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YMMV / Jurassic Park (1993)

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  • Alternative Character Interpretation: Whether Nedry's beef with Hammond about the former's pay is legitimate comes down to how you interpreted Nedry's line "If you can find someone else to do all that I did for what I bid for this job..." Either Nedry (who is said to have financial problems that may or may not be his own doing) underbid in a desperate attempt to land the gig without knowing the full scope of the work he'd been asked to accomplish, or the contract up for bid was purposefully missing several of the aspects of what needed to be done in order to get people to bid lower and save money. The former is Nedry getting in over his head, the latter is Hammond trying to cut corners, which is within his character even in the movie (as evidenced by the fact that he went with the lowest bidder for the security programs). Alternatively, it's possibly that both reads of this situation are true, which would explain why they're both quick to blame each other.
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  • Base-Breaking Character: Lex and Tim. They're either woobies for suffering so much during the course of the film, or they're rather annoying for both being mostly The Load and Kid-Appeal Characters. The latter of the duo is seen even worse, since Tim doesn't do anything beneficial for the main characters while Lex at least has mad hacking skills.
  • Bellisario's Maxim: When everyone sees their first dinosaur, there's no way in hell they wouldn't have spotted it long before they do. But the whole sequence is such pure movie magic as only Steven Spielberg can do it, no one cares.
  • "Common Knowledge": Gennaro gets eaten by the T. rex. It actually just rips him in half; Ellie and Muldoon find the pieces later.
  • Critical Dissonance: While few viewers of any kind would claim this is a bad movie, many critics regard it as over-reliant on spectacle and a step down compared to Spielberg's earlier major blockbusters, while general audiences widely regard it as a masterpiece and one of the greatest blockbusters of all time.
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  • Do Not Do This Cool Thing: The film doesn't seem to be clear about whether bringing back dinosaurs is a good thing or not. It wants us to think it's a bad idea, but then goes out of its way to present the result as awe-inspiring. This problem affects every single entry in the film series, but since it takes half of this movie's runtime to get to the horror part, the original has this most obviously.
  • Ensemble Dark Horse: Ray Arnold's played by Samuel L. Mother-@#$%ing Jackson. The sheer amounts of "Arnold survives/returns" entries on the Wild Mass Guessing page are proof. Also, the One-Scene Wonder Dilophosaurus.
  • Evil Is Cool: The Big One. The T. rex is a Non-Malicious Monster example.
  • Fanon: It is actually unclear as to which of the three Velociraptors is officially considered to be the Big One since they all have the same model and the film, along with its tie-in material, treats all of them as equally intelligent and dangerous. Due to this, fans have decided that the Velociraptor who wasn't locked in the maintenance shed or freezer must be the Big One, as it's the only raptor that has the most screen time and the last raptor standing against the T. rex. In addition to this, fans also assume that the Big One is the very raptor who killed the worker at the beginning of film, ambushed Muldoon (and earning the name "Clever Girl"), and opened the kitchen door.
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  • First Installment Wins: For the first three films, you'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who considers the two sequels to be better (or even on par) with the first one. Even Jurassic World, though more well-received than the previous sequels, still didn't reach the acclaim of the first film.
  • Fridge Logic: Grant only discovers the existence of velociraptors because one of them hatches in front of him. At this point Hammond KNOWS that the raptors are far too dangerous to use as an exhibit so he's confined them to a special isolation pen. Now, it's logical that they created the raptors not knowing how dangerous they were because no one had ever seen one before, it's also logical that Hammond being a big softie wouldn't have a dangerous animal put down, but WHY were they still hatching MORE?
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When Hammond compares the problems facing his park to those of Disneyland when it first opened, Malcolm retorts, "Yeah, but John, if the Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists." While the pirates had nothing to do with it, in 2016 a large reptile (an alligator) killed a child visiting Disney World, much like in Jurassic Park. In response, Disney removed crocodiles and alligators as well as all references to them from their parks.
  • Genius Bonus: When the raptor jumps after the characters who've fled through the hatch in the ceiling and it falls to the floor, we see it land with its head flung back almost double and its limbs folded up. This is a very typical pose for such small, lightly-built theropod fossils to be found in.
  • Harsher in Hindsight:
    • Richard Attenborough's daughter and granddaughter were killed in the 2004 Thailand tsunami, making it pretty uncomfortable seeing him in a story about the unstoppable power of nature, which puts his character's grandchildren in danger.
