We should build Jurassic Park
One of my favorite movies promotes an unfortunate anti-progress worldview
The original Jurassic Park is one of my all-time favorite movies.
Objectively, it’s probably not even one of Stephen Spielberg’s top-five films and arguably doesn’t even belong in the top 10. But it came out when I had just turned 12, the perfect age to see a scary movie about dinosaurs — my dad took me to something like a 10 a.m. showing on its first Saturday. And the visual effects weren’t merely good. Relative to our expectations in 1993, they were stunning. It was actual “I did not previously believe it was possible to do this” movie magic.
Of course to an extent, that was a signature move of Spielberg’s early career. But I didn’t see Jaws or E.T. or Close Encounters or Indiana Jones in the theaters, so I don’t have the same personal relationship to them that I do to Jurassic Park.
Which is too bad, because as much as I love Jurassic Park, I think its message is basically bad — a weird kind of techno-pessimism that looks at a situation gone awry and then insists thematically that it…
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