Saturday, June 25, 2011
Jurassic Park: still tops in Dinoland
"Jurassic Park" was the pinnacle of the Spielbergian blockbuster. Speilberg invented the summer blockbuster with "Jaws" and "Jurassic Park" was the culmination of the form.
Every dinosaur movie before 1993 was limited to what stop-motion animation could accomplish. I'm not bagging on stop-motion. Ray Harryhausen is a genius in my book. Given a choice, I'd watch stop-motion all day over modern CGI. When "Jurassic Park" came out, CGI was still relatively new to the masses of movie-goers. We'd seen "Tron" and the stained-glass knight in "Young Sherlock Holmes" and that was about it.
The dinosaurs in "Jurassic Park" looked and sounded real. The screaming T-Rex was right out of every kid's dreams and nightmares.
There isn't much wrong with "Jurassic Park." No, it didn't follow the novel as closely as it could have. Let's face it, movie audiences don't care about the science of things as much as readers do. (I'm speaking in general. I know some viewers who were very upset that more of the genetics details weren't it the movie.)
The most perfect moment of the film, for me, is when the severed goat leg hits the window of the SUV some of the park's visitors are in. I remember the sold-out theater screaming at the meaty thump on glass. Excellent.
Call me blasphemous, but I even enjoyed the two sequels. "Jurassic Park III" managed to fit some of the missing details from the original novel into its convoluted plot. And now there is talk of a remake.
I guess that's better than making another sequel. As Spielberg hopefully learned, trilogies end with the third part. "Jurassic Park" doesn't need its own version of "Kingdom of the Crystal Skull."
I believe there should be a 30 year moratorium on remakes. Maybe 25 years. My wife has suggested that if the primary cast of a film is still actively working, no remake should be done. We both agree that "Jurassic Park" is perfect and any future dinosaur movies will pale in comparison.
And if they do remake "Jurassic Park," they'd have to hire someone to write a better score than John Williams. That's not going to happen.