on 24 October 2013
JURASSIC PARK III [2001/2013] [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy + ULTRAVIOLET] [US Import] Unleash the Adventure of Jurassic Park! This Time It Is Not a Walk In The Park!
Return to the action-packed world of prehistoric dinosaurs in `Jurassic Park III' where man is up against dangerous predators in the ultimate battle for survival. Adventure runs wild when renowned palaeontologist Dr. Alan Grant [Sam Neill] agrees to accompany a wealthy couple [William H. Macy and Téa Leoni] on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, off of Central America's Pacific coast, the island featured in the second film, the former breeding ground for prehistoric creatures. After they are terrifyingly stranded, Dr. Alan Grant soon discovers that his hosts are not what they seem and the island's native inhabitants are smarter, faster, fiercer and more brutal than he ever imagined. Executive produced by Steven Spielberg, this visually stunning blockbuster features all-new dinosaurs and special effects that you need to see to believe and they are Ankylosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Ceratosaurus, Compsognathus, Corythosaurus, Parasaurolophus, Pteranodon, Spinosaurus, Stegosaurus, Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus and Velociraptor.
FILM FACT: Awards and Nominations: Saturn Awards: Nominated: Best Science Fiction Film for Jim Mitchell, Stan Winston (uncredited), Danny Gordon Taylor, Donald R. Elliott, John Rosengrant. Nominated: Best Special Effects for Jim Mitchell, Stan Winston (uncredited), Danny Gordon Taylor, Donald R. Elliott, John Rosengrant. Golden Trailer Awards: Nominated: Best Horror/Thriller Film. Golden Reel Awards: Nominated: Best Sound Editing for Effects and Foley for Howell Gibbens, Christopher Boyes, James Likowski, Frank E. Eulner and Ken Fischer. Broadcast Music, Inc.: Won: Best Music for Don Davis and John Williams.
Cast: Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter, John Diehl, Bruce A. Young, Laura Dern, Taylor Nichols, Mark Harelik, Julio Oscar Mechoso, Blake Michael Bryan, Sarah Danielle Madison, Linda Park, Sonia Jackson, Bruce French, Bernard Zilinskas, Rona Benson, Frank Clem, Karin M. Gaarder (uncredited), Edward C. Gillow (uncredited), Craig Richards (uncredited) and Brad Everett Young (uncredited)
Director: Joe Johnston
Producers: Cheryl A. Tkach, David Womark, Kathleen Kennedy, Larry Franco and Steven Spielberg
Screenplay: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, Peter Buchmanand and Michael Crichton (characters)
Composers: Don Davis (new music composed and conducted) and John Williams (original theme)
Cinematography: Shelly Johnson
Video Resolution: 1080p
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Audio: English: 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 Dolby Digital, French: 5.1 DTS, Spanish: 5.1 Dolby Digital and Spanish: 5.1 DTS 5.1
Subtitles: English SDH, French and Spanish
Running Time: 186 minutes
Region: All Regions
Number of discs: 2
Studio: Universal Studios
Andrew's Blu-ray Review: The original ‘Jurassic Park' came and went and banked a billion dollars. When `The Lost World' did almost the same, a Third film was inevitable and so the unimaginatively titled ‘Jurassic Park III' was born into existence. Relatively speaking, ‘Jurassic Park III is a slight disappointment, but not a total disaster. With Steven Spielberg gone from the director's chair, is now replaced by Joe Johnston, ho was the director of the disasterous and embarrassing film ‘Jumanji' and so the Jurassic Park saga has been slightly downgraded to its B-grade monster film roots. The first ‘Jurassic Park’ was a well-paced adventure movie wrapped in a magical package that used state-of-the-art special effects and digital sound to make us believe that dinosaurs could once again roam the earth. ‘The Lost World: Jurassic Park II,’ while panned in some corners, basically offered more of the same tightly-paced action and adventure. Unfortunately, Jurassic Park III not only re-hashes the two previous outings with hapless embarrassing humans hunted by hungry dinosaurs, but does it with far less style and human interest. This time around, there's no build-up to the first appearance of the dinosaurs and they are suddenly there. Character interaction, never is a strong suit in this particular film, even worse than perfunctory, it's virtually non-existent. Every action piece is staged in a generic fashion, leaving no room for suspense or tension. And the whole film is over so fast, especially sans credits, only about 1 hour, 20 minutes, that it hardly seems to have happened, still it is not a total disaster and I still enjoyed viewing it, as I still love this franchise.
