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BMZ Review: Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
By Ross Anthony

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Prehistoric Marine Life
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: July 21, 2011
Rating:  

     

Category: Reviews

Dinosaurs, though extinct for millions of years, have done quite well with the public in more recent history. Kids, especially, seem to be instantly fascinated with them. So why then should a little water dampen that prehistoric reptilian allure? Sea Rex takes on the challenge of celebritizing the dinosaur's aquatic kin.

The film's opening sequence utilizes hand illustrations and some live actors to reenact the first-in-history discovery of prehistoric animal fossils back in the 1700's. It's an event that impresses Georges Cuvier to make the unprecedented leaping hypothesis: Creatures lived here aeons before us!

Often, especially in large format, these reenactments can be rickety and barely tolerable, but filmmakers bring us through this one respectably. Perhaps the most vital message conveyed in this opening, is the incredible, nearly-frightening, excitement the men of science display in receiving and unpackaging the box containing the world's first such fossil specimen.

In an attempt to bring audiences up to modern times, filmmakers take the risk to pair a 21st century female aquarium-goer with a dashing incarnation of Cuvier's ghost. "Pardon me for intruding into your thoughts," Cuvier says as his 6'4" apparition appears in present times. These, rather trying, expository moments clumsily bridge the juicier graphics.

As for the graphic recreations of these awesome aqua-mariners of yesteryear -- they're pretty good. They are definitely descriptive and educational. They aptly communicate difficult visual information. But as 3D images of mass, they're on the thin side. Nonetheless, there is one breathtaking sequence in which a long-necked, serpent-like Plesiosaur raises its little head meters above the surface of the water, shocking a fish out of the mouth of a passing prehistoric flier. It's a strikingly panoramic and action-based moment heightened with excitement by a virtual camera whirling 360 degrees around this subject. Ending the action on a freeze, nails the drama. Artfully, this circumstance reprises later, giving some strength to the work as a whole.

Underwater species after underwater prehistoric species, the film takes us into the depths of their (presumed) habits, habitats, prey, and even courting behaviors. Some of the bases for these presumptions are included.

In addition to Cuvier's ghost, actual living paleontologists from around the world have their moment or two on the giant screen to explain a thing or two. Happily, they also convey excitement for their art (er, um, science). Thankfully, filmmakers interject some computer-animated "play" to spice up these "talking head" sequences. For example, displaying the skeleton of one of the living scientists (making him a "talking skull") is a refreshing dare.

A fair amount of visually-pleasing, above-the-surface shots also punctuate. Filmmakers fittingly employ computer-generated models to convey the history-of-the-world clock and the relative durations of species' existences for comparison. This successfully shows just how new we humans are to Earth.

B/B+



Copyright © 1998-2011. Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: www.RossAnthony.com. For Adult & Teen Novels written by Ross Anthony visit: www.RossAnthony.com/books.

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

National Parks Adventure
Journey to Space
Wild Africa
Space Next
Island of Lemurs: Madagascar
Flight of the Butterflies
To The Arctic 3D
Tornado Alley
Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Arabia 3D
Molecules to the MAX!
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Extreme
Rolling Stones at the Max
Sharks 3D
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
Volcanoes of the Deep Sea
Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
Ghosts of the Abyss (3D)
The Lion King (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Jane Goodall's Wild Chimpanzees
Whales
Treasure Planet (IMAX/Giant Screen/Large Format Edition)
Star Wars Ep. II, Attack of the Clones: The IMAX Experience
Santa vs. the Snowman (3D/2D)
Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
Africa: The Serengeti
Horses: The Story of Equus
Kilimanjaro: To the Roof of Africa
SkyDance
Australia: Land Beyond Time
Ultimate X
Space Station 3D
Lewis & Clark: Great Journey West
Beauty and the Beast: Special Edition
The Human Body
Blue Planet
China: The Panda Adventure
Ocean Oasis
Lost Worlds: Life in the Balance
Everest
Bears
Ocean Men: Extreme Dive
Majestic White Horses
Amazing Journeys
Chronos
Ski to the Max
Shackleton's Antarctic Adventure
NSync: Bigger Than Live
Super Speedway
Journey into Amazing Caves
ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
Haunted Castle 3D
T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (3D)
Wildfire: Feel the Heat
Encounter in the Third Dimension 3D
Galapagos
Fantasia/2000
Mysteries of Egypt
Siegfried & Roy: The Magic Box (3D)
Cirque du Soleil: Journey of Man (3D)
Michael Jordan to the Max
Cyberworld (3D)
Dolphins
Adventures in Wild California

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