JURASSIC PARK 7x400ft Colour/Sound 126 min Import - Check film lists

Based on the best selling novel by Michael Crichton and directed by Steven Spielberg, Jurassic Park is the 1993 box office topper with the most outstanding digital special effects to date. Whatever your opinion of the film there is so much splendour contained within its running time for all but the most ardent disliker of Spielberg movies to complain.

John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has conceived a new style of theme park, a tropical island inhabited by genetically engineered dinosaurs recreated from DNA discovered within a preserved mosquito. A group of four is recruited to evaluate the park, namely, lawyer Donald Gennaro (Martin Ferrero), mathematician Dr. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Sam Neill) and paleobotanist Dr. Ellie Sattler (Laura Dern). The visitors travel to his island off the coast of Costa Rica, where they are introduced to the biological products of Attenborough's scientists. The first appearance of these gigantic reptiles is remarkably impressive and has not diminished with the passing of time. When originally released some viewers were moved to tears at this point such was the effect of seeing living dinosaurs in photorealistic excellence on the screen.

Alan Grant dislikes children and who can blame him for this when we meet Hammond’s two grandchildren, Tim and Lex. The boy is all right but the girl is absolutely intolerable with both her and the awful performance from Laura Dern being the major detractions from an otherwise good film. The two kids unfortunately are being given the first tour of the Disneyland style attraction along with the others and they set off in two completely automated jeep-like vehicles. The tour does not seem to be going well with none of the dinosaurs appearing in their specific paddocks. It soon becomes obvious that all is not quite as well organized as it should be. Hammond has cut costs with the systems required for running the park and this has bred contempt with the park’s computer programmer, Dennis Nedry (Wayne Knight). He has sold out to a rival undisclosed operation and is set to sabotage Jurassic Park in order to steal a batch of dinosaur embryos. As a tropical storm hits and Nedry’s plan goes into effect, Grant, Sattler, and the others get stranded on the ride. A Tyrannosaurus Rex gets loose and treats us to one of the most memorable cinematic sequences of the twentieth century. The group is split up, or in one case eaten, and Grant is left with the children to get them back through park to the comparative safety of the compound. It’s all pretty exciting stuff and is only topped by the ending with the attack of the (oversized) Velociraptors and the reappearance of the T-Rex.

A lot was riding on JURASSIC PARK in 1993, particularly if you consider Steven Spielberg had not broken any box-office records for nearly a decade when he began working on the film. However, it took in over $346 million at the US box office, to end up second (behind E.T., another Spielberg blockbuster) in the all-time highest-grossing charts. It won Oscars for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound and Best Sound Effects Editing.

All this big screen, eye-popping magic can be yours on the baby gauge, Super 8. And how good it looks when compared to any other method of projecting in the home. But the good news does not stop there... it can now be enjoyed with 5:1 Dolby Digital sound with a suitably equipped Elmo GS-1200 projector, DVD player, Jurassic Park region 2 disc, and decoder/amplifier. This may not be the original Digital Theatre System sound but who knows, this may yet be available one day. The synchronization between disc and print only goes out in two places and in these two places only by a couple of frames which is easily adjusted with the ‘slow’ control. The layer change on my player also knocked the sound out of sync’ but this can be overcome by putting the reel change in at the same point. There is enough ‘stonking’ bass in this track to put your system through its paces and is certainly worth the investment.

The print quality of the review copy is almost up there with the best but not quite matching such excellent imagery as ‘The Terminator’ or ‘Silence of the Lambs’. It is still, however, excellent. The sound comes as mono but is still rather good and can be cranked up significantly to create the odd rumble in the room.

This release cannot be recommended highly enough. Don’t forget to purchase the region 2 DVD too in order to have a go at running the sound from disc and the big screen picture from super 8. It is worth having a go on the T-Rex sequence even if you don’t have sync’ pulse as there is little dialogue and providing you have a variable speed control on your projector you may find it surprisingly easy to obtain earth shattering results. Let us know how you get on.

Print A Sound A John Clancy