Jurassic Park Collection 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Review
For those of us old enough to remember seeing JURASSIC PARK in theaters, there might not have been a more impressive movie going experience. The original JURASSIC PARK was a true spectacle and something you had to see to be believed. Director Steven Spielberg had done the impossible by bringing dinosaurs to life and making them look inexplicably real. JURASSIC WORLD joked 22 years later that bringing dinosaurs to life isn’t enough anymore and that audiences want more. That’s true for the make believe parks and for the movie going public. The sequels have brought a mixed bag, but Jurassic Park remains one of Universal’s flagship franchises.
In anticipation of JURASSIC WORLD: FALLEN KINGDOM, Universal has given the previous four Jurassic films the 4K UHD treatment and anyone familiar with some of Universal’s catalog titles knows that they’re not known for giving their franchises a lot of love on 4K (see the Jason Bourne films for example).
All four films feature an upgraded DTS:X audio track and all of them sound fantastic and the same general review can be written for each. The point is that none of the Jurassic films have ever sounded as impressive as they do on 4K. It’s the video presentation that sets them apart.
JURASSIC PARK (Video quality: 3/5)
I guess we start with the good news, which is that this is definitely better than the Blu-ray and thus by far and away the best the film has ever looked on home video. That said, the best of the four films doesn’t necessarily get the best transfer. We chalk it up to the age of the film, but as Paramount has proven with some of their older titles, age shouldn’t matter when it comes to the 4K transfer process. But JURASSIC PARK is going to have some noticeable upgrades, especially in some of the darker scenes. But it’s also going to have some problems, particularly whenever a dark color contrasts with a bright color, particularly in well lit scenes. And for those of you that despise DNR, be prepared to whip out those keyboards because you’re going to want to type some negative letters to Universal. DNR is noticeable in some scenes, but it’s not necessarily a problem for me.
THE LOST WORLD: JURASSIC PARK (Video quality: 4/5)
I’m not sure why, but the second Jurassic Park film looks considerably better than the first and it’s barely 4 years younger. But the transfer for the sequel improves upon a lot of the original’s problems. Colors seem much more refined and there are many instances that offer better detail. You do have a handful of shots that look a little off in terms of picture quality, but it’s hard to complain too much about the film’s transfer.
JURASSIC PARK III (Video quality: 2.5/5)
The first and third films battle it out for disappointing 4K transfers, but I give the edge to JURASSIC PARK III. It’s clear Universal didn’t pay attention at all to this film’s transfer as it almost looks worse than the Blu-ray. It feels overly dark in many areas and there are more than a few scenes that make you question whether you’re watching a 4K or not (the arrival of the group on the island, for example). I think I’m one of the few people out there that actually liked JURASSIC PARK III, so this was a very frustrating experience for me.
JURASSIC WORLD (Video quality 4.5/5)
I don’t know what the cool kids say about JURASSIC WORLD, but I thought it was a blast. Thankfully, the film gets a stellar 4K transfer that looks fantastic. Colors are bright and vibrant, detail is crisp and clear and the whole presentation is an upgrade over the Blu-ray. Virtually everything is an improvement, but the last battle sequence is the scene that stood out to me; I noticed detail and depth in the dinosaurs and the backgrounds that just wasn’t there on the Blu-ray. This is a great transfer.
There are no 4K exclusive special features on any disc, but they all have their corresponding Blu-rays.
Between the fantastic looking JURASSIC WORLD and THE LOST WORLD and the fact you can’t find a better home video transfer of JURASSIC PARK, the 4K set is an obvious upgrade for fans of the film. I know the set has it’s detractors and it’s always frustrating to shell out money for a less than stellar product, but I think there’s enough here to make it worthwhile.