Journey 80 million years back in time to an age when mighty dinosaurs dominated the land - and an equally astonishing assortment of ferocious creatures swam, hunted, and fought for survival beneath the vast, mysterious prehistoric seas. Stunning, photo realistic imagery re-creates the perilous underwater realm of two young, dolphin-sized marine retiles called Dolichorhynchops, or Dollies, and follows their incredible journey through waters ruled by some of the most awesome predators ever to prowl the Earth's oceans.
Interweaving ground breaking fossil finds from around the globe with cutting edge computer generated re-creations, National Geographic's powerful storytelling immerses you in the life-or-death drama of an age when monsters ruled the seas! With original music by Peter Gabriel and The Footnote, and narrated by Liev Schreiber. Seen originally in IMAX and other specialty theaters.
We should have seen it coming. Blu-Ray Discs were all the rage in the home entertainment front a while back, and while we have sceptics who are not accepting of this up and coming technology, along comes another form of popular entertainment – 3D movies. Wearing 3D glasses may make you look like a fool (especially if you are already donning glasses), but you cannot deny the glee when a splatter of objects fly towards you, or when a tumbling block of timber fall on you. So the folks at National Geographic were smart enough to combine Blu-Ray technology and 3D entertainment (this is a first for this humble reviewer) in this documentary, and bring viewers back in time where what really happened can only be told through the power of imagination and creativity.
This is like Jurassic Park underwater: This 40 minute production explores the less known world of the prehistoric oceans, filled with predatory creatures that names are not as familiar as Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus Rex, Stegosaurus and Brontosaurus. Through some dramatisation and lots of computer generated effects (how else can these prehistoric animals come to live for your pleasure and entertainment?), the story follows a newborn Plesiosaur (which looks like a mini Loch Ness monster mutated with dolphin genes) as it grows up and faces the dangers of the deep oceans, before earning a rightful place in the ocean for itself.
There is nothing that will really go wrong with a documentary like this. Exciting visuals (now coupled with crystal clear Blu-Ray technology and, err, flimsy 3D glasses) and educational messages make this a sure winner. Those who are particularly interested in studying fossils and prehistoric life would enjoy the unique angle (to be frank, the Tyrannosaurus Rex is already kind of bland to us) presented in this production.
Narrated by Liev Schreiber and featuring music composed by Peter Gabriel and The Footnote, the documentary has its celebrity factor taken care of (why else would you think the producers printed these artistes’ names on the cover?). What’s left is to convince consumers that this is a worthy buy, and trust us, it is worth a place in your Blu-Ray collection. Unfortunately, we cannot say the same for the 3D version of the picture though. To be frank, we started off being really ecstatic about watching the potentially exhilarating documentary in 3D, but by the 20th minute, the migraine in our heads told us to switch to the 2D version for a less headache inducing viewing experience. Maybe it’s the dark shades of colour, maybe it’s the unsteady 3D glasses (don’t worry if you tear one, there would be three more available), or maybe it’s the muted discomfort while watching this 3D version, we just had to stop torturing our eyes.
These factors aside, the National Geographic production is still well worth your time, simply because it brings to life a world which you will never know – in crystal clear Blu-Ray format.
SPECIAL FEATURES :
Included on the disc is an Interactive Timeline which comprises of a series of text screens with basic background information on the prehistoric creatures featured in the production. We were expecting something more informative in this section.
The disc’s visual transfer is perfect and the documentary is presented in English 5.1 Dolby Digital.
by John Li
Posted on 20 October 2009