Latest on the docket of classic Hollywood blockbusters to be resurrected in tri-dimensional splendor is Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park”, a 90’s mega-hit and one of the best adventure/horror movies of all time. I assume for the majority of interested parties, the question is not whether or not “Jurassic Park” itself is worth seeing, but whether it’s worth doling out the extra change to witness it in 3D. The short answer is “yes”. The long answer is “YEEEEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!”
It’s like I can touch all the things!
I’m not a fan of 3D. I find the number of occasions where it actually contributes to my enjoyment of a film to be positively dwarfed by the number of times it serves as a distraction and stupid gimmick. From the annoying glasses to the extra cost of the tickets to horrible conversions of films not originally shot in 3D to rob people of that extra hard earned $2.50, it wouldn’t pain me one bit if 3D went the way of “Percepto!” However, there are the rare instances where I find the 3D experience ameliorates a movie, by either distracting me from the crappy story with dazzling and immersive visuals *cough “Avatar” cough*, or by allowing me to experience something I’ve seen before in a new and interesting way. “Jurassic Park 3D” falls into the latter categorization. The 3D is flawlessly integrated into the visual presentation, giving the image a depth and clarity that makes you completely forget you’re watching a 20-year old film. There’s no stupid gimmicks, nothing flying at your head trying to make you flinch, just the original movie with a z-axis.
This “Spielberg” kid is gonna be good.
The most incredible thing about watching “Jurassic Park 3D” is how well the visuals have held up over time. The computer generated dinosaurs are on par and often far more impressive-looking than anything being done in today’s effect-driven films, and the way they are cleverly combined with the stunningly detailed animatronic creatures is a testament to Spielberg’s directorial genius. The use of lighting, shadows, cinematography and editing to mask transitions between CG and practical effects is a dazzling art that seems to have been somewhat lost in modern blockbusters, as the relative cheapness and efficacy of using computer generated effects has nurtured an apparent attitude of complacency in contemporary films of this sort. The technical limitations of earlier high concept films like this demanded innovation, producing creative visual techniques that still allow movies like “Jurassic Park 3D” to stand out amidst all the visual wizardry in mainstream blockbuster cinema today.
“What’s so wrong with kids?”
And here I come to it, the one thing I absolutely do not like about “Jurassic Park 3D”. The goddamn kids. The consistent achilles heel with Spielberg’s movies in my opinion is his persistence of including annoying little kids. In “Jurassic Park 3D”, it’s more than just them being bothersome, after all, they’re supposed to be. It’s the way that the kids completely sidetrack the plot from going in some more interesting areas. Dr. Grant is relegated from intelligent action hero to babysitter, as he has to take care of the stupid kids who keep getting into irritatingly self-induced predicaments. It’s the cinematic equivalent of an escort mission that denies us the potential for more, cooler scenes with the awesome adult cast. Then there’s the stupid little special skills both kids have that are shamelessly shoehorned in to give them some purpose in the climax. The boy can name any dinosaur he sees (you’d think the palaeontologist would know what a gallimimus is…) and the girl is a computer hacker. We know this because she tells us in a throwaway line in order to establish that she will have an eventual purpose and we’re not allowed to want the T-Rex to eat her. *Sigh*… Well, at least she didn’t backflip-kick a raptor with her gymnastic skills.
“Jurassic Park 3D” is no bastardization of one of the best blockbuster movies ever made and is well worth seeing if you’re even a casual fan of the original. Enjoy the spectacular visuals, The Deus “Rex” Machina ending, the iconic John Williams score, Jeff Goldblum being Jeff Goldblum and pray, just pray that maybe the raptors will catch those goddamn kids this time around.