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BMZ Review: Deep Sea (3D/2D)
By Ann Coates


A Crown of Thorns seastar creeps across coral in the Bahamas. Photo copyright© Howard Hall Productions. Photo: Howard Hall.

Deep Sea 3D
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 3, 2006


Category: Reviews

With the sheer multiplicity of sea life, it's no wonder many a film has come to the Giant Screen about the underwater world.  The latest offering is Deep Sea 3D, a beautifully photographed film from director and cinematographer Howard Hall (Coral Reef Adventure, Into the Deep) and veteran Producer Toni Meyers (IMAX Corporation).  The film focuses mainly on the diversity of undersea life while placing the audience, quite dramatically, in the midst of it all.

Clocking over 1,800 hours underwater to film Deep Sea, the film crew had a great variety of sea creatures to choose from.  Through their labors, we get to see a handful of some of the most intriguing, from the familiar to the alien, and from the graceful to the lumbering.  The film opens by surrounding the audience among tiny transparent moon jellyfish in a calm but delightful reverie.  We move on to a vibrant coral reef animated with fish, squid, eels and everything in between.  Here, the tone is set for what will be the rest of the film -- a simple witness to the daily dramas of underwater life.

We encounter the coral reef's cleaning stations, where predator and prey make a precarious truce.  While smaller fish agree to clean (and therefore feed on) parasites off predators like the barracuda, the predators agree not to eat the smaller fish.  The film utilizes a variety of locations, nine in total, from the cold waters of British Columbia to Northern California's warm coast.  We come to find that, although fish are the most popular inhabitants of the ocean, the sea truly teems with alien life -- like the rainbow nudibranch, a colorful sea slug that feeds on tube anemone, or the beautiful giant manta ray, a huge yet elegant swimmer.

With the ever-improving technology of 3D, the film captures the feeling that one is not just viewing this cast of sea life, but rather is a participant -- moving with these underwater creatures.  The encircling feeling of the film is particularly dramatic -- most sea animals are framed extremely close and at the center of the screen.  Thanks to the implementation of the macro lens, these extreme close-ups give full detail to each creature's intricacies.  But when peeking beyond the center object, the film exposes the vast expanse of sea that these animals inhabit.  Deep Sea perhaps puts the audience closer to underwater life than its ever been in a  Large Format film (or any film, for that matter), while still revealing the breadth of the ocean beyond.

The film's educational value is delivered through the co-narration of Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet, as they offer insight into the behavior and anatomy of each animal featured.  A signature score by Danny Elfman (Batman, Men in Black, Spider-Man, Desperate Housewives) rounds out the film.  An important conservation message ends Deep Sea, calling awareness to this wondrous but delicate environment.  A beauty of a film, the incredible diversity of undersea life could have easily led Deep Sea beyond the standard IMAX 40-minute mark without losing any of its magic.

Movie Reviews by Ann Coates

Amazing Mighty Micro Monsters
A Beautiful Planet
Asteroid: Mission Extreme
National Parks Adventure
Wild Africa
Living in the Age of Airplanes
Journey to Space
Humpback Whales 3D
Robots 3D
Antarctica: On The Edge
The Great Apes 3D
Dark Universe
Tiny Giants 3D
Antarctica's Penguin Emperors 3D
Galapagos 3D: Nature's Wonderland
Walking with Dinosaurs: Prehistoric Planet 3D
Penguins 3D
Space Junk 3D
Dinosaur Passage to Pangaea
Flying Monsters 3D
Rescue (3D)
Cosmic Journey: Through Hubble and Cassini
Born to Be Wild
My Dream 3D
The Little Prince
Tornado Alley
Waking the T. Rex: The Story of Sue 3D
Magic Journey to Africa (3D)
Furusato: World Heritage Sites Viewed from Space
Legends of Flight 3D
Inception: The IMAX Experience
Arabia 3D
The Wildest Dream: Conquest of Everest
Quantum Quest: A Cassini Space Odyssey
The Ultimate Wave Tahiti 3D
Avatar: An IMAX 3D Experience
Molecules to the MAX!
Monsters vs. Aliens: An IMAX 3D Experience
Under the Sea 3D
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
Grand Canyon Adventure: River at Risk (3D)
Sea Monsters: A Prehistoric Adventure (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (3D/2D)
Dinosaurs Alive! (3D/2D)
The Alps
Hurricane on the Bayou
Ride Around the World
Greece: Secrets of the Past
Wired to Win: Surviving the Tour de France
Deep Sea (3D/2D)
Vikings: Journey to New Worlds
Mystic India
Fighter Pilot: Operation Red Flag

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