If for no other reason then to explain how movies sweep you away as a kid, Jurassic Park lands on this list. Unlike many of the films I claim to love, this is pure blockbuster. And at the tender age of 10, knee deep in my obsession with dinosaurs and fossils, a little movie about dinosaurs and fossils comes out. Needless to say, this currently stands as the #1 movie I've seen the most times in a theater at a staggering thirteen times. More on why that is such a high number later, but first why such blockbuster goodness still sits with me and definitely still effects the reason I love movies. Now even more than before after hearing of the passing of Michael Crichton am I filled with nostalgia for this film. I read all of Crichton's novels after reading this one and especially after seeing the movie. There is nothing more fun than Jurassic Park to a 10-year-old obsessed with Paleontology.
The thing with Steven Speilberg is he can create a world of fantasy that you wish was a reality. And although the ultimate theme of the original Jurassic Park is the whole Frankenstein idea of don't play God, Speilberg makes you wish it was a reality. Regardless, as everyone ever knows the story of Jurassic Park there is no need for me to describe exposition.
When I was a kid, I was kind of a book nerd. And not fiction really but anything non-fiction I could get my hands on. But not everything, just concentrated bursts of interests. I went through phases. I loved trains at one point, read every book on Australia and as every young kid does, was obsessed with Dinosaurs. And not because they are cool or we're huge, but the thing I was obsessed with them was the extinction. Just the idea of a movie about people bringing Dinosaurs back to life had me screaming with joy. Since my parents were a bit more strict with me seeing a PG-13 movie, of course I had to talk them into it. The movie was one of the first films I remember selling out a lot and we had to wait a while on opening day to see it, as I demanded to. When we finally did see it we were really close to the front of the screen and I immediately was sucked in from the opening sequence. Shrouded in smoke and fog, the images on the screen were terrifying yet filled me with such joy. It's what movies as a kid should feel like.
This one scene alone still has me chilled to the bone with fear and excitement:
Anyway, on to why I saw it 13 times. Growing up, there was an amazing $1.50 Eric movie theater not but a five minute walk with a quick 711 Slurpee break in betwixt. After seeing it and my parents approving, I religiously made my pilgramage many times with grade school friends. There were many movies I had seen there and for $1.50, why not see it over and over. Jurassic Park is one of the greatest blockbuster films and it really shows the power of film. It sparks the imagination and lord knows I have a large imagination. One that I don't use enough anymore. When I was a kid, it was nothing but imaginative ideas that I played out in my own little fantasy worlds, but now that I'm older, I feel nothing but nostalgia towards that era. My I miss the days of my youth.
1. Cinema Paradiso (1988) dr. Giuseppe Tornatore
2. Rushmore (1998) dr. Wes Anderson
3. Jurassic Park (1993) dr. Steven Speilberg
Next Up: It's A Wonderful Life (1946) dr. Frank Capra