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The Blue & Gray Press | August 19, 2019

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‘Jurassic Park’ Brings Dinosaurs into Hi-Def

‘Jurassic Park’ Brings Dinosaurs into Hi-Def

When the original “Jurassic Park” was released in 1993, I was still young enough to wonder why actors would sign up to be in a movie in which a dinosaur would actually kill them.

Eighteen years, two sequels and a theme park ride later, the franchise is still one of my favorites, so when it came out on Blu-Ray and I had to decide between buying the remastered films or eating, the choice seemed obvious.

In retrospect, I was absolutely right. The “Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy” on Blu-Ray is an absolute must have for connoisseurs of the new HD medium.

It’s hard to believe that a movie nearly two decades old still has some of the best computer-generated imaging in film, but with “Jurassic Park” it’s the honest truth. “Jurassic Park” is the rare film that combines incredible special-effect sequences with an honest-to-goodness story. The original film harkens back to a time when the technology that is so prominent in today’s movies for things that were truly spectacular, rather than creating two hour blitzkriegs of the eyes to audiences to stare at through cheap glasses. I’m looking at you, “Avatar.”

When the Tyrannosaurus Rex in the original film crashes through powerlines, stomps onto the road and lets out its mighty freight train of a bellow, the grandeur is absolutely incomparable to the soulless Technicolor forest planet and the blue cat-people of James Cameron’s blockbuster.

Speaking of roars, the sound in the “Ultimate Trilogy” is impressive. Sound design has always been a large part of the “Jurassic Park” films, from the aforementioned and iconic T-Rex roar, to the creepy snarls and hisses of Velociraptors the audio aspects of the franchise play just as large of a role in the films as the visuals, and these movies have never sounded better.

Additionally, the “Ultimate Trilogy” is filled with bonus features and documentaries. Not only does the box set have all the features from past releases and re-releases of the film, it also debuts a brand-new six-part documentary, “Return to Jurassic Park,” chronicling the films from the writing of the original script to the widely scorned changes made to dinosaur designs during the making of “Jurassic Park 3.”

The documentary includes new interviews with nearly everyone from the cast of the three movies, as well as Stephen Spielberg, that provide an interesting, retrospective look back at the series.

Blu-Ray is an interesting medium, as it doesn’t offer nearly as much as the conversion from VHS to DVD did, and instead relies on consumer’s lust for largely unnecessary bells and whistles.

With that in mind, there are still films that truly shine in high-definition, and “Jurassic Park” and its sequel, “The Lost World,” are undoubtedly two of them. The third one, not so much.

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