Quarantine Post #69: Jurassic Park

So… In the spirit of rewatching all of the things that I enjoyed when I was a kid. The next group of movies would be the Jurassic movies. The first movie came out in 1993. I vividly remember having this movie on VHS. My siblings and I watched it a million times over one summer. We lived for some scenes in the franchise. And for my generation… it started our love of Jeff Goldblum. Jurassic Park is a 1993 American science fiction action film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is the first installment in the Jurassic Park franchise, and the first film in the Jurassic Park trilogy, and is based on the 1990 novel of the same name by Michael Crichton and a screenplay written by Crichton and David Koepp. (I did not realize that Michael Crichton wrote so many books.) In 2018, the film was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”. Makes sense to me.

The first film grossed $914 million in its initial release, making it the first film ever to gross $900 million, and was the highest-grossing film of all time, surpassing E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, until it was surpassed by Titanic in 1997, the first film ever to gross $1 billion. The film was followed by The Lost World: Jurassic Park on May 23, 1997, Jurassic Park III on July 18, 2001, Jurassic World on June 12, 2015, and Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom on June 22, 2018, none of which were as critically acclaimed as the first.

So… I will be picking out several scenes that stand out in my mind to this day. Since the films (at least the first 3) have been added to Netflix, and HBOmax… I decided to talk about it. It really has to be one of my favorite movies as a kid… also probably why I still go and see the movies even though… they usually only go one way. For the first movie, Industrialist John Hammond has created a theme park of cloned dinosaurs, Jurassic Park, on Isla Nublar, an island off the Costa Rican coast. (This doesn’t sound like a bad idea at all. *sarcasm*) After a dinosaur handler is killed by a Velociraptor, the park’s investors, represented by lawyer Donald Gennaro, demand that experts visit the park and certify its safety. Gennaro invites mathematician and chaos-theorist Ian Malcolm, while Hammond invites paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler. Anyways… Let’s hope into all of the great scenes from this franchise:

  • 6 Foot Turkey – The movie opens up down on a fossil dig. Dr. Alan Grant is talking about velociraptors being more like birds than reptiles. But there is a kid there that wants attention… so he interrupts Dr. Grant to point out… “That doesn’t look very scary. More like a 6 foot turkey.” I remember being a kid and thinking two things: 1. That is so rude. 2. Who brought their kid here? Grant doesn’t fluster. He talks the kid through what an attack from the raptors would be like. The kicker is when he pulls out the 6 inch retractable claw… “He doesn’t bother to bite your jugular like a lion see… He slashes at you here… or here… or maybe across the belly… spilling your intestines. The point is… you are alive, when they start to eat you.” Creepy. It took me many years to figure out that the scene was put there on purpose… because the claw is revisited later. Gotta love the look on the face of the kid after he is told to try and show a little respect. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WgQe68kF_8M)

  • Entering the park and seeing the dinosaurs – After Grant and Sattler are recruited to come to Jurassic Park, they fly over to Isla Nublar in a helicopter… I am not sure I can do it. But I hear there is a helicopter tour in Hawaii that flies out to the locations that appear in the movie. They take the iconic jeeps into the park. It is inside the park, where they come across a Brachiosaurus and a whole herd of Parasaurolophus, to their utter amazement. While everyone is amazed… Dr. MalcolmIt is the first time that we see dinosaurs in the movie. And for a movie that came out over 20 years ago… the effects still look great. My brothers and I at one point in our childhood thought the dinosaurs were real. Check out the scene here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJlmYh27MHg)

