Anyone who knows me knows I was obsessed with Spielberg films from a young age. At one time, anything he did was gold in my eyes.
Imagine my excitement then when, at the age of 17, I saw the first trailers for 'Jurassic Park.' I couldn't wait and ran out to a bookshop to buy the novel.
When I read the novel, I was frantic with anticipation for the film because what I pictured from the book would make the most incredible film. I even made a £200 bet with a college friend that it would beat 'Last Action Hero' at the box office (Empire magazine had the Arnie pic tipped as the Summer champ).
When the film came around I queued for hours (actually I was at the front and there 5 hours before the doors opened - kids huh?). This was going to be the cinematic experience of my life...
Two hours later, I left the cinema deflated. One thought ran through my mind: 'Is that it?'
The book promised a dark visceral experience with endless set pieces and absorbing characters. The film was a colourful watered down version with cardboard cut-outs for characters with very little plot. The effects were the only impressive element.
While everybody who did not read the book marvelled at the film, as far as I was concerned Spielberg had delivered his weakest film to date. I remember interviews taken in the street by the BBC, whenever they spoke to someone who had read the book beforehand the reaction echoed mine: 'The book was better. Much scarier.'
I suspect those who say 'Jurassic Park' was an insult to literature based their opinion on the film and didn't even bother to read the book. Had they read the book they would realise that Hollywood missed the opportunity to make a truly great film.
At least I won the bet