Saturday, December 28, 2013

I'm not really into digging up dead things.

As a little kid, I loved school. Loved it. But if there was one thing that meant more to the seven-year old version of myself than learning stuff with my friends, it was dinosaurs. I was completely fascinated by them.

I still want to punch both of them.
One morning, prior to heading off to school, I heard something on television that was about to change my life. Up next it was said, two dinosaurs were going to be born - live!- on T.V. Amazing, right? The thing is, it was time to go. Everybody in the car! As quickly as I could, I faked impending death. The whole I don't feel good/my stomach hurts routine made its debut. My mom, either on to me, or believing there is no way I would miss school, said, miraculously, I should stay home, and dashed out the door with my older brothers. Not a minute later, the dinosaur eggs filled the television frame and my eyes widened. The eggs began to crack, as my heart began to fail. Out came Rex and Rita Readasaurus, those two God-awful puppets pictured to the right. They wanted Kids to Read! Ah, the personal irony.

Oh, you're not interested in pointless, rambling stories, loosely related to dinosaurs? Well then stay the Hell away from Walking with Dinosaurs, which is arguably one of the worst movies I have ever seen. It's so bad, so soul-crushingly miserable, it actually moved the Rex and Rita incident down a peg, to become the second worst dinosaur related tragedy in my life. [Oh, and for the record, that scene in The Lost World with the parallel bars ranks a solid third ]

Anyway, what looked like a possibly educational/visually breathtaking experience for me and my son to catch on the big screen turned out to be the longest 87 minutes of my life. It was so bad, for the first time ever, I almost asked for my money back at the movies, as if it's the theater's fault that I'm a f--king idiot and paid to go see this.

Specifically what's wrong with this movie, is either a really long list or a short one (that list reads: everything). I'll meet you in the middle and narrow it to the three largest offenders. 

First, and most obvious, there is no story. None. Seriously, nothing happens. This flick is about the migratory habits of the pachyrhinosaurus. I'm not shitting you. They walk somewhere. They get there. Then, shockingly, they walk back. It doesn't end. They just keep doing it. 

Next, and most pressing, is the dialogue (both how it's written and delivered). I'm a dad, so I've seen my share of awful kids movies with atrocious scripts phoned in by D-list celebrities, but this film is the absolute bottom of the barrel. Justin Long deserves to have his larynx devoured by a velociraptor for this one. His incessant whining and general douchery actually made me long for his work as Alvin in the shittastic Chipmunk movies. I dare you to find a more annoying character than Patchi. 

Finally, the concept. Who decided to take a beautifully made educational film and pair it with an awful script full of modern slang? This would have been a very cool TV special that kids could have enjoyed with their families, instead of its current state of theatrical trainwreck. Add a cheeky narrator, subtract thirty minutes and we would've been good.  

Far from good, are the Yays and Boos. Taking my son to a movie is always a Yay, but the fact that I got stuck with this one after my wife took him to Frozen? I don't even need to say it.

The Aurora Borealis? At this time of year? At this time of day? 
  • It looks gorgeous. I bet the 3D was pretty solid. I will never confirm that.
  • This is probably a Boo, but I had a nice time snickering at the line, she likes me, and she likes my hole.
  • There was a lone educational segment that was easily the best part of the film. Well, that and the end credits, of course.
  • And finally, even though my son seemed much more focused on the post-film trip to Gamestop at the time, I can't help but secretly love that he looks back on the movie so fondly. That was a really good movie, Dad! I really liked it! Ah, kids.
  • The dinosaurs talk. It looks photorealistic, but the f--king dinosaurs speak.
  • But their mouths don't move. Which is terrible.
  • But worse? What they say. Or think. Or whatever. We get dinosaurs talking about ninjas, which seems entirely unreasonable. We also get dinosaurs using the phrase you got served which seems like the handiwork of the Devil himself. 
  • Speaking of irrational demons, my mom actually came with us and was (rightfully) pissed at how awful this movie was. Of her countless verbal explosions, my favorite was This is why I don't go to movies. 
  • Oh, and while we're discussing unwelcome audience participation, let me Boo the kid sitting behind us. Has this kid ever left the house? Upon seeing the Daddy dinosaur possibly die (it was a bit vague, I suppose), this kid let loose a stream of The dad died? The dad died? Did the dad die? He's dead, isn't he? that appeared to have no end. I wanted to turn around and say that his Dad was going to die if he didn't shut the Hell up but that possibly could have been seen as bad form. Possibly.
  • When the two young dinosaurs meet, they actually play Barry White. Yes. That happens. In a movie about migrating dinosaurs.
  • Karl Urban is in this. Yay! For three minutes. Boo.
  • And finally, let me reiterate, this is the longest 87 minute flick ever. Even though I obviously hated the voice acting, a little variety might have helped. Only four of the dinosaurs talk. Four. And one of them is Justin Long. Always. During one of Long's rants my son turned to me and whispered, this is a long movie. Indeed.
I actually heard that Jeff Goldblum, wearing all black, saw this movie with his family. Apparently, he didn't really like it either. Upon leaving the theater, someone overheard him saying, That is one big pile of shit.

