The Extinction of the Event Movie: “Jurassic World”

Let’s get the obvious out of the way first: Jurassic World isn’t as good as Jurassic Park, not by a long-shot: but then again, how could it be? In 1993, effects like those were uncanny and literally awesome: the movie was as much about the wonder and novelty of the theme park as it was about the terror of rampaging dinosaurs. In 2015, that’s just another bit of the spectacle that Hollywood is known for, and it’s easy to read the parallels in the film between B. D. Wong’s scientist explaining how focus groups and executives forced him to genetically modify the dinosaurs in order to make them look more appealing and the sort of discussions that occurred between director Colin Trevorrow and producers like Spielberg.

My mother took me and my brother to see Jurassic Park at the midnight, Thursday premiere, despite the fact that we were eight and nine years of age; the line wrapped around the block, and faux souvenir newspapers were handed out to all in attendance that bragged of the newsworthy opening of a dinosaur-populated theme park. It was something special, the sort of event that, the next day, made you the coolest kid in school, not the person everybody has to avoid at the watercooler, lest they inadvertently spoil something. When my girlfriend and I saw Jurassic World last night, at 11:00, there had already been multiple screenings (starting as early as 7:00), and the theater was sparsely populated: the event had given way to convenience and family schedules, and with everyone’s entertainment-packed scheduled, no pressing need to see Jurassic World.  Continue reading

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