Jonathan Melville: Dinosaurs roam the screen but now in 3D

Jurassic Park. Pic: Comp

Jurassic Park. Pic: Comp

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IT was 20 years ago that dinosaurs last ruled the Earth, CGI came of age and Hollywood blockbusters changed forever. Now Jurassic Park is back, in 3D, bigger than ever at Edinburgh’s IMAX.

These days we may take CGI for granted, but back in 1993 it was still common to see stop-motion animation used to depict creatures that had to do anything physical on-screen.

As Stephen Spielberg started work on bringing Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel to the cinema, he realised that old school effects weren’t going to be enough for his vision of a dinosaur- filled theme park, meaning new computer generated effects would replace them.

The result? A feast for the senses, dinos that towered over their human co-stars and made viewers forget, at least for a moment, that they weren’t real.

To celebrate two decades of Jurassic Park, Spielberg has returned to the film and retrofitted it for 3D, supersizing it to IMAX proportions for good measure. I was impressed by the new edition.

The cretaceous critters still have the power to shock the unwary viewer, giving fans another reason to see them at the cinema, while newbies will wonder why they waited so long to check out Spielberg’s world.

At the risk of sounding like a dinosaur myself, they really don’t make them like they used to. The CGI in Jurassic Park had a reason to exist and wasn’t overused, unlike most new blockbusters which often resemble cartoons with the occasional human guest star.

Hopefully the rumoured third Jurassic Park sequel will fail to materialise and the filmmakers will take the best course by leaving the franchise permanently extinct.

@jon_melville

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