Friday, May 9, 2008

It Came From Forgotten Filmography Friday 8

Anonymous Rex
(dir. Julian Jarrold, 2004)
Illumination Films
“For 65 Million Years, They’ve Watched, and Waited…”
Synopsis: “The dinosaurs didn't go completely extinct when the asteroids hit 65 million years ago. Today, every ten thousandth person in the country is a dinosaur, evolved to be human-sized, wearing sophisticated solid-light holographic disguises to maintain the facade, getting stoned off regular cooking herbs like basil, rosemary and tarragon, and living by their own shadow government's laws; any human who stumbles upon them is to be immediately executed. Two dino private investigators, velociraptor Vincent Rubio (Sam Trammell) and triceratops Ernie Watson (Daniel Baldwin), are hired by one of Ernie's old girlfriends to find out why her younger brother committed suicide, and discover a dino cult called Voice Of Progress that wants dinokind to come out of the closet and reclaim the planet.”

This is a made-for-TV adaptation of a book by Eric Garcia. I imagine the conversation with Garcia to go like this:

“Hey, Eric, this is your agent.“
“How’s the casting going on Anonymous Rex?”
“Great, we managed to rope a Baldwin.”
“Really?! Which one?!”
“Alec, right?”
“Billy? Stephen?”
[Throws the phone to the ground in rage]

The cast here includes some other names besides overweight (recovering) cocaine addict Baldwin, like Isaac Hayes and Faye Dunaway.

For all my desire for this to suck, it actually doesn’t. The story’s pretty clever (likely because it’s an adaptation of a novel series, author Garcia is a co-executive producer.)

The premise is great: what if the dinosaurs didn’t die out, but instead evolved into a human-sized mirror society, living amongst humans through the use of solid-light holographs. This culture has its own laws, primary amongst which is don’t show your reptilian form to humans.

This script is pretty solid. The camera relies on a lot of sped-up movement to rely the passage of time.

The plot concerns velociraptor detective Vincent searching for answers regarding a pro-dino cult. Eddie (Baldwin) is his partner, and, thankfully, most of his subplot and work is brief and quick to forget for the main plot.

This is exactly the kind of thing I’m on the lookout for. Something I have never heard of, something frankly I am unsure I would like.

The dinosaurs use herbs the way humans use drugs, getting a fingertip of sage or whatever. Tarragon has an effect like PCP. But it’s hard not to giggle about that. Tarragon.


Tee hee. Tarragon.

Anyway, my favorite scene is Daniel Baldwin’s character angrily storming out of the house going to “the club,” for a raid, and his daughter saying, distraught, “It’s 3 AM!”


Which I imagine to be something out of his real life.

Barring the strange casting and the script which is a little out there, this is a fun sci-fi movie. I’d recommend it. B.

I couldn’t find any relevant clips, so this is Daniel Baldwin.

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