Monday, November 21, 2011

Jurassic Park Trilogy Blu-Ray Collector's Edition Steelbook Case Review

There used to be this thing in action/sci-fi movies called Stop Motion - for those of you born without this DNA, find an old copy of Clash of the, not the new one, I'm talking the 80's 'classic' (if you can call it that, with the poor acting and silly script).  You're looking for the cheap-as-hell special effects of the monsters and the actors who are trying to look scared/concerned/bothered.

Anyways, this is the way action sequences used to be shot: then came CGI.  Every modern action film uses it with varying degrees of success.  Jurassic Park was the first to do it well.  With the recent release of this box set, featuring all three films, there's no shortage of reviews of the movies and their features.  Everything inside the discs is terrific, including the sound and video, with only minor issues in the masters that edge their way into the blu-ray on limited occasions.  There's no reason why you shouldn't see them in high definition.  But, is this set worth owning?

There are several versions being offered: Steelbook Ultimate, Ultimate Slipcover, or the Limited Edition with the T-Rex figure.  I picked up the steelbook, and was fairly happy with it.  You see the word 'fairly' for good reason.  While the case is a G1 (necessary to hold the 6 discs), and the cover is etched, there are other issues that come with this version.  The case is steel black, but scratches easily; mine already has several marks on it.  Opening the case leads you to the discs, stacked 2 at a time, including a middle page for JP II.  However, there's no interior artwork, and this version is devoid of any art books.  It's barebones, and I wish this version had more.  In addition, the delicate nature of the case is apparent as you add pressure with your thumb to any part of it.  It makes the distinct metal warping sound you'll hear in JP I, as the kids and Sam Neil attempt to evade the raptors through the duct work.  I expect that sound from my movie's audio track, not from the steelbook case.  With the T-Rex toy version around $90, and this one at $29.99 (I got BB to match the $29.99 slipcover version at Fry's), you might think the Ultimate Slipcover at $29.99 is a better bargain, yet that slipcase scratches easily as well...ugh.

If you're new to steelbooks, or you've seen Fast Five or Green Lantern versions, Jurassic Park will be a disappointment, as it was for me.  I was upset to see American audiences denied a proper steel release of Captain America (which is available in every country except ours), and the Jurassic Park Ultimate Steelbook reminds me of a good idea either not fully thought out or executed poorly.  With American audiences being denied quality steelbook releases and offered overpriced alternatives, be careful which version you choose.  You'll likely be wowed by the films but underwhelmed in most other places.