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T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous [IMAX]

Liz Stauber , Laurie Murdoch , Brett Leonard    Unrated   DVD
1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
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Product Description

Product Description

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (DVD)


Did you ever want to get so close to a mama tyrannosaur that you could pat her scaly reptilian snout? Now you'll know what that's like, thanks to aspiring paleontologist Ally Hayden (Liz Stauber), the teenage heroine of the 1998 IMAX film T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous. Ally's dino-expert father (Peter Horton) has just returned from his latest dig with a fossilized T. rex egg, and when Ally accidentally cracks the egg in her dad's museum laboratory, a puff of mysterious smoke catapults her back to the Cretaceous period, when dinosaurs-- especially T. rex--ruled the Earth. With her imagination in full flight (along with an astonishingly realistic pterodactyl), Ally confirms the dinosaur theories of her own speculative research, and she also encounters pioneering dinosaur illustrator Charles Knight (Tuck Milligan) and legendary paleontologist Barnum Brown (Laurie Murdoch). Best of all, she comes face to face with a maternal tyrannosaur, earning its respect by protecting one of its incubating eggs.

T-Rex won't be as effective on DVD (where the IMAX 3-D effects are amusingly pointless), but it's guaranteed to please anyone who enjoyed the similarly astounding CGI effects of Walking with Dinosaurs. Stauber is a refreshingly normal teen star, and although much of the dialogue sounds like it was cribbed from a grade-school science text, its educational value is perfectly matched to the wonders of Ally's prehistoric adventure. Director Brett Leonard previously helmed the pioneering FX flick The Lawnmower Man, and here he demonstrates a warmer, more accessible sense of wonder for kids and parents alike. At 45 minutes, this IMAX dazzler never wears out its welcome. --Jeff Shannon

