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Jurassic Park 3D (2013)

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Part two of my doubleheader this weekend at the cinema was the 3D re-release of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park. Check out the review for the first part of the doubleheader starring Evil Dead.

I was fortunate enough to see Jurassic Park in its IMAX 3D format this past weekend. If that isn’t excessively decadent, I don’t know what is. They certainly spared no expense in re-formatting Jurassic Park in 3D.The theatre was packed and the energy in the room filled my gut with excitement. I swear I regained some faith in humanity when I noticed that parents were bringing their young ones to watch it. Opening their fresh, innocent minds to the wondrous world of cinema, its enough to break your heart. All right, hold on. I may be overdoing it a bit, but come on, it’s Jurassic Park, a classic. To know that it’s still relevant and that generation after generation will be exposed to this masterpiece is gratifying.

Unless you’ve been living under a petrified rock for the last 20 years. You’ll know that Jurassic Park is directed by the inspiring, brilliant, unmatchable Steven Spielberg and features incomparable performances from Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Richard Attenborough, and Jeff Goldblum. With Jurassic Park, Spielberg perhaps squeezes the last drop of wonder and amazement from our planet and presents it in all of its splendour for the masses to see. Its soundtrack is arguably one of the most recognized film scores ever, composed by none other than the supremely talented John Williams. Provoking strong arguments regarding the current state and future of science, the limit of merchandising, and the extinction of manual labour. Jurassic Park is as equally intelligent as it is fantastical.

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Dr. Grant (Neill) and Dr. Sattler (Dern) are coaxed into attending a weekend on the island is Isla Nublar by John Hammond (Attenborough), the CEO of InGen. Accompanying them on their journey is Dr. Malcolm (Goldblum) and Donald Gennaro, a lawyer. Once they arrive at the island, it is revealed to them that it is a biological zoo of sorts that houses genetically engineered dinosaurs. The reason for their visit is for Mr. Hammond to obtain endorsements on the safety and reality of his park which is called into question after an employee is killed by one of the dinosaurs. Another of InGen’s employees is bribed into providing a rival company with embryos of the dinosaurs. When the power and security is shut down to retrieve the embryos, the dinosaurs begin to unleash their fury on the park and the visitors.

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I honestly take it to heart how my interpretations and understanding of Jurassic Park evolved as I grew. As a kid, the underlying messages and themes don’t really resonate with you, but as you mature, so do your opinions. Jurassic Park deals with some serious topics, such as cloning and merchandising. The scene I feel best exemplifies Jurassic Park’s social and political undertakings is when Malcolm and Hammond discuss the act of discovery. Grant and Sattler also contribute to the conversation, but the back and forth between Malcolm and Hammond is the core. The inclusion of the lawyer I think is elegantly satirical.

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It is actually quite miraculous how the 20 year old animatronics still stand up today. The Tyrannosaur never looked better. Grappling with the tour jeep, reeking havoc amongst the park, tearing guests apart, it’s stunning. It’s tough to find a fault in the film. There might be some factual inconsistencies in the design and mechanisms of the animatronic dinosaurs, but they are easy to overlook considering their authentic look and feel. Taking into account the sheer inventiveness and vastness of Jurassic Park, let alone the animatronics and script, it’s easy to appreciate Spielberg’s craft. The originality and intelligence in Spielberg’s direction and Crichton’s novel, on which the film was based, is unmatched.

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When the tears begin to trickle down Dern’s face as she stares into the eyes of the sick triceratops, it conjures up deep feelings of resentment and endearment, it chokes you up. The same emotion can be felt when Neill takes his first look at the herds of dinosaurs drinking from a small lake. Their performances reflect the unbearable anxiousness and ferocious excitement that exude from their characters inner child, which is what I feel makes Jurassic Park such a universally understood and cherished film. Everyone wants their hopes and dreams to come to fruition and when we witness it happen to others, it trembles our very bones. Attenborough mirrors this very aspiration at several moments in the film. Goldblum embraces chaos theory and displaces it throughout his performance. Whether he annoys you or makes you chuckle, their is no arguing with his effectiveness.

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Jurassic Park has the smarts, looks, and personality. The kind of film you’d take home to show off to your friends, just joking. All kidding aside, Jurassic Park is the perfect potent blend of terror, intrigue, and brilliance.

Jurassic Park IMAX 3D: 10 out of 10.

Also guys, don’t forget to check out the top 10 films of 2012 and the week #3 discussion board!

Lincoln (2012)

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It might have a predictable plot and a calculable cast and director to boot, but Lincoln is ripe with outstanding visuals and dazzling acting. Every last detail is planned and constructed with historical accuracy, most importantly, the performances. Steven Spielberg was uncompromising in his choice to portray Lincoln and rightfully so. Spielberg’s rigorous efforts to secure Daniel Day-Lewis for the role of Lincoln didn’t need any explanation and if it did, Lewis’s representation speaks for itself. Also featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Tommy Lee Jones, Sally Field, and an accomplished supporting cast, Lincoln doesn’t lack in any aspect. The runtime, paced demeanour, and extended monologues are discouraging at times, but Spielberg and Lewis form a formidable duo that is near impossible to rival.
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In the year 1865, the American Civil War rages on as the U.S president Abraham Lincoln (Day-Lewis) continues his efforts to abolish slavery. Lincoln must accomplish his mission swiftly as the war may end at any time and if peace is at hand, the returning southern states will stop his attempts to rid the United States of slavery. Abraham Lincoln uses any means possible to obtain enough votes to secure the banishment of owning slaves. However, Lincoln faces his own conundrum, end the war and save lives, or end slavery.
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It appears that the only difference in the historical films released in 2012 is the directors. Imagine for a moment if Tarantino had gotten hold of Lincoln, or if Spielberg took the reigns of Zero Dark Thirty. Arguably, all three are very similar at their cores, it’s just the specific tastes and talents of the director that has separated them. Now, putting direction aside, simply put, Lincoln has a dream team both on and off screen, there is no debating that. There might be certain elements of the film that some will argue could have been handled better, but its incessantly hard to dispute a group as skillful and talented as Lincoln’s. It’s kind of like telling God how to create, it’s a battle you’re just not going to win. Lincoln’s personnel perfections aside, the film deserves its merit. Similar to Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln is a dramatization of history and facts. The difficulty that comes with putting a fresh, new twist on a event or figure that has been read and repeated for numerous years is exasperating. However, again like Zero Dark Thirty, Lincoln thrives under pressure and is a magnificent feature. Lincoln’s ferocious bid for flawless might fall just inches short, but several Oscar nominations and wins is additional proof that Lincoln is a must see.
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Lincoln: 8.5 out of 10.