Review: “Jurassic Park 3D” evolves classic movie magic with dinosaurs commanding new attention on the big screen

in Entertainment, Movies, Reviews

“Welcome… to Jurassic Park.”

Admit it, you read that with actor Richard Attenborough’s subtly Scottish voice, speaking the famous line of John Hammond that begins the groundbreaking 1993 adventure, “Jurassic Park.”

It’s one of director Steven Spielberg’s most iconic films, bringing to life on the big screen an exciting, captivating, humorous, and often poignant tale of how nature prevails and is a force that not to be toyed with. For theme park fans, “Jurassic Park” is a chance to explore the “what ifs” while enjoying its classic in-jokes. (Indeed, Dr. Ian Malcolm, when “Pirates of the Caribbean” breaks down, the pirates don’t eat the tourists.)

Twenty years later, “Jurassic Park” has evolved. It’s back in theaters, this time in 3D.

The film has withstood the test of time well, short of a few dated giggle-inducing references like the “interactive CD-ROM” powering the park’s guided tour. It’s wonderful to see it on the big screen again, where the dinosaurs that once ruled the Earth can stomp, fight, and roar with all the power of today’s best cinema technology. The adventure is as gripping and entertaining as ever, with likable characters leading viewers through scene after scene of memorable moments, remaining suspenseful even as fans can nearly recite the film by heart.

“Jurassic Park” looks even better in 3D, drawing viewers into its most famous scenes in a way never before possible. Particularly noteworthy are the film’s many shots through glass, adding an additional layer of depth to the 3D presentation. Frightfully staring face-to-face with a T-Rex alongside Lex and Tim in the movie’s first big dinosaur encounter is taken to another level of thrill while peering through the smashed sunroof in 3D. Shortly thereafter, a frantic chase through the treetops narrowly escaping a falling truck is heightened further by the 3D depth. And after all these years, the menacing velociraptor still manages to startle even today’s jaded audiences, with its now three-dimensional surprise appearances drawing screams from enthusiastic viewers.

“Jurassic Park 3D” is an impressive feat of post-conversion 3D. Though a handful of shots in the film’s first act suffer from the “View-Master Effect,” appearing as flat layers of 2D moving images, the vast majority of the action that unfolds in the second half of the film will fool even the most savvy moviegoer into thinking the movie was shot in 3D. There aren’t any “pop out” moments added, but each 3D shot adds tremendous depth into the screen.

Today visitors of Universal Orlando and Universal Studios Hollywood theme parks can physically step into the world of “Jurassic Park,” getting up-close with dinosaurs on an exhilarating boat ride. But it’s not quite the same as enjoying the original film that retains the essence of movie magic, enhanced by its new 3D format. And it’s worth a trip to the theaters just to see this classic up on the big screen again.

“Jurassic Park 3D” stomps its way into in theaters nationwide today.

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