April 14, 2013
Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Laura Dern
Release Date: June 11, 1993 (original), April 5, 2013 (3D)
When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth
I was 11 years old when Jurassic Park was released. I vividly remember going to see it at my local theater. The place was packed; there had been a lot of buzz about the movie, and—being a preteen dino enthusiast—I begged my parents to take me one Saturday afternoon so I could see what everyone was talking about. When it was over, something profound had occurred. It was the first time I recall feeling an overwhelming sense of wonder at what I’d witnessed. Sure, Star Wars had blown me away as a child, and I absorbed all things Indiana Jones; but there was something about Jurassic Park that completely enveloped me. Much of this, I think, has to do with seeing it on the big screen. It wasn’t only that, though; it was the seamless effects, the just-plausible-enough-to-be-believable story, and the intense action (too intense, perhaps, for some kids my age, but I ate it up with a spoon) that made it absolutely unforgettable. Thus my love of cinema was cemented forevermore.
When I learned that the movie was getting the 3D treatment I groaned. The movie wasn’t designed for three dimensions, and there was absolutely no way that it would make for a convincing transfer (especially when compared to films like Avatar, which were specifically tailored for the medium). I managed to resist making too much of a snap judgment and ventured out to my local theater to see the thing (with an IMAX treatment, no less) because, hey—it’s Jurassic freakin’ Park.
Imagine my surprise when that long-lost sense of wonderment was instantly rekindled from the very first frame. When John Williams’ thundering score kicked in, the outside world melted away and I was, for all intents and purposes, a kid again. But not only that; the movie lends itself nicely to 3D, with wayward tree limbs and cascading rainstorms feeling as if they were strategically placed knowing that the movie would one day be reborn in an even more tangible manner.
If this wasn’t confirmation enough that the movie had seen a successful transition, all I had to do was glance at the youngsters sitting a few seats down from me. I’m guessing they’d never seen the film in any iteration, as their reactions—”ooohs” and “aaahs” in equal measure—were proof positive that this a picture perfect example of the magic of cinema. A side note: I could hardly restrain a snicker as they jolted (nearly) out of their seats when the stray velociraptor popped his head out from behind the control panel. I did the same thing when I was their age, and it’s a virtual certainty that the experience—and the aforementioned sense of wonderment—will stick with them for a long, long time.
So, in case I haven’t been clear, go see JP 3D. If you’ve never seen it, then… well… what are you waiting for? If you’ve seen it at least 500 times since its original release (like me), then trust me when I say that this new iteration is well worth the money. My hope is that the move will be re-released in another 20 years so the next generation of moviegoers can see what it’s like to be transported to a world where the impossible really does exist.