On Jurassic Park

Nick and I went and saw Jurassic Park 3D tonight, and I'm happy to say that it's still an awesome movie! I don't think 3D really added anything to it, but neither did it take anything away, so wins all around. Watching it did make me ponder the influence that movie had on my life, which I think ended up being more significant than I ever realized.

One thing was made clear as I watched the film tonight: there are synapses in my brain that are entirely devoted to the mental storage of that movie. I seriously watched that thing so many times as a child that I'm surprised the VHS tape didn't wear out (though admittedly after a time I started just fast forwarding to the T-rex scene and watching it from there on out). Every scene, every line, every inflection and sound effect is burned into my memory with perfect clarity. And yet, I still get all excited at the right places, in spite of the fact I know precisely what's going to happen (as Nick said, maybe if I hope really hard this time he'll get off the fence in time!)

I'm not sure the moment as a child that I became aware that the movie was coming and that I was insanely excited about it, but before that happened a friend of mine recommended the book, which I loved, because dinosaurs, obviously. As a brief aside, reading the book nowadays is still a pleasure, but a bit amusing. It's one of those sci fi books that completely missed the mark on a future prediction, in this case tracking technology (they kept track of the dinosaurs by using video cameras and automatic silhouette detection. Meanwhile, RFID chips…).

So I read the book and of course the velociraptors were my favorite and I got a big Jurassic Park poster for my door and drew pictures of raptors and played pretend-dinosaurs with my friend (I was always a raptor, and Taylor was a dilophosaurus, and we wrote a song about dilophosaurs which I can't recall in entirety but I think it contained the lyric "We are dilophosaurs, spit, spit, spit…") and we were always hiding in the roods and then jumping over the creek as we fled from the T-rex.

And then game the video game, the SNES/Genesis one, and OBVIOUSLY I only played as the raptor because who would want to play as boring old Grant anyway? I got to the boss (who was Grant) several times as the raptor, but could never beat him. He had a gun! What was I supposed to do! Mostly, though, I just played through the first level as the raptor because it was safe enough for me to "roleplay" as a dinosaur in a fashion.

And THEN, when I was doing synchronized swimming, Taylor and I decided to do our routine to Jurassic Park music. We spent all that time cutting the music just so for our duet. We picked headpieces with curved, spikey bits that reminded us of raptor claws. I'd like to say that I remember the routine by heart, but I am sad to say that I only remember the first two moves, which were back arm strokes to the opening chords.

I think one of my favorite things tonight was seeing all the little kids in the audience, some of them obviously seeing the movie for the first time, and seeing how they reacted. I wonder if any of them will go home and write enthusiastic folk songs about their favorite dino species…I'd like to think so.

EDIT: I had a sudden moment of clarity where I remembered the entire dilophosaurus song:

We are dilophosaurs, yay, yay, yay,

We let out a lethal spray.

We will spit on you and you'll go blind

And then we'll eat you, rind by rind.