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BMZ Review: Under the Sea 3D
By Ann Coates

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© 2008 Michele Hall used with permission by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc.

Under the Sea 3D
Written by: Ann Coates
Source: Big Movie Zone
Date: March 23, 2009

     

Category: Reviews

Essentially a continuation of the previous IMAX films, Into the Deep and Deep Sea, filmmakers Howard and Michele Hall take audiences to new locations to meet all new creatures in Under the Sea 3D.  Not much has changed since the first two films, we go underwater, we meet some animals, we get our mind blown by the pretty pictures.  The timbre never changes, but then again, it doesn't really have to -- like the Deep films, Under the Sea reveals some incredible undersea wildlife that of which is hardly ever seen in such beautifully shot images.

Howard Hall knows how to work a 1400 lb. IMAX camera underwater.  In Papua New Guinea, Indonesia and South Australia, we dive with him to meet some little-known creatures.  And it feels like we are in there in the ocean, especially when viewed in 3D.  The film perhaps would not work as well on a 2D screen, but being IMAX, it should captivate nevertheless.  Rather than 3D jumps or scares, the film focuses on an immersive quality where animals come nose to nose with the viewer.  It is perhaps impossible to get any closer to a crocodilefish than actually being there, and the film provides intimate glimpses of this and other strange animals.

There is a feeling of claustrophobia where extreme close-ups enhance every texture and grain of silt.  Only when the camera pulls back is there relief from this acute closeness with the animals.  A rather enjoyable sequence of sea snakes gracefully moving through coral reefs provides the much desired breathable space when so much time has been spent sitting right on top of other sea creatures.

No real story comprises the film, only snippets of animal life as it is lived below the ocean surface.  The film heavily relies on the appeal of these creatures like the cuttlefish, which for the most part is a beautiful and mysterious creature.  But the film, in choosing to remain with this creature, tends to drone on when more time could be filled perhaps viewing other sea-life.  There's never an in-depth look at any animal, rather a glimpse accentuated by a factoid or two through a suitable, but bland narration by Jim Carrey.

Like its simplistic presentation of underwater life, the film only touches upon the environmental issues threatening our ocean habitats.  There is a sense of urgency when the films offers a glimpse of the bleaching of coral reefs due to global warming, but the conservation message, never hammered down, runs like a subconscious current through the rest of the film.

Though crisper, more vibrant images can be found in Hall's previous films particularly Deep Sea 3D, Under the Sea is nevertheless a solid addition to his oeuvre.  Though there's not much story here, the captivating images of ocean life should hold the attention of the most disenchanted movie-goer.  And 3D perhaps doesn't get any better, but did we have to end with that dreadful cover of Octopus's Garden?

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
Animalopolis
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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