Universal // 2011 // 41 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // November 15th, 2011
The T-Rex of the seas comes alive!
Sea Rex 3D may be the least exciting movie ever made about sea creatures who could snap you in half. For a movie about tank sized oceanic reptiles, Sea Rex 3D has all the excitement of watching geckos sleep in a glass aquarium.
I sat through this short movie (or movella?) hoping that something exciting would happen. Let's be honest: the reason we watch nature shows isn't just to watch a majestic lion walk around a prairie with an attitude. We want to see it in action, stalking and hunting and killing its prey. To misquote Woody Allen, nature is just one big buffet of bigger things eating littler things eating littler things. The same goes for dinosaurs. How many dinosaur movies do you know of that don't feature giant creatures either A.) going on a rampage or B.) eating every human they see in sight? I would venture to guess almost none.
Sea Rex 3D's main story is this: a girl named Julie (Chloe Hollings) is hanging out in an aquarium when the ghost of French paleontologist Georges Cuvier (Richard Rider) appears to her and begins giving her a history lesson in the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods of the Mesozoic Age. Cuvier was one of the first of his kind and was at the museum that presented the Sea Rex's fossilized bones some thirty years before the first dinosaur was ever discovered. During Cuvier's lesson the film flashes back to various sea creatures that roamed the oceans. These creatures do a lot of swimming and surfacing and then swim a little more and surface a little more. Rinse, repeat, insert tedium here.
The entire movie features a ton of CGI effects, but they didn't inspire a lot of awe in this reviewer. To start with, these were obviously CGI creations; the effects work is good, but not great. Clearly this movie had a budget and that budget was about the same as the catering bill for Jurassic Park III.There was never a moment when I thought I was actually looking at real-life dinosaurs. The entire time my brain knew that these were just pixels and lightshows on someone's computer. Some of the real life scenery (mostly mountains and oceans) featuring stunning cinematography but lack any excitement due to the blandness of the story (if it can even be called that).
Clocking in at just over forty minutes, Sea Rex 3D feels like it was made specifically for kids who like looking at dinosaurs but don't really want to see them do anything exciting. Some interesting information is imparted to the audience (mostly about their eating and mating habits), but it's dryly presented without much pizzazz. As I sit here writing this review I'm racking my brain to think of any pertinent or need to know information I gathered from this film and am coming up snake eyes on both counts.
I won't begrudge those who will think this IMAX presentation is a gift from the scientific Gods; I'm sure there are a lot of dino-nuts out there who will get a kick out of watching these mammoth beasts roaming the seascape. Personally, I found Sea Rex 3D to be slow to the point of boredom. If you want to get a bit more excitement out of this period in history, check out the newly released Jurassic Park Ultimate Trilogy instead. Those are at least a rip-snorting good time.
Sea Rex 3D was originally presented in IMAX in 3D and this Blu-ray disc includes both a 2D and 3D presentation of the film. I have no doubt that seeing the film on that size of a screen made a far bigger impact than at home. That being said, this 1.78:1 widescreen transfer presented in 1080p looks excellent. The colors all retain a vibrant, crystal clear appearance and the underwater sequences are truly eye popping. There are many aerial shots that also look excellent (and looked even better in IMAX). If you enjoyed the film I'm sure this transfer will make you exceptionally happy.
The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Resolution 5.1 in English (as well as almost a dozen other languages) and is uniformly good throughout. There are many instances where the rear and front speakers are engaged, mostly with the cries of the reptiles or during Franck Marchel's genuinely moving film score. The DTS soundtrack deftly mixes both the narration, sound effects and music together without any hindrance or mistakes. Sea Rex 3D the movie may be a bit of a bore but this sound mix works nicely. Also included on this disc are English SDH, French, German, Latin Spanish, Japanese, Swedish, Danish, Finnish, Dutch, Norwegian, Portuguese, Arabic, Czech, Polish, Icelandic, and Slovenian subtitles.
Sea Rex 3D includes a four minute featurette titled "Sea Rex" which included directors Pascal Vuong and Ronan Chapalain talking about the movie and its production shoot, around four minutes of interviews with various members involved in the film and a theatrical trailer.
Sea Rex 3D will thrill little kids but I can't imagine it doing much for anyone over the age of twelve.
Review content copyright © 2011 Patrick Naugle; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2013 HipClick Designs LLC
Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Arabic)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Czech)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Dutch)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (French)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (German)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Japanese)
* DTS 5.1 Surround (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (English)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Danish)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 41 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* 2D Version