led to the person I am today.
Like Michael, I’m like a kid in a candy store — gnawing on an enormous Gobstopper — when it comes to watching movies, especially those rare cinematic experiences where you feel as if you’re a part of what’s occuring on screen.
There are very few movies that have immersed me in such a vivid manner that when I’m amongst the audience I forget about reality until the credits appear on screen. One such movie, which debuted in the early 90s, totally captivated me at the time as well as reminded me what a good movie could be.
Several months prior to the official opening of the movie I can remember strolling past the cardboard display, a medium-sized advertisement with a jeep and the words “Jurassic Park: An Adventure 65 Million Years in the Making”.
At the time, my brother and I stopped dead in our tracks and just examined the advertisement wondering to ourselves whether or not it was a dinosaur movie or a cheesy horror flick. Despite our attempts to figure out what the movie was about, I do remember thinking that the logo was fantastic, a silohuette of a dinosaur on a blood red background with huge bold letters, that alone guaranteed our prescence at the film’s release.
However, there was one tiny detail I had initially overlooked upon first glancing at the cardboard stand, that Jurassic Park was not only going to be a movie about dinosaurs, but that Steven Spielberg was directing. I decided then and there, without a moment’s hesitation, that I was going to see this movie, no matter what.
After doing some more research on the film, which if I remember correctly, consisted of watching every entertainment medium that I could, it was revealed that not only was this going to be a movie about dinosaurs, it was going to be about a “dinosaur amusement park”. In my opinion, mixing giant reptiles of the past with Disneyland seemed like a superb idea.
Having no prior knowledge of the book I decided to purchase it and read it before the movie, something I try to avoid since they rarely ever compliment eachother. A few chapters into Jurassic Park my eyes glazed over and I tossed the book aside in disbelief and frankly disappointment, mainly because of the long passages of text dealing strictly with medical terminology and the fact that the story itself dragged on.
Luckily, Steven Spielberg and crew took creative liberties with the story, something I was happy with considering the original storyline, while similar and I suppose appealing to some readers, wasn’t exactly “adventure” material (years later I would end up changing my mind, after reading the book cover-to-cover).
The movie Jurassic Park, unlike it’s book counterpart, was simply one of the most energetic and visually mind-blowing cinematic experiences since Star Wars. The breakthrough CGI, bringing to life dinosaurs you could only imagine beforehand, made these dinosaurs seem lifelike and in some instances downright horrific, especially the T-Rex and Raptors.
Almost 13 years later, I’ve since revisited Jurassic Park, having watched the DVD and airings of the movie on television and I’m still captivated by it. The performances are and characters themselves are stellar, especially that of Ian Malcolm as played by Jeff “The Fly” Goldblum. He plays the neurotic, know-it-all character in many films and pulls it off particularly well in JP. The special effects, which were pinnacle at the time, still remain convincing and dramatic.
Jurassic Park is and was truly one of the most fulfilling movie experiences that I’ve ever witnessed and because of the amount of detail and the thrilling aspects to the film it’ll always remain a classic, earning its spot next to other wonderful movies that will be watched and remembered by generations to come, mark my word.