JURASSIC PARK ~ 2011 DIGITAL RE-RELEASE

April 5, 2013

1993

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

TOP TEN FILM!

May Contain Spoilers!

Today, another travesty is taking place as Dino-classic, Jurassic Park (1993), which has been retrofitted in 3D, is being re-released in cinemas. Like 3D or not, in my opinion, post-conversion, certainly of films which have enjoyed success in 2D, is unnecessary and pointless for all reasons except controversial ones. So, if you like Jurassic Park, enjoy it as it was meant to be seen, on a 2D screen

N.B. The following review was originally posted on the 4th March 2012. For my original review which was written back in 2010, please CLICK HERE.

This is a template for how make a great action/adventure movie. Clocking in, at for what these days, a film of its type would seem to be a modest 121 mins, it divides itself into two solid halves. The first hour debates the science, the sociology and evolutionary issues of both cloning and of course, dinosaurs, whilst skillfully setting up and yet side tracking the audience into not realising who the real villains of the movie are going to be.

From the opening scene, the Velosaraptors are clearly formidable, but the film feeds on the overwhelming desire from the audience to see the T-Rex to the point of distraction. And it works, allowing a still awe-inspiring and music-less might I add, T-Rex sequence, and then giving the fourth act over the Raptors.

This film uses every minute brilliantly, maintaining a sense of pace throughout whist not bombarding us with pointless action. I do think that this film has lost some of its standing with a general audience these days, but for no other reason than the fact that is now almost 19 years old!

But even at 19, besides holding together as tight screenplay, it still has the power to bring out that sense of wonder. The moment that the group are introduced to the Brachiosaurs for the first time is still powerful today. Just the idea of being shown a living, breathing dinosaur is just amazing and Spielberg has effectively bottled that feeling of wonder.

Last September I took my 7-year-old Stepson,who is already a massive fan of the genre and indeed this film, to see this on the big screen. I had seen this three times back in 1993/1994 and seeing it again at the cinema was simply brilliant. It has defiantly lost NOTHING and I was so pleased to be able to share this with the next generation as it were.

But I was pleased on several other more technical fronts as well. Firstly, there were no alterations as we can easily expect from someone like George Lucas, with Spielberg generally showing more respect for his work, with the exceptions of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T. (Special Edition) of course There was also the picture quality and the digital transfer. It was clear that the digital transfer presented in theatres would be representative of that for the then upcoming Blu-ray release and it was. There was significant grain but a strikingly sharp and beautiful image, with crystal clear sound.

The grain was great and I was glad to see it intact. This is how the film was made and how we saw films back in 1993 and that we shouldn’t forget or be cleaned up too much. The Blu-ray print is great with the grain in mind and overall they have done a fantastic job of bringing this classic back to the big screen as well as upgrading it to Hi Def.

Well worth rediscovering…


JURASSIC PARK III

March 17, 2012

2001

DIRECTOR: Joe Johnson

May Contain Spoilers!

Back in 2010, I wrote a review of this film,a film which I had never really thought much of. It read…

“I have never really rated this film. Jurassic Park is one of my top ten films of all time, and “The Lost World” made for a good sequel, but should have served as evidence that sequels for this franchise were only going to go down hill.

This film suffers form a lack of direction and commitment and fails to engross or make any real sense. The characters are two-dimensional and Sam Neill hams it up no end.

The action has moved from scarily spectacular to just spectacle, with no real sense of peril, just a predictable dino related death toll. This was a misfire from a franchise that should not had really become one.

But having said all that, I have recently watched this with its target audience, a six yer old boy, who loves dinosaurs, and he loved it! And watching this film with simple expectations and for the puerile exploitative adventure it is, it’s actually pretty good and quite entertaining.

I wouldn’t recommend this as such, but I would watch it again and again as something fun, but nothing as important as the first. Please though… NO MORE!!!”

I also rated it 6/10, but having seen a couple more times since, again with my growing stepson, I’m warming to this more and more. This may not be Spielberg, nor the music of John Williams, but Don Davis does a great job of working within the confines of William’s score and Johnson has created a sharper action thriller. Still vacuous compared to the original two, but it does contain more substance than I have originally given it credit for.

And with Jurassic Park 3D and number 4 in the pipeline, this is not looking half as bad as it once did. I stand by certain points raised in my earlier review, such as the hamming up and sense of peril issues, and even though it was covered in the script by a line or two about Ingen not declaring every species which they had created on the island, the existence of the Spinosaurus, good though it was, was inconsistent with the previous story.

Though the moment that this new addition and the good old T-Rex squared off was good and reminds us that we haven’t seen a real carnivorous face off so far in the trilogy.

Still not the best, but I’m really starting to recognise this for the enjoyment value, if not for the deeper issues raised in the first two.


THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK

March 14, 2012

1997

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

May Contain Spoilers!

1993 saw the release of Jurassic Park, a film which had a massive impact on my view of films as a 13-year-old. So, you can imagine my anticipation for the long-awaited sequel, four years after the original.

