by Katie Gile
“What d’they got in there? King Kong?” Jeff Goldblum’s Ian Malcolm jokingly asks, staring up at the massive parting gate of Jurassic Park.
Fans of Steven Spielberg’s 1993 Oscar-winning thriller know the answer to Malcolm’s question and it’s a fascinating, epic, frightening one that was long overdue in a victory lap across movie screens.
Michael Crichton’s already brilliant screenplay –and the novel he penned on which it was based– is well served by this highly detailed adventure. For those who haven’t seen this Oscar-winning film, Jurassic Park tells the story of an amusement park full of genetically engineered dinosaurs. But what begins as a hopeful and harmless attempt to awe and amuse becomes terrifying when nature takes over.
The film stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough, with Samuel L. Jackson, Bob Peck, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazello and Wayne Knight supporting.
For those who’ve only seen the original in the comfort of home, this is a revelation. In many 3-D remakes, the quality is shabby due to the original footage and the mistakes made by actors, directors and crew are even more evident. However, this formatting does a lot to remind us of Spielberg’s mastery as a director. Every single one of the many picturesque shots is crystal clear and gorgeous. As a fan of 3-D done subtly, I was a very happy camper in the midst of Jurassic Park. Using the 3-D medium to add to the already-immersive environment, we really feel as though we’re in Jurassic Park. It makes every moment of awe truly overwhelming and every moment of terror nearly paralyzing. In fact, you really don’t know how horrifying a T-Rex’s scream can be until you hear it coming from jaws that are fifty times your size.
While the groundbreaking graphics bringing the extinct to life don’t seem to have been redone, they really don’t need to. As Sam Neill’s Alan Grant excitedly puts it, “It’s a dinosaur.” And what held true for movie audiences in 1993 still works for us. The incredible effects did what no one else had done, combining science and history with some Industrial Light & Magic to give dinosaurs a look, power, and sound grounded in reality. Though some (including the film’s two forgettable sequels) have attempted to duplicate this magical formula, there’s only one Jurassic Park.
For those who feel it’s a waste of time to revisit a film they’ve seen many times on cable, think again. As someone who knows most of the film’s lines by heart, I can say that it was almost like watching a completely different film. The scale of this version is so grand and its visual emphasis of moments I hadn’t noticed before were a treat. If you thought Dean Cundey’s sweeping cinematography and John William’s beautiful music were epic before, you’ve haven’t seen anything yet. I would go so far as to say that this is the best 3-D film I’ve seen, re-mastered or original. All the creative elements to make it so wonderful were already in existence, we just had to wait for film technology to catch up.
If you don’t want to pay huge prices, find a less expensive day, but don’t miss the chance to see Jurassic Park on a huge screen. In the words of one viewer whose mouth was agape throughout, “This is a big screen movie.”
As the original tagline announced, “Jurassic Park is an adventure 65 million years in the making.” It was well worth another 20 years to make it a glorious movie-going experience.
Jurassic Park 3D
by Katie Gile