    • A lighter example: Malcolm's rant to Hammond about how short-sighted his idea to revive something that already existed without considering the discoveries of those who had come before him sounds a lot like someone criticizing movies made in this one's wake that either rely too heavily on CGI or ape its depiction of dinosaurs.
      Malcolm: You read what others had done and you took the next step. You didn't earn the knowledge for yourselves, so you don't take any responsibility for it. You stood on the shoulders of geniuses to accomplish something as fast as you could, and before you even knew what you had, you patented it, and packaged it [...].
    • In the early scenes before the tour, Hammond's guests eat Chilean sea bass, a fish that was considered new and trendy in fine dining in the early 90s. Later in the decade, the increasing popularity of Chilean sea bass would lead to over-fishing and the need for regulations to prevent the fish from becoming endangered. Another small unintended wrinkle to have in a film about extinction.
    • The fate of the park itself is this when thinking about Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. Even if Nedry hadn't caused it to collapse, in twenty-five years time, it would have been destroyed by the eruption of Mount Sibo anyway.
    • Sattler's speech when she joins Hammond eating in the cafeteria of the Visitor Center after everything's gone to hell takes it in an even more depressing light when Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom shows the dinosaurs that so many people worked so hard to bring back are once again threatened with total extinction thanks to environmental factors beyond anyone's control.
      Sattler: It's still the flea circus. It's all an illusion.
      Hammond: When we have control again—
      Sattler: You never had control; that's the illusion! I was overwhelmed by the power of this place! But I made a mistake too, I didn't have enough respect for that power and it's out now!
    • Grant's opinion to Hammond eerily foreshadows the ending of Fallen Kingdom (appropriate considering the influence of the novels):
      Grant: Dinosaurs and man, two species separated by 65 million years of evolution, have just been suddenly thrown back into the mix together. How can we possibly have the slightest idea what to expect?
    • Dodgson advising Nedry not to use his name and acting covert became this when his actor, Cameron Thor, was sentenced in 2016 for child molestation.
  • He's Just Hiding!:
  • Hilarious in Hindsight:
    • In one scene, Malcolm comments on the difference between a park populated by living dinosaurs and a park populated by robotic animatronics by pointing out that animatronics aren't dangerous if the ride breaks down. According to Word of God for the LEGO Dino Attack line, they are dangerous.
      • Not to mention, Michael Crichton also wrote Westworld, which expresses a different opinion on how animatronics behave when they break down.
    • During the dinner scene where Hammond and Malcolm argue over the ethics of cloning dinosaurs, Malcolm draws a clear line between cloning animals such as condors which have become endangered thanks to humans (a good idea to him) and cloning animals such as dinosaurs which nature had selected to go extinct (a bad idea to him). But in the novel The Lost World (1995), that version of Malcolm considers anthropogenic extinction to be a necessary thing as well.
      Malcolm: Human beings are so destructive. I sometimes think we're a kind of plague that will scrub the earth clean. We destroy things so well that I sometimes think, maybe that's our function. Maybe every few eons, some animal comes along that kills off the rest of the world, clears the decks, and lets evolution proceed to its next phase.
    • Samuel L. Jackson's other character would also lose one arm.
    • After the entire "You had one job!" meme at dinosaur supervisor Phil Tippet, Sam Neill appears in a scene in Thor: Ragnarok which actually has that line, and Jeff Goldblum stars as The Grandmaster in the film.
    • When the tour begins and the jeep rolls through the Jurassic Park gates, Malcolm quips "What do they got in there? King Kong?" (which is a tip of the hat to the design of the gates, taken from the original King Kong (1933)). In 2016, Universal Studios would open up Skull Island: Reign of Kong on Islands of Adventure, next door to the island devoted to the Jurassic Park River Adventure ride.
    • The film has an exchange where Malcolm snarks about man killing God by recreating the dinosaurs, and Sattler follows up with "Dinosaurs eat man... Woman inherits the Earth", implying that women would do a better job in charge than men. Then came Jurassic World, where Claire Dearing takes the now-perfectly safe park and throws it into chaos again by essentially playing God and ordering the creation of brand-new species of dinosaurs through genetic manipulation. Plenty of fans realized this and made image macros combining Malcolm and Sattler's dialog with images from World.
