Baby... Secret of the Lost Legend (1985)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Family None
Rating Rated PG
Year Of Production 1985
Running Time 88:49
RSDL / Flipper No/No Cast & Crew
Start Up Language Select Then Menu
Region Coding 2,4 Directed By Bill L. Norton
Studio
Distributor

Walt Disney Studios Home Ent.
Starring William Katt
Sean Young
Patrick McGoohan
Julian Fellowes
Kyalo Mativo
Hugh Quarshie
Olu Jacobs
Eddie Tagoe
Edward Hardwicke
Julian Curry
Alexis Meless
Susie Nottingham
Stephane Krora
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $19.95 Music Jerry Goldsmith


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 5.1 (448Kb/s)
French Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1 (384Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio 2.30:1
16x9 Enhancement
16x9 Enhanced
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 2.35:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles English
English for the Hearing Impaired
French
Spanish
Dutch
Norwegian
Danish
Swedish
Finnish
French Titling
Spanish Titling
Smoking Yes
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

     If you are a big fan of this movie then you don't need to read my opinions about it, and I invite you to head straight to the reports on video and audio quality.

     Thank you.

     Now, for those of you who are left up here, I'll begin. Are we all comfortable?

     This movie is no Jurassic Park. It's no Indiana Jones either. In fact, it's no good at all.

     (Yes, I do know that Jurassic Park was made after this, but now that both films are here, the reference is an obvious one, isn't it?)

     The responsibility of a reviewer is to sit still and objectively analyse a film from beginning to end. We are required to consider plot, theme, acting, technical qualities and overall production values. This is why I sat still for one hour, twenty-eight minutes and forty-nine l-o-n-g seconds. Remaining objective was somewhat more difficult.

     The start was actually quite promising. A prolonged scene of amazing African dancing in extraordinary costumes was played out with dazzling energy on the streets, carnival style.

     But then somebody spoke and it was all ruined! It has been a long while since I've encountered such a horrid script - wooden, obvious and utterly directive, it would have taken a palaeontologist of the highest order to discover any evidence that life ever existed in it.

     Here is the story. A gifted (aren't they all?) palaeontologist, Susan Loomis (Sean Young, who should have known better) and her husband George (William Katt) discover a living mummy and a daddy and a baby brontosaurus. Imagine their horror when they discover that her palaeontologic mentor, Doctor Eric Kiviat (Patrick McGoohan ....who definitely should have known better) is actually a fiendish collaborator with equally fiendish native hunters, who will stop at nothing to collect the living specimens for their own purposes (whatever they are, exactly).

     (SPOILER ALERT: highlight with mouse to read) Pappa Dinosaur dies in the crossfire (over which Baby Bronto sheds real tears - PUH-LEASE!), and Mama gets herself captured by the evildoers. This leaves Susan and "George of the Jungle" (yep, he actually says that) to rescue and preserve Baby, with the help of some newly acquired native friends.

     So really, what was so wrong with this movie? Well, apart from being utterly asinine, with plot holes big enough for a tyrannosaurus to barge through with a couple of his mates, there were times when it was borderline offensive in its references. Some examples may be the native pilot's solution to George's wife problems - "Beat the b****" he reassuringly advises. Or perhaps the way that the local Africans are depicted as either unreliable, savage or revolting (literally). The gunfighting at the "Not OK Corral" (my term) at the end is equally unsettling, where killing the bad guy becomes the prevailing joke of the scene. But the worst offence of all is to the viewer's intelligence. It's all just plain dumb.

     I can't help wondering to whom this movie is actually pitched. There are too many "adult" references and too much violence for me to consider it suitable for young children, and to my way of thinking, it's too silly for an older audience.

     But before you get all cranky with me, my 27 year old stepdaughter walked in, saw what I was reviewing, and said, "Oh, cool movie - I loved this when I saw it." So I guess I have my answer.

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Transfer Quality

Video

     The transfer is presented in an aspect ratio of 2.30:1, 16x9 enhanced, which is reasonably close to the original 2.35:1 presentation.

     The transfer is quite variable although it presented minimal amounts of low level noise overall. Shadow detail was acceptable although the print in general was on the soft side, with a slight murkiness in evidence. Grain levels were within tolerance and contrast was just on this side of passable.

     The colours tended to be a tad cool although skin tones were generally acceptable.

     Macro blocking did occur, leaving some detail in the mid range and background indistinct. There were occasions of aliasing occurring on the usual suspects - car grilles in particular, eg: 8:35, but by and large, it was not a significant problem. There were several instances where chroma noise was quite distinct and distracting - the scene at 42:08 looked positively bizarre. There were also occasions where the print was heavily affected by film artefacts, noticeably at the point just mentioned, but also distracting at 40:13 and 41:03.

     The subtitles, when selected, were clear, accurate and timely.

     This disc is single sided and single layered.

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

     There are three audio tracks on this DVD - English Dolby Digital 5.1, French Dolby Digital 5.1 & Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1.

     The dialogue was clear and easy to understand but had no directional quality at all. Audio sync was not a problem at all with this transfer, and was completely spot on.

     Jerry Goldsmith, that musical veteran, got a bit carried away with himself in this score. It's as pendulous as a mammoth's trunk and twice as big. It was aggressively loud and inflated to the point of intrusion

     The surround speakers were only ever really put on light duties, backing up the sound already present in the front speakers, but the subwoofer was as busy as can be, effectively providing all the "oomph" for the dinosaurs' onscreen presence.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

     There are no extras on this disc.

Menu

     The menu design is 16x9, static and silent.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

     The Region 4 version of this disc misses out on;

     The Region 1 version of this disc misses out on;

     Ladies and gentlemen, the winner is.... R4.

Summary

     They say the least said, the soonest mended. I shall follow that advice (wishing that the script writers on this production had done likewise.)

     For those who, like my daughter, think this is a cool movie - have a wonderful time.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Mirella Roche-Parker (read my bio)
Sunday, December 14, 2003
Review Equipment
DVDSinger SGD-001, using S-Video output
DisplayTeac 76cm Widescreen. Calibrated with Video Essentials. This display device is 16x9 capable.
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationTeac 5.1 integrated system
SpeakersTeac 5.1 integrated system

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Comments (Add)
I am like your daughter - Simon O'Connor (I wouldn't suggest reading my bio) REPLY POSTED