Anyone who has seen JURASSIC PARK can tell you of the thundering AWE they felt the first time they saw it. There are few cinematic experiences that can rival the spectacle of a herd of Gallimimus stampeding on an open plain, or a giant Tyrannosaur roaring in the rain. Jurassic Park, is quite simply, one of the greatest blockbusters ever made. The plot looks simple: a group of experts and friends are invited to explore a theme park that has yet to open - but the premise is high-concept in that way only Michael Crichton is high-concept: the park is filled with living dinosaurs cloned from ancient DNA. And quickly, the ordinary tour becomes a terrifying thrill-ride for survival, complete with claws, teeth, fangs, venom, and more.
In the human corner, we have Sam Neill as Dr. Alan Grant, a crusty but passionate paleontologist, and his partner Dr. Ellie Sattler, played with childlike wonder by Laura Dern. Richard Attenborough's excellently optimistic performance as the park's creator John Hammond is a highlight of the film, as of course is Jeff Goldblum in full Goldblumish glory as chaos theorist Ian Malcolm. The supporting cast, including Wayne Knight, Bob Peck, and Samuel L. Jackson give tremendous performances, and the immortal lines "Clever girl", and "Hang on to your butts!"
But of course, all of our humans are overshadowed by the real stars of the film: the dinosaurs. In the dino corner, we have the T-Rex, a tremendous achievement in special effects, and one of the most awe-inspiring, earth-shattering characters in film. With the roar of a baby elephant, tiger, and alligator in one, the T-Rex has been shaking cups and terrifying moviegoers for 20 years. When you add to that several devious velociraptors, brachiosaurs, and gallimimus (sorry, I'm a total dinosaur nerd - I can't help it)... you have both an incredible achievement in digital and practical effects, and the groundwork for the most awe-inspiring, gut-clenching set-pieces this side of anywhere.
If you haven't seen the film a) what's wrong with you? b) I can't stress enough how powerful that first viewing is. Ask anyone about the first time they saw Jurassic Park, and they will be able to tell you where, and who with, and of course, about that feeling of sheer awe in the face of Spielberg's spectacle. And that's the greatest thing about Jurassic Park: Yes, the special effects might be a little dated, and maybe those kids are annoying. But no matter how long it ages, Jurassic Park still affects and terrifies, even 20 years on. And THAT, my friends, is why I give the film 5 stars. Jurassic Park is an unforgettable cinematic experience that has no equal anywhere. Step back into an age where dinosaurs walked the earth!
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on April 23, 2013
***This review really is for the 3D Blu-ray version. I preordered it and it arrived the day before official release :) ***
My wife and I watched it and the 3D is very well done, they clearly did full 3D mapping with curved shapes for faces and pixel infill behind things when you can now see around them. My wife found it as good as 3D gets. As an engineer with image processing background I noticed a few things like artifacts around fast moving stuff and places where (of course) things would not be in focus that were not originally in the plane of focus. I think if you don't go looking for flaws it will just be a great 3D experience, this isn't a cheap cardboard cutout change to 3D, it's the good kind.
The Bluray took a while to start up and then would repeatedly get stuck showing "downloading new attractions from BD-live"; until I turned off BD-live for the Bluray player. .... Update on BD-Live: It would seem that getting stuck at "downloading" was likely due to getting the disk before release. It never gets stuck now (it shows multiple downloaded commercials).
(edited to fix some typos and clarify that this review is for the actual 3D Bluray)
on April 22, 2013
It's more than a little uncommon for a film to visually impress two times in a row. What made for spectacular viewing the first time becomes old news by the second. And with the rate at which the technologies used at the movies advances, these former special-effects heavyweights begin to look dated very quickly.
That makes it all the more impressive that Jurassic Park 3D - a classic celebrating its 20th birthday this year - is still eye-poppingly amazing to look at. The special effects alone have aged like a fine wine, due in no small part to the film's reliance on animatronics over computer animation. Whereas CGI tends to leave everything looking just slightly "off", the dinosaurs of this park feel as real as they come. There's none of that oddly shiny, too-perfect look of modern movies.
Someone at Universal deserves a pat on the back for the job of converting this movie to 3D. The original was obviously never filmed with 3D in mind, but the new sense of depth is completely convincing. It is, in a word, awesome. And in a movie that has the awesomeness of the natural world as a major theme, that really helps to sell it to you.
Behind Jurassic Park's new bells and whistles is the same excellent Spielburgian film it has always been. John Hammond, a visionary scientist, has had a jolly old time playing around with genetics. The fruit of his labor is a private island filled with creatures long since extinct, which he wants to make into an amusement park. He invites three scientists - the couple Alan and Ellie, and the eccentric ladies' man Ian Malcolm - for some academic cred, as his investors are having some trouble believing that resurrecting long-extinct T. Rex's is actually safe. The opening act allows us time to soak in just how incredible this prehistoric wonderland really is. From the huge beasts, to the hatching of a tiny infant raptor, the world of Jurassic Park is wild, but seemingly controlled.
