Steven Spielberg’s JURASSIC PARK is one of my all time favorites- a film that never gets old and always satisfies. 3D is a gimmick that I was over as soon as it became the norm for at least one wide release every week. I almost always choose non 3D screenings of movies when I attend them if available and if I have no choice then more often than not I won’t see it at all till a DVD release. The rerelease of JURASSIC PARK both excited and worried me with the post conversion 3D, that it would take something I loved and turn it into a blatant and shameless cash grab. In some ways it may be somewhat of a cash grab since I’m still not sold on the 3D, but I am more than thrilled that I got to see this larger than life adventure on the big screen once again.
Based on the Michael Crichton novel the film is the story of an eccentric millionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough), who has found a way to clone dinosaurs using strands of DNA pulled from mosquitoes buried deep in the Earth. Hammond uses this as a way to create a park where people can feast their eyes on creatures we’ve only seen in books and fossils on display in museums. To ease the tension of investors after the death of a worker he must seek the approval of experts Dr. Grant (Sam Niel), Dr. Sattler (Laura Dern) and Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) to get back on track to open the attraction. After some shady acts of another park employee the tour group and small group of employees are stuck in the park as a storm rolls in, the electrified fences are turned off and the dinosaurs start breaking from their enclosures- which includes the deadly T-Rex and raptors.
As a movie in general I had no worries about the quality of the material diminishing with the rerelease. What I was worried about was the addition of 3D to the festivities making this particular experience more of a headache than an enjoyable afternoon at the theater. I’m finicky about 3D mostly because I am not a fan of contacts, so I have to wear the 3D glasses over the glasses I already wear to see- so the extra pair of spectacles tends to annoy me. To this date I’ve only seen and enjoyed maybe two movies in 3D and both were animated films.
To my surprise the 3D in JURASSIC PARK is not a complete waste. There are some pretty cool moments and depth of field moments that make the experience a little more immersive. The problem is that 3D wears me down and by the end I was a bit tired of the gimmick and the longer the film runs the less I even try to pay attention to the 3D to the point I just feel like I’m watching a dimmer version of a movie I really love.
I was worried how the night scenes would hold up with the darkness of the 3D glasses and for the most part the image remained intact while I had a hard time recognizing the depth of field in the scenes. The standout being the T-Rex attack, but the lack of 3D can be attributed to the fact that this scene just thrills me no end and can’t be bothered with anything but just drinking every ounce of special effects magic and entertainment from it.
A few times the 3D was great at making me feel like I was part of the experience- the stampede scene being one that stands out. For me though once the dinosaurs are loose the 3D took a backseat to my absolute love of the practical and CG effects and how much love JURASSIC PARK as an experience.
The bottom line from my perspective is that anything that brings JURASSIC PARK back to theaters for fans to experience all over again is a winner in my book. I’m also excited to see it back on the big screen to win over a whole new generation of fans that never had a chance to experience it. The special effects hold up as does almost everything else in my opinion. As 3D experiences go- especially the post converted variety- this is an above average example of the medium and it works more often than it doesn’t. If you are like me and keep a DVD/Blu-Ray copy close by should the urge to watch ever strike then you do not want to miss seeing JURASSIC PARK and all its dino glory on the big screen once again.
Written By: Luke (@CrummyLuke on Twitter)