Monday, April 15, 2013

Jurassic Park 3D

Movie Review : Jurassic Park
Director : Steven Spielberg
Genre : SciFi / Adventure
Starring : Sam Neill, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Laura Dern
Released : Original released in 1993, 3D version released in 2013
My Rating : 8 out of 10

Jurassic Park is a milestone in the history of cinema. Most would remember it for the unbelievable special effects and rightly so. It took us into a fantasy-land that seemed completely real. There was nothing like it before.

Many would remember it for the action scenes. Alan and Alexis avoiding the falling jeep by grabbing another cable on the cliff, or Alan and Tim being chased by the same falling jeep in a tree.

Of course, most would also remember the smarter scenes. T-Rex appearing in the side view mirror, or the falling banner “When Dinosaurs Ruled The Earth” at the end of the fight between the T-Rex and velociraptors. 

In addition to all that, I remember it for two more things. First, I think this movie wrote the textbook on how to make even the quieter scenes unforgettable. Let’s start the list with the helicopter landing in front of a majestic waterfall. And who doesn’t remember the ripples in the glass of water ? Such a build up of tension befits the sheer awesomeness of the T-Rex scenes that follow. Even the scene where the gates to the park open at the beginning of the ride, sent a chill down my spine because of that creepy font and the signature music. That’s the second thing I remember the movie for. The music. Another feather in the crowded cap of the legendary John Williams.

Enough adulations. It’s an endless list, and everyone already knows it. The real question is, how is the 3D version, and is it worth spending the money ? My answer is a resounding yes.

I must add a disclaimer. I am not a big fan of 3D movies. I find most of the special effects cheesy, and sometimes the experience is a bit disorienting to me. I also have a very unfavorable view of re-releasing older movies with some touch up, just to squeeze more money out of a dead franchise.

I think the Jurassic Park experience is certainly enhanced with the 3D technology. It’s not perfect, I noticed some artifacts in some scenes, and some blurriness at the edges in some scenes. That’s a minor complaint. Most scenes felt even more real. The darker scenes do not lose details, in fact I think the details were crisper in most scenes.

It’s amazing how fresh and contemporary the movie still feels. Technology has drastically changed in 20 years. But this is Spielberg, so the movie may rely on technology, but excels at technique - which never feels jaded.

I was delighted when the audience burst into spontaneous applause at the end of the movie. The element of surprise was never there, as most had watched the movie. It’s a proof that  the awesomeness is still intact. I was even more pleasantly surprised when there was another round of clapping as the titles rolled and John Williams name came up. It felt wonderful. So this time, instead of the movie trailer, I am embedding a clip of his performance of the theme song from Jurassic Park. Listen to it and get the same goose bumps, without any visual aid.

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