Monthly Archives: June 2015

“Inside Out” bright, funny and emotional gem

Inside-Out-Meet-your-emotions-2To say “Pixar is back” is  a complete understatement. The studio we know never left us and kept working on projects. Many people praise “Inside Out” as the animation studio’s comeback hit is due to the previous films we had like “Cars 2,” “Brave” and “Monsters University.” And even then as a new film from them comes out, we praise it like they raised the bar so high that it can’t be topped. Yet another movie from them comes along to provide the same reaction. I stopped my hype at “Up” knowing that I would never experience an animated movie with so much dramatic weight. Their latest entry comes close but I would have to say seeing its so recent, its probably second best.

The story centers on the mind of an eleven-year old girl named Riley as we peak inside her brain and see how it runs. Basically her emotions drive about like the Enterprise as each different feeling takes control how Riley feels. As she interacts with the world around her, her sentient emotions have a hard time knowing when its the right time to use the controls. With Joy (Amy Poehler) at the helm, she makes sure that everything in Riley’s head is in control despite the other emotions striving for a turn.

Now, this is not a completely original idea but this movie is pure proof you can take the old and bring new life. Directors Pete Docter and Ronnie del Carmen are able to bring a fresh new view of what goes on inside your mind and I appreciated every minute of its creativity. I liked how the memories are used as a fuel source for the world that is created, when the other emotions take a hand in making their choices in Riley’s lifestyle and other bits that feel like a psychology class for kids. This is a good thing and a bad thing as terms like “subconscious” and “long-term memory” get tossed around to the point if we wonder how kids will understand it. The setting alone is visually bright and vibrant to explain it that it doesn’t worry me too much.

However, one emotion gets in the way as Sadness (The Office‘s Phyllis Smith) makes a major flub that has herself and Joy outside the command center of Riley’s brain and into the deep part of her mind. It is here things really pick up as we see clever elements that explain how a person’s brain works but not to the point of sugar coating it. We witness brain nerves sucking up old memories that don’t mean anything like piano lessons or phone numbers, a studio that creates dreams at night and even a place where Riley’s own imagination exists but keeps being reformed. As we dig into Riley’s brain (literally), we start to understand what kind of person she is and start to connect with her. Elements like fear of clowns or playing hockey play up as important parts of her mind that show her character than rather explain it verbally. Rarely has a setting describe the main character than just have us study one.

Unfortunately, things are not going well back at HQ as the other emotions (Fear, Anger and Disgust) try to take control of Riley but find that without Joy or Sadness, the little girl they were looking after since she was a toddler is out of control. It is often said that rules set up in a movie were meant to be broken and when I saw Riley’s mind fall apart, I relished in joy over the twist and turns “Inside Out” provides us. Some that are so heartbreaking that I can’t even fathom to explain like the lost imaginary friend Bing Bong which is one of many elements that make this movie a must see.

The animation design has a 1960s feel when we enter in Riley’s brain as it contrasts with the realistic colors and designs of the world outside. I found those choices interesting as much as the abstract look of the emotions as akin to the Muppets with big wide ping-pong eyeballs and fluffy nerves that make it less human but still able to connect. Speaking of Muppets, its odd to mention that two previous Muppeteers make a cameo that add to the odd yet out of control nature of “Inside Out.” When something goes wrong in Riley’s head, we fear the worst as parts of her mind crumble into an abyss of forgotten memories as her personality changes.

To say “Inside Out” is the best Pixar movie is jumping the gun too much. I already said “Up” will be for personal reasons but I would have to say this movie is my second favorite. With few flaws to distract, we enjoy the colorful yet strange world of a child’s mind that later gets duplicated in a great joke midway with Diane Lane and Kyle MacLachlan as Riley’s parents. As a argument at dinner seems dramatic on the outside, the comedy is played up when we look into the parent’s minds and see how they calculate their next “move.”

The moral at the end is a big one that often doesn’t get discussed. That every negative element has a reason to exist. Like how Lewis Black’s Anger tempted to say a swear word, we know there is a reason for bad things even when they are unexpected. “Inside Out” is cleverly written, fun and above all tear-jerking. It brought about a rare moment when I began to appreciate the existence of my sadness than anything else. Perhaps that is just what the magic of Pixar really is to remind adult viewers its ok to cry in a family movie.


“Gone” in the Vaults: Should a beloved classic be banned?

The greatest movie of all time....and it offends?

The greatest movie of all time….and it offends?

