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Imax Under The Sea

by Phil Hall
Contributor
Thursday Mar 25, 2010
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If you didn’t get to see this short documentary in the widescreen IMAX process, that’s a shame; this production, with its astonishing view of undersea life, justifies the super sized elements of the IMAX environment. Nonetheless, the arrival of IMAX Under the Sea, on DVD does not create any disappointment; although smaller in scope, the film is still a vibrant visual portrait of oceanic life.

Shot in the Coral Triangle off Papua New Guinea and Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, Howard Hall’s film details the extraordinary world of predators and prey that thrive beneath the waves. Some of the footage presented here is truly astonishing to behold: a school of catfish moving in a cascading wave formation, a field of garden eels rising and falling in unison, a sea turtle chomping apart a jellyfish, sea snakes slithering deep to the ocean’s floor, and a gentle family of Australian sea lions cavorting for (and, in one case, kissing) the IMAX camera lens.

The film also presents astonishing examples of natural camouflage, most notably the leafy sea dragon that hides itself among the reefs. But how long any of this underwater glory can last is anyone’s guess; the film notes that global warming is already damaging this aquatic paradise, and many of the species from these waters have nowhere else to go if their habitat becomes too warm to sustain them.

This film is lovely to look at and would make an ideal vehicle for introducing kids to the world of oceanography and marine biology.

Phil Hall is the author of "The Greatest Bad Movies of All Time

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