Georgia and Jurassic Park

Georgia and I went on an adventure this weekend. We went to see Jurassic Park — the new version, in IMAX 3D.

Jurassic Park - image via Universal Pictures

I thought about this for a while. She really wanted to go to a movie, but the only ones for kids were The Croodsand Wreck-it Ralph, both of which she’s seen, and wasn’t keen on seeing more than once. Unlike, say, High School Musical which I’m sad to say we’ve see more times that anyone ever should. Jurassic Park was our next choice.

Jurassic Park was first released when I was in my early twenties. I remembered only two things about it: First, the cow in the sling, which was lowered into the velociraptor’s cage (shudder) and, second – okay, remember I was young – Jeff Goldblum’s shirtless, Adonis-like pose in the lab.

An image which, when presented in IMAX 3D twenty years later elicited more guffaws and giggles than awe. This was a surprise to me.

Jurassic Park - image via Universal Pictures

In fairness, if you google  “Jeff Goldblum” and “Jurassic Park,” the second, third, tenth and every tenth picture thereafter is a version of this still shot. I am just saying.

Despite the fact I remembered worryingly few child-friendly scenes, Georgia and I watched the preview at home Friday night, and she agreed to go see the dinosaur movie.

As long as it was a) in 3D b) watched through glasses and c) accompanied by popcorn. And butter, though she’ll settle for the petroleum-based not-occurring-in-nature yellow liquid product. As will her mother.

Off we went!

The first few moments of the movie were incredibly loud. Ear-piercingly scary loud. We had just barely settled into our seats and clearly established a midpoint-resting place for the popcorn. I leaned over to ask Georgia if she was okay. She lifted her 3D glasses and whispered urgently, “Bathroom!”

I was worried that this was a sign of angst or fear but nope, she was anxious to go do her thing and return to the theatre. The most upset she ever got the entire time was after I told her she couldn’t wear her 3D glasses to the bathroom.

Inconveniently, I had also forgotten that the movie was loud – and it was scary! Dinosaurs jump out at you, try to eat little children and spend most of their screen time terrorizing each and every human character. They spit poisonous green mucousy venom on people and then slice them open with their claws. During that scene, I was anxiously looking beside me, in a motherly attempt to discern impending trauma.

Jurassic Park

Instead there was simply giggling. Cue Georgia:

Ewwww that’s green and so dis-gusting!!”

A goat leg, torn from its originating goat by a T-rex, slams onto the windshield of a car. My heart literally skipped a few beats. I made a gasping noise and inadvertently squeezed the cup I was holding and squirted Barq’s root beer down my sweater. I checked out the child and animal-lover beside me, fearing the worst.

She was casually crunching popcorn and adjusting her glasses. She asked for some juice. 

A lawyer gets eaten while sitting on a toilet. I jumped out of my seat with a little scream, but Georgia found this hilarious. She guffawed beside me. Why? “He was on a toilet! In the middle of the forest! So grrrroossss!!” That’s what she noticed. Phew.

The car that the kids are trapped in gets played with like a dinky car by the T-Rex. It’s on the edge of a crevasse, and will likely go over. That is, if T-Rex doesn’t step on it again and squish everyone – who is screaming for their lives – inside. I’m on the edge of my seat. I’m so distracted, I miss my mouth with my popcorn hand.

Jurassic Park - image via Universal Pictures

Georgia? With her glasses on her head, sunglasses-style, she turned, legs crossed, and gazed behind her casually at the other patrons. Letting me know, quietly, “There’s the audience, mommy!”

As is her way, Georgia wanted to know the name of every dinosaur. To appease her, I quietly named them all.

“That’s Bill. There’s Howard. Macy is the T-Rex.” She spent some quiet time processing this, I realize now, but at the moment I saw no harm in naming each dinosaur as they wrecked stuff — and ate people.

Towards the end comes the ultimate moment, when it’s down to the wire: kids vs. velociraptors. The kids suddenly realize that they are not alone and they freeze, silently waiting. Ice cream spoons dangling from their hands, they lock eyes in silent horror. You see the beginning of a hungry dinosaurish shadow on the wall. It grows, as does the silent tension. In the theatre, you could have heard a pin drop on the thick carpet, it was so quiet. I’m frozen in my seat, heart pounding.

Cue Georgia:

Hey kids! Look!!! It’s Howard! HOWARD’S BEHIND YOU.”

She yells this adamantly at the screen and then flashes her devil-may-care “hey, it’s all cool, Mom” smile. Stifling laughter, I sink into my seat and avoid eye contact.

On the way home I ask her, “Soooo, was that scary or exciting?”

Her rather blasé response?

Oh mommy, that was exciting. Those kids, they were scared.”

Remind me to take Georgia to more scary movies.

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