When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #28: Jurassic Park (Movie Review)

(This blog is not for profit. All copyrighted images belong to their respective owners and are used for review. New to the blog? Start on the introduction.)

https://whendinosaursruledthemind.wordpress.com/2014/08/18/introduction-remember-dinosaurs-theyre-different-now/

Today, I’m going to try something different. I didn’t feel like I gave my complete thoughts on some of the reviews I have done in the past, and felt like I was restricted by only talking about the dinosaurs. So now, I believe it is time to do an actual full review of a dinosaur film. I’ll be doing a couple more of these, so keep your eyes open for them, but it is fitting that the first film I review in this format is the very first film I reviewed on this site, Jurassic Park, and I feel it is very timely. Jurassic Park is over 20 years old, and many of its special effects hold up to this day. Not to mention we are awaiting the new film Jurassic World, whose trailer should be dropping very soon. 

Now, while I write this review, please be aware that I may tread over ground I already covered in the first review, so bear with me. Now, let’s get into Jurassic Park!

The film Jurassic Park is based on the novel by Michael Crichton, which is basically his way of explaining the mathematical concept of chaos theory in the guise of a thriller about dinosaurs. The actual movie itself emphasises the thriller part a bit more, but the chaos aspect from the novel is still very much here (but not as much as it is in the book, some portions can only be fully enjoyed by mathematicians or computer programmers). The film itself is very revolutionary as it is the first to fully render living organisms in CGI. The special effects use a combination of computer generated imagery, animatronics, and puppetry, creating some of the most beautifully realized dinosaurs in film history. But how does the rest of the film hold up? Let’s see.

The film begins on Isla Nublar, the island that nestles Jurassic Park. It’s dark, ominous, and everyone present carries a look of concern. It’s a pretty tense scene. Then, out of the darkness, comes a huge crate carrying something inside. Something alive. The workers continue to act nervously around the crate, as we hear menacing noises from the inside. The crate is lined up with the enclosure, and it begins to open.

But then the creature attacks.

Whatever is in the crate manages to escape and kills one of the workers. The other workers try desperately to save him, hitting the animal with cattle prods. We catch a glimpse of the creature’s reptilian eye, while the desperate screaming of the game warden Robert Muldoon…

“SHOOT HER!”

“SHOOT HER!!”

…gets drowned out by the screams of the creature and the wails of the man.

OK, that was intense.

We then cut to another scene, with Donald Gennaro, a lawyer who represents Jurassic Parks investors. He’s visiting a mine in Costa Rica that is digging for amber. Gennaro is concerned that the park is unsafe, and demands that experts visit the park to make sure everything is going to plan. At the mine site, we get a glimpse of the very thing that makes everything in Jurassic Park possible, amber.

Remember this, it’ll be important later.

We then meet up with Dr. Alan Grant, a paleontologist who is so awesome he made every kid watching this movie in the 90’s want to grow up to and become a dinosaur expert for a living.

Things don’t always work out.

Alan Grant is in Montana, a fine state to find dinosaur fossils. So many famous species have been found there, including Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops. So Grant, what is it that you are digging up today?

No.

A Velociraptor.

…..

Come again?

A Velociraptor.

A Velociraptor.

Um….

…you do know Velociraptors lived in Asia, not North America?

No, that's Velociraptor mongoliensis, this is Velociraptor antirrhopus.

No, that’s Velociraptor mongoliensis, this is Velociraptor antirrhopus.

You mean Deinonychus?

Um, no?

Um, no?

OK, I see what’s going on. During the 80’s, one scientist published a book that endorsed his theory that Velociraptor and Deinonychus were actually two species of the same genus, Velociraptor. Although not many people agreed with this, apparently Michael Crichton and/or Steven Spielberg got a hold of this idea, and thus the ‘Velociraptors’ of Jurassic Park are actually modeled after the larger Deinonychus. This also explains why Grant discovered a ‘Velociraptor’ in Montana, a state that Deinonychus fossils hale from.

Anyway, Grant is sad that there is this new cutting edge computer technology (you know, cutting edge circa 1992) that is making images of dinosaur fossils in the ground before they are even dug up. Some guy boasts that one day they won’t even have to dig any more, and Grant wonders where the fun in that is. Apparently, the rest of the paleontology community agreed because I’m not seeing this technology being utilized today.

Dude, it’s 2014, we’re still digging. How much longer do we have to wait?

Anyway, Grant starts to study the skeleton, and remarks on the dinosaur’s bird-like features. And the rest of the group laughs.

Oh yeah, this is the early 1990’s, back when people scoffed at the thought that dinosaurs were anything more than big lizards. Hahahahah….

Well, Grant tries to explain himself anyway in the meager evidence he had back in those days (I guess I can see why people didn’t really take to this theory). He talks about the structure and hollow nature of the bones, and pointing out that even the suffix ‘raptor’ means “bird of prey”.

The term “raptor” is derived from the Latin word rapere (meaning to seize or take by force).

A kid comes out of literally nowhere and remarks that this new bird like image doesn’t sound very scary, and is more like a six-foot turkey.

This kid isn’t alone, sadly.

Grant seems to take this insult personally, as he now goes into this long spiel about how much of a perfect predator the Velociraptor was. He tells the kid to imagine himself in the Late Cretaceous, stumbling into a clearing and coming face to face with a raptor. He describes his movements, bobbing his head like a bird. Then, when the prey least expects it, two other raptors come from the side. He explains that Velociraptor was a pack hunter, using coordinated techniques to hunt its prey. He says they won’t go for the neck like a lion, but instead will disembowel its prey. He uses a fossil raptor claw he has to demonstrate this, ripping it across the boy’s chest, and then his groin! 

Or perhaps across the belly, spilling his intestines.

