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“IMAX: Under the Sea” {Blu-ray}
Wayne Klein
Studio: Warner
Release Date:
Special Features:

Featurettes, webisodes


I love documentaries and I love IMAX but the two are somewhat incompatible. How are they incompatible? It’s quite simple—most IMAX movies are short (or shorter) than what you might see in a regular theater for a variety of reasons. That’s also true of the documentaries that are done for IMAX and, as a result, just when things get interesting it’s all over. That’s a flaw that also dogs “Under the Sea” an otherwise fine movie that should have been about 30 to 40 minutes longer to be effective and memorable. ***

Taking us on a tour in a section of the Indo-Pacific that’s rarely seen full of beautiful, rich undersea life that reminds us that the most alien life we can find in the universe at present is, well, on our planet. Featuring Jim Carrey’s fun narration and surprisingly sedate for Carrey, “Under the Sea” is still an enjoyable documentary that needs more meat on its bones. Director Howard Hall has been in this territory before—this is the fourth documentary that he’s directed for IMAX and the same flaws that dogged those other IMAX documentaries are evident here as well. That’s not to say this isn’t a strong documentary but it could be better. Hall is quite good at putting together a strong narrative for what could be a series of random bits and pieces of film that doesn’t give us a sense of the way things work in the ocean. Hall’s won quite a few awards but with this film that’s not likely to happen because as good as it is “Under the Sea” should and could be a better , more involved movie. ---

Image & Sound:

“Under the Sea” looks beautiful in its presentation on Blu-ray. The film receives a rich, detailed and colorful transfer that has few to no visible flaws in the video and audio presentation. You will find yourself breathless with some of the footage we here. ***

Audio sounds quite good with a rich 4.1 DTS lossless presentation. Hall’s team captures the atmospheric sounds” under the sea quite nicely. ---

Special Features:

Looking at the box you’d think there we would be getting a lot in the way of special features. However, what we get is quite limited. We get one featurette about making the film and “Expeditions” a series of webisodes that tell us a bit about where the documentary was shot. There is also supposed to be a DVD with a digital copy that can be downloaded of the film in addition to the Blu-ray. The copy that we received didn’t have that disc though. I’m not sure if this was a mistake that occurred only with the review copies or if all copies were mistaken labeled this way. ---

Final Words:

“Under the Sea” is an enjoyable film although it’s a bit short. It’s an exceptional Blu-ray presentation by the way but you may want to check your copy to see if you received two discs instead of one.


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