Film review: With new 3-D ‘Jurassic Park,’ things are definitely closer than they appear

Film review: With new 3-D ‘Jurassic Park,’ things are definitely closer than they appear
From left to right: Donald Gennaro (Martin Gennaro), John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough), Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) in Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park,” which has been reissued in 3-D. Photo courtesy of Universal City Studios, Inc. & Amblin Entertainment, Inc.

Life finds a way the second time around in the 3-D re-release of “Jurassic Park,” and one thing’s for certain: this jaw-dropping, edge-of-your-seat blockbuster is an experience that cannot be missed for the sake of nostalgia and…well, the magic behind those dinosaurs. 

In 1993, “Jurassic Park” revolutionized the use of computer-generated imagery, wowing audiences throughout the world with its ability to instill a sense of wonder and terror through its photorealistic dinosaurs. Twenty years later, the classic blockbuster continues to be regarded as a noteworthy influence in terms of special effects and old school thrills. What better way to remind moviegoers of its impact than to re-release it in 3-D? And, as it turns out, the enhanced illusion of depth perception takes what is already an exciting thrill ride and raises it to a whole new level.

The story remains the same, billionaire philanthropist John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) invites paleontologist Alan Grant (Sam Neill), paleobotanist Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern), mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), and his grandchildren Lex and Tim Murphy (Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello, repectively) to tour his amusement park of cloned dinosaurs.

When a disgruntled computer architect (Wayne Knight) shuts down the security systems to steal dino-embryos, all hell breaks loose. What started as entertainment transforms into a fight for survival.

Thanks to the efforts of effects gurus Stan Winston, Phil Tippett, Michael Lantieri, Dennis Muren, Steve Williams and Mark Dippe, we are treated to a seamless mixture of animatronics, puppets and computer graphics that is used to bring the prehistoric creatures to life.

Such a well-balanced combination makes the dinosaurs’ interactions with the cast all the more believable. In fact, I daresay there is not a single moment where you think what you see on the big screen isn’t real.

In terms of pacing, “Jurassic Park” moves fast but maintains a healthy level of comprehensibility.

All credit goes to director Steven Spielberg, who knows when to speed up and slow down the pacing at the right moments so that the plot and characters can develop.

Even in this day and age, the character arcs never fail to hold our attention.

Suspense and marvel, the two most significant intangible elements, emerge in an organic fashion to ensure our hearts are pounding with genuine excitement as each dinosaur makes its move.

We cannot bring ourselves to look away when our gazes are transfixed by the sight of a brachiosaurus feeding from the trees or a sick triceratops lying in the field. And of course, we become consumed by the sheer power when the tyrannosaurus and velociraptors enter the picture to terrify the visitors and park management.

I must say the 3-D conversion lives up to the film’s “objects in mirror are closer than they appear” in-joke. The format imbues memorable scenes — the tyrannosaurus breakout and chase, gallimimus stampede, the raptors’ kitchen inspection and others —with a greater degree of visual blossoming. Believe me when I say this: experiencing this sci-fi adventure in 3D will not disappoint.

Those who have seen “Jurassic Park” in theaters back in 1993 and viewed it multiple times at home will get their money’s worth of pleasant memories.

Perhaps through them, we can expect a new wave of fans to emerge in the process. Besides, whoever enjoys dinosaurs can’t afford to pass up the chance to introduce a stranger to this moviemaking landmark.

Even after two decades, “Jurassic Park” is still the same legendary crowd-pleasing blockbuster we remember and cherish.

Take a journey back to the iconic sci-fi adventure 65 million years in the making, only much closer than ever before.

And when either the tyrannosaurus or velociraptors step into view, prepare to be amazed.

MPAA rating: PG-13 for intense science fiction terror.
Running time: 2 hours 7 minutes
Playing: General release

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