Found-footage movies are no longer novel, but they're cheap to make, so expect to see many, many more shoot out Hollywood's pipeline. As long as concepts are tweaked, however, surprises like Chronicle can occur.
To celebrate 20 years, Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park returns to theaters starting today, this time with a conversion to 3-D.
Does the 3-D add anything? No. Does the movie still work? Yes.
So ubiquitous in our current pop culture is the 1993 blockbuster that there’s no need for me to rehash its plot beyond “man clones dinosaurs.” (For kids, all one has to say is “dinosaurs,” and they’re onboard.) It’s been ages — 19 years, I’m guessing — since I last saw it before this week, and it was a pleasure to revisit its big set pieces, which have stood the test of time.
What hasn’t aged well is the film’s opening — basically, everything before chaos reigns on the theme-park island. It takes too long to get to the goods, and this chunk of time stands as Park’s weakest portion. The 3-D is not only an unnecessary addition, but actually proves problematic by spatially disorienting viewers during scenes of action. Spielberg’s frames wow enough because of how realistic the dinosaurs look (and still do); they’re not in need of the View-Master treatment.
It didn’t bother my 8-year-old, however, and I suspect he’s the real reason Universal Pictures has reopened Jurassic Park’s gates: Now, a whole generation exists that wasn’t around to see the movie when it first broke ground ... or to see 2001’s Jurassic Park III, for that matter. Certainly the studio wishes to prime this batch of youngsters so they’ll be in line for Jurassic Park IV (reportedly with Safety Not Guaranteed director Colin Trevorrow at the helm), and just judging from my son’s case, it’s safe to say they’ve wildly succeeded. —Rod Lott
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• Safety Not Guaranteed Blu-ray review