The point Grant is trying to make is that the boy is still alive, when they start to eat him and I think Grant is perhaps giving these guys a bit too much credit here (or he has a raptor fetish, in this scene I really start to wonder).

As expected, the boy is scared crapless. Grant’s girlfriend/fiancée/scientific partner Ellie Sattler (who is a paleobotanist, which is a fancy way to say she studies prehistoric plants) quips that if he wanted to scare the kid he could have just pointed a gun at him.

Honestly, that’s mild compared to the mental invasion that child just endured.

You see, Grant hates kids, even though in the novel this movie is based on Grant absolutely adores kids. He loves how children get so excited about dinosaurs, it’s something he has in common with them. This film, however, Grant can’t stand there snotty little faces; making such points as they are loud, noisy, expensive, and smelly.

Now that I think about it, those are some really good points.

Before he can carry on with his youth annihilation crusade, a huge helicopter lands in the dig site and starts covering the dinosaur skeleton in the very dirt these scientists spent hours taking off of it. Understandably annoyed, Grant tries to find the jerk that is ruining his discovery, only to find an old Scottish guy invading his trailer and stealing his alcohol.

Typical Scott.

I’m kidding or course, I love all people. Unless you’re a Skrull. Darn dirty Skrulls.

Anyway, this trespassing old man who must be senile claims he has a wonderful proposition. This old fart is actually a multibillionaire who is willing to fund this entire dig site in exchange for a weekend at his luxury park. Seems like an easy decision for me, but Grant and Ellie wonder what kind of park would require the expertise of a couple of paleontologists. Hammond (the old guy) simply says “it’s right up your alley”.

Are you saying you have a park inhabited with living dinosaurs?

What? No, of course not. What would give you that crazy idea?

So, Grant and Ellie embark on a helicopter to Isla Nublar, where they meet Genarro the lawyer and Malcolm, the mathematician. He’s dressed all in black, flirts with Ellie, and snickers a laugh that would make a 60’s comic book mad scientist blush. The picture of professionalism this guy. Then, Hammond suddenly gets on alert, and points out the window.

“There it is.”

You’re singing this line like the Jurassic Park theme…

They land on the island, with Hammond visually proud of what he has accomplished. Although Grant, Ellie, and Malcolm don’t know what’s coming yet, Gennarro is all to wary of what’s going on, and is still concerned about the inherit dangers of the park. Hammond tells him to relax, and promises in 48 hours he’ll be accepting Gennarro’s apology.

The group makes their way to an open field by jeep, and Ellie is visually confused about a plant she found. She casually states that this form of plant has been extinct since the Cretaceous period. Now, any paleobotanist would be either excited or freaked out to discover this, but Ellie seems more annoyed by it than anything, as if she found a knick knack that someone put on the wrong part of the shelf.

Grant, on the other hand, could care less, as he’s spotted something a little more interesting than a 65 million year old leaf.

It’s, it’s a dinosaur.

Hammond laughs with joy at their obvious excitement, while the audience as well is in complete awe. Seriously, this scene made the audience feel the same sense of wonder that Grant was feeling in that scene as well. We all thought we were seeing a live dinosaur for the first time. However, watching it again in HD, this Brachiosaurus is one of the more obvious CGI creations (looked great on VHS quality though). I can forget all that though because this scene is absolutely magical. I find it hilarious when Grant and Ellie start studying it, pointing out that it doesn’t live in a swamp and that it shows traits of a warm-blooded creature. And Hammond just indulges them all along the way.

Grant asks how fast they are, and Hammond responds that they’ve clocked the T. rex at thirty-two miles per hour.

Dude, I asked about the Brachio-wait, did you say T. rex?

Dude, I asked about the Brachio-wait, did you say T. rex?

Grant starts to faint at the thought of actually seeing a live T. rex, as John Hammond utters those beautiful four words:

“Welcome to Jurassic Park.”

Grant looks over his shoulder and in the distance sees something incredible.

How’d you do it?

I don’t remember.

The group then finds itself in the Visitor Center, which is richly adorned in dinosaur themed decoration. Hammond goes on about how great his park will be, while Grant contemplates that he may be out of a job, which I think is a little bit too pessimistic. I mean, they can only create so many dinosaurs, right? Paleontologists will still be needed to make new discoveries. And even if they did eventually get to the point where they can create any dinosaur they wanted to, wouldn’t it make sense to keep paleontologists around to discover new dinosaurs they can add to the park?

However, at the moment they aren’t too concerned about that. No, they want to find out how the heck Hammond managed to create living dinosaurs. Hammond explains this with a little video made for the tours, where he must talk to a pre-filmed version of himself about DNA (which means he must be present for every tour group that would go through the park every day. hopefully this was going to be like a ‘once a day’ sort of thing). Suddenly, a cartoon DNA strand comes out of nowhere and begins to explain the process of creating dinosaurs.

It’s kind of jarring when you think about it.

Now, the film goes on to explain that the way they create the dinosaurs is by extracting preserved dinosaur blood from mosquitoes trapped in amber since the Age of Dinosaurs. Now, we all know why this wouldn’t work, but let’s go over it anyway. Even if the DNA did survive (which it sure as heck wouldn’t) how many mosquitoes did the scientists have to find? I mean, finding insects in amber is pretty rare, even more so insects from the Mesozoic. Now these insects must be some sort of  blood sucker, and they must have blood still inside them. Not only that, but the blood would have to be from a single dinosaur, and not of several dinosaurs from multiple feedings or the DNA wouldn’t be pure. And you’re telling me you found enough mosquitoes in amber to create a park full of dinosaurs that just happened to be the most popular ones out their?

That’s a lot of coincidences.

The film states further that the DNA strands were full of holes, so the scientists had the brilliant idea to fill the gaps with frog DNA.

