Under the Sea 3D

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.”

Laura's Review: B+

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.

Robin's Review: B-

This is a mother-son tale that tells its parallel stories from the POVs of Rosario and Carlitos. Rosario experiences the trials and tribulations of being an illegal alien trying to eke out a life working as a housekeeper in LA. When she politely refuses to do something, immediately, one of her employer’s demands, she is fired and stiffed of her back pay. Without the job, it is doubtful that she can continue sending money home to her son and she ponders marriage to a nice man, Paco (Gabriel Porras), whom she doesn’t love. Carltos faces the death of his grandmother and the possibility of being adopted against his will by his birth father’s brother and sister-in-law. He seeks the help of a family friend, Dona Carmen (Carmen Salinas), who has a side business trafficking in illegal immigrants, but she refuses, with good reason, to help him. Undeterred, the boy takes his nest egg of $1200 and makes his way across the border into Texas. From here we follow little Carlos as he makes the arduous journey to East LA. On the way there, he meets a blackheart who tries to sell him and a junkie, Enrique (Eugenio Derbez), who, against his better judgment, befriends the kid and helps to reunite him with Rosario. Director Patricia Riggen, with a script by Ligiah Villlobos, tells a heartfelt but predictable story (I guessed the ending before the halfway mark) that benefits from the sheer personality of its characters. Young Adrian Alonso holds his own as the sympathetic Carlitos, making the boy’s trek solidly interesting. Kate del Castillo is charming and effective as his mom, with her hard-fought efforts to bring her son back to her garnering empathy from the viewer. But, it is the supporting cast that makes this more than a mild, easy to figure out melodrama. Euginio Derbez is terrific as the conflicted Enrique. He resist Carlitos’s charisma, at first, but his humanity forces him to help the 9-year old, to great sacrifice. Carmen Sallinas, too, gives a fully developed performance as the tough businesswoman with a heart of gold who cares about young Carlos. Jacqueline Voltaire is Wicked Witch of the West bad as the arrogant woman who fires Rosario for no real reason – except that she can. Techs are good with lensing very well done by Checco Varese, showing the sunny South West to nice effect. The salsa-laden score by Carlo Siliotto suits the pic well. Under the Same Moon” wears its heart on its sleeve but you can forgive it for its schmarm.