A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, when I was a senior in high school, I read a book for the first time in years (without being forced – and even then I slurped up the Cliff’s Notes) and that glorious piece of fiction just so happened to be Michael Crichton’s Jurassic Park. In short, and avid Crichton readers and fans know this, the novel was cinematic in scope, fast-paced and kept me flipping pages into the wee hours of the night. It was a summer blockbuster in print and, shortly after finishing the book, I remember thinking if a Jurassic Park movie was made, Steven Spielberg should be the brains behind the lens.
That was almost 20 years ago, and somehow, someway, since June of 1993 the franchise has taken a massive nosedive, primarily because of two ridiculous sequels that tarnished everything noteworthy Jurassic Park had benchmarked. How do you go from a eye-popping tyrannosaurus rex eating the tires off a DayGlo Ford Explorer, to environmentalists vs. hunters, gymnastic battles with fearsome velociraptors and William H. Macy and Tea Leoni? Jurassic Park and its sequels are the new Jaws and its sequels.
Now, to add further insult to injury, word on the streets is Jurassic Park 4 is in pre-production and is possibly filming at Universal Studios. What makes us think this? Check out this image, courtesy of The Movie Blog.com, that shows some of the attractions at Universal Studios this month. I’ll always go into a beloved franchise’s sequel or prequel with optimism, but like the Jaws sequels, I’m not sure there is any more terror or excitement we can add to the first film without continuing to tarnish the legacy of the original.
On a more positive note, it seems we can expect the Jurassic Park trilogy to hit Blu-ray in 2011. Hopefully you can buy them separate, because I refuse to purchase the craptastic third film and even hesitate on the second movie, but my adoration of Spielberg, even his misfires, will probably outweigh my urge to flip the middle finger to The Lost World.