Jurassic Park III 4K Ultra HD

Featured In Issue 232, October 2018

WSR Score4
Basic Information on new release titles is posted as soon as titles are announced. Once reviewed, additional data is added to the database.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment
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Intense science fiction terror
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Single Side, Dual Layer (BD-66)
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Joe Johnston
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DTS:X, DTS HD Lossless 7.1
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In "Jurassic Park III," anxious to fund research for his new theory of Velociraptor intelligence, renowned paleontologist Dr. Alan Grant (Neill) is persuaded by a wealthy adventurer (Macy) and his wife (Leoni) to accompany them on an aerial tour of Isla Sorna. This infamous island, once InGen's site B, has become both a primordial breeding ground for John Hammond's magnificent creations and a magnet for thrill-seekers eager to encounter them. Once they reach the island, Grant discovers the true reason his deceptive hosts have invited him along, though, their intentions are understandable. In their perilous attempt to escape with their lives, the dwindling group encounters terrifying new creatures undisclosed by InGen, and Grant is forced to learn the dreadful implications of his raptor intelligence theory firsthand. Jurassic Park III offers more thrills, new dinosaurs (including the flying and terrifying Pteranodons), as well as the return of Neill and Laura Dern as Dr. Ellie Satler. (Suzanne Hodges)

Special features include commentary with the Special Effects Team; an all-new documentary with one of six parts on this disc: "Return To Jurassic Park: The Third Adventure" (HD 25:20); the following archival featurettes: "The Making Of Jurassic Park III" (SD 22.43), "The Dinosaurs Of Jurassic Park III" (SD 07:52), "The Special Effects Of Jurassic Park III" (SD 10:31), "The Industrial Light & Magic Press Reel" (SD 10:14), "The Sounds Of Jurassic Park III (SD 13:35), The Art Of Jurassic Park III" (SD 07:55), and "Montana: Finding New Dinosaurs" (SD 04:21); "Behind The Scenes," which includes "Tour Of Stan Winston Studio" (SD 03:14), "Spinosaurus Attacks The Plane" (SD 01:48), "Raptors Attack Udesky" (SD 00:59), "The Lake" (SD 01:38), "A Visit To ILM," which includes "Concepts" (SD 05:35), "The Process" (SD 04:23), "Muscle Simulation" (SD 02:32), and "Compositing" (SD 01:59), "Dinosaur Turntables" (SD 06:23), "Storyboards To Final Feature Comparison" (SD 06:08), and Production Photographs; the theatrical trailer; D-BOX™ Motion Code™ and BD-Live. A Movies Anywhere digital copy is also included.

The 1.85:1 2160p HEVC/H.265 Ultra HD HDR10 picture, reviewed on a Sony Bravia Z9D 4K Ultra HD HDR display, was photographed primarily on film using the Panavision Panaflex Platinum and Arriflex 35-III camera systems and sourced from a 2K (not 4K) master Digital Intermediate format. As the 2K Digital Intermediate has been upconverted to 2160p, there is no real gain in native resolution. The 3D Blu-ray edition was reviewed in Issue 177. Noise and film grain have been de-grained on this new remastered 4K Ultra HD edition, for a pristine picture experience.

Picture quality is inconsistent, at times dynamic and vivid, and at other times dull in appearance. Other artifacts are noticeable such as vertical streaking, shimmering and pixelization. The overall image is flat and bland, lacking the vividness and depth dimensionality of the other movies in the series. Color saturation is wanting, as well as contrasted imagery. Overall, the imagery is dark. Within the overall appearance, color fidelity is generally well balanced, with accurate fleshtones, rich hues, and deep blacks. Blue skies and the green vegetation of the island are satisfying, particularly during bright exterior scenes. Within the context of the overall darkness of the imagery, the HDR contrast rendering reveals shadow delineation with fairly good visual information available in the darker scenes, solid black levels, and punchy bright highlights. Images are sharp and detailed, though, some scenes, like the interior shots of Grant visiting with Satler in her home, are slightly soft. Detail into the dinosaurs' "skin" is nicely rendered, revealing how much work Stan Winston's team put into perfecting the creatures. But overall, resolution could be more spectacular. Dimensional depth is quite good. A WOW! segment is from 01:18:45 to 01:21:25. Overall, most visual parameters are satisfying, though, not spectacular, resulting in this edition the least satisfying. (Gary Reber)

The repurposed DTS:X/DTS-HD Master Audio™ 7.1-channel soundtrack extends greater excitement to the proceedings.

Issue 56's DVD featured Dolby Digital and DTS Digital Surround 5.1 soundtracks, both of which were Surround EX-encoded (though, not credited as such on the DVD jacket). Both audio presentations were at the time state-of-the-art and superlative, with powerful, extremely extended deep bass being one of the primary attributes. The Blu-ray Disc's lossless DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1-channel soundtrack was repurposed as a completely new sonic experience that fully energized the experience. The added two channels enhanced the dimensional depth and spatial acoustic reality. The dynamics were dramatically engaging and significantly added to the exhilarating excitement.

This new repurposed DTS:X soundtrack pushes the previous sound quality parameters to far greater satisfaction with prodigious intensity. Ear-level surround engagement is aggressively engaging. Action scenes deliver high-impact intensity with dimensional directionality throughout the soundfield. There are very intense pulses of low frequencies, especially those which are very dynamic in nature. And, of course, soundstage utilization can be extremely active at times, with all-out engagement of the split surrounds. The loudest effects are delivered with substantial brute force, but at reference level they could be overpowering to some. Dynamics are dramatically engaging and significantly enhance the exhilarating excitement. The four surrounds are utilized to rather good effect throughout, being used for some interesting pans and specific effects that are convincingly crafted to impart a special sense of visceral heightening and intensity, capturing much of the essence of the original, with further artistic originality. Atmospherics and sound effects are riveting, with superb low-level resolution and dynamics, as well as directionality. A plane crash, dinosaur stampedes and footfalls, and other low-end responses reverberate throughout the soundfield. Deep bass is pulse-pounding in the .1 LFE channel and throughout the soundfield Raptor shrieks, swooping pterodactyls, and other dinosaur-specific sound effects are wonderfully effective, as well as jungle atmospherics, in creating anticipation and excitement. Every sound element is refined with excellent fidelity. The music score, from Don Davis, is an exemplary recording, and is appropriately paced to the action, suspense, and sense of urgency, with a very wide and deep soundstage presence that extends aggressively into the other surround channels. Voices sound ample, though, not all that convincingly integrated with the visuals, and at times the ADR sounds "produced."

The Immersive Sound element is limited, especially as there is no music. What there is typically are very brief object-based sound effects, such as wind, a boat crashing on rocks, the engine of a small plane jetting off into the air, a distant dinosaur growl reverberating from the jungle, a small engine aircraft crash, T-Rex growls in attack, propelling smoke canisters, chaotic dinosaur screeches, pouring rain, a boat haul hit by T-Rex, more growls, underwater bubbling and a helicopter flyover. Not much in the way of height sonics, especially given how extensive the visual cues the sound designer had to work with to provide spherical sound support,

This is a very engaging holosonic® ear-level soundtrack experience that imparts an emotionally charged experience pounding with excitement. (Gary Reber)