on April 6, 2004
"This is just a delay. All major theme parks have delays. When they opened Disneyland in 1956, nothing worked."
"Yeah john, but if Pirates of the Caribbean breaks down, the pirates don't EAT the tourists."
- John Hammond and Ian Malcom
When Steven Spielberg makes an adventure movie, you can be assured that whatever comes on the screen, it's going to be exciting. Since seeing Raiders of the Lost Ark, I had waited to see a movie that evoked the same feeling of wonder, adventure, character, and adrenaline that made Dr. Jones's first adventure a classic. Then, once the first trailer for Jurassic Park rolled before Aladdin in 1992, I knew I had found one.
An avid dinosaur fan since toddler age, any sort of dinosaur movie sounded like a good idea in the early ninteies. However, Jurassic Park was in a class of its own when released, and remains so today. Based on the Micheal Crichton book of the same name, Spielberg's Messazoic adventure centers around a theme park where dinosaurs have been cloned through fossilized DNA found in mosquitos. Sure, the science isn't rock-solid, but it's more than a usuable base for a fantastic adventure yarn. The action picks up when a greedy employee causes a power outage, and the dinosaurs get loose, terrorising the visitors.
All the principal cast in the first movie was fantastic, bringing life and distinct personality to the characters. However, the real stars are the dinosaurs. Created by both Industrial Light and Magic and Stan Winston, the creative geniuses behind Terminator 2, the digital and animatronic creations were absolutely mind-blowing in 1993, and still hold up today. It could have overwhelmed the movie, but Spielberg has always known how to use special effects to enhance the story, and use action and character to advance it. Jurassic Park is a case study in fantastic pacing, fun characters, and tense action/adventure. 5/5
In 1997, Universal released a sequel, again based on a Micheal Crichton novel. The Lost World: Jurassic Park, again helmed by Spielberg, featured more characters, more dinosaurs, bigger effects, and bigger action. Jeff Goldblum returns as Dr. Ian Malcom, a man who has fallen on hard times after the incident on Isla Nublar. When he finds that there is another island with dinosaurs on it, one there there are no fences to constrain them, he is appalled, and wants nothing to do with the operation to doccument the animals until he learns that his girlfriend is already on the island.
Once we reach the second site, the movie hits the ground running, providing thrills and chills from both the dinosaurs and the greedy human hunters who want to expoit the island to bail out their failing company. However, though the action is solid, the story is a little on the weak side, and Sam Neill's Alan Grant is sorely missed, as he brought so much to the first film. However, The Lost World is still a good way to spend an afternoon if you're looking for some good prehistoric fun. 4/5
Jurassic Park III saw far less hype and a smaller scope than either of its predecessor's. Helmed by Jumanji's Joe Johnston, Jurassic Park III features the return of Sam Neill as Alan Grant, an aging scientist who sees his field's support dimishing quickly. When a wealthy magnate offers him a large sum of money to give them an arial tour of Site B, he accepts.
What he doesn't know is that the couple is, in reality, looking for their lost son, who disappeared on the island two weeks earlier. In their race to find the boy, Grant, his assistant, and the parents get in a mess of trouble with a T-rex, an over-sized Spinosaurus, and a vengeful pack of Velociraptors.
Though the story is fairly weak in the third outing, the narrative is focused. Johnston uses tight direction and the character conflict along withe hungry dinosaurs to keep the movie going. The action begins in the opening sequence, and for the next hour and a half, it rarely lets up. There are some great set pieces including some high-flying antics with some nasty pterosaurs, and a tense stand-off with the raptors. The best thing about this movie is that it doesn't overstay its welcome. It builds to a great climax, and once it's over, the movie is done, keeping everything tight and fun all the way through. 4/5
Overall, these are some fatnastic dinosaur movies, and the extras on the DVDs are well worth the wait. Overall: 4/5
on April 2, 2004
With the first "Jurassic Park," ILM broke new ground in CGI special effects. They created dinosaurs that looked incredibly real, and at the time people really didn't know how it was done. I figured it had something to do with computers and the same technology that was used for The Abyss, Terminator 2, and one of the Sherlock Holmes movies back in the 80's ("Young Sherlock Holmes" perhaps?), but still had no idea how it was done, and had never seen anything like it before. This was truly a unique experience. This film told many other film-makers, like George Lucas, Peter Jackson, etc., that anything that could be imagined could be made into a film, which is the reason why we now have the Star Wars Special Editions, the Star Wars Prequels, The Lord of the Rings, and countless other great sci-fi/fantasy films being made. For this reason, as well as the great thrill ride of a story that the first Jurassic Park gave us, this movie is among the greats.
