Jurassic Park 3
WHAT'S IT ABOUT?
A "wealthy" couple (Macy and Leoni) offer mucho money to Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) requesting him as a tour guide for a secretive trip to Isla Sorna, the second dinosaur-infested island from THE LOST WORLD. Lured by the money offered, Grant, his associate (Alessandro Nivola), the couple, and a small security team return to the dino island. It is there that Grant learns the true nature of his involvement on this journey while more dino mayhem ensues as they try to escape.
IS IT A GOOD MOVIE?
Jurassic Park 3 is NOT an improvement over the second film like some people have suggested. The biggest problem with this installment, for me, is the shattering of the romantic idea that Tyrannosaurus Rex was the king of the dinosaurs. Step forward to the Spinosaurus -- not half as terrifying by a long shot and the evolution of the Velociraptor makes it look silly -- they are just not as deadly as they were in the other two movies. Aside from this, the plot is thin, and the once stunning dinosaurs are no longer as awe-inspiring as they were in the previous installments. Eight years later, the first JURASSIC PARK still has the best and most realistic dinosaur visuals I have ever seen. Steven Spielberg's magic is gone, and as directed by Joe Johnston, this film is nothing more than a one dimensional chase film and a major disappointment compared to the first two. The way in which Neill's character gets involved with the dinosaurs again is also weakly implemented.
Joe Johnston's background is mostly in the special effects department and his flare for story, characters and depth are limited. Neill and Nivola are the only interesting characters and it's a treat to see them on screen. William H. Macy and Tea Leoni, on the other hand, aren't very good. Macy's character is a nerd who would not survive this whirlwind of nature without the help of Neill's character and the worst performance is by Tea Leoni, who plays a screaming, neurotic and naive wife and mother. She looks like an extra with an expanded speaking part. I guess that's enough bitching, though, because this really isn't a bad movie. The action scenes are still pretty slick, the visuals are nice to look at, and not all the characters are annoying. I'll even admit that the movie is never really boring since it clocks in at under 90 minutes, and you're never bored between action scenes. And like JoBlo said in his review, this movie is like a slasher flick with dinosaurs and is really all about them.
A good amount of extras on this DVD. First up is a commentary track by the Special Effects Team. It can be boring, but they are informative and only talk about...you guessed it, the special effects on the film. Which was fine by me, since that's what this movie is all about to begin with. There are several behind the scenes featurettes. First up is 22-minute "making of" entitled "The Making of Jurassic Park 3" which goes into a good amount of detail on all aspects of the movie, including how director Joe Johnston got the chance to direct, to coming up with the story of the film, to choosing the dinosaur's that would appear in the film with the most emphasis being on them, to...well you get the picture. Next up is a 7-minute featurette devoted to the dinosaurs called "The Dinosaurs of Jurassic Park 3" Though a short featurette, I found it to be one of the more interesting ones on this DVD because it goes through each dinosaur from the design of the dinosaur to what scientists actually believed each dinosaur was like when they roamed the Earth.
The third featurette is called "A Tour of Stan Winston's Studio" which runs 3-minutes and is mostly a video montage set to JP music which shows his team making the live-action animatronic dinosaurs. The fourth featurette is "A Visit To ILM" where you watch 20 different stages in a step-by-step look at the computer graphics created by ILM. The fifth featurette is "Dinosaur Turntables" which is a three dimensional look at the 12 dinosaurs created by ILM. The next one is aptly titled "Behind the Scenes" which shows three of the better scenes in the movie going back and forth between the final composite and the actual making of that scene. And finally, the last "making of" is a "Story Board to Final Feature Comparison" That one is pretty self-explanatory and only talks about 3 scenes, which is good because story board to film comparison's tend to be a bit boring unless you are really into that kinda stuff. Rounding off the special features are production and poster galleries, theatrical trailers, production notes and cast and crew biographies.
This is a movie that borders on being either bad or good, so I guess I'm half and half on it, although it definitely doesn't live up to the first two installments. I guess you kind of have to take it for what it is, and that is a mindless summer popcorn flick. I'd like to say that this DVD is worth buying if you're a hard-core fan of the Jurassic Park series, but I myself am a huge fan of the series and I don't think I'll be picking up this one.