Jurassic Park 3D

26 Apr

t-rex objects in mirror are closer than they appear


Yeah, yeah, I know.  I’m a sucker for novelty things like when movies are re-done in 3D.  Hell, I even went by myself to see The Lion King in 3D in theaters.   Though to my defense, I am picky about the movies I see in 3D and have only seen a handful.  But when one of my favorite movies is put back out on the big screen AND it’s in 3D?  I just have to check it out.  Jurassic Park was originally released in 1993, so about the time I was 5 or 6.  I am sure I did not get to see this in theaters when it first came out, and even if I did I probably wouldn’t remember it.  However, I do have fond memories of watching it on TV when I was a little bit older.  Every kid goes through a “OMG DINOSAUUURSSS” phase and Jurassic Park fell right in the middle of mine (which is probably why I like it so much).  Before watching the 3D version, it had been quite a while since I have seen it last and I was very curious to see how the 3D effects would play out.

Since most of you have scene Jurassic Park, at least the 2D version, I will try to stick to talking only about the 3D in the movie.  However, it was amusing seeing how many details I didn’t recall and some of the things that were just over my head as a kid.  Some of the little things that stood out to me where the horrible Australian stereotype used for Muldoon (the game warden guy).  He wasn’t a main enough character that I even thought about it.  I also never really noticed how much Ian flirts with Ellie throughout the movie.  I also didn’t know he was a chaos theory guy, but perhaps that is one of the things that was over my head.  Since I actually know a little about chaos theory now, it made him a little more appealing to me.

The opening scene was also something I didn’t quite remember.  Muldoon and a group of workers are around a large, secure paddock bringing in a big container.  They get the container into place and of course the creature inside tries to escape.  What did surprise me is before they get the animal (a velociraptor) contained or stunned, it does kill one of the workers.  I was kinda shocked that someone died within the first few minute because I didn’t really remember this, especially since in my mind it was a movie geared toward kids.  However, I think it really set the stage for the danger that will be throughout the movie.  As far as the 3D goes for the start of the movie, it was okay.  It gave a sense of depth, like the creature inside the crate was really alive and dangerous, but it didn’t add a lot to it.  The next scene, however, had a really cool 3D effect.  I didn’t quite recall this scene either, it is where the lawyer is going to check out a mine where they are collecting amber with mosquitoes in it.  This scene seemed overall unnecessary, but there was a part where a worker holds up a piece of amber and the camera zooms in on it.  The 3D here on the amber was very pretty and just plain neat.  It’s hard to describe, but it made it look real and gave a depth to it so you could really tell the insect was inside.  It definitely made me go “Woah”.

For the next little bit, the 3D is not impressive, and there are a few scenes that appeared to be in 2D.  We are at the dig site with Dr. Grant and Ellie Strader (who is also a Dr., but I thought it was interesting that she is always referred to as Ellie, same with Ian).  We see people working to uncover some fossils  but by far my favorite part is where Dr. Grant scares the crap out of this punk ass little kid that’s hanging around for whatever reason.  He pulled out a raptor claw and tells the kid in detail how one would hunt, kill, and eat him.  The look on the kids face is priceless.  Anyways, helicopter lands, John Hammond comes to talk to Dr. Grant and Ellie to convince them to come with him.  He says he’ll fund their dig for three more years and they jump on it.  Having been in grad school for sometime, I very much understand why they pounced on the funding.

Off they go into the helicopter were we finally meet Dr. Ian Malcolm.  Understanding that he was into chaos theory made some of his actions in the movie make a bit more sense.  The 3D in the helicopter was pretty good and everything stands out and pops just a little bit more.  THey land and get into the Jurassic Park jeeps and come across the dinosaurs for the first time.  While I do enjoy this part, I was underwhelmed by the 3D.  The dinosaurs didn’t really stand out or appear to have all that much extra depth to them.  Perhaps because it was mostly distance shots, but I was definitely not impressed for the first scene with 3D dinosaurs.  Thankfully the next 3D dino encounter was much better.  During the tour of the facility and explanation of how they lab was able to re-create dinosaurs, Dr. Grant, Ellie, and Ian stop the ride and burst into the lap to get a closer look (does the absurd violation of lab protocols and possible contamination here not bother anyone else?).  We get to watch one of the eggs hatch and see Dr. Grant holding a baby velociraptor.  I did like the 3D here because it helped the little creature look real and actually alive.

Now the movie really picks up.  We meet John Hammond’s grandchildren, Lex and Tim, and they all go off on a test run of a tour.  Few dinos are seen until suddenly Ellie hops out of the moving jeep to go look at something.  They all follow and discover a sick triceratops.  I don’t really recall a lot about the 3D here, so I suppose it wasn’t anything special.  Ellie goes back with the vet while the rest go back to the jeeps where they end up stuck in front of the T-Rex paddock when the power goes out from a tropical storm.  Bump bump.  The water on the dashboard starts to ripple.  Bump bump.  Tim notices the ripples and they are looking out the car windows when a goat leg falls onto the clear roof of the jeep, which causes the lawyer to flee from the jeep to the small bathroom near by.  They soon find out that the power for the fencing had been disabled (we know it was the deceitful Dennis Nedry) and out pops the giant dino from its paddock.  The 3D here was pretty well done.  The added depth makes the T-Rex look even more real and menacing, especially when it breaks in the top of the car and the kids are trying to stay away from its teeth.  While there could have been a lot more done here, especially if it was originally shot with 3D in mind, it was not disappointing.  It was also pretty well done when the T-Rex breaks down the bathroom building and chomps on the lawyer. I even knew he would get eaten from the start of the movie when I was little.

