Trust Steven Spielberg to take something that most every kid loves – dinosaurs – and bring them back to life onscreen. Jurassic Park was an event upon original release, and it remains a fun – and often rather tense – action treat. To celebrate the franchise’s 25th anniversary, and with Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom about to stomp into cinemas, the three Jurassic Park movies, plus the more recent Jurassic World, have now hit on 4K Ultra HD. Do they deserve to have been brought back to life, or did they belong in their time?

Jurassic Park

4K June 2018 - Jurassic Park

4K June 2018 - Jurassic ParkThe story: Michael Crichton’s novel – nabbed by Steven Spielberg before it was even published – could have been made to be a movie, even if some of the story’s parts were eventually watered down or changed. As most will know, it tells of a dinosaur theme park on a fictional central American island. Yes, dinosaurs, as through all manner of genetic and DNA jiggery-pokery scientists have brought them back to life. But are these creatures ready for the 20th century? If you ask any of the specialists brought in by the park’s owner to sign off on it before opening then you’ll know that the answer would be along the lines of  “clearly not”, as all mayhem breaks loose following a spot of park staff treachery.

“Life, uh… finds a way.”

The 4K disc: Simply put, Jurassic Park has never looked this good at home. That being said, this probably won’t be the first disc that you drag out to convince anybody who’ll listen that they need to upgrade to 4K Ultra HD – but it’s worlds ahead of the Blu-ray presentation. A native 4K presentation, HDR provides vivid bright colours while still giving pleasing black levels, often flattering some imperfections in the transfer – and the use of modern cleaning-up methods. Film grain is present without being boorish, and some scenes look simply stunning. Some of the effects are looking a tad dated – because they are. Ultimately, you can’t help feeling that a little more love being lavished on the transfer could have made it simply magnificent, rather than pretty good. On the sonic side, however, things are fabulous. It’s a new DTS:X mix, which does all that any audio nut could ask for – John Williams’ score swirls, dialogue is clear and bassy moments such as dinosaur stomps are suitably thumptastic. Revel in it!

Release date: June 13, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring:
Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

 

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

4K June 2018 - Jurassic Park: The Lost World

4K June 2018 - The Lost World: Jurassic ParkThe story: You’d think that John Hammond (Richard Attenborough) might have learned a thing or two in the first movie, but apparently not. Upon discovering that Isla Sorna – the island where dinosaurs were bred before being transported to the home of Jurassic Park, Isla Nublar – is now a thriving dino-topia, he’s keen to make it a wildlife preserve. Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is far from impressed, but when he discovers that his paleontologist girlfriend, Sarah Harding (Julianne Moore), has already eagerly headed to the island, he feels compelled to go. Then Hammond’s nephew – the new boss of InGen – sends hunters to the island to sedate and transport the animals to a new theme park in San Diego. What could possibly go wrong?

“There’s a dinosaur in our backyard.”

The 4K disc: Another totally 4K transfer, The Lost World fares extremely well on the 4K Ultra HD format. Colour is vivid when called upon and dingy when needed, with the HDR-enhancement truly making things pop without bringing an artificial look into the picture. A very fine sheen of grain doesn’t hamper the experience, in fact some may appreciate its presence. Audio comes via another newly-created DTS:X mix, and it’s a beauty. The Lost World has several quiet bits followed by loud bits (the film version of a Pixies song?), and a good speaker system will handle it with aplomb, while your subwoofer would likely crack a grin were it able. Music and dialogue balance well, and some scenes – such as with the little girl and her wee dino friends near the beginning – make great, playful use of audio placement.

Release date: June 13, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring:
Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, Pete Postlethwaite

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

 

Jurassic Park III

4K June 2018 - Jurassic Park III

4K June 2018 - Jurassic Park IIIThe story: The first Jurassic Park flick not based on a Crichton novel, while receiving mixed reactions this instalment does share one important ingredient with its predecessors – it’s a big, bold popcorn flick. You want crazy-deep characterisation? It just isn’t the place. It is the place, however, to watch Sam Neill get essentially kidnapped by a couple who are desperate to find their son, who went missing while being dumb enough to go parasailing around Isla Sorna. You may or may not be surprised to learn that they encounter a super-nasty dinosaur species – the spinosaurus – along with a bunch of velociraptors who’ve been busy honing their craft. Does former red meat spruiker Neill get out alive, or are the food chain tables turned on him?

“On this island there is no such thing as safe.”

The 4K disc: Visually, this is the least impressive of the three films in this set, much of which comes down to the way it was originally shot. It’s quite a dark affair, and there’s only so much that the HDR enhancement can do to spruce things up. It is, like the others above, a pure 4K transfer though, and the detail of that is regularly evident, as is a fine level of grain that isn’t really noticeable at normal viewing distances unless you’re looking for it. As for sound, this one also features a new DTS:X mix that really delivers – just sit through the massive dino stampede and you’ll know what we mean, as we dare you not to love it!

Release date: June 13, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring:
Sam Neill, William H. Macy, Téa Leoni

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

 

Jurassic World

4K June 2018 - Jurassic World

4K June 2018 - Jurassic World

The story: You know it. Man brings dinosaurs back from extinction via DNA meddling, the prehistoric beasties do what comes naturally and all manner of havoc is wreaked. Several years after events of the original trilogy, Jurassic World – a new theme park built on the site of its predecessor – has another bite of the dino-tourist dollar, and everything seems a whole lot safer now. Even that newly-created hybrid dinosaur seems to be behaving itsel- oh… oh dear! Hopefully Chris Pratt and Dallas Bryce Howard can save the day…

“It’s gonna be just like taking a walk in the woods… 65 million years ago.”

The 4K disc: The final master for Jurassic World was made at 2.4K, which in (slightly) less technical speak means it comes to our players upscaled to 4K. Regardless, the vision is mostly quite wonderfully detailed, with a slight sheen of grain – more noticeable at some times rather than others – and aided masterfully by HDR enhancement. Just look at any scenes involving pools or triple-hulled catamaran boat thingies (sorry for the complete absence of technical jargon there, our resident sea captain is off plunderin’) and try not to be impressed. As for the sonic experience, seeing Jurassic World in appropriately-equipped cinemas gave us Dolby Atmos, however here we get an awesome DTS:X mix that really lets loose when, well, things get loose onscreen.

Release date: June 13, 2018
Format: 4K Ultra HD
Starring:
Chris Pratt, Dallas Bryce Howard, Vincent D’Onofrio

Buy now at JB Hi-Fi

Want to know what to get next? Check out STACK‘s 4K Ultra HD specifications guide.