Ralph Potts reviews the Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection which marks the debut of all four films on Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment.
Studio and Year:
The Review at a Glance:
(max score: 5 )
Audio/UHD Video total rating:
( Max score: 100 )
Universal – 1993, 1997, 2001, 2015
Feature running time:
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Vince Vaughn, Julianne Moore, Tea Leoni, William H. Macy, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Martin Ferrero, Arliss Howard, Richard Schiff, Pete Postlethwaite, Peter Stormare, Vanessa Lee Carter, Michael Jeter, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Chris Pratt, Dallas Bryce Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, BD wong, Irrfan Khan
Steven Spielberg, Joe Johnston, Colin Trevorrow
John Williams, Michael Giacchino
Michael Crichton, David Koepp, Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor, Rick Jaffa, Amanda Silver, Derek Connolly, Colin Trevorrow
Blu-ray Disc release Date:
May 22, 2018
"Life Finds a Way"
I reviewed The Jurassic Park Trilogy and Jurassic World’s previous Blu-ray releases, and have included my comments from those reviews here. Ratings for film, and bonus content will be the same, as they are identical to the earlier releases. New comments and ratings for the Ultra HD video and DTS:X mixes are below.
: One of the most successful films in worldwide box office history, Jurassic Park remains a most compelling and spectacular experience. This thrilling adventure features Sam Neil, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, and Richard Attenborough. Featuring incredible special effects and action-packed drama, Jurassic Park takes you to a remote island where an amazing theme park with living dinosaurs is about to turn deadly, as five people must battle to survive among the prehistoric predators. Rediscover the breathtaking adventure you'll want to experience again and again.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
: Director Steven Spielberg takes us back to the scene of Jurassic Park in The Lost World, the blockbuster sequel with even more dinosaurs, more action and more breathtaking visual effects than its record-breaking predecessor. The Lost World remains among the most successful films of all time and features an all-star cast including Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore and Pete Postlethwaite. It has been four years since the disaster at Jurassic Park and two groups are in a race against time that will determine the fate of the remote island's prehistoric inhabitants.
Jurassic Park III
: Adventure runs wild when renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) agrees to accompany a wealthy adventurer (William H. Macy) and his wife (Tea Leoni) on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna, InGen's former breeding ground for prehistoric creatures. But when they're terrifyingly stranded, Dr. Grant discovers that his hosts are not what they seem, and the island's native inhabitants are smarter, faster, fiercer and more brutal than he ever imagined in this heart-stomping thriller.
: The original Jurassic Park took you to an amazing theme park on a remote island where dinosaurs once again roamed the Earth. After a series of events left five people battling to survive among the prehistoric predators the park was abandoned. Now, 22 years later, an even bigger and enormously popular attraction has risen on Isla Nubar: Jurassic World. To keep attendance high, the park operators introduce a new, genetically modified hybrid creature called Indominus Rex. Bigger, stronger and far more intelligent than any dinosaur that ever walked the earth; the secretive new breed also proves more dangerous than anyone ever anticipated. When the massive creature escapes, chaos erupts across the island. Now it’s up to Owen (Chris Pratt) and Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) to save the park’s tourists from an all-out prehistoric assault.
I have clear recollections of seeing Jurassic Park during its theatrical release back in 1993. I absolutely loved it. I went in expecting sci-fi horror about dinosaurs and got a wonderfully fulfilling and human story that blends memorable elements of levity, suspense and drama that are underscored by perfectly drawn characters (including the 30 foot tall T-Rex). Based upon Michael Crichton’s book the screenplay, which he co-wrote, expertly draws you in by establishing a viable connection to the characters of Ian, John, Ellie, and Alan which is then followed up by the integration of Alan’s initially reluctant, but essential bond formed with Tim and Lex. This serves as the foundation for some of the film’s best moments and in my opinion is one of the defining elements that set Jurassic Park apart from the other films in the series. These are endearing characters that are brought to life not only through excellent writing but marvelous performances and spot on direction. Jurassic Park remains my favorite of all the films in the series. For me, Jurassic Park is one of those movies with the ability to elicit the same reactions no matter how many times I watch it.