Michael Crichton’s follow-up novel to the original 1990 bestseller, The Lost World was written by popular demand after the success of Spielberg’s blockbuster but the plot differed somewhat from the final film adaptation.

This film introduced, quite proficiently, Site B, another island, a production island as it were, were the dinosaurs seen in the first film were populated from. This Island would later suffer at the hands of a hurricane and the dinosaurs were let loose to thrive and create the titular Lost World, in reference to Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel of the same name.

Problem. Jurassic Park worked because it was all there. A neat package, striped down from a more complex and procedural book, with less characters and a smaller set up. The island creator John Hammond stated in the first film that he had leased AN Island from the Costs Rican government, not TWO. We were shown the production facilities with Dr. Wu working to breed dinosaurs. The embryos that Dennis Nedry would shut down the park to steal were contained in the main complex on Isla Nublar, or Jurassic Park.

Isla Sauna, or Site B, would surly have been the home to the embryos af this was the “Factory Floor” to quote Hammond from this film. Granted, this can be explained away by simply accepting that Hammond didn’t become head of a multimillion dollar company by saying too much or revealing trade secrets, but it all seems to be somewhat contrived and creates plot holes which were not present in the original film.

The other issue is that this film is much more complex in both its plotting and the subtly of its world. More dinosaurs, dilapidated building and more characters, it was bigger, bolder and messier than the first. This was indeed a true vision of a Lost World with a fully realised dinosaur culture and habit. But it was also less appealing to watch. Jurassic Park was a safe haven where the danger was supposed to be contained, meaning that when the fences came down, the audiences sense of safety came down with them.

But this was a dangerous habitat from day one, a world dominated by dinosaurs living without fences and without human contact. This was a dangerous adventure of choice, rather than one thrust upon our characters as in the first film. But most the story elements made sense, though I was not convinced by certain scenes which stood out as being difficult to swallow, let alone the San Diego finale, which was just a step too far for me.

Overall, Spielberg NEVER makes a hollow film. Whether filled to brim with subtext or detail, he is a very intelligent filmmaker, bringing this intelligence and integrity to his audience, but this is an example of Spielberg failing to recapture the magic of one of his finest achievements. The effects were great, the acting was okay and the scenarios were acceptable, but the film just seems to be difficult to swallow at times and it certainly wasn’t the sequel to Jurassic Park which I’d hoped for.

But the integrity of the film cannot be questioned, just the fact that its elements are held together by safety pins rather than cement. This is an example where the first film had the set the bar so high that nothing short or a miracle could have hoped to have matched it.


JURASSIC PARK ~ 2011 DIGITAL RE-RELEASE

March 4, 2012

1993

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

TOP TEN FILM!

May Contain Spoilers!

This is a template for how make a great action/adventure movie. Clocking in, at for what these days, a film of its type would seem to be a modest 121 mins, it divides itself into two solid halves. The first hour debates the science, the sociology and evolutionary issues of both cloning and of course, dinosaurs, whilst skillfully setting up and yet side tracking the audience into not realising who the real villains of the movie are going to be.

From the opening scene, the Velosaraptors are clearly formidable, but the film feeds on the overwhelming desire from the audience to see the T-Rex to the point of distraction. And it works, allowing a still awe-inspiring and music-less might I add, T-Rex sequence, and then giving the fourth act over the Raptors.

This film uses every minute brilliantly, maintaining a sense of pace throughout whist not bombarding us with pointless action. I do think that this film has lost some of its standing with a general audience these days, but for no other reason than the fact that is now almost 19 years old!

But even at 19, besides holding together as tight screenplay, it still has the power to bring out that sense of wonder. The moment that the group are introduced to the Brachiosaurs for the first time is still powerful today. Just the idea of being shown a living, breathing dinosaur is just amazing and Spielberg has effectively bottled that feeling of wonder.

Last September I took my 7-year-old Stepson,who is already a massive fan of the genre and indeed this film, to see this on the big screen. I had seen this three times back in 1993/1994 and seeing it again at the cinema was simply brilliant. It has defiantly lost NOTHING and I was so pleased to be able to share this with the next generation as it were.

But I was pleased on several other more technical fronts as well. Firstly, there were no alterations as we can easily expect from someone like George Lucas, with Spielberg generally showing more respect for his work, with the exceptions of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind and E.T. (Special Edition) of course There was also the picture quality and the digital transfer. It was clear that the digital transfer presented in theatres would be representative of that for the then upcoming Blu-ray release and it was. There was significant grain but a strikingly sharp and beautiful image, with crystal clear sound.

The grain was great and I was glad to see it intact. This is how the film was made and how we saw films back in 1993 and that we shouldn’t forget or be cleaned up too much. The Blu-ray print is great with the grain in mind and overall they have done a fantastic job of bringing this classic back to the big screen as well as upgrading it to Hi Def.

Well worth rediscovering…


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