Grant Mitchell

We often talk about hot streaks when referencing athletes in professional sports, but when it comes to Steven Spielberg in the 1990s to the early 2000s, we also have to talk about his streak of excellent films. 

 

From 1993 until 2002, Spielberg was unrivaled in his art, directing high grossing films that continually received acclaim from critics and audiences alike. This separated Spielberg from his contemporaries as it seemed he just couldn’t make a bad movie. 

 

It all started with the 1993 classic and today’s film being discussed: “Jurassic Park.”

 

Immediately, the film has an energy that lets you know something special is coming. 

 

And it’s a special feeling that has hooked me in every time I’ve watched the movie since I first saw it with my dinosaur figures in hand so many years ago. 

 

The characters immediately have an electricity and chemistry that makes watching every scene with the main and supporting cast a delight, and the film does an excellent job of normalizing pretty radical science fiction themes.

 

“Jurassic Park” gives the audience a quick rundown of how scientists extracted dinosaur DNA from mosquitos and then proceeded to clone the dinosaurs from the DNA.

 

By presenting impossible real-life science in the film in a manner that seems well-reasoned and researched, we are able to go along with it and feel like their science is real and believable. 

 

All of which helps us buy into the spectacle and the main draw -- dinosaurs. 

 

The appearance of dinosaurs and the reactions of the main characters to them is everything and more you can ask for from an adventure film. 

 

Even now when I watch “Jurassic Park” after having seen it so many times before, it resonates with me. 

 

The appreciation and reactions of awe to the living dinosaurs and their incredible might contributes to this feeling because it makes it feel like I’m there reacting with the main cast of characters when we see the dinosaurs. 

 

When a triceratops is sick and laying on the ground, we, the audience, and the characters emote the same feeling of sadness and wanting resolution as though it were any ordinary animal we see today. 

 

Which again lends itself to making the dinosaurs feel more grounded and real, thereby endearing the dinosaurs to us and rationalizes and reasoning with the science fiction and outlandish story. 

 

It’s an ability that Steven Spielberg has shown throughout his career as a filmmaker.

 

He can take enormous topics and ideas that would seem unfathomably difficult for any audience to watch and be able to relate with and bring them down to a rudimentary level we can all love and appreciate because the perspective of his filming is from that of our own. 

 

That combination along with the subject matter is what makes “Jurassic Park” one of my favorite movies to watch. 

 

Every time I feel like a little kid again, sitting down to watch the dinosaurs and feel absolutely enthralled in the direction, acting and story from the excellent novelist Michael Crichton. 

 

Even though the technology used to make the dinosaurs lifelike in the film is nearly 30 years old, it still looks and feels state of the art. 

 

In my mind, it goes without saying that “Jurassic Park” is far and away the best dinosaur film there ever has been and ever will be. 

 

And every time I watch “Jurassic Park,” I feel like that little kid again, looking up and at the big dinosaurs while I play with my toys. It’s pretty rare to find films that capture your imagination and heart like “Jurassic Park” does.

Grant Mitchell is a junior majoring in public relations. He can be reached at gmitch16@vols.utk.edu.

Columns and letters of The Daily Beacon are the views of the individual and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Beacon or the Beacon's editorial staff.

 

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