During my shift at a retail store, I was asked to scope through our selection of movies and music CDs . The reason for this action was to find any film or album cover that had a Confederate flag on it. There were plenty of American flags and one didn’t think to question a Rage Against the Machines album with the iconic burning monk cover. But never would one question the idea to ban a full length feature from the shelf.

Recently, a critic of the New York Post, among a few others, stated beloved classic Gone with the Wind should be banned for its depiction of racism on not just slavery but also the Confederate war. The evidence is pushed further with the memorable shot of the dying soldiers laying out on a field. The camera pans back to show the casualties of the war as the Confederate flag waves into view. Again, a “few critics” have called the ban of a movie because of its aged material. Perhaps I should throw in my two cents because when one looks at art, you get two sides of the story.

Many can observe the Salvador Dali painting The Persistence of Memory and view it as either the death of time, due to the melting clocks, or a commentary about how surreal dreams can be. In the case of Gone with the Wind, some critics are calling out against its “racist” content, but I believe they’re not looking at the full picture here. In fact, the questionable critics is currently a small minority when compared to how many viewers love this movie. I even know a few friends of mine that really praise the greatness of this film. So if a small controversy is being drummed up, where do I stand with it?

I watched this move not too long ago just to see what the fuss was.  At first, I was adamant about the length, but when examining the character of Scarlet and the toils she goes through, it made for an interesting experience. We have someone who is searching for her own “American Dream,” which includes settling down with the right man and trying to have family. But through selfish actions and seeing the world for what it is, proves that achieving her own dream is not easy to come by. If that’s the case, why are critics making a big deal about it now?

Well, the focus deals more with what events take place during the story. The whole movie (and the novel its based from) are set during the Civil War while showing the toils of the South. As expected, there is going to be that Southern accent and appearances of the Confederate flag to reflect the time period. It even goes as far to use the historical burning of Georgia as a crucial plot point. So really the real question here is not what material is being used to offend, but how accurate can the material be to the point of offense.

Viewers will draw a line between what appeals to them and what can easily be chalked off as a trigger button. And no other element is so easy to offend than stereotypical portrayal. Watching this movie from another point of view, one can be uncomfortable by the broken dialect of the African American characters or even the Hollywood treatment of the war. Even if Gone shows the brutal effects, there is that toned down feel considering how movie-making was different back then. Gone with the Wind came out in the late 1930s, so clearly some production values (lack of extreme gore, for example) won’t stand the test of time. But if we can let The Wizard of Oz slide by its dated style and near silly elements (seriously, look at Glinda’s crown again! It has pink fuzzy stars), then what is so different from this film?

Again, the only thing being focused on as offense is the time period Gone is set within as opposed to the movie as a whole. Personally, what bugs me is when someone bans a film just for one basic element that isn’t even the whole tone of the picture. Again, I do argue the movie is more about coming of age than it is about the Civil War. The setting is used as a backdrop to make the environment of its characters more interesting because they have something to work off of. Had it been set in modern day 1939, the movie would have been a product of its time as opposed to its treatment within that time.

Take “Newsies,” for example. A Disney musical that is set during a newspaper boy strike in Olde New York. Say someone would get offended because of the stereotypical New York accents or that Mr. Pulitzer is being portrayed as the bad guy. Would the movie be considered dated by when it was created or judged by the material used at the time? It really depends on how you look at it. Some can watch it and observe the 1990s tropes that were popular then like Alan Menken’s songs or casting choices. On the other hand, one can view the treatment of the event adapted and feel negative towards the treatment as a family musical instead of a straight-forward historical biopic. It really depends on the sensitivity of the viewer and his/her cinematic taste.

So should we really turn the other cheek to a great American classic? Well, that’s up for you to decide. I won’t force the opinion, but I will say openly I can see why viewers can be offended by this movie.  However, when you boil down to it, all we are really banning is a movie that clearly so many love because of its morals as opposed to its historical presentation.  If you think its offensive and doing bad, I won’t hold it against you as long as there is a valid reason. But for a huge ban, that might be pushing it too far. We are talking about a movie that got its first Academy Award for an African American actress and has stood the test of time. For if we focus on only the offensive material, we are missing out on the bigger picture. So I ask of you, please have an open mind.

“Jurassic World” thrills expectations

Jurassic-World-poster-MosasaurusAs the first shot of an egg hatching was shown, I felt “Jurassic World” would be a different movie all together. Compared to the awe of seeing a baby Raptor hatch, the feeling here is more terrifying and unsettling. For those who knew what happened in the first film, we expect chaos and destruction like Pandora’s box opening again to the world. Sure enough, this entry raises the stakes with plenty of action and adventure to keep you on the edge of your seat. However, for every good movie, it has those rough spots.