In the entire movie though, the best 3D is probably when they are in the trees, especially trying to escape from the jeep.  When the jeep was pushed over the edge of the paddock, Dr. Grant has to climb up to save Tim.  As they are going down, the jeep slips and they have to scramble down through the branches.  Because there was so much going on with the branches, the jeep, and the people, the 3D depth really added to the franticness of trying to get out.  The 3D was also amusing when they are back up in the tree for the night and a brachiosaurus is nearby.  Lex is trying to pet it when it sneezes all over her.  Thankfully this is not a “4D’ movie and we didn’t actually get sprayed with dino snot.  Later we get another 3D dino experience when the herd of running dinosaurs comes through and they have to hide.  While it’s a cool scene, it wasn’t my favorite of th emovie.

Another good part of the movie, that I think is another classic moment, is when the T-Rex chases the jeep when Ellie and Muldoon go out to find the grandchildren   They find an injured Ian and put him on the jeep and they go off to look more when the T-Rex decides to come back.  They all scramble back into the jeep and take off with the T-Rex in tow.  The best part is the show in the side mirror with the T-Rex running with the “objects in the mirror may be closer than they appear” text.  It really made the T-Rex look like it’s about to jump through the mirror at you or catch you.  This is possibly my favorite scene in the movie, though it’s hard to beat out the raptors.

Ahhh the velociraptors.  Watching this movie again, I had forgotten that they really aren’t in much of the movie.  They are what stands out the most to me, but I could also be mixing movies together.  The first encounter with a free running raptor is when Ellie and Muldoon go to turn the power back on.  Muldoon runs into some in the trees while Ellie runs in to flip the breakers.  Ellie also has one try to attack her in the breaker room.  In the breaker room, the 3D was underwhelming because it was such close quarters.  However, we do get raptors again coming after the children in the kitchen.  This is another iconic scene of the movie and I did like the 3D here.

The only other big scene with 3D in the movie was were Dennis Nedry (NEWMAN!) is trying to escape during the storm.  He’s flying through mud and muck and crashes.  Here he comes across one of the little dinos that spits acid.  While it was a cool scene, I felt the 3D could have been better.  This was a great scene to make you jump, but I feel if it had been shot in 3D originally, it would have been more effective.  I think the downpour of rain also hinders the 3D conversion because you have so much going on.  The one thing that caught my eye is the canister of embryos he was stealing gets dropped and covered up by mud.  It made a point of showing this, but in the other two movies, this has never been brought back up.  I am hoping it has some purpose, perhaps in the new movie.  I stayed after the credits, but no sneak preview of it, since it is set to come out in June of 2014.

Other than the 3D, the movie brought up some interesting thoughts for me that I had not considered.  Even today, I am still amazed by the technology and innovation used to create the dinosaurs in this morning.  For most scenes, they are not just CGI that is put in, but mechanised creations or suited actors.  I highly suggest looking at how the raptor suits that were used were created.  That is something that I feel is just not done as often in movies today.

Also in the movie there was lots of talk about even though they can re-create dinosaurs and essential bring them back from extinction, of the idea of if they really should.  This theme was definitely well over my head when I was first watching this morning, but being in science and seeing a lot of research, there is an ethical and moral dilemma with a lot of topics.  Just because we can doesn’t necessarily mean we should and this movie really hits at the danger of playing with science and technology that we do not fully understand and cannot control.  However, given the level of security and the circumstances, was it really that the dinosaurs were uncontrolled and dangerous, or was it a series of unfortunate events that lead to it?  Without the sabotage by Dennis (NEWMAN!), the fences would have not failed and a system reset would have not been required, though it is hard to say what other situations could arise.  Another idea is that nature will always find a way, which Ian says several times.  We see at one point that the dinosaurs did find a way and have been mating and breeding.

Overall, I think they did a pretty good job with the 3D version.  Not every scene was in 3D and there were some scenes where the 3D did add a lot.  Yeah it is also ploy to make more money off an old movie, but it also brings a new life to what I consider a classic from my childhood.  For those like me that loved this movie on TV, but never got to see it in theaters, it gives us that chance to have that experience, which I appreciate.  Even if it had just been released in 2D I probably would have gone to see it just to see it in a theater.  It’s kind of the same reason why people want to go see new movies at midnight the night it opens.  It’s all about the experience.  Overall, I give it 6 dino bones plus two and a half DNA strands out of 10.  It’s a great movie and you should totally check it out in 3D, but a few of the 3D scenes left me underwhelmed.


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