Sunday, January 12, 2014

Walking with Dinosaurs by a Dino Geek


I grew up on dinosaurs. These prehistoric creatures hold a special place in my heart. So when my son discovered that Walking with Dinosaurs: The 3D Movie was in cinemas, I jumped on it like a Compsognathus on living tissue (little dino geek talk there... hehe).

Anyhoo, the review.

Let's start off with the movie title. Not too hot about it. Seriously, it can be any dinosaur movie. And saying that it's 3D (like they've just discovered the technology) made me snicker a bit.

The animation is cool! The details from the lush landscape to the leathery skin to the foggy breath in the middle of a full-blown dino wail are awesome! Just look at that! *frantically points to the image above this paragraph* The editing is good, too. I mean, like, Hollywood good. With appropriate zooms and unexpected slo-mos. The kind of thing you don't expect in a kiddie movie.

The plot is another story though. It's all about a power struggle between a tough herd leader and an underdog (just like in Disney's Dinosaur) during migration (just like Disney's Dinosaur) with the platform of sibling rivalry (a Walking with Dinosaurs original idea) and young love (just like Disney's Dinosaur). Oh and there was also a buddy thing happening here between 2 breeds (just like in Disney's Dinosaur) and an an unexpected prey revolution against a much-feared predator tyranny (just like in Disney's Dinosaur).

Another novel touch is using the Pachiosaurus as the stars of the film. Usually these bulky guys only serve as backdrop. The protagonist even has a unique hole in his head. Oooh...

The script... well, I'll be honest... is cringe-worthy. The jokes are painful. A bird as a narrator makes it even more painful.  But that's just me.

Another downer for me (and this is a personal thing) is that the T-Rex --the King Lizard himself-- is again labeled as a not-so-tough-after-all dino. The movie introduced the Gorgosaurus, as huge as the T-Rex, but more ferocious and fast. Aargh! Being a full blown T-Rex fan, this really boils my beans! But at least they didn't do a New Dino vs T-Rex fight scene which ended with a very dead King Lizard (just like in Disney's Dinosaur). That would've definitely got me on geek frenzy.
Buuut... they still went over the line when the film said the Gorgosaurus teamwork and attack skills can be likened to military precision. Hello! THAT skill belongs to the Velociraptor! Yeeeah... I'm a raptor geek, too.

Ok, so do I recommend you watch this? Yes! But... on DVD. Or maybe when it starts showing on HBO Hits or in National Geographic. It's good. But, for me, it's just not quite up there with expensive plush movie seats and overpriced popcorn.

*Photo creds to the Walking With Dinosaurs website