This was my final destination for VERN’S DOCUMENTARY WEEK, the BBC series that got so much attention a few months back when it played on the discovery channel. But who the fuck watches discovery channel, how was I supposed to know.
Anyway you may be thinking, “This is not a documentary you asswipe,” in which case you’d be right. But it IS stylistically based on the documentary type form and “thus” is appropriate to discuss in context with other fine discovery channel type works such as American Pimp and Hated: GG Allin Wiping Shit On Himself.
Now I know there’s gonna be some tightass out there yanking his hair out at the very thought of me lumping this in with documentaries. There are some people who are very sensitive about the line between documentary and fiction being blurred. If we can’t trust the movies to reflect life exactly as it is without interjecting a point of view or entertainment factor, who CAN we trust? Obviously not the news! I guess there are many ethics involved in the documentarian code of honor, so some morons were even trying to make it a controversy when they found out that the Hughes brothers had paid money to be able to film the Player’s Ball Pimp Awards for their fine aforementioned pimpumentary.
WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU THINK, asshole. They’re pimps! That’s what they do, they pimp. Jesus fucking christ you fucking backseat documentarians.
Anyway yeah this one isn’t a documentary so the complaint on this one is gonna be, “I don’t get it. They didn’t have video cameras during the jurassic period, or for that matter the fucking cretacious. Why can’t hollywood get a fucking CLUE about the historical accuracy.” Because the concept here is that they made a wildlife documentary, like you’d see on national geographic or something, but about dinosaurs. The dinosaurs are created through the usual computery type creations as well as some big rubber puppets or some type of deal like that, not sure.
Now the computering here does not always look 100% real or quite as good as the Jurassic Park film series, however it is very well done and it is easy to suspend disbelief. The lighting and what not is so realistic that you really start to forget they are big fat lie and phony. You get involved in their lives. There is an assload of detail into the behaviors of all the different dinosaurs. Right down to which ones eat which, which ones eat their young, what noise they make when they mate.
There are characters and storylines in this series that will break your damn heart. There is one episode all about this giant flying dinobird. In the opening scene, he is a corpse rotting on a beach. Then the episode flashes back to tell the story of his last migration, and how he ends up not being able to mate and wears himself out trying to attract a female, then stumbles along the beach and passes out from lack of food and then dies and then the babies that the other men were able to make get born and eat the poor motherfuckers eyeballs out.
What I’m trying to say here is that it’s better than land before time.
The series is all treated very seriously but it goes into SO much detail that you start laughing and wondering, are they just making this shit up or what. But apparently they really have all this dinosaur bone evidence that shows them that dinos would fight over food but would not want to risk an injury so the loudest roar would end up winning the fight, and also that the big dino birds would get jealous that the smaller dinobirds were getting the fish so they would headbutt them and make them drop their fish and then fly down and catch them, and etc.
The narrator is Kenneth Branagh, and I’m not sure but I bet he kept taking his shirt off during the recording sessions. And then he was probaly reading all these rave reviews of Titus and crossing out Julie Taymor’s name and scribbling in his.
Anyway this is a great show, I thought I would only watch one or two episodes but I got addicted and had to watch the whole thing. I especially like it in the couple parts where they make it look like a handheld camera. My one complaint is that they never had a cameraman running away. That would be funny if one of the dinosaurs attacked the cameraman. And not to give anything away but at the end there is a comet that kills all the dinos. I wish they would have studied some hurricane footage or something and made it look like that.
But I mean really people, this is the most entertaining dinosaur show that will ever be made, I never thought I would enjoy this type of shit but believe me people you will love this.
VERN has been reviewing movies since 1999 and is the author of the books SEAGALOGY: A STUDY OF THE ASS-KICKING FILMS OF STEVEN SEAGAL, YIPPEE KI-YAY MOVIEGOER!: WRITINGS ON BRUCE WILLIS, BADASS CINEMA AND OTHER IMPORTANT TOPICS and NIKETOWN: A NOVEL. His horror-action novel WORM ON A HOOK will arrive later this year.