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Jurassic Park 3D

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With the 20th anniversary release of Jurassic Park that's out in theaters, Tara and I copped a couple of 3d glasses and decided to see what changed in 20 years.

I didn't have high hopes.  Jurassic Park is that part of Spielberg that makes me hate Spielberg.  The overly simplistic worldview that other people find charming grates on me to no end.

The movie is good sometimes, and terrible at other times, and one simple question is all that it takes to distinguish one from the other:  Is somebody talking?  See, when somebody is talking, it means they are following the script, which was an atrocious travesty in the mid 90s, and has not been treated well by time.  Not only is the dialogue intensely awkward, but the feminist and racial politics specialize in that truly awkward 90s thinking of "Gender and race proscription is just fine if we ridicule the bigots!"  Meanwhile, the movie's one driving thought is obvious in the introduction to the movie, and reiterated ad-nauseum throughout the movie.  If you didn't get that nature is more powerful than humanity from Dr. Grant telling a child about velociraptors early in the movie, you'll have plenty of chances to get it later, whether when eventually pretty much every other character says something along those lines, or when one of the characters dies because, you know, they weren't respecting nature.

I don't think I realized how much this movie is actually for kids, whether or not anybody pays attention to the PG-13 movie rating.  There's a decent amount of gore, and a lot of tension, but in many ways, this is a horror movie for 8 year olds, from the simplistic plot line to the dinosaur almanac subject matter.

The saving grace of this movie is that Spielberg is a genius, even if he is seemingly allergic to scripts aimed at viewers older than 7.  The kitchen scene with the velociraptors is truly amazing.  Pretty much every time you get to see a dinosaur, or a shot without somebody talking, you are free to marvel at the effects and the craft that Spielberg used.  Very few shots are wasted, and the movie has a way of bleeding beyond the frame, where you feel like you could look left or right and see a bit more of Isla Nublar, if only the camera would follow your vision.

This is the Avatar of the mid 90s, an all-sizzle-no-steak experience with questionable politics.

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