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BMZ Review: Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
By Ann Coates

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Waking the T. Rex: The Story of SUE 3D
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 28, 2011

     

Category: Reviews

A popular subject in educational documentaries, Waking the T. Rex: The Story of SUE is a solid addition to the dinosaur genre.  The film offers an inside look at one particular fossil: the largest and most complete T-Rex skeleton ever found.  With director David Clark at the helm, the film tells the journey of the T-Rex named Sue through the fossil record she left behind.  Satisfactory animated sequences sprinkle the film, but her remarkable and at times sad story is found in the bones themselves.

Running at a brief but sufficient 20 minutes, this digital film opens in Chicago's Field Museum where Sue resides.  But the journey begins with the finding of the fossil in the badlands of South Dakota.  From there, we follow the fossil trail via the film's plethora of paleontologists.  On-site excavations provide an informative but somewhat tedious description of the excavation process -- unearthing, plastering and transport.

The story unfolds when the film turns to the bones themselves.  Much data is gleaned by scanning the fossil interior, but it's mostly tech-heavy and a somewhat drab exercise in bone scanning.  Studying the fossil exterior is where much of Sue's dramatic life takes place.  The bones tell of a hard life filled with injury and disease.  The film takes these cues to deliver animated sequences of Sue's supposed life -- from birth to a solitary teenager to a battle with a Triceratops, and finally an aging and injured Sue satisfied with scavenging her meals.

The film doesn't shy away from the reality of Sue's death -- a revealing and welcome addition to a documentary geared towards kids.  Showing the reality of her death, the film delves into the process of fossilization and geologic change over the course of 67 million years -- a truly boggling span of time when you think about it.  Despite being a purely educational film, Sue nevertheless is an intriguing study, and a surprisingly compelling story on this particular set of fossils.

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Animalopolis
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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