I have had a lifelong fascination with dinosaurs. Let me tell you, there are so many compelling and interesting programs or movies pre-existing within the marketplace--it's almost impossible to bring something new to the table. With the latest IMAX 3D creation "Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia," it seems an almost can't miss proposition. But you have to ask two questions: Is the narrative of interest or unique? Is the 3D a particular selling point?
Narrative: Unfortunately, there is not much new ground broken in this rather lackluster presentation. An expressionless narration by Donald Sutherland introduces us to a scientist and several creatures that seemed to inhabit the same area of South America. It is, in truth, a very dry presentation and the scientist lacks any real impact. The creature creation is nice (even if the beasts are quite familiar)--I'd say a step up from previous features such as "Dinosaurs Alive!" But again, if you watch these types of programs on TV--nothing here is particularly out of the ordinary. Even at 40 minutes, I was ready for this to hit its conclusion.
Features: A eclectic documentary is included that runs a tad longer than the actual feature. It combines some making-of information with some 3D technology information with plenty of footage not used in the film with some bizarre Monty Python type animation. It really just plays as an extension of the main film, so whether you find this an interesting addition or not depends on how much you enjoyed the film. I wouldn't choose to watch it again.
3D: The film graphics and vistas look fine. This can be a very pretty film even if it's dramatically inert. The precision of the 3D is most effective on these landscape shots, and the setting is absolutely lovely. Of course, there are a number of dinosaurs that poke their heads at you or walk over you. The still close-ups provide exciting detail and are crisp. Some of the movement shots, however, can have a bit of a shimmering effect. Though not groundbreaking, and with a fair share of ghosting, I thought this certainly wasn't the strongest 3D presentation. But honestly, without a compelling narrative--even the best 3D would lose impact. KGHarris, 3/11.