Which makes absolutely no sense.

 First of all, you can’t mix the DNA of two animals and expect to get a complete creature. You can’t mix a sheep’s DNA with a lion and expect a bunch of killer sheep running around. It just won’t happen. So you can’t fill in the DNA gaps with that of another creature. But even if you could, why a frog? I see you using birds or even reptiles but a frog? Dinosaurs are about as different from frogs as we are! It really doesn’t make sense.

And one other thing, have you ever noticed that the amber found in the beginning of the film was from the Dominican Republic, even though no dinosaurs ever lived there? Amber found in the Dominican Republic is 30 million years old at the oldest, much too young have mosquitoes that fed on dinosaurs. Heck, the island that is the Dominican Republic didn’t even exist in the Mesozoic! Nothing about this makes sense!!!

Alright, I’ll get off my soapbox.

So, in this world achieving the impossible is, well, possible. Despite my little rant, this doesn’t really get me angry. In the end, it’s a movie, and for a movie, it’s a pretty good explanation. I mean, it’s much better than time travel or something.

I’ll get to yah later.

Anyway, the scientists aren’t exactly satisfied with the cartoon’s explanation since it was all in layman’s terms, so they decide to go to the geneticists lab itself. There they meet Dr. Henry Wu and his laboratory. Now, in the novel Henry Wu is an important and interesting character, but is mostly regulated to a cameo in this movie. Thankfully, he’s going to appear again in Jurassic World, and hopefully play a more pivotal role. I certainly hope so, because I love me some BD Wong.

OK, that came out wrong.

Anyway, this lab is the place where they clone the dinosaurs and fertilize the eggs, from which the dinosaurs then hatch from. Grant and the gang come just in time to see a baby dinosaur born, and I must say, this is another magical scene.

We watch as the baby dinosaur slowly pushes its way out of the eggshell, and everyone surrounding it is stunned with awe. Wong even mentions that it is endothermic, meaning that the dinosaur is warm-blooded as they theorized. Malcolm questions what these dinosaurs do when they hatch in the wild, but Wu states that this is impossible since all the dinosaurs are created female. Malcolm states that this kind of control is impossible and that nature will eventually take its course. Wu questions whether Malcolm is insinuating that a population composed of female dinosaurs will breed.

It is a fair question, is it not?

Malcolm simply retorts that life will find a way, and in any other movie he would be labeled as absolutely crazy. Not in this movie though, because it has plot twists. Oooooh…

Grant begins to examine the baby, and questions what species it is. Wu answers that it is a Velociraptor, and by the look of concern on Grant’s face you’d think they created the spawn of Satan. However, we see that Grant’s worries have merit.

The group then visits the Velociraptor pen, just in time for feeding. A cow is lowered into the enclosure and concealed by ferns. Then the shaking happens, and all you hear and see are the unnatural screams and growls of the raptors and the disturbed faces of the group.  It is quite an uncomfortable scene.

“They should all be destroyed” says a very sensible man (Robert Muldoon, the park’s game warden, to be precise). He goes on about how dangerous thee animals are, with their cheetah paced speed and deductive skills. Hammond tries to contact this by saying that the park is taking extreme precautions with these guys, only for the mangled wreck of the cow harness to finally emerge from the paddock.

Cow-Harness-Destroyed.png

John Hammond: “Now, who’s hungry?”

We now find ourselves at a dinner table that Hammond set up for his guests. Gennarro is now completely on board with the idea of this park (you know, after seeing an actual dinosaur) and starts shooting out numbers. $2,000 a night at the park, $10,000 a night maybe, merchandise revenue; this park in his eyes has become a never-ending money bag. Hammond stipulates that the park shouldn’t be just for the super-rich, and that everyone in the world should have the right to see these animals.

You know, everyone who can afford a plane ticket/boat ride to Costa Rica and stay on a tropical island resort housing prehistoric life no one has ever seen before.

I’ll wait for footage of the park on television, perhaps on a Discovery Channel special.

 Malcolm, however, is unhappy with the way things are going. He’s afraid that a system like this is doomed to fail, and that it is impossible to command control over the things the park is trying to accomplish. He claims that the scientists here don’t take responsibility for what they have done, since they basically just read what others have done and took the next step. In his words: “You’ve stood on the shoulders of geniuses, to accomplish somethings as fast as you can, and before you even knew what you had….

“…you patented it…”

“…and packaged it…”

“…and slapped it on a plastic lunch box…”

“…and now, your selling it…”

“…you’re selling it!”

Hammond retorts that the people here had done things that nobody else has done before. Malcolm then says that maybe instead of thinking if they could they could have thought to think if they should. Hammond then brings out that if he had cloned an endangered or recently extinct animal like condors on the island, Malcolm wouldn’t have anything to say. Malcolm retorts by saying that these aren’t animals destroyed by humans, but animals nature selected for extinction.

I, Mother Nature, hereby select this planet to go bye-bye.

Ellie has a similar complaint, asking how you can possibly recreate an extinct ecosystem. She states the inherit danger these animals posses and what harm negligence on the park’s part can do as well. Hammond hopes that Grant would be the one to appreciate what’s going on, but Alan is unsure as well. Dinosaurs and man have never coexisted, how can we possibly know what too expect?

Hammond is flabbergasted, hearing the people he brought to protect him from the higher-ups shoot him down while the lawyer is the only one on his side.

Meanwhile, it turns out that Hammond’s grand kid’s have come to join the group on the tour, so the group can see how the target audience responds to the park. But uh oh, Grant doesn’t like kids.

The group then begins to embark on its tour. They begin to enter state of the art self driving non polluting vehicles with all the latest gadgets like-

An interactive CD-ROM!!!

This must have been so confusing for the kids that watched this for the first time in the 2013 re-release.

