Ally Hayden is a teenager who shares her father's interest in dinosaurs and archaeology. When he brings a mysterious fossil back from a dig, she is convinced it's the egg of a Tyrannosaurus Rex. After accidentally knocking the egg to the floor, Ally begins to experience visions, as if she was being transported back in time to the Cretaceous period. There, she encounters several different dinosaurs, including her favorite, the mighty T-Rex. Written by
Matthew D. Wilson
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. But if you have a good sound system then the DVD is still worth it.
The DVD is in 1.33:1 full frame (they are shown theatrically at 1.44:1 so there isn't much modification to the framing) with a Dolby 5.1 soundtrack that is quite impressive. A slight featurette and an IMAX movies trailer are also included.
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