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BMZ Review: Arabia 3D
By Ross Anthony


Arabia 3D
Written by: Ross Anthony
Source: Ross Anthony's Hollywood Report Card
Date: March 8, 2010


Category: Reviews

This production felt somewhat disjointed. I got lost in its structure. While I quite enjoyed the massive shots of the homelike tombs carved in the towering cliffs, they seemed rather anticlimactic. I wanted more from them. I learned that architecture from the west was brought to Saudi Arabia -- but how? The aerial shots of Saudi Arabia's big cities displaying grand modern architecture and some old style -- these are magnificent. And then there were the wonderfully large images of visitors to Mecca. Gorgeous, beautiful, there's no other recordable way to experience this besides Imax. It's inspiring, it made me want to go.

Unfortunately, aside from these marvelous images, most of the film's scenes don't fill the big screen. They're simply TV doc work made big. Additionally, while I enjoyed following around this young director (who's studying film in Chicago) and found his family quite delightful, I would have liked to meet him in Chicago with a group of his American friends expressing their off-the-mark impressions of Saudi Arabia. This would have given American viewers a familiar jumping off point and perhaps offered us a chance to get to know the director better before taking this journey with him. As it is, the film starts and ends with a shot of the nation's coral reefs. These "book ends" serve only to confuse. They absolutely don't fuse.

And the shot of the man with the bird. Why wasn't he explained? I also felt there was some missed science opportunities. Frankincense is interesting, tell me more about this product and its process, show me the science. And oil, there's a lot of science there. Educate me!

The film's overriding theme is a fine one. It informs us that the prophet Mohammad encourages wisdom made possible by acquiring knowledge. At every turn, the picture emphasizes the importance of learning. A noble effort, but not quite big enough for the big screen.

Arabia 3D. Copyright © 2010.
Produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films.
Grade..........................C+ (1/4)

Copyright © 1998-2010. 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: For Adult & Teen Novels written by Ross Anthony visit:

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