Tim (one of the kids and a big fan of dinosaurs) is excited to meet Grant, who is a famous paleontologist. Tim says he read Grant’s book, but questions Grant’s idea of the relationship between birds and dinosaurs, saying that they don’t look like birds to him.

Oh Tim, just wait.

Tim then goes on a rant about the many theories about how dinosaurs went extinct, of course in an annoyingly cute precocious fashion. I’m sure Grant’s thinking “this is going to be a long tour.”

The tour begins, with Richard Kiley (an amazing actor that no one under 40 has heard of) narrating the experience. They soon see the immense gates to the park, promising something spectacular.

Trumpets sound as the heavy doors creak open, while Richard triumphantly says “Welcome to Jurassic Park!” What is Malcolm’s response?

“What do they got in there, King Kong?”

Of course not! If he was then there wouldn’t be any dinosaurs.

The first stop on their tour is the Dilophosaurus paddock, which everyone is excited to see. However, no dinosaurs show up. I mean, the enclosure is pretty big, and the foliage is pretty thick, and the tour seems to only cover a finite portion of their habitat, and there don’t seem to be any lures to the tracks either. Man, this is one lousy set up. If all the attractions are like this no one is going to be seeing any dinosaurs. So the group leaves that attraction disappointed, and who would blame them. Even though they are all uneasy about the park’s safety, they still want to see some freakin’ dinosaurs!

Unbeknownst to them, the park is having several problems behind the scenes. There are over 150 glitches in the system, a tropical storm is approaching the island, and the only one who can fix the park’s computer problem’s is this guy!

Newman!

Dennis Nedry is the park’s computer programmer, who runs all the automated systems in the park and fixes all the bugs and glitches. Unknown to anyone, however, is that he is secretly planning to betray the company by using his intel on the systems to smuggle some embryo’s to another company, whom is paying very generously. I guess treachery like this is inevitable in a place like this.

The tour reaches is next destination, the Tyrannosaurus paddock (which is an odd choice for the second destination, shouldn’t it be either first or last?). Just like the first attraction, no one comes, which makes Malcolm go into an odd mantra.

“God creates dinosaurs, God destroys dinosaurs, God creates man, man destroys God, man creates dinosaurs.”

Which leads Ellie to say something even stranger.

“Dinosaurs eat man, women inherit the earth.”

Um, Ellie? 

Noticing the lack of dinosaur action, a goat is sent to, well, entice the animal closer.

Life sucks. don’t it?

Lex (Tim’s sister) is horrified by what this implies as she is a vegetarian, but Tim is ready to see some goat gore. Grant thinks that a T. rex would rather hunt than be fed, but I can’t think of any modern animal that would pass up a free meal.

Sadly, the Rex doesn’t respond, and the group leaves once again disappointed. Malcolm tries to contact Hammond through the vehicle’s security cameras, asking a simple and salient question.

“Um, you do plan to have dinosaurs on your dinosaur tour, right?”

Only for Hammond to mutter to himself:

“I really hate that man.”

Malcolm then tries to make the moves on Ellie, you know, despite her already being with Alan. Not to mention the strong possibility that she might actually be a female supremacist planning to use the dinosaurs for the inevitable uprising. Malcolm uses the oldest trick in the book to try to flirt with her: the old ‘explain chaos theory with a droplet of water’ trick. I bet he uses it to pick up women in all the bars. Grant, however, is actually preoccupied with something else. He sees something in the field ahead of him, prompting him to exit the moving vehicle and investigate. Everyone else follows suit.

While walking to the whatever, Tim continues his little rant about dinosaurs hoping for Grant’s response, while it would also seem that Ellie is developing a little crush on Alan. OK, you know you’re never going to shake these kids now, right Grant?

Curse my devilishly handsome looks.

Curse my devilishly handsome looks.

However, all of this is forgotten when they finally come across what Grant saw in the distance, a Triceratops.

This is another beautiful scene, as everyone who sees the dinosaur gets struck in a major sense of awe. For a moment, they forget the worries they’ve been having, and just revel in the joy of seeing a live dinosaur. You can really see the inner child coming out of the characters, especially Grant and Ellie, whom act like they’re both seeing a deceased relative alive again. Grant is struck almost motionless as he pets the dinosaur’s hide, and Ellie begin’s visually crying while inspecting the dinosaur. I especially love Grant’s line: “Ah, these were my favorite when I was a kid and now that I see her, she’s the most beautiful thing I ever saw.” For some reason, that get’s me a little teary eyed, because I think I would have a similar reaction upon seeing an actual dinosaur.

I am in dino-nerd heaven!

However, the Triceratops is sick, and no one can figure out why. Ellie suspects poisonous plants, but is assured by the park vet that the dinosaurs don’t eat them. Ellie wants to make sure, so she begin’s digging through dino dung.

Um, how did the triceratops make a mound that size? It looks almost as big as the dinosaur!

Now, this scene happens a little differently in the book. For one, it’s a Stegosaurus, not a Triceratops in the novel that’s sick. Second, like in the movie, they can’t figure out why it’s sick, only that the symptoms only happen every six weeks and Ellie suspects the West Indian Lilac’s. The difference is that in the book Ellie discovers the problem.

In the novel, the Stegosaurus was swallowing stones (called gastroliths, which some dinosaurs swallowed to aid digestion). They only did this every six weeks, and when they did this they accidentally ingested residue from the poisonous plants. In the movie, we don’t know if this is the case, because it’s never resolved. Sure, that was probably done for pacing purposes, but it makes the scene the Triceratops seem almost useless, except for being the scene that separates Ellie from the group (and it’s also an excuse to see another dinosaur, and really, who doesn’t want that?).

