Film Review: ‘Jurassic Park 3-D’

 Sam Neill tries not to become dino-chow — in three dimensions! — in "Jurassic Park 3-D." Credit: Universal City Studios, Inc. & Amblin Entertainment, Inc.
Sam Neill tries not to become dino-chow — in three dimensions! — in “Jurassic Park 3-D.”
Credit: Universal City Studios, Inc. & Amblin Entertainment, Inc.

Recall, if you’re old enough, summer 1993, when “Jurassic Park” arrived on an impossible wave of hype and actually lived up to expectations. In recent years, several movies have invited audiences to evaluate special effects rather than respond to their stories —”Avatar”‘s nearly-all-CGI live-action 3-D, “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey”‘s 48 frames-per-second — but neither was as game-changing as “Jurassic Park.” There’d been dinosaurs on-screen before, of course, but they were clunky/charming stop-motion creations. In 1993, people learned what the acronym “CGI” meant and never forgot it. “I hate computers,” Alan Grant (Sam Neill) mutters early on, predicting the reaction of the modern disgruntled theatergoer after being burned by the likes of “Clash of the Titans.” But for a brief, promising moment “Jurassic Park” gave us reason to love them.

As a movie seen by nearly everyone on the planet, “Jurassic Park” remains shockingly well-crafted. Michael Crichton’s novel may have been softened to allow for a typical Spielberg surrogate-father-and-kids plot, but the film remains exceedingly suspenseful even if every scene’s been long burned into your memory. There’s a few odd, dated ’90s moments —whiz girl hacker Lex (Ariana Richards) getting excited because she knows how to operate a Unix system —but it’s a seamless ride whose f/x have aged shockingly well. The herbivorous dinos are hazy around the edges, but the velociraptors and T. Rex are still a tactile, in-your-face threat. In terms of current blockbuster rhythms, it moves slowly, taking half of its running time to establish the players and stakes before unleashing havoc.

There was a time, not so long ago, when movies would get reissued on their anniversaries just to give everyone a chance to see them in a theater again, but that era’s long gone. In part, “Jurassic Park 3-D” is a thought experiment, literally giving a 20-year-old movie a new perspective. The 3-D is well done enough, giving every frame realistic depth without the darkening sadly common to too many 3-D films, but without any new thrills. The technology isn’t there yet for making images pop out from old footage, but if there was ever a film which could benefit from having the dinosaurs right in your face, it’d be the one famous for having a T. Rex chase an SUV, its face reflected in a rear-view mirror reading “Objects in mirror may be closer than they appear.” Not here they’re not.



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
International

Dinosaurs could have survived asteroid strike

It turns out there is a good and a bad time for the planet to be hit by a meteor, and dinosaurs were just unlucky.…

National

OkCupid admits to Facebook-style experimenting on customers

By Sarah McBrideSAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - OkCupid, a top U.S. matchmaking website, intentionally mismatched users to test its technology, the IAC/InterActive Corp service said on…

Local

MTA fares still increasing 4 percent in newly…

The agency said the 4 percent increases, previously announced in December, will remain steady even as the MTA deals with increasing labor costs.

Local

De Blasio, Bratton defend city's efforts after Eric…

Mayor Bill de Blasio justified the city's response to the death of Eric Garner, a Staten Island man who died while in police custody earlier this month.

Movies

Interview: Brendan Gleeson on the way 'Calvary' depicts…

Brendan Gleeson talks about how his new film "Calvary" began over drinks and how his character here is the opposite of the lead in "The Guard."

Movies

'Get on Up' producer Mick Jagger on the…

Mick Jagger, a producer on the James Brown biopic "Get on Up," talks about the time had to tell the singer some bad news and his favorite JB record.

Television

'Glee' star Lea Michele to appear on 'Sons…

"Glee" star Lea Michele has been confirmed as a guest star in the final season of "Sons of Anarchy."

Television

TV watch list, Monday, July 28: 'The Bachelorette'…

See Andi Dorfman make her big choice on tonight's 'Bachelorette' finale.

NFL

Larry Donnell has inside track in Giants tight…

Little-known Larry Donnell of Grambling State currently has the inside track, as the second-year player has received the bulk of the first-team reps.

NFL

Computer to Jets: Start Michael Vick over Geno…

Jets general manager John Idzik says the choice of who starts between second-year quarterback Geno Smith and veteran Michael Vick will be a “Jets decision.”

MLB

Yankees looking to trade for Josh Willingham: Report

CBS Sports’ Jon Heyman reported Sunday the Yankees are interested in Twins outfielder Josh Willingham.

MLB

Joe Torre: I'm in Hall of Fame because…

Joe Torre spent 18 years putting together a near Hall of Fame career as a player. But it was the 12 years he spent as…

Travel

Glasgow: Hey, hey, the gangs aren't here

This European city has done a good job getting rid of its more violent residents and revitalizing with artists.

Education

Babson College tops list of best colleges for…

Money magazine has just released its inaugural list of "The Best Colleges for Your Money" -- and the answers have surprised many. Babson College, which…

Education

NYC teens learn how to develop apps during…

Through a program sponsored by CampInteractive, the high schoolers designed their own community-focused apps.

Tech

The Ministry of Silly Walks app is both…

Monty Python have dug into their back catalogue for cash-ins once more, but with the Ministry of Silly Walks app, they've made something that's fun too.