  • Moral Event Horizon:
    • Gennaro crosses it by ditching Lex and Tim to get killed by the T. Rex. It is certainly meaningful that he himself eventually falls victim to the same creature he tried to avoid.
    • Nedry definitely loses any audience sympathy when he endangers the guests of Jurassic Park by shutting down the park's security in order to steal the dinosaur embryos for profit. His death at the claws of the Dilophosaurus was well-deserved.
  • Most Wonderful Sound: The utterly unique and alien hooting noise made by the Dilophosaurus as it closes in to give Nedry his just deserts.
  • Narm:
    • When Hammond is talking to Grant on the telephone and suddenly hears gunshots as Grant tries to keep the raptors away, he yells out Alan's surname. However, the way Richard Attenborough delivers it sounds more like he's yelling "cunt" or "clowns". Listen to it here.
    • Say it with me: "But that's not... WHAT AHM GONNA DEW." That line delivery, and a lot of his actions, make one wonder if Grant had a liquid lunch before hitting the park.
    • Some get confused as to why Spielberg felt the need to add a sound effect you'd hear straight out of a Saturday morning cartoon when Nedry slips down the hillside. It comes off so out-of-place and distracting compared to the rest of the film. Spielberg claims the sound effect is the hook chain that Nedry is holding as it slips out of his hand.
    • Sattler screaming "ALAAAAAAAN!!!" is seen as either narm-y or just irritating.
      • Another narm moment from Sattler is when she awkwardly stands up in shocked awe with her mouth wide open at the sight of a live dinosaur for the first time (as Mike Nelson riffed, "Laura Dern, the slackest jaw in Hollywood!"). Some critics pointed out that the way it was shot was designed to work only for the movie trailers.
      • Pretty much all of Dern's facial expressions in the film are so over-the-top, they're just so chuckle-worthy.
    • It's hard to take Hammond's talk about dealing with Nedry's hacked system seriously when the camera is only showing a shirt-opened Ian Malcolm.
    • Sattler manages to get the power back up and running throughout the park and is feeling pretty pysched about that, until a velociraptor appears out of nowhere behind her and tries to get the drop on her. She lets out a very narmful, but justified, shriek.
    • While the scene is very touching overall, Sattler's line about "having respect for that power and it's out now" can be this thanks to the rather awful segue from the power to recreate dinosaurs over to the power of the park going out.
  • Narm Charm: "They're moving in herds. They do move in herds." In any other movie, this line would be utter Narm, but since the line is delivered by a teary-eyed Grant in one of the most beautifully iconic scenes in film history, we are too busy feeling amazed by the scene to really laugh.
  • Never Live It Down: Robert Muldoon's "clever girl" comment has basically achieved meme status these days. Doesn't help that it occurred the moment prior to his death where some argue that he was better off trying to shoot the raptor rather than shoehorning an epic one-liner.
  • One-Scene Wonder:
    • The Dilophosaurus, which pops up briefly to spit its venom at and eat Nedry, has become so iconic through this scene that it has become a staple element of the Expanded Universe and has influenced the portrayal of its species in other dinosaur-related media.
    • Mr. DNA (unless you count his cameo in Jurassic World) also qualifies.
  • "Seinfeld" Is Unfunny: As Mike Nelson put it in the RiffTrax, "Marvel at the now taken for granted effects."
  • Signature Line:
    • "Dr. Grant. My dear, Dr. Sattler. Welcome... to Jurassic Park!"
    • "Clever girl."
    • "Hold on to your butts."
    • "Dinosaurs eat Man. Woman inherits the Earth."
    • "Life, uh, finds a way."
  • Signature Scene: This movie has quite a few. It can be argued that almost any scene that has the cast interacting with a dinosaur is a defining moment of the movie:
    • Nearly all of Rexy's scenes are memorable, but the most memorable scene with her is her epic concluding scene. The scene where the "When Dinosaurs Ruled the Earth" banner falls down in front of her as she sounds off her Mighty Roar. This one scene has been parodied countless times because of how awesomely memorable it is.
    • Of course, there's the beautiful introduction of our first dinosaur in the beginning of the movie.
      Hammond: Dr. Grant. My dear, Dr. Sattler. Welcome... to Jurassic Park.
    • The kitchen scene with the two raptors.
    • The Dilophosaurus scene, full stop.
