Spielberg marshals all of these factors – story, style, technology, philosophy (with a big assist from John Williams’ classic score) – to such an effective and satisfying degree that it has made Jurassic Park a quintessential Summer Movie. It’s the kind of blockbuster we go to the theater hoping to see, psyched to experience, and with the power to bring us back for more. It is seared into our collective consciousness, part of our cultural language, and something we want to share and pass on.

For me personally, the whole "journey to the island" sequence – from the helicopter’s flight toward Isla Nublar to the first dinosaur sighting – has become an indelible slice of cinematic comfort food. It’s so perfectly constructed, transporting us away from our world and into its own, all with a sense of fun, magic, and giddy anticipation. It never fails to put a goofy smile on my face as I shovel popcorn into it. It makes me feel like a kid again.

A couple of things certainly jump out as dated (CD-ROMs and UNIX systems, anyone?), but that just adds to the charm. So do the actors, layering both wry humor and genuine emotion into their specifically-contrived yet still well-written roles. As Ian Malcolm, Jeff Goldblum remains a particular favorite, especially with his irresistible use of Chaos Theory as a flirting technique.

It’s rare to have a sure thing just waiting for us at movie theaters, and rarer still to re-experience a Pop Culture classic in a way we never have before. The release of this remastered and suped-up version of Jurassic Park gives us both. I know it’s only spring, but I can't imagine having a better time at the movies all summer.

CAUTIONS:

  • Drugs/Alcohol Content: Champagne is served at a meal. One character chain-smokes.
  • Language/Profanity: Two h-words, two d-words, two s-words, one "SOB,", one use of the Lord’s name in vain.
  • Sexual Content/Nudity: An image of a woman in a bikini is seen on a computer screen.
  • Violence: A raptor attack in opening scene (terrifying, but not bloody or graphic). Bloody goat limb on a window. A man eaten by a T-Rex. An extended scene of a T-Rex attack on SUV in which kids are trapped. Man attacked by a dilophosaurus. Terror of a car falling through a tree toward people. A T-Rex chases people in a jeep. A T-Rex attacks and eats other dinosaurs in a few different scenes. Several raptor attacks and chases throughout the final act, including two raptors pursuing kids and trapping them in a kitchen. A man’s bloody severed arm is dropped on someone. A boy is electrocuted and becomes unconscious. Several sequences of dino-related terror, especially in the film’s second half.

Publication date: April 5, 2013