“An adventure 65 million years in the making.” That was the tagline for Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park, the film that at the time, set the box office record for most money made by a single movie. It dazzled audiences and critics alike back in 1993 and 20 years later it’s still considered one of the most important science fiction movies ever produced. Oh yeah, there’s one more thing: on April 5, Jurassic Park is being re-released nationwide in 3D.
First and foremost, this trip to the prehistoric is flat out fun. Spielberg captures our childlike wonder and imagination throughout the first half of the film, as our love of the unknown and our yearning for knowledge of these lost behemoths is fully explored. Set to John Williams’ beautiful score, the scene in which the dinosaurs are introduced was one of the most magical moments of my movie-going childhood and the reactions of Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are priceless. Forget the historical inaccuracies– Jurassic Park enthralled its viewers young and old, and was a visual spectacle of its time bigger than anything before, and arguably, anything since.
I’m usually pretty skeptical of 3D re-releases. I usually write it off as a production company taking the easy way out; instead of doing its job, it dips into its vault and adds this gimmick to a classic flick in order to swipe more money from the average, gullible movie-goer.
This isn’t the case with Jurassic Park. When it was first released, the computer-generated imagery (CGI) was groundbreaking. With an astonishing 25 months of pre-production, Spielberg and company knew they were undertaking an extraordinary task, but I don’t think they realized just how game changing the results would be. Film historian Tom Shone remarked, “In its way, Jurassic Park heralded a revolution in movies as profound as the coming of sound in 1927.” Digest that for a second. This guy is claiming the visuals in a sci-fi movie are on-par with the invention of auditory film capacity– and honestly, I don’t completely disagree.
Because of this film, Stanley Kubrick began work on Artificial Intelligence (A.I.), George Lucas started developing – for better or for worse – the Star Wars prequels, Peter Jackson rekindled his love of childhood fantasy in Lord of the Rings and King Kong and James Cameron could realize his dream of Avatar. Even 20 years later Jurassic Park stands alongside these films and still looks as breathtakingly spectacular as it did when it was first released.
As movie lovers, we crave screen productions that excite our senses. The impossibility of the worlds that are created for our enjoyment is surpassed only by the prospect that what we see in a film could in fact be reality. Jurassic Park fulfills both of these wants with equal doses of awe and fear and that’s why I can’t wait to grab a pair of those goofy glasses and watch it in 3D. Not only will millions of people rediscover a Spielberg classic April 5, but also a new generation will be introduced to one of the most innovative and awe-inspiring sci-fi films ever made.