What better way to kick-off the summer blockbuster movie season than by watching one of the best of its kind, Jurassic Park? How about watching it, for the first time, in 3D? Yeah, that will do it.
It has been more than a handful of years since I’ve watched Jurassic Park in full, and this is probably a good thing because I am not sure I would have appreciated this incredible journey in quite the same way as I have now. There is nothing about Jurassic Park that isn’t epic in one sense or another, from the ridiculously good dinosaur effects, to the personal story of survival, to the beautiful cinematography and masterful score by John Williams. Jurassic Park is damn near perfect.
Even though this film is aimed at family viewings, it still manages to make me jump 20 years after its release. The tension that Spielberg is able to create is magnificent, and put me on the edge of my seat. Watching the velociraptors chase down the two youngsters is absolutely awesome, and the unexpected, T-Rex finish is great fun.
Jurassic Park tells the story of assumed billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). He has discovered a way to recreate dinosaurs, and has spent the last five years building these creations on his own private island, turning his idea into a theme park with the main attraction being the once-extinct dinosaur. After an accident at the park, the insurance company insists that the park get the approval of an expert, which brings in Dr. Sattler (Laura Dern), Dr. Grant (Sam Neill), and Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum). Hammond agrees to fund Dr. Sattler and Dr. Grant’s dig for three years if they come to the island. Of course, they eagerly accept, and make their way to Jurassic Park with no idea of what Hammond has done. Unfortunately for the crew, which also includes Hammond’s two young grandchildren, a tropical storm is heading toward the island. This will soon be the least of the groups troubles, though, because Newman…I mean, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight, better known as Seinfeld’s Newman) has agreed to steal samples of the dinosaur DNA for a competing corporation, and will take any means necessary to get the samples off the island.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that superb acting performances from the cast’s youngest players: Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards. Both deliver incredible performances, amplified by the fact that they were staring at a blank, blue screen for the majority of the special effects scenes. Their active imaginations are on clear display here, and it’s surprising that both didn’t go on to more fruitful and recognizable acting careers (though Mazzello has maintained an acting career, according to his IMDB page). The chemistry between the lead actors – Mazzello, Richards, Richard Attenborough, Sam Neil, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum – is like lightning, and just a blast to watch. Without such a strong and witty script, though, these characters would fall flat. Dr. Malcolm (Goldblum) stands out as special thanks to his wonderful monologues and one-liners (“God creates dinosaurs. God destroys dinosaurs. God creates man. Man destroys God. Man creates dinosaurs.”).
Spielberg hits all the right notes here, and it is clear why Jurassic Park is looked at as a summer blockbuster classic. Watching the Blu-ray release in 3D breathes new life into the movie, and even though many people like to rag on post-production 3D transfers, Jurassic Park nails it, and it looks as if it was almost shot in 3D. There is a moment towards the end of the film where a velociraptor jumps right at the camera, and I literally said “woah”, and went back in my seat. I love when 3D is able to do that. I can only imagine how seeing this in 3D in theatres would have amplified the effect, but my home viewing was enthralling and exciting in its own way.
There is not much to dislike about Jurassic Park. It is the perfect popcorn flick, and stands up just as well twenty years after its initial release back in 1993. If you own a 3D TV, definitely give this new transfer a look because the 3D is great (it also contains the 2D copy of the film if you ever want to watch it on a non-3D television). Speilberg simply gets this one right.
Branden has been a film fan since he was young, roaming the halls of Blockbuster Video, trying to find the grossest, scariest looking VHS covers to rent and watch alone in the basement. It wasn’t until recently, though, that Branden started seeking out the classics of cinema, and began to develop his true passion for the art form. Branden approaches each film with the unique perspective of having studied the art from the inside, having both a bachelor’s and master’s degree in acting. He has been a film critic since 2010, and has previously written for Inside Pulse Movies, We Love Cult, and Diehard Gamefan. His biggest achievement as a film critic, to date, has been founding Cinefessions and turning it from a personal blog to a true film website, housing hundreds of film and television reviews, and dozens of podcasts.