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BMZ Review: Ocean Wonderland (3D)
By Ross Anthony

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See the Sea in 3D
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: June 2003
Rating:  

     

Category: Reviews

(Screened at the LFCA conference and introduced as the first all-digital Large Format picture.) At a time when even 35mm directors still are holding tight to film, this is a rather bold move. But does "Ocean Wonderland" hold water visually? Acceptable/passable, this digital is still not as gorgeous as film. (And I'm a digital supporter). The resolution is slightly lower, but what leaves a stronger impression is the overall lack of color. This ocean blue is rather washed out in intensity and grayish. The situation may have been improved with better lighting. Also, I've been told by those in the know, that the transfer from digital to film leaves quality vulnerable.

As for the presentation, a cheesy title font gives way to a mysteriously beautiful, hypnotically winding galaxy of silver fish. This shot holds long and the music rides it well. The narration ought to have waited for us to acclimate prior to assaulting our Ocean Wonderland with words. That said, personifying a sea turtle with human language and recruiting him as the tour guide to coral, fish and wave is a fun immersive idea. In fact, the human absence in this film is quite welcome. The sea turtle voice-over artist does a fine conversational job with the narration.

You'll enjoy the Nemo (clown fish) shots, and the very close-up dolphin shots. They're charm almost makes up for the lack of vibrancy in the image. The stingray sequence also carries some of the magic of the opening. It's a beautiful animal, and the camera rides it like a magic carpet ride. A gentle sea vampire. There are barracuda, groupers, feather stars (amazing animals), and eagle rays like nun habits ... kites in water. The filmmakers take us into a school of sharks, building up the tension and fear factor, but their feeding frenzy is rather anticlimactic -- they're prey are already dead.

Unfortunately, this sea dance ends on a resoundingly un-artful PSA. The film also suffers from convergence problems -- some are acute. At times the two images strain the brain to unite, you'll have to look away.

Convergence problems aside, this picture hosts some good big screen subject matter, and stays underwater from start to finish. If it were shot on LF film and lit stronger, it would make a more striking impression.

Grade...............................................B

Directed by Jean-Jacques Mantello.
DP Gavin McKinney.
Produced at WWF (c) 2003.



Copyright (C) 2003.
Ross Anthony, currently based in Los Angeles, has scripted and shot documentaries, music videos, and shorts in 35 countries across North America, Europe, Africa and Asia. For more reviews visit: RossAnthony.com

Movie Reviews by Ross Anthony

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Born to Be Wild
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World
Hubble 3D
Resident Evil: Afterlife: An IMAX 3D Experience
The Twilight Saga: Eclipse: The IMAX Experience
Shrek Forever After: An IMAX 3D Experience
Iron Man 2: The IMAX Experience
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
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Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Van Gogh: Brush With Genius
Journey to Mecca: In the Footsteps of Ibn Battuta
Mysteries of the Great Lakes
The Dark Knight: The IMAX Experience
Kung Fu Panda: The IMAX Experience
Shine a Light: The IMAX Experience
Beowulf: An IMAX 3D Experience
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Mummies: Secrets of the Pharaohs
Lions 3D: Roar of the Kalahari
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Roving Mars
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Wild Safari 3D: A South African Adventure
Mystery of the Nile
Mystic India
Aliens of the Deep (3D)
Grand Canyon: The Hidden Secrets
Extreme
Rolling Stones at the Max
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Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag
The Polar Express: An IMAX 3D Experience
Roar: Lions of the Kalahari
Forces of Nature
Adventures in Animation (3D)
NASCAR: The IMAX Experience (3D/2D)
The Young Black Stallion
To Fly!
Silent Sky
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Texas: The Big Picture
Pulse: A Stomp Odyssey
Ocean Wonderland (3D)
India: Kingdom of the Tiger
Straight Up!: Helicopters in Action
Coral Reef Adventure
Bugs! (3D/2D)
Adrenaline Rush: The Science of Risk
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ALL ACCESS: Front row, Backstage, LIVE!
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