T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous

T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous (1998)
Warner Home Video
Cast: Peter Horton, Liz Stauber, Kari Coleman
Extras: Documentary, Trailer

In their line of IMAX releases, Warner Home Video is now presenting us with the thrilling ’T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous.’ Unlike most other IMAX films, this is not so much a documentary per se, but rather a thrill-filled 45-minute film that heavily relies on computer-generated imagery in order to resurrect a number of extinct dinosaurs. While there may be a bit to be learned in this presentation, the focus is obviously on the flash and not so much on the education. Not that it matters, really. ’T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous’ is an enjoyable thrill-ride with great effects.

The film is presented in a fullscreen aspect ratio – which is common for IMAX presentations due to IMAX’s inherent 1.33:1 format. The print is fabulously clean and without problems. Virtually free of any grain or noise, as a result of the 70mm original source, the image is rich and shows an incredible level of detail. Every frame exhibits stunning definition, making this DVD quite a visual presentation. Colors are vivid and full of subtle hues, blacks are deep and shadows well delineated. The compression is flawless without even the slightest hint of artifacting.

The DVD features 5.1 channel Dolby Digital audio tracks in English, French and Spanish, and either one of them is notoriously impressive as well. The frequency response is very wide, producing booming low ends that rumble your system and crystal-clear high ends. Surrounds are used quite aggressively, especially during the dinosaur scenes, but also the hollow reverbs echoing through the dark museum corridors is filled with nuances and early reflections. Dialogues are well integrated and the dynamic range of the audio brings the Cretaceous truly to life with thunderous roars, piercing shrieks and ominous thumping footsteps.

The disc also includes a behind-the-scenes documentary, which uncovers a lot of the special effects used in the film. Compared to other dinosaur epics, ’T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous’ posed some unique challenges to the filmmakers, which mostly have to do with the 70mm film format used for IMAX presentations, and the increase in resolution required to produce the digital images from the film.

’T-Rex: Back To The Cretaceous’ was designed as a show-off piece, and it clearly shows. All aspects of this presentation are marvelously impressive from a technical standpoint.