Posted: 03/13/2011

 

Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D

(2007)

by Jef Burnham



Now available on Blu-ray 3D and 2D DVD from Image Entertainment.


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Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia offers audiences the opportunity to experience the world of dinosaurs, as envisioned by the world’s foremost paleontologists, in the comfort of their living rooms in Blu-ray 3D. The feature itself is presented in both 3D and 2D formats on Blu-ray to accommodate those without 3D capabilities, and it is the 2D version I will be discussing here.

Donald Sutherland narrates this short documentary that begins with a trip to Argentine Patagonia, which remains virtually unchanged since the days of the dinosaurs, to meet paleontologist Rodolfo Coria. There, Coria introduces us to some of the most important sites and paleontological discoveries in Argentina. The film also introduces us to computer generated renditions of such dinosaurs as the Giganotosaurus and the Argentinosaurus. There are of course the requisite dinosaur battles in these partially animated sequences, but it should be noted that Giants of Patagonia is light on dinosaur carnage so as to remain entirely family friendly.

The film focuses almost equally on the history of Argentinian paleontological discovery and these CG dinosaurs. And at a scant 40 minutes, this affords Coria very little time to talk about paleontology. Unfortunately, these limited segments account for the most interesting portions of the film, making the time spent with the dinosaurs feel a bit inconvenient. The IMAX photography of the Argentinian landscape presented here in full HD looks spectacular, especially the aerial photography. However, at least in the 2D version, the imposition of the CG dinosaurs into the actual landscapes of Argentina is incredibly awkward.

The sole special feature is “Lizard Kings,” a making-of featurette that is curiously longer than the feature itself. “Lizard Kings” is, in some ways, a more enjoyable viewing experience to Giants of Patagonia. In addition to the traditional elements of a making-of featurette, it includes humorous trivia questions and gives us some valuable extra time with Coria.

Jef Burnham is a writer and educator living in Chicago, Illinois. While waging war on mankind from a glass booth in the parking lot of a grocery store, Jef managed to earn a degree in Film & Video from Columbia College Chicago, and is now the Editor-in-Chief of FilmMonthly.com.



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