The first half of the movie focuses on building its main heroes but it feels between rushed and cliched. Brothers Zach and Gary are sent off to visit their aunt who runs the new theme park. Needless to say, I would be thrilled to be going to a place full of extinct creatures but it seems like Writing 101 is taking the old “siblings who want nothing to do with each other” routine. Even more awkward is exposition of a possible divorce that really comes out of nowhere.

Bryce Dallas Howard is their aunt Claire who lets them run almost freely around the park as she makes her usual rounds. In a sense, I should be annoyed how this character acts for the first 20 minutes as they play the workaholic card but at least it doesn’t last too long. But midway, a jarring transition of her character turns into an aunt that cares while trying to one up Chris Pratt in being the dominate action hero.

jurassic-world-pratt-howardBeyond that, everything sails on fine as it builds and builds to a satisfying roller coast ride. First implication is Chris Pratt as Owen Grady, an expert on Velociraptors who trains them to act like dolphins at SeaWorld. He easily commands the screen while trying to show how smart of a character he can get. He’s not just some animal trainer but understands animal instincts enough to know how they work.

Second implication is the new I. Rex who is really a hybrid monster of many “mystery meat” parts. While some of these aspects get revealed in the final act, they mystery of this monster is still intact by never describing what animal genes are in this beast. Needless to say, when ever he is on, you already feel a frightening presence that matches that of the Predator as the creature remains one step ahead. Unlike the first film, when someone gets munched and it looks cool, the body count is so high that it really brings a darker stride which only makes things more complex.

jurassic-world-super-bowl-10Instead of 5 or 8 visitors in the park, we get thousands of theme park customers who only wish to have a good time from seeing predatory attractions being fed to a small petting zoo full of baby dinos. These moments are so good its hard not to laugh and appreciate the creativity. In a sense, this feels more like a commentary on animal amusement parks and less about tampering with science. Yet, its set in a new direction as we question just how much effort does one have to go to bring a dead dream to life and see it all crumble again.

I guess I was easy to forgive the faults of the first third because things get better. As I. Rex stomps around and tears the park a new one, we wonder just what is going to be offered that we haven’t seen in the previous films and no stone is left turned. The problem with the sequels I feel is that they tried to offer something new but either had little characters to care for or a story that didn’t have enough meat on it. Here, we get so many twists and turns that we wonder how it will all end.

Sadly, I wish I could describe the satisfying conclusion that so easily vanquishes the sequels. It doesn’t trump the power of “Jurassic Park” but enough to show the franchise will be in good hands. As we get such an epic display that makes up for the lackluster entries and makes us question why didn’t the writers come up with something like that. It is this reason alone that makes me give it a high recommendation to see.

Jurassic-World-12As I walked out of the theater, I almost felt like a kid again with my love and appreciation for the first move and its creative whim. Here, nearly every thing was satisfying and didn’t miss a beat. Had the first half of “Jurassic World” focus more on developing characters as opposed to the environment they get placed in, it would have been a grand sequel. But still, there’s enough material to at least let me say its an explosive popcorn film that snowballs into an unexpectedly entertaining summer blockbuster. Already this and “Mad Max: Fury Road” are in a good run for its money to who is the better summer film. If you can, I best say do a double feature with both and you will get your ticket money worth. As John Hammond would say, spared no expense.

A Walk In the “Park”: A Look Back at the “Jurassic Park” Franchise – Part II

MV5BMTYxNjY1NjE2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwNzE0MDc4._V1_SX640_SY720_So now we come to the sequels. First off, The Lost World: Jurassic Park was actually based on a sequel Michael Crichton wrote but bears some heavy differences. I remember seeing this movie and hyped for it after seeing the teaser in a theater. I loved the T. Rex and the park so I had high hopes. One night, it was paired at the local Tri Town Drive-In Theater (which sadly doesn’t exist anymore) along with Warriors of Virtue. Say what you will about both, the fact that I saw movies outdoors from my parent’s car is good enough nostalgia.

I was lucky to stay awake for both films. I remember being ok with Warriors but really excited for Lost World. And when the second film finally started, I was hooked from the opening scene after than came eye candy. However, once we drove away as the end credits rolled, I just kept thinking to myself about the dinosaurs in the movie rather than if I enjoyed it or not.

