Jurassic Park Boxset on DVD

Dom Robinson reviews

Jurassic Park Boxset: Jurassic Park & The Lost World
Distributed by

Columbia TriStar

    Cover

  • Cert:
  • Cat.no: UDRP 880
  • Running time: 244 minutes
  • Year: 1993/1997
  • Pressing: 2000
  • Region(s): 2, PAL
  • Chapters: 40 plus extras
  • Sound: Dolby Digital 5.1, Dolby Surround
  • Languages: 3 languages available
  • Subtitles: 17 languages available
  • Widescreen: 1.85:1
  • 16:9-Enhanced: Yes
  • Macrovision: Yes
  • Disc Format: 2 * DVD 9
  • Price: £34.99
  • Extras: Trailer, Filmographies

    Director:

      Steven Spielberg

    (1941, Amistad, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, The Color Purple, Empire of the Sun, E.T.: The Extra-terrestrial, Hook, Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Jaws, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, Schindler’s List)

Producers:

    Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen and Colin Wilson

Screenplay:

    Michael Crichton and David Koepp

Music:

    John Williams

Cast:

    Dr. Alan Grant: Sam Neill
    Dr. Ellie Sattler: Laura Dern
    Dr. Ian Malcolm: Jeff Goldblum
    John Hammond: Richard Attenborough
    Robert Muldoon: Bob Peck
    Tim Murphy: Joseph Mazzello
    Alexis Murphy: Ariana Richards
    Dr. Sarah Harding: Julianne Moore
    Roland Tembo: Pete Postlethwaite
    Peter Ludlow: Arliss Howard
    Nick Van Owen: Vince Vaughn
    Dieter Stark: Peter Stormare
    Ray Arnold: Samuel L Jackson


CoverBack in 1993, a fantastic suspense film with some cracking one-liners was created called Jurassic Park, based on the novel by Michael Crichton. The title stemmed from the name of a theme park showcasing dinosaurs having recreated them from DNA samples found in mosquitos that had been trapped and preserved all this time since picking at the creatures 65 million years ago.

The park’s creator John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) invited scientists Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern, proving yet again that she can’t act to save her life) along to check it out along with mathematician and fountain of all knowledge when it comes to chaos theory, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). British actor Bob Peck took the role of park warden Robert Muldoon, Samuel L Jackson played computer engineer Ray Arnold and Hammond’s two grandchildren, Tim and Alexis, were portrayed by Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards.

What started off as a trip around the park along a controlled path turned into a nightmare for the characters as the creatures broke free of their constraints and the park’s power failed, meaning the gigantic electric fences didn’t work. From then on it became a race of every man for himself. Some would survive and some would perish, like any decent monster-chase flick.

Cover Now step forward the sequel that was far from an equal, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, in which a research team goes to take a look at Jurassic Park’s Site B after a holidaying family have a slight spot of bother when one of their children meets some hungry natives.

Cue more of the same, without Neill and Dern but bringing back Jeff Goldblum, here with his stowaway daughter. Another scientist, Dr. Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore) signs up for the ride as do Arliss Howard and Vince Vaughn as potential dino fodder, the former playing Hammond’s nephew wanting to bring dinosaurs back to San Diego to form a zoo. Brit actor Pete Postlethwaite appears as Roland Tembo, an idiot who thinks it would be a good idea to snare a T-Rex and take it home. As Malcolm says, that is the worst idea in the history of bad ideas.

However, the sequel fails because the dinosaurs don’t look any different in the main, thus they fail to impress and it feels way too much like a rehash of the first film, so much so that there’d be more originality gained by watching that again instead of this. The film’s only highlights for me were one of the tag-alongs getting split in two by two hungry creatures and the coach as it goes over the edge of the cliff, complete with “cracking glass” scene as Julianne Moore hits the window pane at the back when it’s far from upright.

Now step forward the third film, in which there’s no book to create a movie from and Spielberg couldn’t be bothered to direct so left it in the hands of Jumanji‘s Joe Johnston. I have yet to see it at the time of writing but from what I’ve read it doesn’t sound good. A review can be found by James Berardinelli at his Reelviews site by clicking on: Jurassic Park 3.


The picture is remarkably better than I expected. Yes there are artifacts on occasion and it’s not always pixel-perfect, but other reviews I’d read of the picture quality stated that many people were deeply unimpressed by it, although it’s very good to these eyes. Both films are presented in their original 1.85:1 anamorphic widescreen ratio. The average bitrate for the first film is 5.27Mb/s, briefly peaking above 9Mb/s. The second disc’s figures are, respectively, 5.13Mb/s and 9Mb/s.

The sound pulls out all the stops, as you’d expect, with Dolby Digital 5.1 (English and German only, with Hungarians just getting the vanilla surround) being put to good use throughout. Just a shame, though, that we didn’t get the DTS soundtracks the Americans have got used to. I won’t bother to list what’s so good about the sound – it’s the dinosaurs!


“Objects in mirror are closer than they appear.”


There’s a huge stack of extras on both discs. Disc 1 takes in the dino island with a 49-minute Making of Jurassic Park taking in so many aspects of the film that made your jaw drop first time round; six minutes of Early Pre-production meetings between the crew; five sets of Storyboards including the T-Rex attack and the original ending; two minutes of people walking about Location Scouting and a piece of pre-production with Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors in the Kitchen, which is quite a laugh to watch.

Foley Artists is another mini-featurette, this one lasting 90 seconds, plus Production Photographs, a Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Production Notes, Talent Profiles for the cast and crew and three Theatrical Trailers – one for each film, although No.3 had only just gone into production at the time of this box set’s release so it just featured someone running about a fake jungle. Wow(!)

The extras on disc two follow pretty much the same pattern. We begin with a 53-minute Making of The Lost World, two Deleted Scenes totalling nearly seven minutes, Illustrations and Conceptual Drawings, Storyboards for even more scenes than the first disc, photos of some of the Models used in the film, some pictures of dinosaurs in The World of Jurassic Park and stills of the obvious in Industrial Light and Magic and Production Photographs.

Marketing: Posters and Toys is a series of stills based on just that, while there’s more of the same to be found in Theatrical Trailers, Dinosaur Encyclopaedia, Production Notes and Talent Profiles.

Just one criticism: rather than allow an uncut version of the extras on disc 2, 33 seconds have been cut from the deleted scenes in order to maintain the PG certificate. The films remain unharmed though.

Both films each compromise of 20 chapters and there are subtitles in a massive 17 languages : English, German, Polish, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, Hebrew, Bulgarian, Croatian, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian and Arabic.

The menus all contain sound or music, while only the main ones features animation and those on disc 1 have more animation in the main menu.

JURASSIC PARK
THE LOST WORLD
PICTURE QUALITY
SOUND QUALITY
EXTRAS



OVERALL
Review copyright © Dominic Robinson, 2001.

Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.


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