Anyway despite this, here is a synopsis of the outline of the film. When a young boy is left marooned on the island of Isla Sorna, his parents Paul Kirby [William H. Macy] and Amanda Kirby [Tea Leoni] trick Dr. Alan Grant [Sam Neill] into flying with them over the island to help find their son. But when the plane crashes and they are left stranded, it's every man for himself. This time there's no fences, no weapons and absolutely no protection and ensuring this won't be a normal walk through the park.
‘Jurassic Park III' entered production without a completed script and whilst Director Joe Johnston does the best with what he has, it's reasonably obvious that production was difficult. Barring the lengthy end credits, the film comes in at a scant 80 minutes and very short for a modern day film. Still, this is completely about the dinosaur action scenes, of which there are probably more than the first and second films combined. It also marks one of the last large projects for the Stan Winston's animatronics studio, who have become a victim of the fast growth of CGI animation. Stan Winston himself sadly passed away a few short years later.
‘Jurassic Park III' isn't really terrible, but as the third entry to a much loved film franchise series, who has a sizeable fan base, like me. Compounding this is the troublesome ending that materialises, rather than coming to a natural conclusion. I just hope that Universal Pictures can make Jurassic Park IV happen, if only to give the series the conclusion it deserves, but I doubt this will ever happen, as too many years have passed us by, oh well, we will wait and see. ‘Jurassic Park III’ may not offer much in terms of originality or story, but it is still a fast-paced and fun thrill ride that doesn't wear out its welcome. Like its two predecessors, there is little doubt that this latest instalment has sort of done well, and that the pteranodon's seen flying into the sunset at the close of the film will somehow end up in ‘Jurassic Park IV,’ let’s keep fingers crossed and find out.
Blu-ray Video Quality – ‘Jurassic Park III' is presented in the awesome 1.85:1 aspect ratio (original aspect ratio), and a stunning 1080p encoded image. Again, it's fairly obvious that Universal have used an off-the-shelf transfer for `Jurassic Park III,' but its relatively young age makes this the stand out of all of the trilogies, so it isn't all bad. The transfer is very sharp and offers a pleasing amount of fine detail. The upgraded texture maps on the computer generated dinosaurs, especially the new-look raptors and the Spinosaurus look very realistic and convincing. However, it's very easy to tell the CGI and animatronic creations apart. ‘Jurassic Park III' was released in 2001 when film colour grading was starting to get increasingly popular and the film looks strangely dark because of it and almost like the entire film was run through a neutral density filter one shade too dark. It's always looked this way, so this is not a fault of the transfer, but in comparison to the other films, it just looks weird. I noticed a handful of small, but relatively unobtrusive film artefacts, but certainly no film-to-video issues. Overall, this is a pretty decent transfer, just hampered by some of the original production methods.
Blu-ray Audio Quality – The main audio track is encoded with 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio. Just like the Blu-ray of the original, the audio track is the stand out performer, which represents a significant (and I mean significant) upgrade from the 5.1 Dolby Digital 5.1 track on the inferior DVD. Again, the audio has been extrapolated into a 7.1 experience, using a variety of techniques. This is by far the most aggressive of all the Jurassic Park audio mixes, and the films emphasis on action certainly allows this to come to life. I never thought I'd say it, but the .1 low frequency effects are a little 'too hot' and overly aggressive. Take for example the T-Rex vs. Spinosaur fight early on in the film. Almost all the low frequency is diverted to the subwoofer channel and hardly any is given to the full range channels. So, if you don't have a subwoofer, or have it turned off, it sounds like they are tip-toing. I don't believe this is film mixing as it should be. The channel should be to support the films bass, not provide it solely. Unfortunately, John Williams bowed out of composer duties for the third entry, being replaced by Don Davis, who was at the time hot off The Matrix. Davis uses the irreplaceable Williams' cues and main theme, but his original work is mostly pedestrian. Overall, an extremely pleasing and definitely awesome inspiring audio track.
