Originally released 20 years ago, Steven Spielberg‘s dinosaur movie (adapted from the novel by Michael Crichton) gets a new run in theaters sporting retrofitted 3D effects. Despite CGI effects two decades old, the film holds up remarkably well and the 3D works (most of the time) to enhance what is still a thoroughly enjoyable popcorn movie.
The film, for those need a refresher, stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum as scientists recruited by a wealthy billionaire (Richard Attenborough) to sign off on his new amusement park which features cloned dinosaurs. Also along for the weekend are the billionaire’s grandchildren (Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards) and his “blood-sucking lawyer” (Martin Ferrero).
When a confluence of events, including a tropical storm and some extremely bad decision-making by the park’s head programmer (Wayne Knight), takes down the island’s containment fences and releases the dinosaurs the travelers struggle to do their best to survive against a variety of threats including a Tyrannous Rex and a trio of Velociraptors.
When the new 3D effects put the dinosaurs on the display or focus primarily on the action the results are quite good. Where the retrofitting comes into trouble is when it tries to set the actors apart by putting them, rather than their surroundings, in 3D. At times this gives the film an extremely flat look. Because of this, there are even a handful of scenes that look like the entire sequence was filmed (cheaply) on sound stage in front of a green screen.
When I was younger, before the rise of home video, movies would often get a re-release in theaters (especially Disney). I’ll admit, I kind of miss that. It was fun seeing a movie you enjoyed get a second run a few years later. Outside of special screenings at art houses or smaller private theaters you rarely see this done anymore, and that’s a shame. Honestly, will all the crap Hollywood puts out I wouldn’t mind seeing a few more old friends mixed in from time to time (and which I’d be much more in favor of than risky reboots or unnecessary sequels).
With or without the 3D, fans of the movie should enjoy the opportunity to experience Jurassic Park on the big screen once more. I don’t think you need to see the film in 3D, but the retrofitting works better than I expected (except for the above-mentioned issues) and fans who do see it in three dimensions should enjoy themselves (especially those Goldblum fans out there who have been waiting years to see a sweaty bare-chested Dr. Ian Malcolm in 3D).