A few words about…™ Jurassic Park – 25th Anniversary Collection — in 4k UHD Blu-ray

Upgrade from Blu-ray - Absolutely! 4 Stars

This one is simple.

The first four Jurassic Park productions (1993 – 2015), are included in Universal’s new 4k boxed set, and the difference between the last Blu-ray releases, and the new 4k is astounding.

Probably best described as a veil having been lifted.

While the Blu-rays are all quality affairs, the new image harvests, presumably from the original camera negs, are so perfect in every detail, that comparisons really don’t come into play.

My only advice is to grab a set, as there is zero chance of not seeing the upgrade on anything newer than a 1953 black & white Dumont.

Likewise, the tracks have been upgraded from DTS-HD MA 7.1 to DTS-X.

Universal has given us a world-class release, of the finest quality imaginable.

As an aside, for those who may not have seen Jurassic World, the aspect ratio will look a bit different, as it’s 2.0:1, as opposed to 1.85:1.

Image – 5 (HDR10)

Audio – 5 (DTS-X)

Upgrade from Blu-ray – Absolutely!

Pass / Fail – Pass

Very Highly Recommended

RAH

Published by

Robert Harris

author,member

62 Comments

  1. Hmmmm…well, I trust your opinion. I held off on this one for a variety of reasons associated with the Blu-ray set. Mixed reviews everywhere but I might as well check it out with my own eyes. Thanks for having me revisit this one. I was hoping it would be worth picking up.

  2. Michael Osadciw

    Hmmmm…well, I trust your opinion. I held off on this one for a variety of reasons associated with the Blu-ray set. Mixed reviews everywhere but I might as well check it out with my own eyes. Thanks for having me revisit this one. I was hoping it would be worth picking up.

    It's $50 at Target this week (and Wal*Mart) …

  3. Malcolm R

    Why would they change the aspect ratio of JW for 4K?

    RAH was pointing out that 2:1 aspect ratio was different from the other films in the series, not different from previous releases.

  4. Mr Harris, i'm glad you approve of this release, but JP III in particular appears to have drawn the most criticism in other reviews, some even concluding it's not a new 4K image harvest – merely an existing master upscaled at best – do you have any derfinitive information on this, as in theory it should look as good / better than the first two.

    M

  5. I did watch Jurassic Park over the weekend. While I wasn't disappointed in the transfer, I wasn't wow'ed by it either. It looked soft in a number of shots…which I expected with the age of the film. Do I regret the purchase? Heavens no…isolated screencaps on my phone turned out awesomely fantastic. Just keep in mind this isn't a 2017/2018 film.

  6. Wayne_j

    Trevarrow wanted to go with 2.35:1 and Spielberg wanted 1.85 so they compromised.

    Ironically Bayona got to make Fallen Kingdom in 2.35 so I'm not sure what the point of this compromise was.

  7. Vegas 1

    I'm wondering when the next JP film hits store shelves will we see a new 4K box set with 5 films, just speculating?

    Personally, I am waiting for the opposite — individual releases of each film in UHD. I have no desire to buy any of the sequels again, and I am not paying $50 just so I can watch the original in 4K.

  8. Lord Dalek

    Ironically Bayona got to make Fallen Kingdom in 2.35 so I'm not sure what the point of this compromise was.

    And Trevorrow was the director of JW, not Spielberg, so I'm not even sure why he'd have a say. If he wanted to direct it, he should have signed on.

    We all know that's what SS chose for the first films because of the airtight logic: "dinosaurs are tall".

  9. Malcolm R

    And Trevorrow was the director of JW, not Spielberg, so I'm not even sure why he'd have a say. If he wanted to direct it, he should have signed on.

    We all know that's what SS chose for the first films because of the airtight logic: "dinosaurs are tall".

    Should have shot it in Imax instead of 35mm Open Matte then if Spielberg wanted height.

  10. Lord Dalek

    Should have shot it in Imax instead of 35mm Open Matte then if Spielberg wanted height.

