When 3D was first introduced to moviegoers in the ‘50s, filmmakers found themselves going to unnecessary lengths to squeeze as many three-dimensional “money shots” into their movies as possible to accentuate the gimmick. Now, while 3D technology has improved considerably over the last six decades, some things are still the same: there are still producers and distributors eager to fill a theater with patrons just so they can see stuff jumping off of the screen and into their laps. The boys and girls that back the movies manufactured specifically for IMAX theaters also like to make fancy 3D movies, as is evident in the education feature, Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World.
A joint feature between the UK and the French, Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World begins with an introduction to the unearthing of the very first dinosaur by man, which they nicknamed the “Sea Rex.” From there, the extinct critter’s discoverer, Georges Cuvier (Richard Rider, who, thankfully, doesn’t try to use a French accent) travels to modern times, giving a young lady (Chloe Hollings) at an aquatic museum a tour of the earliest stages of our world — paying great detail to the many future fossils that are swimming and roaming about.
He also violates museum policy by handing the lass an ancient dino tooth — which is OK for ghostly Frenchmen to do, so long as their exhibits are on display — and not once does poor Julie ever stop to think “Stranger Danger!” No, instead, she just grabs the tooth, pops it in her purse, and leaves after Georges is finished being a friendly, over-informative spirit.
At least, that’s what I remember from Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World. And, even were I to have seen this in an IMAX theater as part of an educational series when I was 12, I still probably would only recall that much of the film. It’s a very mishmash piece; one that doesn’t really seem to have much purpose other than informing the younger audience members about reptilian relics and dazzling the stoned teenagers in the auditorium with rather average CGI effects. To put it into only a few words: it’s OK for the kiddies, people who just want to test out their 3D system, and that’s about it.
Universal Studios Home Entertainment brings us this IMAX snoozer on Blu-ray 3D, with the availability of regular 2D presentation should you not have the technology at hand just yet (what do you mean you can’t afford it?). The 1080p transfer is quite lovely (easy to imagine seeing as how most of the movie is CGI) and the film is presented in a 1.78:1 ratio with DTS-HD HR English 5.1. There are alternate audio tracks and/or optional subtitles available in about fifteen different languages: French, Spanish, Japanese, German, Finnish, Swedish, Danish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Polish, Icelandic and Slovenian. Yeah, I’m guessing it’s a Region Free release.
The disc also includes a behind-the-scenes featurette, an interview with select cast and crew, and a trailer for the film. Be warned, though: in the interview, one crewmember switches from speaking English to French — and you’ll have to switch on the subtitles manually once that happens as it doesn’t happen automatically.
That is, if you care. Like I said, this seems like it’s mostly for kiddies and 3D nuts.