  • Special Effect Failure: Many throughout the film have been spotted over the years.
    • There are many spectacular and highly convincing visual effects in this movie. Ray Arnold's severed arm that looks like a fake prop is not one of them.
    • Neither is the Digital Head Swap for Lex during the climactic air vent chase; it was done out of necessity after the stunt double had accidentally looked up during the shot.
    • During Nedry's conversation with the man at the docks, you can see a playback progress bar scrolling underneath the computer feed, making it quite blatant they're using a video file for the scene.
      • Earlier in the movie, Nedry has his money bag "magic trick," which disappears between shots when he's talking with Dodgson.
    • The Brachiosaurus scene, where the head of one appears while Grant, and the kids, are resting in the tree has not aged well. The texturing on the Brachi in the reveal scene hasn't exactly held up over time either.
      • Even before that, when they first arrive to the island, there's a moment when Grant and Sattler first witness a Brachiosaurus where it's quite obvious that they're standing in front of a green-screen.
    • The strings the prop guy pulls to activate the Dilophosaurus' attack can be seen on film (corrected for the 3D release), as well as the smoke of the gun shooting the poison at Nedry, who then clearly proceeds to smear more goo on himself with his hand.
    • The infamous stagehand holding the raptor's tail to keep it from tipping over before it enters the kitchen.
      • Hands suddenly appearing to act as a support makes another appearance in the opening scene when Jophery falls off the raptor cage. For a brief moment, a hand from the camera crewman can be seen in the bottom right corner blocking the falling worker from hitting the camera that's currently filming.
    • A stage light, a random potted plant, and the wires attached to the car are clearly visible when Rexy rolls it over. These have also been digitally erased for the 3D release.
    • Keen eyes will notice that the characters in the Tyrannosaurus chase scene pass the same foliage multiple times along the same slightly curved route. This is because the scene was filmed on a backlot set at Warner Bros. that wasn't nearly as long as the film suggests.
      • Similarly, reused footage appears later on when Sattler makes a run for the circuit breaker maintenance shed. The moment where Sattler jumps over a downed log is used twice almost back-to-back.
    • Near the end, when Rexy appears in the Visitor's Center to (unintentionally) save the main characters, the Velociraptor disappears for a brief moment while it's being chomped on in Rexy's mouth.
    • The real life technology switch to 16:9 widescreen television has caused several errors to appear along the edges of the screen that weren't visible in the old 4:3 ratio. The prime example being the Jurassic Park electric fences that just look like they come to an end after several feet, and look as if they can be simply walked around.
    • The infamous terrain switch where the ground that Rexy broke out of from her paddock mysteriously transforms into a high cliff.
  • They Wasted a Perfectly Good Character: Robert Muldoon going out the way he did can be kinda insulting considering how much the movie was hyping him up.
  • Too Cool to Live: Robert Muldoon and Ray Arnold.
  • Visual Effects of Awesome: This movie is the milestone that popularized CGI in The '90s. The special effects team actually had to invent entirely new technology to get the job done. Made more awesome because the effects have held up better than most of Jurassic Park's 1990s CGI-riddled contemporaries, and even some films now.
    • And even with all the new CGI, it might surprise that many of the dinos were still shot with traditional animation techniques, such as animatronics and puppets.
    • The 3D re-release looks better than several modern 3D movies.
    • Most folks find even the special effects of Jurassic World (released nearly a quarter of a century later!) lacking when compared with those of Jurassic Park.
  • What an Idiot!: When Rexy has burst through the fence, Lex grabs a large flashlight, turns it on, and uses it to try and see what's going on, thus inadvertently attracting Rexy to her and Tim's jeep. And then doesn't turn it off, even when her brother is screaming for her to do so. She just warbles on about how 'sorry' she is.
  • What Do You Mean, It's Not for Kids?: Children love dinos! Yet, as the film's entry here shows, bringing them to Jurassic Park is prime Nightmare Fuel as the film still takes inspiration from the horrifying events of the novel. The PG-13 rating hardly stopped kids from seeing the first movie, as it was marketed to children through toys and other merchandise despite being fairly violent and scary. That the movie was responsible for trouncing the animated film Once Upon a Forest in the box office is particularly telling, given that there was no competition from Disney that summer (save for Touchstone's The Nightmare Before Christmas.)


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