    Was IMAX a big thing in 1992? Were they making films especially for the format?

    I haven't followed the format's development much since, to this day, the closest IMAX to me is over 100 miles away.

  11. Malcolm R

    And Trevorrow was the director of JW, not Spielberg, so I'm not even sure why he'd have a say. If he wanted to direct it, he should have signed on.

    Spielberg has been an Executive Producer on all of the JP/JW films since III. He has say, plus he's the "father" of the franchise. 😉

  12. I don't have it handy, but I recall when reading the American Cinematographer article on JURASSIC WORLD that it was an artistic decision to experiment with a 2:1 aspect ratio by Trevorrow and his cinematographer. It was also partially shot in 65mm, and oddly finished in a 2.4K DI instead of either 4K or 2K.

    Vincent

  13. Malcolm R

    Was IMAX a big thing in 1992? Were they making films especially for the format?

    I haven't followed the format's development much since, to this day, the closest IMAX to me is over 100 miles away.

    Mid-1970s.

  14. dpippel

    Disney's Fantasia 2000 was the first theatrical IMAX feature, released on 1/1/2000.

    The Stones did an IMAX concert movie in 1991. I guess you could call that a "documentary" and not a "theatrical feature film", but it still was something that differed from the usual educational fare.

    Was "Dark Knight" the first live-action "theatrical feature film" to use actual IMAX footage?

  15. Colin Jacobson

    Was "Dark Knight" the first live-action "theatrical feature film" to use actual IMAX footage?

    I believe so yes. The problem with IMAX back in the day was the platters they used for their projectors could only hold about an hour of film. That's why they were limited to nature documentaries and the like.

  16. Anybody know whether the included Blu-Rays are downconverts from the new 4K masters, a la Grease, or just reissues of the existing Blu-Rays?

    Vincent_P

    I don't have it handy, but I recall when reading the American Cinematographer article on JURASSIC WORLD that it was an artistic decision to experiment with a 2:1 aspect ratio by Trevorrow and his cinematographer. It was also partially shot in 65mm, and oddly finished in a 2.4K DI instead of either 4K or 2K.

    I believe I remember reading somewhere that it was shot in 2.20:1 with the knowledge that it'd be cropped to 2:1 for release, and the visual effects teams found the extra information on the sides useful when completing their work.

  17. Adam Lenhardt

    Anybody know whether the included Blu-Rays are downconverts from the new 4K masters, a la Grease, or just reissues of the existing Blu-Rays?

    I haven't checked the new blu-rays yet, I'll try to let you know later tonight.

  18. I've only taken a look at (the original) Jurassic Park and have to admit…I'm pretty disappointed. I'd venture a guess and say that this is the same or similar release that Universal used for their 3D bluray – all of the egregious DNR remains baked in (yuck). There's a very digital appearance and I felt that the added resolution made it that much worse. The picture quality also fluctuates from scene to scene….one moment I found myself in awe, and the next wincing out how ugly some of the picture quality appeared. If there's a positive (again, I'm only speaking about the original film), it's the DTS:X track – it's incredible. I thought Universal was back on the high horse, but I guess I'm mistaken. This feels like an important motion picture and I'm surprised the picture wasn't treated better for this release. I love you Mr. Harris, and always look forward to your opinions on transfers, but I have to disagree with you on this one.

  19. Lord Dalek

    JP1 has less grain because of how Cundey shot it, not because of DNR.

    Jurassic Park was shot in 35mm film stock. Grain is inherent to the source unless wiped via DNR, which Universal's transfers are (unfortunately) known for and both previous bluray editions of the film suffered from.

  20. dpippel

    I *hate* it when they do that. Come on Universal, et. al.!

    Ditto. For me, this is another strike against upgrading to 4K (related to the other thread about "what's holding back 4K"). If I'm going to upgrade, I want the new improved transfer on the blu-ray as well as the 4K disc. Just throwing a copy of the blu-ray I already own into the 4K package isn't going to get me to spend $25-30 to buy it again.