It wasn’t till years later when I was 11 or 12 that I would finally get the first two movies on DVD, as it coincided with the third film. I always made this tradition to watch Lost World on Memorial Day and Jurassic Park on its release day in June as a way to commence summer vacation. I kept doing this until the idea of getting up early in the morning to pop in a movie got old and tiring. But I still remember watching Lost World and admiring the scope while appreciating the action scenes. However, something kept me from saying it was better than the first movie and I didn’t know why.

When I was in high school, I finally got around to reading the original Michael Crichton novels both movies were based on and surprised at the huge differences. While I have nothing against Crichton and will admit he is a unique writer, the only drawback was how the science elements were described like a biology textbook. It seems like in my view he didn’t want too much suspension of disbelief and kept adding explanation after explanation to patch up plot holes.

After examining both, I admitted to appreciating the film adaption of Jurassic Park over its novel for various reasons. The biggest being how Hammond’s character is made out to be a greedy jerk and not the kind man that just wants to create something unique and grand. The Lost World, on the other hand, I found more interesting in its novel than I did with its film. There were certain ideas and aspects I find more unique than what as attempted in the movie and wished it was closer to the source.

With the advent of the Internet, I would later discover just how much hate this sequel gets dumped on. Left and right, there would be a mixed opinion or someone slashing into it. It wasn’t like riding on the bus and talking about it while giving a sigh that the same person appreciates what you like. This was all over the world. So, I decided to re-watch the blockbuster I still had a heart for and see how well it held up. I can confirm that its nowhere near as good as the first but I still can’t find the fire to say its a bad movie like everyone else. However, what I can admit is that after watching it again, my feelings towards Lost World is leaning towards between average and mediocre.

Z3The whole story revolves around another island where Hammond (Richard Attenborough returning for a cameo) bred the dinosaurs free from human interference. Dubbed “Site B,” he hopes to show the good value of preserving the island compared to his greedy nephew Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) who wants to exploit the site for his company’s profit. It’s here we get a bizarre environmental message that doesn’t feel fleshed out. At first, the idea of observing the dinosaurs on the island seems like a good solution but it gets thrown out the window when Ludlow’s group steps foot on the island to capture the prehistoric beasts for a zoo in San Diego.

It already sounds like a promising idea but then we get characters that just feel uninteresting or feel out of place. Jeff Goldblum returns as Ian Malcom and they do something I find weird with his character. Instead of the awkward theorist, they try to make the character some form of action hero and it doesn’t work. I think Jeff is better when he is doing characters with big egos like in David Chronerberg’s The Fly or just basic comedy. Here, he has to sprout one liners and perform these stunts we would see better suited in a Die Hard entry. I can understand the difficulty of jumping through a building or performing in a chase scene, but it feels like Goldblum is having a hard time trying to be the next Bruce Willis than do his own thing. Once in a while, there is a funny line while other times it feels phoned in.

The rest of the characters I could barley remember. Vince Vaughn is in there somewhere, Pete Postlethwaite is very entertaining as a hunter with a character arch that doesn’t pay off as much and everyone else I barley can recall that much. Its a shame because I like the idea and even the novel spent a great deal going over the technical aspects and flaws of Site B. Here, its just a standard jungle adventure film.

JPTLWRexRoarSanDiegoThe positives that hold me back from being mad is the technical work and the action scenes. When watching the scene with the T. Rex couple attacking the van, I flashed back to when I first saw it at the drive-in and thinking how menacing it was seeing two rexes for the price of one. It’s a well shot movie seeing Steven Spielberg returned to the director’s chair but there are moments when he feels uncertain about the direction of the story. One good example is the ending. Originally from what I heard, a Pterodactyl attack at a helicopter was to occur but instead changed to have a T. Rex running down the streets of San Diego. Even today, I will admit its still an epic ending but it feels off with the jungle feel of the movie.

The dinosaurs are back but there isn’t much awe to them. They act like monsters running about and feel more of a danger than a wonder. Every time I think of this movie, I feel it focuses on the predators more than the herbivores. Most of the movie is shot at night and there are these green jungle color palettes throughout the movie that rob the original’s light blockbuster affair. There are times it feels like a 1990s remake of the famed silent film The Lost World where explorers visit a new island, see dinosaurs and bring one back for civilization but runs amok. I feel Spielberg was trying to create an action film along the lines of that but still trying to keep the darker material of the novel. It was a noble attempt but I can’t say its the worst. Bottom line, its a guilty pleasure.

