Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993, USA)

It is hard to overstate the cultural impact of the film Jurassic Park. Not only was it the most successful film financially at the time of its release, but it also become a cultural phenomenon. The film spawned not only a movie franchise but a whole industry. Go into any store today, and you will still find toys based on the film. Does the film hold up? Technically, it is still a marvel to behold. Spielberg wisely decided to combine the emerging digital technology of the time with tactile physical effects. When the dinosaurs need to feel tactile, Spielberg decided to use puppetry. The puppetry is still very effective. The digital effects also do not feel dated, as they are often used when the dinosaurs are at a distance or obscured. 

Does the film hold up for an adult audience? We here were certified dino-fanatics as children, and seeing the creatures come to life onscreen was enough to keep us entertained. As an adult, it is also easy to enjoy the film. For one, the film is very much a satire about the tragic consequences of a man trying to harness new and unpredictable technologies. Jeff Goldblum's Dr. Ian Malcolm attempts to provide the voice of reason throughout the film, warning about humanity's attempts to interfere with nature. As the events of the film progress, Malcolm is proven right. Every character in the film is perfectly cast as well, from Wayne Knight's slimy Dennis Nedry to Bob Peck's portrayal of Robert Muldoon, the dinosaur game warden. The film, despite being two hours, is very well-paced and the action proceeds in a good rhythm. Spielberg was already a legend before this film was made, and this film solidified his reputation as a master craftsman of genre filmmaking. The film spawned a dinosaur craze that has lasted to this day.



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