Jurassic Park was released in 1993, a fantastic suspense film with some cracking one-liners, based on the novel by the late Michael Crichton. In fact, it’s still an exceptional film 20 years on, unlike its two sequels.
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 earlier.
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). Also along for the ride are the late Bob Peck as park warden Robert Muldoon, Samuel L. Jackson as computer engineer Ray Arnold and Wayne Knight as chief programmer Dennis Nedry, and this was the first time I’d seen him in this since I watched Seinfeld, so you can imagine what I wanted to say to him 😉
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.
When it comes to the 3D, Jurassic Park obviously wasn’t made in 3D so everything you see here is done in post-production. And it’s not good.
Anything that’s right at the front of the screen – most obvious as the camera is trundling forward amongst the soldiers at the start – ends up looking distorted, for example.
Also, as 3D makes the image darker, you need to have this taken into account in the first place when filming, but given how that won’t have been the case with this film, as you’d expect, it makes the film look darker than you’d expect. As such, this actually gives the opening scene less impact because it’s too dark to really see what’s going on.
The daytime scene of the lawyer then arriving to talk to John Hammond looks like it was shot in the early evening. Then when he and the prospector are walking while the other workers get on with things behind them, the effect is made to look like they’re stuck a fake background. In Sam Neill’s first scene, everyone looks like paper cut-outs stuck on with a small amount of perspective between them. In fact, you’d get a better effect of perspective if you watched it in 2D and took a look at what was naturally in the foreground compared to what was in the background.
In fact, the image is best when you’re looking at things in the middle ground. That’s where everything is at its most sharp. This is a shame as I thought this might make a decent action film in 3D, but for the technical reasons described, it doesn’t.
The sound pulls out all the stops, as you’d expect, with DTS 7.1 sound for those who have it, although mine’s a DTS 5.1 setup, but then a smaller round doesn’t require 7 speakers. I won’t bother to list what’s so good about the sound – it’s the dinosaurs!
I know it’s not my setup as it shows films shot in 3D perfectly well. So, while I can’t recommend watching it in 3D, I’m sure it looks amazing in 2D Blu-ray. Unfortunately, I didn’t receive the second Blu-ray disc for review which contains the 2D version of the film, along with all but one of the extras, The World Of Jurassic Park 3D (8:27), where the team at Stereo D, in Burbank, California, tell us how they took direction from Spielberg as to how he’d want it done, going through the film shot by shot.
The extras I couldn’t review are:
- The Making Of Jurassic Park
- Original featurette on the Making of the Film
- Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
- Hurricane in Kauai Featurette
- Early Pre Production Meetings
- Location Scoutings
- Phil Tippet Animatics Raptors In The Kitchen
- Foley Artists
- Theatrical Trailer
- Animatics: T-Rex Attack, ILM and Jurassic Park: Before and After the Visual Effects
- Storyboards (T-Rex Attack, Jeep Chase, Raptors In The Kitchen, Omitted Baby Trike Scene, The Original Ending)
- Production Archives (Photographs, Design Sketches and Conceptual Paintings)
- Return To Jurassic Park: Making Prehistory
- Return To Jurassic Park: The Next Step in Evolution
- Return To Jurassic Park: Dawn of A New Era
- Jurassic Park: Making the Game.
With all three films in a Blu-ray Trilogy boxset on Amazon for £11, and this 3D version of the first film going for about 50% more at the time of release, I can only recommend the former.
The menu mixes 3D images from the film with a piece of looped theme music.
There are subtitles in English (for the hard of hearing), Spanish, Castillian, Portuguese, Russian, Estonian, Latvian, Lithuanian and Ukranian.
And there’s a reasonable number of chapters with 20, although I prefer one every five minutes on average as a rule of thumb, so it could use more.
3D PICTURE CONVERSION
Running time: 127 minutes
Studio: Universal Pictures
Released: December 16th 2013
Picture: 1080p High Definition
Sound: DTS HD Master Audio 7.1 (English only), DD5.1: French and Spanish
Languages: English, French and Spanish
Subtitles: English, French and Spanish
Disc Format: 2*BD50
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producers: Kathleen Kennedy, Gerald R. Molen and Colin Wilson
Screenplay: Michael Crichton and David Koepp (based on the novel by Michael Crichton)
Music: John Williams
Dr. Alan Grant: Sam Neill
Dr. Ellie Sattler: Laura Dern
Dr. Ian Malcolm: Jeff Goldblum
John Hammond: Richard Attenborough
Robert Muldoon: Bob Peck
Ray Arnold: Samuel L Jackson
Dennis Nedry: Wayne Knight
Tim Murphy: Joseph Mazzello
Alexis Murphy: Ariana Richards
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.