  • Watching the Raptor be hatched – John then takes his assembled team to the Visitor Center, and they learn that InGen was able to recreate dinosaurs using DNA taken from mosquitoes, who had feasted on dinosaur blood and had been preserved in tree sap . The DNA taken from the mosquitoes were spliced with DNA from frogs to fill in the gaps of the genetic code. InGen scientists only cloned female dinosaurs, thus eliminating the threat of uncontrolled breeding of the animals. Afterwards, the crew enter the laboratory, headed by Dr. Henry Wu, and witness the birth of an infant Velociraptor. John has this weird complex… pretending to be God. (Well… we know that never works out.) Both Grant and Malcolm are stunned by the sight but also a bit disturbed by it. Grant doesn’t seem happy to know they are breeding raptors… Younger me didn’t get the scope of this scene. But as an adult… the creepy way John was talking to the raptor… Like… he couldn’t care less about the lawyers… and the dangers that would come up. At Grant’s request, the crew are then taken to the Velociraptor enclosure, where they meet park warden Robert Muldoon. Robert tells the group about how vicious and intelligent the raptors are. (Hmmm… Had to be where Deep Blue Sea got that idea.) He explains that there are only three raptors altogether because the Big One, who has taken over as the alpha female, had “killed all but two of the others. She had them attacking the fences testing for weaknesses. And they need attack the same place twice. Meanwhile, the scientists lower a cow attached to a harness into a dinosaur’s enclosure and observe the Velociraptor slaying the cow, destroying the support cables and tearing the harness in the process. This is starting to get dark. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RLz5Api676Y)
  • Tour Time – Let’s point out that before the tour begins… the group of experts tell John that they think this is an ethically and morally wrong. Ian questions the ethical morality in cloning species that had not lived for millions of years. Ellie expresses concerns that the scientists may not be thinking of the repercussions that might occur because of what they are cloning but grandkids show up and the car tour begins… The tour begins with Dilophosaurus enclosure first, but to their disappointment, none appear. In the background, you can hear the our recording talking about how it spits vemon causing blindness and paralysis. (Foreshadowing.) Boy is Tim annoying… like more than any 9 year old that I know. Maybe because he is a huge fan of Dr. Grant. Finally, the crew find a sick Triceratops, with veterinarian Dr. Gerry Harding examining it. Ellie decides to stay behind with Gerry, while the rest of the crew head back to the Ford Explorers and go on their way back to the Visitor Center.

  • Tyrannosaurus Time – A tropical hurricane hits the island, and most InGen employees leave, except for John, Robert, and chief systems engineer Ray Arnold. During the cyclone, Dennis begins his plan and shuts down the entire park security (except for the raptor fences) so he can still embryos. As a result, the tour cars that were supposed to bring everyone back to the visitor center have cut off, leaving them stranded outside of the T-Rex paddock. The Tyrannosaurus breaks through the deactivated electric fence surrounding its pen, devours the stranded goat, and wrecks havoc upon the roadway, attacking Tim and Lex hiding in the car, who was left alone by Donald after he fled. Everything leading up to this scene is very well put together. I remember my brother and I yelling at the screen for Lex to turn the light off. It was one of those things that occurs in a movie and you’re left thinking… “Why would you do this?” I will say it took a hell go a long time for Dr. Malcolm and Dr. Grant to help the kids. Like they wait until the car is flipped over. The T-Rex comes crashing through the glass roof after them. Alan ignites a flare to lure the T.Rex away from the kids, but Ian inadvertently intervenes, only for himself to be chased to a restroom, where Donald is hiding. The T. Rex brings down the hut, breaking Ian’s leg, and devours Donald in the process. Grant manages to get Lex out of the car but Tim is stuck. And the T-Rex returns to get his pray. There is a great shot of Grant covering Lex’s mouth as the T-Rex searches for them… right in front of his face. Poor Tim. He gets thrown off the side. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rc_i5TKdmhs)

  • Nedry get his – Nedry is a real clown. I have never felt bad about his comeuppance at any point. Due to his financial problems and low salary (could John have paid him more money? 1000% but why try to kill everyone? Just quit dude.), he accepted a bribe from Biosyn to smuggle dinosaur embryos off the island. You would think that someone as smart as him… would know… it would probably be difficult to make it out unscathed if you turn off the security features in a park filled with Dinosaurs… Dennis crashes his Jeep into an embankment, and while trying to winch it, he encounters a juvenile Dilophosaurus. Remember that blurb about what they do? The Dino spits out a tar-like venom at Dennis before the saboteur manages to get back in his Jeep. When Nedry thinks he’s safe, he turns his head and the Dilophosaurus managed to get into the car with him and continues to attack him, and eventually kills him. The modified canister, used to smuggle the embryos, is lost in the process. All you can do is shake your head. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MNoWveBtrZc)