Speaking of which, Ellie stays behind to help with the Triceratops, while the rest of the group has to end the tour early because of the impending storm. Hammond is upset that the first tour wasn’t as great as he would have hoped, with two no-shows and a sick Triceratops. Meanwhile, Nedry begins his evil plot.

Using his computer know-how, he shut’s off security cameras and locking mechanisms, telling the rest of the group that’s it’s just going to be a part of routine maintenance. He sneaks into the room that is carrying the embryos, and smuggles as many as he can.

They misspell Stegosaurus, but they can spell Metriacanthosaurus just fine.

They misspell Stegosaurus, but they can spell Metriacanthosaurus just fine.

Jelly?

Jelly?

However, in his tampering with the systems, all the major power outlets in the park go out, and since everything is computer automated, everything goes out. The computer system, the phones, the vehicles, the electric fences keeping all the animals in! Hammond, Muldoon, and Arnold (the park’s chief engineer played by Samuel L. Jackson) have realized something is up, and that Nedry had something to do with it, but he’s on the other side of the island. Arnold tries to reverse what Nedry did. but he get’s attacked by the first GIf I mean Nedry’s virus.

Nedry, you’re a jerk, you know that?

So, with the entire park on its knees, Hammond asks were the tour group ended up.

They are stuck in front of the Tyrannosaurus paddock.

And thus begins one of the greatest scenes in cinematic history.

Tim finds some cool goggles under his seat, and starts to use them. It turns out that they are night vision goggles, and he can see clearly through the night’s rain.

I always wanted one of these as a kid.

However, things begin to feel off. A constant and consistent rumbling sound, that gets increasingly louder and louder. Tim begins to feel worried, and notices the cups of water next to him in the car ripple.

giphy.gif

Tim looks again into his goggles, and realizes that goat that a moment ago was just on the other side of the fence is gone. Lex notices too, and asks out loud where the goat is. Then a disembodied hoofed leg lands on the roof of the car.

Here I am!

Everyone looks up, and see’s a two clawed hand upon the no longer electrified fence. The camera pans up, and we get our first look of the Tyrannosaurus rex.

Gennarro is terrified, and runs out of the vehicle and hides in a nearby bathroom stall, abandoning the kids. Lex starts to hyperventilate, saying over and over again “He left us, he left us.”

The fence begins to creak and tear, as the creature begins to break through it. Then, she makes her grand entrance.

jurassic-park-t-rex-jeep-attack.jpg

Oh yeah.

She let’s out a mighty roar, something that no one before this movie had ever heard before. It sounds so alien, so unlike anything alive today, that you might actually think it’s what this dinosaur sounded like.

Grant and Malcolm look at the beast from the other vehicle, completely stunned. This leads Malcolm to say:

“Boy, do I hate being right all the time.”

Lex begins looking through the vehicle looking for something that can help them, and finds a flashlight. She turns it on, but it attracts the Rex. Now, many people have a problem with that, thinking it was incredibly stupid of her to do so. However, you need to remember that she is still young, not to mention under a lot of stress. I remember being that age making dumb decisions when under a lot of pressure, even if they made sense at the time. Maybe she thought it would be a way to contact Grant and Malcolm without leaving the car. You have to remember that lot’s of people make decisions like this, but it doesn’t make them dumb, it makes them realistic. In fact, I think these kids are very realistically written, and I don’t see a problem with this moment.

You know, except for the fact that it attracts the T. rex.

The T. rex begins to size up the vehicle, searching for the source of the light. The kids stay absolutely still, completely frozen in fear. All you see is the creature looking inside the car, slowly breathing. It is a very tense scene. The dinosaur then looks into the car window with the flashlight still on. In an amazing special effects triumph, she looks into the light and her eyes dilate! It’s incredibly creepy and scarily realistic. You forget this thing is an animatronic/CGI creation, you believe it’s a real creature.

Suddenly, the T. rex makes another deafening roar, scaring the kids into moving.

She has found her prey.

The tyrannosaur begins to bump into the car with his head, terrifying the kids. Tim continues to berate his sister over the flashlight, and in the mist of their argument, they suddenly look up.

And the T. rex rams through the sun roof.

This scene is so freakin’ scary. Out of nowhere the Rex’s head rams through the car, breaking the glass in two. The camera switches back and forth from the dinosaur’s point of view and the kid’s, giving you every vantage point of the terror. And these kid’s SELL IT. They sound so genuinely terrified, their screams of terror so incredibly real (helps that they have an actual T. rex head to react to, not to mention that the glass wasn’t supposed to break when it did). This scene still gives me chills.

Grant and Malcolm can only watch as the Rex continues its barrage.

The tyrannosaur then flips the car upside down, and begins crushing it into the earth. The sobbing cries of the children continue to get more intense, while the beast begins to sink the car into the mud.

Grant can’t take it anymore, and runs out into the rain with a flair, hoping to distract the creature.

Grant: “HEY!!”

WHAT?!

Um…

I love how scared Grant looks in this scene, with the Rex’s roar loud and echoing, but he’s still brave enough to stay. He waves the flare around, throws it into the paddock, and the T. rex follows suit.

Ohhh, shiny.

Malcolm has a similar idea, and leaves the car with a flair, trying to get the dinosaur’s attention. Grant stares at him with a look of both anger and confusion, powerfully yelling at him:

Ian, FREEZE!

Malcolm yells at Grant to get the kids, while the monster then decides to chase her new target. Malcolm throws the flare, but it’s too late.

Meanwhile, Genarro is still in the toilet seat, hiding. He hears the footsteps coming closer, and panics. The Tyrannosaurus bursts through the walls, completely collapsing the structure. The dinosaur eyes the man on the toilet, who is stricken with fear. It rears down and takes its first victim.

