From the middle 1990s to the mid 2000s, my favourite movie was Jurassic Park. I’m not kidding. I must have watched it at least two dozen times in my life, more than any other movie.
In celebration of the release of Jurassic Park (trilogy) on Blu-ray, Bryan Curtis wrote a good piece about the cult associated with this movie.
On the origin of Jurassic Park (I’ve read Michael Crichton’s novel, and was thoroughly mesmerized by it):
When was Jurassic Park hatched? We could start in 1924, when the American paleontologist Henry Fairfield Osborn wrote about an “alert, swift-moving carnivorous dinosaur” — Velociraptor mongoliensis. We could start in 1970, when Steven, a young movie director, and Michael, a young novelist, had a chance meeting on the lot at Universal Studios. But I’m thinking we should probably start in 1983.
Entomologist George O. Poinar and his wife, Roberta, had begun taking DNA from insects trapped in prehistoric amber. They’d published an article about it in Science. One afternoon, a stranger dropped by their office in Berkeley, Calif. “Tall, pleasant guy,” Poinar recalls now. “Really lanky.” The man quizzed the Poinars about their work. He asked about amber mines in the Dominican Republic. Then, with his notebook filled, the man left. He never mentioned anything about a dinosaur novel.
Michael Crichton, in fact, was already trying to bring dinosaurs back to life. But he’d gotten stuck. “It is always a problem for me to believe in the stories that I am writing,” Crichton later wrote to Poinar, “and a dinosaur story especially strains my own credence.” When Crichton discovered the Poinars and their bugs-in-amber, he stumbled onto the foundation of a billion-dollar enterprise. It was a beautiful premise for a thriller, in that it both contained cutting-edge science and was ridiculously easy to understand.
I agree with the below assessment entirely. I love the original film. I tolerate The Lost World. I’ve only seen Jurassic Park III in theaters, and I loathed it:
There’s some stuff you ought to know about serious Jurassic Park fans. On balance, they love the first movie; they’re OK with The Lost World; and they absolutely hate Jurassic Park III. (The proprietor of the Jurassic Cast podcast calls it “the abomination.”) Moreover, Jurassic fans have a moment that is their version of Greedo shooting first. “The big numero uno,” Terry says. It occurs in the third movie, when the Spinosaurus and the tyrannosaur get locked in a Hell in a Cell match.JPers hate this scene because it ends with the tyrannosaur getting killed.
I don’t really care for the feminist comparisons in the piece, but I did like the neat trivia. I loved this line: “As Alan Grant might say: I bet you’ll never look at blockbusters the same way again.”
In other news: it’s my birthday tomorrow, and this would make an awesome gift. Hint hint.