Our Score: 5 out of 5 stars
1993 was a great year to be Steven Spielberg. Or a fan of his films. In June of that year he took the world of visual effects deep into the future with his adaptation of Michael Crichton’s bestselling novel, “Jurassic Park.”
As the film begins we are introduced to Doctors Alan Grant (Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Dern). They are their team are working feverishly on a newly discovered dinosaur burial ground. Their work is interrupted by a visit from John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). He has been funding their research and now wishes for them to accompany him on a journey he assures them they won’t regret. A quick helicopter ride later they have arrived. “Welcome,” Hammond tells them, “to Jurassic Park.”
As exciting and frightening as it was two decades ago, “Jurassic Park” now has an extra scary feature – 3D. Though to be honest the process doesn’t really add a lot to the film. Of course that could be because only a few scenes in the film really lends itself to the gimmick (among them a tour car moving down the side of a tree and a P.O.V. shot of a leaping velociraptor). The depth of field is there but some of the shots come across poorly. The scene where the group first gets on the island and stand in front of a waterfall looks like it was shot with a back screen in the 1940s! Not a bad film…but sadly sometimes a bad process. Since the 3-D is really a non-entity (in my opinion – it doesn’t improve the film nor does it diminish it), the five star rating that I would give the original version still applies here.
The cast is great, of course, led by Neill and Dern, as well as Attenborough in kindly grandfather mode. Supporting characters like Wayne Knight, B.D. Wong and Samuel L. Jackson also show up to lend their talents. And I have to admit that I’d almost forgotten how totally cool Jeff Goldblum was in the 90s! As mathematician (and chaos theorist) Dr. Ian Malcolm he’s funny and sharp in every scene he’s in! All in all, the film is a classic and the chance to see it on the big screen again (or for the first time) should not be missed.
“Jurassic Park” was director Spielberg’s first film to be released that year. The second was “Schlinder’s List,” which would go on to win 7 Academy Awards (“Jurassic Park took home 3 of it’s own) including Best Picture and, finally for Spielberg, Best Director. Like I said, it was a great year to be Steven Spielberg!