Please Note: This Rating and Review are for the IMAX 3D experience of the film, not the actual film itself. Jurassic Park is a 5 star slam dunk in and of itself.
20 years ago, Steven Spielberg defined the book based Blockbuster and the Summer Blockbuster when he released Jurassic Park. Based on then up and coming author Michael Crichton’s breakthrough novel, the film dreamed of a day where man could bring the dinosaurs back to life in the modern world. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work out as well as we’d hoped, and a grand adventure of life and death unfolds as we watch both man and beast do what they are programmed to do…survive.
Everyone knows the story of Jurassic Park, but the strange thing is when I revisited the film with a fresh, more adult perspective that pushed past nostalgia; I found myself loving the film even more. The themes of Man’s fixation with scientific creation and the God complex, as well as survival instincts of both the human race and dinosaurs being pitted against each other, resonated more than ever. Also, I was able to better respect the marvel of dinosaurs being alive in a world that they just don’t belong in, being forced to adhere to rules and constraints that never applied before, and ultimately not being as much of a villainous force as I thought the first time I saw the film. Watching Jurassic Park as a kid excited me because it had dinosaurs interacting with humans, all through the magic of Science. Watching Jurassic Park as an adult excited me because it was a good old fashioned SciFi parable told with the best execution.
The 3D on this film is pretty amazing for a 20 year old film that was made in an era where 3D was nowhere near as awesome and advanced as it is today. Yet I can’t help but marvel at how the film is near perfect for 3D enjoyment, because Spielberg’s visual eye provided moments that were eye popping even when enjoyed in 2D. The Rex crashing through the bathroom hut, the infamous shattering tree branch, a Raptor lunging at the camera, even the “under the fence” sweep the camera does when Grant, Lex, and Tim climb the fence…all moments that were crafted in 2D that just happen to pop even better when converted to 3D. Unfortunately, the process was still a little iffy, and there were parts that showed the film’s age. Regardless, 3D was not a bad idea for this film, and it works really well.
However, the best reason to experience this film in IMAX is, surprisingly, not the visuals. While they’re still lush and exciting as ever in 3D, it’s the sound mix that really impressed me. Now keep in mind, I was a huge Jurassic Park kid. I know every line, every note, every roar and utterance this film has to offer. And yet, there were sequences that had me feeling the fresh fear of seeing the film for the first time. The visual scale of the IMAX screen is still awe inspiring, but the sound mix punches things up enough that it really sold the package for me. If you needed any further reason to see this film, imagine John Williams’ classic themes for the film cranked up on a huger than life sound system. It is truly awe inspiring.
Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D sold me on a couple of things. It sold me on older films being converted into IMAX conversions (though 3D is still a coin toss of a prospect). It sold me on the fact that Jurassic Park IV is inevitably heading for our screens next Summer, and it will probably (read: hopefully) be made with IMAX in mind. Most of all, it sold me on the fact that whomever wrote Jurassic Park III surely must be railroaded out of Hollywood. After 20 years of film-making and movie-going evolution, Jurassic Park in IMAX 3D is an experience that evolves right along with the times, staying as awesome as it was that first time you saw it.
What say you, What Culture Republic?! Is Jurassic Park worth revisiting in IMAX 3D? Which installment is your favorite in the franchise? Do you REALLY think we should burn the island to the ground to protect Humanity, or do you believe these creatures have a right to live? Sling some digital ink in the Comments below, and remember to spare no expense!
We are currently seeking Film contributors on WhatCulture. To find out more about the perks of being a Film contributor, click here.