Directed by Steven Spielberg and Joe Johnston (Jurassic Park III
Distributed by Universal
The year was 1993. I was sitting in a jam-packed movie theatre on my birthday with a ton of friends staring wide-eyed in wonder at what was on the giant screen in front of me. Dinosaurs, man! They never looked so real! They never came to life like this. The original Jurassic Park was a benchmark moment in this reviewer’s life. Fast forward a few decades, and there I was on the couch staring wide-eyed in wonder at what was on the giant screen in front of me. Dinosaurs, man! They never looked so real! They never came to life like this! Oh, Blu-ray! How I love you!
From 1993 to 2001 audiences were treated to three different Jurassic Park movies. The first, directed Steven Spielberg, is arguably the best of the bunch. The second film, entitled Jurassic Park: The Lost World, was also directed by Spielberg and, despite being riddled with ridiculous plotlines and a ludicrous ending, at least remained fun. By the time we got to Part 3, Spielberg had stepped out of the director’s chair, making room for Joe Johnston. While not what you would call a classic, Jurassic Park III is a rock solid monster movie that, truth be told, is better than The Lost World for my money.
To rehash and review these movies is pointless as they are well known classics, and if you’re reading this review, chances are really good that you’re a movie geek in love with them already so let’s cut to the chase and talk strictly about the Blu-ray.
You’ll be happy to know that all three films are presented here in their original 1.85:1 aspect ratio in 1080p encoded via the VC-1 codec, which is not exactly a favorite amongst tech-heads. However, all three films look for the most part stunning and brimming with detail. Every scale on every creature pops as do the film’s lush environments. Skin tones are solid, and blacks are deliciously deep. There’s definitely been some DNR usage applied here, but rest assured it’s been used in a fair-handed manner and takes nothing away from the experience. No matter how you slice it, though, these films have never looked better, and this is a massive step up from the DVD editions!
The soundmixes are where this package truly shines. Each flick has been given lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 mixes, and the results are nothing short of amazing. The soundscapes created here are the stuff of magic. From the jungle areas to the sounds of the creatures to the low end thumping bass-filled footfalls, your system will be getting quite the workout here, and all this comes without any drop in dialogue quality, which is crystal clear and pronounced throughout. Grade A stuff.
All of the special edition DVD extras have made the jump to Blu-ray; yet, they remain in standard definition. This was of course expected so in the end it’s better to have them than not. Let’s focus on the new stuff.
Return to Jurassic Park is a six-part documentary which features all-new interviews with many of the cast members from all three films, the filmmakers, and of course Steven Spielberg. Disc One is home to three of the parts, which combined clock in at around an hour. Disc Two is home to two more parts that come in around the forty-five-minute mark. Finally Disc Three completes the new behind-the-scenes look at the saga as well as the Universal theme park ride. That’s an extra half hour of new goodness right there. Combined, Return to Jurassic Park runs well over two hours, is presented in HD, and is a whole lot of extra bang for your buck.
Whether you’re a monster fan, a film collector, a tech head, or someone just looking for a really good time, the Jurassic Park Trilogy is a must have. It belongs in any library. If you have the tech, double dip freely! The water is perfect! If you are still a staunch DVD supporter, believe us when we tell you this is one hell of a reason to upgrade!
4 out of 5
5 out of 5