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Dino-Mite! - A review of Jurassic Park in 3-D
Summary: 3-D is often overused these days as the latest in big screen gimmicks, but occasionally, a film is not only ideally suited for the process, but also translates well. This is that type of movie.
It’s been 20 years since Jurassic Park was originally released. It created quite the buzz at theaters, too. Directed by Steven Spielberg, the movie brought dinosaurs to life. And just like Alan Grant (Sam Neill), we watched in awe as those dinosaurs paraded across the screen in a jaw-dropping spectacle.
The film was so successful that it knocked the original Star Wars from the top of the highest grossing films list, a spot it had held solidly for 16 years. Jurassic Park would stay there until Titanic toppled it in 1998.
Now, here, in the digital age, the film has been updated for re-release in three dimensions. I cringed when I heard that this was planned. After all, 3-D re-releases are either really great or really bad.
One case in point was the re-release last year of the aforementioned Titanic. While the film itself is still spectacular, the 3-D updating did nothing for the movie. In fact, I actually thought it took away from the quality of the picture. Many scenes felt like we were watching cutouts of the characters interacting with the two dimensional background.
Good 3-D effects give a more layered envisioning, which actually makes it seem like you are there as part of the live production. That wasn’t the case with Titanic, but it certainly shows through in Jurassic Park.
Right from the opening sequences, it’s like we’re right there with the characters, interacting with them and watching the things they’re seeing. It’s a flawless piece of workmanship, just what I would expect from a movie with Spielberg’s name on it.
3-D, though, does nothing to improve this already classic movie experience. The awe is tangible and the fear is palpable. Even though we’ve already seen the movie and know just who will live and who won’t make it through without becoming a dino lunch, we still get a kick out of watching the characters plod their way through the story until its same inevitable conclusion.
And with star power including Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson and Wayne Knight, we still have fun keeping score.
Jurassic Park is still as big as it was before, but now it’s just a hair better. I highly recommend checking it out on the big screen while you can. Dinosaurs were always meant to be larger than life, after all. I give the original film and the 3-D re-release 5 out of 5 stars.