Few filmmakers in history are able to have an impact that spans decades. Few filmmakers have had their hand in numberless films that strike that chord of nostalgia, that make people reminisce, that make people…remember. Steven Spielberg who has both lasted decades as a Hollywood powerhouse, and has drawn out the emotions of viewers like no other filmmaker could. In 1993, Spielberg’s film “Schindler;s List”, an intense account of the Holocaust, took home honors for the Academy Award Best Picture. But that wasn’t the only impact he had on that year’s awards. His other film of that year took home awards for best effects and best sound. That film was “Jurassic Park”, one of the pillars of the film industry, in terms of revolutionizing the art of filmmaking, and bringing to audiences something they had never seen. Stan Winston, Dennis Muren, John Williams, and countless others teamed with Spielberg to bring Dinosaurs to life in a way that had never been brought to the big screen. The film made a big move from stop-motion elements to a stunning display of CGI that would push forward the art form, never to look back.
As a 9-year-old, I already had a firm grasp on different movies that I really liked, at least for a 9-year-old. However, I had no idea what I was headed into when I went with my family to see this film. To this day, “Jurassic Park” is the most exciting theater experience I have ever had. It was really one of those films that made me the fan of movies that I am today. The curiosity of my young mind went absolutely nuts. I wanted to know how they brought these Dinosaurs to life! I was also completely mesmerized by John Williams’ score. The music was the perfect companion to what I was watching on screen. It is, to this day, one of the premiere playlists on my iPod. After seeing this film, all I could think about were Dinosaurs. Having drawn my whole life, I naturally picked up a pencil and some white printer paper, and started draw, what else….Dinosaurs! I would sit for hours trying to recreate the Velociraptor that I watched terrorize the characters in the film. But my Jurassic Park obsession didn’t end there. My parents bought the movie when it was released, we had the Sega Genesis game (something I couldn’t go without), and my brothers, my cousin and I would act out scenes from the movie. I was so fascinated by something that could take over my imagination with such force.
I was recently watching this wonderful and exciting film with one of my sons, and he now asks on a constant basis, “Can I watch the Dinosaur movie?” How can I say no to that?! It is so cool to see how something I loved so much as a kid is being enjoyed by my kids. To see the same look of awe on his face that I had when I was a kid, really brings it full circle for me. This is one of the reasons we watch movies. It brings us joy like nothing else can.
Needless to say, I have owned the film on every available format since it was released. I was very excited when the newest edition (BluRay) was released. It was a day one purchase for me, and sits on my shelf with my other collectible box sets. It is really neat to see some of the new features that were included, and of course to see the film like I had never seen it before, in crystal clear 1080P HD.
This is one of those films that I will always own, always watch, and always enjoy every time I do so. I owe a lot of my childhood movie-watching memories to Mr. Spielberg. I am just happy that I am in a position that I can continue to enjoy them even long into adulthood. Richard Attenborough owns one of the best lines in film history, something that will always send chills down my spine, “Welcome to Jurassic Park”.
-David B. Harrington