"The Lost World: Jurassic Park," gave us an even better dino flick than the first one did, raising the bar in what could be done with CGI and animatronics as well as creating an even more fun story. And the story got even scarier at times than the first one. I especially liked it when the T-Rex got loose in San Francisco.
With "Jurassic Park III," we got a pretty good dinosaur movie. I didn't think it was as good as the first two, but it was a lot of fun. And we got Pteranadons this time! Well, we got one at the end of The Lost World, but we got a bunch of them this time, and they were sweet! Hopefully in JP4 they'll have the Quetzalcoatlus, which is even larger than the Pteranadon! The whole smart Raptors think got a little carried away I think, but it wasn't as weird after the second viewing. But ultimately, this movie has some amazing special effects shots of both dinos and landscapes, and it's a lot of fun. The only real problem I have with it is that the story isn't as involved as the other two, and it's too short. It's approx. 40 minutes shorter than the previous two films, which is a dramatic change in length of time. Terminator 3 did the same thing too. Also, I thought there were some shots (but not many) of the CGI dinosaurs that weren't rendered as well as the others.
The fourth disc contains special features for all three films. I haven't checked out all the special features, but one that was really cool for JP3 was the ILM show or whatever it's called. They had a cool comparion shot reel where they show you the regular shot a couple of times, asking you to guess what's CGI and what's animatronic. I could usually tell, but that was more because of the movement capable with a CGI dinosaur vs. the movement capable with an animatronic dinosaur. We all just know that animatronics are limited in their movement, so they'll bring in a CGI dinosaur when they need more movement and overall capabilities from a creature. But the light, shadow, texture and overall look of both the CGI dinos and the animatronic dinos looked identical to me. It's pretty amazing.
Another special feature I watched was the JP2 Compi dance. That was pretty amusing.
And of course each film disc also has special features included.
Good/Great films, great DVD set.
on September 15, 2003
These movies are the best movies ever. Jurassic Park was the best one, it was also the scariest. My favorite part was when the T-Rex is first seen and the Dilophosaurus scene. The Lost World Jurassic Park was just as good and scary. My favorite scenes are the Baby Stegosaurus and when the T-Rex is in San Diego. Jurassic Park III was also very entertaining, my favorite scenes are when the Spinosaurus shows up and the Pterandons. 2 problems with JP III, length and Trevor Morgan. The movie was too short ( JP 2 hrs. & 7 mins. TLW: JP 2 hrs. & 9 mins. JP III 1 hr. & 33 mins). They should have got a different actor to play Eric Kirby. Trevor is such a dork and his laugh is dumb ( hello, he was in a fricking barney movie for cying out loud. This is probably explains why barney has a cameo in the movie). Anyways everyone should see these movies! And to hell with everyone who complains about the dinoaurs appearances and stuff. They were RE-CREATED and they used FROG DNA to fill in the holes of the DNA strands. So they all probably had something that was different from the Mesozoic dinosaurus.
on August 7, 2003
The first Jurassic Park movie was and still is a state-of-the art classic that was many years ahead of it's time when released in 1993 and I have great memories of seeing it on the big screen all those years ago and it left behind a truly awesome legacy and is one of Spielberg's most inspired movies of his career. The series began in 1993 and ended in 2001 with "Jurassic Park III" Unfortunately, the legacy would gradually deteriorate with time with the latter two as this set demonstrates.
JURASSIC PARK (1993): This is one of the best movies that has ever been made in modern times. The movie is a story about a scientific endeavor of attempting to bring back the dinosaurs from extinction on a remote Island 120 miles from Costa Rica, using DNA that has been preserved in their fossils and from amber with a pre-historic mosquito trapped in it. They successfully bring a dinosaur into the world but the scientific experiment goes very wrong. A criminal (played by comic funnyman Wayne Knight), messes up the security system, causing it to malfunction and the result is carnivorous raptors and the ever feared Tyrannosaurus Rex are released into the wild and on a hungry rampage. From there it's a truly terrifying but absolutely fun ride as the family who arrived, now have to face off against and escape the bloody wrath of the carnivorous dinosaurs. This is an awesome movie and is an essential addition to one's movie collection. This is a spectacular work of art from Spielberg and company. Well done!
