Jurassic Park (SE)/B+, B+
Universal/1993/127/ANA 1.85

     Jurassic Park is quite a ride. Just get back in line, bump through the turnstile, and enjoy the ups and downs, the hills and valleys, and the roar of the dinosaurs all over again. This essentially old fashioned horror film wears its coat of technology with evident pride.
      Director Steven Spielberg has taken some of the bite out of the Jurassic's creator, John Hammond, and the moral  implications have been clearly subordinated to the ferocious breath of the dinosaurs.  Perhaps  more emphasis could have been placed on the moral import to good effect. Clearly, the choice was to go for the broadest entertainment value. Box office results may justify the decision.

Hanging around Jurassic Park. ŠUniversal

      The film does fall short in its personal characterizations. They might just as well have been newly created genetic clones too, as a measure to the depth of their creation. The actors are all adequate, though Sam Neill does make a rather bland and uninspired hero as Doctor Alan Grant. Jeff Goldblum has a good deal of fun with the role of chaos expert Dr. Ian Malcolm and provides almost the entire  output of character based humor. Richard Attenborough is a bit soft and ultimately too sentimental as Hammond, but I take that as directorial rather than actor's choice .
     In the end, everything is subordinate to the dinos and that's just fine. Once the dinosaurs are free, Spielberg makes the most of the excitement with pacing to match the rumbling force of the monstrous T-Rex. The film is shot in bright, crisp, images by cinematographer Dean Cundey in his second collaboration with Spielberg, the first being the very good looking Hook.  The score by John Williams has a bit too much of the wonder of E.T. in it for my taste, but then again it reminds me that this is more ride than movie. And it's definitely fun.
      The high end video community, which waited with dinosaur breadth for the release of Jurassic Park on DVD, has finally gotten it's way. But it's not quite perfect. The fantastic visual splendor of the film has been transferred to DVD with great precision, and save for a couple of slightly soft scenes, it's reference material. Night scenes are alive and the ripples of the puddle responding to the pounding steps of T-Rex is  almost deliciously effective as it was in the theater. The soundtrack is somewhat a disappointment. The  explosive bass that thumped my subwoofers on the laser disc mix are less active on DVD. There's a touch less air around the music and effects.
     This special edition from Universal includes an excellent making of documentary, some early pre-production meetings Spielberg has concerning dinosaur development and a host of information detailing the thoroughness that went into the production of Jurassic Park. The Foley Artist tidbit really got my cantaloupe juices flowing.



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