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Jurassic Park

Jurassic Park  

4 members have voted

  1. 1. Does Jurassic Park go in the space capsule?

    • ✅ Life finds a way!
      2
    • ❌ Whadda they got in there, King Kong?
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Amy & Paul break out of 1993’s prehistoric creature feature Jurassic Park! They revisit the moment in film history when CGI was starting to break into the mainstream, learn how director Steven Spielberg decided to embrace realism in the film’s dino designs, and debate whether John Hammond gets a bad rap. Plus: An in-depth breakdown of Jurassic Park vs. Jaws.

Next week Unspooled’s summer blockbuster series continues with Men In Black! You can join the conversation for this series on the Unspooled Facebook Group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/unspooledpodcast, and on Paul’s Discord at https://discord.gg/ZwtygZGTa6. Learn more about the show at unspooledpod.com, follow us on Twitter @unspooled and Instagram @unspooledpod, and don’t forget to rate, review & subscribe to us on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify. You can also listen to our Stitcher Premium game show Screen Test right now at https://www.stitcher.com/show/unspooled-screen-test, and apply to be a contestant at unspooledpod@gmail.com! Photo credit: Kim Troxall

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I haven't listened to this episode yet, but since there wasn't a forum post for the previous one setting up the summer blockbuster series, I will comment here:

The idea that Jurassic Park was more important than Jaws seems completely wrong. Summer blockbusters were already an existing tradition by the 90s.

Amy is right that the first Mission: Impossible, with De Palma, is the best. It was a De Palma movie rather than a James Bond knockoff in which a supervillain is trying to blow up the world. In the most recent M:I... there was a supervillain trying to blow up the world.

The obvious reason that Die Hard came out in the summer rather than Christmas is because it's a summer action movie, not a Christmas movie. Same goes for other films written by Shane Black and with Christmas inserted in irrelevantly like Lethal Weapon, Kiss Kiss Bang Bang & the Nice Guys (none of which were released around Christmas).

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Originally forgot the poll! Now up.

Also:

I've also always loved this whole bit:

 

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Love this movie and have seen it dozens of times, but it's a no vote for me. Paul's constant attempts to compare it to Jaws in the podcast episode actually turned me the other way. Sure, on some level you can argue that Jurassic Park has the more "perfect" plot. All of the character arcs are rounded off nicely and the film's core themes are all addressed clearly.

That's the problem: Jurassic Park is too clean. Everything is spelled out for you right there on the surface. Jaws leaves space for you to ponder things and let your imagination run. So does Raiders of the Lost Ark. You don't judge movies by going down a checklist and seeing which one checks the most boxes. As a thrill-ride adventure it's great, one of the best, but the over-determined nature of it means it's not THE best.

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Jaws should have JP's spot out in space.

Ian Malcolm is Crichton's mouthpiece, whereas Spielberg identifies too much with Hammond to make him a villain. The whole premise of the film still depends on Malcolm being proven right about the unanticipated consequences of what Hammond has done, but Spielberg thinks doing it would nevertheless be awesome.

I don't think it was Mackie's character in The Banker who had those accusations, but instead his son.

Movies in the 70s really were better. Spielberg's Jaws helped kick off the transition to broader blockbuster movies, which for the most part aren't as good.

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I prefer this to Jaws myself. It's not fighting a shark, it's survival. I prefer that immensely and think it opens up many more levels. I get that Jaws was the first, but I think JP has more to it - deeper levels like ethical quandaries. I also think it's scarier, tbh. I know Jaws is like a prototype scary blockbuster but I don't find sharks scary; hyper-intelligent mean dinosaurs though? *shivers* I'm not sure if JP is the best blockbuster or not, but if there has to be a Spielberg blockbuster, I'm picking Jurassic Park.

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Yet again, hating that the conversation has to revolve around comparing the week's film with another in the series/from the same director; I feel like it only encourages negativity instead of celebrating what the film does so well. Both Jaws and Jurassic Park deserve recognition for different, but mostly equal, things, IMO. It doesn't have to be one or the other.

Jurassic Park was and still is a technical marvel. Except for a few CG shots (which I think mostly hold up completely) everything is done with incredible animatronics that still look lifelike. It's amazing! Even if the plot was terrible this film deserves recognition for this achievement. Of course, the plot and story are about as solid as one could ask from a huge blockbuster. Spielberg really cares about crafting good characters and having a tight story; I can't knock a film for doing something so well and I actually think there is a bunch to ponder beneath the surface that the podcast didn't even touch upon (that the Park is really an analog for zoos and how incredibly awful they are, for example).

And there's still the incredible camera work, the timeless score, the brilliant casting and acting all around...This is the ultimate blockbuster film.

Regarding Hammond, completely disagree with the notion that Spielberg thinks what he's doing is awesome. Sure, Richard Attenborough has a jolly smile and sing-songy delivery, but he is absolutely portrayed as a selfish, impatient, short-sighted prick. Before he's even in the film all we hear about him is that he refuses to meet with his lawyer to discuss the death of one of his workers and that he hates dealing with legal matters as it slows everything down. After landing his helicopter right by Grant and Sattler's raptor dig site, ruining their work, the first thing we actually see him do is barge into their fridge and open an expensive bottle of champagne they'd been saving.

Hammond insists on the railed-Jeep tour, which his grandchildren are on, continue even though many of the systems are bugging out and a terrible storm is incoming. He has only two engineers (one of whom seems to not know how to do anything) in charge of the entire zoo's system, underpays them and treats them like garbage. Likely, his pressuring the scientists to hurry along with the cloning tech caused them to make the pretty egregious mistake of using DNA from frogs that are known to spontaneously change sex, negating their "brilliant" females-only solution. They're breeding and raising some of the most dangerous animals to have ever existed and they don't even have a dependable security system to contain them (not only faulty electrics but they know that the raptors are testing for weak spots). He dismisses Muldoon for being an alarmist after he says all the raptors should be destroyed. Countless people are killed due to his impatience and he still thinks he can do it perfect the next time before Sattler sets him straight over melting ice cream (this scene lays out the entire message of the movie).

I could go on but virtually everything that went wrong with the park was 100% on Hammond and Spielberg makes that very obvious. The thesis of the film is that man shouldn't try to be God, Hammond being the personification: the Dr. Frankenstein.

So yeah, big vote yes for me. This is one of the most important American films that everyone who even cares the slightest bit about the craft should see, and that includes aliens from space.

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Also, this is one of the earliest memes I can remember...back before jokes on the internet were called memes. I still quote/sing this with my friends.

 

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