Whatever your stance on 3D, you owe it to yourself to revisit Jurassic Park on the big screen – it is spectacular.
All arguments for and against 3D conversions do not matter once you find yourself back on that island. The moment that the T-Rex roars and blisters your eardrums, when you see the brachiosaurus for the first time, and whenever John Williams’ tremendous score starts up – you know that what you’re watching is pure cinema.
Having said that, the 3D conversion here is incredibly well done, in fact it’s the best conversion that I’ve seen. Despite the film not having been shot with 3D in mind, it is an excellent example of when and how to use the technology; the depth of some of the shots is impressive but not distracting, it doesn’t feel gimmicky or purely like the cash-in that it undoubtedly is, and it really does make the film that little bit more immersive and involving. Plus, you really haven’t seen Jurassic Park’s dinosaurs at their best until you’ve seen them spread across an IMAX screen, in 3D, and with a sound system that will knock you back into your seat.
Amongst the cast Jeff Goldblum is undoubtedly the highlight as he steals every scene that he is in. He delivers the film’s comic relief with expert control, whilst also managing to remain an engaging character. Sam Neill and Laura Dern give acceptable performances, with Dern discreetly being responsible for a lot of the film’s heart. And Richard Attenborough does a good job presenting us with the alternatively sympathetic and troubling figure who builds the park in the first place. The cast, whilst undoubtedly overshadowed somewhat by their prehistoric costars, all feel relevant and important to the film, and are actually given enough time to make an impression before the mayhem begins. We actually care about the characters here, as the movie takes its time to build up to the inevitable carnage that we all know is coming. I have to wonder whether the film would be allowed to be plotted in such a way as this were it released today – I somehow suspect not, and that’s a real shame.
Ultimately Jurassic Park is what cinema is all about; it’s a film that draws you in with an incredible world, likeable characters, and which has a mixture of wonder, thrills and emotion so as to make it perfect for the big screen. There are few blockbusters which can truly stand the test of time, let alone be actually improved my modern day technology, but make no mistake Jurassic Park is certainly one of them. This is a movie that only fully comes to life when it’s on the big screen, and when you see it like that, it’s incredible.
What is the film’s greatest strength?
The fact that the mixture of CGI, animatronics, and men in suits still holds up today, twenty years after the film was made. There’s only one moment when you really question them, and the fact is that a lot of the time they look far more realistic than the CGI creations that we are presented with today.
Its greatest weakness?
That Samuel L. Jackson is never given the chance to scream at someone – he’s at his best when he’s angry.
Would I see it again?
Are you kidding?? I would make seeing Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D an annual treat if I could. It was one of my all time favourite cinematic experiences.
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