Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Film Review - Jurassic Park (1993)

Fig.1 Jurassic Park (1993) Movie Poster

Steven Spielberg's Jurassic Park (1993) demonstrates Spielberg's talents brilliantly. This thriller and adventure film will suit the whole family, but still has some important messages behind it. Through the magnificent John Williams soundtrack and trademark Spielberg camera angles, it is now one of Hollywood's most well-known and adored films. Olly Richards talks about it's appeal to the family, and especially children, in his review by suggesting that you "Take a child who's never seen it and watch their imagination expand before your eyes." -  (Richards, 2013).

Fig.2 Helicopter ride to Jurassic Park

Despite the obvious threats of the Park's inhabitants, it is essentially a film about family. We see the main character of Alan Grant (played by Sam Neill) struggle through the challenges that the park throws at him, whilst trying to tolerate the children that follow and annoy him. As the film progresses, we see Alan's clear disapproval of children fade, as he grows a strong relationship with both Lex (Played by Ariana Richards) and Tim (Played by Joseph Mazzello). It is insinuated that due to his new feelings towards the children, that Ellie Sattler (Played by Laura Dern) wants to have the family with Alan, that she so desires. This is remarkably well done by Spielberg as he uses the characters facial expressions to tell us, rather than words - A method that makes the scene that much more believable and memorable. It is a fair statement that when we first see Alan he is a grumpy paleontologist, and by the end he is a father figure for the two children.

Fig.3 T-Rex attack

In a somewhat similar way to Jaws (1975), the dinosaurs are not seen as much as we'd expect. They are suggested through Spielberg's dramatic use of camera angles and the sound effects/soundtrack that are both wonderful and terrifying. Some of the film's best moments are very simple. One of which is a persistent shot of water shudder in a glass, while we hear the footsteps of a large creature approach, that we are yet to see. We see the horrified expressions on the characters faces, and so because of this something terrible will happen. Spielberg makes us wait for the inevitable, in a style that we would expect from Alfred Hitchcock. 

The special effects in the film are simply outstanding. They are in no way considered out-dated and could easily be mistaken for modern day effects. It is quite extraordinary how these beasts were created so accurately, taking into consideration the restriction of resources available in the late 20th century in comparison to today. Christopher Heim also touches on the effect in his review by saying that "Even by today's standards the CGI and animatronic effects still hold a candle to modern efforts," - (Heim, 2011).

Fig.4 "When Dinosaurs ruled the Earth"

Jurassic Park is a magnificent film with some very memorable sequences. There is so many dramatic uses of imagery in this film that you ll remember for a very long time. It is a film about the family, for the family. Steve Neish summarises the film in the best, yet simplest, way by saying "Jurassic Park is a masterpiece!" - (Neish, 2013).

Illustration List:
Fig.1 Jurassic Park (1993) Movie Poster - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

Fig.2 Helicopter ride to Jurassic Park - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

Fig.3 T-Rex attack - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

Fig.4 "When Dinosaurs ruled the Earth" - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

Heim, Christopher (2011) - Jurassic Park Reviews - - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

Neish, Steve (2013) - Jurassic Park 3D Review - -

Richards, Olly (2013) - Jurassic Park - - (Accessed 22/04/2015)

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