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars IMAX 3-D viewed as DVD 2-D July 15 2004
By A Customer
This is one of the few IMAX "educational" films to have a storytelling presentation. It's 3-D was well shot for the IMAX format (70mm film). An IMAX 1.44 format is close enough to a standard 1.33 TV video, that it should translate to DVD well. It also comes with a "making of" short featurette.
The film centers around the daughter of a paleontologist, who's induced imagination brings the museum's displays to life. A few (good) educational encounters with historic figures, and realistic (though brief) prehistoric lifeforms, are interwoven by a father/daughter storyline and a contrived, disoriented, hallucinatory run through the museum.
So, why only 2 stars? An attempt to add storytelling to education, without being firmly committed to either (or both), leaves everyone expecting more than this film provides. Little boys will find very little dinosaur sightings here, along with too little action to hold their attention. Little girls might identify with the lead character, but it's not likely to have enough storyline to be their favorite DVD. Adults will find the children's "edu-drama" well under their heads (something you'd like to show your child, but too dull to watch by yourself). This is not at all a bad film, but there's just too little of the good stuff.
Film fans will be disappointed that the well done 3-D isn't presented here...even though the film is only 45 mins long, and the DVD could easily have included a field sequential 3-D "bonus" version, which would've sold the DVD the same way 3-D sold this IMAX film in theaters. This film was written to be shot in 3-D, and technically executed flawlessly for IMAX 3-D presentation. I'd buy a 3-D version of this DVD in a heart-beat!
IMAX is HUGE, so the impressive size is lost on a TV...
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4.0 out of 5 stars Short, but entertaining May 2 2004
From the bulk of reviews on this site I gather most people don't realize that IMAX is about presentation and style rather than story and content. Shot on vertical 70mm film the reels in the projection booth take up a huge amount of space, thus the running time of IMAX movies tends to be kept to around 45-50 minutes. Thus the format lends itself more towards the documentary/short movie genre. Most of the movies are factual but sometimes original stories come along. T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous is one of them.
It came out in 1998 and when I was at the Trocadero IMAX-3D cinema in London I had to choose between this movie and another called Across the Sea of Time. I chose the latter. Which is a shame coz the dinosaurs and huge shots of this movie would have looked better in 3D.
T-Rex begins with an impressive opening shot of the camera swooping over the Arizona desert, which still looks great even on a widescreen TV instead of the huge IMAX screen. There's a hefty narration from the lead actress conveying relevant information about dinosaurs. In this respect the film feels a bit like a 10-year-old's educational program. But being familiar with IMAX movies I was expecting this. I think too many people were expecting a Jurassic Park variant.
Tho I would have expected a few more dinosaurs. In the 45 minute running time there wasn't much dinosaur action. Though there was a good amount of story that I did get into. Plus the movie has a great score by William Ross. He released a promo CD of this score but it's impossible to find.
Hey, I was entertained and I thot the brief story was quite okay. The horribly slanderous reviews on this site really baffle me. The IMAX format does not work well on DVD, you have to see these movies in the cinema.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing T REX film July 18 2001
I have been collecting IMAX films, with about 35 in my collection. This DVD version of T REX is one of the worst. The emphasis is not so much on the T REX and what we think we know about it, but on the special effects of going back in time to see the T REX. Unique to this IMAX film is that the film is acted out instead of narrated. The problem we have is poor continuity shots. Instead of seeing someone simply walk through a door, we see someone walk through time, but with no continuity as to how the person went back in time, and then back to the present. We have to figure out what the film maker intended, and this distracts us from catching the story line. The film is supposed to have the best special effects. I thought Jurassic Park had better, but then we learn little about the T-REX anyway, so what is the point of the movie? It is never explained to us, for instance, what the small hands on the R REX were used for. Finally, we are told this film is based on the latest scientific evidence. Right. The evolutionary concept is tossed out as if its the answer to everything, as is the span of millions of years, and everything has just worked out, and we have a clear picture of the past. The reality is that basic questions are not covered. For instance, if the earth is as old as this film says it is--millions and millions of years--and we evolved from one species to the next, then where are all the transitionary forms of animals--things that are part fish and part lizard, for instance? They should be as common as houseflys, but there are none to be found,and this should raise some serious questions for those who so easily promote evolution as a catch all theory of life. But this is not even addressed in this movie. In the end, we don't learn anything new about the T REX. Read more ›
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars My children can't stop watching it!
My children can't stop watching it! I know the entire movie word for word because my children love it so much!
Published 12 months ago by S. E. Stewart
3.0 out of 5 stars t-rex
un film style documentaire intéressant quand même malgré que ce film ne dure pas longtemps vendeur a +++ et livraison a +++
Published 22 months ago by koskys
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, about 10 seconds of actual dinosaurs in it...
I saw this at an Imax theatre, I was thinking what awesome potential seeing dinosaurs in 3D would provide. Read more
Published on Jan. 9 2004 by chris
1.0 out of 5 stars Saw this in the Smithsonian
I saw this in the Smithsonian with my kids, and even with the novelty of seeing a movie in 3D it was *boring*. It was a complete waste of time and money. Read more
Published on Dec 31 2003 by Teresa Linton
3.0 out of 5 stars Great for children who aren't fanatics about dinos
Clean and decent entertainment. Saw it on the IMAX screen with a 10 year old boy who loves the dino's. Read more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by "debbbs"
1.0 out of 5 stars Are they kidding?
I went to see T-Rex thinking I would gain a little knowledge about dinosaurs, but was completely wrong. Read more
Published on March 20 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars Disappointment
Stick to the Discovery Channel series on Dinosaurs and Prehistoric beasts. They are much more informational and done much better. Read more
Published on April 5 2002 by Wendy Somerlot Bittel
1.0 out of 5 stars T-Rex - Dumb and Dumber
This boring IMAX movie scared our 3-year-old so much that we had to leave before it ended. Less plot than a 1950s drive-in monster movie, but the same concept: human vs. Read more
Published on Jan. 27 2002 by Amazon Customer
Picture if you will excited little me hunched in front of the TV set playing "T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous" on my DVD player. Read more
Published on Jan. 3 2002 by Eric B. Norris
1.0 out of 5 stars Saw it in IMAX - Don't bother
I saw this when it was at the local IMAX. Don't even bother. Poor story line. Too much time on the young girl. Just wasn't worth it. Read more
Published on July 17 2001 by Mark Shives
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