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Jurassic World (2015)

Universal Studios Home Entertainment
Blu-ray Disc Released: 10/20/2015

All Ratings out of

Movie:

Video:

Audio:
1/2
Extras:
1/2

Review by Mike Long, Posted on 10/19/2015

In my recent review for Tremors 5, I wrote about how Universal Studios has recently been dabbling in very belated sequels. And, one could argue that the appearance of these sequels doesn't always make sense. However, when Universal decided to bring back the Jurassic Park, it seemed like a no-brainer. Despite the fact that Jurassic Park III has many detractors, the film made back nearly double its budget. So, another dino adventure does make sense. But, here's the question -- Is there anything new to say in the world of dinosaurs adventures? With Executive Producer Steven Spielberg backing a new team, Jurassic World attempts to revive the franchise.

Twenty years after the disaster in Jurassic Park, the dream of John Hammond has been realized. Jurassic World is a fully-functioning theme park and an incredibly popular destination. Zach (Nick Robinson) and Gray (Ty Simpkins) have come to the island to spend a few days with their Aunt Claire (Bryce Dallas Howard). Unfortunately, Clarie is incredibly busy, so she pawns the boys off to her assistant, Zara (Katie McGrath). Claire has to show her boss, Masrani (Irrfan Khan), the park's latest attraction, Indominus Rex, a monstrous dinosaur. Claire turns to animal trainer Owen Grady (Chris Pratt) to help with Idominus. But, this is a Jurassic Park attraction, and it doesn't take long for dinosaurs to get loose, for the guests to be in peril, and for children to go missing. Can Owen and Claire save everyone from a toothy death?

By the time that Jurassic Park premiered in 1993, Steven Spielberg was already one of the most successful filmmakers in the history of the medium, having many classic movies under his belt. And yet, in many ways, Jurassic Park felt like the final product of everything that Spielberg had been working up to until that point, as it contained the horror elements of Jaws combined with the action of Raiders of the Lost Ark. The movie isn't perfect, but it's one heck of a thrill ride and it laid the ground work for a new kind of action thriller in Hollywood.

Therefore, I can't tell if it's surprising or not that Jurassic World is essentially a remake of Jurassic Park. Sure, the movie throws in a few new elements, but from beginning to end, the movie essentially follows the exact pattern as the original movie. Once the movie establishes that the park is actually up and running this time, we get: security malfunctions, children in peril, executives who don't want to face reality, more children in peril, questions about the morality of cloning, dinosaurs running amok, and, of course, children in peril. I was actually surprised at just how "paint-by-numbers" this movie was at times, as it attempted to replicate every high-note from Jurassic Park. And as for the finale, rarely have I seen such a "Give the audience what they want" ploy in a film.

That's not to say that some of the new elements added her don't work. Like so many, I was psyched about this movie when I first saw Chris Pratt hunting along side a group of Velociraptors in the trailer. In fact, all of the scenes with the raptors are pretty cool. Although it was also spoiled in the trailer, the new aquatic dinosaur (I’m blanking on the name) is impressive as well. (And when is Sea World going to install those seats that are parallel with the underwater portion of the tank?!) As for Indominus Rex, I found it to be far too similar to the Spinosaurus seen in Jurassic Park III.

Despite the fact that many, especially in the media, make fun of or look down upon fast food restaurants, someone is certainly eating at places like McDonald’s. And when you go McDonald’s, there’s nothing better than getting a Big Mac which is not only fresh, but has also been made with care, and not just slapped together. And while that is momentarily impressive, it’s still just a Big Mac. Jurassic World is the cinematic equivalent of this. The movie is very well-made and clearly cost a lot of money to make. Director Colin Trevorrow, here making his big-budget debut after impressing Spielberg & co. with Safety Not Guaranteed, keeps things moving at a very brisk pace from the outset, and the movie rarely drags. However, in the end, it doesn’t bring enough new material to the genre and it feels like just another Jurassic Park movie. Oh, did I mention that the final shot is a call back to the first film? There’s a fine line between homage and “I feel as if I’ve seen this before.”

Jurassic World may have set a record for product placement on Blu-ray Disc courtesy of Universal Studios Home Entertainment. The film has been letterboxed at 2.35:1 and the Disc contains an AVC 1080p HD transfer which runs at an average of 34 Mbps. The image is very sharp and clear, showing no discernible grain and no defects from the source materials. The colors look fantastic and the image is never overly dark or bright. The picture shows an impressive amount of depth, even in the 2D version, and the level of detail is impeccable. This is a very nice video transfer. The Disc carries a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1 track which runs at 48 kHz and an average of 6.0 Mbps. The track provides clear dialogue and sound effects. As one would expect, the dinosaur roars and footsteps provide palpable subwoofer action. The surround sound and stereo effects are excellent and in the action scenes, we feel as if we are in the middle of the action. The sound moves smoothly from front-to-back and right-to-left, and we are often treated to distinct sounds.

The Jurassic World Blu-ray Disc contains a number of extra features. We start off with a reel of seven DELETED SCENES which run about 6 minutes. There are no new characters or subplots here, but in keeping with the spirit of this being a remake of the original, we do get a scene with a large pile of feces. "Chris & Colin Take on the World" (9 minutes) has Trevorrow and Pratt interviewing one another, discussing the film and the legacy of the Jurassic Park films. "Welcome to Jurassic World" (30 minutes), which is framed by an interview with Trevorrow and Spielberg, is a making-of featurette which includes interviews with the cast and creative team, while also taking us on-set to see scenes being shot. (Which allows us to see that there actually were some practical effects in the movie.) The piece also examines the cast and the effects.
The creatures take center stage in "Dinosaurs Roam Once Again" (16 minutes), which shows how the dino-action was shot, including the practical effects, the digital effects, and how the actors interact with nothing. "Jurassic World: All-Access Pass" (10 minutes) is another making-of in which Pratt and Trevorrow talk about specific parts of the movie. We get to see concept art, as well as how certain elements were created. 'Innovation Center Tour with Chris Pratt" (2 minutes) has the actor showing us around the Visitor's Center, which others speak of the thought which went into the set. "Jurassic's Closest Shaves" (3 minutes) is a reel of action scenes from the series...presented by Barbasol.

Review Copyright 2015 by Mike Long