Kids will love this sweeping story of two brothers whose plane crashes on a mysterious island called Dinotopia, where human beings live in harmony with dinosaurs--the herbivores, anyway. The carnivores present a problem, as the humans' defenses against them--a mystical power source called sunstones--are losing strength. As they try to save the island, Carl and David (Tyron Leitso and Wentworth Miller) struggle not only with tyrannosaurs and prehistoric crocodiles, but also with repressive Dinotopian traditions and a scheming malcontent (David Thewlis) who stirs up all kinds of trouble. Meanwhile, they also wrestle with each other over the lovely daughter of the mayor of Waterfall City (Katie Carr). The pacifist ideals of Dinotopia are refreshing, but it's the special effects that will hook viewers: riding on the backs of brachiosaurs, flying atop pteranadons, arguing in court with triceratops andankylosaurs--anyone fascinated with dinosaurs (and who isn't?) will enjoy this whimsical fantasy. A host of British character actors also helps keep the human side of this four-hour miniseries lively; Alice Krige (also known as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: The Next Generation) gets a much more benevolent role here. --Bret Fetzer ... Read more
The Dinotopian Fan Will Adore It!
I'd read Dinotopia: A Land Apart From Time By James Gurney years ago. Its format-a journal like book, full of spectacular painted pictures of Dinosaurs living amoungst humans (or perhaps the other way around) was exciting to me, and I loved the book straight off, with it's lovely illustrations and even better story, with superb characters and a wonderful plotline.
When I heard about this series debut as a "mega series" on TV, I wasn't sure what to expect. I'd heard some rumours, and I believed that the storyline had been changed. (I was getting ready to be disappointed.)
I was wrong. This charming and wonderful movie is what takes place after the book...and I was thrilled to hear the books characters names-Lee Crabb, Will and Arthur Denison and Sylvia of the Hatchery, intertwined with the story of David and Karl.
David and Karl are half brothers, who were never close and couldn't be more different. Karl is defiant and modernized, while Dave prefers to stay at home, reading books and being alone. But their father ask them to go on a plane trip in his personal plane, and reluctantly they agree. Their father puts Karl that the controls, and they're off.
But quickly, they run into a severe storm, and the plane crashes into the ocean below them. Quickly fighting to get out, Karl and David go to the surface, only to find that their father is not with them.
Presuming he is dead, they are practically washed upon a strange island, which at first seems to be empty of life.
As they explore, trying to find someone to help them, they find a carved head of some creature. Suddenly, a loud explosion comes from within it, and it blows somewhat apart.There they meet the peg-legged Cyrus Crabb, who informs them that he was on some sort of archaeological job, and that they've been washed upon "Dinotopia".
He takes them to the village nearby, and to their intense amazement, they come across an angry dinosaur, flinging it's spiked tail at huts and stand along the roads of the small town. A girl mysteriously appears, and soothes it into submission.
The next day, Karl and David travel with the girl-Marion, daughter of the mayor of Waterfall city,who they will eventually BOTH fall in love with (and does this create conflict) to find out more about where they are and try to find a way to make it back home...but little do they know, they will be needed to help and save the entire island of Dinotopia from destruction, aided by a scholarly dinosaur anemd Zippo, a new baby Twenty-Six (aptly named by Karl, who has not much imagination) and the maybe trustworthy Cyrus Crabb.
It is an enchanting movie, great for true lovers of the Dinotopia books or just fans of Dinos or great movies, it was much better than I ever hoped it would be. I'm truly excited for it to come out on DVD-my whole family really enjoyed it, and we will hope to watch it many more times in days to come.
One raindrop raises the sea...
Children would love this movie. It's full of action, magic, and enough dinosaurs to satisfy a young enthusiast for life. Karl, David, and Marion are fun to watch, and the brothers' struggles to adapt to Dinotopian life are amusing and delightful. The colorful sets, graphics, and local traditions draw you into the world and leave you wanting more.
