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Jurassic Park 3D(1993)
On a remote island where an amazing theme park with living cloned dinosaurs is located, five people must battle to survive among the prehistoric predators when the security system breaks down and the beasts are released from their enclosures.
For more about Jurassic Park 3D and the Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray release, see Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on April 16, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Bob Peck, Martin Ferrero
Director: Steven Spielberg
» See full cast & crew
Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray Review
The film's solid 3D showing doesn't quite mask its transfer's shortcomings...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, April 16, 2013
Jurassic Park 3D is about to be overshadowed by yet another debate surrounding a Universal video presentation. So, for forum regulars: keep it civil, gentlemen. That said, let's begin at the beginning. The latest release of Jurassic Park features a new transfer; one created specifically for the movie's recent 3D conversion using a new fully restored, color-corrected 4K master of the film's original 35mm negative, all approved by director Steven Spielberg. The 3D release also boasts a new DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track, which delivers a slightly fuller, more dynamic sonic experience courtesy of original sound designer Gary Rydstrom. However, the new master, new transfer and new lossless audio mix are only offered on the 3-disc set's 3D disc, which is, unfortunately for some, 3D-locked. To view the new AV presentation in 3D or 2D, a 3D display and 3D Blu-ray player (or a 3D-ready computer with a 3D Blu-ray drive) are required. The second disc in the set can be viewed on 2D home theaters, but its AV presentation is identical to its 2011 counterpart.
To read staff reviewer Jeffrey Kauffman's take on Jurassic Park and its 2011 Blu-ray release, click here. For the purposes of this review, I'll be focusing on the new 3D presentation, the differences between the 2013 and 2011 versions, and the 3D presentation's new 7.1 lossless audio remix.
Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Jurassic Park's new master may be 4K but, sadly, Universal's subsequent MVC-encoded transfer doesn't show the benefits of a 4K source. Noise reduction and other less savory techniques have clearly been employed at some point in the production chain, either at the restoration stage or, as is much, much more likely, during the film's 3D conversion, long after the original 35mm elements were properly preserved for future high definition releases. (Fingers crossed.) Grain graces the image, or rather what's left of it. For the most part, the film's grain field has all but been wiped away, and along with it a fair amount of fine detail, cursing the image with a bit of that telltale "mushy" appearance that always ruffles purists' feathers. It comes as something of a disappointment too. A shock even, if I'm being honest. It's more than possible in this day and age to reduce noise and retain the subtlest details. (Warner tends to make it look like child's play, preserving the filmic nature of a remastered or restored source while tweaking various aspects of the image.) Here, closeups exhibit mild to moderate fine detail, but nothing that in any way suggests the use of a 4K source. Midrange and wide shots are even more problematic. Slight smearing and a prevailing smudginess is apparent throughout, and very few scenes can be described as crisp, much less well-resolved.
That said, it's not nearly as distracting in motion as some will no doubt claim. The 2011 transfer is dramatically sharper, yes, but primarily because artificial sharpening and edge enhancement have been applied so liberally and, to be blunt, needlessly. On one hand, the 2011 encode is arguably more striking, with razor-sharp edges, pinpoint textures and more forgiving delineation. All valid reasons to appreciate the previous release. On the other hand, the post-sharpening subjects the 2011 encode to problems all its own. Grain is present, but occasionally undermined and undone by glaring video noise; edge halos and ringing are frequent offenders; and, in some regards (namely color and contrast), the transfer is less representative of Spielberg's intentions and the film's original theatrical presentation.
So yes, the 2013 transfer suffers a loss in detail. That shouldn't be up for debate. However, what it gains will certainly appeal to many a cinephile. Specifically, it's been granted a notably warmer, more fittingly temperate color palette, as well as more lifelike fleshtones, richer blacks and more cinematic contrast leveling, which leads to darker, more evocative and more suspenseful sequences. Some will call the "new" color timing everything from muddy to murky, and that's fair. It is muddier and murkier than its 2011 brother in arms. Even so, the 2013 transfer exchanges the blue-tinted science fiction sheen of the 2011 presentation for earthier, more natural jungle island hues, bringing it more in line with the tone Spielberg struck in 1993.
