Jurassic Park DVD [1993]

Director: Steven Spielberg
Format: PAL
Release Date: 09 Oct 2000

On remote Isla Nuba entrepreneur John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has built the ultimate theme-park, populated by genetically engineered dinosaurs painstakingly reconstructed from DNA extracted from prehistoric amber... and, of course, frogs! Adapted from Michael Crichton's novel, Steven Spielberg's classic blockbuster became a cultural and commercial phenomenon thanks in part to the enduring appeal of all things prehistoric. But the film's extraordinarily realistic digital dinosaurs also showcased the spectacular computer-generated effects which have since become ubiquitous in Hollywood filmmaking. Indeed, in the years since 1993 it is debatable whether any film has revolutionised special effects to such an extent, and this DVD release offers the perfect opportunity to relive its visual and aural splendour (the film was also the first to be released with a DTS soundtrack).

Given the rather insipid team of experts (including Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum) sent to approve Hammond's site, there is no doubt that the dinosaurs are the real stars of Spielberg's film. From the benign majesty of the towering brachiosaurus to the reptilian menace of the velociraptors, the inhabitants of Jurassic Park were a radical departure from their stop-motion predecessors, and remain compellingly real in their animalistic pursuit of survival at all costs. Most memorable of all is the T-rex, displaying a spine-chilling combination of physical ferocity and child-like bewilderment in the face of its reincarnation in the modern world. It was no surprise that in The Lost World sequel the T-rex once again took centre stage, but this first appearance still retains a unique power and a seminal place in film history. --Steve Napleton

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