Jurassic_Park_III_PosterJurassic Park III is the one I don’t have too much to say one because I never saw it in theaters. So my nostalgic view is from when I got the DVD as a Christmas gift. Keep in mind, 2001 was not a good year for blockbusters and it shows from Tim Burton’s Planet of the Apes remake. But, it was our first DVD player and it was nice to have a few new movies about for our first foray into digital home video.

As for JP III itself, there’s aspects of it that just don’t work for me. I’m glad they got Sam Neil back to repirse his role as Alan Grant but his excuse to return to the island doesn’t work. He’s tricked into helping a divorced couple find their lost son who apparently found himself on the island after a parasailing incident. William H. Macy and Tea Loni play the separated parents and their chemistry didn’t gel for me. They just argue most of the time and show little romance between the two. I understand they are supposed to be divorced but you could at least do something interesting with it.

It also doesn’t help they are stuck on Site B which frustrates Alan seeing he’s never been there. Even more, they load more dinosaurs along with a Spinosaurus to replace the T. Rex (literally) and raptor with feathers on his head. Compared to the previous movies, nothing really stood out to me. It was the same old thing as these creatures get treated like something out of a B movie and less like animals acting on instinct.
While it has a shorter running time, Jurassic Park III just doesn’t have a reason to exist and its obvious throughout the whole movie. But I can’t say its a complete lost. Once in a while, there can be a cool scene like with the Pteranodon cage but others just build without pay off like the first Spinosarus chase. It tries to be heavy and big but comes off as stale and anti-climatic by the end. I remember thinking how much they couldn’t end this series with an entry like this coming off as lazy than passable.

JP-WhenDinosaursRuledAs I write this, the new Jurassic World is already out and I’m sure people have a lot to say about it. If some say it will save the franchise or be another dumb entry, I’m still hyped to take another venture into the park. At the moment, I would like to give out my thoughts on what I expect from this entry considering how dear this franchise is to me. I hope we get dinosaurs that are awesome but awe-inspiring at the same time. Characters that are fun and have a great amount of development packed into them. And of course, chaos. Pure crazy chaos. If it doesn’t live up to my expectations, I’ll still appreciate the experience. Because that’s what going to the movies is all about. Being with a great audience and sharing what you remember the most. I think that is what I take away from this franchise the most. As skippable as the sequels are (with the exception of Lost World being ok in my books), I will never forget my first venture to the park and how grand of a roller coast ride it was remembering a simple time in my childhood when dinosaurs really ruled the world…

A Walk In the “Park”: A Look Back at Jurassic Park (and its sequels) – Part I

1.-Jurassic-Park-OriginalSummer of 1993 was a big year for cinema history. It was a turning point for moviegoers when film could push further boundaries with the available technology and transport them to new worlds. From into an action movie or deep into an alternate universe, audiences were given a great opportunity no matter how good or bad these movies got. And then Jurassic Park happened and changed everything.

Now you can have a smart blockbuster and still cram as many action scenes as you wish. The ability to blend practical effects with digital work seamlessly. While smart and unique characters along with a solid story is a constant issue, we still get a rare gem once in a while like last year’s Rise of the Planet of the Apes and my personal favorite Guardians of the Galaxy. But when you really think back, a lot is owed to Jurassic Park for pushing that momentum. Sure, a lot of summer movies before the dino-flick where big hits, but when you really think about it, this Steven Spielberg classic perfected it.

To understand how much this franchise means to me, let me take you back to a time when I was young and into dinosaurs. Everyone at that time was just insane for these prehistoric creatures and we didn’t know why. Some say it was the leftover B-movies of the 1980s, many could point to Don Bluth’s Land Before Time as sparking interest while others say it was the ABC sitcom Dinosaurs. Regardless, I remember being curious about these extinct monsters and wondering how they would have lived back then.

My only view to this was in children’s movies like Land Before Time and We’re Back: A Dinosaur’s Story. There were cartoony with the exception of Land Before Time skewing for drama. But most of what I saw had walking and talking dinosaurs as opposed to the beastly beings I was eager to see. It wasn’t until I was 5 years old that I finally would see the popular dinosaur blockbuster and my mind was blown.

At last, I could finally view these long gone creatures in their primal view and marvel at them. True, it was no kid’s film but I knew at the time it was only a movie considering what I watched for a while. It was a huge change of pace and I always wondered how they were able to use animals that don’t walk the Earth. Well, as I got older and began to appreciate movies, I was amazed to see the technical craft they put into making the film. Keep in mind, CGI was new at the time and the never ending possibilities were growing. In my teen years, I began to appreciate the effort more than the movie and just how the blend between an anamatronic T.Rex and a digital one were edited so seamlessly.

