Movies / Reviews

MOVIE REVIEW: Jurassic Park 3D ‘Spares No Expense’

Outlaw JP3D Poster (Large)
“Welcome to Muvico theaters!”


“Like a leaf… on the amusement park ride from hell.”


As with Serenity pilot Hoban ‘Wash’ Washburne, I too am an adult with an unhealthy obsession of playing with plastic dinosaurs. The only difference being, Wash is a fictional character played by actor (Alan Tudyk), who tinkered with some plastic toys for a total screen time of roughly three minutes total, where as I am an actual grown man that just spent the better part of the afternoon playing with my Dinobot collection.


You thought I was kidding, didn't you.  "Me Outlaw LOVE dinosaurs!"
You thought I was kidding, didn’t you. “Me Outlaw LOVE dinosaurs!”


Thankfully, director Steven Spielberg had a similar childlike obsession with the subject matter as well. I say this on good IMDB authority, as the larger-than-life lizards have made their presence known throughout his past works such as: The Land Before Time, We’re Back: A Dinosaur’s Story, the Jurassic Park trilogy and the recently canceled FOX TV series, Terra Nova.  He also admitted as much in a segment that Entertainment Weekly recently published in conjunction with the film’s 3D re-release.


There should be no disagreement that the first Jurassic Park was the best of that group, if not one of the crowning achievements of his career.  Before JP hit the scene, the extinct monsters with the IQ of the Kardashians, had never received the special effects to do them justice, granted the technology was a limiting factor up to that point.


NEVER BEFORE RELEASED: Spielberg’s first attempt at Jurassic Park prior to the later introduced CGI tech.(It was actually scarier.)


Michael Crichton, who happens to be one of my favorite authors, wrote the book Jurassic Park; from which the film was based. Released in 1993, the dino-thriller took in a whopping $800 million greenbacks and won three Oscars for technical achievements, and deservedly so. For better (i.e. Gladiator) or for worse (i.e. The Mummy Returns) the computer-generated beasts signaled the dawning of the CGI era as we know it.   The enormous prosthetic lizard puppets used for certain shots were also cutting edge for the time and arguably some of creature creator Stan Winston’s most academically accurate accomplishments.


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“Good rexy rex rex… maybe I’ve gotta milk bone?”


The story of Jurassic Park is a pretty straight forward affair, because when push comes to shove, this movie wasn’t made for the critics whom put character development over giant dinosaurs that make human beings their midnight snack. For the sake of keeping plot summary at a minimum, the overall gist of Jurassic Park can best be explained by paraphrasing a quote from the movie:


Rich man makes lots of money.
Money is given to scientists.
Scientists create real dinosaurs for Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park is filled with real dinosaurs.
Dinosaurs demolish Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park demolishes box office records.


eye spy
“I spy with my enormous eye, something that tastes like chicken.”


Since you would have had to of been living during the time of the dinosaurs to have not seen, or at the bare minimum, heard of Jurassic Park, I will be skipping over all the usual critiques and get straight into the question you are chomping at the bit to ask:  How is the 3D?


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“Hold onto your butts.”


In a word, excellent. However, ‘excellent’ must be put into proper perspective. One must remember that Jurassic Park is now a 20-year-old film that was originally shot with more traditional movie reel cameras versus today’s HD 3D high-speed digital variety that are valued higher than some small counties. To the trained eye, there is some graininess you wouldn’t see in blockbusters released today, but you quickly forget all of that when dinosaurs start wreaking havoc in three dimensions.  Outlaw movie Amiga and friend in desperate need of an accurate watch, Erika ‘The Destructor’, attended the screening with me and agreed with me on every point, but who doesn’t, right?


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The longer I leave them there, the more I seem to be enjoying it.


As mentioned, Jurassic Park was filmed prior to the advent of hi-definition 3D camera technology, but Spielberg has stated he shot the film with ‘3D in his mind’.  An ever forward-thinking movie genius, you can see his future predictions come true as several scenes involving the pesky meat-eaters have an extra wallop, due mostly in part to the extra dimension.  The other factor had much to do with not having seen the movie in forever and a half.  Add in the IMAX sized screen with my male-based memory capabilities (which is roughly equal to that of a common house fly), and it was like I was seeing everything again for the first time.


Objects closer
“My what large and pointy teeth you have grandma…”


As a whole, the 3D in Jurassic Park isn’t going to compete with the best of today’s made for 3D standard bearers like Avatar or Transformers. Nonetheless, thanks to the 700 plus artists who dedicated over nine months of work to the conversion project, it’s also nowhere near the worst efforts shoveled out by an industry looking for any way to increase ticket prices to a point that a trip to the movies requires your FICA score to be above 700.


To quote a visionary old man, Universal “spared no expense”, and neither should you.


That is because without a doubt, Jurassic Park was made for the multiplex. The immensity of the dinosaurs created for this adventure can only truly be appreciated on a screen closer to their gargantuan size than our own.  In combination with one of John Williams most powerful and memorable orchestral scores – right up there with Star Wars and Indiana JonesJurassic Park still remains one of the most entertaining and magical movies of our time.


Watching lifelike dinosaurs unabashedly stomp around on the IMAX screen sent tingles down my spine like I was 5-years-old and witnessing the lizards I had always obsessed about become reality.  That reason alone is why I wholeheartedly recommend you see Jurassic Park 3D on the big screen as soon as possible… before it goes extinct.


6 Spurs

For those that can’t make it to (or afford) the 3D IMAX experience, you can buy the Blu-Ray now!




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