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Blu-ray Review: IMAX Under the Sea

Imagine a world of incredible color and beauty. Of crabs wearing jellyfish for hats. Of fish disguised as frogs, stones and shag carpets. Of a kaleidoscope of underwater life. Now, go explore it! The makers of Deep Sea and Into the Deep take you into tropical waters alive with adventure: the Great Barrier Reef and other South Pacific realms. Narrated by Jim Carrey and featuring astonishing camerawork, this amazing film brings you face to fin with Nature?s marvels, from the terrible grandeur (and terrible teeth) of a Great White to the comic antics of a lovestruck cuttlefish.

Check out my review over the jump.

IMAX Under the Sea

Available To Own On (click to purchase): Blu-ray and DVD

Official Site Link: www.underthesea-movie.com.com

Release Date: March 30, 2010

MOVIE

Narrated by Jim Carrey, cinematographer and director Howard Hall’s  IMAX Under the Sea is another solid outing from the director. The documentary takes the audience under the sea in the areas surrounding the Great Barrier Reef and other South Pacific realms. What I think most will appreciate from this documentary is how effective Hall and his crew were at filming these creatures in new and exciting ways. Even if the creature itself isn’t new to you, the way everything was shot makes it seem fresh.

Add to that, this Blu-ray looks absolutely stunning.  The level of resolution available through filming in IMAX shines through brilliantly in this disc. Unfortunately it’s fairly short at just about 41 minutes. But the short run-time does allow for a nice pick up and play, but personally I was disappointed that the adventure didn’t last longer. I can also overlook any concerns over watching something that perhaps we’ve seen before because as I noted, the gorgeous reference quality visuals and strong audio presentation help you see it all in a new light.

SPECIAL FEATURES

Extras are limited on this disc, one of which (“Filming IMAX: Under the Sea”) I saw more as a puff piece for IMAX in general. However, the 5 expedition featurettes are entertaining and leave you wanting more. It was quite interesting to me to discover just how much footage had to be captured to make this documentary.  Not only that, you learn through these featurettes — Papua New Guinea-New Britain, Papua New Guinea-Milne Bay, South Australia, The Great Barrier Reef and Indonesia — a lot about the process, and at times the pain involved, in capturing these deep sea creatures. Hundreds of hours of footage had to be taken just to get that perfect shot. In fact, they could only shoot 3 minutes of footage on each dive with the IMAX camera. So every time they spent that footage they had to rise, empty, reload and dive again.

FINAL OPINION

Containing stunning visuals and a solid audio presentation, IMAX Under the Sea on Blu-ray is a definite reference disc containing a wonderful look under the sea at creatures both well known and unknown. Although the amount of supplements are disappointing and the feature it self runs only about 41 minutes, fans of this genre would be remiss in not giving it a look and casual fans should at least give it a rental. The disc’s length and minimal special features keeps this from getting a higher score, unfortunately. But it doesn’t hurt that the Blu-ray is a BD + DVD + Digital Copy release,although you’d be hard-pressed to find me playing anything other than the BD version (DVD and Digital Copy only contain the film, not the special features).

I give this Blu-ray a score of 3.5/5.

Amazon.com Purchase Links

Blu-ray
IMAX: Under the Sea [Blu-ray + DVD + Digital Copy]

DVD
IMAX: Under the Sea

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