Friday, 27 March 2015

Film Review: Jurassic Park Steven Spielberg 1993

Jurassic Park
Fig. 1 Film Poster

It can be speculated that this film, being one of Spielberg's most famous, has had tones of mixed reviews over the years. It's released marked an era where we look at the prehistoric and how visual effects can bring the creature out of extinction rather fantastically. With another movie due to launch this year, the Jurassic Park series has frightened many, even with the lack of a story, the visual concepts deserve the jaw dropping. It's popularity grew quickly, with re-runs and blue ray releases it has become a sensation of a series. "The effects have barely aged and the joy is timeless." (Richards,2013). The early stages of CG and anamatronic's are a breeze for this film, making everything seem believable down the breathing Triceratops. 

Essentially the film revolves around an old eccentric billionaire, Dr. John Hammond, (See Fig 2)
Fig. 2 Dr John Hammond
who has found the way to reproduce genetic strands of DNA to re-grow Dino-Embryos. Billions of years of History boils down to a little mosquito that had fossilized inside amber and had Dinosaur blood in his system created a world that Spielberg brought alive. A single island containing these amazing creatures, opened to the public as a theme park, something just had to go wrong didn't it? After inviting a group of scientists, and architect and his grandchildren, this billionaire could not have predicted that chaos that followed - well he could have when he thought about breeding Carnivores, creating a series of events that put everyone in perilous danger. 

The main focus of this movie is the beautifully stunning dinosaurs. ‘’Spielberg was wise to not rely entirely on computer images, rather blending the new technology with old-fashioned practical designs" (Dunks,2014) Using a combination of CGI and Animatronic's, Spielberg has created creatures that look and feel like they exist in the world. Everything from the triceratops, the Velociraptors to the T-rex are believable, making the wonder and dread that the Sam Neil's character experience even more real. The dinosaurs are what makes the set pieces in this film truly astounding and the stories behind some of them even more interesting.

The darkest most recognised scene of the film begins where the convoy of jeeps that take everyone on a tour, break down outside the T-Rex pen as it’s feeding. The electrics blow and things go to hell, this sort of scene really does get the audience on the edge of their seats, jumping at every flash of lighting.  When we hear the roar of the beast it sends Goosebumps up your spine, it’s a thrill to see, but the T-Rex may be the biggest beast on the island, but it is not the biggest threat. We come to the part of the movie that terrifies. Velociraptors. "They were absolutely frightening when they were first revealed" (Reyes,2014). The intelligent pack-runner, the Velocirapotors,
Fig.3 Velociraptors
their hyper-inteligence gave them the phrase ‘’clever-girl’’, which is becoming a well know phrase in cinema. These beat’s give the film its thriller factor, bringing it away from the ‘’family-adventure’’ theme and more of a ‘’slasher’’ themed one instead. (See Figure 3). They hunt down the group, killing and maiming a few of them and almost killing the main stars. These beast's bring the thriller factor to the movie, turning it into what seems to be a slasher movie of sorts. They hunt down the main group, keeping themselves hidden until they strike. Their horrific screech and the way they move makes them some of the scariest creatures to ever be shown in film. 

But these beautifully master creatures are not the films only focus, the character introduced to us all have a profound effect on the atmosphere of the movie. For instance, Sam Neil's character, Alan Grant, establishes that he does not like children from the beginning of the feature. But as the film progresses he starts to grow an attachment to the two grandchildren of Dr. Hammond. As the choas unfolds, he adopts a protective nature over the children, making sure that they are safe, like saving them from the falling car. (See Figure 4)
Fig 4. Trapped Jeep
In the final shot of the movie, his views of children change dramatically, as he solidifies the idea of becoming open to the idea of having children for himself.  

Secondly, we have Ian Malcolm, played brilliantly by Jeff Goldblum. His character talks about the theoretical side of the inhabitants and how nature cannot be controlled or ceased by humans. The unbeliever basically. The dinosaurs are created to only be females, however as Malcolm shows in the helicopter with the two female ends of a seat belt, life will always find a way to procreate, and reptiles - which dinosaurs relate from - are able to change their sex when there are no mating males available. 

In conclusion, Jurassic Park is a stunningly visual masterpiece that holds up to even today's CGI capabilities. The story is simple, but so detailed that the characters and dinosaurs become a part of our world, become memorable and appealing to the eye. With the new movie ''Jurassic World'' on it's way, it's no wonder many children today wish such a park existed - which there are adaptations, but only with robotic dinosaurs - but still that's good enough. 


Olly Richards, Empire Magazine,, August 19 2013. [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Glenn Dunks, Quick flicks,, September 23 2014. [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Mike Reyes, Cinema Blend,, November 10 2014 [Accessed on 27/03/2015]


Figure 1. Film Poster, [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 2: John Hammond, 1993[Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 3: Velociraptor, 1993[Accessed on 27/03/2015]

Figure 4: Trapped Jeep. 1993 [Accessed on 27/03/2015]

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