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FOX

MOVIE INFO

Director:
Barry Cook, Neil Nightingale
Cast:
Justin Long, John Leguizamo
Writing Credits:
John Collee

Synopsis:
In a time when dinosaurs rule the Earth, the smallest of the pack -- a playful Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi -- embarks on the biggest adventure of his life. As he tries to find his place in a spectacular world filled with fun-loving friends and a few dangerous foes, Patchi will discover the courage he needs to become the leader of the herd and a hero for the ages.

Box Office:
Budget
$80 million.
Opening Weekend
$7,300,000 on 3,231 Screens
Domestic Gross
$35,981,752

MPAA:
Rated PG

DISC DETAILS
Presentation:
Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
Audio:
English DTS-HD MA 5.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Russian DTS 5.1
Estonian Dolby Digital 5.1
Greek Dolby Digital 5.1
Latvian Dolby Digital 5.1
Lithuanian Dolby Digital 5.1
Portuguese Dolby Digital 5.1
Romanian Dolby Digital 5.1
Ukrainian Dolby Digital 5.1
Subtitles:
English
Spanish
French
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Estonian
Greek
Latvian
Lithuanian
Portuguese
Romanian
Ukrainian
Closed-captioned
Supplements Subtitles:
English
Spanish
Brazilian Portuguese
Russian
Greek
Portuguese

Runtime: 87 min.
Price: $39.99
Release Date: 3/25/2014

Bonus:
• “Ultimate Dino Guide” Interactive Feature
• “Match the Call” Game
• Interactive Map
• Trivia Track
• “Nickelodeon Orange Carpet Dino Rap”
• Previews and Trailer
• DVD Copy


PURCHASE @ AMAZON.COM

EQUIPMENT
Panasonic TC-P60VT60 60-Inch 1080p 600Hz 3D Smart Plasma HDTV; Sony STR-DG1200 7.1 Channel Receiver; Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player using HDMI outputs; Michael Green Revolution Cinema 6i Speakers (all five); Kenwood 1050SW 150-watt Subwoofer.


Walking With Dinosaurs: The Movie [Blu-Ray] (2013)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (April 2, 2014)

Based loosely on a late 1990s BBC series, Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie takes us back to prehistoric days. There we meet a young Pachyrhinosaurus named Patchi (voiced by Justin Long) and his family.

The runt of the litter, Patchi maintains a positive attitude despite the taunts and abuse of his larger brother Scowler (Skyler Stone). He falls in love with fellow Pachyrhinosaurus Juniper Tiya Sircar) as well.

After an attack by predators, Patchi’s parents die, which leaves him and Scowler on their own. They join a giant migration but along with Juniper, they get separated from the herd and need to fend for themselves. We follow their efforts to survive and watch as Patchi matures into a leader.

Kids love dinosaurs. Kids love animation. With a US gross of only $35 million, it’s pretty clear kids didn’t love Walking, though.

Since my youthful days fall decades behind me, I can’t state why kids stayed away from Walking, but I suspect its lackluster story and characters hurt it. Trailers did little to make Patchi and his pals look like anything more than generic stereotypes, and a screening of the film itself does nothing to alter that viewpoint.

Apparently the film’s creators originally intended to play Walking without voiceover or narration; the events would’ve evolved as a virtual silent film. Late in the game, the suits at the studio vetoed this idea, as they felt a more anthropomorphic vision would make the movie more appealing to kids and families.

Given those weak box office results, it seems the studio was wrong. I don’t know if Walking would’ve sold more tickets had it taken the more subtle route, but it probably would’ve led to a more interesting movie. On the positive side, Walking boasts excellent visuals, as it gives us smooth animation and consistently life-like creatures. The movie always looks great.

Too bad the story and characters are so lame. I don’t know exactly how far along in the production process the decision to add voice-over/narration came, but given how poorly these fare, I’d guess – and hope – that the filmmakers lacked much time to flesh out these elements. Walking comes with every kiddie movie cliché and doesn’t include a single interesting personality or event.

When the filmmakers opted to err on the side of children’s entertainment, apparently they believed scatological jokes were the only way to go. Man, do we get a lot of puke/poop/other bodily function gags along for the ride here. They seem as uninspired as they are.

It’s a shame Walking didn’t follow its original creative plan, as it would’ve created something unusual, at least. As realized here, Walking delivers an insipid attempt at entertainment that squanders its impressive visual elements.


The Blu-ray Grades: Picture A/ Audio B/ Bonus C+

Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.39:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a consistently excellent presentation.

At all times, the movie boasted terrific definition. If any softness materialized, I didn’t see it, as I thought the image remained tight and precise from start to finish. No jagged edges or shimmering occurred, and edge haloes stayed absent. Print flaws also failed to mat the picture.

In terms of colors, Walking tended toward a natural palette. It came with a good array of hues and the Blu-ray replicated them in a vivid, satisfying manner. Blacks looked dark and rich, and shadows seemed clear and smooth. Everything about this stellar image satisfied.

While not bad, the film’s DTS-HD MA 5.1 soundtrack seemed less involving than I would expect given its subject matter. Though the movie used the five channels in an active manner, I didn’t think they did a ton to flesh out the material. Music and effects popped up around the room but lacked great localization or integration. This meant that although we heard much to really place us in the settings; it became a somewhat lackluster soundscape.

At least audio quality was fine. Speech sounded natural and distinctive, while music seemed vivid and full. Effects showed good accuracy and range, with reasonably positive low-end when necessary. This was an acceptable mix but not one that impressed.

A few extras fill out the set, and we begin with an Ultimate Dino Guide. This allows us to select from an array of dinosaur types and learn more from there. The “Guide” includes 11 featurettes; these run between one minute, eight seconds and four minutes, three seconds for a total of 20 minutes, 25 seconds. It also provides a mix of details about the creatures and their world. The “Guide” turns into a useful companion.

A game called Match the Call offers an audio-based quiz. It plays the sounds made by various dinos and then requires you to pick the correct one before time expires. It offers mild fun at best.

Next comes an Interactive Map. It shows a diagram of the world and lets us learn which dinos lived where. While not as informative as the “Guide”, it deserves a look.

Throughout the length of the movie, we can examine a Trivia Track. This uses the bottom part of the screen to tell us about dinosaurs and related subjects. It delivers a good array of notes and appears in a manner unobtrusive enough to allow you to follow the movie at the same time.

The Nickelodeon Orange Carpet Dino Rap lasts one minute, one second and gives us a music video. Benjamin Flores, Jr. – aka “Li’l P-Nut” – raps about the movie and we see some shots from the flick. Like Flores himself, this becomes relentlessly annoying.

The disc opens with ads for Rio 2, Mr. Peabody and Sherman and Free Birds. Sneak Peek throws in ads for The Croods, Turbo and Dragons: Riders of Berk/Defenders of Berk. We also find the trailer for Walking.

A DVD copy of Walking fills out the set. It includes previews but none of the Blu-ray’s other extras.

While Walking with Dinosaurs: The Movie boasts excellent production values, it gets dragged down by a dopey script. With bland characters and cheap jokes on display from start to finish, the film squanders its potential. The Blu-ray provides terrific visuals along with acceptable audio and a few informative supplements. Even the most dino-obsessed kid probably won’t be all that enthralled by Walking - and adults seem sure to feel bored by it.

Viewer Film Ratings: 3.7142 Stars Number of Votes: 14
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