Yesterday, I watched Jurassic Park for the first time in a solid twelve years or so. It was a favourite film of mine as a child, and also one of my family’s the most memorable theatre moments, at least for my parents. Little five-year-old me was apparently so terrified I almost crawled over the back of the seat, but I still got my parents to take me to see it multiple times after that (they’d learned their lesson, though, and we sat in the back row on future visits). On VHS, I watched the film constantly, bought lots of the toys, and overall it was a defining film for my childhood.
So, when it came out on glorious blu-ray, I had to watch it again. I did have some apprehension, though – often, things I liked as a child don’t stand up to an adult’s more refined taste. Luckily, Jurassic Park stood the test of time brilliantly, and I found I still love this film. I still get excited at the sight of dinosaurs, and I found that I appreciate the film more than I did as a child. Things I didn’t care about then, like character motivations or plot structure, impressed me this go-around. For exmple, I didn’t used to really understand, or care, why the guests were brought to the island, that Malcolm occasionally hit on Sattler, that Muldoon seems obsessed with the raptors, etc.
On the downside, I also noticed a few flaws, but they were mostly minor things. For one thing, genetics does not work that way! Also, that tyrannosaur really gets around. He shows up seemingly out of the blue during the stampede scene, and again during the finale comes out of nowhere indoors to surprise the raptors. How did neither the raptors nor the humans notice a giant tyrannosaur coming in through the back door? Were tyrannosaurs stealth hunters? The CIA needs to get in touch with that thing!
The film looks great on blu-ray, and the special effects still impressed me. It helps that many of the dinosaurs were animatronic, rather than computer animated. I’m far from the first to say this, but most films just look a lot better when there actually is something in front of the camera.
Of course, now I’m also curious about the novel. Michael Chrichton was my favourite author when I was younger, but I haven’t read anything of his in years. Just another thing to add to my backlog of books, I suppose.