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Jurassic World (3D Blu-ray Review)

23 Oct, 2015 By: John Latchem

Box Office $651.5 million
$29.98 DVD, $34.98 Blu-ray, $49.98 3D Blu-ray
Rated ‘PG-13’ for intense sequences of science-fiction violence and peril
Stars Chris Pratt, Bryce Dallas Howard, Vincent D'Onofrio, Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinson, Omar Sy, B.D. Wong, Irrfan Khan, Jake Johnson, Lauren Lapkus, Judy Greer.

On the surface, the formula for “Jurassic” movies isn’t much different than a typical horror film. The filmmakers just need to conspire to find some way to put a bunch of people in the path of hungry dinosaurs. If there’s room they can enhance the script with discussions about ethics or corporate greed.

Jurassic World, the fourth film in the franchise based on Michael Crichton’s novel about scientists who genetically engineer dinosaurs back from extinction, takes most of its cues from the first film (and book) in extending the concept of a theme park where the public can see these magnificent creatures. Where in the first film, the park was being tested when the animals got loose, Jurassic World offers a glimpse at a fully functional dino-land.

As a marketing ploy, the park’s owners have genetically engineered a brand-new dinosaur, the Indominus Rex, which is essentially a combination of all the deadliest dinosaurs from the previous movies and a mysterious genetic code that allows it to move the plot along.

Of course, it manages to escape and make its way toward the guests, leading the park’s manager (Bryce Dallas Howard) to enlist the help of a Velociraptor trainer (Chris Pratt) to rescue her nephews and stop the Rex from killing everything on the island.

It’s pretty standard stuff, putting a new twist on many of the famous images from the earlier films. The visual effects are expectedly top notch, and the film looks and sounds great on Blu-ray, though the 3D is rather underwhelming aside from a handful of moments where it’s put to good use.

There’s also a subplot about efforts to create and train dinosaurs for military applications, which actually helps explain a few potential plot holes from the earlier films.

Plus it has a small role from Judy Greer, who, between this, Ant-Man and Tomorrowland), seems to be playing the mom in everything nowadays.

All in all, the film does what it needs to do to keep viewers entertained: further the “Jurassic” mythology, give us characters to care about, present new ways for dinosaurs to attack, and offer up some kick-ass dino vs dino fights. It’s certainly the best “Jurassic” film since the original, and while it may be hard to reconcile the final product with its enormous popularity, the result definitely speaks to the value of nostalgia and good marketing to drive box office (something Disney is counting on to propel Star Wars: The Force Awakens later this year).

The Blu-ray offers fans a lot of insights into the making of the film.

The primary featurette is the 30-minute “Welcome to Jurassic World” documentary, which features an interview with executive producer Steven Spielberg, among the rest of the cast and crew.

“Dinosaurs Roam Once Again,” at 16-and-a-half minutes, focuses on the dinosaur special effects.

In the nine-minute “Chris & Colin Take on the World,” Pratt and director Colin Trevorrow interview each other about making the movie, and we learn a number of nice details, including how Pratt in 2009 joked about starring in Jurassic Park 4, and that the proper pronunciation of Trevorrow rhymes with tomorrow. The 10-minute “All-Access Pass” features the duo analyzing several notable scenes.

Pratt also guides a two-minute tour of the park’s visitor’s center to show off some of the design details.

Just for fun is the three-minute “Jurassic's Closest Shaves — Presented by Barbasol,” which presents highlights from all four movies.

There are also six minutes of deleted scenes, which are too inconsequential not to be needed in the movie but also seem to be the kind of substantial-enough one-off scenes that make for good marketing materials for the Blu-ray.

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