Four years later Jurassic Park: The Lost World
hit theaters and of course we were there. Like the first film it was an effects laden experience that featured an array of prehistoric creatures, including a pair of lethal T-Rexes. The problem is that the story lacked the rewarding character interaction, effecting suspense and defining human element that made the original feel fresh. This film plays out more like a “paint by the numbers” monster movie although I will admit that it has its moments. I much preferred Ian when he was trading quips with John, antagonizing Alan or quoting his theories on Chaos. Taking on the central role which included being an absentee father (thrust into watching his teenage daughter), doting boyfriend and rescuing hero wound up being a tall order. I like Jeff Goldblum and all things considered he does okay in his reprisal of Ian Malcolm. The script lacks focus and goes off in too many directions, the worst of which is the ridiculous third act which takes place in San Diego. Outside of Goldblum and co-star Julianne Moore the cast is comprised of quality character actors such as Arliss Howard, Pete Postlethwaite, Richard Schiff and Peter Stormare. Cameos by Richard Attenborough, Ariana Richards and Joseph Mazzello are tossed in but add nothing viable to the proceedings. Shortcomings aside it IS Jurassic Park and there is plenty of teeth gnashing dinosaur action and engaging special effects which makes it fun to watch.
When Jurassic Park III
rolled around DVD, the new digital optical disc medium, was in full swing so I opted to just wait and check it out on home video. Directed by Joe Johnston with Steven Spielberg serving as executive producer Jurassic Park III
has a bit of a different feel from the first two films. It eschews the more epic scope in favor of a simple storyline that brings back some levity and dials up the action. At only 90 minutes little time is wasted before things get going. Introductions are brief and the new force to be reckoned with, in this case a rather nasty Spinosaurus, is quick established as the villain. The character of Alan Grant (Sam Neil) is brought back which lends an air of nostalgia and credibility to the story. The remaining members of the cast, William H. Macy, Tea Leoni, Trevor Morgan and Alessandro Nivola are solid and the script stays on point. Like The Lost World
this has a sci-fi monster movie feel however its rooted more in the action genre which I think makes it more effective and ultimately entertaining.
doesn't match the original's well rounded characters, narrative depth and suspenseful thrills but it is the epitome of a summer blockbuster. Featuring ratcheted up special effects, straight to the point action and clearly defined thematic elements (hero, heroine, badass monster, mustache twirling villain). Being a fan of the series I was at the theater to catch this opening weekend with my family. We all enjoyed it. I appreciated the references to Jurassic Park that were sprinkled here and there, despite the fact that they may or may not have made sense (working 20 plus year old battery powered goggles and jeep that starts and runs simply by installing a new battery). The connection to some of the plot points from the original were integrated well and I liked the use of the raptor element. The Indominus Rex, although slightly overdone, made a worthy addition to the Jurassic Park super beasty mythos.
As you'd expect the film's production elements are excellent and contributory, with the CGI based creatures being as integral as the actors themselves. Speaking of which Chris Pratt was the spot on choice to play Owen. Surprisingly I found Dallas Bryce Howard to be every bit his equal sharing not only solid chemistry with him but adding the right amount of toughness, sex appeal and physicality to her character. Jurassic World
falls second in line in the Jurassic Park film series in my humble opinion. It's a worthy addition to the series and makes for pitch perfect popcorn entertainment that has excellent replay value.
The Limited Edition 25th Anniversary Collection comes housed in a digibook keep case that features “pages” for each of the discs to slip into. It, along with the accompanying slipcover is quite attractive and sturdy.
The rating is for intense sequences of sci-fi violence and peril.
AUDIO/VIDEO - By The Numbers:
REFERENCE = 92-100/EXCELLENT = 83-91/GOOD = 74-82/AVERAGE = 65-73/BELOW AVERAGE = under 65
**My audio/video ratings are based upon a comparative made against other high definition media/blu-ray disc.**
UHD Presentation: 82
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
DTS:X Rating: 94
(Each rating is worth 4 points with a max of 5 per category)
- HDR: Dark Highlights:
- HDR: Bright Highlights:
- HDR: Expanded Color:
- Visual Impact:
Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray from Universal Pictures Home Entertainment featuring 2160pHEVC encoded video and lossless DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio sound.
