Jurassic Park (1993)
13th November 2000
On a remote island off the west coast of Costa Rica, billionaire John Hammond and his science team have uncovered a cloning technique to re-create the long extinct dinosaurs. They have managed to recover DNA from samples of dinosaur blood stored in the stomachs of prehistoric mosquitoes preserved in amber.
John Hammond has big plans for his genetically engineered dinosaurs in a theme park called Jurassic Park. Before opening the attraction to the public, Hammond visits a top palaeontologist and palaeobotanist during one of their digs and invites the pair to his island in an attempt to get their approval and calm the nervous investors.
Together with a mathematician, and his two eager grandchildren, John Hammond sends the group on a relaxing the tour of the island. However, during a tropical storm their visit becomes far from relaxing as the power is cut and the park security system breaks down allowing the dinosaurs to break out of their pens and start snacking on the guests.
The picture is bright and colourful, if a little washed out, with a high bit-rate throughout with no signs of outlining or artifacting. There were a few occasions where there was some picture noise, but it was so infrequent that it hardly affected the viewing pleasure of the film.
The DTS soundtrack on the region one edition is awesome. There's some amazing channel separation and floor thumping LFE's. However, the Dolby Digital version is no let down either. Although the separation is not as good as the DTS version is it still no wimp when it comes to the LFE's and surround effects, but it just lacks that extra edge.
Even though the region one disc only contains the DTS soundtrack, and even looses some of the ample extras on the Dolby Digital version, it is still a worthy sacrifice. There are plentiful ambient effects in the rear channel and lets not forget the scene with the flock of dinosaurs as they charge past you on the left and right of the soundstage. Jurassic park also contains a huge amount of LFE's, mainly courtesy of a certain Tyrannosaurus-rex and the now famous ripples in the water cup as it approached.
Jurassic Park was truly a ground breaking event. Not only was it a phenomenal success in the box office world wide, it completely changed the possibilities, and expectations, of computer generated imagery forever. Previously, the best a film could offer were the limited, and expensive, effects used in Terminator 2 and by comparing the two now makes T2 laughable.
The films original plan was to use go-motion animation and a renowned SFX team headed by Stan Winston was enlisted to create a massive 20-foot T-rex. That was until Spielberg saw what ILM could produce and that, they say, is history. Trouble is, with the CGI going straight to their heads, a hastily written sequel was a little disappointing, although those impressive CGI dinosaurs were back in numbers.
Together with the stupendous special effects, and that certain flare only Steven Spielberg can add to a film, Jurassic Park will go down in history as one of the most ground breaking films ever. You should own a part of it, but which disc should you choose?
If you aren't too bothered about the extras and have a DTS decoder then I would definitely recommend the US region one version. However, if you don't have a region free DVD player, or DTS decoder, then you should not be afraid to buy the region two edition, plus the region two edition has a nicely animated menu.