Blu-ray Special Features and Extras:
Audio Commentary: Commentary with Special Effects Team: The conversation features the special F/X team Stan Winston, John Rosengrant, Dan Taylor and Michael Lantieri, providing an enjoyably detailed technical look at the film. Granted, the men focus their attention primarily on the animatronics and digital effects, but it's also precisely what makes it such a fascinating listen. Understandably, their exchange is scene specific, but they fill in the gaps with recollections on the production and thoughts on where practical effects now stand in modern visuals. For fans, the commentary track is informative and very interesting.
Special Feature: Return to Jurassic Park: The Third Adventure  [1080p] [25:00] The final instalment to the six-part documentary features certain members of the cast and crew reminiscing about the production and working with director Joe Johnston. Viewers can enjoy lots of good Behind-the-Scene footage while everyone talks about practical effects, set design, shooting on location as well as in a soundstage and the choice of the Spinosaurus as the new villain. Really interesting stuff, especially if you're a fan of the film.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Making of Jurassic Park III  [480i] [22:43] This Laurent Bouzereau's 2001 documentary includes a look at the special effects and animatronics made for the motion picture, ‘Jurassic Park III’ . Interviews with the cast and crew give us a sneak peek at the film. The movie used many different new dinosaurs compared to the first two films, here we examine how they'll look in the final product. A brief look at the action for the film is also shown, but not to a great extent.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park III  [480i] [7:52] This is another Laurent Bouzereau feature documentary and is a brief piece reveals to us the many alterations that were made to take on new kinds of dinosaurs for the film ‘Jurassic Park III’ . The Raptors have changed slightly, according to new findings, and the Spinosaurus is now the big man on campus. There are also interviews with the filmmakers and stars of the film to inform us about how realistic the animatronics and special effects for the dinosaurs are becoming.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III  [480i] [10:31] This Laurent Bouzereau documentary focuses on the special effects and animatronics made for the motion picture, ‘Jurassic Park III’ . Interviews with the cast and crew give us a sneak peek at the film. The movie used many different new dinosaurs compared to the first two films; here we examine how they'll look in the final product. A brief look at the action for the film is also shown, but not to a great extent.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel  [480i] [10:14] This is exactly what it sounds like - a press reel showing the work done by Industrial Light & Magic for `Jurassic Park III,' including dissections of how the various shots were put together.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Sounds of Jurassic Park III  [480i] [13:35] This time Laurent Bouzereau piece focuses on the work of Christopher Boyes, who took on the job of creating the various dinosaur sounds in the footsteps of Gary Rydstrom's great work on the first two films. Other contributors to this documentary are Don Davis, Tony Eckert, Joe Johnston, Dennie Thorpe and Jana Vance.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Art of Jurassic Park III  [480i] [7:55] This particular Laurent Bouzereau piece focuses on the design work of Ed Verraux, who took over the art department for the third film. Other contributors to this documentary are Rodolfo Damaggio, Joe Johnston, Kathleen Kennedy and David Lowery.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs  [480i] [4:21] This documentary is mostly an interview with palaeontologist Jack Horner who is the real-life basis for the character of Alan Grant in the films. Jack Horner describes the work his team does as we see video footage of their then-current dig. As Jack Horner points out, the real work on understanding dinosaurs isn't happening in a gene lab, but instead out in the field, where the fossils can be found.
Original Feature: Behind The Scenes:
Original Feature: Original Documentary: Tour of the Stan Winston Studio  [480i] [3:14] This is a very quick look at the work that goes on at the Stan Winston Studio, where the large mechanical dinosaur puppets were created for these movies.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: Spinosaurus Attacks The Plane  [480i] [1:48] This is a compilation of film footage and on-set video covering the early Spinosaur attack in the movie.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: Raptors Attack Udesky  [480i] [0:59] This is a compilation of film footage and on-set footage covering the fate of Michael Jeter's [mercenary] character, including an interesting shot of the puppeteer literally walking in the feet of the velociraptor doing the main attack.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: The Lake  [480i] [1:38] This is a compilation of film footage and on-set video of an underwater attack by the Spinosaur on the hero boat.
