Welcome to another edition of Parental Guidance. I’m very proud of how the column seems to grow in popularity each week. The concept of this column is discussed in detail in our first column called Parental Guidance Suggests You Throw Me The Idol, I’ll Throw You The Whip but basically, it’s a column about a Dad watching movies he really likes with his intelligent, beautiful but cinematically challenged daughter. She likes most of the movies I recommend. She won’t like all, though, and that’s cool. I’m doing this to broaden her horizons, not demand she have my same movie tastes. Along the way, she gets to hear stories about my life and where I was when these movies came out. I’m not sure how much she likes my stories, but I love the time I get to spend with my oldest daughter, Allie. If you would like to read all of the columns, click here.
Let us take a hot tub time machine trip back to June of 1993. This was the summer after my freshman year at the University of Georgia. I lived in Creswell Hall which had all the cosmetic appeal of a 1970s apartment building. Crappy A/C, two single beds in a 8 x 10 room and a roommate who thought hygiene was an elective course.
Yet, I loved it. it was my first home away from home. After finals in May, I packed up my dorm and made the drive back home for the summer. I wasn't looking forward to it because once you live away from your parents, it’s horrible to go back. Yet, I didn’t have a place to crash for the summer and my parents asked did I want to go to Daytona Beach, Florida with them to their condo. Poor college kids don’t pass up the chance to go to the beach and see women, even when your parents are there. I don’t remember much about the trip besides not meeting any women and wanting to go see the blockbuster release of the year: Jurassic Park. One rainy day, I asked my then 8 year old brother to go with me to see it. He pretty much worshiped me back then (not so much now), so of course he said yes. We bought our tickets, popcorn and about 7 pounds of candy for my brother. When the movie ended, I asked him what he thought of the movie. His response I still remember to this day: "It was very good. I wish the dinosaurs had eaten those kids. though."
This story was recently re-told to my immediate family. When you hit 40, you start repeating stories over and over to your family. You have no idea how many times I’ve heard the "Don’t talk to me until my 3rd cup of coffee" story from my mother-in-law. Somehow, I had never told this anecdote to my kids and Allie laughed and then remarked, "I have to see this movie if Uncle Will thought it was good."
With that being said, a trip to Jurassic Park was scheduled. Hold on to your butts.
Allie has a rudimentary understanding of the movie Jurassic Park but she just hasn't watched the film. I decided to ask her a few questions to check her knowledge.
Allie, have you ever went around the house pretending to be a dinosaur?
Uh, why would I do that? I'm not a boy. I do take classes with boys who make odd noises like that.
Nobody's perfect, but what is your favorite dinosaur?
I don't have a favorite dinosaur. I'm glad they're dead so I don't have to worry about being turned into human snack packs for roaming T-Rexes.
Ahh at least you know the T-Rex. When I was a kid, I used to watch TV shows that showed Tyrannosaurus Rex fighting a Triceratops. Of course, that's ridiculous. They lived in different periods and...
That is seriously the nerdiest thing you have ever said and this comes from the girl who reads Doctor Who fan fiction!
Uh, hmm.. that kinda stung. Anyways, back to the movie. Do you know which famous actor starred in Jurassic Park and uttered the great line "Hold on to your butts."
I have no idea. I do know you say that every time we ride a roller coaster or get on the interstate. I'm coming to realize that 75% of your catchphrases come from movies
Only 75% of the time? I'm slacking. On a scale of 1 to 10, how much do you think you'll like Jurassic Park?
I wouldn't say I'm a dinosaur nerd like someone I know but the trailer looks really cool and I'm pretty excited about it. Uncle Will liking it means a lot.
The day that my brother 's opinion matters more than mine will hurt me. Deeply. One of the reasons I wanted you to see this movie was due to special effects. Jurassic Park was another major step in special effects with a combination of CGI and animatronics. You might even be scared a few times.
You also said TRON was groundbreaking. I've got a bad feeling about this....
And she calls me nerdy. Jurassic Park, I'm confident, will win her over. It's an amazing combination of special effects that hold up over time and is a perfect example of what a summer "Tentpole" movie should be.
Allie's Thoughts on Jurassic Park
I really loved this movie. It's not perfect but I get why my Dad quotes it all the time. In fact, I heard at least six quotes my Dad uses frequently that I thought were his original words. "Yeah, but, if The Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't eat the tourists" is often used when we are at Walt Disney World and an attraction is closed or breaks...
"Hold on to your butts" at least weekly.
"Clever girl" whenever me or my sisters do well in something.
"Must Go Faster" whenever we are being slow.
"We spared no expense" usually sarcastically when he does something on the cheap side.
Seriously, Dad, you owe Steven Spielberg some royalty checks. Jurassic Park blew me away with special effects that are over 20 years. It's amazing that over 20 years, the use of CGI and animatronics in this movie holds up. It also shows you how much special effects improved since 1982 when Tron was released. Since I like history, the improvement fascinates me. My favorite characters in the movie were Dr. Grant (Sam Neill), Ian Malcom (Jeff Goldblum) who is totally odd which I dig, and John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) who I had seen before in a Christmas movie. He just seemed liked a cool granddad besides not thinking his grandkids being around dinosaurs might be dangerous.
Speaking of those grandkids... GOD THEY WERE ANNOYING especially the girl. I hope if I ever scream that much, somebody just backhands me. I agree with my Uncle. I wish they had been eaten.
I had a few questions for her to answer after the film to get her thoughts on what others would think of the film.
How old do you think someone should be before watching that movie?
Teenagers would love this. Some kids might be scared but eh, get over it. Life's isn't all unicorns and rainbows to steal one of my dad's lines.
Would you recommend this movie to your friends?
Absolutely. I will recommend it today!
Jurassic Park really does hold up well and I'm very happy that my daughter enjoyed it especially after she hated Tron so much. I liked pointing out things like a younger Samuel L. Jackson, the obvious male stunt double running for Laura Dern, and my confusion on how the T-Rex steps right out of his paddock but then the Jurassic Park vehicle plummets what looks like 50 feet into the tree. Maybe I'm missing something, but I still don't get that.
Since I love reading, I made sure to tell her to read the book. It's even better than the movie and I prefer some of the character in the book especially the evil John Hammond. She will be shocked by that one for sure.
Parental Guidance will change courses next time as we move back to the classic days of cinema. It's time she meets Cary Grant portraying my favorite advertising executive.
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