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Entries in Jurassic Park (23)

Saturday
Dec292018

Interview: Justin Hurwitz learns the theremin and other "First Man" stories

by Nathaniel R

A lot of people who win two Oscars by the age of 32, with only three films under their belt (not that there's many of those people, mind you) might safely be said to have peaked early. If the Golden Globe nominated score for First Man is any indication however, Justin Hurwitz is still on a steady ascent into his power as a composer. The gifted 33 year-old has scored all four of Damien Chazelle's films. The first three were musicals in spirit or by nature. The fourth, First Man, is less of a departure than expected since the emotive score is crucial to the film's success. 

Chazelle and Hurwitz were college roommates and have been fiercely loyal since. While Chazelle was struggling to get his first films made, always with the plan for Hurwitz to score them, Hurwitz survived by breaking into sitcom writing "I don't take for granted how lucky I was to get to write comedy professionally," he says but the plan was always to be a composer "I am more passionate about music than anything else in the world."  

Our full interview, edited and condensed for clarity, follows... 

NATHANIEL: When did you first know you wanted to be a composer?

JUSTIN HURWITZ: I grew up playing piano, taking lessons since I was six. My parents gave me a synthesizer and a sequencer for my tenth birthday that lets you layer tracks, so I started composing then. I wasn't thinking about movies yet but it was around that same time that I started noticing film scores. The most impactful to me were the John Williams / Steven Spielberg films. Jurassic Park had a big impact on me. E.T. on VHS... I was so in love with that score. 

NATHANIEL: Touchstones for a lot of people!

JUSTIN HURWITZ: As I got into college I discovered composers like Nina Rota and Bernard Hermann and all sorts of others. 

Watching First Man, I thought 'god this most have been an overwhelming film to score,' but on the other hand after La La Land, maybe I'm wrong. Perhaps it was a piece of cake?

It was definitely not a piece of cake. In a lot of ways it was my most challenging score...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun182018

Beauty vs Beast: Pop Quiz, Hot Shots

Happy Monday! Jason from MNPP here with your weekly "Beauty vs Beast" fix - we're celebrating 1994  leading up to the Supporting Actress Smackdown and I figured I'd focus in on another great big hit from the year today (to compliment the Interview With the Vampire poll two weeks back), namely Jan de Bont's Speed. Which still holds up! I caught it on TV a couple of weeks ago and man, it still revs and roars. It's also got a stellar hero and villain pair - Keanu's buzzcut and biceps were The 1994 Fetish Du Jour, and Dennis Hopper is Dennis Hopper, the end.

PREVIOUSLY I really thought that Jeff Goldblum's Finest Hour might put a dent in your acctressexual predilections but no, nope, not gonna happen, Laura Dern's Ellie Sattler still triumped in last week's Jurassic Park poll to the tune of 71% of your vote. Said chasm301:

"This movie is basically perfect and I would never pick against Laura Dern."

Monday
Jun112018

25th Anniversary Memoir: "Jurassic Park"

by Lynn Lee

June 1993.  It was my birthday, and I’d invited a group of my girl friends over for a small celebration that would include a movie outing.  I don’t remember exactly why I picked Jurassic Park.  I hadn’t read the book, I wasn’t yet a full-on movie buff, I didn’t like scary movies, and I wasn’t really into dinosaurs.  Yet something about the tremendous buzz surrounding this “adventure 65 million years in the making” must have penetrated my social bubble because I remember us all being excited to see it.

Whatever our expectations were, Jurassic Park blew them away.  From the moment that opening eerie chorus and single bamboo flute dissolved into the rustle of an unknown, unseen thing in a crate that within three minutes lay savage waste to one unfortunate worker, we were all transfixed in our seats and couldn’t have moved if our lives had depended on it...

Click to read more ...

Monday
Jun112018

Beauty vs Beast: Love Among the Dino Droppings

Jason from MNPP here - before I saw Call Me By Your Name in theaters 18 times this past winter the movie that held my personal record of "seen the most times seen in the theater" was Jurassic Park, which I saw in the theater 15 times in 1993. Meaning I can place where I was exactly 25 years ago today, since today's the 25th anniversary. I can also place where I was tomorrow 25 years ago, and the day after that 25 years ago, and the day after that 25 years ago... I saw it every single night for a straight week. It was my Star Wars.

Every progressive sequel's dulled the impact a bit more but that first movie, man I can still feel the tingle up my spine the first time the camera panned up that brachiosaurus and John Williams' music swelled and Spielberg cut to the distant dinos bathing themselves in the sparkling sunlight... it was like the four walls of the house my imagination lived inside of were kicked down all at once. Utter movie magic. Every kid that ever smashed their little dino figures together felt it. And yet the human characters kick ass too. With actors like this around...

PREVIOUSLY Last week's Interview with the Vampire race stayed tight and vacillated often but it was Tom Cruise's Lestat who crawled out of the swamp and unto victory over Brad Pitt's Louis at the end. Said Jaragon:

"Lestat is a lot more fun and he gets the last bite."

Wednesday
Apr262017

Jeff Goldblum Returns for "Jurassic World 2"

Park guest Robert here! When the Jurassic Park franchise was rebooted in 2015 reception was mixed. There was surely lots of dino chaos to behold, but the movie lacked the spark of the original trilogy.

I was personally horrified that they brought on beloved character actress Judy Greer only to have her be relegated to the worst kind of "worried mom crying on the phone" role. That being said, I love the Jurassic Park films and will no doubt be seeing every sequel that gets ground out of the Hollywood script machine for years to come. I wouldn't say that I was hype for the next installment until I laid my eyes upon the news that JEFF "DR. IAN MALCOM" GOLDBLUM HAS SIGNED ON FOR JURASSIC WORLD 2...

Click to read more ...

Wednesday
Apr052017

On This Day: Pharrell Williams, "Out" Nominees, and the 1964 Oscars

On this day in showbiz history, some gay Oscar lore, lots of two time Oscar winners, and future Oscar winner Pharrell Williams (and much more)...

1883 Oscar favorite Walter Huston (The Treasure of the Sierra Madre) born in Toronto. Without him no Huston acting dynasty!

1887
Helen Keller learns "water" from teacher Anne Sullivan, the moment will serve as the emotional climax of the popular stage and screen drama The Miracle Worker

1900
 Two time Oscar winner Spencer Tracy (Boys Town, Captain Courageous) born...

Click to read more ...