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Jurassic Park Blu-ray 3D Review

By Rachel Cericola

The Film

Steven Spielberg has had to deal with a lot of obscure creatures over the years: a giant shark, aliens, Tom Cruise, etc. However, nothing was quite as big as the subject matter in Jurassic Park.

Spielberg's take on the Michael Crichton best seller is turning 20 this year, making it ripe for some sort of tweaking. Thankfully, there will be no remake. (However, Jurassic Park 4 is supposedly coming next year.) Instead, the blockbuster received a restoration and we have Jurassic Park 3D.

As far as the film is concerned, it's stunner on so many levels. First of all, this movie launched a super franchise without the likes of an A-lister like Harrison Ford or Tom Hanks. It does have a pre-Pulp Fiction Samuel L. Jackson in a very minor role, but I'm not badmouthing the capabilities of Sam Neill, Laura Dern or Jeff Goldblum. The success is just a testament to the real stars of this show: the dinosaurs. Otherwise, the film is still very intense and a little gruesome, but very much a family-friendly adventure. My 6-year-old sat through this thing and he's terrified of Toy Story 3. However, he just loves dinosaurs and this film is bursting with them. It's also got a nice little nod to how it's probably not all that wise to fool with Mother Nature.

Laura Dern and Sam Neill get up-close with the inhabitants of Steven Spielberg's "Jurassic Park."

Need another peek at this movie? We wish we could clone Chris Chiarella and his Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray Review.

The Picture

Jurassic Park is one of those films where I can honestly say that 3D actually changes the experience -- and it's for the better, which is always nice. Stereo D were the ones behind the conversion process and those people must have magic fingers or something. This is the same crew behind the stunning conversion of Titanic. Jurassic Park isn't quite as awesome as that release, but it's sort of hard not to love giant dinosaurs when they're so in your face. The 3D here isn't super gimmicky, but there seems to be just the right amount of pop in this 1.85:1 transfer. Also, as Chris Chiarella mentoned in his Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray Review, the 2D version is very grainy and even a little noisy. All of that is gone here and it's as smooth as a baby Raptor. It's also noticably darker, but not annoyingly so. All of the changes may be a bummer for you purists, but this version does have some deep colors and a surprising amount of detail in the grass, on clothing, and in the faces of the cast and those scaley CGI creatures.

The Sound

Jurassic Park was the first movie to debut the DTS sound format theatrically, as well as on home video. According to Wikipedia, Spielberg was actually one of the format's initial investors. In other words, it's no surprise that this release has a stellar DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track. It doesn't seem like Universal has touched this since the 2011 release -- and wisely so. Dialogue is always clear, but the ambience, the thunderstorm, the crunch of branches and bones, and the sounds of the creatures both in pain and pissed comes through all of the speakers with a ton of force. There's also just the right amount of rumble that you'd expect in a film about dinosaurs. Of course, the real star of the track is John Williams' score, which really sets the tone and will keep you on the edge of your seat during the movie's most harried moments..

The Extras

The lone 3D featurette is also this release's only new featurette. "The World of Jurassic Park 3D" is just a mere 8 minutes, but it does include a few interesting tidbits via new interviews with director Steven Spielberg, producer Kathleen Kennedy, Stereo D's William Sherek, and others. Otherwise, the 2D disc does include all of the extras previously released, including behind-the-scenes shorts, an hour's worth of other featurettes, and the first three installments of the "Return to Jurassic Park" retrospective.

Final Thoughts

After 20 years, Jurassic Park is still intense, exciting and fun -- and now, it's in 3D! If you already have this disc, it may be difficult to upgrade. It would have been a much easier sell if Universal had thrown in a few additional featurettes for the film's anniversay. However, Jurassic Park 3D really does offer a fresh, interesting peek at Steven Spielberg's classic.

Product Details

  • Actors: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, B.D. Wong, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards
  • Director: Steven Spielberg
  • Audio/Languages: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 (English), DTS 5.1 (French, Spanish), Dolby Digital 5.1 (French, Spanish - 3D only). DTS 2.0 (English - 3D only)
  • Subtitles: English SDH, French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of Discs: 3
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Studio: Universal
  • Blu-ray Disc Release Date: April 23, 2013
  • Run Time: 127 minutes
  • List Price: $49.98
  • Extras:
    • Blu-ray 3D Disc:
      • The World of Jurassic Park 3D
      • D-Box Motion Code
      • BD-Live
    • Blu-ray:
      • Return to Jurassic Park: Dawn of a New Era
      • Return to Jurassic Park: Making Prehistory
      • Return to Jurassic Park: The Next Step in Evolution
      • Archival Featurettes:
        • The Making of Jurassic Park
        • Original Featurette on the Making of the Film
        • Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
        • Hurricaine in Kauai Featurette
      • Behind the Scenes:
        • Early Pre-Production Meetings
        • Location Scouting
        • Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors in the Kitchen
        • Animatics: T-Rex Attack
        • ILM and Jurassic Park: Before & After the Visual Effects
        • Foley Artists
        • Storyboards for Five Sequences
        • Production Archives (Photographs, Design Sketches, Conceptual Paintings)
      • Theatrical Trailer
      • Jurassic Park: Making the Game
      • D-Box Motion Code
      • BD-Live
    • Standard-Def DVD
    • Digital Copy
    • UltraViolet Digital Copy

What did you think?

View all articles by Rachel Cericola
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