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Jurassic Park - Collector's Edition

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment . R4 . COLOR . 122 mins . PG . PAL

  Feature
Contract

If you haven't seen Jurassic Park yet, then you're only excuse is that you've been extinct for the last ten years and have only recently been unearthed from a recent archaeological dig. Jurassic Park is a moment in time when movie making took many giant leaps forward and gave cinemagoers something they've never seen before. Let's recap on this little tale before delving into the newly released DVD.

Dr Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern) are digging the remains of a dinosaur when they are interrupted by billionaire John Hammond (Richard Attenborough). Hammond has a park that he is about to open and has invited Grant and Sattler, along with Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), to seek their approval on his latest venture. That venture being an Island of dinosaurs called Jurassic Park.

A rival company has approached the parks resident computer programmer, Dennis Nidrie (Wayne Knight), to steal the embryos of the main species. To do this, Nidrie has to override his own security programming both to give him access to the restricted areas of the lab and to hide his tracks. As is always the case, something goes wrong and the security system of the park doesn't come back on-line with the main cast still taking the park tour.

It's a roller coaster ride from then on.

  Video
Contract

One thing dvd has done to the home cinema experience is spoil us. Watching DVDs is a favorite passion of mine and getting used to the pristine video and clear audio make appreciating the format play second fiddle to the movie itself. It's only when you go back and take a glimpse at the VHS copy and subsequent laser-disc edition do you really see that this new dvd version is streets ahead. This is an excellent looking disc and the best version you?re ever going to see of Jurassic Park for a long time.

The image is almost 3D like in nature with a high contrast ratio that helps distinguish between shadow and highlights and foreground and background objects. The colour scheme is very rich and vibrant with bright greens and yellows, hot reds, warm skin tones and cool blues. The nature of DVD provides no bleeding whatsoever when you would normally experience this on anything but this digital format. The night scenes provide a clear discerning of objects that would normally be lost amongst the noise of lesser video formats. Scenes are rendered accurately with definition still visible in an otherwise lacking environment.

One thing I also noticed is that the print is very clean. It?s hard to describe something that looks artificial but in actual fact is just one very pristine image.

  Audio
Contract

Oh my, I've just reviewed the DVD that will be the most demonstrated disc in all home theatre stores around the nation. The original theatrical release provided us with a soundtrack that was talked about for ages with Steven Spielberg releasing Jurassic Park as the first film to feature the new dts digital sound format. Since then, many movies have come and gone but Jurassic still has that sense of originality that no other movie has come close to capturing.

From the first moment we see the Brachiosaurus on the screen, there is a deep thud that gives you a hint of what is to come. Can you feel those goose bumps already? Spielberg and his production team sure do know how to capture the attention of their audience with the use of an engrossing soundtrack.

As I mentioned above, this is going to be one big demo disc. Chapter eleven in particular will be the most played demo sequence in dvd history. The T-Rex attack will bring the most out of any home cinema and make that small fortune you spent worth every single penny. Beware of the upgrade bug that will probably afflict many of you at some point after purchasing this disc.

This chapter demonstrates exactly why a 5.1 setup is a must to truly enjoy the envelopment of a scene and thus the movie for that matter. Here we have rainfall surrounding you in the rears, a roaring T-rex, screaming humans, crunching car shells, twanging high tension wires across the front and sides and best of all, deep, low, thumping bass from your subwoofer. Is there anything more you could ask for?

To cap it all off, John Williams has produced another of his legendary accompanying soundtracks that provides an excellent companion for what is a wonderfully visual and aural experience.

  Extras
Contract

Let's start off with a way cool animated menu introduction. For a minute there I thought I was going straight into the movie but am soon transported into the park foyer with a raptor on the loose. A nice theme based touch here.

  • The Early Pre-production meeting section is just some short, home video, clips of Spielberg and crew discussing ways to tackle the dinosaur characteristics.
  • Storyboards, Production photographs, design sketches and conceptual drawings.
  • An early Phil tippet animation - raptors in the kitchen - is included that show his experimentation in go-motion footage. This is amazing stuff for the go-motion arena but is no match for the CGI used in the movie.
  • A funny segment is the location shooting where Spielberg and some crew are out scouting for locations for the picture. The funny part is when they come across a herd of cows in the same field as the Gallimimus chase scene.
  • One of the foley artists shows us how the sound effects are created, in particular the egg-hatching scene.
  • There are trailers for the original and the sequel, with the quality of the original trailer looking pretty ordinary as if someone filmed a cinema screen with a hand held camera. There is also a third teaser trailer for the 3rd instalment of the series that is nothing more than some thunder and lightning and then a logo.
  • dinosaur encyclopedia
  • There is a section of full-screen production photographs with Spielberg and his crew.
  • There are cast & film-maker bios for the main cast and crew and production notes that provide a textual version of what appears in the making of feature.
  • There is some minor dvd-rom content with your basic weblink to http://www.jurassicpark.com.
  • The highlight of the disc has to be the 50-minute making of feature which, I must say, is the best making of I've seen in my time. The producers of this feature have captured every facet of the movie making process that goes into detail and answers all the questions you will ever ask about Jurassic Park. This is very interesting stuff here.

  Overall  
Contract

Jurassic Park would have to be the movie that broke the mould, the blockbuster that brought stop-motion creatures and puppetry into the digital age. The effects in Terminator 2 provided the ground work for this blockbuster allowing the creators to push the boundaries even further and to truly bring movie making into an era that will make anything possible.

Coupled with Spielbergs knack of keeping the audience on the edge of their seat, Jurassic Park provides a thrill ride as good as any real dinosaur park would ever provide. Owning it on dvd means you too can enjoy the ride whenever that itch for great entertainment overcomes you.


  • LINK: http://www.dvd.net.au/review.cgi?review_id=336
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  •  DVD NET Gold Review List 
      And I quote...
    "the movie that broke the mould, the blockbuster that brought stop-motion creatures and puppetry into the digital age"
    - Steve Koukoulas
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Sony DAV-S300
    • TV:
          Hitachi CMT2979 68cm
    • Video Cables:
          standard s-video
      Recent Reviews:
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