Film Review's Ultimate DVD Main Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Reviews - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT
Selected FeaturePlay Movie: The Global Picture - Bridget Jones's DiaryPlay Movie: Region 1 Review - Jurassic Park IIIPlay Movie: Region 2 Review - ChocolatContents of this issueBuy it from our online stores VI DIRECT
Region 1 Reviews From Ultimate DVD #24

Jurassic Park III

Just one selection from Ultimate DVD's region 1 Reviews section.

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JURASSIC PARK III Jump to Extras Rated: PG-13

The Movie

A movie franchise that by all rights should now be extinct comes back from the dead thanks to some impressive new elements, an unusual central love story and feverish, gripping pacing from incoming director Johnston. The loss of their son in a parasailing incident near Isla Sorna impels Paul Kirby (Macy) and his wife Amanda (Leoni) to delude Dr Alan Grant (Neill) into a rescue mission to the dinosaur island. What follows is a terrifying experience, as the stranded group face the T-Rex, Velociraptors, Pteranodons and a Spinosaurus – the biggest, meanest lizard to have ever walked the Earth.

A technically faultless dinosaur carnival, JP3 plays like a more direct sequel to the first film, with Neill back on fine form supported by a strong, sparky cast (with a small, but significant, cameo by Laura Dern). The set pieces are beautifully orchestrated – I adored the satellite phone Spinosaurus, the plane attack, the eerie birdcage – and generally they play far better than the mayhem in JP2. At just 93 minutes, this is somewhat on the short side, but it leaves the viewer wanting more 4 stars - Damn Good Disc– and that's the important thing.

The Extras

A gorgeous transfer, with roaring, ground-pounding DTS sound that rocks the room. The bonus features are spread across several menu screens, kicking off with The Making of Jurassic Park III, a 22-minute overview looking at the shooting of action sequences, the construction of the dinosaurs (even on stage, they look so real), and how to build a jungle at Universal Studios.

Some of this on-set footage appears again in The New Dinosaurs of JP3 (7 mins), while A Tour of Stan Winston Studios (3 mins) follows the moulding, carving, painting and building of Jurassic monsters big and small. Their CG effects are the focus of A Visit to ILM, which dissects the different stages of creating an animated dinosaur, particularly focusing on the Spinosaurus, Pteranodons and the raptors. Revolving 3-D models of 12 species are on show in the Dinosaur Turntables, which also offers basic statistics for the creatures.

Behind the Scenes neatly displays a finished sequence intercut with shots of the view on set; check out The Lake to observe the cast being almost drowned in a vast water-tank. They look well pissed off. Three Storyboard to Film Comparisons cover The Lab, The Aviary and The Boat Attack, but sadly do not offer a multi-angle facility.

The effects team, many of whom have worked on all three films, collaborate on the Commentary track that, while by necessity rather technical, is not without humour (Stan Winston claims that Laura Dern is an animatronic effect). It's intriguing stuff, especially when things that we assume are real (the parasail) are revealed to be CG, but the lack of the director's input means we're lacking information about casting and scriptwriting.

Also on offer: Theatrical Trailers for all three movies, Production Notes, Biogs and Filmogs, Special Offers (a promo for the soundtrack and theme park ride), and Montana – Finding New Dinosaurs, which looks at the real-life excavation of fossils. The Galleries are also generous – a three minute montage of production images, plus 44 variations for the poster campaign, many of which use the title `Extinction'.

No Deleted Scenes, but5 stars - Digital Dynamite even so this still merits…

David Richardson

Review © Visual Imagination Ltd 2001. Not for reproduction

The dinosaurs are back from the dead

Jurassic Park III on DVD

Cast Sam Neill, William H Macy, Téa Leoni
Director Joe Johnston
Year 2001
Duration 93 mins
Screen Ratio 1.85:1
Anamorphic Yes
Dolby Digital 5.1/DTS
Chapters 20
Languages English, French
Subtitles English, Spanish
Release Date December 11
Distributor Universal

Jurassic Facts

Director Johnston began his career in special effects, designing many weapons and vehicles for Star Wars, including the original design for Yoda.

The association between Johnston and Spielberg goes way back. They first worked together in 1981 on Raiders of the Lost Ark, for which the former was visual effects art director.

Jurassic Park III was shot over five months at the end of 2000, with four weeks of filming on Hawaiian islands, before production moved to Universal Studios in Los Angeles.

Jurassic Park III is the first in the series not adapted from a novel by Michael Crichton. Instead the adventure was crafted by writers Peter Buchman, Alexander Payne, and Jim Taylor, together with dino-expert Jack Horner.

JP3 introduces a new rival for the T-Rex – the Spinosaurus. However, only one skeleton from this creature survived into modern times – and that was bombed during World War II.

Designed by effects master Stan Winston, the Spinosaurus model was 44 feet high and required the demolition of a wall to transport it to the studio!

More in the issue, plus Sam Neill and Joe Johnston on the third way...

HighlightChapter 14

Upping the stakes with the ultimate Jurassic threat – flying dinosaurs!

From Ultimate DVD #24
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