JURASSIC PARK 3D
***** (out of 5)
April 5, 2013
Sam Neill as DR. ALAN GRANT
Laura Dern as DR. ELLIE SATTLER
Jeff Goldblum as DR. IAN MALCOLM
Richard Attenborough as JOHN HAMMOND
Bob Peck as ROBERT MULDOON
Martin Ferrero as DONALD GENNARO
Joseph Mazzello as TIM MURPHY
Ariana Richards as LEX MURPHY
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
BY KEVIN CARR
Listen to Kevin’s radio review…
It’s hard to believe that “Jurassic Park” is 20 years old. Of course it’s a classic, but it’s not like Spielberg’s other adventures like “Jaws” or “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” which were released when I was quite young. “Jurassic Park” came out when I was an adult. It was his last first installment that I can recall, and it was something that reminded me of what it was like to be a kid again.
Of course, I’ve taken my kids to see “Jurassic Park 3D,” even though they have seen the film on VHS, DVD and Blu-ray already. This was a treat in itself, allowing me to experience the adventure through them.
Sure, Spielberg has made plenty of fantastic films since, most recently the somber and brilliant “Lincoln.” However, “Jurassic Park” was the last of his family adventure movies that struck a chord with audiences. (Yeah, I’m leaving “The Adventures of Tintin” out of this category because, as much as I did enjoy it, the film kind of sunk at the box office.)
In the early 90s, I was a dino-crazy college student. I read up on them in the science library at school. I got my hands on Michael Crichton’s book “Jurassic Park” and devoured it. The film version was my favorite movie of the year, and I saw it three times opening week.
Of course, there were notable differences from the book to the film, but like Peter Benchley’s “Jaws,” Spielberg managed to make things work even better on screen. He directed the kids in the movie better than Crichton ever wrote them. (Honestly, I never understood why Crichton put children in his stories because he didn’t have a damn idea how they behaved.)
The re-release of “Jurassic Park” in 3D or not brings back plenty of fun memories for me.
But let’s get to that 3D aspect. This story of an experiment with genetically designed dinosaurs was a thrilling movie in 2D. The 3D enhances that experience even more. First off, the post-conversion process is one of the best I’ve seen for live-action, right up there with the conversion on “Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace” and the last “Harry Potter” film. Having master directors behind these processes yields a much better looking process than just some crappy horror thriller that’s had 3D slapped on at the end, like the abysmal “My Soul to Take.”
The 3D isn’t pushed on the audience, but it does reveal the amount of depth that Spielberg actually put into the film 20 years ago. The 3D shots lend themselves naturally to the filmmaking presentation, and there are plenty of moments that feel like they were composed for the third dimension. This is a testament to the composition of Spielberg’s movies in general.
Outside of the 3D, the effects still hold up… almost perfectly. The dinosaurs still look like dinosaurs, and there’s very little digital artifacting you’ll see if you watch a mid-90s movie nowadays. Sure, dinosaur and creature effects have improved dramatically over the past two decades, but these on-screen animals look as fully photorealistic and beautiful as they did back in 1993.
A word of warning, though: As beautiful as this movie is, it’s still a scary one for the littlest of viewers. There’s a big difference between watching this movie at home and seeing it in the full theatrical experience. With the surround sound, 3D immersion, 20-foot screen and the T-rex literally screaming in your face, it can be terrifying for some viewers, so proceed with caution.
Otherwise, buckle up and enjoy the ride!