JURASSIC PARK II:THE LOST WORLD (1997): This second sequel is an enjoyable follow-up to the first one but in my opinion, it falls short of what the first one had established and doesn't break any new ground. This second sequel is about the dinosaurs thriving on the Island in the Pacific Ocean but somehow, some of them are transported onto the mainland and wreak havoc on the general public. From there, the movie kind of goes into a gradual downhill dips into cheesiness as the scenes of dinosaurs on the mainland terrorizing the city population veers dangerously close to being similar to those cheesy 1950s sci-fi horror flicks or something like bad King Kong rejects meets Star Wars. It's still nonetheless an enjoyable movie for it's entertainment value but in my opinion, the cheesiness mars the punch that it could otherwise have had. A good but disappointing follow-up to a dynamite movie.
JURASSIC PARK III (2001): Here's where it all goes totally wrong and ruins a great legacy with this mediocre and boring third addition to the movie series. Basically, it all begins when the dinosaurs that escaped are returned and released back onto the island where they came from and things seem normal again until two family members wind up being lost and stranded on the island after a parachuting stunt went horribly wrong, resulting in the death of one of the parachutists and a crew has been sent in to rescue the surviving parachutist who survived the accident. From there, the movie boils down to just utter boredom as upon watching this, it seemed like a recycled "Jurassic Park 1993" but without the fun of that movie and it was so short that it just left me confused. A lot of what could go wrong in movie-making went wrong with "JP III". It's just a bad rehash of the 1993 original I felt disappointed to see that Spielberg and company could mess up so badly on this one as to ruin a great movie legacy. There isn't anything that could salvage this garbage. "Jurassic Park III" is one movie that I don't recommend getting and is one of the biggest disappointments in years and is a terrible bookend to a great movie legacy. A total disappointment.
This is one of the unfortunate examples of how a movie legacy starts out so spectacular with the first movie but deteriorates with each following sequel and ending on a bad note with the last movie in the series. My advice is to just simply skip this set and buy the first movie, go ahead and get the second one if you like, but avoid the third Jurassic Park movie altogether. The third one is terrible and should be forgotten by most of the public. Although I really don't like the last one in the series, for those who like all three movies, this is a great purchase.
on March 10, 2003
I'm a huge fan of the Jurassic Park films, the first two anyway. They combine groundbreaking special effects in both animatronics and animation with some really good, solid storylines. The Star Wars of its day, this trilogy is an amazing adventure, some of my favorite movies. The first two, anyway.
Since this is really a rerelease box set and the point of getting it is to get the films on DVD instead of watching them for the first time, thats what I'll focus on. Basically, the movies are great. You won't be disapointed.
As far as DVDs go, the Jurassic Park and The Lost World special editions are about average. They have a fair amount of special features and some nice sounds and transitions, but I think they could have gone a little farther. The menu screens are particurally dark and drab. The features are overall informative and interesting, especially if your a fan of the films.
The Jurassic Park 3 DVD is quite a bit better. It's overloaded with features, the menus have a deffinate theme going and its really well desinged. You get all sorts of neat stuff beyond the basic "Making of" features. There are 360 degree views of the computer models of the film's dinosaurs, step by step tours of the process at Industrial Light and Magic, and some really neat stuff about the art and design of the film. The movie itself is pretty bad and an insult to the first two, but its a really nice DVD.
With this trilogy set you get the bonus "Beyond Jurassic Park" DVD, which is pure [junk]. It's only worth watching if you're a Jurassic Park fanatic, because its basically table scraps from when the films were produced and some really lame, slapped toghether bits like a split screen comparison of The Lost World's key scenes before and after the post production effects. Yawn.
Unless its cheaper to get the boxed set, I'd recomend buying the three movies seperatly and not bothering with the exclusive disc in this set. The Jurassic Park films are excellent movies, not to be missed!
on September 10, 2002
Hollywood found a way to make summer blockbusters redeemable again with this series, by creating a movie franchise that not only is a heap of great fun and nail-biting excitement, but also has some MERIT.
