It's hard to imagine, but try if you will, a time where CGI was a thing that was so new and under-developed that neither audiences or film makers could rely on it to help tell a story, let alone make it a standout experience.
1993 would change all that with the release of "King of Blockbuster" Spielberg's version of Michael Crichton's best-selling novel. In the same year, the 'Berg also released his Oscar-clearing Schindler's List - two opposite films you couldn't make even if you tried - but the dinosaurs amok movie would become then the biggest film of all time. And rightly so.
If you were never lucky enough to see it first time round, before it's High Def home release in October, the newly restored digital print roars its way into cinema screens and is a treat NOT to be missed. Even those who have been brought up on a diet of CG 'toons and two-a-penny computer-enhanced flicks will be, at minimum, entertained by a director who was (and still is) at the top of his game and a crew that delivered everything in top, memorable form. From John Williams' magical score through to the "can't tell em from the CG" animatronic dinosaurs by master Stan Winston, everything that the 'Berg brought to the screen that makes a Blockbuster with the likes of Jaws and Raiders Of The Lost Ark, is ticked here in bold, exciting marker pen!
With the same pacing as the iconic Jaws, you have an opening sequence that sets up the premise that man will not fare too well against nature - the "Jaws With Claws" label it was originally given nailed it squarely on the head. What Jurassic Park may have lacked in memorable characterisation - there's no Brody, Quint and Hooper's quotable chemistry on display - it made up for in breath-holding, heart-racing, eye-popping sequences that had never been seen before, nor rivalled since in just one movie. The rippling water shot has become a much mimicked scene along with rain-soaked attacks on the heroes ever since a select bunch of specialists were chosen to sign off on a park just the coast of Costa Rica.
18 years down the line and the effects still hold up, especially on the big screen. Films less than 5 years old can't even say that. The T-Rex attack in particular is a seamless blend of physical and computerised magic which still thrills as it crushes the two park vehicles under foot and in its jaw. Even if the familiarity leans towards you waiting for the next set piece to occur - the raptor attack; the dilophosaurus attack; the car/tree escape - it still excites and makes you by the hand pulling you through it all at break-neck speed rather than losing its grip on you and your attention.
A movie that turned a corner and one of those "classics" that, upon watching it, you can see why it was given that title. See it on the big screen before you have to wait for a 25th anniversary release. At least though when you see it, you can rest knowing that the version you're watching is the same as that was seen back in 1993 - with no alterations or fixes. Take note Mr Lucas.
Original UK release date: 16.07.93
Re-release UK date: 23.09.11