Insight Editions is known for their lavish hardcover ultimate visual history on popular movie series from Ghostbusters, Back to the Future to Die Hard. But nothing is as huge and iconic as the Jurassic Park franchise. And as the poster says “An Adventure 65 million years in the making”.
Before the arrival of Jurassic World: Dominion in June, Jurassic Park – The Ultimate Visual History Book takes viewers down memory lane as film critic James Mottram details the art and making of the original JP trilogy beginning with a foreword by Sam Neill, an introduction by Laura Dern and an afterword by Jeff Goldblum. It seems like Insight spare no expense in making this book a collectible item for all JP fans.
Mottram dives straight into how Jurassic Park got made starting from how writer Michael Crichton secretly hint Spielberg about a book he is working on. Something about dinosaurs and DNA. From that point on, Spielberg is hooked and infatuated with the idea. And the rest as they say is history. Mottram peppered the book with interesting stories, anecdotes and interviews involving screenwriter David Koepp, effects creator Stan Winston, ILM visual effects artist Dennis Muren and many other talents responsible for the hit movie.
Visually, it’s also enriched with plenty of behind-the-scenes photos and storyboards, supposedly never-seen-before artwork and of course, the expected replica prop designs and inserts. Although I must say despite the visual pleasing layout, the fonts can be a tad too small for aging readers. And to nitpick further, the adhesive of the inserts is simply too weak to hold them firmly so you might encounter them dropping out of the coffee table book from time to time.
Even though some of the material and stories in JP and JP2 are covered in the earlier Making of Books by Don Shay and Jody Duncan respectively, The Ultimate Visual History Book devotes a decent number of pages on the much maligned JP3 which was directed by Joe Johnston with Spielberg choosing to stay on as a hands-on producer. Given the excessive amount of practical effects on the third one as well, perhaps you might change your mind after reading about the extensive laborious work by the late Winston and his team.
The last chapter touches on the immerse popularity of Jurassic Park and how it evolves into a huge wave of merchandising including arcade games, toys, comics and theme park rides. To be fair, there are plenty of fansites out there that are devoted to the JP franchise that delves on all the happenings and developments. Thus most of the information contained here maybe outdated to a certain extent. But to an old-school movie fan, this hardcover book is a godsend since there aren’t that many making of books in the market in recent times. Blame it on social media and the internet.
Not a surprise, Jurassic Park – The Ultimate Visual History Book comes highly recommended.
Review by Linus Tee
WILL BY WILL SMITH Book Review
TRUE BELIEVER: THE RISE AND FALL OF STAN LEE Book Review
THE BEAUTY OF LIVING TWICE Book Review
THE RIDE OF A LIFETIME Book Review
GREENLIGHTS Book Review
DISNEY'S LAND Book Review
MICHAEL J. FOX: NO TIME LIKE THE FUTURE Book Review
THE NOLAN VARIATIONS: THE MOVIES, MYSTERIES AND MARVELS OF CHRISTOPHER NOLAN Book Review
STEPHEN KING AT THE MOVIES Book Review
BEST. MOVIE. YEAR. EVER. HOW 1999 BLEW UP THE BIG SCREEN Book Review
DIE HARD: THE ULTIMATE VISUAL HISTORY Book Review
I AM C-3PO: THE INSIDE STORY Book Review
THE MAKING OF ALIEN Book Review
HOW TO AMERICAN: AN IMMIGRANT'S GUIDE TO DISAPPOINTING YOUR PARENTS Book Review
BRUCE LEE: A LIFE Book Review
I'LL HAVE WHAT SHE'S HAVING: HOW NORA EPHRON'S THREE ICONIC FILMS SAVED THE ROMANTIC COMEDY Book Review
GEORGE LUCAS: A LIFE Book Review
WONDER WOMAN: THE ART AND MAKING OF THE FILM Book Review
THE LEGO NINJAGO MOVIE: THE MAKING OF THE MOVIE Book Review
THE GIRL WITH THE LOWER BACK TATTOO Book Review
THE LEGO BATMAN MOVIE: THE MAKING OF THE MOVIE Book Review
GHOSTBUSTERS: THE ULTIMATE VISUAL HISTORY Book Review
MICHAEL KLASTORIN and RANDAL ATAMANIUK'S BACK TO THE FUTURE: THE ULTIMATE VISUAL HISTORY
MATT ZOLLER SEITZ'S THE WES ANDERSON COLLECTION: THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL Book Review
LYNDA OBST'S "SLEEPLESS IN HOLLYWOOD: TALES FROM THE NEW ABNORMAL IN THE MOVIE BUSINESS" Book Review
RAMIN ZAHED'S "THE ART OF DREAMWORKS ANIMATION Book Review
JACKIE CHAN: NEVER GROW UP, ONLY GET OLDER Book Review
SEAN HOWE'S "MARVEL COMICS: THE UNTOLD STORY" Book Review
ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER "TOTAL RECALL: MY UNBELIEVABLY TRUE LIFE STORY" Book Review
JODY DUNCAN JESSER'S "THE ART AND MAKING OF THE DARK KNIGHT TRILOGY" Book Review
RICHARD SCHICKEL'S "STEVEN SPIELBERG: A RETROSPECTIVE" Book Review
GARRY MARSHALL'S "MY HAPPY DAYS IN HOLLYWOOD: A MEMOIR" Book Review
PAMELA GLINTENKAMP'S "INDUSTRIAL LIGHT & MAGIC: THE ART OF INNOVATION" Book Review
VIC ARMSTRONG'S "THE TRUE ADVENTURES OF THE WORLD'S GREATEST STUNTMAN" Book Review
TINA FEY'S "BOSSYPANTS" Book Review
SIMON PEGG'S "NERD DO WELL" Book Review