25 years after the theatrical release of Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park(1993), the entire series is collected for the first time on 4K UHD. The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection includes the first 4 films on 4K UHD and blu-ray discs, and includes a wealth of bonus features.
The Production: 4.5/5
If science makes it possible, does that mean it should be done? In the context of cloning, whether it be persons, dinosaurs, or other creatures, this is a question of scientific ethics that has been posed since the days of Jules Verne, if not earlier. This is certainly a theme running through the writings of Michael Crichton(Westworld, The Andromeda Strain). The film rights to Crichton’s 1990 novel Jurassic Park were acquired by Steven Spielberg even before its publication. Crichton received screenwriting credit with David Koepp(Spider-man, Mission Impossible) on the 1993 film produced and directed by Steven Spielberg.
In Jurassic Park, billionaire John Hammond(Richard Attenborough) funds the cloning of dinosaurs for a theme park on Isla Nublar located near Costa Rica. Hammond invites paleontologist Alan Grant(Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Ellie Satler(Laura Dern) to examine the denizens of Isla Nublar where they find themselves accompanied by mathematician Ian Malcolm(Jeff Goldblum) and Hammond’s grandchildren Lex(Arianna Richards) and Tim(Joseph Mazzello). Hammond’s grandchildren and the other visitors to the island are placed in jeopardy after Hammond and his scientists discover that they cannot control their creations. The films in this franchise are all interesting variations on this theme.
The creation of the dinosaurs in the original film with computer generated imagery by Industrial Light and Magic and animatronic models made by Stan Winston(Aliens, Terminator) was hailed at the time as the pinnacle of special effects achievement, and the effects still stand up pretty well 25 years later. The score by John Williams is iconic with the theme being used in all of the sequels.
The Lost World: Jurassic Park(1997) was based on Crichton’s novel The Lost World, and Spielberg returned to direct, along with Jeff Goldblum reprising his role as Dr. Ian Malcolm. Malcolm finds himself reluctantly on Isla Soma, another dinosaur colony, in search of his girlfriend, Sarah Harding(Julianne Moore). Isla Soma is a secondary dino-breeding facility created by Hammond in connection with Isla Nublar. Hammond’s grandchildren Lex and Tim are also on hand as chaos ensues at this facility.
In Jurassic Park III(2001), Dr. Grant finds himself unwittingly back on Isla Nublar in search of Eric Kirby(Trevor Morgan), a boy stranded on the island after a parasailing mishap involving the reptilian inhabitants of Isla Nublar. Eric’s parents, Paul(William H. Macy) and Amanda(Tea Leoni) bring Grant back to Isla Nublar under false pretenses in order to locate their son. This film was produced by Spielberg and directed by Joe Johnston(The Rocketeer, Captain America: The First Avenger).
The franchise remained dormant until its reboot in 2015 with Jurassic World. Since we never learn from history, it repeats itself as a new park filled with dinosaurs is built on Isla Nublar, and chaos ensues. Owen Grady(Chris Pratt) is a trainer of velociraptors at the park, with a romantic history with Claire Dearing(Bryce Dallas Howard), the operations manager at the park. Claire’s nephews Zach(Nick Robinson) and Gray(Ty Simpkins) must be rescued, along with other guests at the park, after things spiral out of control.
Although the Jurassic films follow a formula, you do not fix what is not broken. The franchise continues to deliver action and thrills which are sure to follow in the recently released Jurassic World: Lost Kingdom.
3D Rating: NA
The first 4 Jurassic Park films appear on 4K UHD and Blu-ray disc in their original 1:85.1 aspect ratio. The 4K UHD disc displays the film in 2160p using the HEVC codec with HDR. The films were scanned at 4K resolution from the original camera negatives. The 4K workflow was then color corrected with HDR. The results are amazing when one compares any of the Blu-ray discs in this set to their 4K counterparts. Fine detail is much more pronounced with greater range of colors on the UHD discs. Blacks are solid with very good shadow detail on both the UHD and Blu-ray discs. Overall, the 4K discs are a very noticeable step up in quality from the Blu-ray discs, and definitely worth the upgrade.
The English DTS:X audio delivers a rich and immersive experience enough to shake the dust off the subwoofer, whether it is the sounds of insects, wind, rain, or the roars of prehistoric creatures. Suspense is created as much by the audio in the films as the video, as the viewer is constantly listening first for what will usually appear visually thereafter. Voice dialogue is boosted appropriately in the mix to be audible over the music and sound effects.
Special Features: 4/5
Special features are relegated to the Blu-ray discs and appear to be the same special features included on the Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy Blu-ray set. The features include all of the following:
Return to Jurassic Park: Dawn of a New Era, Making Prehistory, and The Next Step in Evolution.
The Making of Jurassic Park
Original featurette on the making of Jurassic Park
Steven Spielberg Directs Jurassic Park
Early Pre-production Meetings
Phil Tippett Animatics: Raptors in the Kitchen
Animatics: T-Rex Attack
ILM & Jurassic Park: Before and After the Visual Effects
The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Return to Jurassic Park: Finding the Lost World, Something Survived
The Making of The Lost World
Original featurette on the making of The Lost World
The Jurassic Park phenomenon
A discussion with author Michael Crichton
A Complete Dance Number: Thank you Steven Spielberg from ILM
ILM & The Lost World: Before and After the Visual Effects
Also included is a paper insert with a validation code for “Movies Anywhere” for anyone who wants to watch the films on a tiny screen on a mobile device.
Jurassic Park III
Return to Jurassic Park: The Third Adventure
Feature Commentary with the special effects team
The Making of Jurassic Park III, The Dinosaurs, The Special Effects, The Sounds, The Art
Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs
Tour of Stan Winston Studio
Spinosaurus Attacks the Plane
Raptors Attack Udesky
A Visit To ILM
Storyboards to Final Feature Comparison
Welcome to Jurassic World
Jurassic World All-Access Pass
Innovation Center Tour with Chris Pratt
Chis & Colin Take On The World
Dinosaurs Roam Once Again
Jurassic’s Closest Shaves
The Jurassic Park 25th Anniversary Collection Limited Edition 4K UHD/Blu-ray set is a nice compilation of the Jurassic films to date prior to Jurassic Park: Lost Kingdom. The 4K UHD discs are worth the upgrade from Blu-ray and DVD for the optimal video and audio experience. The special features seem to include all of the extra from previous editions. About the only thing missing is the 1st and 4th films in 3D, which can still be purchase separately. This collection is recommended to anyone who wants to catch up on the earlier films before seeing Jurassic Park: Lost Kingdom in the theaters.