Jurassic Park is a film that has always been near and dear to my heart. Ever since I first saw it when I was young, I’ve had a certain fixation about the film. The idea of a Jurassic Park helped to spark my imagination, and the park itself is so full of potential that when it all ultimately falls apart, I can’t help but share in Hammond’s pain. When I learned that Jurassic Park was getting the 3-D treatment….and was going to be shown in the IMAX format no less, I decided that I couldn’t let this golden opportunity pass through my fingers. This would be my first time ever seeing this classic in theaters, and it’s forever changed the way I will look at this film. Jurassic Park is a film that was made to be seen on the biggest screen possible, it’s the very definition of what a theatrical film should be. It’s large, loud, bombastic, thrilling, all-encompassing, and audience engulfing.
Jurassic Park was a film whose intent was to make the audience feel like they are in the world of Jurassic Park, on the big screen this is all the more obvious. The way shots are framed, with elements in the foreground, midground and background, help to establish a scene and place you inside it. Even small things like where the camera is set and angled help to place you into the world. There was only so far this attempted effect could go back in the day, Jurassic Park was a film that was just waiting to be converted into 3D. Somehow, the 3D team here worked with the original film and it’s cinematography to craft a 3D experience which I would compare to Avatar, except done and executed a million times better. They didn’t force the 3-D, but did it in a way so that it came off naturally. The 3-D is just about a perfect fit for the film as can be evidenced by the above stated fore, mid and background elements which combine to create not just a fantastic illusion of depth, but another illusion that most 3D films strive to achieve but rarely do…..that there is no screen or window in front of you. There is no separation between film and theater, they become one and we, the audience, find ourselves fully engulfed in the world of Jurassic Park. It took my breath away.
Jurassic Park has a somewhat surreal quality to it when viewed in IMAX 3D, with its extreme close-ups of character’s faces and computer screens made all the larger and bizarre when displayed on the downright gigantic IMAX screen. Extreme close-ups of people’s heads make them seem to float or protrude just barely out of the screen, then there is the extreme close-ups of computer screens which seem downright imposing and even a bit frightening in IMAX. The extreme close-up shots of the dinosaur’s feet as they are chasing after their prey is also super-impressive in IMAX 3D. It also helps that the way scenes are filmed, and the lighting and set design help create this different world of bizarre but fascinating science that can be mysterious, intriguing and deadly (perfect example: the way the scene where Dennis steals the embryos looks on IMAX really does make it seem like we are in a bizarre new world). There is also a cool effect where Tim puts on those nifty night-vision goggles and due to the extreme close-up the camera uses it seems like he is peering into the theater for a few seconds. I guess my point here is that extreme close-ups in IMAX 3D are awesome.
Jurassic Park was a film that wasn’t made to be seen on your blu-ray player. This monster was made to be seen on the biggest darn screen possible. Jurassic Park is a celebration of cinema and everything that’s good about this art form. On display here is a fairly strong script, fantastic acting all around, gorgeous cinematography, memorable monsters, and some kick-ass visual effects , not to mention it’s also got some moments of quiet brilliance hidden inside. This is a film whose aim is to show audiences an explosive good time, but it can also be surprisingly smart and clever when it wants to be. While it wasn’t made with 3-D in mind, it was THE perfect choice to convert into the format due to the way it was shot and the angles and swooping movements of the camera (oh, and because DINOSAURS!!!!). The IMAX 3D experience here is top-notch as it allows audiences to fully engulf themselves into the rich and fascinating world created here. Jurassic Park has always been and always will be one of the best, while seeing it in 3D is not mandatory for you to enjoy it (I’m sure that seeing it in 2D on the big screen is still enjoyable) I do recommend that you fork over the extra bucks for IMAX 3D, because as good as Jurassic Park is….it’s even better in IMAX 3D, and the world you step into seems all the more real on that large IMAX screen. It’s a one-of-a-kind experience that you shouldn’t cheat yourself out of.
~ Daniel “Smalls” Huffman