This is the first release in my catalog of 4K films that I was questioning picking up. Jurassic Park (series) is one of my favorite movies of all time, and it getting “remastered in 4K” seemed too good to be true. Early reviews were coming in saying that they weren’t impressed, images were too soft, it wasn’t ‘enough’ of an upgrade, etc. etc. Still, I couldn’t help but buy it when it released because….. I needed to have it, I was intrigued!
I’m starting to watch the films one by one this week, so follow below and see the details.
Plots: JP1: During a preview tour, a theme park suffers a major power breakdown that allows its cloned dinosaur exhibits to run amok. JP2: A research team is sent to the Jurassic Park Site B island to study the dinosaurs there while another team approaches with another agenda. JP3: A decidedly odd couple with ulterior motives convince Dr. Alan Grant to go to Isla Sorna, resulting in an unexpected landing…and unexpected new inhabitants on the island. JW: A new theme park, built on the original site of Jurassic Park, creates a genetically modified hybrid dinosaur, which escapes containment and goes on a killing spree.
Director: Steven Spielberg
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
Runtime: 127 min, 129 min, 92 min, 124 min
Unboxing (see below)
Jurassic Park Review:
While I was watching Jurassic Park last night it made it seem like I was kid again. It was like I was watching this movie for the first time because I was noticing things I hadn’t realized before. Mind you, looking for details is new in the 4K world, so I find myself looking for ‘eye candy’ where before, I wouldn’t. Yes, there are some soft scenes, even sometimes questionable looks where the quality drops, (like the Jeep ride in when they land on the island or when they pan out and you get full CGI) but it wasn’t too much to take you away from the movie. There is a fine layer of grain, which of course gets heavier during some scenes. You can expect that.
It sounds funny to say this, but the HDR is worthy enough for the upgrade all by itself. All the colors stand out more in details like the red plastic on the helmets to the graphics on the park Jeeps. In a film with a lot of variety of deep greens, the HDR gives all the tones and textures the Blu-Ray was missing. As usual, the scenes with close ups enhance the detail down to the pores on their skin, tones and imperfections.
Is this 4K UHD disc going to blow you away? No. It wasn’t bad at all. I’d say, for the original film in this legendary series, the 4K transfer is worth your time and the upgrade.
Jurassic Park II (The Lost World) Review:
This is the one movie in the series where I tend to disagree with the majority, I actually enjoyed the sequel. I like how it introduces man as the bad guy and the scenes with the dinosaurs in San Diego — they were awesome when I first saw them as a kid, just as they are now. I hope Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom follows in it’s footsteps!
As with the first film, you get a sharper image than what was previously offered with the Blu-Ray. Like obvious and standard 4K enhancements, you get similarities in the first film with better color (HDR) and strong detail on close ups. The CGI was very soft again, therefore, more noticeable, and in high intensity shots the grain was heavy. Where was it the most heavy? When it was pouring rain, plus all the long shots of the island looked soft with no pop, even the water looks dull.
Something I think this transfer did well was the semi-consistent levels of black throughout the film. This movie is pretty dark and it takes place over the duration of a night. When CGI is apparent in a dark scenes, the blacks get a little more muddy, but for the most part it’s a highlight.
Is this 4K UHD disc going to blow you away? No, but it’s a worthy upgrade like the first film.
Jurassic Park III Review:
Hold on to your butts! I’m not going to talk about the plot of this film, but when it comes to the new transfer it’s not as much as the first two, not nearly. Yes, it is a better picture, but it lacked the clarity of the close ups the other films had and there is a medium to heavy layer of grain throughout. I felt like there were certain moments it should have shined, yet failed to do so. Like the clarity, the HDR didn’t really shine either. There were moments where you can tell it was being put to good use and other times, I was wondering where it went.
There was a particular 10 second shot of Dr. Grant’s face peeking through tall grass and the clarity was on point and the HDR was spot on as well. I wish there were more shots like this, but there were just a few. A good example of the back and forth is a specific scene when Dr. Grant realizes he has raptor eggs in his bag. The first shot is super clear with good HDR usage and then when it pans back to him — it’s gone. Where’d it go?
Is this 4K UHD disc going to blow you away? No, and it’s definitely the weakest upgrade of all the films. I wouldn’t pick this one up in 4K all on it’s own, but I can suck it up as a part of this set. I just want to double down on the fact that is in a upgrade, but it’s not a jump.
Jurassic World Review:
Not to bring this review to a simple sentence for Jurassic World…. but, this is exactly what I expected. This film was released 14 years after Jurassic Park III, so all of the technology is ready to go for UHD. There is a ton of color and all of the nature shines with the HDR. All the close ups are spot on with detail and clarity, plus the dark scenes have great black levels (Think Chris Pratt with the raptors driving the motorcycle in the dark good.)
The CGI looked great and this is a big bump over the Blu-Ray. Is this 4K UHD disc going to blow you away? Arguably it could, but it’s a definitely worth the upgrade — it doesn’t disappoint.
Now that I have watched all four movies in UHD, I can confidently say that it is worth the upgrade. If the Jurassic Park series has a place in your heart, then don’t hesitate to pick it up. The classic first film in the series see improvements all over the place, and the second follows suit as well. Now, improvements is in the medium area on the scale; it isn’t ‘dramatic’ but it’s definitely worth your money.
I’m not 100% sure on the way they will be released when it comes to buying them individually, but Jurassic Park, Lost World & Jurassic World are worth upgrading — adding to your collection. Jurassic Park III sees one of the weaker ‘4K upgrades’ to date, so that can be skipped, especially if you won’t miss it in the first place.