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Site created 12/15/97.


review added: 9/14/00
updated: 8/2/01




The Lost World: Jurassic Park

review by Todd Doogan of The Digital Bits

Enhanced for 16x9 TVs

The Lost World: Jurassic Park


The Lost World: Jurassic Park
Collector's Edition - 1997 (2000) - Amblin (Universal)

Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/A/A-

Specs and Features

129 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 40:44, in chapter 6), Amaray keep case packaging, The Making the Lost World documentary, 2 deleted scenes, illustrations and conceptual drawings gallery, gallery of storyboards for 12 scenes (including omitted scene and the film's original ending), gallery of miniature fabrications, The World of Jurassic Park (gallery of dino art, model work, live-action puppets, vehicle models and designs), The Magic of ILM (gallery of live action storyboards and behind-the-scenes work), gallery of production photos, poster and toy gallery, 3 theatrical trailers (for Jurassic Park I, II & III), dino encyclopedia, production notes, cast & filmmaker bios, DVD newsletter offer, DVD-ROM materials (including film-themed screen saver and web browser with links to official site and live JP III events), animated film-themed menu screens with sound and music, scene access (20 chapters), languages: English (DD 5.1) and French (DD 3.0), subtitles: English & Spanish


The Lost World: Jurassic Park (DTS)

Encoded with DTS 5.1 Digital Surround
The Lost World: Jurassic Park (DTS)
Collector's Edition - 1997 (2000) - Amblin (Universal)

Film Rating: B+

Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A-/A+ (see updates)/C-

Specs and Features

129 mins, PG-13, letterboxed widescreen (1.85:1), 16x9 enhanced, single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch at 40:44, in chapter 6), Amaray keep case packaging, The Making the Lost World documentary, 3 theatrical trailers (for Jurassic Park I, II & III), dino encyclopedia, production notes, cast & filmmaker bios, DVD newsletter offer, DVD-ROM materials (including film-themed screen saver and web browser with links to official site and live JP III events), animated film-themed menu screens with sound and music, scene access (20 chapters), languages: English (DTS 5.1 & DD 2.0), subtitles: English, French & Spanish

Note: We have updated this review to include some comments on the DTS audio version of The Lost World - look for that at the end of this text.

Unless you've been extinct for about 65 million years, you know what this flick is about, so why bother reviewing it here. The Lost World is the follow up to a movie that changed cinema (yet again) and it actually upped the ante a bit in terms of story and violence. I have to say, for such a family filmmaker, Spielberg really seems to enjoy scaring and grossing people out - microwave death in Gremlins, a human heart yanked out a guy in Indy 2 and two dinos making a wish with some poor schmo in this. Gotta love it.

I'm sure Bill will want me to give you some run down on the story so here goes: Dr. Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) is tricked into heading up an informational safari on Jurassic Park site B (site A from the first film was the actual attraction, but B was the dino farm, so to speak). Once he gets there, he finds that his daughter stowed away in the equipment. Just as he starts to deal with that, a group of hunters, working for Jurassic Park parent company InGen, come raiding the island for dinos to fill a theme park back in the States. Now, it's up to Malcolm and the rest of his team (played by Julianne Moore and Vince Vaughn) to protect the dinos without ending up as dinner. Expect lots of Spielbergian reaction shots as people stare in wonder at stuff, lots of crane shots and a kid doing something heroic.

The Lost World is fun. It's not the best movie anyone's seen, but you have to admit, the first time you see it (especially with an audience) you're totally engaged... and that's what it's all about. This isn't a flick meant to be pored over and studied - just enjoyed and thrown away like a bag of extra large, extra buttered popcorn. Spielberg knows this (that's why he's richer than God), I know it (that's why I'm even bothering to write this) and since you're reading this, now you do too.

