Monday, March 26, 2012

Jurassic Park – How it’s bonded with my DNA - BLOG

Check out this 'DINO-DAMAGE'!

An introduction 19 years in the making

                If you know me personally (what an honor, right?) then you would know this is up and away my favorite film of all time.  That being said I have more to talk about than just the movie itself.  I grew up with this movie as did so many other kids in that time, 1993.  I’d like to share all the way back to when I was ten years old (finally free of diapers!) and why this movie is more than ‘just a movie’ to me.  The experiences involved with this movie are necessary for me to explain so you can feel why it’s my number one favorite.  I’m going somewhere with all this emotional stuff so hang in there ok?  I’ve seen it far more times than I can count (umm 10?) or remember which inclines me to know the dialogue by heart.  I was in awe of dinosaurs as a child and this movie, forever, has made me love them even more.  Didn’t you always want to be a velociraptor when you grew up?  I played sick from school to stay home and watch it on VHS (remember those odd rectangular contraptions?), which I still own.  I intentionally watched it during a thunderstorm to enhance the T-Rex scene (you know the one I’m talking about – Lawyer – Toilet!).  Seriously how many of you can claim you did that?  Don’t lie to pose as a true JP fan either.

Dad, gone but not forgotten

I know where's the VHS?!
                The first memory I must share is the first time I seen it in theater.  I knew it was going to be special beforehand just by my gut feeling.  I went to see the movie with my dad and little sister and I’ll never forget it even if I get Alzheimer’s later.  Well I’ll confess I don’t remember much as it is but the infamous T-Rex escape scene is burned in my brain thoroughly.  My poor unfortunate little sis screamed her lungs out while I glanced over possibly wondering why.  I mean it I was at a loss; didn’t she realize what an amazing movie she was witnessing as I did?  Now, in 2012, the only thing I wonder is how my dad sat there and let her express her frightened feelings for the audience to hear.  I can bet there is someone out there writing about how their first JP viewing was forever scared by the screaming girl in the tenth row!  She even shed some tears but I can’t blame her she was only eight.  The real meaning, comedy aside, behind this memory is it was one of the last movies I saw with my dad on the big screen.  He knew I loved it so much that we saw it a few more times and also at the drive-in.  Can you imagine seeing this classic movie at the drive-in?  It was so exciting for me at that young age and probably to this day if I had a chance to see it in that fashion once more.  I can’t help but think of him every time I watch it especially the ending scene in the helicopter as Dr. Grant is huddled up with the kids escaping Jurassic Park.  It may be an odd way of relating to a movie but that’s the way it is for me.  Thanks Dad, you did right by me in the end.


                A memory I’d be foolish to not mention would be also going to the theater with my best friend and his dad to watch it.  I know, how many times can you go to watch the same movie?  Anyway we loved it and seeing it together as kids makes the movie so much better somehow, I guess because you’re with somebody who is often considered your shadow.  I’ll admit I never got that as a kid, I’d look down and see my own shadow and think the grown-ups were just being odd.  The connection with him and his dad is still like a family for me so it extends the unforgettable memory for this movie.  It’s possible it may have been just another movie for them but that’s understandable.  The 3D version of the movie will hit theaters next year I’m told and it would only be fitting to see it one more time with them.  Who am I kidding?  By next year I’ll have watched it another ten to twenty times most likely!

Healing power of Jurassic Park

                The countless times I’ve watched this forces me to best recall some of those occasions.  I’ve mentioned playing hooky from school to watch it already, you’re impressed admit it!  Some days you’d just rather learn from Dr. Grant instead am I right?  I suffered from headaches a lot in my younger years and after I took medicine for it I would watch Jurassic Park before eventually dozing off to sleep.  The movie actually calmed me and took the focus off my headache; I didn’t realize that at the time, thanks mom.  Aside from watching the movie the toys, collectibles and even my keychain represent the connection I still maintain.  My wife adds to this memory in the present as she gifted to me this past Christmas, 2011, the collector’s Blu Ray set of the Jurassic Park franchise complete with a model T-Rex and certificate.  I’d say that she qualifies as a keeper right?  Well at least until they come out with the ‘Red Ray’ version of it or something.  A notable mention to my best friend for gifting me the JP adventure pack on DVD which I still own. 

The man behind it all

Do NOT pass on reading this book.
                I’d hate to leave out Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park novel and I won’t (I will never allow him to roll over in his grave, respect!).  The science of this story is what started me with an admiration for science fiction type theories.  The process of bringing a dinosaur back to life from ancient DNA is intellectual sound and incredibly original.  This was the first lengthy book I’d ever read and it took me from the Friday at school in which I got it to the end of that Sunday to finish it.  I couldn’t put it down and still remember all the different reading positions I was in adjusting my body enough to maintain focus on the story.  I do still own my first paperback copy of this book as it will most likely be in my coffin one day as I clutch it, was that too far?  I read it around the same time the movie released and I was amazed by Crichton’s writing style that I became an instant fan of his.  I went on to write a couple silly short stories about dinosaurs myself.  The top photo here is of my actual book, it has staples holding together the cover!  I suppose you could say Crichton is to authors as Jurassic Park is to movies for me, number one.  He is truly missed by me, R.I.P.  November 2008.


                In reading this I hope you can too remember the impact your favorite movie has left an effect on you.  Remember when I said something about being emotional back there?  This is it; one of my purposes in sharing my admiration of this movie was for you to unlock a similar feeling you have for one.  It need not be a movie I suppose but if there is something special in your life that always lingers and lifts your spirits then you should acknowledge it.  Use it as a beacon during your dark hours to get back on track.  It may sound silly to some but the intangible effects emotion plays in the human mind are worth exploring.  It’s interesting how it affects your life and gives you something to cling to that is special to you alone.  Be sure to read my Jurassic Park movie review as well, it’ll blow away what’s left of your mind.  You can go directly to the review here:

I’ve used my own images for this review and hope you find them suitable.
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