- Level of immersion:
- Soundstage integration:
- Audio object placement:
- Entertainment factor:
For their presentation in Ultra HD, Jurassic Park, The Lost World: Jurassic Park, Jurassic Park III and Jurassic World were rendered from a 2K DI and up-converted to 4K.
It's important to note that the ultimate goal for any release on home video is to present a film in the highest possible quality based upon its original elements. The first three films especially, have an aesthetic that incorporates film grain and the use of optics that won't result in the type of high gloss, tack-like sharpness of a film shot using digital cameras. This isn't a problem and shouldn't be seen as such.
I watched these films in order during my evaluation and found that predominantly speaking the first three films contain many of the same characteristics. The Lost World: Jurassic Park shines the brightest while Jurassic Park and Jurassic Park III are a step below in terms of perceivable resolution and the application of high dynamic range.
I have seen Jurassic Park countless times in standard and high definition. Looking at the film's opening moments, the improvement in delineation was noticeable. Globally speaking the increase in resolution isn't always on display, especially in wide angle effects shots, although I believe that this is innate to the photography. In many respects, the image is emboldened with a discernible boost to definition. I could detect some finer details present during interior shots and in backgrounds. The low-level exterior shots of the various landscapes didn’t offer a marked improvement in dimension. Resolution is primarily stable, with some innate softening cropping up, imparting a discernible softness. Color reproduction benefited from the wider color gamut, especially blues, and reds which pop nicely. The print could use a tuck here and there and those with sharp eye may pick up on some minor artifacts but, nothing overtly problematic.
I found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark, however some of that is owed to the nature of the photography. Overall the image didn't make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements. In general, the image looked fine and, in most respects made for a noteworthy improvement when compared to the Blu-ray rendering. UHD Video Rating = 78
Right from the opening minutes The Lost World: Jurassic Park looked appreciably better than Jurassic Park. From a cinematic perspective, these films were shot with a specific visual aesthetic in mind, and that comes through in each presentation. This easily bests the 1080p version, offering imagery that lifts the vail. I wouldn’t describe it as overtly colorful, however, there are elements, where the palate of autumn-based hues, sepia tones and variants of blue/red/green benefited from UHD's wider color gamut, appearing slightly warmer and pleasing to the eye. Resolution gets a noticeable boost as well. Close-ups and mid-level shots offer improved refinement and deeper resolvable texture on surfaces and physical features when compared to the Blu-ray.
There is intermittent use of visual elements that utilize high dynamic range. There were instances where bright elements looked appreciably vibrant where natural and artificial light looked terrific against the gray/dark elements. The film’s scenes that take place in the light of day appeared more vibrant and tonally gradational compared to the Blu-ray. Its predominating low-level sequences had excellent depth of field and emboldened contrast. I think that of the first three films The Lost World: Jurassic Park benefitted the most from the Ultra HD treatment. UHD Video Rating = 90
Jurassic Park III is the weak link in the video chain. In looking at the opening moments the first thing that struck me was that there wasn't an appreciable uptick in sharpness and detail compared to the Blu-ray. Colors, especially primary and earth tones, were mildly warmer, while fleshtones looked about the same, which is to say, a bit pallid, but not overtly unnatural. Upon closer inspection, I could make out finer details in facial features and clothing but this predominantly came during close ups. On occasion, discernible improvements in depth could be seen in wide angle shots such as those taking place in the jungle but, in most respects, I saw only incremental differences in apparent resolution when checking select scenes from the UHD and Blu-ray.
I also found the presentation to be very tame in terms of its use of dynamic highlights, both bright and dark. I didn’t find the presentation to make any visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements. Overall the image appeared flat when compared to The Lost World: Jurassic Park. Some of this is owed to the original source but, truth be told there is little about this Ultra HD presentation that impressed me. UHD Video Rating = 70
Jurassic World was derived from a mix of 2.4K/Film sources and its presentation on Ultra HD Blu-ray is solid. The film has a teal splashed aesthetic, making use of dark greens, black, gray and splashes of vivid color. This can be a somewhat dark film, and its low-level sequences had excellent depth and dimension.
