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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Jurassic Park :Collector's Edition
Jurassic Park :Collector's Edition
Other // PG
List Price: $24.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by Chuck Arrington | posted December 3, 2000 | E-mail the Author
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JURASSIC PARK: COLLECTOR'S EDITION

Synopsis:

For the two of you who haven't seen the film yet, here's the story: Multibillionaire John Hammond (Sir Richard Attenborough) has genetically engineered Living breathing dinosaurs from ancient Dino DNA found in the stomachs of petrified mosquitoes. Built on the order of an amusement park, "Jurassic Park" has to have the approval of several learned scientists and an attorney representing the stockholders before it will be allowed to open. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) (Sam Neill) and (Laura Dern) are the assembled experts with the blood-sucking lawyer rounding out the bunch. Unbeknownst to them Dennis Nedry (Neumann, er Wayne Knight) has plans of his own. Desperate for cash, he plans to steal the embryos Hammond has created only to sell them to the highest competitor/bidder. In order for him to obtain the embryos however, Nedry, will have to disable the security systems throughout the compound to gain access to the refrigerated units where the embryos are housed. Once disabled however, all of the fences that enclose the animals will be deactivated and they will be able to roam freely from paddock to paddock. Everything and everyone will be fair game, including the experts and anyone else on the Island.

There is no defense against these creatures of the antediluvian world, which our band of scientists quickly finds out. Their only hope is to try and outrun them and get to safety off of the island. With Dinosaurs roaming just about everywhere, this will prove to be most dangerous. Jurassic Park is without a doubt a must-see! If you've never seen it on DVD, you've never seen this movie!

Audio/Video:

There are two versions of JP available one with Dolby digital and one with DTS encoding. I recently upgraded to a DTS ready receiver however, my player is still only Dolby Digital. The Dolby Digital version however is INCREDIBLE! If you don't already know chapter 11 is the Rex's entrance and man does he enter! I kept the volume between 45 and 50 and my whole house shook tremendously. The DD is extremely well done. In one review I read for the film, it mentioned something of a tinny quality to the vocals/dialogue on the center channel. I listened quite intently and found no problems with the audio whatsoever. The bass/LFE was rich and full. The rears and fronts were seemingly constantly in use and the sub was in a word…thunderous! During the rainy scenes in JP the rears do such an awesome job in conveying that effect, it really sounds as though it's raining outside. I really can't say enough about the audio for this feature. Without hearing the DTS version, I can say that the DD stands on it's own and really rocks! The video is fairly excellent. Not nearly as stellar as the audio it still shines though not as brightly. The images were not as stark as I would have liked. While they were very good and well presented, they were a little soft for my tastes. The overall presentation was very good however, I was definitely expecting excellent! There was only a hint of pixellation in one of the darker scenes but other than that I didn't recognize any chroma noise. The fleshtones appeared true and the blacks were very deep. Good video presentation, just not the great one I was expecting.

Extras:

Where do you start? The Making of Jurassic park

This was televised a couple of years ago on the Sci-Fi Channel. It's hosted by James Earl Jones and is presented in 2.0 full frame. The video quality of the presentation runs from fair to good. It covers everything from pre-production to post-production and runs about 30 minutes in length. It's got behind the scenes footage as well as the final product. Very interesting information and you really couldn't ask for a better host than the voice of Darth Vader himself!

Early Pre-production Meetings

These are also presented in 2.0 full frame and run from poor to fair in overall quality. The coolest portion of these meetings is watching as they scouted out locations in Hawaii and then watching those same scenes with all the effects included. Another really neat aspect of these meetings is seeing and hearing Steven Speilberg discuss his thoughts on the movements and characteristics of the animals in how he wanted them to move and emote. Everybody in the meeting was literally hanging on his every word! Had he been anyone else, it might have been a little silly but it's Spielberg for crying out loud!

Storyboards, production photographs, design sketches, and conceptual drawings.

This is pretty much matter of fact. The storyboarding is great and dead-on! The production photos are basically advance publicity materials for the film and the design sketches, primarily early concepts on the look and texture of the animals and locations and vehicles. The Conceptual drawings are just that.

Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors in the kitchen

Animatics are akin to stop motion animation wherein the proposed CGI scene is put together using clay puppets to make a moving storyboard if you will. Here, the entire scene with the Raptors and the kids in the kitchen is rendered and it moves just like the finished product.

Theatrical trailers

There are three trailers presented. All in 2.0 Jurassic Park all I can say is looking back on the trailer, I'm surprised I went to see the film. It's very lack luster and does nothing for the movie. The Lost World: Jurassic Park I remember seeing this during the SuperBowl and loved it right away! In many ways it's better than the film! Jurassic Park III As there has been no principal photography for the film, a collage of island type vistas and animal sounds are the trailer in total. It does a decent job in whetting your appetite but there's no meat here.

Dinosaur Encyclopedia

The encyclopedia includes information on six of the park's residents including the Rex. Factual information regarding their habitats and regions in which they lived and when they lived is included. Additionally, the sounds created for the dinosaurs in the film accompany each of the animals.

Production Notes, cast & filmmakers bios and DVD ROM features round out the extras

The best portion of these extras is the DVD ROM live event for Jurassic Park III. If you log onto the film's website while engaging the DVD ROM content you'll be treated to their live web event regarding the new film's release.

Overall:

When Jurassic Park hit the scene in 1993, it broke all the rules. CGI was never before put to the test of creating imagery so real. However, Speilberg, and ILM created the benchmark in cinema in JP. Here we are seven years later and the effects are still just as impressive. The Rex who I'm sure is everyone's favorite is just awesome. From the first moment we are introduced to him to the last reel of the film he's definitely one of the better aspects of the film. Every special effects/CGI laden motion picture produced after JP benefited by the inroads made by Speilberg and ILM. To date, the effects have been tremendously improved and are even better but none can equal the sheer intensity that JP brought to the screen. If you've seen it on VHS, Cable, Pay-per-view, or Network TV, you've never seen this film until you've seen the version on DVD! Collector's Edition

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