Jurassic Park ★★★★★

This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.

This review may contain spoilers.

This movie was my gateway drug to movies. I remember seeing it as a 5-year-old with my mom, and the "year of Jurassic Park" that followed it. At the Seattle Science Center, they had a JP exhibit that showcased the entire production of the film, and my mind was blown wide open to another dimension of the movies.

Re-watching it now, I'm struck by how thematically rich it is. And having since read the Crichton several times, I'm impressed by how much Spielberg managed to put his own signature on it. The biggest change in watching this is how the theme that pervades everything for me is the one of creation being a violent act of nature versus an act of "sheer will." Just as it's futile for the park to try to control the breeding of dinosaurs, it's futile for Grant (Sam Neill) to resist the biological need to procreate. By the end, we can infer that he's come around to having kids, and most likely will with Ellie (Laura Dern)—even the costume design has them dressed in blue and pink as if to underline their genders.

As a work of entertainment, boy does it still hold up. There's not a moment where the story lags or stops engaging me. The look of the film stock at the time makes me yearn for the pre-digital, desaturated bleach bypass look that so many spectacle films use these days. And the score by John Williams is almost dream-like at times. Also, the mixing of practical animatronics for close-ups and CGI creatures for the master shots is really essential for completing the illusion that the dinos are real. It's truly amazing just how well the effects hold up.