"Welcome to Jurassic Park"

I have waited 20 years to see Jurassic Park in the theater.

I was just a kid when it came out, and wasn't yet allowed to watch PG-13 movies. I begged, pleaded with, fought, manipulated, and even tried bribing my parents, all to no avail. Cassette players with "subliminal" messages were (badly) hidden under their pillows. Comic strips about kids wanting to see the movie (Adam, if I remember right, had a series about his son trying desperately to go, too) were cut out of the papers and taped to anything and everything they loved using. Chores and fealty were promised. Breakfasts were served in bed. Tantrums were (counterproductively) thrown.

And nothing. I had to settle for a VHS copy, rented from Blockbuster, and played on our tiny TV set (which was so old that jangling coins would change the channel) after my parents had screened it first.

But now, oh glorious now . . ..

"Welcome to Jurassic Park"

It was beautiful. I was stunned just how well the dinosaurs held up on screen after 20 years. Walking with Dinosaurs, made seven years later, has not aged nearly so well. And there were so many details (some big, some miniscule) that, despite viewing and re-viewing my own personal VHS copy until it died a fuzzy, staticky death, I had never before noticed.

The 3D was fine . . . a bit distracting here and there, a little jumpy when things moved fast, but utterly immaterial to what was going on. At some point I stopped noticing that anything even had depth, and then I really enjoyed myself. And really, given that they started with 20-year-old 2D footage . . . it's fairly impressive that they did as well as they did.

It still made me jump! I couldn't believe it! I got an order-of-events mixed up in my head, and was expecting Mr. Arnold's arm to touch Ellie's shoulder when a Velociraptor jumped out instead! I actually screamed out loud, it was awesome. Everybody with me laughed at me.

"Welcome to Jurassic Park"

Obviously the science is a bit creakier than it was 20 years ago. The Velociraptor size never bothered me, because there were dinosaurs roughly that shape and size, so I just substitute Utahraptor or Deinonychus in my head. But Tyrannosaurus motion-dependent vision is silly (as are Dilophosaurus venom glands) and the Velociraptor hands just look silly . . . as do the lack of Velociraptor feathers, anymore.

But I'm so happy right now. I still have the glasses on, I may never take them off.

"Welcome to Jurassic Park"

Twenty years.