Well, 20 years after seeing this movie for the first time and after a revisit, I can proudly say this is my “Star Wars.” Of course, the space epic holds a place in my heart as much as everyone, but Jurassic Park is to me a movie that really grows with you. As a kid, you wonder at the magic and question how it was done. As a teen, you start to see behind the curtain and appreciate the craft. As an adult, you marvel at not just how well done the special effects hold up but also the characters and story.

Helicopter-Ride-to-Jurassic-ParkI think my favorite character has to be John Hammond played by Richard Attenborough, the elderly tycoon who put together the idea of creating a theme park island full of dinosaurs. Many could argue he is a Scottish Walt Disney that is chasing the dream and even point to Frankenstein as a person who wishes to bring something back to life. Today, I actually see him more as a sane Dr. Moreau. Really think about! A man who crafts these creatures on an island for all to see, he has a set hosts that question the morals of what he is doing and still believes in the idea even his guests think otherwise.

The biggest difference here is that Hammond is not trying to break new ground or is even greedy. My favorite scene I always point to for evidence is when he talks to one of the paleontologists about his feelings for the park and how he once had a fake flea circus in the past. He goes on to explain how his flea circus was mechanical and fooled the kid’s into thinking it was real. It shows a sympathetic side but even a tragic one. No matter how much he wants to give back with something believable, he doesn’t realize the damage in front of his eyes. From extinct creatures in a new world to even placing people in harm’s way, he chases a dream that keeps getting hampered by reality.

Jurassic-Park_Kitchen2Two paleontologists, Alan Grant and Ellen Sattler  (Sam Neil and Laura Dern) act as our focus of reality. Like the viewer, we delight in seeing these creatures in awe as much as they convince us the power of seeing a brachiosauraus in front of our eyes. But when we learn how the dinosaurs are crafted thanks to cloning and using frog DNA for missing spots, we start to question John Hammond’s morals along with the disadvantages of dinosaurs in a zoo. And surprisingly, we see all these elements play out from not knowing what type of plants are safe to even understanding the animistic instinct of a T. rex. Even before things get out of control, we already see that things are from a sick Triceratops and worker casualties trying to get the Velociraptors in containment.

The rest of the characters hold up as well with some exceptions. Jeff Goldblum plays a mathematician named Ian Malcolm whose theories range between interesting to questionable when going on about chaos theories. The only thing that makes him entertaining enough is Jeff’s awkward performance as he proposes on theory after another and either laugh how ridiculous they are or at the skeptical nature of the character.

Then, we have Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim. Yes, I am aware they were in the Michael Chrichton novel this is based from, but both characters are ok. I don’t have a huge qualm with child acting as long as it’s done right. These two have quirks that get used later on from a dinosaur expert and a computer whizz. Though at times, I feel like they are there to attract the kid audience but it still works. Some viewers might be bothered to see two youngsters in danger but they make up for it by having them be smart and not dumb cliches like in Honey, I Shrunk the Kids.

Honestly, there is so much to talk about this movie that even this blog post can’t do much justice. The dinosaur effects are incredible and still hold up to this day along with key set pieces. The T. Rex attack is classic but my personal favorite has to be when the Velociraptors chase the heroes around the main building. It starts off intense and just builds and builds as we change from one room to another as our leads try to outsmart these clever predators. Bottom line, this movie really knows how to put you on the edge of your seat and engaged at the screen.

jurassicpark_BIGJurassic Park meant a lot to me as a kid and still does as an adult but in a different light. Back then, it was the first movie I can think of that realistically portrayed dinosaurs in their own habitat. No cheesy monster movies and no cartoons. I didn’t care much for the story and plot but found myself enjoying everything around it. A smart decision was having the T. Rex attack and Dennis’ encounter with the Dilaphosaurus play without background musical score. It really adds to the awe factor as we don’t know if we should take this is a mesmerizing moment or quiver with fear on the sofa.

As an adult, it’s almost like returning to your favorite amusement park and reminiscing about the rides you went on while discovering something new. There’s really no reason to keep explaining why I hold this movie so dear to me and is one of my top favorites. We get likable characters, amazing monsters and a unique premise that is cheesy but plausible on the big screen. I loved it as a kid and will cherish more as I grow older. But little did I know…there was more to come…