Lawyer-death.jpg

This isn’t going to end well for me, is it?

tumblr_static_tumblr_static_3nf40qagk3cw0cw4gggsokgg8_640.gif

Yeah, should have seen this coming.

So much for that apology, Hammond.

Meanwhile, Grant tries to save the kids from the overturned vehicle. He manages to free Lex, only for the Rex to return. The dinosaur returned it’s attention to the car, pushing it further and further off a ledge. Eventually, the whole thing just falls over into the trees, with Tim still in it. The Rex gives off a final exhilarating roar, and the scene ends.

Now that was a ride.

Back at the control center, Hammond, Muldoon, and Arnold try to recover what Nedry did. Hammond asks Muldoon if he can try and find his grandchildren, in which Ellie also joins. Arnold states that he can’t bring Jurassic Park back online without Nedry, and nobody knows where he is.

Meanwhile, Nedry is trying to get off the dock for his ride off the island, but has a little car trouble.

In that he crashed it.

While trying to get himself back together, he meets a new friend.

‘Sup?

This little guy is a Dilophosaurus, and if you want to know what’s wrong about him scientifically you can go see that rant in the old post. That being said, that doesn’t keep this guy from being totally awesome!

Nedry thinks it’s just a harmless little dinosaur, and remarks on how absolutely stupid the creature is behaving. It turns out that the animal isn’t stupid, she’s sizing him up. She’s hunting him.

Nedry turns his back and realizes the creature is still following him, and then suddenly the creature expands a giant frill (that comes out of nowhere mind you) and makes a terrifying noise.

A black gooey substance lands on Nedry’s shirt. The Dilophosaurus spit venom onto him. Then, the venom hit’s his eyes, blinding him. In his daze he hits his head on the roof of the car and falls, and his smuggled embryos fall down the hill. He manages to get back in his car, and think’s he’s safe.

The key to victory is the element of surprise.

SURPRISE!

Look’s like karma’s a female dilophosaur, because Dennis get’s his comeuppance.

Meanwhile, Grant is trying to get Tim out of the car, that’s in the tree.

JurassicTreeCar.png

Yep, typical outcome of a T. rex attack.

He get’s him out, but not without a couple of close calls.

They’re under this vehicle BTW.

Meanwhile, Ellie and Muldoon are in front of the Tyrannosaur paddock looking for the group. They find bits and pieces of Genarro splattered about and a very wounded but still quipping Malcolm.

Malcolm: “Remind me to thank John for a lovely weekend.”

Ellie: “Can we chance moving him?”

(T. rex roar)

Malcolm: “Please, chance it.”

But it’s too late, because the T. rex decides to make its second appearance (and it would seem that the group suddenly teleported into a jungle when a moment ago they were on the tour tracks). The tyrannosaurus chases them down in the jeep, being awesome all the way through.

I’m back.

They keep driving off, but the Rex still catches up, leading to an incredibly awesome shot that really doesn’t make sense when you think about it.

I smell homage fuel.

The dinosaur continues to chase them, but gives up in the end. Malcolm, always ready for a sarcastic response, states:

“You think they’ll have that on the tour?”

Gee, I sure hope so.

On the other side of the island, Grant, Lex, and Tim also hear the T. rex roars, and decide to take shelter on a tall tree. When there, they meet a herd of Brachiosaurus, and Grant begins to make noises trying to communicate them.

Hey, is he mocking our language? That is so disrespectful.

Grant, starting to warm up to the kids, promises to protect them during the night.

Back at the visitor center, Ellie returns and spots Hammond in the dining area eating ice cream, as you know the drill when the power goes out. Eat all the perishables! Hammond begins to recall one of the first attractions he ever created, a motorized flea circus. There weren’t any actual fleas, it was all mechanized. But with Jurassic Park, he wanted to create something that wasn’t an illusion, something real.

This scene really shows how great of a character Hammond is in this movie. In the book he’s a dime a dozen corrupt business man, been there done that. But Steven Spielberg showed us a different dynamic. He saw a lot of himself in Hammond; Steven understood the desire to entertain. He created a character that wasn’t a bad person, he only desired to bring joy, but in that desire he made some horrible mistakes. He’s not a bad man doing bad things, he’s a good man doing bad things unintentionally, and that is infinitely more interesting.

Hammond still has faith in the park, but Ellie states that like the flea circus, it’s still all an illusion. But this time it’s the illusion of control. Ellie could care less about the future of the park , because all she cares about now is making sure Grant, Lex and Tim get home safely.

Back in the tree, Grant, Lex and Tim are greeted by a Brachiosaurus looking for breakfast.

Now, I’m going to have to agree with some in that this is one of the lesser effects in the movie, since at no point in this scene did I think the creature was real. When it went to CGI it looked obvious, and in the words of the Nostalgia Critic, the animatronic looks more like a very expensive sock puppet.

Which it kind of was, actually.

It almost looks at home in that 90’s Dinosaur sitcom or that live action Flintstones movie. But I’m in no way knocking the effects team or the scene in general, as it is still a great scene. Grant and Tim play with it for a bit, and Lex starts warming up to dinosaurs. But then it sneezes on her.

Oh, you think that’s funny? Well, wait until you get an undocumented dinosaur disease that can’t be cured that spreads across the entire planet.

The kids leave the tree and start hiking through the forest, when Grant spots a dinosaur egg. But how is the possible you may ask? I though all the dinosaurs were girls? Well, it turns out, that some frogs can change gender, and that those are the kinds of frogs that the scientists used to fill in the DNA gene gaps to clone the dinosaurs. Now, not only did they just happen to use the few frogs that can actually do this, but it also was one of the traits inherited by all the dinosaurs. Now, in the book, frog DNA was only used on a few species as a last resort, which makes a lot more sense then using it for all of them by default. It’s also why the dinosaurs only see moving objects, which is a trait of frogs, unlike the movie, where it’s basically accepted fact that a T. rex’s vision is based on movement.

