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KIDS ON FILM

Violently Opposing Views : 'Jurassic Park' Was 'the Best' to Some, a Bloody Bore to Others

June 24, 1993|LYNN SMITH | Lynn Smith is a staff writer for The Times' View section. and

In "Jurassic Park," an entrepreneur who re-creates real dinosaurs from the blood of fossilized mosquitoes for a theme park lives to regret having fooled with Mother Nature. (Rated PG-13)

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Amid the industry's hyped promotions and child psychologists' dire warnings, kids are giving this film a wild mix of reviews--from the best ever, to too bloody, to boring.

According to Murray, a world-weary 14-year-old: "They just had chasing around the park and stuff. That was it. And getting killed and stuff. That was it. I got bored."

But to younger kids, killing and chasing can still produce a little excitement.

"It was a heart-pounder," said 10-year-old Billy, who couldn't say enough good things about the film. "There is no way you would want to miss it. I think it was the best." Not only were the dinosaurs thrillingly realistic, they were also humorous, he said.

"I liked the part where the dinosaur was sneezing and his snot went over one of the kids. That was pretty funny."

Like many kids, Amanda, 12, had a mixed reaction.

"It was really, really good, especially the special effects and stuff," she said. "But I didn't like some parts, like when the dinosaur ate the animals and when the goat flew on the roof of the car."

Eleven-year-old Megan came out of the show just shaking her copper-colored braids. She wouldn't see it again, ever, wouldn't recommend it for any other kids and didn't think kids should see it at all. The only thing that would make it better, she said, is "if they didn't have so much blood."

So, whose idea was it to see this film? She pointed to her mother. Her mother pointed to her husband, who, holding his 3-year-old son, was also shaking his head.

"I thought it was an animated film about dinosaurs," her dad said ruefully. "I didn't know about the rest of it."

The only family member who apparently didn't regret seeing the film was the toddler. "It was ARRGGGGSSSSHHHHHHH!" he yelled, baring his teeth and laughing. "And he bit him out! And that dinosaur bit him on his . . . right there," he said, pointing to his shoulder. Was it scary? "Yes!" Did he cry? "No!" Did he like it? "Yeah!"

The kids had differing opinions on how young is too young to see this film. Michelle, 12, who saw it twice on opening weekend, thought it was too gross for kids under 10. Amanda thought maybe 7 would be too young.

"Some kids are more mature than their age, so they shouldn't put an age on it," she said.

For Holly, 12, it wasn't so much the violence as the convoluted opening that set up the plot.

"It was pretty good for adults, but for kids it's hard to understand. The beginning was hard for me to understand."

But she said she did learn some new dinosaur names ("if they're real names") and something about cloning.

"Do you think you really can make dinosaurs over again?" she asked me.

"I think it's a just theory that an author made up out of his imagination. I don't think too many scientists take it seriously," I told her. Is this a thought that might keep her up at night?

"Nah."

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