    I was set to buy the Die Hard 4K until it was revealed the included blu-ray was still the old version. Even though Walmart has the DH 4K for a more reasonable $17.96, it's still too much for me (esp since I don't currently have a 4K display and no plans to buy one anytime soon). If there were an improved transfer on the included blu-ray, the 4K set would already be in my collection.

  21. Malcolm R

    Ditto. For me, this is another strike against upgrading to 4K (related to the other thread about "what's holding back 4K"). If I'm going to upgrade, I want the new improved transfer on the blu-ray as well as the 4K disc. Just throwing a copy of the blu-ray I already own into the 4K package isn't going to get me to spend $25-30 to buy it again.

    I was set to buy the Die Hard 4K until it was revealed the included blu-ray was still the old version. Even though Walmart has the DH 4K for a more reasonable $17.96, it's still too much for me (esp since I don't currently have a 4K display and no plans to buy one anytime soon). If there were an improved transfer on the included blu-ray, the 4K set would already be in my collection.

    In my case, this doesn't matter to me at all. I have yet to play any BD included in a UHD + BD combo set. The discs have never been removed from the case. If we want to watch one of these films on another display or while traveling, the sets usually also include a digital copy, which is what we would watch in those instances.

  22. Tino

    What was the first feature length Hollywood non documentary film shown in IMAX?

    It probably doesn’t qualify as feature length, but Wings of Courage from 1995 was the first dramatic, non-documentary film shot in IMAX. It’s 50 minutes long and was directed by Jean Jacques Annaud and stars Val Kilmer.

  23. Robert Crawford

    It's weird that on iTunes and such Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are HD, but the other two lesser films are in 4K/HDR. Very strange!

    They come up as 4K for me on iTunes, but I’m in Canada.

  24. Thank you once again for your review Robert! I will be picking up the Jurassic Park trilogy collection on 4K blu-ray. This will be the last time I purchase any of the Jurassic Park movies unless it is a new movie coming out.

  25. Wayne_j

    Apparently a re-release of Apollo 13 in 2002. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_IMAX_DMR_films

    That was the first "regular" movie that was "blown up" to IMAX using their digital process, but I recall starting with THE MATRIX, some theaters had started showing 35mm movies on their IMAX screens. I went to a showing of Ridley Scott's HANNIBAL in such a screening. The image didn't fill the full IMAX screen, but was still "larger" than the regular 35mm screens.

    Vincent

  26. Vincent_P

    That was the first "regular" movie that was "blown up" to IMAX using their digital process, but I recall starting with THE MATRIX, some theaters had started showing 35mm movies on their IMAX screens. I went to a showing of Ridley Scott's HANNIBAL in such a screening. The image didn't fill the full IMAX screen, but was still "larger" than the regular 35mm screens.

    Vincent

    In 2002, I remember seeing Apollo 13 at the IMAX theater in Universal City with a bunch of other HTF members during one of our first HTF Meets out in LA.

  27. Ryan Barrett

    Jurassic Park was shot in 35mm film stock. Grain is inherent to the source unless wiped via DNR, which Universal's transfers are (unfortunately) known for and both previous bluray editions of the film suffered from.

    Not all movies shot on 35mm look the same. Cundey liked to use a lot of light. Look at how both JURASSIC PARK and HOOK look compared to the films Spielberg made later with Janusz Kaminski. Both the Cundey-shot films have always looked very "slick", bright, and finely-grained compared to the latter films Speilberg made with Kaminski.

    Vincent

  28. Robert Crawford

    In 2002, I remember seeing Apollo 13 at the IMAX theater in Universal City with a bunch of other HTF members during one of our first HTF Meets out in LA.

    They also had to edit it down to under 2-hours as I recall, as the IMAX platters couldn't accommodate a movie above that length at that point. I remember ATTACK OF THE CLONES was also edited for its IMAX screenings for this same reason.