Original Feature: Original Documentary: A Visit to Industrial Light & Magic  [480i] This is really a whole section in its own right. It's a comprehensive overview of the work Industrial Light & Magic did to bring the dinosaurs to life. This subsection is itself divided into the following parts:
Original Feature: Concepts  [480i] Here we have concept materials for "The Spinosaurus," "The Pteranodons" and "The Raptors" (or the redesign work done for the third film. An introduction begins this section. These can be viewed individually or a "Play All" function.
Original Feature: The Process  [480i] Again starting with an introduction, this shows various stages of the creation of various elements and shots. "Models" includes an Interview with an ILM CGI worker who shows the various stages of a CGI dinosaur model, including wireframe and muscled versions. There is a second option, to simply view the model in close up as he describes the differences between versions. "T-Rex vs. Spinosaurus" includes an interview about the creation of the scene, a production plate showing the live action without CGI, and a look at the final shot as seen in the film. "Pteranodon Air Attack" includes an interview about the scene, an animatic of the shot, and then the final shot of Allesandro Nivola meeting a Pteranodon the wrong way. "Raptors: Returning the Egg" includes an interview, a production plate of the scene without CGI, and then the final shot adding CGI raptors to a shot that already had a puppet raptor to one side. All of this can be viewed individually or via the "Play All" function.
Original Feature: Muscle Simulation  [480i] Beginning with an introduction, this section focuses on the addition of simulated muscles to the wireframes and models of dinosaurs, thus making their movements more lifelike. The introduction is followed by a demonstration of the technique. Each part of the section can be viewed individually or via the "Play All" function.
Original Feature: Compositing  [480i] The final subsection here covers the work of combining a finished CGI element with live action to make it appear that the CGI creature is actually in the room with the characters. A definition is provided, followed by a demonstration. Each part of this section can be viewed individually or via the "Play All" function.
Original Feature: Dinosaur Turntables  [480i] [6:23] This is a collection of rotating views of the various dinosaurs seen in the film: "Corythosaurus," "Parasaurolophus," "Brachiosaurus," "Velociraptor (Male)," "Ankylosaurus" (not the Crichton variety), "Stegosaurus," "Triceratops," "Pteranodon (Baby and Adult)," "Compsognathus," "Billy Brennan" (a model of Allesandro Nivola for his maiden flight shot) and "Spinosaurus." These can each be viewed on their own or via the "Play All" function.
Original Feature: Storyboards to Final Feature Comparison  [480i] [6:08] Three storyboard assemblies are presented here, each time in combination with the actual film footage of that part of the relevant sequence. The three pieces are "The Lab", "The Aviary" and "The Boat Attack". Each can be viewed individually or via the "Play All" function.
Original Feature: Production Photographs  [480i] [2:50] This is a series of photographs taken during the production of the film.
Theatrical Trailer  [480i] [1:16] The film's Original Theatrical Trailer is carried over from the earlier inferior NTSC DVD.
BD-Live: The more general BD-Live screen is accessible via the menu, which makes various online materials available, including tickers, trailers and special events.
My Scenes: The usual bookmarking feature is included here.
D-BOX: D-Box functionality is available for those home theatre enthusiasts who have the proper equipment.
Finally, `Jurassic Park III' is not quite as good as the first but on the whole a lot better than `Jurassic Park 2.' It's also the first film in the series that is not based on a novel by Michael Crichton. That's basically `Jurassic Park III' in a nutshell. It's not necessarily a great film, but it sure has its moments, nor does it break any new grounds of adventure or take many risks, but it does take advantage of all the creative ideas. You will not hear anyone in the audience complain that the movie isn't inventive, because these writers, Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, really have an imagination. It's great to see Sam Neill return as Dr. Alan Grant and same goes for Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Sattler (although here role is pretty small but yet important) Alessandro Nivola is a great addition to the cast as Billy Brennan. The other characters are more for the comedy elements which works pretty well. So my conclusion: An entertaining film that is good for a few laughs and a good action packed film with some nice scene's and better than ever special effects for the dinosaurs and now it is complete, that I now have the Jurassic Park Trilogy and now I am a happy bunny and so good to add this 3rd film to my Blu-ray Collection. Highly Recommended!
Andrew C. Miller – Your Ultimate No.1 Film Fan
Le Cinema Paradios
WARE, United Kingdom