April 10, 2013
Jurassic Park 3D Review - A fossil record
A modern review for Jurassic Park seemed largely unnecessary to me all the way up until John Williams' phenomenal main theme song hit its iconic notes. In a booming pseudo-IMAX theater, 3D glasses over my eyes, the spectacle I felt when I was only 9 years old came rushing back.
Jurassic Park 3D is a popcorn masterpiece and a shining example of a timeless theater-going experience. To say JP holds up after 20 years is a fact most people already know, but the 3D is SO GOOD that I was transported back to my first experience with the film. I got to see Jurassic Park for the first time again, and it was enough to send a chill up my spine, provide goosebumps, and if I'm being totally honest, a tear or two of joy.
That's all a bit hyperbolic, but really, the 3D is the best I've seen in theaters since Avatar. I don't know how they did it. Is Spielberg's crisp, adventurous camerawork made for 3D, or is this simply a stunning technical achievement? I'm guessing a combination of both. The effect makes for a film that pops with depth from beginning to end, revealing aspects of some of the grander shots I never even noticed before.
Many modern films released in 3D from the start seem flat, fuzzy, or worse. The high definition simply reveals how horribly cheap their special effects are. That's why I swear someone must have touched up the effects in JP3D, even just a little. It still manages to put even Spielberg's own modern creature feature Super 8 to shame. The extra fidelity and superb 3D only serve to make the dinosaurs look better and more realistic.
There are some things that don't exactly hold up, but I prefer that they were left as they were rather than being mucked with. John Williams has a knack for amazing theme songs, but when it comes to basic thriller music I find his stringy, hyperactive noise completely infuriating. Also that severed hand makes no sense. Nit-picky perhaps, but when's the next time I'll get to criticize Jurassic Park in a review?
The bottom line is that if you have any love for Jurassic Park you should make an effort to see it in theaters before it's gone. If you've never seen Jurassic Park then there is no better way to watch it. It's just too bad that our modern theater release cycle means this is only a limited engagement. The original release was in theaters for over a year, and deservedly so, there are few films so perfectly designed for the movie theater.
And now, a painting of Jeff Goldblum...