Adults would feel differently. Even if they were able to suspend their disbelief after the plane crash (they couldn't see the storm before they were in it?), they would find it difficult to stay engaged with the story after the confusing behavior of several of the characters (Karl and David blindly trust Crabb's suggestions although they state he is untrustworthy?). The complete disregard for logic becomes even more apparent as the story continues. The dialogue is stale and forced, but Leitso and Miller do the best that can be expected with lines such as, "What is this place?" and, "Dinosaurs died out millions of years ago!". If the viewer manages to make it to the T-Rex scene (why did they abandon the "busses"?), they are given the treat of seeing the beautiful female trip and fall while running away, and then looking terrified as two T-Rexes approach for a snack. Several sub-plots are abandoned before resolution (Crabb is not punished for his crimes to Zippo, the relationship between David and his female co-cadet is never developed, and the reason that the T-Rexes traveled in a pack is never revealed), and some major plotlines are never settled, the most noteworthy example being the love triangle. The characters are capricious, changing their attitudes and personalities with each new scene. The animosity between the brothers is all talk (and one wussy fight). You never get the feeling that they really don't get along, besides when they say they don't. All of this comes together for an abrupt ending that leaves you wanting more-explanation, that is.
There is one thing that saves it for the adults-Crabb. Rather than being the stereotypical black-hearted villian, he is an odd mixture of good and bad that keeps you guessing whose side he's on. Or maybe he's just capricious, too.
I gave the movie two stars for the sense of child-like wonder I felt as David learned to fly. I shouldn't have given it that much, with all the plot discrepancies, but I truly felt as if I were there, and that's a difficult sense to invoke.
A Land Apart from Time.
I honestly liked this 4 hour movie. The effects are great this movie is absolutly filled with tons of CGI animation. It involves two half brothers who after a plane crash land on a lost very big island (200 miles in diameter) called Dinotopia. On this island dinosaurs survived extinction, and yes it explains why. The people are protected by sunstones. Bright rocks that seem to somehow scare away carnivorous dinosaurs. Suddenly they start going out and the charactors go to an adventure to save the place from disaster. It does have bad pacing (I kind of think this movie would have been fine at three hours) it still is fun to watch considering it has some great action scenes. Overall good movie. As for the DVD the picture quality is very good not great but definutly good enough. It is in 1.33 fullscreen since it was filmed for television. Not bad at all. If you are complaining about the picture on the VHS switch to DVD. I don't think you should care about picture if you still buy VHS. The sound is the problem it is only two channels not a full 5.1 mix. Not to mention that for 10 seconds in the final action scene as one of the rocks its the ground the sound completly disapears. [weak]. But overall the sound is good enough and it gets the job done even though it should have been better. The extras in involve two deleted scenes, a decent making of, a couple traliors, and a game of kids. Decent overall. Dinotopia is a good movie and at such a...price you can't go wrong heer.
I wasn't expecting to be blown away by this movie, but I was hoping that it might exceed my poor expectations. It didn't. I think Rex from Pixar's 'Toy Story' was a more beleivable dinosaur, and the point of the story was....well, lame. Those lame sun rocks or whatever they were weren't explained very well as to WHY the kept the carnivourous dinosaurs away, but the other ones weren't bothered by them. And why could some of the Dinosaurs talk while the others just carried people around?
The only thing I liked about this movie was that I at least got some eye candy, those brothers were pretty cute. At least my kid brother liked it.
I can't believe they even came up with the idea to make a series out of this....I thought the never ending 'Land Before Time' videos were bad...but this is live action and computer animated. Hopefully ABC will fire whoever keeps coming up with these stupid movies.
for the dinosaur in us all
Dinotopia will not impress you with its script and acting. In fact, these are the major points that hinder the movie. But if you are willing to look past such and enjoy the story for what it's worth, Dinotopia comes as a recommened 4 hours. I've always been a stickler for fantasy and adventure, and am even more biased towards any movie that has dinosaurs in it, so here I was able to appreciate the world being represented (if even rather poorly). Of course, if this isn't your cup of tea, know that Dinotopia includes flashy special effects. The dinosaurs, while not up to par with the BBC's Walking with Dinosaurs, are well-animated, and believable enough to get the job done. Don't be fooled by what this movie can't do, because what it can do may just as well be enough.
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