Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Michael Crichton and David Koepp
Cast: San Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight
And technically it’s IMAX 3D, so… yeah.
Anyways, it was awesome. There, I’m done.
Really though. Upon its release, Spielberg’s Jurassic Park hit an intangible, lightning-in-a-bottle nerve that Hollywood hadn’t felt since Star Wars, and Jaws before that. It shattered box office records and imbued itself almost immediately into the public consciousness, with people dedicating entire days to sitting in a theater from the first screening to the very last. I’d imagine that most of the reviews for Jurassic Park 3D have been heavily influenced by the nostalgic memories of seeing the original film 20 years ago, and that’s totally okay – the film has been re-released and marketed specifically for audiences to re-experience the magic that captured and inspired them in 1993, and boy, does this 3D conversion knock it out of the park.
Nordling (the man responsible for the aforementioned day-long Jurassic Park marathon) over at Ain’t It Cool News wrote a great review of the film that I think hits the nail on the head; Spielberg is a filmmaker who makes it look easy to capture that elusive sense of pure, child-like awe within the four corners of the silver screen. He’s done this so many distinctive times that he has become a true dream-weaver and expert artist. Even here, with what is arguably his most exploitive and accessible turn, Spielberg’s directorial hand elevates every single aspect of the film.
The acting, the characters. The cinematography. The pacing. And my god, the score. All the facets, espcecially John Williams’s classic musical accompaniment, inject the film with a base layer of majestic awe, punctuated by fully fleshed-out moments of sheer terror. The T-Rex sequence is glorious to behold, and its dark lighting – and now that I think of it, every scene’s visual layout – is no problem for the 3D conversion.
The effects are gorgeous as ever, and I marvel at how timeless they look; literally, the perfect dinosaur effects have been created – and they were created 20 years ago with this film. Every creature, especially the T-Rex, has weight and presence to it. This is due largely to magnificent CGI and largely to its tasteful use; Jurassic Park is a shining example of how to craft true movie magic through its use of CGI in tandem with impeccable model-work.
3D sucks as a gimmick, I know. But on the rare occasion when it actually works to heighten the feeling of a film, whatever feeling that may be (terror, scale, awe), it’s an irreplacable addition. Here in this film is what I believe to be the best post-3D conversion, while heightening every scene (some more than others) to a visceral level Spielberg was definitely shooting for. And now he got it.
Even if you’re not the biggest fan of the third dimension, check out Jurassic Park 3D. By no means should it convert you to drinking the $2 add-on Kool-Aid, but simply seeing it again on the big screen goes to show the raw power of what truly great cinema can do. I’m proud to be a cinephile; big-screen theatrical experiences are my meditation, and Jurassic Park 3D is one of the greatest, most bombastic theatrical experiences of all time. Go see it.