'Jurassic Park' a classic that doesn't need 3-D

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A review of Universal Studios' 'Jurassic Park 3-D'

By Becca Owsley

As I type these words, I can’t believe they are true: “Jurassic Park” turns 20 this year. It’s hard to believe it’s been that long since audiences first got a glimpse of the park and a technology that shaped future films.


In 1993, Steven Spielberg brought Michael Crichton’s book to the big screen. It became a movie as colossal as the dinosaurs it featured.

While special effects used in the movie previously were dabbled with before, they never were used on such a scale as in “Jurassic Park.” Spielberg, no stranger to special effects, blended them into the film. The effects didn’t stand out as the story but helped drive it along, allowing dinosaurs to walk convincingly in a modern-day setting.

It is such a quality piece of work, it still holds its magic today. I can remember sitting in a theater when it was released, having a sense of awe when the dinosaurs appeared on screen. They weren’t cheesy claymation effects or actors in costumes audiences were used to. These looked like real, live dinosaurs.

“Jurassic Park” was, in a word, brilliant. It remains unmatched today in what it accomplished.

The film stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Wayne Knight, Joseph Mazzello, Ariana Richards and Samuel L. Jackson long before he lead the Avengers.

To celebrate its 20th anniversary, Universal Pictures re-released the movie, but this time in 3-D.

I question the need to add 3-D to draw audiences back to theaters.

In reality, 3-D effects added little to the movie. Scenes where I expected to be blown away with 3-D possibilities didn’t look much different from the original. In fact, some scenes looked awkward. Granted, my unique eyesight doesn’t allow me to see all 3-D has to offer, but what I could see didn’t add much.

I went home and watched the movie on DVD to compare it to the 3-D version and came to the same conclusion: This movie is magic and didn’t need 3-D to enhance the viewing experience. 

The 3-D effects might not be worth the cost to draw viewers to theaters, but the masterpiece that is “Jurassic Park” is worth it.

This movie isn’t for young children, but could be a great experience for parents to take older children. They can share the feeling they had seeing the dinosaurs on the big screen for the first time. And that’s what going to the movies is supposed to be: an experience that takes audiences to a place outside their known world and into something magical.

“Jurassic Park” did this 20 years ago and does it again today.

I hope many classics come back to the big screen, but I hope they all don’t return in 3-D.

Becca Owsley can be reached at (270) 505-1741 or bowsley@thenewsenterprise.com. For movie reviews visit her reporter page on Facebook at www.facebook.com/pages/Becca-Owsley/96924584861.


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