Jurassic Park: Ultimate Trilogy – Blu-ray Review
Those dino teeth are now even sharper
Release date: 24 October 2011
1993-2001 | PG | 348 minutes | £49.99
Distributor: Universal Pictures
Directors: Steven Spielberg, Joe Johnston
Cast: Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough
You know what’s really dated about the original Jurassic Park? The computer graphics. No, we don’t mean the CG dinosaurs; we mean the blocky wireframes and cheesy fractals that pop up on various computer screens.
If it weren’t for them, Jurassic Park would look like it could have been made yesterday. Even under the scrutiny of Blu-ray clarity, the dinosaurs – both CG and animatronic – look as impressive today as they did back in 1993. Oh sure, connoisseurs will probably notice the limitations of 20th century effects, but you really would have to be a CG snob to complain. Most people will still find it hard to spot the joins. That says as much about Spielberg’s skilful direction, editing and wisdom in not pushing things too far too soon as it does about the technical achievements.
The first film is a five-star masterpiece, but not just for the effects. It’s a note-perfect disaster movie boasting some of Spielberg’s greatest action and tension sequences, most of which have been copied since (especially the iconic use of rippling water to signify that something wicked this way comes).
The two sequels, however, are fairly average. To be fair, III doesn’t aim to be anything more than average (“let’s do it all again with different monsters!”) but The Lost World’s failures are more disappointing because it clearly had fresh ideas – the big game hunters, the evil corporation, a T-Rex on the loose in a city – but never finds a plot meaty enough to combine them. The result is formless, too reliant on overlong action setpieces and hampered by an utterly superfluous irritating child.
Lots and lots and lots of documentaries and archive material. The centrepiece is a new six-part documentary, packed with original interviews and fresh information. After a while, though, you realise that there’s an awful lot of repeated material and anecdotes and you begin to wish there was something more surprising or esoteric on offer. The end result is certainly a comprehensive study of all aspects of all three films, but feels disappointingly predictable for a Blu-ray release.
Jurassic Park was just one of the great leaps forward in CGI visual effects. Hey, why not read about all the rest?