It's a tough one to call, this DVD. To some, this will be a one of those flawless transfers, exhibiting the most beautiful picture quality they've ever seen. Others might think it a bit on the soft side. I'm right in the middle. Although the anamorphic widescreen video is excellent overall, it isn't exactly reference quality. Like the Jurassic Park DVD, there's some light edge-enhancement visible occasionally, although digital artifacting is kept to a minimum. Since most of the film takes place in the dark, rainy night, that's important. There are a few points where you will notice the picture looking a bit soft. But it's a problem with the print more than the compression. This is a newer print than the one used for Jurassic Park, but it does show its age in spots (take a look at about 1:14:42 - is that water damage?). On the glowing positive side, the colors on this disc are incredibly rich and passionate and the black levels are deeply rendered. This may be as close to reference quality as you're going to get without actually being there, although I don't think the regular consumer will be disappointed in the least.

Now... when you're talking sound, that's where this baby shines. In fact, I'm going to find it hard to believe that this could sound better in DTS. The Dolby Digital 5.1 audio mix on this disc is sweet. The range this mix has is all over the place. Dino roars, crashing trees, glass popping - even the quiet parts sound great. It's an aural orgy, man. The best part is, the track just sounds right - it's natural. Like Bill noticed in the first disc, there are no surround gimmicks. Everything you hear is as essential as everything you see. And it works so well together. Dialogue is centered and clear, and the side and background ambience is well placed and puts you right in the action. If the DTS track sounds ANY better, you'll find me next to my TV like that guy from Brainstorm when he got caught in the video loop. You know what I'm talking about.

I'm not as impressed with the quality and efficiency of the extras on this disc as Bill was with the first one, however, and I'm gonna tell you why. There's plenty on this disc... plenty. But I couldn't help but feel like I was transplanted back to the wistful days of laserdisc. Aside from the 2 deleted scenes (which are pretty cool, actually), the "making of" documentary (which, like the first film, totally explains everything and serves as a commentary track because we didn't get one - darn you Mr. Spielberg) and the three trailers, everything else is in gallery form and requires "stepping" through. And let me tell you, a couple hours worth of material that you have to manually go through step by step gets boring (although, to Universal's credit, you don't HAVE to step, the player will do that for you after about 10 to 20 seconds... but still). Some of this stuff should have been packaged with narration or technical commentary from one of the thousands of craftsmen who worked on this film - anything but reams of gallery shots. Including all of the stills, drawings and behind-the-scenes photos like this, and not balancing it with more video footage, is a bit off-putting. But, you know what? Oh well. With every complaint there's a compliment, right? And "step-itis" aside, what you get here is a pretty definitive look at the making of this film, even if it's not how I'd like it too be. It's all here - drawings of the dinos, paintings of the dinos, encyclopedias (the same one from the first disc), set photos, miniature production photos, toy and poster designs. There's a lot of stuff. I think besides the deleted scenes, the storyboards are the best thing. There are two scenes that were never shot, and which would have made this a very different film. I'll leave them a surprise, but a dino that was notably missing from the first film was totally excised out of this one. Here's to part three...

The best thing that can be said about this disc, is that sitting next to the first one, you won't have to go far to answer any question you have about these films. It's pretty much all here, even without a commentary track. Universal has once again done a great job with some crowd friendly films. I can't complain too much, because what we are given is great. I just think the overall execution for this film isn't quite up to the level of the first disc. But in terms of video and sound quality, this disc pretty much rocks. You know you're gonna buy it, and feel no shame in that decision. In fact, I highly recommend you pick it up. You'll have a great time, and it just might make you think back to those laserdiscs that got so many of us into DVD in the first place. See, something good comes of everything. Life really will find a way.

8/2/01 - Bill's DTS Update

Although there is now conclusive proof that the first pressings of the DTS DVD version of Jurassic Park featured defective 5.1 audio (the low frequency was missing, causing Universal to quietly correct and re-press the disc), it's my belief that the DTS version of The Lost World does not share the same defect. The audio quality of the DTS mix on The Lost World is excellent, with a somewhat wider dynamic range than the Dolby Digital version, along with greater clarity and smoothness to panning, and excellent low frequency during such scenes as the dual T-Rex attack on the RV. Particularly careful comparison between the DTS version of The Lost World and the newly corrected DTS Jurassic Park makes me confident that this conclusion is the correct one.

Todd Doogan
todddoogan@thedigitalbits.com


The Lost World


The Lost World (DTS)


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