Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Jurassic Park ★★★★

    "Jurassic Park" is a 1993 film that defies logic to create one of the most entertaining adventures in cinema history. Dinosaurs have always been an intriguing subject for children and adults alike while cementing their place among history's most fascinating and mysterious past.

    This is a film that brings these remarkable creatures to life in a breath taking fashion. With an incredible array of visually stunning dinosaurs and a plethora of outstanding characterizations, "Jurassic Park" is a timeless classic that shuns the 65 million year gap to bring humans and prehistoric animals together for the very first time.

    Walt Disney was a man intent on bringing happiness to children worldwide with his ingenious brand of cartoon characters and film adaptions of renown children's stories. The fictional John Hammond is of similar makeup, but instead of creating animated mice, Hammond has birthed something of a different genetic order--dinosaurs. On a small island near Costa Rica, a biological preserve has been produced to display some of God's most riveting creations.

    However, a minor accident claims the life of one employee and places the park's grand opening on hold. Investors would not be pleased that their financial backing would become the foundation of an experiment showcasing killer animals, who may devour the tourists. This leads Hammond to recruit the top experts in the park's respected fields to survey the blueprint and label this venture a success.

    Alan Grant, a leading paleontologist, and Ellie Sattler, a paleobotanist, are extracted from their most recent dig in Montana to become the most important opinions on this preview tour. Along with a mathematician who is obsessed with chaos theory in Ian Malcolm, our characters will find themselves in a world surrounded by beauty, excitement, and peril.

    Based upon a novel written by Michael Crichton, the characters in "Jurassic Park" are a rich dosage of stereotypes, including the money hungry lawyer and womanizing playboy who moonlights as a mathematician. Additionally, John Hammond is a prime example of caricature and leitmotif, as he sputters around with a cane and repeatedly states, "spared no expense." Although these portrayals are essentially overshadowed by their prehistoric counterparts, they are an integral component that brings the human element to the forefront.

    Undoubtedly, the stars of this production have to be the intricately detailed animatronic dinosaurs (provided by the wonderful mind of Stan Winston) that overrun this island of imagination. These creatures come alive on the silver screen like none before them and very few since. They provide heartwarming moments and instances of sheer terror. (Alan Grant's admiration for a sick Triceratops and the feeding of a Brachiosaurus among the treetops are some of the most charming scenes in the film.)

    The most impressive of the lot are the Velociraptors, for their cunning intelligence and swift movements, and the Tyrannosaurus Rex, the king of all dinosaurs in stature and intimidation. These carnivores are the center of numerous tension filled scenes, including a run in with the Tyrannosaurus and a game of chess with a pack of Velociraptors in the park's kitchen. Without these menacing hunters, this picture would simply become a trip to the local zoo.

    What Steven Spielberg has created is a film that performs as a non-stop flow of action and wonderment. His direction is impeccable and flawlessly places each object in a position to succeed. Considering this film's central concern is the plot, these qualities should never be overlooked. Spielberg's natural talent to sweep us off of our feet and immerse us in an escapist atmosphere is something to behold. He has created a picture filled with memorable scenes of allure and enchantment.

    And who could forget the contribution of John Williams. His composition for this film is a quintessential blend of merriment and fright. In a career that has seen numerous collaborations with quality film making, Williams yet again surpasses the bar set for this performance. The score only adds to an ambiance that pervades this very distinct experience.

    There is something quite irresistible about this film that lingers in the memory of cinema history. One of the most endearing scenes involves a baby Velociraptor, hatching from its genetically created egg, and the notion that "life will find a way," provided by our resident cynical mathematician. If there is one bulletproof theory of human nature, it is the fact that life will most certainly find a way to adapt, overcome, and survive.

    When an audience enters into the darkness enshrouded theater to enjoy themselves, it is pictures of this magnitude that never seem to fail. The simplistic act of relating the characters to everyday personas contributes to this overwhelming sensation of enlightenment. The euphoric feeling that you are along for the ride and cannot escape the actions of the events, much like the characters cannot escape their fates on screen, is one of a kind. "Jurassic Park" is the reason why I love movies.

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