The plots of all three of the Jurassic Park movies are interchangeable: humans travel to remote island, perform a bunch of highly stupid activities that ... off the dinosaurs, then the dinosaurs make them pay, typically by eating them. All except for the heroes, of course, whom always manage to just escape the dinosaurs vengeance with incredibly improbable good luck. Over and over again. All the stuff that makes for a great popcorn thriller.
But who cares if the story lines are silly. It obvious nobody was attempting to upstage '2001:Space Odyssey' for profoundness. These three films are entertaining and rewarding on several levels. First, little time is wasted in each film before the dinosaurs show up and start wrecking havoc. The special effects are state-of-the-art, and then some. The dinosaurs ACTUALLY SEEM REAL. The makers of these movies obviously consulted with top paleontologists to insure the dinosaurs look and behave as realistically as possible. And the action scenes rank up there with the best of the saturday afternoon adventure thrillers.
As far a blockbuster with MERIT goes, think of the countless kids (and probably grown-ups too) who were fascinated enough to inquire more about dinosaurs, whether in school, in books, or watching the Discovery channel. Any movie that is both entertains and inspires the viewer to new ideas and thinking definitely possesses some merit. (And how many other summer blockbusters can you name that provoke ANY intellectual thought afterwards?)
As far as the DVD's go, the picture and sound quality is excellent. The Trilogy set is nicely packaged, with a fourth 'bonus' disk containing out-takes and making-of footage.
If you're looking for a way to own all three Jurassic Park movies, this Trilogy is a great value. And if you really want to be in dinosaur heaven, get this set and the BBC-TV produced "Walking With Dinosaurs". lr* Sep 10,2002.
on August 15, 2002
This series was fairly good! The thing that made it bad was the 3rd movie! Everything I wanted to happen in the 3rd one, didn't happen! I was hoping the T-Rex would win and still be the bad guy. But no, it's some stupid dinosaur that one. T-Rex rules! Which is why the 1st two were good.
1st- They get stuck on a island with dinosaurs! Reality, no, but that's what makes it fun! The acting is good, special effects were okay, but that doesn't make the movie. But it also had a good plot, which held the movie together, and is why I liked the movie.
2nd- Better than the first, but there's always room for improvement. This one's funnier and better entertainment, I loved it! This one's the best, compared to what some people think!
3rd- Terrible, their suppose to get better, not worse! They depend on special effects in this one too much, just like Lord Of The Rings. But this was 2x worse! Skip it! Save your money and maybe if you're really bored one day and can waste an hour and a half, watch it, but don't bother if you don't like cheesy dinosaurs and dull characters!
Overall, the movies were fairly good, but the 3rd needs alot of work. The 1st and the 2nd were good and will always be, Jurassic Park forever!!
on July 25, 2002
The original of this trilogy is the pinnacle of entertainment, allowing viewers to live out their childhood fantasies in an amazingly realistic world of fantasy and suspense. It delivers in every category, keeping you glued to your television as you await the next twist in its amazing storyline.
The second in the series is almost equaled to the first, again creating the tension and suspense you've grown to expect. The effects are, once again, simply amazing, and they never fail to please the eye. The only drawback to this go-round was the weak plot line that undeniably was the movie's downfall. Straying too far from the amazing book ("The Lost World" by Michael Crichton), and culminating in a way that was surprising and disappointing. This film has more humor and a lighter tone to it, focusing more on the character's relationships than it did on the issue at hand.
The whole reason this review fell short of five stars was the third and (hopefully) final chapter of the series. Based on an original screenplay, not a new book, the story of this movie was weak and completely unbelievable. Without Michael Crichton helming the writing process, the story was far too simple and failed to impress on any level. It simply didn't fit. The effects were amazing, as is expected from the great Stan Winston, but the dinosaurs still looked unreal, due to a supposed "evolution". The action is tense but all-together too quick and painless, and the movie ended in the most horrible way possible. Far too short, and full of unbelievable moments this movie falls short of being worth the time.
The trilogy is rounded out, and raised from the dead as a result of the final chapter, by the extra DVD included in this set. It features the extras on each of the movies that somehow disappeared when they were originally released. It gives another in depth look at how the movies came to be, and adds another level in the excitement and wonder that is Jurassic Park.
