Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel

THEODORE REX (1996) Zero stars.

Written and directed by Jonathan Betuel. Photography, David Tattersall. Production design, Walter Martishius. Editing, Rick Shaine, Steve Mirkovich. Dinosaurs by John Criswell & Chris Finch. Music, Robert Folk. Cast: Whoopi Goldberg, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Juliet Landau, Bud Cort, Stephen McChattie, Richard Roundtree, Jack Riley, Peter MacKennzie, Joe Dalessandro, Edith Diaz,et al. Voices of George Newbern & Carole Kane. A New Line release. 92 min. Rated PG.
This little PG went to market. This little PG stayed home...

That's where audiences ought to stay.

The movie is set in a vague future where dinosaurs have been re-bred by science. They co-exist with humans, have human speech, all other human characteristics and lifestyles. Whoopi is a tough cop. Eight-foot dino Theodore ("call me Teddy") is friendly. The two are partnered, with all the cliches of the buddy genre, for an investigation of "dinocide" that leads them to a dark plot.

The movie makes no sense. The the kids at whom it is aimed will understand what there is to understand (which is nothing) only if they are geniuses or morons. At the benefit show I went to, they did not react, just sat there or moved about, and bawled for popcorn or the bathroom.

There are several other critters in the movie, ranging from Dr.Who-ish to disembodied heads to things with glowing red eyes. Whoopi is several pounds overweight. Teddy is the equivalent of the man in the gorilla suit but far less convincing than those apes. His head is way too big for his body. It is obviously cardboard or the equivalent, with just the eyes moving, and the mouth poorly synchronized to speech. The sets are uneven, some are poor ripoffs of the grungy look of "Bladerunner." The movie tries to be cute and funny. And tries, and tries...

I was told that Whoopi tried to get out of this film but after the fracas re: Kim Basinger, who had to pay a great deal of money for her independence, Ms. Goldberg had second thoughts.

After looking and looking, I could only find two references to writer-director Jonathan Betuel. He scripted the 1984 "The Last Starfighter" (kiddie stuff),wrote and directed the 1985 "My Science Project."

I cannot give more details about this movie, as it put me in a state of catatonia.

Copyright © Edwin Jahiel

Movie Reviews by Edwin Jahiel