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Jurassic Park
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Human Rating: 3 / 5 Alien Rating: Crop Circle

I spared no expenses...

Dinosaurs are big business. And so was novelist Michael Crichton after Jurassic Park - his Congo (1995) and Disclosure novels got made into movies soon after. Steven Spielberg has always been big business too. And so was Jurassic Park - becoming, according to some business analysts, one of the biggest box office grossing movie of all times. (This is not to mention the numerous successful spin-offs: Jurassic Park baseball caps, Jurassic Park mugs, Jurassic Park colouring books, Jurassic Park comic books, Jurassic...)

And is the movie worth all the hype? Partially yes, but mostly because of the special effects. Some magicians at Industrial Light and Magic (the special effects unit bankrolled by George Lucas and also responsible for the Star Wars movies as well as the technical wizardry behind Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991)) made some dinosaurs live and breathe like we have never seen them do before. These are no longer the slow, klutzy and rubbery creatures we have seen in countless B-grade dinosaur pics. They are well-researched and realistic enough to appease today's dinosaur obsessed hip kids.

But at its heart the movie is empty - the humans in the picture serve as little else than dino fodder. It lacks the heart and soul Spielberg managed to inject into E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). See it for the effects - like everybody else did.

The ultra-violence in Crichton's novel (obviously) got toned down for mass consumption, leading one thirteen-year-old kid to complain to me that the movie wasn't violent enough. Sheesh, are today's kids really this jaded?

Review by James O'Ehley from The Sci-Fi Movie Page.

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