One of my favorite things to ask people is: What is your ‘time machine band’? AKA If you had a time machine what band (or singer) would you want to go back in time to see? For me, that’s an easy one. I know that I would want go back in time to see The Beatles before they came to America, back when they were playing in the Cavern Club and Hamburg, Germany (like the true hipster I am).
But what about movies? I have a lot of movies I really, really love that I have not seen in theaters. Actually most of my favorites (Fight Club, Moulin Rouge!, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, V for Vendetta) I did not see until years after their releases. So what is my ‘time machine movie’? The question is a hard one. I thought about wanting to see some of the earliest films such as Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat (1896) or maybe the first film with sound or something with Charlie Chaplin. I also thought briefly about The Wizard of Oz (1939) and that moment when black-and-white Kansas changes into the colorful world of Oz. However, deep down I have always known my answer. And the thing is, I was actually alive when this movie was in theaters. I’m talking about Jurassic Park (1993).
In 1993 I was 2 years old. I would not see my first film in theaters until the release of The Lion King a year later. So with the plethora of choices out there why in the world would I pick Jurassic Park?
I don’t even remember the first time I saw the film, just that I loved it. JP is Steven Spielberg at his finest and is one of my favorite films directed by him, even though it’s impossible to pick just one. But I think the reason that has forever cemented JP as my time machine movie is the scene when
Santa Clause John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) gazes off in the distance at his creations and says the now famous line, “Welcome to Jurassic Park.” Just thinking about that scene gives me chills and makes me a bit teary eyed. Because when you see those brontosauruses come out of the water and we finally see the full extent of Hammond’s genius (and madness) it’s an incredible thing to behold.
That was 20 year ago. And that scene still stands up to many the films of today. I like it because it looks so real.
It’s not over-done with special effects and CGI (which is what I worry about for Jurassic Park 4… sorry Jurassic World); with the mix of animatronics and computer effects everything looks just right. You actually believe that Ellie (Laura Dern) and Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) could reach out and touch the dinosaurs. All I want is to see that scene for the first time, on a big screen, with John Williams’ score filling up the darkness, and the gasps from fellow audience members around me. Add in the scenes with the crafty velociraptors in the kitchen and water-shaking T-Rex and I’m sold.
Just looking at the film as a whole with its quotable lines, great cast of characters, and sci-fi story is enough to make me want to see it on the big screen. Sadly I missed it earlier this year when it was re-released in 3-D, but I don’t really mind because I’ve seen it so many times. I would want it to be my time machine movie because I would want to see it for that first time in all its big screened glory.
So fellow movie lovers, what is your time machine movie? Would it be something more recent like mine? Or something more old school? Or maybe just an old favorite? I would love to know! Comment below, tweet at me (@kindamoviesnob), or even write your own blog post.