John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane
jkahane

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Movie Reviews: The Dinosaur Project and Fire and Ice (with Spoilers)

Just finished watching a couple of movies this afternoon on DVD.

The two films couldn't have been more different from each other.

The first movie was The Dinosaur Project, a little British/Irish film about a British expedition formed by the lead researcher Jonathan Marchant, his assistant, a doctor and a TV crew, as they travel to the Congo to seek evidence of a dinosaur. A local guide and the helicopter pilot join the team and the group heads to the jungle. During their trip, they find a stowaway in the helicopter, the son of Jonathan. Soon the helicopter is attacked by flying creatures and crashes in the jungle in the beginning of the last journey of Jonathan Marchant and his team. Needless to say, things do not go well.

This movie is an entertaining mixture of a dinosaur movie and a "found footage" film. If you liked Jurassic Park and Paranormal Activity, I think you'll enjoy this movie, it's got elements of both intertwined within. However, don't make the mistake of believing that it's trying to copy either of those movies, as it stands out on it's own and is quite unique in many respects. The movie's got moments of humour, moments of horror, and five different species of mostly satisfying CGI dinosaurs (a few more species would have been nice). There are quite a few great dinosaur shots, including one scene where a dinosaur is filmed from first person perspective while swimming with its siblings, which I thought was well done. There are scenes with flying dinosaurs, swimming dinosaurs and land-based dinosaurs, so there's quite a mix of dinosaur material incorporated to satisfy most dinosaur fans.

The second movie was Fire and Ice, the animated movie sword and sorcery cult classic from Ralph Bakshi and Frank Frazetta. In this animated tale, a tiny village is destroyed by a surging glacier, which serves as the deadly domain for the evil Ice Lord, Nekron. The only survivor is a young warrior, Larn, who vows to avenge this act of destruction. The evil continues, however, as Nekron's palace of ice heads straight towards Fire Keep, the great fortress ruled by the good King Jarol. When Jarol's beautiful daughter, Teegra, is abducted by Nekron's sub-human ape-like creatures, Larn begins a daring search for her. What results is a tense battle between good and evil, surrounded by the mystical elements of the ancient past.

I'm not going to say a lot about this movie, other than the fact that given what it is, this is a pretty cool movie of sword & sorcery action. Bakshi used the process of rotoscoping (when actors are shot in live action and then later drawn over and added into the backgrounds; nowadays, it's a form of motion capture, I guess). The effect is actually pretty cool in this movie, bringing a certain realism to the characters that is absent from traditional animation. There is plenty of action in the movie, only taking breaks from bit parts to set up the next scene of combat for our two warrior heroes. It's often rather brutal, involving swords, spears, axes, and arrows. Aside from taking on gangs of Subhumans (the evil foot soldiers), there are also a few mythical-type creatures to deal with. This movie is a fairly fun and entertaining fantasy picture, and that was good enough for me.

And can I please have a Princess Teegra figure made? :)
Tags: movie hut, review, the dinosaur project
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