Saturday, October 1, 2011

Jurassic Park

The next classic film to be re-released in cinemas* as a celebration of its release on Blu-Ray is Jurassic Park.

Back in 1993 I was an 11-year-old** dino-obsessive with the privilege of going to see the much-hyped dinosaur-resurrection movie Jurassic Park at the now non-existent Palace Cinema in Wellingborough. I remember at the time being wowed by a ground-breaking and trend-setting Speilbergian mixture of animatronics and CGI effects, and assaulted from all angles by a story that was at once emotional, witty, suspenseful and terrifying, whilst providing nourishment for my already well-developed geek-streak.

Here's the original trailer:

So, in 2011, when I heard that this movie - one of few that stand out from the background of many movies that I saw as a child*** - was being re-released, the decision to go and see it was not one that really had to have any thought put into it. This time, I took a trip with three friends to the Cineworld at Northampton's Sixfields complex.

Some things have changed since I last saw the movie; back in 1993 my parents bought my ticket, and alongside a drink and some popcorn they got change from a fiver. In 2011, my ticket plus a bag of M&Ms had me breaking into a £20 note. Also, having completed a maths degree in the interim, Doctor Ian Malcolm's previously impressive mathematical topic-dropping and elucidation had turned into a list of words gathered at random from The Ladybird Dictionary of Mathematics. Other than that, however, I didn't notice a lot of difference: my childlike excitement at seeing dinosaurs brought to life was still there, and the effect was much the same as it always was due to the fact that the visual effects don't seem to have aged at all- they hold themselves favourably against many much more recent big-budget movies, and even blow a few of them out of the water. The film was still, to my more adult mind, alternately funny, emotive and terrifying (and yes, I mean terrifying rather than simply scary); the storyline kept my attention, and the imagery, now-iconic sound-effects, and classic musical score tickled my senses in much the same way as they did eighteen years ago.

I had the dual pleasure of attending the screening with one friend who also remembered the film from the first time round, and also two friends who had never seen it before. Both said they enjoyed the film, and I certainly enjoyed noticing them as, in the scarier and more fraught moments of the film, one squirmed in her seat in fear, and the other almost ripped her boyfriend's arm off in terror.

If you've never seen Jurassic Park, I thoroughly recommend taking what's left of the opportunity to do so on the big screen. If you saw it first time around, go and relive part of your childhood. Sometimes movies don't age very well, but this is one that hasn't aged at all.

* The last one I cared about being Back To The Future.
** About the same age as Lex.
*** I can even remember that we sat toward the back-left of the cinema screen in which we saw it, and that I also had a bit of a crush on Lex at the time.