Jurassic Park ★★★

This might be my first viewing of this since its debut. I really remember it being technically stunning, and also a far-reaching adventure upon which dinosaurs are encountered. In fact, the adventure is more of a survival horror thing, and the dinosaur effects haven't aged well. (That's one good reason to update the whole business for this summer's sequel, huh?)

I should say more about the "survival horror" remark. Of course we want to see the dinosaurs, and of course there's going to be dinosaur-derived peril in the story, but the film isn't very curious about the possibilities present in the sci-fi script. It casts those aside to generate drama by repeatedly putting the underdeveloped characters in harm's way. In an action-adventure, the characters would need to achieve some goal, and have to work with, around, or through the dinosaurs to get it. With the main dramatic arc being driven by "will the schoolkids avoid being murdered on screen by dinosaurs?" it feels much more like a horror film. I felt sort of like I was enduring this film, by the end of this viewing.

The film does have a great look (and, to be fair, it's 22 years old, so maybe I can cut the computer effects some slack), with each complex action scenes always making perfect sense in each shot. There are perhaps too many closeups of character-reaction-face for my tastes. (Cheaper than rendering a dinosaur, for sure, but come on.)

(12-year olds did not reject this film, though one judged the premise before it even started. She wasn't moved by it, but my son was appropriated thrilled and impressed.)