Thursday, 11 October 2007

Monsters of the Deep

My still-heavily-pregnant wife and I went to see Sea Monsters 3D at the IMAX theatre this evening. The film follows the fate of a prehistoric, aquatic reptile called a Dolichorhynchops as she battles for life in a sea full of big, scary computer-generated beasties. Accompanying the main storyline are scenes of the palaeontologists whose discoveries made it possible to tell the tale in the first place. There are, however, no scenes of the team that produced the computer graphics for the feature; they are hiding their faces in shame!

I didn't go into the auditorium expecting an experience on the scale of Jurassic Park. I did at least hope for something on a par with Walking with Dinosaurs. This was was a step backwards. The sea looked about as deep as cellophane and much of the animation seemed half-hearted. I expect that most of my fellow movie-goers were not even born when Jurassic Park II was released but they deserve better than this and are probably quite used to it too.

In contrast to the CGI, the re-enactments of the fossil hunters was well filmed and reminded me why IMAX is so immersive when it's used right. The acting was no less wooden but then again, the humans weren't really supposed to be the main attraction. Definitely 'one for the kiddies' (if you can prize the critters out).

(Incidentally, Dolichorhynchops are a small type of Plesiosaur - the same sub-order of animals as the Loch Ness Monster. Fact.)

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