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Jurassic Park

1993 | 127 min | PG-13 | 1.85:1

Jurassic Park


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User reviews

1 user review

Movie appeal




Theatrical release date

 11 June, 1993
 16 July, 1993

Country of origin

 United States

Technical aspects

3D (converted)
IMAX, 127 minutes

Box office




Overview Preview Cast & crew User reviews News Forum

Screenshots from Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray

Jurassic Park Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, April 4, 2013

It’s not like Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” was a modest art-house release back in 1993. It was destined to be a blockbuster from the moment work began on the picture. An expensive, visually groundbreaking tale of dinosaurs run amok, “Jurassic Park” fulfilled its promise with enthusiasm and armrest-rattling suspense, supported by a level of Saturday-matinee-style directorial heft that felt like opening gifts on Christmas morning. It’s been two decades since the mighty T. rex first rampaged onscreen, and to celebrate the anniversary of this now-classic fantasy adventure, “Jurassic Park” has undergone a makeover, pushed and pulled into 3D, while an IMAX-approved sound mix carries the theme park chaos to new heights of eardrum-banging intensity.

Digging around America on the hunt for dinosaur remnants, paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are approached by billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) to spend the weekend at his Costa Rica tourist destination, Jurassic Park, to test out the experience and clear it as safe for all. Paired with mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), and Hammond’s niece and nephew, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim (Joseph Mazzello), Alan and Ellie take off on a self-guided tour of the grounds, promised the latest in genetic manipulation to bring giants of old back to life. However, when a combination of a hurricane and the nefarious efforts of computer mastermind Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight) shut the park down, the guests are left in the middle of a dino hunting ground without protection. Separated from the gang, Alan, Lex, and Tim fight to survive the night, using their speed and quick wits to dodge Velociraptors and a mighty T. rex. Back at home base, Hammond, Ellie, game warden Bob Peck (Robert Muldoon), and engineer Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson) work to reclaim the property as the dinosaurs move out of their enclosures on the hunt for prey.

What’s so interesting about “Jurassic Park” is its status as the last of the great Spielberg adventures. Maturing (in his mid-forties at the time of production) and easing himself away from the gonzo and sentimental feats of filmmaking that helped to shape his career, the director really puts on a show with the picture, siphoning up the last of his pixie dust to give author (and co-screenwriter) Michael Crichton’s ambitious novel a thorough workout on the screen. Closing out 1993 with “Schindler’s List,” Spielberg was ready to grow-up and shed his Peter Pan reputation, going out with a cinematic bang that involves the activities of a dinosaur theme park that’s fallen into chaos. I can’t imagine a helmer more perfectly suited for the job.

“Jurassic Park” is a masterwork of suspense and exquisite Spielbergian rampage, with glorious cinematography and editing, pitch-perfect performances (Goldblum continues to steal the movie all these years later), and a focus on screen escapism that’s overpowering. It’s a smart, agile endeavor that manages to include science lessons (hosted by cartoon character “Mr. D.N.A.”) and long passages of exposition, yet never loosens its grip, keeping the viewer locked into whatever Spielberg is dishing up due its exceptional pace and sense of discovery. The dinosaurs are the stars of the show, yet there’s a congealing of production elements that’s just as breathtaking to study, watching a directorial master stroke his fine-tuned instincts for action set-pieces and awe. It’s a fantastic effort with clean hospital corners -- a jewel of a blockbuster viewing experience that shows considerable life behind the fireworks display, aided in great part by Crichton’s crackerjack premise and an unexpectedly heartfelt detour in parental instincts as Grant is confronted by a fate worse than dinosaurs: time alone with kids.

Sure, one could nitpick the technical details of the frame, and while we’ve come a long way in terms of CGI clarity, the dino creations of the picture remain just as convincing as they were in 1993. It’s actually a shock to find how little “Jurassic Park” has dated beyond a few scenes of computer hacking and a reference to a CD-ROM tour program. Combining puppetry and CGI, the dinosaurs appear fresh and flexible, with realistic textures and movement, making the limited screen time with the creatures quite special, showing fluidity and personality most recent films can’t pull out of their own considerable artificiality. Gathering the best in the business to bring dinos back to life, Spielberg pulls off the impossible. And even more striking, the illusion still stands in 2013.

Perhaps most important to note here is the MPAA rating. Parents of the world: “Jurassic Park” was PG-13 in 1993 and it remains PG-13 in 2013. The screening I attended was populated with five-year-olds and their young guardians, and when the T. rex made her first appearance, cries and requests to exit the theater greeted the introduction. While briskly fashioned, sharply comedic (with superb dialog from Crichton and David Koepp), and heroically scored by John Williams (one of his last great works of soaring, deceptively simplistic theme craftsmanship) to help stabilize Spielberg’s mischief, the picture is violent and dark for long stretches, with a concentration on dino intimidation to provide the effort with a feel of genuine threat. While I support any attempt to pass the film down to a fresh generation unaware of blissful theatrical impact, I also would like to remind those attending the feature with small kids that “Jurassic Park” is an extraordinarily intense movie, losing none of its ferocity and pulse-quickening screen momentum over the last 20 years. It still traumatizes after all this time.

While a simple re-release would’ve been welcomed with open arms, “Jurassic Park” returns with an aforementioned 3D and IMAX makeover to freshen box office appeal. Like the rest of these 3D reintroductions, there’s not a whole lot of razzle-dazzle to share, with the extra dimension employed primarily to push out distances (travel time to Hammond’s tilted Disneyland benefits the most from the upgrade) and pull in dino attacks. It’s not as wild as one would think, electing a tasteful approach over Play-Dohing the image excessively to justify the work. Superb is the re-juiced sound, making the dino-roars heavy and circular, while the brilliant aural design of the effort is handed ideal clarity. A beast of a movie is gifted a superfluous-but-superb rouging of the cheeks, offering fanatics something new to study while newcomers will be ruined for any future television airings. Back where it belongs on the big screen, “Jurassic Park” remains the best ride in town.

Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero
Director: Steven Spielberg

» See full cast & crew

Jurassic Park, Forum Discussions

Last post
New Jurassic Park trilogy coming 92 Jan 12, 2011
No More Jurassic Park 4? 49 Apr 22, 2009
Jurassic Park Release Question 41 Jul 21, 2008

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