Film: Jurassic Park
Box Office Gross: $356,784,000
Awards: 3 Oscars for sound, effects editing and visual effects
Actors: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Sir Richard Attenborough, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson, and Wayne Knight
In the true spirit of Spielberg, Jurassic Park was full of wonder, mystery, lots of special effects and a fantastic story that has become part of our culture. I know I'd never heard the cry of the velociraptor before this movie. As for background: Two paleobiologists (one studying plants, the other dinosaurs - Dern and Neill, respectively) are brought to authenticate a new theme park on an island. Attenborough brings them, along with a mathematician (Goldblum) and his own grandchildren to check out the "fully automated" island now covered in dinosaurs. With a bit of scientific hand waving, we find out you can now grow your own dinosaurs and they'll be available as a tourist attraction. However, of course things go horribly wrong and our heroes have to save everyone (although Newman doesn't make it thanks to the little bitty spitting dino) and use their knowledge of what the dinosaurs might have been like to escape and survive. It's got awesome special effects and the wonder that that characters experience seeing a field of dinosaurs holds up every time I see the movie. The terrifying dino-hide and seek scenes scared the bejeezus out of me in the theater in my teens not knowing who would escape and who the dinosaurs would eat. It's great for kids (not little ones, but most kids can be entertained rather than scared) and was a lot of fun rewatching over the years. There are a lot of scenes I enjoy, but my favorite still has to be watching Neill lay against a triceratops and feel her breathe in and out. You really got the sense that these jaded biologists were finding the wonder again. I never saw the sequels, or read the books of sequels. I'm happy in my ignorance that all ended fine and the dinosaurs lived happily ever after on their island alone.
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