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Ghost Canyon

'Jurassic Adventures - 4 Movie Collection'
(Various / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / Mill Creek Entertainment)

Overview: Enter worlds that are millions of years in the making here with 4 pre-Historic feature films on two discs! Plus a bonus documentary!

DVD Verdict: The first film is 'The Lost World' (1992), starring John Rhys-Davies, David Warner and Eric McCormack. Based on Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's novels; a scientific team, pursuing rumors of fantastic beasts deep in the African jungle, journeys to an uncharted plateau where they suddenly find themselves in an unimaginable realm of gigantic dinosaurs! After a perilous trek rich with danger and deception, they now have to struggle to survive...The Lost World!

Well acted and truer to the book than most versions, this film keeps you interested as long as you are not concerned about the dinos. John Rys Davies and Warner are very good as usual. The rest of the cast are virtual unknowns even today, so you are not seeing seminal performances by current well known actors.

As far as the dinos, think Dr. Who back in the Jon Pertwee era. Some scenes aren't bad but generally we're talking rubber dinos that look like rubber dinos. As in Who, the story outweighs the special effects. The current Dr. Who TV series has great special effects, of course. Still, as I said, some scenes are better than others.

Next up is 'Return To The Lost World' (1992) starring, once again, John Rhys-Davies, David Warner, and Eric McCormack. Several years later...The Lost World is in danger of extinction. Answering a distress call from Africa, two rival scientists set out for The Lost World and find it threatened with destruction by sinister oil prospectors. The group now has to outwit man and nature to save themselves and the vulnerable inhabitants of ...The Lost World!

This was filmed back-to-back with the 1992 re-make of Conan Doyle's famous novel 'The Lost World'. And it shows. The film starts promisingly enough, with a ruthless organization intending to exploit the lost world and Challenger et al returning to defend the prehistoric plateau, but then things go downhill. Everybody is stranded on the plateau and we're left with a feeble, boring, over-length rehash of the first film. The dinosaurs (who are hardly ever seen) are just laughable. Are we expected to take that cuddly toy that's supposed to be an Ankylosaur seriously? And the Tyrannosaur seems rooted to the spot. Do yourself a favor and get hold of the 1925 silent version of the 'Lost World'!

Next, on disc two, is 'Adventures in Dinotopia' (2002) starring David Thewlis, Katie Carr, Jim Carter, and Wentworth Miller. Based on the best-selling books of author and illustrator James Gurney, Dinotopia tells the epic story of a lost continent where dinosaurs and humans live together in an almost utopian world. Roar through thrilling live action and breathtaking ingenuity as Karl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller) embark on a daring mission to save the ancient Eden they now call home!

The last movie is 'Journey to the Center of the Earth' (2008) starring Rick Schroder, Victoria Pratt, Peter Fonda, and Mike Dopud. Take a step into the unknown with an intrepid team of explorers as they venture where no one has dared go before. Miles below the Earth s surface is an endless chasm of living, breathing dangers that are out of this world. Join the search in this dynamic new movie adaptation of Jules Verne's thrilling adventure of science, suspense, and unparalleled exploration.

The best part of the movie, believe it or not, was not while the characters were in the center of the Earth. Rather, it was while they were on the surface and even then, it wasn't that entertaining. I strongly felt the cinematography was too bright and gave the movie a feeling of schlock and no authenticity. The screenplay was rather poor, unorganized, and many scenes had little or no point. Such as this part where a bear allegedly attacks the characters and scares away the horses. We see the characters shooting, hear a bear growling, and that's all.

The special effects weren't that great either. For dinosaurs, we see giant birds (not Pterodactyls) and a Plesiosaurus. Both were achieved with rather shoddy computer graphics. The creatures took up very little of the film and created no sense of marvel or majesty about themselves, which is what one wants to see in a movie like this. A lost world should be treated with majesty and magnificence. This is a Widescreen Presentation (1:85.1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Feature of:

BONUS DOCUMENTARY: Dinosaur Eggs & Babies(2014) Not Rated / 58 min.

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