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The first review...from the Ottawa Citizen
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia is an IMAX movie that re- creates some of the
largest and most vicious dinosaurs to explain how the creatures thrived and
then were wiped out.
Super- sized satisfaction
Battle of the dinosaur titans
sure to please families
BY JAY STONE
Children who like dinosaurs are going to love Dinosaurs: Giants of
Patagonia, an IMAX movie that starts with the coolest possible parental
warning: " Very large, very loud 3D creatures." Bring ' em on.
And they do. The biggest, baddest dinosaurs ever, creatures that could move
to Jurassic Park and eat the raptors for lunch. Literally.
Not that it's games.
Dinosaurs fulfils its mandate as an educational tool that explains the 180-
million- year dinosaur age in terms that are easy to understand - if the age
and of our world was a day, the dinosaurs lasted for 48 minutes; mankind has
been around for 48 seconds - and follows the mandatory IMAX authority
figure, in this case an Argentinean paleontologist named Rodolfo Coria.
We see him and his team examining fossilized dinosaur footprints and
brushing away dust from other scientific discoveries.
Director Marc Fafard also adds some unusual IMAX stylistic touches,
including having scenes come alive in a pair of mirrored sunglasses or a
pool of water or in that standard IMAX tool, the computer screen, a device
that was just made to be featured on the giant screen.
But most of all, Dinosaurs shows us dinosaurs: computergenerated creatures
of heroic proportions. South America was a fertile ground for the creatures,
for some reason - perhaps there were tax advantages - and the Patagonia
region was home to such monsters as Argentinosaur, a 100ton herbivore that
snacked on the tops of very tall trees.
Argentinosaur was 50 metres long; that is, it was a recordbreaking field
goal from tip to tip.
" The Earth will never see a larger creature on land," in the stentorian
tones of Donald Sutherland, who narrates the movie with a precise authority.
It was as big as a herd of 14 elephants.
A big herbivore demands a big carnivore for the climactic size- versus-
aggression battle that energizes all dinosaur movies, and Dinosaurs has a
dandy: the Gigantosaur, eight tons of teeth and appetite. This isn't a
creature you want to tease about its tiny arms: it's like a T- Rex with a
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia places these beasts on the land in Patagonia
and re- creates what it would have been like 65 million years ago, in a
world that sounds disconcertingly like the one we're headed toward. It was
warmer then; there was no polar ice cap; Antarctica was subtropical. In
addition, the earth spun faster so there were 385 days in a year, which
could explain dinosaur extinction. Overwork.
Actually, Dinosaurs also has a very cool animation showing the collision
that ended the dinosaur age. The Earth was hit by a comet as big as Mt.
Everest that travelled so fast it covered the distance from the moon in two
hours; what the resulting impact didn't destroy, starvation did because the
forests of North and South America all burned down.
All that we have left are the current dinosaurs, birds, plus a bunch of
fossils and paleontologists to examine them. And movies like this, to bring
them to life again.