Controlled that is, except for the park's malicious computer programmer, Newman - err, Dennis Nedry. In an attempt to steal dinosaur embryos for a rival genetics company, Nedry inadvertently shuts down the park's security, releasing the hordes, including one hungry T. Rex. The delightfully carefree and safe dino zoo quickly turns into a prehistoric nightmare, with the scientists, Hammond, and his grandchildren all fighting to survive.
Jurassic Park knows what it wants to be - it's a science-fiction thriller, and it does that well. There are more iconic scenes here than a raptor has teeth. Beyond that, though, it's effective as something of a pseudo-nature documentary. When they aren't trying to gobble up the heroes, the dinosaurs simply go about their business - running with their herds, finding a meal, and nesting for the night. It's a grim reminder of humanity's dualistic relationship with nature. Sometimes we live in harmony and mutual wonder. Sometimes they eat us instead.
The acting is mostly excellent, particularly with Jeff Goldblum as Ian. His sarcastic skepticism plays off of the other scientists' straight-man performances hilariously well. Richard Attenborough also does a wonderful job as Hammond and his rapidly-decaying ego. Despite the fact that the entire park was his idea, you do feel sorry for the man as his dream crumbles to pieces around him. While the characters are not the centerpieces (Jurassic Park is much more War of the Worlds than ET), it helps the film immensely to have such engaging performances.
Jurassic Park is definitely worth a second viewing, especially in 3D. The added dimension fits the film perfectly, as if it were shot that way all the way back in 1993. And if you're somehow lucky enough for this to be your first viewing, than enjoy. You're in for a wild ride.
on April 26, 2013
My review pertains to the quality of 3D:
As someone who loves home theater 3D, I have probably every major 3D Blu-ray release, and I'm pretty sure this tops them all.
Literally every scene has been remastered for 3D conversion, and it shows. Its a beautiful, fun, and awesomely entertaining 3D showpiece. Exceeded my expectations in every way.
Also, the "Extras" has an overview of how they spent 9 months transferring the source material to 3D. You really can't go wrong with Jurassic Park 3D.. get it now.
on April 7, 2013
I am writing this review after having seen the 3D-IMAX version of this movie yesterday at the theater. I can only hope this is the version being released later this month (April 2013).
All I can say is WOW! I and my family were immensely pleased. This is every bit as amazing as I remembered it, and then some.
The 3D was definitely a benefit here, and it heightened my appreciation of the movie. While of course Spielberg had no inclination that this would eventually go 3D, the movie has several sequences that really seem to have been made specifically for it. As anyone who has seen the movie can guess, there are all sorts of scenes that almost literally jumped out at the audience in the original, and they're even more super-charged here.
While this has to be one of the most-watched movies ever, I'm sure there are many who have never seen it -- in fact, I could tell there were a few in the audience nearby me, as they jumped more than a few times at key moments.
What's really terrific is that the 3D was never obtrusive, but only improved the movie and made it more intimate. It is as if we gained a new sense of experiencing a film beyond regular sight and sound. And yes: the sound was even more improved as well. Believe me, it kicked butt.
See it if you can at the theater: on the big screen this is mind-boggling. I will bet those with a big 3D screen in their house (and a suitable sound system) will be totally impressed as well, but this was amazing to see on the big screen.
It was stunnning: "Jurassic Park" HAS NOT AGED ONE DAY since it was released 20 years ago. Spielberg's movie is that good. Credit is due his special effects team (Dennis Muren, Stan Winston, Phil Tippett and Michael Lantieri), who received Oscars for their work (the movie won two Oscars for sound editing and mixing) and they deserved every penny they earned for their work. Even on the big screen there was not the slightest hitch with their work.
See it at the theater if you can, but I am sure you will love it at home, too. It is an exhilarating movie that hasn't lost a step in 20 years: truly AMAZING!
NOTE: It makes you wonder if we'll ever see Jaws re-released this way, or Close Encounters of the Third Kind (30th Anniversary Ultimate Edition)...can you imagine them as 3D? One can only hope.
on March 3, 2009
Well, I have to hand it to Steven Spielberg, even though he often annoys me. He made us pay attention to archeology and the Ark Of The Covenant; he educated us on Great White Sharks; he made us love an ugly little space alien and he even made Whoopi Goldberg look good. Wow, say what you will, the man has done some amazing things in the world of film. Here, he brings dinosaurs back to life and gives us another classic adventure story, unlike anything seen up to this time.
I rank this one right up with the best of all-time among great adventure stories. Few people can forget how stunned they were when they viewed these life-like dinosaurs for the first time on screen. And who can forget the T-Rex in the first frightening scene and the Raptors in the last intense scene? This is truly memorable stuff. To this day, those scenes can still get your attention.
The movie has always been fun to watch, and not just because of the thrills or special effects, of which there are too many to recite here. There is humor in here and characters are interesting, led by Richard Attenborough as the scientist who creates Jurassic Park. The kids in here - Joseph Mazello and Ariana Richards - do a fine job of acting, as good as the adults.
