Top 5 Films Based On Michael Crichton's Books
Michael Crichton (1942-2008) ranks high among my favorite authors. Almost all of his books have very cinematic qualities and some have been adapted into great films. Here are my 5 favorites !
5. Disclosure (1994)
Both the book and its cinematic counterpart will forever be stuck in the mid 90's due to their subject matter but it is still a compelling story. It is also one of the few Crichton works where the sci-fi element is reduced to a minumum. I personally enjoyed the film much more than the book, probably because of Demi Moore's believable performance as the villain. Yes, the technology displayed in the film is from the stone age and the special effects are clearly outdated, but the human tale at its heart makes this one worth a watch.
4. Rising Sun (1993)
This mystery-thriller is once again clearly of its time, as it deals with the habits of the Japanese corporations and their growing influence over the US industries. While the book may have seemed shocking due to its seemingly racist content, its movie counterpart is toned down and plays more like a typical sex thriller of the early 90's such as Basic Instinct. The mystery is compelling and the Sean Connery-Wesley Snipes team-up is totally original. Their relationship is definitely the highlight of the film.
3. The Lost World (1997)
This is the first and best sequel to Jurassic Park. While not as impressive as its predecessor, it is still a thrilling and original story that is likely to please fans of sci-fi or adventure films. Spielberg is back and it shows ; the quality of the film is top-notch and not just a rip-off of the first. The choice to bring back Jeff Goldblum was brilliant, as he was clearly the most charismatic and compelling character in the original. Julianne Moore is a terrific actress and her presence in the film is, for me, one of its highlights. The book on which the film is based is quite different, with many alternate characters and plot points. I actually enjoyed the book a bit more but I believe this film is still the only worthwhile JP sequel.
2. Sphere (1998)
This is a controversial one. This film was banned by audiences and critics alike back in 1998 and its reputation doesn't seem to get better with time. That's a shame, as I believe the story at its heart is extremely intriguing and unwinds a bit like Solaris. Fans of the book (which I still have to read) notably complained that the ending was a mess in the film version. I think it was intended that way, to keep audiences guessing and talk about it after the film. This is not a film that takes you by the hand to understand what is going on. Sharon Stone steals every scene she is in and I believe it might be one of her best performances. The supense is well built and some scenes are genuinely scary. Don't listen to the haters : definitely worth your time.
1. Jurassic Park (1993)
It was obvious. A true masterpiece. One of the best and most successful films ever made. Everything about this movie is as good as it gets. The special effects still hold up today, the cast is excellent and the soundtrack is a classic among the classics. Probably Spielberg and Crichton's finest hour. I had the chance to see it in cinema for the first time when it was rereleased in 3D back in 2013 and it was certainly one of the best cinematic experiences of my life. Again, the book is quite different (especially the ending) and I can't decide which one is better. Both are worth your time and attention. Don't skip this one !