The use of HDR was on the reserved side for the most part. On occasion there was visually compelling use of interstitial black levels offset by vivid bright elements, such as the raptor jungle hunt sequence. The use of shadows mixed with light looked very natural.
Resolution gets a boost although the differences between the UHD and 1080p renderings aren’t quite night and day. Close-ups tend to look amazing, with resolvable texture visible in the various interior sets, and physical features being quite obvious. The exterior shots of the crowded park looked good enough to reach out and touch. UHD Video Rating = 92
The question now becomes are these rendering good enough to warrant an upgrade? I would say that if you’re a fan, and truly want to own The Jurassic Park films
looking as good as is currently possible, the answer is, yes. There is no denying that the first and third films could use remastering but, that may or may not happen. In the meantime, this isn’t a terrible option.
Across the board the new DTS:X sound mixes breathed new life into each of the previous lossless soundtracks for the Jurassic Park films. My comments below will apply to them all.
The new DTS:X/7.1 Master Audio surround mixes improve upon the previous multi-channel offerings and sound superb. These tracks run the gamut between subtle passages of spoken dialog to dynamically charged sequences that deliver opulent surround sound. As an enthusiast, I appreciate a well-crafted sound mix that draws me into the onscreen elements, regardless of where the sounds are emanating from. Audio object placement from both above and in the listening plane at ear level, are put to effective use. These mixes generate a correlated, and broad soundstage where effects swirl, shift and traverse the listening area. I also appreciated the effectiveness of the added dimension during sequences where subtle special cues replicated the environments contained in the scene. Overall, I enjoyed the balance of atmosphere and integration of discrete object placement. I think that each of these immersive sound mixes complimented the source material and made for an invigorating listening experience.
For those not familiar with the details regarding Ultra HD Blu-ray you can refer to my article that includes some pertinent data on the subject. Here is the link:
Ultra HD Blu-ray Has Come to AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
- Disc 1: Jurassic Park Ultra HD Blu-ray
- Disc 2: Jurassic Park Blu-ray
- Disc 3: The Lost World: Jurassic Park Ultra HD Blu-ray
- Disc 4: The Lost World: Jurassic Park Blu-ray
- Disc 5: Jurassic Park III Ultra HD Blu-ray
- Disc 6: Jurassic Park III Blu-ray
- Disc 7: Jurassic World Ultra HD Blu-ray
- Disc 8: Jurassic World Blu-ray
- Legacy Bonus Material
- Digital Copy
I am most decidedly a Jurassic Park
fan and have enjoyed watching them over the years. The original is a landmark film and personal favorite that clearly sets itself apart. After twenty-five years it still makes for a highly entertaining theatrical experience. Like many of you reading this I have looked forward to the Ultra High Definition release of these films since the inception of the format. It comes to Ultra HD Blu-ray in this Limited Edition 25th Anniversary set featuring fair overall video quality, terrific DTS:X immersive sound and legacy bonus material. Personally speaking, I am pleased to own these films in Ultra HD with immersive sound but, this isn’t a slam dunk of a recommendation. At the end of the day it will depend on how important the minor improvements are to you.
AVS Forum Blu-ray Reviews
Reference Review System:
JVC DLA-RS500 3D/4K Ready High Definition Front Projector
(Calibrated with Calman 5 & C6-HDR Meter from Spectracal)
Stewart Filmscreen - Studiotek 130 G3 100” 16x9 Screen
Carada Masquerade Electronic Horizontal Masking System
Marantz AV7704 Audio/Video Processor
Sherbourn Technologies - 7/200 Seven Channel Amplifier
Emotiva XPA-7 Gen 3 Seven Channel Amplifier
Oppo UDP-203 Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
Sony Playstation 3 Blu-ray disc Player
System Controller: Apple iPad/iRule Pro HD Universal Remote Control
Canton "Ergo" and Canton In-Ceiling Series Speakers
SVS Ultra Surrounds (Gloss Finish in Bipolar Configuration)
Dual SVS PC4000 Cylinder Subwoofers
Panamax M5400-PM Power Conditioner/Surge Protector
Wireworld, Better Cables (Silver Serpent) - Audio/Video/Speaker Cabling
AC Infinity Aircom T8 Component Cooling Systems