The only thing left is to see this in high-definition Blu=Ray, which should bring another generation of fans to this innovative film.
on April 27, 2013
As one of my favorite movies, I have been patiently waiting for the 3D release. All I can say is that I am blown away! The conversion looks better than some movies that have been natively shot in 3D. I knew Spielberg wouldn't let me down. Watching it in 3D certainly adds a whole new dimension to a classic movie. The depth is incredible and makes you feel that you are there. There's also many scenes that have objects that pop out of the screen and into your living room.
But no blockbuster such as this is complete without blockbuster sound and the DTS 7.1 soundtrack is unbelievable. The combination of picture and sound is awesome. This is the way, Jurassic Park was meant to be seen. If you are a fan of the movie, you must get this 3D version of this disc. In fact, if you are a fan of this movie and don't have a 3D TV, get one now and enjoy the movie. All in all, well done and a stellar conversion.
on June 24, 2001
When a rich entrapreneur finances a bold experiment, and succeeds in the cloning of Dinosaurs, he needs the authorization of a few experts and critics to ok his new attraction after a fatal accident occurs. However, during the tour, a Tropical Storm hits the secluded island of Isla Nublar, and all hell breaks loose....and that pretty much sums up one of the greatest movies ever to grace the silver screen. It was only a matter of time before the release of the Special Edition DVD.
Usually when you see the words 'Special Edition' you can look forward to Deleted Scenes, Outtakes and behind the scenes documentaries. Well, unfortunately, there really isn't much anything 'special' about this. Don't get me wrong, the quality of the movie is outstanding. I have never seen the movie in such great sound and picture quality before. There are a few 'making of' documentaries and other related things. There are also a few trailers. However, there is some footage that is still missing from the movie, footage that was NOT cut in the theatrical release, but was cut in the transition to home video. Now on DVD you would expect some of these scenes back. That is not the case. There really isnt much making the DVD 'special' other than its incredibly high quality and behind the scenes documentaries. There are also some fun facts about the Dinosaurs on the island, but it still feels like there could have been more. All in all, a very good DVD, a must own for fans of the movie.
JURASSIC PARK is one of the best, if not the best, movies made about dinosaurs ever. It's also one of only a handful of movies ever made based on a novel that was already in preproduction before the novel ever was released. It's also one of the first movies to use CGI in significant scenes throughout the film. It's also the movie that gave Sam Neill a break and reinvigorated the career of Jeff Goldblum. The movie (promoted by the release of the novel about a year earlier) got the general public (and not just kids) excited about dinosaurs again and did to paleontology as a major what RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK did to archaeology.
The premise, seeped in pop science, is that a multi-billionaire, John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) brings dinosaurs back to life by cloning the dino-DNA taken from mosquitoes trapped in amber. He builds a zoological theme-park he calls Jurassic Park. However, in order to call off a bunch of lawyers after an accident with one of the park's workers, Hammond has to get a group of scientific experts to endorse that the park is safe and viable. Thus, Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill), Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) arrive to tour the facilities. Hammond's grandchildren, Lex (Ariana Richards) and Tim Murphy (Joseph Mazzello), are also along for the ride as test subjects. Due to a hurricane and the shenanigans of a greedy employee, the park experiences a major breakdown and the dinosaurs get loose.
JURASSIC PARK set records upon its initial release in 1993 and it isn't difficult to see why. The CGI effects that have become common in just about every movie since then were in their infancy then, yet the creatures appear completely lifelike. Of course, Spielberg not only used CGI but he had some live action dinos and models involved as well. It was a massive undertaking, but one that had a huge payoff.
There's not much to complain about with JURASSIC PARK. Sam Neill is great as Dr. Grant (the role was originally offered to Harrison Ford and I'm actually glad he turned it down) and Jeff Goldblum is almost always a delight to watch on screen. After 15 years of directing his own movies, Richard Attenborough came back for the perfect part as John Hammond. The action sequences in the film are still as exciting to watch as they were when the film first was in theatres. The movie is classic Spielberg and those are some of the best movies ever made.
This DVD includes a very informative documentary about the making of JURASSIC PARK, some clips from an early production meeting (it's probably the closest an average person can come to meeting the real Spielberg), some storyboards and other illustrations, Phil Tippett's Animatic of the "Raptors in the Kitchen" sequence showing the raptors as they were originally conceived with having lizard-like tongues, trailers for all three JURASSIC PARK movies, a dinosaur encyclopedia featuring the dinosaurs seen in the movie, some production notes, and a list and partial filmography of the cast & crew.
on February 23, 2007
But not because it is a great script. It's not really. An amusement park ride from hell-is all that's on paper. What will make this a Classic is the ground-breaking Computer graphic animation. When I first saw this film in the theater, I was completely blown away. Some think that this particular art as been approved upon--I don't hold that same opinion. I see too many movies where you can tell what is real and what is fake. This movie--everything looks REAL and for this film-there lies the horror. Highly recommended.