You know what this means? Because of a stupid mistake, you made Malcolm correct. The guy that said that the dinosaurs will be able to breed even though they are all female because chaos. You made that guy right. You must feel great huh?

BTW, funny little story, my friend who went to see this movie back in 1993 actually predicted the plot twist because he knew that some amphibians could do this. He must feel so proud of himself.

Meanwhile (we’ll be doing a lot of back and forth in this movie) Hammond and Arnold, along with Muldoon, Ellie, and Malcolm, try to decide what to do to bring the park’s power back. Hammond suggests to shut down the system and restart everything, but Arnold is afraid the power might not come back after a system shut down. Muldoon suggests to bring the lysine contingency into effect, which is a protocol that the scientists created in which the dinosaurs can’t process lysine in their system without supplements from the park, and without them they animals will slip into a coma and die. In the book this was a major plot point, as it was a way to keep the dinosaurs from escaping the island. However, one of the plot points in the book was that the dinosaurs might be escaping, which isn’t one in the movie. The reference is more or less just anod to the novel, but even then the context doesn’t really make any sense. In the book the dinosaurs were bound by that, they couldn’t survive without the lysine supplements. But here it seems like it’s something they can just turn on and off. Really, they might as well have just left it out of the film canon completely.

Anyway, the shut down the system, restart it, and it works. However, a circuit breaker went off and the power is still out. So Arnold volunteers to go out into a compound to bring the power back on. He does this alone, with no weapons, knowing full well there are dangerous creatures running loose on the island. He’s dino-chow.

Back with Grant and the kids, the three walk through an open field when they meet up with a flock of ostrich like dinosaurs. Grant takes notice of them, and asks if Tim knew what they were. He responds with some hesitation that they are Gallimimus, although a kid his age in the 90’s would more likely guess Ornithomimus or Struthiomimus. Lex asks if their meat eaters, but no one answers because we had no friggin’ idea what these guys ate back in the 90’s. We now believe they basically ate the same things ostriches ate, but a theropod that didn’t tear into flesh was inconceivable back then.

8139088018_f50f297208_z.jpg

Or at least eggs.

Grant observes their bird like flocking behavior, only to realize that they are coming right for them.

I know, I’m going a little GIF crazy on this post.

Grant and the kids take shelter from the Gallimimus’ under a fallen tree, just when the Tyrannosaurus returns and attacks one of the Galli’s.

Lex is mortified, while Grant looks on to it with intense fascination, one again proving my idea about his dinosaur fixation. He remarks “I bet you’ll never look at birds the same way again.”

You know, that might carry more weight if they actually looked like birds.

Back with Hammond, Ellie, and Malcolm, Arnold is taking more than the three minutes he promised to turn the power on. In this place, that means he’s ripped apart in several places. Hammond begins talking about delays, saying all major theme parks have delays. He mentions nothing worked when Disney Land first opened, which is true. But Malcolm, is his never-ending snark, brings out a very good point.

“But John, if the the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down the pirates don’t eat the tourists.”

We may make them walk the plank and cut off their legs, but eat them? Never!

Ellie and Muldoon prepare to go and find Arnold, when Hammond states that he should be going. Why, you ask?

“Well, because I’m a…and you’re a…”

Hammond, be careful, this is the woman who plans to feed all the Y Chromosomes to the dinosaurs, (your FEMALE dinosaurs by the way), you might not want to bring up the subject of feminism.

Not to mention that you’re an old fart that would probably be an easy catch for any wandering dinosaur.

Ellie goes anyway, and she and Muldoon wander out of the compound. That is when they discover the raptors have escaped. Muldoon tells her to head to the maintenance shed, were Arnold was supposed to be. He has his gun out, and ominously says they’re already being hunted. She runs to the shed, while Muldoon keeps his eye on the raptor. She makes it, and begins to make her way to the circuit breakers.

Meanwhile, Grant, Lex and Tim have found an electric fence. After hearing another T. rex roar, they see the only way to get around it is by climbing up. Unfortunately, Ellie is in the midst of turning the power back on. Tim is still on the fence when alarms on the fence begin to ring, signaling a return of the power. Grant and Lex, who are both already on the ground, tell him to jump. But before he can, the power is turned back on, and Tim is electrocuted.

Ellie is excited about bringing back the power, only to find that she has a little visitor.

SURPRISE!

A velociraptor literally comes out of the wall and attacks Ellie. She escapes, only for Arnold’s disembodied arm to land on her shoulder.

ArnoldArm.png

The black guy always dies in these movies! BTW, who put my arm up here?

The raptor attacks again, but Ellie escapes and locks it in the shed. Meanwhile, Muldoon is still hunting the raptor. He’s nearly got it, only for another raptor to come from the bushes right next to him. It was a trap.

Muldoon, impressed, says his famous last words.

“Clever Girl.”

The raptor pounces and kills him, while the other one watches through the trees.

Hehehe, we’ve got him now…hey, stop hogging the spotlight, snake. I’m trying to have a moment here!

Back with Tim, who is now a fried mess, Grant tries to resuscitate him, and succeeds. They make their way to the visitor center, where Grant leaves them in the diner so he can look for the others. Before he does so, he remarks that Tim’s hair is standing up, and jokingly calls him “Big Tim the Human Piece of Toast”.

toast5.jpg

Um, I take offense to that statement, as it makes light the real epidemic of  grilling pieces of bread.

Grant does find Ellie, and Lex & Tim chow down on a buffet table stocked with a conspicuous amount of random food. All seems OK, until an ominous shadow appears.

Oh, forget this. I’m out.

You said it.

The kids hide in the kitchen, only for a Velociraptor to follow them inside.