The lagging detail is even less of a noticeable problem in 3D. For a conversion, the film's 3D is quite impressive, even though some scenes -- the Gallimimus stampede springs to mind -- have a bit of the staggered plane, pop-up storybook look that briefly yanks me out of an otherwise enveloping 3D presentation. Depth is reasonably convincing, dimensionality is nicely realized and a number of foreground elements have a wonderful pop that's neither underwhelming nor gimmicky. There also aren't any major 3D anomalies. Aliasing isn't at play, crosstalk-prone shots and background elements are few and far between, and the encode is largely free of artifacting, banding and other unsightly nuisances. Some ringing still makes its way into the image (especially when hot, white skies frame an actor or dinosaur), but nothing as considerable as that which spoils entire scenes in the 2011 presentation.
All told, some will prefer the new 2013 transfer, especially those who enjoy its more faithful and cinematic qualities. Others, though, will prefer the 2011 transfer, as it provides a more obvious (but more superficial) high definition upgrade. Neither camp will be right, neither camp will be wrong, as both presentations are far from ideal. Hopefully, in the not too distant future, a third release will appear on the horizon. One born from the restored, Spielberg-approved 4K master that hasn't been subjected to rampant artificial sharpening or detail-quashing noise reduction; a truly faithful, unmistakably filmic presentation (available to all in 3D and 2D) that delivers the best of both worlds, minus the separate imperfections, shortcomings and technical limitations that hinder each transfer, for one reason or another, from being declared the definitive version of Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
First things first: there is absolutely nothing wrong with the 2011 DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 surround track. The new 2013 7.1 remix is, by sound designer Gary Rydstrom's own admission, a chance to revisit and revise he and his team's original work. So it isn't an improvement; it's simply a revision, and a relatively subtle one at that. Most listeners won't pick up on the differences (I was actively comparing and contrasting the two, and I'm sure I still missed some), but each one does alter the experience for the better. Tyrannosaurus roars are more ear-splitting and unsettling, the island's vistas and jungles are a touch more immersive, and the entire soundfield is a bit more refined. With twenty additional years under his industry belt, Rydstrom expands upon his previous efforts and has a little fun in the process, adjusting the new mix to take better advantage of the LFE channel and rear speakers. It's a more modern take on a classic sonic monster, and yet doesn't trample the previous mix's corpse. More faithful than anything else, it preserves anything and everything that made the previous 7.1 track a terrific catalog standout and simply adds more seasoning to the sauce. Everything else is exactly as it should be. Dialogue is crystal clear and perfectly prioritized. LFE output shakes the ground and scatters the kiddies. The rear speakers bite down on any and every directional effect, pan and hint of ambience tossed their way. And dynamics and separation are exceptional. I don't have a single complaint. I didn't in 2011 either. Both tracks warrant high marks.
Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Exclusive 3D Version Special Features
2D Version Special Features
Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
So we come at last to the question: does Jurassic Park 3D belong in my collection? If you don't have a 3D display and 3D player, the answer is simple. No, the primary disc is 3D-locked, meaning the new restoration and transfer, new 7.1 lossless remix and new HD featurette will only be accessible to those with the proper equipment. If you do have all the 3D fixin's, the answer is a bit tougher. The new video presentation resolves many of the issues that afflicted the 2011 transfer, but brings with it several additional problems, obvious noise reduction chief among them. The main draw turns out to be something of a toss-up; some will prefer the 2011 transfer, some will prefer the 2013 transfer. You'll have to see both for yourself to make whatever decision is best for you. Thankfully, the DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 remix isn't subject to any disappointment. It's as monstrous as its 2011 counterpart, and has a few welcome tricks up its sleeve. All in all, whether or not you purchase Jurassic Park 3D comes down to a few too many subjective judgment calls. Perhaps the next time Universal releases the film on Blu-ray we'll be able to at long last call it the definitive version. Commendable as it is in many ways, this still isn't it.
Jurassic Park: Other Editions
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• Exclusive Giveaway: Jurassic Park 3D - April 22, 2013
Blu-ray.com and Universal Studios Home Entertainment are offering three members a chance to win a copy of Jurassic Park 3D, starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight and Bob Peck. The 3D release of the ...
• This Week on Blu-ray: April 23-30 - April 21, 2013
For the week of April 23rd, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is bringing the 3D version of Jurassic Park to Blu-ray. It's understandable that viewers might balk at the extra dimension considering director Steven Spielberg did not shoot the movie in 3D; this ...
• Jurassic Park 3D Blu-ray - January 22, 2013
Universal Studios Home Entertainment has set the Blu-ray release of Jurassic Park 3D for April 23rd, just three short weeks after the 3D conversion of the film makes its U.S. theatrical debut. Prior to that, Universal is also issuing individual BD/DVD/UltraViolet ...
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