    Vincent

  29. Vincent_P

    They also had to edit it down to under 2-hours as I recall, as the IMAX platters couldn't accommodate a movie above that length at that point. I remember ATTACK OF THE CLONES was also edited for its IMAX screenings for this same reason.

    Vincent

    Yup, they did edit the film's length down. TBH, I didn't care for that IMAX presentation for that reason.

  30. Robert Crawford

    Yup, they did edit the film's length down. TBH, I didn't care for that IMAX presentation for that reason.

    The 2005 "10th Anniversary" DVD of "Apollo 13" included the IMAX version, though that seemed pointless to me. A shorter version of a movie in an altered aspect ratio might be semi worth it on a ginormous IMAX screen, but on my home TV, there's no logical reason I can think of to watch it.

    AFAIK, the IMAX version remains MIA on Blu-ray…

  31. 5/5 for all the movies? No way. Part 1 was a very minor upgrade over the Blu-ray. But it could look a lot better if Universal should’ve given us the unmolested 4K transfer. The DNR is not nice to look at. Part 3 looked better then 1. Still not a 5/5. Part 2 looked pretty good. The best was clearly part 4. Overall a 3.5/5 for the whole set.

    As for audio it’s bloody annoying not to get the original theatrical mixes. But I take it that most studios simply don’t care.

    Luckily the Cinema DTS is available for part 1, so we can do our own versions. At least the we can have the original mixes, alongside the new DTS:X mixes.

  32. EnricoE

    5/5 for all the movies? No way. Part 1 was a very minor upgrade over the Blu-ray. But it could look a lot better if Universal should've given us the unmolested 4K transfer. The DNR is not nice to look at. Part 3 looked better then 1. Still not a 5/5. Part 2 looked pretty good. The best was clearly part 4. Overall a 3.5/5 for the whole set.

    As for audio it's bloody annoying not to get the original theatrical mixes. But I take it that most studios simply don't care.

    Luckily the Cinema DTS is available for part 1, so we can do our own versions. At least the we can have the original mixes, alongside the new DTS:X mixes.

    What "DNR"?

    Vincent

  33. Robert Crawford

    It's weird that on iTunes and such Jurassic Park and Jurassic World are HD, but the other two lesser films are in 4K/HDR. Very strange!

    I was browsing on iTunes via my Apple TV 4K late today, and I could have sworn I saw a 4K version of Jurassic Park on sale for $9.99. I came here to ask if anyone had seen the UHD version on iTunes to determine if it was worth buying at that low price.

  34. Scott Merryfield

    I was browsing on iTunes via my Apple TV 4K late today, and I could have sworn I saw a 4K version of Jurassic Park on sale for $9.99. I came here to ask if anyone had seen the UHD version on iTunes to determine if it was worth buying at that low price.

    It actually was available for $4.99. Think that deal is over. But you can get the 4K bundle of all four films for $24.99.

  35. Malcolm R

    Ditto. For me, this is another strike against upgrading to 4K (related to the other thread about "what's holding back 4K"). If I'm going to upgrade, I want the new improved transfer on the blu-ray as well as the 4K disc. Just throwing a copy of the blu-ray I already own into the 4K package isn't going to get me to spend $25-30 to buy it again.

    I was set to buy the Die Hard 4K until it was revealed the included blu-ray was still the old version. Even though Walmart has the DH 4K for a more reasonable $17.96, it's still too much for me (esp since I don't currently have a 4K display and no plans to buy one anytime soon). If there were an improved transfer on the included blu-ray, the 4K set would already be in my collection.

    Personally, I don't see your point in 'holding out'. If you're buying the 4K package it's for the 4K discs – not another copy of the Blu-ray that, let's face it, one will likely never watch. Including the Blu with these 4K upgrades is a courtesy, much in the same way studios included DVD copies with earlier Blu-ray releases to gradually coax the public into switching from one format to another. Personally, I think it's a silly marketing ploy at best. They didn't include VHS copies with early DVD's, now did they?!?

