Hold on to your butts
I went to a screening of Jurassic Park last night, at this new place (at least new by me) called Studio Movie Grill. I feel the need to quickly plug this theater. It's awesome. Every month they have $1 classic movies (Like Jurassic Park, Fight Club, Beverly Hills Cop, Caddyshack, etc). They have reserved seating (something ALL theaters should have). The seats are well spaced apart, and there is like 3 feet of room in front of each seat. A 6'3" guy like myself had all the leg room in the world (thank you). It's one of those eat while you watch places, and they have buttons on each seat that you press and it alerts a server to come to you during the film (in case you need a drink/popcorn refill). The food is great, and there is a classy bar in the lobby if that's your thing. I've never heard of this place, but when I asked the waitress, she said that they originated in Texas several years ago and are now becoming a chain. So I don't know if there is one by any of you, but I give Studio Movie Grill my full endorsement as an excellent theater. I'll be going back.
ANYWAY, it was really cool to see Jurassic Park on the big screen again. It's been almost 20 years since the last time, and as expected, it's the optimal experience. There's nothing quite like the dinosaurs roaring in movie theater speakers. If anything, it was worth it to hear John Williams' score in a theater again.
I still found myself completely entertained by the film. I even got slight chills during the least T-Rex shot when it roars and the "When Dinosaurs Roamed the Earth" banner falls in front of it. Nostalgia probably.
The T-Rex car scene and the raptors in the kitchen still remain two of my favorite set-pieces of all time. As expected, the brontosaurus special effects in the beginning don't hold up well, but the animatronics still look great. The film has many obvious logic/perspective flaws throughout, but I'll probably claim when I'm a grumpy old man that Jurassic Park was one of the most exciting films of my entire life.
My girlfriend went her entire life somehow without seeing this movie somehow, so she saw it for the first time last night. She found most of the jokes hokey and the story kind of lacking, but she was TERRIFIED by all the loud noises, and she was clenching up during the tense scenes. So, overall, a 22 year old girl whose never seen Jurassic Park until 2012 found the movie to be good but not great.
One final JP related note, I read an AV club interview with Wayne Knight the other day, and he said this of the casting process of this movie:
"My agent got a call and goes, 'Are you sitting down? Steven Spielberg wants you to do Jurassic Park.' And I said, 'What?' Apparently, he’d seen me in Basic Instinct and said, 'I see him in close-ups, sweating, only instead of open legs, it’s a dinosaur.'"
[Scott Roberts] ""My agent got a call and goes, 'Are you sitting down? Steven Spielberg wants you to do Jurassic Park.' And I said, 'What?' Apparently, he’d seen me in Basic Instinct and said, 'I see him in close-ups, sweating, only instead of open legs, it’s a dinosaur.'""
Awesomest story ever.
It is always cool to hear that enigmatic people like Spielberg are just regular people like us. Ron Lindeboom tells a story about when he learned that Spielberg reads the Creative COW magazine, and he learned this from Spielberg himself.
Kevin Smith has a pretty funny anecdote he tells, in which Ben Affleck was dating Gwyneth Paltrow, and they went to Thanksgiving at the Spielbergs on Long Island, and Steve and George Lucas spent the evening looking at their own websites. Who knows if that is accurate.
I have a college friend who was an extra in War of the Worlds, and he had a brief conversation with him, and it sounded like a run of the mill bit of small talk.
Back to JP - yes the T-Rex sequence is probably one of top action sequences of all time. Here's my list, in no particular order:
Harrison Ford escaping from the bus crash in The Fugitive
Indiana Jones fighting Nazis in the 2nd act of Raiders (the truck scene)
T2 truck/motorcycle chase
Speeder Bikes in Jedi
Planet destroying laser drill fight from JJ's Star Trek
Batman Begins tumbler chase
I'm sure there are more
This is great! We just had one of these theaters open up near us, but I haven't seen them show any classics. I guess I'm gonna pay more attention to them and see.