Rwaaar! Jurassic Park in 3D

Two decades after I saw Jurassic Park in the theater, I was just as excited and giddy to be watching it again on the big screen—and in 3D!

My mind is blown. Again.

Yes, it’s about dinosaurs, and that’s pretty awesome. It’s got Jeff Goldblum as a flirty chaos mathematician, and that’s awesome. It’s got a hurricane, a remote island, and Richard Attenborough. Awesome, awesome. All that aside…

Does the 3D work? Yes. Dimensionality is increased and yet does not take away from the primary effects—the dinosaurs and their environment. 3D is slightly noticeable in some of the slower scenes, but so masterfully integrated in the action sequences that it’s a wonder we’ve survived so long without it.

Overall, I felt the 3D effects were appropriately conservative in this movie. And the real stars were not overshadowed by them. By real stars, I mean the velociraptors, the T. Rex, and the rest of the creatures. They are still richly imagined and extremely terrifying. The movie works very efficiently to convey a lot of information while not making the audience work to understand it. (The DNA mini-movie is bearable only because it doesn’t last too long.)

Science Fiction for a Pop Culture Audience. I am self-admittedly not a sci-fi fan, so I enter those worlds skeptically. But what science fiction can do well is explore the dark side of culture and society. I appreciated that this film allowed for the creationist conversation to occur. It elevates Jurassic Park beyond mere spectacle or monster or effects movie. It questions our role in nature’s evolutionary cycle. And who has the right to create / alter / command life into existence? Who are the real monsters? What obligations does science have to morality? Who keeps whom in check? Who has the right to profit from pure science? These ethical questions are still being explored today, and are always worth asking.

Largeness in Largess. Wholly enjoyable in the dark den of our private homes for the past twenty years, Jurassic Park in a darkened cineplex filled with strangers is an entirely different experience. The large screen heightens everything: the giant lizards, the terror, the helplessness, the fierceness of natural selection. It is a prime example of why monster movies are best viewed on the big screen.

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Another Opinion of the 3D re-release

My Career as a Paleontologist

My Favorite Movies of 2012

I’m typing this as I have curlers drying on my head. I’m getting ready for an Oscars party tonight with friends. We’re getting dolled up in our flimsy dresses, and meeting up with some ladies to pre-game before heading to the main event.

I have seen most of the movies nominated for awards tonight, but I have also seen many other great movies in 2012—many of which will likely get overlooked or worse, forgotten in short time. So before I head off, here’s my list of my favorite movies of 2012. I’ve watched all of these in the theater. I still love the dreaming awake that happens in the public dark of the movie house.

In no particular order, my Top Ten are as follows: Continue reading