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Home Theater Movie Renter's Guide - December, 2011

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"Sea Rex 3D" (Blu-ray 3D) - Reviewed by Chris Eberle

movie-december-2011-sea-rex

Synopsis

Told from the perspective of an enthusiastic museum visitor, Sea Rex is a fascinating look at the dinosaurs of the sea.  These creatures ruled the oceans some 200 million years ago and were the Earth's super-predators long before the T-Rex roamed the land.  Thanks to the discoveries of 18th-century French paleontologist Georges Cuvier, we now know the story behind these amazing animals.  As Julie gazes at the displays in her local aquarium, Cuvier suddenly appears and becomes her guide to a past few of us ever knew.  Thanks to Imax and 3D display technology, we can see how these reptiles might have looked as they swam in the vast oceans of the Triassic period; before the continents of today even existed.

Specifications

  • Universal Pictures
  • 2010, Color, Not Rated, 58 min
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Codec: MVC
  • 1080p
  • English 5.1 DTS-HD High Resolution
  • Starring: Richard Rider, Chloe Hollings
  • Directed by Pascal Vuong and Ronan Chaplain
Rating
  • Entertainment:
  • Video:
  • Audio:
  • Extras:
  • Violence: No
  • Sex: No
  • Language: No

Commentary

This is a fun and extremely educational Imax film that opens up a whole new world of pre-historic life.  With all the fame associated with land-based reptiles (thanks largely to Steven Spielberg I think), these creatures of the sea are not as well-known.  The addition of 3D and some truly amazing CGI brings these creatures to life on the big screen.  In true Imax fashion, everything is aimed at the multi-story theaters you find at your local science museum or aquarium.  I'm not sure it would be quite as effective on a television but it's very enjoyable when shown with a 3D projector.  The effects are very impressive when the screen goes to the edge of your peripheral vision.  Entertainment-wise, it's a bit contrived but the education presented here is very good.  Any dinosaur fan will certainly enjoy this film.

Technical

Sea Rex seamlessly mixes live-action and CGI effects to the point where you're not sure what you're watching.  Obviously the dinosaurs exist only in a computer but there are many fly-bys that are the real deal.  Color is nicely balanced no matter what the content and looks natural at all times.  Detail is great too, especially in the close-ups of swimming sea monsters.  Some shots that mix live action and CGI are a little soft and I noticed some sync issues between audio and video.  Contrast is also a little flat with elevated black levels and only average shadow detail.  The 3D effect is used well and I noticed no technical issues there.

Audio is clean and crisp with a wide front soundstage.  I did wish for a greater dynamic range though as several scenes could have benefitted from a little more use of the subwoofer.  Surrounds are also under-utilized.  Underwater scenes are always more convincing when the gurgle of moving water is all around the viewer.

Extras

Bonus features consist of a behind-the-scenes featurette and an interview with the film makers.

Sea Rex 3D