Jurassic Park is my favourite film of all time - I was less than two years old when it came out, and watched it a number of years later. It is such a strong film, that admittedly deviates from the novel, but then both are brilliant and it allows you to enjoy the experience twice, essentially.
- The cast of the movie was fantastic on all fronts, and the toned down turn of John Hammond from Lord Richard Attenborough made the character almost loveable... it added a solemnity and warmth to the sort-of messages of the film.
- The plot is something that many people undersell these days. Whilst it has probably dated more than any other aspect, the concept of dinosaurs being more like birds than reptiles was a new slant on prehistory - even long after its release, people were laughing at such an idea but now it seems so natural that we take the film as a very simple one for pointing out that scientific advancement. Truth be told, the storyline isn't too taxing all the same, but it doesn't need to be. There's always enough going on to keep it interesting, and to keep it from falling into the territory of a high-budget b-movie.
- Most praised and rightly so are the effects. I recall hearing that less than 16 minutes of the whole film actually contains effects, which emphasises the films other strengths but also the films clever decision to not overdo the CGI. Many films today look impressive, but the CGI is so often over done for shock appeal and 'cool factor'. Age has done these effects no harm, for they still look the part and blend brilliantly into natural backgrounds. The shots of the T-Rex and the raptors stood out particularly well, and even today that Brachiosaurus at the beginning delivers a real sense of awe when you watch it.
The sequels weren't in the same league, no. But they were decent films all the same.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park could have used more interesting characters - even Ian Malcolm disappointed a little, though his one-liners were most welcome. The effects were again impressive, but more awesome than beautiful, aside from that Stegosaurus scene early on. The plot was a decent enough one, though wreaks of 'sequel' and 'merchandise'.
Jurassic Park 3 was a very simple affair that probably could have used a bit more fleshing out. The acting talent is there once again, even if I think that Ellie should have been back on the island to liven things up a bit. A few too many things were rehashed from the second film, and there wasn't really a massively memorable CGI moment - the pterosaurs and the Spinosaur/Rex fight were brilliant though. The biggest crime though was the sudden ending of the film - it was half hour shorter than the other two, and all so that they could use a real military landing in the shoot. There had been script problems previously, but selling the film out without a proper ending was rather sad, especially seeing as it's been the ending of the trilogy for eleven years so far.
I look forward to the new film immensely - hopefully they'll announce an interesting cast for the piece. Whilst I think it'd be a mistake to get back any familiar faces on the island, a nice cameo from Attenborough would be lovely to establish some familiarity. I hope they don't totally overdo it on the effects and deliver something a little different to the so far similar efforts in the sequels. It's Jurassic Park with a producing Spielberg..it's potentially in very good hands