I Loved Jurassic Park. I was extremely disappointed with Jurassic Park II. Jurassic Park III fell right in the middle. This film is good, but really cannot compare to the greatness of the original. The story is a bit better then the second installment and it is still fun to see Dinosaurs come to life.
Desperate to fund research for his new theory of Velociraptor intelligence, Grant is particularly vulnerable when wealthy adventurer Paul Kirby (William H. Macy) and hi… wife Amanda (Téa Leoni) approach him with a proposition. They will open their checkbook to him if he will accompany them on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, a second InGen site. Just adjacent to Isla Nublar, this quarantined island has become both a primordial breeding ground for John Hammond’s creations and a magnet for thrill-seekers eager to encounter them.
Accompanied by his protégé (Alessandro Nivola), Grant suspects that something’s not right when the pilot prepares to actually land on the island. Angry and alarmed, Grant begins to protest when out of nowhere an enormous creature appears in the path of the plane, forcing it to crash into the jungle treetops.
Once again stranded on an island inhabited by genetically cloned dinosaurs, Grant finally discovers his deceptive hosts’ true reason for inviting him on this journey. This excursion was never intended to simply be an aerial tour but, in fact, a search and rescue mission. The Kirbys are actually a middle class, divorced couple reunited for the sole purpose of finding their 14-year-old son Eric (Trevor Morgan), who disappeared while vacationing with Amanda’s boyfriend. Aware of Grant’s prior trip to Jurassic Park as well as his current financial hardship, the couple desperately concocted this elaborate scheme hoping to find an experienced guide to lead them to their child. But they overlooked the fact that Grant’s prior visit was to Isla Nublar, not Isla Sorna. Now, as they attempt to locate Eric and find a way to escape with their lives, the marooned group must encounter terrifying new creatures undisclosed by InGen, including the massive Spinosaurus, which can hunt both on land and underwater, and the flying Pteronadons. And Dr. Alan Grant is forced to learn the dreadful implications of his raptor intelligence theory firsthand.
Thank you Universal! It is about time that major studios include both Dolby Digital and DTS track on the same disc, rather then releasing multiple releases featuring one or the other sound format (i.e. Jurassic Park I & II, Saving Private Ryan, Jaws, etc.). Both tracks on this disc are very loud. This loudness is what we have come to expect from these films, but the small dynamic sounds seem to be overpowered by the amazing bass and thunder of the dinosaurs. The surrounds are used to the max, and the voices are beautifully focused around the center channel. Amazing left-to-right and front-to-back sound movement, as well as a very effective score. If you are looking for a LOUD action pack audio track, you should be impressed with Jurassic Park III.
As to be expected with most new releases on DVD, this print is very clean. Other then some occasional compression artifacts throughout the film, the transfer looks good. The colors look very crisp, and the blacks are dark and clear. The exterior shots with the Dinosaurs look extremely good, much better then the indoor scenes. These indoor scenes still looked good, but they lacked the sharp colors that we have come to expect from the Jurassic Part Trilogy (or at least Jurassic Park I). One point of disappointment is the fact that two versions of the DVD were released… one widescreen presentation and one full-frame presentation. Just like Universal included both DD and DTS audio on the one DVD, why could they not have included both widescreen & full-frame on the one release as well? Overall, the video looks very good.
It is quite surprising the amount of special features that Universal has fit onto this dual layer DVD. Most other DVD’s with this much “stuff” would be released in two-disc sets. For those Dino freaks out there that like everything dinosaur released, you are in for a treat. These special features are not only for you grown-ups out there, but also for those little dinosaur fans as well.
Of the special features, I found the audio commentary and the making-of featurette. First off, the audio commentary is different then most, since it features scene specific commentary by the team responsible for the special effects. The commentary is very good, even considering the gaps between commentaries. The commentary uses a nice combination of comedy and information to become enjoyable to listen to. The making-of featurette brings many of the people involved in the film together to discuss the film, story, and trilogy. This film and featurette, which is lacking in both story and the “Spielberg Factor” is far less interesting then the previous Jurassic Park films and documentaries. It is quite interesting to see how important Spielberg is to the completion and effectiveness of certain films.
This disc also includes lot of smaller features. This disc includes behind-the-scenes footage, storyboard comparisons, trailers, studio tours, and DVD-ROM features. These features are nothing too special, but they are still a nice addition to this disc.
Lastly, this disc includes lots of “teaching tools” in regards to dinosaurs. There are introductions to the new dinosaurs, the evolution of the dinosaurs, dinosaur turntables, and finding dinosaurs with paleontologist Jack Horner. If you want to learn something about Dino’s, you should watch these features. If you are not interested in learning something new, they can be skipped.
Really, if you like BIG sounding and BIG visual films, you cannot go wrong with JP3. The sound and video are grandiose, and there are lots of special features to sort through. The story is very questionable, but after Jurassic Park II, this series could only get better. This disc is worth picking up, and worthy of repeat viewing.
Special Features List
- Making of JPIII
- Feature Commentary
- New dinosaurs of JPIII
- Tour of Stan Winston Studio
- Theatrical trailer(s)
- Visit to ILM
- Dinosaur turntables
- Behind-the-Scenes Montage
- Storyboard Sequences
- JPIII Archives
- Finding New Dinosaurs