Contents

Reviews
How Discs Are Rated
#
A
B
C
D
E
F
G
H
I
J
K
L
M
N
O
P
Q
R
S
T
U
V
W
X
Y
Z

News Archives

DVD Guide

Contest

About DVDlaunch

Meet The Staff

Contact

Jurassic Park: Collector's Edition
(Dolby Digital, Widescreen)

review by Zach B.

 


Click above to purchase "Jurassic Park: Collector's Edition (Widescreen, Dolby Digital)" at amazon.com

 

Rated PG-13

Studio: Universal

Running Time: 127 minutes

Starring: Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson

Based on the novel by Michael Crichton
Adapted by Michael Crichton and David Koepp

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Retail Price: $26.99

Features: "The Making Of Jurassic Park" Docmumentary, "Phil Tippet Animatics: Raptors In The Kitchen" Featurette, Location Scouting Featurette, Preproduction Meetings, "Foley Artisits" Featurette, Soryboard Gallery, Still Gallery, Production Photos, Concept Art, Production Notes, Dinosaur Encyclopedia, Theatrical Trailers DVD-ROM: Hotlink to the set of Jurassic Park III, Complete Jurassic Park website

Specs: 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen, 5.1 Dolby Digital English, French 2.0 Surround English Subtitles, Spanish Subtitles, Chapter Search (20 Chapters)

Also avaiable in a two pack containing Jurassic Park and The Lost World, plus a special Collector's Set

As far back as anyone can recall, many really popular movies never went to the DVD format. Everyone annoyed the hell out of each other, asking when certain movies were going to be on DVD. ID4, Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Men In Black, etc. It all goes on. While most of these titles have now graced the format, there was a time when a lot of studios and filmmakers relented, including the most famous and richest director ever, Steven Spielberg. He was a bit wary about the DVD format, and wanted to wait to see where DVD went with people. Now that it's become incredibly mainstream, Spielberg has started to roll out some of his biggest hits (and bombs). Saving Private Ryan, Jaws, 1941, it goes on. Yet one of his biggest hits (and sequel) were really anticipated, and yes, I am of course talking about Jurassic Park and The Lost World.

It's been a long wait, and it seems like a movie like "Jurassic Park" was made for DVD. The glory of anamorphic widescreen, 5.1 audio, it all seemed it was too good to be true once it was announced. It was the biggest hit of the summer of 1993 (with a ton of hype behind it), and went on to gross 365 million dollars domestically, easily making it one of the top grossing movies of all time.

For those unfamiliar with the film, the plot, based on the best selling book, is simple. Dinosaurs live once more thanks to DNA and technology, and are going to be featured in a theme park. A few test visitors go in to check it all out to make sure it's okay after a little accident, but things go terribly wrong, and instead of a little visit, it becomes a death trap as the visitors must make it out alive.

"Jurassic Park" is a very good movie. It's pure popcorn entertainment, and really delivers. The film is well written with good development in the story and characters, and has some really tense and now famous movie moments it only seems Spielberg could stage and bring to life. The effects are mindblowing, simply. It also does get you thinking a little about cloning and such. This movie, since its release, has become a fan favorite and will be a beloved thriller/action-adventure for years to come.

Finally, after all this time, Jurassic Park has invaded DVD. And how good is it? Let us see...

Presented in 1.85:1 Anamorphic Widescreen (and in a seperate Full Frame Version), the results are stupendous. Yes, the film is seven years old and shows a little wear complete with some blemishes, and there is some slight artifacting, but other than that, the picture is fine. Colors are well saturated and blacks are very deep, however, there was some slight and noticable edge enhancment. Overall, a well suited picture for a very nice film.

5.1 Dolby Digital... it doesn't get any sweeter than this. Sound has also been important for a film like Jurassic Park, and you'll find no disappointments here whatsoever. The T-Rex roaring and chasing our heroes, the whole water shaking, the Raptors screeching and John Williams's beautiful score are all brought to full life. It's loud, booming and really well mixed. Dialogue is clear and easy to understand, while all the channels and .1 LFE are used wonderfully. Bass extension is excellent, and you really feel like you're trapped in Jurassic Park. I'm glad I wasn't disappointed here... and I really feel this is the best part of the whole package. Well done, Universal. A French 2.0 Surround is included, and so are English and Spanish subtitles. The subtitles are inputed creatively at where the characters are posistioned and whatnot, and I found that it could get annoying and distract from viewing.

Ah, supplements. Labeled a "Collector's Edition" by Universal, you'll actually learn more of the creative process through storyboards and a series of video extras. While it's no Spielberg commentary, there are some well put together extras for the film. However, it's nothing revolutionary as one would hope for.

The Making Of Jurassic Park Documentary is one of the highlights of the disc. While it's nothing new (I remember it airing on NBC when they showed the film), it lasts about an hour and offers some pretty good and in-depth stuff on what it took to make the film. A very nice watch if you have never seen it...

The Phil Tippet Animatics featurette is pretty interesting, as it is a good comparison of early Dinosaur tests using claymation, and it is interesting to see what they first did and how it came out in the end. The Location Scouting Featurette is short, and gives us a look at some filming locations. The Foley Artists is also a good watch, as we learn how sounds were created for parts of the movie after it was filmed. I always loved the Foley process, and these guys are really creative so again, it's a good watch.

Though it's not a commentary, what I found the most intriguing part of this disc was some Eary Pre-Production Meetings as we watch Mr. Spielberg on some poor videotape block scenes and his vision. Some of the staff and crew members are there too, so be sure to watch this too. I ended up loving it, and found it to be neat.

Some Storyboards and a Still Gallery are included, and if you are into this kind of thing, I'm pretty sure you'll like how scenes were planned out originally and the stills from on location and whatnot. My gripe is though that Universal assumes everyone can work a DVD player, and didn't include instructions on turning back and forth between screens. There's also a fantastic Dinosaur Encyclopedia, which gives some great info and pictures about Dinosaurs and the eras they lived in, so it's a good brush up on their history and certain dinosaurs (and to help the kiddies study in school!).

Rounding out the disc are some nice, very detailed and well put together Production Notes, as well as Cast and Crew Bios. There are also Three Trailers. One is for Jurassic Park and appears a bit grainy (and there were two trailers for Jurassic Park, and the disc only has one. This is the semi-teaser), the other for The Lost World which looks nice and the other a horrible, incredibly stupid for the upcoming, Joe Johnston directed Jurassic Park III. It appears to be video like, and is good for a laugh.

Some DVD-ROM features have been included, such as Weblinks, a Newsletter, website and a few more goodies...

One last note, the Menus are exact opposites with The Lost World. While this has an footprint, the other film has pavement pushed up and things are located on opposite sides mostly. Just to let you know.

Finally, one of the most anticipated discs ever and one of the most popular movies ever arrive. The picture and sound are sure to please, while I felt the supplements could have been a bit better and not as standard or at least add something new to the mix, this is one hell of a good DVD. It was worth the wait, so enjoy!

(4/5, NOT included in final score)

(4/5)

(4.5/5)

(3/5)

(3.5/5, NOT an average)

DVDlaunch.com, reviews and everything on this site © 2000
All rights reserved.
Nothing may be reprinted without permission.