By Vinnie Lione-Napoli
Arts & Entertainment Co-Editor
1993 was a remarkable year for Steven Spielberg. Not only did the legendary filmmaker take home multiple accolades for his Best Picture-winning masterpiece “Schindler’s List,” he can also take credit for another exhilarating cinematic experience—“Jurassic Park.”
“Jurassic Park 3D,” released last Friday to celebrate the original film’s 20th anniversary, proves how timeless some movies can be. Instead of feeling as old as the Jurassic period, this 3D re-release feels fresher than the IMAX format accompanying the film.
Welcome back to Jurassic Park.
With such quotable dialogue and memorable characters, “Jurassic Park” reasonably exemplifies a film positioned to stand the test of time.
The intense opening sequence, in which a hapless worker is killed by a vicious velociraptor, should flood viewers with fond memories and force them to excitedly finish off the rest of their popcorn.
Following this incident, John Hammond, the mastermind behind the titular theme park, invites top paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant to Isla Nublar in order to assist in quelling the concerns of Jurassic Park’s investors.
One of the most brilliant aspects of “Jurassic Park” is Spielberg’s treatment of the characters as fleshed-out human beings as opposed to props that exist to be slain by dinosaurs. In addition to Grant, other key figures brought along for the park appraisal include his paleobotanist cohort Dr. Ellie Sattler, eccentric chaos theorist Dr. Ian Malcolm and profit-seeking lawyer Donald Gennaro.
Once Dennis Nedry, the greedy designer of Jurassic Park’s computer programming, shuts down much of the park’s security in order to steal dinosaur embryos for a rival firm, the danger level on the island escalates to a degree appropriate for the approaching tropical storm.
Soon enough, a T. Rex manages to break through powerless electric fencing with ease, resulting in casualties, separations and thrilling evasion sequences as the massive beast roams through the unsecured theme park.
When an attempt to reset the park’s computer systems inadvertently releases the dangerous raptors, the remaining characters must fight for their survival until they can find each other and escape the island.
Too few films these days are composed entirely of scenes that could each be called someone’s favorite, a feat that “Jurassic Park” accomplishes effortlessly. Re-watching classic scenes and re-hearing classic lines is a treasurable experience well worth the ticket price. Few fans could easily forget the scene in which the raptors pursue Hammond’s grandchildren in a kitchen or Malcolm sarcastically uttering “must go faster” as the Jeep he’s riding in is being pursued by the T. Rex.
The IMAX format attached to “Jurassic Park 3D” truly did wonders for the experience, always adding and rarely taking away. Viewers will literally feel the T. Rex’s roar as a result of the improved sound quality, thrilling them in a way the 32-inch television in their living room never could dream of replicating.
The grandiose, brilliant score composed by John Williams remains one of the most outstanding achievements of Spielberg’s blockbuster. Williams, who also won an Oscar for “Schindler’s List,” provided “Jurassic Park” with a theme of notable versatility. The sweeping score is used to convey both the awe felt by the scientists when they first see the dinosaurs as well as the disappointment felt by Hammond once he realizes the error of his ways.
Future re-releases should take ample notes from “Jurassic Park 3D,” as they often seem to pop up randomly and bear the appearance of a revenue vacuum. Much like how “Titanic 3D” tied into the 100th anniversary of the RMS Titanic’s sinking, “Jurassic Park 3D” was also released after a milestone was passed. The generation who watched the dinosaurs grace the big screen when they were kids can relive the wonder while today’s teenagers and young adults finally have the opportunity to see one of their favorite movies in theaters.
With “Jurassic Park 4” set for a June 2014 release date, a trip to the theater to see the nearly flawless “Jurassic Park 3D” is the perfect way to pass the time until next summer.
Until someone actually finds a way to bring the dinosaurs back, “Jurassic Park” will still provide viewers with the sense of awe and amazement they experienced their first time watching. Even then, there will assuredly always be a reason to revisit the island.