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T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous [IMAX]

1.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Liz Stauber, Laurie Murdoch, Peter Horton, Kari Coleman
  • Directors: Brett Leonard
  • Writers: Andrew Gellis, Jeanne Rosenberg
  • Format: Color, Dolby, DVD-Video, NTSC
  • Language: English, French
  • Subtitles: English, Spanish, French, Portuguese
  • Dubbed: Spanish
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Canadian Home Video Rating : Parental Guidance (PG)
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: IMAX / Warner Home Video
  • Release Date: July 3 2001
  • Run Time: 45 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews
  • ASIN: B00005J6V3
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #59,215 in DVD (See Top 100 in DVD)
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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

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
This movie had great potential and gives the viewer some scientific background on the early paleontologists that worked on finding and extracting fossils of the “terrible lizards.” Yet, the execution is rather weak.
Ally is a girl in her late teens and her father is a paleontologist that works at a museum as well as in the field. When an item is brought in that may be a dinosaur egg, it falls off a desk in the museum and emits some kind of gas. This puts Ally in some form of semi-trancelike state where her presence moves from the museum to out in the field with the early explorers extracting fossils to back to the Cretaceous time where she interacts with living dinosaurs.
This shifting between three spaces deletes some of the structure of the story and means that the real significance is diluted by the museum wandering. Had the story spent more time on the interviews with the pioneers with more descriptions of what the Cretaceous creatures were like, it would have been much more interesting. I found Ally facing off with a T-Rex to be a cheap imitation of the scene in the movie Jurassic Park.
Developed in IMAX form, this video is designed to be educational. Ally wandering through a museum is boring, far less interesting than learning about what dinosaurs were like.
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By A Customer on July 15 2004
Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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Format: DVD
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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