For just shy of eight pounds, this is a truly brilliant release. Like many fans of the original Jurassic Park film, I've never been taken in too much with two sequels and so I held off purchasing the original 'Trilogy' pack, hoping that an individual release would arrive. This isn't to say that the latter films are unwatchable by any means, but I just wasn't prepared to pay more money for extra discs and 'Digital Copies' that don't really appeal to me.
Alas, Universal have answered and right on cue too! As part of their 100th Anniversary celebration, they've just released a smattering of some classic films in a 'Augmented Reality' edition. Don't know what that means? You're not missing out on too much here - the snazzy title just refers to an iPhone/iPad app that enables the customer to see 3D models on their device by aiming the camera towards the Blu-ray slipcover. Utterly pointless after about 10-seconds, but never the less, it's nice to Universal making some kind of original effort.
The product arrives with just one disc, which is the same one you'll find in the 'Trilogy' product for the first film. In demonstrating what good value this release is, I was really pleased to see that Universal had not only shot some brand new HD documentaries, but also, ported over a selection of the bonus features from the previous DVD releases. Excellent! And now you can ditch those copies without losing anything.
How does this Blu-ray stand up to the DVD's? I went to see Jurassic Park at the cinema a couple of years ago when the restoration was completed, and I was blown away by its cleanliness. The Blu-ray uses that same master, and what you get is a picture that completely outperforms the original DVD's. Before I bought the Blu-ray, I was skeptical at how the film would be downsized for home release after reading many reviews, but in all honesty, I have no idea where some of the criticism has come from. Detail is exceptional. You can make out individual pores on the actors skin, individual grains of sand and see all the textures of the stunning sets in a way you've never seen before (even as far as to notice details that were otherwise missed). Yes the image is grainy - that is because grain is a natural product of photography, and Jurassic Park features a heck of a lot of computer compositing. As the saying goes, you can please some of the people some of the time, but not all the people all the time.
And the sound? Wow. Once you watch the documentaries and see how the dinosaur calls were composed of many different animals, you won't listen to this film in the same way again. From the boom of the T-Rex's stomping to John William's beautiful score, you'll really feel like you're at the Park itself.
Universal have done a fantastic job with this release and it perfectly celebrates not just the legacy of the film, but also that of the studio itself. Spielberg has had some truly groundbreaking visions, and Jurassic Park more than any other demonstrates what could be achieved when the actors, producers, 'ILM' and special effects team at Stan Winston's workshop (to which, great credit is due) pulled together to create the future style of a Hollywood blockbuster.