Posted in: Disc Reviews by Gino Sassani on March 25th, 2002
“Welcome back to Jurassic Park”. How do you make a blockbuster better? The simple answer is: You don’t. The story for this one is about as contrived as a good Godzilla film. Call it the politically correct Jurassic Park. The high point, however, is bigger, better, and cooler dinosaurs. The T-Rex and raptors are back but now they’re joined by dozens of new species to gape at. The movie is actually fine until the ending. What was Spielberg thinking? Substitute Tokyo for San Diago and we’ve seen it too many times before done better.
John Hammond has been almost ruined by the events of Jurassic Park. He hires Malcolm (Goldblume) to go to a second island where the first dinosaurs were developed. Several groups converge upon the island and the typical chaos ensues.
The Lost World, like its parent film, was released in separate DTS and Dolby Digital releases. There is little enough difference in the two to warrant giving up some extras for the DTS version. The audio on this disc is possibly better than the original film. It is decisively louder. The bass extension is massive and wonderfully realistic. The disc makes superior use of ambient sounds to create a bone chilling environment in the deep jungle scenes. Snarls and growls intermixed with haunting clicks and rustles will effectively stimulate your hearing. John William’s score shines with the same majesty as it did in the original. Highs are crystal, and dialogue is usually well placed and audible. There were rare moments when there was too much happening in the mix so that words got lost.
The Lost World is presented in an engrossing widescreen aspect ratio of 1.85:1. The color is superb… I am very impressed with the jungle greens. This film was lensed darker than the first so it is important that the blacks stand up well, and they do, indeed. Shadows are also very detailed and natural. The video is certainly superior to the original. There are no print flaws or score marks. A very small amount of grain appears occasionally but I dare you to notice without close inspection. I was also particularly impressed with the skin texture and color on the dinosaurs. You’ll find the disc allows you to observe such effects marvels with ease.
A feature entitled “Making The Lost World” is a nice hour-long presentation. It takes you behind the camera and into the computer workshop where the real magic happens. Stan Winston’s amazing models are demonstrated with some humorous results. This is one of the better “Making of…” specials. Another link to the set of Jurassic Park 3 that I never did get to work is included. There are a few deleted scenes that are nice to watch. In a nice touch there is a dinosaur encyclopedia of sorts with interesting information on the real creatures. Lastly, the disc includes trailers for all three films, galleries, bios, production notes, and the menus are just like the first film with different pictures.
With the title of this sequel Spielberg and writer Michael Creighton, pay homage to the beginning of the dinosaur stories. A story written by Sherlock Holmes creator Sir Arthur Conan Doyle became the very first dinosaur film in 1925 with stop motion effects by Willis O’Brien who would go on to animate King Kong almost a decade later. The Lost World is very much a formula piece that goes pretty much like this: “Oooh Ahhh that’s how it always starts but later there’s running and screaming.”