    Bottom line: if you're buying 4K you should already have at least a basic 4K setup to take advantage of the format. And if you're buying 4K simply to diss it by doing direct comparisons to the tired ole Blu's, personal opinion, of course, but outside of reviewers and critics, I just think you have waaaaaay too much time on your hands. Movies are meant to be watched for their pure visual/audio enjoyment. Could Uni's Jurassic Park collection have been better? Hmmm. Possibly, although remember that these SFX were rendered in a resolution below 4K with no real viable way to upconvert that footage. The live-action stuff on these discs looks fabulous. The SFX…well, as good as they will ever look.

    PS – if $17.96 is still considered too expensive for 4K, again, I just don't think you're ready for the upgrade. Recall, if you will, that when LaserDisc came out, movies retailed for upwards of $80 to $150 a pop! When DVD launched, discs retailed for roughly $22. When Blu-ray first debuted, discs were retailing for, in some cases almost $40. I remember the defunct HMV having a 3 for $70 sale which, in Blu-ray's infancy, seemed like a steal! Launching a new format is always costly – simply, from the prospect of remastering a vintage film in 4K alone, let alone the marketing, packaging and manufacturing of the discs themselves.

    So, the fact Fox can already sell Die Hard at a price point that is well below what it cost them to retail it in any of these previous formats, and still offer the consumer superior video/audio quality, is a minor marketing coup not to be taken lightly. No, you won't find 4K discs in your 'blue light special' bargain bin for $3.99 any time soon. Sorry, but you want quality, you have to pay for it. Mercifully, it won't cost you as much as it has in the past. Judge and buy accordingly!

  36. Just got home with the UHD set as a Father's Day present to myself. I'm going to try to convince my wife to let me pick JW as the movie we watch tonight as we've got our Fallen Kingdom tickets bought for next Sunday. Hopefully I can find time soon to watch the original movie and see how it looks, it's one of my favorite movies of all time and never get tired of watching it. I don't think it's come up yet in this thread, but want to give props to Universal for what's probably the most sturdy physical box they've ever put out. I remember their old JP sets as well as their Back to the Future sets being flimsy as hell and warped to shit on the shelves at BestBuy. Maybe others don't care about that sort of thing but I always appreciate a nice solid package design.

  37. Robert Crawford

    In 2002, I remember seeing Apollo 13 at the IMAX theater in Universal City with a bunch of other HTF members during one of our first HTF Meets out in LA.

    Yeah, I saw Apollo 13 at the IMAX at Loew's Lincoln Square in NYC via a SMPTE meeting invite. According to my notes, that was the first IMAX DMR and it opened in IMAX on 9/20/2002 (Wikipedia says 9/22) with 24 minutes cut out of the film, although I have to admit that whatever was cut wasn't noticeable to me. According to Wikipedia, the first IMAX film was "Tiger Child" released in 1970. "Live at the Max" was released in 1991. The 2nd IMAX DMR film was Star Wars Episode II, cropped to 1.85 and with 22 minutes removed.

  38. zoetmb

    … The 2nd IMAX DMR film was Star Wars Episode II, cropped to 1.85 and with 22 minutes removed.

    Shot on HD-CAM (1080 X 1440 capture resolution at the time), then cropped to 800 vertical pixels for 'Scope, then blown up and cropped again horizontally and projected on an enormous IMAX screen. Must have looked GORGEOUS!!! 😉

    Vincent

  39. Vincent_P

    Shot on HD-CAM (1080 X 1440 capture resolution at the time), then cropped to 800 vertical pixels for 'Scope, then blown up and cropped again horizontally and projected on an enormous IMAX screen. Must have looked GORGEOUS!!! 😉

    Vincent

    Just takes you back to the good old days

    [​IMG] 😉

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