Under the Sea 3D

Robin Clifford of Reeling Reviews
Robin Clifford 
Under the Sea 3D
Laura Clifford of Reeling Reviews
Laura Clifford 

Veteran IMAX filmmaker Howard Hall brings his massive cameras to Australia, New Guinea and the Indo-Pacific rim to bring us up close and personal with the amazing inhabitants that live “Under the Sea 3D.”

Narrated by Jim Carrey, this marvelous underwater travelogue, shot in the best 3D photography that I have seen to date, delivers us an incredible look at some of the most mind-blowing creatures on the earth. “Under the Sea” takes place in an area called the Coral Triangle that has more species of aquatic critters than anywhere on this planet. The filmmakers patiently bring their cameras to their subjects that range from an enormous great white shark to schools of tiny fish whose feeding on the bottom resembles a rolling wave.

Howard Hall, while showing us the brilliant world of the Coral Triangle and the Great Barrier Reef and their varied critters, also vividly shows the effects that global warming is having on this fragile ecosystem. The threat to such creatures as the southern sea lion and the beautiful sea dragons (which make camouflaging a work of art) really hits home. The terrific IMAX 3D make the threat a palpable thing.

Runtime is a brisk, never boring 40 minutes and Hall and company dish up a visual feast that is as close to being there than, well, being there. Think of a vast aquarium that teams with sea creatures that exist nowhere else on earth. This beautiful but cautionary film is a must see at the IMAX theater, although it will do quite well in ancillary markets. I give it an A.

This technology gets more and more amazing - "Under the Sea" 3D is better than a snorkel trip - it's like seeing the best
of what a dive master would find as if presented behind the cleanest glass.  The 3D allows sea snakes to reach out and provides great depth of field to the underwater vistas.  Hall follows some amazing creatures, including lion fish and leafy sea dragons (two in one shot!).  The ubiquitous great white shark makes an appearance, but thankfully we are not forced to witness one snacking on one of  the adorable sea lions who curiously approach the IMAX camera.  Music is used inventively, such as when a field of grass eels undulate to Indian themes, although some songs are a bit cutesy, anthropomorphizing the animals they're paired with.  In addition to the incredible visuals (marred once or twice by a clunky editing decision), the sound picks up the movement of water from a cuttlefish fin and the sound of fish eating off the ocean floor.  A global warming message is almost too understated, narrator Carrey offering hope for the future of this amazing world without specifying solutions.  B+
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