April 4, 2013

Movies: Dino-mite! Back to Jurassic Park, in 3-D

A box-office juggernaut 20 years ago, 'Jurassic Park' stomps back into cineplexes this weekend, this time in 3-D.

By RAFER GUZMAN McClatchy Newspapers

(Continued from page 1)

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Sam Neill and Joseph Mazzello hide in plain sight from a Tyrannosaurus in “Jurassic Park 3D.”

Universal Pictures

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"Jurassic Park" enjoyed record-breaking success in 1993.

Universal Pictures

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PREVIEW

"JURASSIC PARK 3D," starring Sam Neill, Laura Dern, Jeff Goldblum, Samuel L. Jackson and Richard Attenborough. Directed by Steven Spielberg. Rated PG-13 for intense science-fiction terror. Running time: 2:07

The outlandish character of chaos theoretician Dr. Ian Malcolm, memorably played by Jeff Goldblum, has been compared to several real-life mathematicians -- from Mitchell Feigenbaum to James Gleick, author of the 1987 bestseller "Chaos: Making a New Science" -- but Malcolm's aggressive sexual energy and rock-star arrogance were exaggerated for the movie, according to Koepp.

"It was a challenge, from the writing and acting standpoint, to present anybody who was remotely interesting next to the dinosaurs," says Koepp. "If anyone comes out and starts talking about their personal life, you'd just wish they'd be quiet so you could look at the dinosaurs. But he could hold his own opposite the prehistorical wonders."

"Jurassic Park" has gone down as one of the most aggressively merchandised films in history, but Carrano, the 43-year-old curator at the Smithsonian's natural history museum, sees a different legacy.

"I probably have a job because of that," he says. For decades, museums regarded dinosaur paleontology as a marginal field, and few bothered to hire experts on staff, according to Carrano. After "Jurassic Park," however, "museums responded. The major museums, just about everywhere you can think of in a sizable place, have all brought somebody in over the last 20 years."

He adds: "It's always challenging to connect people with science. And I think 'Jurassic Park' has done us a big service."

Following the record-breaking success of "Jurassic Park" in 1993, Universal Pictures issued two sequels at the rate of one every four years: "The Lost World: Jurassic Park" in 1997 and "Jurassic Park III" in 2001.

Since then, nothing.

Now news is trickling out about "Jurassic Park 4." Questions abound: Which actors will return? Who will direct?

Here's who won't be returning: writer Michael Crichton and the special effects wizard Stan Winston, both of whom died in 2008. Screenwriter David Koepp, who worked on the first two films, says he declined.

"One movie takes a lot of thinking on a subject, two movies takes an enormous amount, and I just didn't feel like I had enough fresh thinking," Koepp says. "I'll be first in line to see it, though."

So who is returning? One is Sam Neill, though he confirmed his involvement several years ago. Another is paleontologist John "Jack" Horner, a consultant on the previous films. Rick Jaffa and Amanda Silver, of "Rise of the Planet of the Apes," are reportedly the screenwriters. The director is Colin Trevorrow.

The big question, though, concerns feathers. Since '93, scientists decided that many dinosaurs probably had feathers, a notion that could impact the look of the new film. Horner claims the film will include a higher feather count. Trevorrow recently tweeted: "No feathers."

"Jurassic Park 4" is due in theaters June 13, 2014.

 

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Additional Photos

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The scientist played by Sam Neill finds himself in a tight spot in “Jurassic Park 3D.” Neill has signed on for “Jurassic Park 4,” due out in 2014.

Universal Pictures

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Richard Attenborough and Samuel L. Jackson in the Jurassic Park control room.

Universal Pictures

 


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