Friday (Movie) Review: Jurassic Park: The Mega-Watch

We were shopping at BJ’s Wholesale club a couple weeks ago, and they had a bin of sale DVDs. We looked through them, and found all of the Jurassic Park movies (except, of course, the one that just came out). We bought them. Hey, for $5 each, why not? And, of course, then we had to do a marathon watch of all four.

Honestly, there isn’t a really horrible one in the bunch. The effects and CGI improved a bit as the years went on, but that’s understandable. Jurassic Park came out in 1993, so things were pretty good as far as computer effects go even then. The animatronics are very good, and in the newest one of this set, it’s hard to tell when they are blending animatronic with CGI. You see some of it in the extras, and it’s pretty cool.

As for the individual movies:

Jurassic Park (1993): Based on Michael Crichton’s novel of the same title, it starred Sam Niell, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum. Pretty much good action and a bit of gory stuff- hey, the dinosaurs eat people, so there’s gonna be some of that. Not a whole lot of character development, but it’s primarily the dinosaurs you watch for, so not surprising. It does feel a bit dated at this point, but again, released in 1993.

The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997): Again, based on the sequel novel written by Michael Chricthton. This time starring Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Ian Malcolm, Julianne Moore, and Richard Attenborough, also reprising his John Hammond character. In this one, Hammond wants to turn the second island of dinosaurs into a preserve, while his nephew wants to bring them back to San Diego and set up another theme park. You can imagine where that goes. T-Rex eats San Diego. Again, not bad as an action-adventure.

Jurassic Park III (2001): The first of the movies not based on a novel. Starring William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, and Sam Neill as his character from the original film. The Kirbys (Macy and Leoni) son gets stranded on the second island, and they hire Alan Grant (Neill) to help find him. This time, we get a super predator, Spinosaurus, and velociraptors that have gotten even more intelligent.

Jurassic World (2015): Starring Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Jake Johnston, and Vincent D’Onofrio. A new theme park, a bigger, badder cloned/genetically enhanced dinosaur, Indominis Rex, which is smart and deadly. And clicker trained velociraptors. Many people will remember the trailer that shows Pratt controlling the ratpors with hand signals. Kids in peril (again lost on the island), big, bad dinosaurs, big, not-so-bad dinosaurs, and lots of action.

Again, all four were decent action movies, and if you haven’t seen them, or haven’t seen the older ones in a while, they are worth watching.

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Coming in December 2018: Two’s Company, a sci-fi novel in the space opera tradition. Artificial intelligence, corporate plots, spaceships, a heroine with an attitude. More details soon!

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