Buy this set for the extra DVD, if that's your thing. Otherwise, just buy the first two movies, and rent the third. It's just not worth it.
on July 23, 2002
This DVD set is an excellent opportunity to obtain the three movies inexpensively and with a free bonus disc of special features. The trilogy is terrific fun, with some of the most groundbreaking SFX you are likely to ever see, and an infectious sense of wonder and adventure. All three movies have had mixed reviews, but like the Die Hard series they are all different and strong movies in their own right. Personally, I like the second film the best - it gets straight into the action and never lets up, is more hard edged and genuinely scary than the other two, devotes more screen time to the wonderfully sardonic Jeff Goldblum, and is a real rollercoaster ride. The first film is almost as good, and will always be a favourite of mine since I will never forget seeing the T-rex for the first time at the movie theater and being awestruck (I still am). I think it takes too long to get going and to explain the premise, but once it picks it up, it is relentless. The third movie misses Spielberg's touch (he allowed Joe Johnston his dream to direct a JP sequel) and is far too short, but is an enjoyably straight forward action picture, if a little too similar to the first (down to the return of Sam Neill). With some great extras (documentaries, SFX featurettes, trailers, interviews etc) that actually may increase your knowledge of all things dinosaur and SFX, and a DTS mix for the third flick, this is a great set (almost as good as the Die Hard set) that is indispensable if you love the movies. And finally, the picture and sound on each disc is top notch too.
on July 12, 2002
Steven Spielberg's 1993 blockbuster is still the best of the Jurassic trilogy, and the film retains all the amazement and anticipation it had when it was first released.
Taken from Michael Crichton's thrilling novel, Jurassic Park is one Spielberg's most expertly-crafted films. The special effects are from FX maestro Stan Winston, who did the special effects for Aliens (1986) and Terminator 2 (1991). The seamless combination of CGI and robotic creatures creates some truly terrifying action set- pieces.
Despite what some critics thought when the film was released, I feel that all the principal actors give good performances, especially Sam Neill as Alan Grant and Jeff Goldblum as Dr. Ian Malcolm. But admittedly, the dinosaur creations are the main attraction, and Winston's monsters (which won him another Oscar after Terminator 2) are truly frightning. Great entertainment.
The Lost World is an exciting adventure starring Jeff Goldblum, Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore and Pete Postlethwaite. The film picks up four years after the incident at Jurassic Park, where a corporate businessman Peter Ludlow (Arliss Howard) plans to take dinosaurs off the second island (Isla Sorna, where dinosaurs have been breeding) and bring them to a theme park in San Diego.
Spielberg knows what the audience wants; the film has more dinosaurs, even better CGI and impressive animatronic dinosaurs from the maestro Stan Winston. The action throughout the film is exciting and while not as astonishing as Jurassic, the effects are first-rate. Although the action is good, the story isn't one of Spielberg's best. That said, the principal cast are fine, especially Goldblum as Malcolm ("Ooh, aah, that's how it always starts, and then later the running and screaming") and Postewaite as Roland Tembo, a game hunter intent on shooting one of the Tyrannosaurs. Silly in parts, it's still an exciting adventure movie, with enough action and light humour to satisfy audiences.
Joe Johnston, taking over the reigns from Spielberg, has created an adventure that starts off quickly and hardly ever lets up. Sam Neill, returning to the role which made him famous in the original, is a stronger presence than in the first Jurassic, and the supporting cast of William H. Macy and Tea Leoni manage not to get lost amidst the barrage of CGI dinosaurs. The special effects are, of course the main stars, with Stan Winston's excellent dinosaurs surpass the ones for the original. And the plot (a bunch of people get stuck on an island with dangerous dinosaurs) provides plenty of great scares (a scene with nasty pterodactyls is the high-point) and fast-paced action to satisfy audiences. Great fun.
The trilogy DVD extras are first- rate, with superb picture and sound for all the discs. The special features are exceptional, with a 50 minute 'making of' of the film. Most interesting, however, is the footage of early pre-production meetings with Spielberg and the FX team discussing how certain shots and effects should be done. Also there are storyboards, production photos and web links.
The extras for The Lost Wolrd are fantastic, with a comprehensive 'making of', deleted scenes, trailers and ton of production info. The highlight on the JP3 Disc is the Commantary from the special effects team of Stan Winston, Michael Lantieri and some of the crew. Also, you get a series of 'making of's and trailers. Best of all is Disc 4 "Beyond Jurassic Park" featuring over two hours of never-before-available bonus material from all three films. Excellent entertainment that is a must-have for Jurassic fans.