Excuse me for a moment, but do you have a minute to talk about our Lord and savior Raptor Jesus?

It enters the kitchen, and Lex asks what it is. Tim claims it’s a velociraptor, and in this universe, he’s correct. But if he said that in real life, he would have to revoke his dinosaur expert card.

Oh yeah, by the way, apparently these guys have figured out how to open doors.

RaptorDoor.png

You did say I can come in, right?

Raptors have officially reached OP.

Then, the raptor yells out a deep croaking sound and another raptor comes to join the party.

Now, these guys are scary. They are constantly being portrayed as the perfect predator, driving fear into anyone who lays eyes upon them. They’re basically the dinosaur version of a Xenomorph!

I feel like my image has been, tarnished somehow.

Now, sometimes the CGI in this scene is a bit lacking, but the animatronics for the raptors are perfect. They seem incredibly real! And the screams and growls that they make are unlike anything I’ve ever heard.

The raptors enter the kitchen, sniffing out the little morsels inside. The kids mostly evade them, although making several close calls.

Lex manages to trick one into knocking itself out, while Tim manages to trap one into a freezer.

Somehow.

The kids escape the kitchen, but the raptors aren’t done with them.

I’ll be back.

The kids meet up back with Grant and Ellie, and they must go back to the control room to boot up the system again. Unfortunately, the door locks aren’t working yet, and they have a little visitor.

Hi.

The raptor begins forcing the door open, and Ellie must help Grant keep the door shut. Lex looks at the computer, and see’s that it’s a Unix system, and being a self proclaimed ‘hacker’, she knows it.

As unbelievably weird as this looks, this actually existed. 

Anyway, Ellie tries to get a hold of the gun, but can’t get it unless she moves, and if she moves, the raptor gets in.

Gee, I wish we had someone in the room that wasn’t doing anything, right? A little preteen boy, perhaps?

Anyway, through the power of the script, Lex gets the park up and running again and the door locks work again. As does everything else in the park.

Grant calls Hammond on the telephone, and tells him that the phones are working (you troll). Everything seems fine, until they realize that the door wasn’t the only entry way for the raptors, and they begin coming through the glass. Hammond hears gunshots through the phone, and is mortified. He screams out in the hammiest way you can imagine:

GRANT!!!!

Someone doesn’t want his precious dinosaurs harmed.

With the bullets not working, the group decides to escape through the ventilation system. However, the raptor sees straight through this plan.

Last GIF, I promise.

They escape the raptor, and get out of the ventilation system, only to find themselves cornered once again by the Velociraptor. There only escape is to jump onto the dinosaur skeletons in the visitor center. Of course, the raptors just follow them on.

They continue to do this until almost half of the skeleton breaks completely, and are once again cornered by the raptors. It seems like there is nowhere left to run, and everyone prepares for their imminent death. But then…

Ok, this will be the last GIF.

The T. rex returns, and attacks the raptors. This allows the group time to escape, while the two dinosaurs duke it out. In another awesome scene, the T. rex bites down on the raptor, kills it, throws it into the dinosaur skeleton, and roars a mighty roar as the “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” banner falls upon her in a victorious fashion. And thus is the greatest ending to a film in movie history.

When Dinosaurs Blew The Mind.

It’s a reference to the blog’s name. Get it? OK.

Well, Hammond, Grant, Ellie, Malcolm, Lex, and Tim all leave the island mostly in one piece. Hammond recollects on the things that went wrong, and Ellie notices that Grant now has a respect for children. Grant then looks out the window and watches pelicans, members of the surviving group of dinosaurs called birds.

Dude, did you see what they did to those birds in there?

I know man, it looks like they plucked all their feathers off.

That place must be terrible.

Well, those are my thoughts on Jurassic Park.

Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be.

Final verdict? It may not be the greatest movie ever made, and the science behind it is either ludicrous or outdated, but it’s still a triumph in film making. The special effects still hold up to this day, and the new theories on dinosaurs it dived into are also extraordinary (to bad a lot of it didn’t hold up). It also has interesting characters and asks many questions on how this sort of thing would actually happen and what we would do if it did. It’s still one of my favorite movies, and on a scale of one to 10 I give it an….

8.5 out of 10.

Join me after the game on Thursday, or whenever I get around to writing it, for my next post will be about the Jurassic World trailer, set to release during Thanksgiving Night Football on the 27th of November.

I am so ready. 

See you then.

Advertisements

7 thoughts on “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Mind #28: Jurassic Park (Movie Review)

    1. I remember writing this and when it was done and published I was like ‘why didn’t I put Philosoraptor in this?”
      Philosoraptor started out as a character who would keep my personal feelings of a movie/TV show or whatever in check so I could review the work properly while manifesting himself in the raptors appearing in the show. He started out slightly antagonistic but became good later on. I usually use him in big reviews and reviews that continue my story line dealing with Time Traveling Cynodont, and don’t worry, I have all of that planned out and you’ll continue to see those characters appearing.

      Like

  1. The system Lex is on is _actually_ IRIX (a UNIX developed by SGI) and the program she is using is called fsn (File System Navigator), and is a _real_ application developed by SGI for the IRIX, albeit never finished (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fsn). The screenshot that you claim to be of a UNIX system is actually Windows. Please do not do this! It’s like calling Dinosaurs “scaled reptilian savages”, “too dumb to survive”, and saying that all theropods stood vertically with their tails dragging along the ground in shame! Windows is not a UNIX or even UNIX-like! Sorry for the nitpick.

    Like

      1. lol, don’t sweat it, I just wanted to point out the mistake so that it wouldn’t be misleading. I figured that you did something like what you said you did. Also sorry about my reply containing the stackexchange link, that was supposed to be added as a reply to my own comment, but I can’t tell if it worked or not.

        Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s