Review: Jurassic Park goes Blu-ray

Jurassic Park is a classic film franchise based on the novel by Michael Crichton.

In its time, the book and the movie were both very popular, with the novel hitting #1 on the New York Times best-sellers list, and the film becoming one of the highest grossing pieces of cinema of all times.

The monster film was revolutionary because it relayed strong social messages, while depicting clear, relatable, and dynamic characters.

Steven Speilberg’s directing pulls everything together into an experience that’s truly entertaining even all these years later. 

The films still look great. In writing a couple months ago about the possibility of a new Jurrassic Park movie, I commented that the effects for these movies, which began in the early nineties, might be too aged to still be appreciated.

Watching it on Blu-ray, I’m willing to admit that I was wrong, as the effects have aged extraordinarily well.

Sure, there are a few points in the films where the strings show, but for the most part, I can’t imagine any modern film with much better effects. Remastered for this collection, the films are vibrant, sharp and full of surprising dinosaur realism.

Looking at them objectively, with the lens of distant time, Lost World is the weakest of the three films. It has its high points, but the characters are not as engaging, and the absence of Sam Niel, who really make the other two films pop.

The Blu-ray special features include hours of featurettes and behind the scenes footage, including a new documentary-style film, Return to Jurassic Park, which is broken into 5 episodes across the three discs.

As good as the films still are, this might be the most interesting part of the new Blu-ray set. The feature goes into a lot of behind-the-scenes type stuff, but it also provides a lot of interviews with the stars of the films, now that the movies have long-since become classic. The actors give their perspective on the films looking back to what is near the begining of most of their careers. It’s particularly interesting to see and hear the children talk about their experiences on the sets.

Also interesting was learning how much Jeff Goldblum had to do with decisions on set, as the interviewees, including Golblum himself, describe it, he was cast to play a nerdy, lecherous, creeper, who would fill a role similar to the lawyer character. When he showed up on set the first day, he was buff and stylish, and this caused Spielberg to make changes to the character on the fly, including some scene changes as per Goldblum’s suggestion.

The extra features give a new perspective on the films, and helps the audience understand the history and a lot of the driving forces behind the productions. It’s quite clear that a lot of the quality – especially in the first film – originated from the passion and desire of all of the artists involved.

Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy on Blu-ray – plus digital copy – is now available from Universal Pictures.