We all watched We Believe in Dinosaurs together
As promised, we watched We Believe in Dinosaurs together, along with Clayton Brown, Monica Long Ross, and Amy Ellison, the directors and producers; David MacMillan and Dan Phelps, two of the principals in the movie; and about 40 of our closest friends. Specifically, we all rented the film and simultaneously joined a Zoom meeting. We pressed Play at the same time and listened as Mr. Brown et al. discussed what we were seeing on the movie screen. The rest of us lesser mortals typed our questions or comments, and they were answered in more or less real time or after the movie was over.
You may see a recording of the watch party here. Note that we watched the full-length version; the PBS version is 15 min shorter, so will not synch with the commentary.
Joe Felsenstein says,
I had seen the shorter version of the documentary. Although I also rented the longer version and started watching it in synch with their commentary, I had to leave the room to get some cooking started. I took along my laptop and listened to the commentary while doing the kitchen work, and I found that my general familiarity with the documentary was good enough, and the commentary was quite interesting even without watching in synchrony.
The camaraderie among the documentary team and with their subjects David MacMillan and Dan Phelps was great.
Matt Young agrees about the camaraderie and adds,
I misplaced my DVD and had to pay 5 bucks to see the film for what was about the 5th time. Consequently I concentrated mostly on the commentary, which I had running on a laptop while the movie was running on a proper computer. I thought the commentary added a great deal, though possibly it would have been difficult if I had never seen the actual film.
Incidentally, Dan Phelps reminds us,
The film initially had 7.8 out of 10 stars on IMDB. Eric Hovind asked his followers to review it, saying,
After you watch the film, [sic] (embedded below) you may want to consider a review on Amazon, Rotten Tomatoes and IMDB to let others know what they are going to encounter.
The rating was stable at 7.8 stars for a couple of months with no new reviews, then plunged to 5.8 right after Hovind posted his piece. We would like to encourage people who have actually seen the film to rate it at the IMDB site; it is now at 6.3 stars.
Mr. Phelps has to some extent got his wish, though: Of the 15 reviews on IMDB, 12 award it 9 or 10 stars, and 2 award it 8 stars.