Friday, November 11, 2011

Jurassic Park


Have you ever seen a movie and you were instantly transported back in time? I have. Matter of fact, it’s happened twice in the last couple of weeks thanks to the wonderful people at Essex Cinemas. Last night I sat in the T-Rex Theater eyes transfixed to the screen, heart beating rapidly and body full of goose bumps as on screen John Hammond once again welcomed me to Jurassic Park. I had almost forgotten how exciting it was to see this movie and how amazing the dinosaurs were.

I originally saw Jurassic Park the summer of 1993. I was twelve years old and for the first time was given permission to ride my bike across town (with my best-friend Mark in tow) to the Palace 9 Cinema. At the time the Palace 9 was our newest movie theater in Vermont and was state of the art, the perfect place to watch an epic summer blockbuster. The movie came and much like Dr. Grant and Dr. Sattler my mouth was left gaping when the Brachiosaurus first filled the screen and I believe it stayed that way until the credits finally rolled. I left the theater in a daze; I couldn’t comprehend what I had just seen. Riding my ten-speed back down the bike path, I remember feeling like it was very possible for a T-Rex to explode out of the trees at any minute and chase me all the way home. This movie was (and still is) epic, and was one of the breakthrough movies for computer graphics (I also think about 1989 The Abyss and 1991 Terminator 2: Judgment Day for movies that shocked me).  It was the first time that I remember feeling transported into another world by a movie, and one filled with dinosaurs at that! Mark and I raved about the movie to my Dad in his garage, acting every scene out wildly as my six year-old brother listened in. We must’ve done a good job explaining the film because that night, without even seeing the movie, my brother had Jurassic Park inspired nightmares (my brother had a super creative mind even then, love you bud).
Last night, instantly I was twelve again seeing it for the first time, almost believing that dinosaurs had been brought back to life. This belief wasn’t hard to hold onto either ogling at a giant T-Rex on the theaters massive 60-foot screen or feeling my seat shake as the theater’s 18 amplifiers and 105 speakers exploded with its mighty roar. After the show I was once again in a daze, this time surrounded by my adult friends talking about how amazing an experience that was. I had worried a little that the CGI dinosaurs wouldn’t hold up after eighteen years, but I was sorely mistaken (okay maybe for a quick second I thought they looked a little hokey but then I was sucked right in). If you were not fortunate enough to catch Jurassic Park last night and you live locally (in the 802) I’d highly encourage you to follow Essex Cinemas on either Facebook or Twitter (or both) and check out what their next Throwback Thursday movie is going to be. Actually, if you can think of a suggestion yourself you can also go to their webpage and add it in (mine was The Goonies). I have my fingers crossed that these retro classics will continue to be shown. Personally I enjoy taking a break from my adult life to be transported back to my childhood, and I hope enough other people do as well to keep this train rolling. Once again, thank you Essex Cinema and thank you Steven Spielberg (and Universal Studios) for helping me relive such an awesome moment of my childhood.