Steven Spielberg's masterful monster movie Jurassic Park is 30 years old, and it's returning to Cineworld this September to mark the occasion.
The movie hardly needs an introduction. Hailed as a landmark in the development of CGI and animatronics, Jurassic Park adapts Michael Crichton's novel of the same name. Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum play the paleontologists and scientists invited by Richard Attenborough's wealthy entrepreneur to a mysterious Costa Rican island.
When they arrive, they discover, to their astonishment, the existence of Jurassic Park, which is built around the spectacle of living, breathing dinosaurs that have been cloned via DNA sequencing. In classic monster movie fashion, however, it doesn't take long for the park to break down in a storm, unleashing the most dangerous of our prehistoric ancestors and setting in motion a desperate battle for survival.
Jurassic Park is screening in physically tactile 4DX (exclusive to Cineworld cinemas) on September 2nd and September 6th, complete with motion-controlled seats and immersive effects (wind, water rain, scents) to draw you even further into the movie's tropical landscape. The film is also screening in RealD 3D on September 6th to lend a greater depth of field and perspective to the movie's astonishing dinosaur creations.
Here are five classic scenes that will have added bite in both the 4DX and RealD 3D formats.
1. The brachiosaurus reveal
Back in 1993, jaws went to the floor upon the reveal of the majestic herbivore known as the brachiosaurus. The full-body reveal of the towering creature (designed by Industrial Light and Magic) allowed Spielberg to set out his stall: Jurassic Park would redefine the photo-realistic portrayal of dinosaurs on the big screen, crafting a unique level of CG immersion hitherto unknown to cinema. Little wonder the effects team went on to win an Oscar.
The sequence still stands up today, belying the limitations of the early-1990s CG thanks to Spielberg's careful camera placement, blocking and the convincingly awed reactions of Neill, Dern and Goldblum, not to mention the gleeful one from Attenborough. The soft choral wash from composer John Williams, here establishing one of his two main themes from the soundtrack, imbues the moment with even greater levels of wondrous beauty, reminding us that not all dinos were toothy and vicious.
2. The T-Rex break-out
Williams' score is absent during the pivotal T-Rex escape sequence, and it's a potent reminder of how sound effects (in this case, Oscar-winning sound effects) can step up to act as their own form of musicality.
Here is the moment where the seamless blend between relatively rudimentary CGI and Stan Winston's remarkably imposing animatronics comes into its own. Michael Kahn's careful editing (Oscar-nominated) brilliantly cross-cuts between computer graphics and the on-set elements, such as the moment when the T-Rex approaches the first jump and subtly transitions between its CG and practical iteration without ever missing a beat.
The layering of the T-Rex's roar (a mixture of a dog and a baby elephant), the harsh snapping of the wires on the electric fence, the thunderous foot steps (captured via the noise of falling trees), all anticipated by the classic image of the water shaking in the glass – this sequence still boasts all the scale and physical impact one needs to be left shaken and exhilarated.
3. The T-Rex chase
"I'm fairly alarmed here." Goldblum's deadpan delivery as Ian Malcolm sets in motion one of the movie's most memorably terrifying and exciting sequences as he, Ellie Sattler (Dern) and park ranger Robert Muldoon (the late Bob Peck) are forced to flee in the guest jeep from the rampaging T-Rex.
The confidence of the sequence, writ large in the expressive, full-body CG and animatronic displays of the creature, still stuns and throws one back in one's seat. The spiralling, suitably animalistic piccolo effects on Williams' score, the busy and bustling sound design (those footsteps will never fail to be intimidating) and the effectively rattled performances (Dern's scream suggests she was actually terrified of the T-Rex's on-set mechanic) help elevate movie above and beyond your standard creature feature.
4. The gallimimus stampede
It's not all about chaos and destruction in Jurassic Park. The fleeting moments of downtime are also infused with their own levels of wonder, as with the gallimumus stampede, which, as it turns out, presents its own form of danger.
This is possibly the most CG-heavy sequence in the movie, showcasing full interaction with the flesh and blood human ensemble (Sam Neill as Alan Grant, plus Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello as imperilled kids Lex and Tim) and also with environmental props (watch the log shattering as the dinosaurs charge across the camera).
The payoff comes with the return of the T-Rex, which picks off one unfortunate gallimimus as it attempts to escape. Once again, the CG is on full view to groundbreaking and breathtaking effect, giving the potent sense of Jurassic Park as its own living, breathing ecosystem.
5. The raptors in the kitchen
There are a lot of menacing sequences in Jurassic Park that scoured themselves onto the brain of many a youngster. But few can top the claustrophobic terror of the showdown with the raptors in the kitchen, which brilliantly utilises the limitations of its environment to enhance the bulk and clawed menace of its invasive velociraptor antagonists.
The raptors are largely kept off-screen until the final third of the movie when they step up to become the primary villains, cunning and calculating in their depictions of prehistoric intelligence. John Williams' growling, prowling music matches brilliantly with the horror sold by young actors Richards and Mazzello, invoking both a sense of awe and a blood-curdling threat.
Are you ready to return to Jurassic Park? The movie screens at Cineworld in 4DX on September 2nd and September 6th, and in RealD 3D on September 6th only. Click the link below to book your tickets.