Jurassic Park Trilogy (1993-2001)
After such movies as Jaws, E.T. and Raiders of the Lost Ark, Steven Spielberg took Michael Crichton’s novel Jurassic Park and made a movie. The premise is simple, the film is not. Scientists are able to clone and breed several popular species of dinosaurs and make an attraction on an island off the coast of Costa Rica for people to come and see. Each dinosaur is housed in its own paddock and fenced in with highly electrified wire. When a storm, and a corrupt employee, take the power out, all hell breaks loose. At the time, the animatronics and the reality of the dinosaurs was nothing like audiences had ever seen before. I remember seeing the previews for this movie in theaters when I was 11 years old, and really wanting to see it. My mom wouldn’t let me because she thought it would give my brother nightmares, but once it made it to the dollar theater, my dad snuck me to go see it. I had the pre-order dinosaur poster on my wall and it was the first video I bought with my own money the day it came out. Jurassic Park is my favorite Spielberg movie, and I’m baffled that it is his one legacy film that didn’t make it into the AFI Top 100 (Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jaws, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List, E.T., and then Close Encounters of the Third Kind which was on the list in 1997, but was removed in 2008). Everyone who is a fan of film or adventure should see this movie, again and again! Starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, and Wayne Knight.
For the Lost World: Jurassic Park, Spielberg returns to direct Michael Crichton’s sequel to the first book. The island that the scientists used to breed and raise the dinosaurs in the first movie, Site B, has been discovered and the media is all over it. When Dr. Malcolm discovers that his girlfriend is already doing research on the island for Hammond, he sets off to get her. More dinosaurs return, more people get eaten, and this time, a T-Rex gets loose in San Diego. Not as great as the first movie, but Spielberg brings it again and does a great job entertaining fans with big dinosaurs. Starring Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaugh, Pete Postlethwaite, and Peter Stormare.
Joe Johnston (Jumanji, Captain America, Honey I Shrunk the Kids) took over for Jurassic Park 3, which sees the return of Alan Grant to the world of dinosaurs. The son of rich aristocrats, Eric, gets lost on Site B when parasailing and his parents trick Dr. Grant into heading to the island. This time around, the Spinosaurus, a larger meat-eater then the T-Rex is after them along with sea and air dinos. The absence of Spielberg is felt here with the flat plot and “same old” feeling. The T-Rex is killed at the beginning and as the hero in the first movie, it kinda pissed me off! Still, for the 3rd movie in any series, Jurassic Park 3 is alright.
10/10 Stars for Jurassic Park – #2 on my personal top 100, that should tell you something.
8/10 Stars for The Lost World – More people and characters, more action than scares.
7/10 Stars for Jurassic Park 3 – Same stuff, less intriguing plot.
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