Dinosaurs have always been a subject of fascination. There is so much known – much of it deduced; meanwhile there is much more unknown – much of that is guessed/theorized. Donald Sutherland guides us through a journey taking place now about the past in Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia 3D on Blu Ray.
First, a note about Mr. Sutherland. Personally speaking, D. Sutherland could talk me through just about anything. This is not the first time I ever listen to him educate me, and I wouldn’t call this ‘brilliant,’ but I’m entertained through Sutherland’s narration. I’m not terribly interested by the topic of Dinosaurs, and I would never have picked this up, but Sutherland’s smooth, velvet voice makes the experience worth sitting through.
Giants of Patagonia was originally released on standard DVD format, this version has a 3D element and is enhanced for Blu Ray. I located an original copy, and I could not find a difference. The 3D did not work well with my equipment.
So what is Patagonia? Patagonia is the southernmost part of South America, located in Argentina and Chile. It integrates the most southern part of the Andes Mountains. To the west, it includes the area of Vildivia through the Tierra del Fuego archipelago. What makes this area special? Well, the largest of the dinosaurs were found in this region. Yes, all dinosaurs were large, but those of Patagonia were Brobdingnagian in comparison.
The movie begins its focus in the Late Jurassic period (c 150 million years ago), showing ichthyosaur (dolphin-like), and a Liopleurodon, both through extensive computer graphics. The audience is then transitioned to the Early Cretaceous (c 80 million years ago). We are then introduced to archeologist Rodolfo Coria, and we begin to see the focus of the movie: the Argentinosaurus and Gigantosaurus. It’s worth noting that these are Coria’s most important discoveries.
Sutherland introduces one of each of Coria’s discoveries – Strong One and Long Tooth, respectively. Each one is given their own narrative for survival.
In truth, this should be viewed more as entertainment than education. There are many moments of scientific computer graphics, but at the end of the day, these are still dinosaurs. As a rationalist, I do not believe that every bit of the narrative can be established in scientific fact. I felt that watching a scavenger steal dinosaur eggs was more conjecture than anything else. Could I suspend my disbelief? Certainly. That’s a practice reserved for fiction – not education or edutainment.
Giants of Patagonia was originally released on standard DVD format, this version has a 3D element and is enhanced for Blu Ray. I located an original copy, and I could not find a difference. The 3D did not work well with my equipment. I don’t understand exactly why this 2007 movie merited a Blu Ray update, nor do I understand the need for 3D. The latter is such a complete waste of time, money, and resources.
I’m hoping that 3D is not a new trend that everyone will be following. It is difficult enough making certain that all the movies (not a lot in my case) are updated to simply Blu Ray, let alone having to obtain 3D versions. The entertainment value earned by adding 3D to an existing title does not really seem worth the price paid.
FINAL GRADE: D+ (get the original)
TRR DVD Revue by Geoffrey Beebe