American Fable is ambitious, maybe too much so sometimes, but there's an intense pleasure in the boldness of the film's style.
Back in 1993, what was astonishing in "Jurassic Park" were the special effects that seemed to bring dinosaurs back to life. Two decades later, rediscovering Steven Spielberg's mastery of cinematic storytelling is the best reason to go see it again.
It is back in theaters with the best 3-D conversion I've seen, avoiding the cheesy Viewmaster effect too often the result of retrofitted 3-D. Other than a few shots where the foreground is blurred, the effects are immersive and organic, and the dinosaurs-jumping-toward-you moments are sparing and effective.
My favorite moment has always been when the characters in a Jeep are trying to outrace the charging T-rex. All of a sudden, we see a toothy dinosaur coming at them fast and angry in the side-view mirror. It takes a moment for the words to register: "Objects in mirror are closer than they appear." Spielberg has found a way to make us laugh and ramp up the tension. And it is even more compelling in 3-D.
The film holds up remarkably well, other than the computers and walkie-talkies, which will seem to today's audiences almost as prehistoric as the paleolithic creatures. But its then-state-of-the-art special effects, a combination of mechanical creations and computer images, are still as believable as the high-techiest creatures onscreen today.