Jurassic Park In Review: JP Part II

 

Grant, Ellie, and Malcolm are of course stunned by the creature, with Grant also rambling a bit about how the Brachiosaur validates the theory that Dinosaurs were warm-blooded (More accepted nowadays, but a bit controversial back then, as it was a relatively new theory). Hammond is of course delighted, and Gennaro changes his tune very quickly. As Hammond put it, “In 48 hours I’ll be accepting your apologizes.” It barely took more than 48 seconds. Although Gennaro of course, won’t be around in 48 hours….

We’re also given a quick “cameo” Dinosaur with the Parasaurlophus (A crested Hadrosaur, or “duck-billed” Dinosaur),a species which would have a larger part in the sequels.

The Brachiosaur effects have aged a bit-the textures do seem a bit artificial, and some of parts where it’s in the same shot as Grant seem a little off. But it still mostly holds up, especially due to the actors awed reactions, despite filming with nothing really there. Good direction by Spielberg here.

 

And of course we get the immortal line, “Welcome to Jurassic Park”.

Now we get to the part of the movie that’s exposition about how the Dinosaurs were created, and the main ‘hub’ of the film’s action-the Visitor’s center, a pretty nifty building and set.

It should be noted that in the original novel the part is a little further along-there’s hotels, for instance, with the park somewhat more closely resembling Jurassic World later on. Here things are clearly very much under construction. The ruins of this center, of course, would be revisited in Jurassic World as well.

The group quips about how Jurassic Park would put Grant and Ellie out of a job. This was actually Phil Tippet’s reaction to the film’s CG. Phil developed stop-motion effects for many 80’s blockbusters including the Star Wars films, and was initially going to do the same here, but eventually Spielberg chose to use CG instead (Although Tippet was still on the project as a supervisor). There’s also a bit of foreshadowing by focusing on the T-rex skull towards the end of this scene.

While the novel has a lot of lengthy exposition about DNA and all that, here we’re given an amusing and goofy cartoon here-“Mr. DNA” kind of done in the style of old “Edutainment” school videos from the 50’s and 60’s. DNA himself would also cameo in Jurassic World.

Next we see the hatchery, which kind of clashes a bit with the revelations in the sequel, The Lost World, where it states that all the Dinosaurs were bred on another island and moved to the park later on. I guess the eggs here-as well as the baby Raptor are ‘samples’. Wu also reveals that the Dinosaurs are female and therefore can’t breed as a form of population control. Malcolm however, is very skeptical, and gives off his “Life will find a way” speech.

Grant asks about the baby, and Wu reveals it’s a Raptor-which of course has the group quickly head off to the pen area, from the first scene in the film.

 

Once again we’re not really shown the Raptors, but can clearly see what they can do, as they quickly devour (off screen) a cow that’s lowered into the pit.  We’re also reintroduce to Muldoon, who quickly shares info and misgivings on the Raptors with Grant. Although it’s not as loud as Muldoon and Grant’s conversation, Hammond also fills Ellie in on how the Raptors can be viewed later on.

Next we come to the Lunch scene, where Hammond and Gennaro are of course, estatic about the Park’s possibilities, but Malcolm is having none of it.  This is really the highlight of Goldblum’s performance in the movie-and it’s relatively quip-free…dealing with Ingen’s somewhat irresponsible use of technology vs. the nature of the Dinosaurs, who shouldn’t exist in this day and age since they went extinct. Both Hammond and Gennaro are undeterred by this, though-and want the group to enjoy the tour.

 

Here we’re introduced to the “Target audience” of Jurassic Park-Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim who are being sent to the park as a distraction from their parent’s divorce. Grant, of course, is not too pleased with this new development, with quite the funny reaction as he tries to escape the overly Dinosaur-obsessed Tim and the clingy Lex. However, he’s able to get into the car with Ian and Ellie, despite Ellie’s attempt to ‘troll’ him a bit. Once again this is a bit different from the novel, as Grant was fond of kids and hence was more accommodating of Tim (Of course in the book Tim was the older sibling, and therefore more on Grant’s level).

 

We also see the Ford Explorer vehicles (Which run on an automated track-another design flaw which will have consequences down the road) which are pretty much the film’s trademark car, with a kind of a nifty color scheme and design.

We also view the control room set, where we’re introduced to Ray Arnold (Samuel L. Jackson), the chief engineer of the park, and revisit Nedry and his fued with Hammond. This is relatively early in Samuel L. Jackson’s career. He’d still done some Tarantino projects and other films at this point, but it would be next year’s Pulp Fiction that would really be his breakout role. Of course this film probably helped a bit too, considering it’s success. He also has a catchphrase of sorts, “Hold on to your butts”.

Finally it’s time to start the tour, with Richard Kiley narrating via “interactive CD-Rom” (Fairly new technology in those days too). Kiley actually was “in” the book as well, so when Spielberg got the project he got the real Kiley too.

Finally, we get the tour started, via a giant gate. Malcolm quips “What have they got in there, King Kong?” subtly referencing the film which is pretty much an inspiration for this in both special effects and plot.

Speaking of which, original Kong damsel-in-distress Fay Wray was invited to JP’s set. Here she’s pictured with novel writer (and script co-writer) Michael Crichton, Kathleen Kennedy (Currently running Disney’s “Star Wars”) Animatronics special effects Guru Stan Winston, and of course, Spielberg himself. Spielberg compared Ariana Richard’s (Lex’s) scream to Fay’s during production as well, and the two met.

 

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