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Monday, June 27, 2011

My review of Jurassic Park

Spielberg had a record year in 1993. Schindler's List alone would make any director's year but then he had to go and release Jurassic Park too!? Simply amazing.


Acting/characters: The most high profile actor in this one is Academy Award winner Richard Attenborough. Jeff Goldblum was also a relatively high profile actor after The Fly. Sam Neil was well known for The Hunt for Red October. Laura Dern had done Blue Velvet before this one. so this movie had a relatively high profile cast. I think they did a good job. Not perfect but very good. They all embodied their characters very well. Yes even the kids. Now, normally I'm not a fan of child actors but the two in this movie were actually okay. I guess I hate child actors (especially in films like these) because they never have good characters and they're annoying. They are generally incapable of making even the slightest life-preserving actions. Here they do have traces of that but on the whole they are actually capable of helping themselves and as such they mostly aren't annoying. Mostly. The rest of the cast did a really good job and I enjoyed it. 9/10

Plot: I know that the T-Rex scene is the most famous one in the movie but I think that the Velociraptor scenes are far more suspenseful. With the Rex, you can hear it coming but with the raptors, they can be on you before you even know what happened. The kitchen scene is far more suspenseful than the first encounter with the T-Rex. Not to take anything away from the T-Rex attack of course. It's still as frightening as hell. The plot of the movie is different than the plot of the book. If I had to choose though, I would have to go with the movie. I just enjoyed it a lot more. It manages to get the right amount of suspense while still giving the audience an engaging and enjoyable story. It doesn't matter that most of the audience isn't going to know jack about the scientific and technological stuff. That's not the point of the film. I enjoyed it. 9.5/10

Screenplay: It does have elements of science and technological jargon that most won't know (genetic engineering and Chaos Theory!? Look man I just wanna see people get eaten bu a T-Rex), but like I said, that really isn't the focus. I enjoyed how a few vaguely humorous lines were put in the really tense scenes. It helped ease the tension of watching a Velociraptor stalk someone. It was very well done. Sometimes it gave the children too many lines which occasionally got irritating but if that's the worst thing it has about it, well it's a decent screenplay then. 9/10

Likableness: I officially announce this film as a classic. It will have a spot in the Library of Congress National Film Registry. It's just that good. The dinosaurs themselves still hold up today as really really awesome. The T-Rex and the Velociraptors especially. I would suggest this one to anyone who has not seen it (all five of you) as it is a truly great film. It has great suspenseful scenes, amazing effects, a great story, and some really good acting. I enjoyed it a lot. 10/10

Final score: 37.5/40 93% (N)
Tomatometer Score: 88%
Tomatometer Score if my review was added: 88%


TRIVIA TIME: 1. William Hurt and Harrison Ford were offered the role of Dr. Grant. Spielberg even considered Richard Dreyfuss. Sean Connery was considered for John Hammond. Jodie Foster, Sigourney Weaver, Michelle Pfeiffer, Ally Sheedy, Geena Davis, Daryl Hannah, Jennifer Grey, Kelly McGillis, Jamie Lee Curtis, Julia Roberts, Linda Hamilton, Sarah Jessica Parker, Joan Cusack, and Debra Winger were considered for the role of Dr. Ellie Sattler.

2. In Michael Crichton's novel, John Hammond proudly says that the narrator on the prerecorded park tour is Richard Kiley. Later, Kiley was hired to play himself in that role for the movie; possibly the first instance of a celebrity appearing in a book, and then later cast as him or herself in the film version. This feat was not repeated until 2009, when boxer Paolo Roberto played himself in the film version of Flickan som lekte med elden. He too was already previously featured as a character in the book.

3. The glass of water sitting on the dash of the Ford Explorer was made to ripple using a guitar string that was attached to the underside of the dash beneath the glass.

4. The full-sized animatron of the tyrannosaurus rex weighed about 13,000 to 15,000 pounds. During the shooting of the initial T-rex attack scene that took place in a downpour and was shot on a soundstage, the latex that covered the T-rex puppet absorbed great amounts of water, making it much heavier and harder to control. Technicians worked throughout the night with blow driers trying to dry the latex out. Eventually, they suspended a platform above the T-rex, out of camera range, to keep the water off it during filming.

5. To study the movement of the Gallimimus herd, the film's digital artists were ordered to run along a stretch of road with some obstacles, their hands next to their chest.

6. Fred Sorenson was the pilot who flew the crew off Kauai when the hurricane hit during production. He played Jock, the pilot who flew Indiana Jones away in the opening scene of Raiders of the Lost Ark, also directed by Steven Spielberg.

7. In this film, Steven Spielberg directs the man who beat him to the Best Director Oscar in 1983 (Richard Attenborough, whose film Gandhi also beat Spielberg's E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial as Best Picture).

8. Steven Spielberg was so confident with this film that he started making his next film (Schindler's List), placing post-production in the hands of George Lucas.

9. Ariana Richards was upset by the fact that an action figure of her character was not produced. (Kenner only made dolls of Grant, Sattler, Muldoon, Nedry, Tim, and eventually Malcolm.)

10. The gun that game warden Muldoon uses is an Italian Franchi SPAS 12, a commonly used gun in films due to its aesthetic modern appearance.

11. The guest's encounter with the sick Triceratops ends without any clear explanation as to why the animal is sick. Michael Crichton's original novel and the screenplay, however, includes an explanation: the Stegosaur/Triceratops lacked suitable teeth for grinding food and so, like birds, would swallow rocks and use them as gizzard stones. In the digestive tract, these rocks would grind the food to aid in digestion. After six weeks, the rocks would become too smooth to be useful, and the animal would regurgitate them. When finding and eating new rocks to use, the animal would also swallow West Indian Lilac berries. The fact that the berries and stones are regurgitated explains why Ellie never finds traces of them in the animal's excrement.

12. Gerald R. Molen film's producer played Dr. Gerry Harding, the character who was out on the field with the sick triceratops.



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