Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Samuel L. Jackson, Wayne Knight, Bob Peck, Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards
Steven Spielberg
Running Time:
127 mins

Entrepreneur John Hammond (Attenborough) has gathered together the world's best scientists for a tour of his new facility. Not knowing what to expect or why they have been asked to Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) and Dr. Ellie Sattler (Dern) head to the island off the coast of Costa Rica but when they get there they come face to face with something they could have ever expected. Hammond and his corporation has have created a theme park like the world has ever seen because this is no ordinary theme park with roller coasters and rides but living exhibits. These are no ordinary animals but living and breathing dinosaurs.

When it comes to redefining the definition for blockbusters you can rely on one man, Steven Spielberg.

After inventing the summer blockbuster with 'Jaws', Steven Spielberg has been at the forefront of the event movie ever since. In 1993 he took the blockbuster to the next level with his adaptation of Michael Crichton's best selling novel 'Jurassic Park'. After making you believe in loveable aliens, taking you on archaeological adventures and making you afraid to go back into the water, he now brings dinosaurs to life.

'Jurassic Park' advanced visual effects in the same way 'Star Wars' did in 1977. This was the first movie to full utilise the advances in computer-generated imagery to produce living and breathing dinosaurs. With brilliantly realistic models by Stan Winston's creature shop used in the close-ups, it is the full screen CG animated dinosaurs that really bring this story to life. Now we can see a T-Rex in full motion chasing down a jeep, velociraptors hunting and hordes of dinosaurs roaming the plains.

Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum and Richard Attenborough lead the cast as Dr. Allan Grant, Dr. Ellie Sattler, Dr. Ian Malcolm and Jurassic Park owner John Hammond. None of them are superstar names but this works well for the movie as they make their characters more believable and easier to follow. Joseph Mazzello and Ariana Richards are also very good as youngster Tim and Lex, as neither of them are your typical annoying child character that ends up saving the day.

'Jurassic Park' makes you believe that dinosaurs are alive again. With some of the best visual effects ever to hit the silver screen, Steven Spielberg has redefined the blockbuster again and taken us onto the next level of visual effects and high adventure. A classic.

Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Pete Postlethwaite, Vanessa Lee Chester, Peter Stormare, Arliss Howard, Richard Attenborough and Richard Schiff
Steven Spielberg
Running Time:
129 mins

After surviving the disaster at Jurassic Park, Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is asked to visit the recovering John Hammond (Attenborough) only for him to tell him that the park wasn't the only place were Dinosaurs were kept. Hammond tells him the Site B installation was the major research facility and was where most of the dinosaurs were created and grown. Wondering what this has to do with him, Hammond tells him that an observation team has been sent to the island and his girlfriend Dr Sarah Harding (Moore) is leading them but they have lost radio contact. Fearing the worst, He assembles his own team and heads back to the place that dominates his nightmares.

Following one of the biggest blockbusters of all time was always going to be a difficult task but can 'The Lost World: Jurassic Park' improve on the first movie?

Adapting Michael Crichton's second novel in the series, the story continues as we return to the islands off the coast of Costa Rica to discover that the dinosaurs haven't died out that they were genetically engineered to do but they have thrived and are breeding. Now instead of a theme park we visit the Site B research facility on Isla Sorna, where the dinosaurs have taken over after the In-Gen employees left after the disastrous events of the first movie.

The premise for high adventure is good and again Spielberg delivers the thrills and spills but it doesn't quite have the same impact as the first film. The problem with 'The Lost World' is that the initial 'awe' factor has gone. The audience now know that the SFX people can bring dinosaurs back to life so what the team have to deliver are a good story and some even more impressive set pieces. Spielberg succeeds in upping the action quota but at the determent of the story.

The plot just seems like an excuse to get humans back in contact with the dinosaurs and a way of linking together the action sequences. The characters also suffer from a lack of development, especially when some of them, most noticeably Pete Postlethwaite's big game hunting character Roland Tembo who seems a little too clichéd. The cast do there best with what they have to work with but you can't help but think they are owed a lot more.

'The Lost World: Jurassic Park' is an entertaining, big budget popcorn movie that doesn't quite have the same wow factor as the first film. There are some amazing set sequences however, that will have you on the edge of your seat and this is more than enough to keep you entertained.

Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni, Alessandro Nivola, Trevor Morgan, Michael Jeter, Blake Michael Bryan and Laura Dern
Joe Johnson
Running Time:
92 mins

Billionaires Paul (Macy) and Amanda Kirby (Leoni) promise Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) substantial funding, if he will accompany them as they fly over Isla Sorna, the location of Site B. As the party fly over the island, the plane starts to descend and land. Discovering it has all been a rouse, the Kirby's reveal that they have come to the island to look for their missing son and they need his expertise to find him. The noise of the plane however has alerted the local residents and the major predators on the island are starting to close in.

After two movies directed by Steven Spielberg, can the Jurassic Park franchise survive without him?

This movie is just pure, on the edge of your seat, action. From the beginning to the end, the pace of the movie is relentless, never stopping for character development or advancement of the very limited plot. Director Joe Johnston has taken over Steven Spielberg's directional duties with a real passion for the material and instils a new visual, more in your face approach to the dinosaur attacks. The cast or menu is very good, with William H Macy and Téa Leoni always extremely watchable and Sam Neil jumping back into his Alan Grant role with some bravado. There is also a good performance from Alessandro Nivola as Grant's assistant Billy Brennan.