  • T-Rex chases Muldoon, Sattler and Malcolm – John sends Muldoon to retrieve the grandchildren. Sattler goes with him. When they arrive at the scene, they believe the only survivor of the chaos is Malcolm, but upon further investigation, they find two sets of footprints: one is Alan’s and one belongs to one of the kids. Just then, the Tyrannosaurus returns, and Ian, Robert, and Ellie barely manage to escape in their Jeep. Remember John saying at the beginning of the movie… We clocked the T-Rex at 32 miles an hour. And he gives them hell. Trying to turn over the jeep with them in it was fun and terrifying to watch. My brother and I loved it. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rxqHVoZ0fzc) Apparently, Jeff Goldblum did an awesome commercial for Jeep in 2018… Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VEpMqyOyLpQ)

  • Muldoon’s Death – Ray tries to hack Dennis’ computer to turn the power back on but fails, so he does a full system reset, which requires the circuit breakers to be manually reset from the utility shed. When he does not return, Sattler and Muldoon follow and discover that the raptors have escaped; the shutdown cut off the power to the remaining electricity fences around their pit. He says something to effect of “Even Nedry knew not to mess with Raptors.” Muldoon realizes that the raptors are near, and tells Sattler to go to the utility shed herself, so she can turn the power back on, while he tries to hunt the raptor. This is a bad idea. The Raptors set a trap for him in a way exactly as Grant had described at the beginning of the film; One raptor is rustling in the bushes directly in front of Robert Muldoon, and right before he can shoot the raptor, the Big One emerges from the brush right next to Muldoon. Muldoon utters the famous words “clever girl” before the Big One leapt onto Muldoon and devoured him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YhwlBVk4qUA)

  • Raptors in the Kitchen – I do not care what anyone says… This is by far my favorite scene of the franchise. It scared the shit out of my brother and me. Tim has had a hard time in the film… he was pushed into a tree by a T-Rex…. He was electrocuted… and now… he can’t have a piece of cake… Because RAPTORS. They scurry off to the kitchen… and close the door behind them… What is with these door handles that anyone can turn? The two raptors are on the hunt… and the kids are crawling silently trying to get away from certain death. There is one point where Lex is trying to distract the Raptors and then trying to get the cabinent down. It is the most stressful thing my childhood mind had watched up to that point. It is featured again in Jurassic World… well… a lot of shots from this kitchen scene are recreated in Jurassic World. Tim traps one in the freezer… and it is hard to watch him try and run on his bad leg. He was annoying but by the end… you just felt for him. Check it out here: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TnWNyKqI3Bc&t=268s)

  • Raptors in the Computer Room/T-Rex in the Visitors Center – Grant, Sattler, Lex and Tim all head to the computer room to try and reboot the system. Grant and Sattler hold off the Big One trying to open the door to the computer room until the power is restored, and the electromagnetic locks begin working. Tim, throughout the movie, tries to make it seem that she’s just a nerd. Odd because Tim kept blurting out random facts about every species he sees. It is Lex that get the computer systems back online. It has always annoyed me that Tim… does nothing to help Grant or Sattler. After the phone systems are restored, they call John to request a helicopter rescue of the survivors. But they still have to make it to the helicopter. With the door secured, the raptor breaks into the room through a window as Grant shoots at it through the glass. The group climbs up into the ceiling crawlspace and arrive at the Visitor Center fossil display. Even in the ceiling, Lex is attacked by the Big One leaping up at her. The Raptor that Sattler thought she captured in the utility shed. The raptors pursue the group, and after a scuffle with the Big One on top of the fossil exhibits and the raptors block their escape route. It all looks pretty bleak. Until they are saved by the T-Rex shows up and kills both raptors, saving Grant, Sattler, Lex, and Tim in the process. Check it out: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iTPYKcrgwnM)

Some things never change. My love for this move has not diminished since I have seen it 2 decades ago. I was never a kid that was into dinosaurs… but this sparked my interest at a young age. Recently, it has been fun to watch with my niece and nephew and get their reaction to things. Share your thoughts with me below. Let me know your favorite parts of the movie.


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