Video: **** 1/2
Extras: *** 1/2
Article first published as Blu-ray 3D Review: ‘Jurassic World’ Evolves from Must-See to Must-Own on Blogcritics.
In one of the opening scenes of Jurassic World, park operator Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard) says, “No one’s impressed by a dinosaur anymore.” The monster hit’s box office would beg to differ. With a record-shattering No. 1 opening weekend of $208 million, the world was ready for a new Jurassic movie. While some questioned whether or not sophomore director Colin Trevorrow was up to the task of finally delivering a sequel worthy of Steven Spielberg’s original Park, he proved naysayers wrong in just about every way. Winding up in third place on both the all-time worldwide and domestic — I still consider it second domestic since Titanic only beats it by $7 million and only with the inclusion of the 2012 3D re-release — the Jurassic franchise is back and bigger than ever!
It’s been 22 years since John Hammond’s ill-fated Jurassic Park never opened after a disastrous preview weekend. Jurassic World has since picked up where Hammond left off and has been a huge success for eight years running. The problem now is the public demand more: bigger, louder, cooler
Dr. Henry Wu (BD Wong) has the answer and has engineered the new Indominus Rex. Claire is presenting the new attraction to potential sponsors, but CEO Masrani (Irrfan Khan) is worried about the new creature’s paddock and asks to have the park’s raptor whisperer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) inspect. And wouldn’t you know it, the geneticists also managed to make the I-rex smarter. It manages to escape, wreaking havoc on Isla Nublar, with Jurassic World under attack by a new super-predator that’s about to eat its way up the food chain.
Jurassic World stomps onto Blu-ray in a 3D/2D/DVD/Digital HD combo pack courtesy of Universal Home Entertainment and makes the most of its 2.00:1 framed 50GB disc presentation with nearly flawless results. Virtually every scene is filled with depth and object separation. This is one of those looking-through-the-window transfers with not a whole lot of things spilling into your room. Some have complained of crosstalk throughout the presentation, but I never saw any on my passive 3D TV. Blacks look best ironically during sunlit scenes, but the last 40 minutes, during the prolonged night scenes, also look great. The only time there’s a hiccup are in scenes taking place inside Jurassic World’s control room. Here, the transfer slightly falters with muted grayish-blacks and far less depth. Outside of these scenes, the transfer shines. Blacks are inky with no crush, and there’s never any aliasing or banding. This is as top notch as you’d expect from a huge summer blockbuster.
Jurassic World attendees want bigger and louder? Well, that’s exactly what we get with the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track. Surrounds aren’t quite as active as you’d expect for the first 40 minutes or so, but they do provide a nice enveloping case of ambiance, making you feel like you’re standing next to every character in each scene. You always know where a dinosaur sits off camera. When the pteranodon and dimorphodons finally get unleashed upon the guests, they dive bomb your room from every speaker, panning from left to right and overhead with exact precision. And what would a movie about dinosaurs be without plenty of wall-shaking, picture frame-rattling bass? Universal delivers another one of the best sound mixes of the year — the other being Furious 7 of course — and it should come as no surprise they spared no expense. Additional audio tracks include Spanish and French DTS 5.1 with subtitles in English SDH, Spanish, and French.
While the special features may not be overwhelming, at least they’re a lot of fun. The cast and crew clearly loved their trip back to Jurassic and it more than shines through in the end result. These first two can be found on the 3D disc but aren’t necessarily in 3D. “Deleted Scenes” (6:08) consists of sporadically cut or trimmed parts of existing scenes, some are completely new, but most are simply extensions.
There are no titles for each, but the funniest bit involves Claire covering herself with dino droppings to cover up the scent of her perfume and lotion. “Chris & Colin Take on the World” (8:57) is a sit-down chat with the star and director. The two have a great rapport and ask each other various questions regarding their love and respect of the first film, with the best bit stemming from Pratt’s premonition about starring in Jurassic Park IV and ignoring calls and texts from Spielberg while on set for Parks & Recreation.
“Welcome to Jurassic World” (29:52) dives into the making of the film with interviews including everyone from Spielberg and Trevorrow to producer Frank Marshall and cast members Pratt, Howard, Wong, and Jake Johnson. They discuss the director’s intentions of poking fun at the corporate world and how they set out to achieve their goal of making a new park so realistic it would convince audiences they want to visit. Mission accomplished. We also get to visit the sets and locations while Trevorrow is relieved they never had to do any reshoots because they simply rewrote scenes taking place in the control room for any alterations to the story they needed to make.
“Dinosaurs Roam Once Again” (16:29) sheds light on the creation of the dinosaurs, including the new villain: Indominus Rex. Interviews with Dennis Muren and Phil Tippett give us a look at the creation of the one robotic dinosaur that was used, and ILM shows how they utilized tablet apps which could insert the dinosaurs at the click of a button to help cinematographer John Schwartzman set up shots. We also get to see doomed babysitter Zara (Katie McGrath) perform her own stunt as she’s attacked by pteranodons and eaten by the scene-stealing mosasaurus.
“Jurassic World: All-Access Pass” (10:11) presents Pratt and Trevorrow in the “control room” where they discuss Pratt getting real life animal training to help with his raptor scenes. It also shows how they used a Sphero to figure out how the gyrospheres would work. “Innovation Center Tour with Chris Pratt” (2:01) is a quick look at the innovation center from the film with Pratt clowning around with the funniest joke being Pratt trying to pronounce a dinosaur’s name. Finally, “Jurassic’s Closest Shaves – Presented by Barbasol” (3:00) is a short collection of the entire series’ action sequences.
Jurassic World stunned the world with its return to Isla Nublar and made everyone feel like it was 1993 all over again. Breaking records left and right while entertaining the world is no easy feat, but Trevorrow has definitely breathed new life into a franchise fans feared would be extinct forever. Thankfully, World integrates enough pieces to a larger puzzle to expand the series even further with at least two more sequels headed our way. Featuring a fantastic 3D presentation and an appropriately bombastic 7.1 mix that will leave you enthralled in the action. Not to mention more special features than the Marvel Cinematic Universe has ever thought to bless us with, Jurassic World is one of the best Blu-rays — not to mention one the year’s most fun films — of the year, making good on its theatrical run with another fantastic Jurassic addition to our home video libraries.