Hey, you made it to the end. Good for you. In fact, you should be proud of how much you've just read. Reading is really good for you. At least, that's what those jerks Rex and Rita told me. 


  1. Ha, nice Jurassic Park reference at the end! This movie sounds awful, and I felt like it came out of nowhere. I had never heard of it, then I randomly started seeing previews for it this past week. I'm sorry you had to suffer through this.

    1. It is shockingly bad. I wonder how it made it into theaters in the first place. We saw a trailer a long time ago, and my son was clamoring for it. I will see anything anyway...but with the little guy showing even the slightest interest? It's a done deal.

      I imagine there will be worse movies down the road...if that's possible.

    2. I liked the Jeff Goldblum reference too. :-) Well played!

  2. Holy crap! How could they screw up something like Walking with Dinosaurs?? This was also the title of an educational T.V. series -- they also did one on prehistoric mammals. I credit much of my son's education in science to these movies. They were very well done and taught him loads about evolution and such.

    1. The show was pretty cool, as I recall. But if I remember correctly, it wasn't full of bad voice acting and funk classics, right?

      The only lesson found in this movie is one about religion. About halfway through the flick, I truly wondered if there was a God.

  3. I thought this looked kind of cool at first, like an imagined documentary a la March of the Penguins but about dinos. Then when I realized cartoonish voiceovers were involved I quickly lost interest. Your review was highly entertaining though!

    1. This is what I'm saying. It looked like it had a chance. But it doesn't. It's so bad, that if dinosaurs weren't already extinct, I'd dedicate my life to making it so.

  4. "They walk somewhere. They get there. Then, shockingly, they walk back. It doesn't end. They just keep doing it. " - sounds like The Hobbit :)

    My mom rants during movies too. She never waits until we leave the theater to tell me how much she hates the movie. Unless the movie stars Javier Bardem. Then she is delighted. Even if it's fucking Eat Prey Love.

    1. I didn't really care for The Hobbit, but I would happily tattoo each of the dwarves faces on my own face/genitals if it would get me out of watching this movie again. I still want to actually fight someone about it.

      My God, it's an epidemic! Seriously, I felt like an asshole as she routinely interjected how bad the movie was. Has she no internal monologue?

      I'm not even trying to be a dick, but that is the best typo ever: Eat. Prey. Love. It's sounds like a romantic re-imagining of Predator.

    2. A romantic re-imagining of Predator would be so much better than this shit film :P I bet my mother would still love Bardem as Predator, but she is still having nightmares about this moment from Skyfall where he took out his teeth.

    3. Oh yeah - the scary teeth bit. That was great.

      As for your inadvertently proposed Predator reboot? I'm sold. We could bring our moms.

  5. BAHAHAHA, this review is AMAZING! You are 100% correct. I rushed my review a bit. I meant to mention how this was really a stale extended episode of Dino Dan...and I hate that show! All the pausing and talking about the dinosaurs was so distracting and pointless and just...this movie made no sense. Shit, not I feel like i need to go edit my review :-P

    1. Even rushed yours was hilarious. It's been weeks and I'm still utterly baffled that this movie exists.