The stars of the show are again, the dinosaurs. The Spinosaurus and the Pteranodons are unbelievable, showing that ILM and Stan Winston are by far the best in their fields. The only problem with the movie is that the dinosaur attacks were too graphic for the PG rating the film has been given. There is one scene in particular that is just too much. Small children should not be seeing violence of this magnitude.

Jurassic Park III doesn't have the substance of the previous two films and feels more like an amusement park ride than a movie but this doesn't make it any less enjoyable. This is the definition of a big popcorn movie that is pure entertainment.


Beyond Jurassic Park (Bonus features disc)

Jurassic Park

Original featurette on the making of the film (4.50 mins)
Director Steven Spielberg, author Michael Crichton and stars Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Ariana Richards, Joseph Mazzello and Richard Attenborough talk about the story of the film, the park and the dinosaurs.

Steven Spielberg directs Jurassic Park (9.08 mins)
Behind the scenes footage as we see the master director at work on the 'lab', 'looking for the dinosaurs', 'arriving on the island', 'entering the park', 'the raptor pen' and 'the T-Rex enclosure' scenes.

Animatics: T-Rex Attack (7.25 mins)
Watch the animated storyboards, stop motion animation and early CG used to plan out the T-Rex sequence.

Hurricane in Kauai Featurette (2.10 mins)
Director Steven Spielberg, producer Gerald R. Molen and production designer Rick Carter talk about the hurricane that almost destroyed the set as it hit the Hawaiian Islands.

ILM and Jurassic Park: Before and After the Visual Effects (6.33 mins)
View the stages of development for the computer generated visual effects for the 'First Sight', 'T-Rex vs. Car', 'The Stampede', 'In the kitchen' and the 'T-Rex finale'.

Universal Mediterranea (0.48 mins)
Promotional advert for the Spanish theme park complex

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Original Featurette on the Making of the Film (13.19 mins)
Director Steven Spielberg, screenwriter David Koepp, production designer Rick Carter, director of photography Janusz Kaminiski, full motion dinosaur supervisor Dennis Muren, creature designer Stan Winston and stars Jeff Goldblum, Richard Attenborough, Julianne Moore, Vince Vaughn, Pete Postlethwaite and Vanessa Lee Chester talk about continuing the story of Jurassic Park. With behind the scenes footage, the group talk about the story, characters, stunts and the new dinosaurs of the sequel.

Interviews with writer Michael Crichton (15.28 mins)
The writer of 'Jurassic Park' and 'The Lost World' talks about the origins of the story and the science behind it. He discusses the characters and how he became involved with Steven Spielberg to make the film. He also talks the themes of the story and how adaptations of books differ from the finished movie.

ILM and 'The Lost World': Before and After the Visual Effects (20.05 mins)
Split screen footage of the development of the scenes played with the finished sequence. Scenes include 'Opening Sequence' 'Finding Sarah', 'Dinosaur capture', 'High cage', 'T-Rex in the camp', 'Truck fall', 'Raptor chase', 'Compie Chase', 'San Diego' and 'Finale'.

The Compie Dance Number: Thank you Steven Spielberg (1.39 mins)
A show reel for ILM that see the Compie's performing a dance number in honour of director Steven Spielberg.

Jurassic Park III

The Special Effects of Jurassic Park III (10.32 mins)
Director Joe Johnson, producer Kathleen Kennedy, effects supervisor John Rosengrant, creature designer Stan Winston, special effects supervisor Michael Lamtieri and stars Sam Neill, Téa Leoni and William H. Macy talk about the combination of full size animatronic and computer generated dinosaurs used to bring 'Jurassic Park III' to life. The group talk about the new dinosaurs introduced in the film and the techniques used to bring them to life.

Industrial Light and Magic Press Reel (10.15 mins)
ILM show off the new techniques utilised to bring the dinosaurs to life. The reel highlights the development of the creatures and show the methods used to build a better dinosaur including using muscle and skin techniques to make the movement look more realistic. The reel also shows how the animatronic and CGI dinosaurs combined and the use of computer generated environments.

The Sounds of Jurassic Park III (13.36 mins)
Sound editor Christopher Boyes, foley artists Jena Vance and Denny Thorpe, foley mixer Tony Eckert and composer Don Davis reveal how the sound and music were created for the film. The sound effects artist talk about how the dinosaur sounds are created, revealing how most of the grunts and growls are come from animal noise. The featurette also look into how the incidental or foley sounds are created and the responsibility put on the shoulders of Don Davis having to take over from the great John Williams when it comes to writing the score.

The Art of Jurassic Park III (7.56 mins)
Producer Kathleen Kennedy, production designer Ed Verreaux, illustrator Jack Johnston, key storyboard artist David Lowery and storyboard artist Rodolfo Damaggio take you through the pre-production process for 'Jurassic Park III'. Here we see the storyboards, concept art and set design came together to start the production of the film.

Jurassic Park: The Ride (2.36 mins)
See the actual theme park ride of Jurassic Park at Universal Studios in California.


Like the 'Indiana Jones' and 'Star Wars' trilogy box sets, 'Jurassic Park: The Ultimate Collection' sees the three films accompanied by a bonus DVD of extras but unlike the afore mentioned sets, the dinosaur trilogy is a real let down. When you re-release and repackage a trilogy of films, the fan would at least expect some new bonus material to be included but this is just a collection of short featurettes produced at the time of the film's releases. This is extremely disappointing and gives no incentive for fans to invest in this new collection, especially if they already have the films in their collection. Universal should have done a lot more here.


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