Back From the Grave

It’s utter crap that people cease to be amused by dinosaurs. Think about it- dinosaurs are the closest support we have that species of life can emerge on planets of various ecological states. Dinosaurs evolved, ruled the earth, and were then likely obliterated along with the ecosystem that supported them. What came afterward but every species we know of today and, well…us? Plus, dinosaurs are goddamn strange and magnificent. We need to quit growing up sometimes and just be amazed.

Spielburg’s “Jurassic Park” is amazing. It was amazing when watched in a theater in 1993 and because of an added dimension, it’s still plain neat.

The 3-D experience is lacking in some ways. It mostly just pulls cut-outs of characters and elements of scenes and pulls them to the foreground from the rest of the film. It would benefit from something like new shading around the projected figures to give a better overall “tactile” experience. Though considering Spielberg’s intelligent mix of CGI and animatronics, any better enhancement would stop my heart.

What also helps “JP” to endure is that many of the storylines Michael Crichton developed were transferred engagingly to the film version. Dr. Grant grows from discomfort around youth to a near-paternal figure by the end; park creator John Hammond struggles with endearing but obsessive will to introduce a spectacle of wonder to the minds and hearts of people; and the conflict between science as a mechanism for the creation of life versus the power of Mother Nature and natural selection reaches a pinnacle. These themes weave provocatively within the suspense of an amusement park spun out of control.

If you can’t be fascinated by a movie about the real giants that once ruled this earth before your greatest grandmammy and grandpappy were born, then you’re simply cold-blooded. The movie is so good too at portraying these strange beings as a balance between movie monsters that terrorize our imaginations and real, historically evolved beasts of primal instinct and intelligence. As the hunter Muldoon warns when talking about the methodical velociraptor: “They remember.” But not all dinos are prehistoric terrorists. The peace and wonder of the initial brachiosaurus scene is still counted by most that’ve seen it as one of the most enthralling scenes in all of cinema.

If you’re too cool and not into things like colossal life forms, then at least let your mind be blown by the perfect spherical shape of John Hammond’s head. Thanks to the marvels of 3-D augmentation, his dome is round as a fricking orange.

 

Photo courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. Illustration by Danielle Burch.

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