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  Directed by
    None Listed
  Starring
  Specs
  • Widescreen 2.35:1
  • 16:9 Enhanced
  • Dual Layer ( )
  Languages
  • English: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • French: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  • Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround
  Subtitles
    English, French, Spanish, Dutch, English - Hearing Impaired, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish
  Extras

    Baby - Secret of the Lost Legend

    Buena Vista/Buena Vista . R4 . COLOR . 89 mins . PG . PAL

      Feature
    Contract

    Made in 1985, this is a film based upon persistent scientific rumours and urban myths regarding dinosaurs still alive in the unexplored jungles of Africa and South America (and even underground, according to Jules Verne).

    George (William Katt) and Susan (Sean Young) are young marrieds working in darkest Africa. George has been offered a promotion if he gets back to New York before Monday, but this occurs just as his paleontologist wife discovers a bizarre outbreak of food poisoning among the natives. Upon inspection she and George discover a family of brontosauruses that are also pursued by an evil scientist type she used to work for. Of course.

    Soon itís a race against time to rescue the baby (cleverly named Baby...) and in so doing, perhaps learn a little about life. And so on.

    "GeorgeÖ of the Jungle."

    Set in the darkest regions of the 20th century (the '80s), there are some awkward moments of political incorrectness that may make one cringe a little, if not at the awkwardness of getting gooey over a rubber animatronic with two short men inside it. Our story here is certainly not a new one, and when we remove the rather dodgy special effects of the day, we arenít left with much of a film by todayís standards. Iíd like to think the kids of today wonít see through the Disneyworld quality robotic brontosaurs, but with all that Pacmanģ and chroming going on, I daresay they will. In our spoilt 21st century where galaxies far, far away are explored in intricate ILM detail and where Jurassic Parks are real; where animated films are made with computers and machines control us in fish tanks for energy, these special effects just arenít going to hold the kidsí attention.

    While the story is simplistic with a fairly decent message (although trite), there isnít much weight to the script and it just looks like an older, cheaper film. Perhaps in 1985 this was cutting edge stuff, and I donít doubt it, but today it is just dated and a bit silly. There are some comedic moments, mostly drawing similarities between raising a dinosaur and raising a human baby, but overall theyíre aimed at kids living in 1985 when this was cool. Which it sadly isnít anymore.

      Video
    Contract

    At least being a Buena Vista release, it looks as good as it can. And, as has been the case before, itís a little too good sometimes. So good we can see the strings lifting dinosaur heads or rubber folding in the dino suit. There are frequent film artefacts, but nothing too awful. Thereís a galaxy of blue stars rolling down the right side of the screen for 12 frames at 55:51, but this is the worst by far.

    There are some occasional continuity woes with costumes and props changing sides and the blue/green screen stuff gets some rather dodgy reflection at times. Oh well.

    It has been delivered here in the full size theatrical aspect of 2.35:1 with 16:9 anamorphicism, but there arenít enough opportunities utilising this aspect. Jungle shots are mostly close to the action and there are barely any major landscape shots. This is a shame because the outdoor work was filmed on the Ivory Coast, what Iím led to believe is a beautiful part of Africa.

      Audio
    Contract

    Dolby Digital 5.1 is pretty much the standard weapon of choice for Buena Vista releases and Baby is no exception. It doesnít get a lot to do in the surrounds, but there are occasional jungle noises and immersive underwater sounds coming through. Jerry Goldsmith's score is not among his most referential here, but it suits the piece well enough being cheerful or comedic or even bleak as needs be. The surrounds pick this up occasionally, though there is very little if any subwoofer stuff going on.

    Sound effects are okay, though the gunfire toward filmís end gets a bit stockish and repetitive. Dialogue is well spoken, if not always the written the best, and there are no obvious synch issues.

      Extras
    Contract

    This baby gets lost in the jungle. Without a trace.
    Forever.

      Overall  
    Contract

    While this film is rather average and weaker today than it was 15 years ago, it does contain the best thing I ever saw, ever. At one stage the baby dinosaur has a pair of jockey underpants on its head and itís growling its discomfort when a helpful monkey pulls them off its face. Without doubt, this shit is cinematic history. Name any other movie you could see anything even remotely like that in?

    Still, while that moment earns the film an extra yellow spot, it isnít enough to amuse anyone for the length of this film. Itís not a bad film really, itís just too dated and too simple a storyline to get excited about. The lack of extras doesnít really help the value of the disc either. Oh well.

    Back to Jurassic Park I suppose.


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      And I quote...
    "The best movie moment ever is included in this film: Dinosaur with underpants on its head."
    - Jules Faber
      Review Equipment
    • DVD Player:
          Teac DVD-990
    • TV:
          Sony 51cm
    • Speakers:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Centre Speaker:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Surrounds:
          Teac PLS-60 Home Theatre System
    • Subwoofer:
          Akai
    • Audio Cables:
          Standard RCA
    • Video Cables:
          Standard Component RCA
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