John Lyttle on Cinema

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Being the biggest-grossing movie of all time, Jurassic Park remains with us a year after its release. So fanatics, stragglers and those who have been living on the moon can pop in and still partake of the revolutionary computer-generated special effects that have renewed Hollywood's waning commitment not only to the big-budget epic, but to the spectacular and fantastic.

Bear witness to the loud 'n' proud Harrier jet sequence that hogs the last half hour of the forthcoming True Lies and the cartoon-modelled carrying on of Jim Carrey in The Mask, due later this year in a welter of twirling eyeballs, rubber jaws and demented, Dali-esque body movement: our hero is truly a bouncing baby boy. He's putty in his own hands.

Jurassic Park has proved influential in other ways. True Lies and The Mask (and The Flintstones) also mimic the model Nineties blockbuster in having appalling scripts, poor pacing and acting that makes the technologically constructed creations appear more real than the human beings. For a return visit to Jurassic Park reveals a work almost wholly reliant on what could be dubbed the 'wow' factor; the visual distractions are meant not merely to dominate but to compensate. The simulated creatures of the micro-chip substitute for more old-fashioned pleasures - like the simple joy we might derive from a deftly told story, a well-read line, the practised, pouting expression on a sultry siren's face. Which explains why so many punters stagger from the cinema today repeating that childish modern mantra: 'Weren't the special effects fantastic?' I mean, what else is there to say?

(Photograph omitted)

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