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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Nature > Water > Oceans > Ecosystem > Sea LIfe > Environment > Science > Geology > Large Frame > IMAX: Under The Sea (2009/Warner Bros. Blu-ray + DVD)

IMAX: Under The Sea (2009/Warner Bros. Blu-ray + DVD)


Picture: B+/C+     Sound: B/B-     Extras: B-/C     Film: B-



Going out to sea has been a mainstay for IMAX film productions for decades and it is a great source for their remarkable series of science film shorts over the years.  Even missing its 3-D presentation here, IMAX: Under The Sea (2009) narrated by Jim Carrey is another winning entry, focusing on the life on the ocean floor in unbelievably amazing and powerful images throughout that no other format could capture the same way.


For those who might have been concerned that Carrey would make this into a farce or degraded joke, he actually does a good job explaining some of what is going on.  This runs 41 minutes and has plenty of rewatchability.  Director Howard Hull makes it look so easy, but he and his crew really had to dig and search to find such stunning footage from The Great Coral Reef to the South Pacific and every serious Blu-ray fan should have a couple of IMAX titles.  This is one of the better ones, also issued separately on DVD.



The 1080p 1.78 X 1 digital High Definition image is, of course, shot in the large 8-perf 70mm IMAX frame and the result as usual are some stunning images throughout.  Director of Photography Peter Kragh has done this kind of work before, but not in the large IMAX frame, but the results are impressive.  Except for some issues with minute detail, I still have to rate this Blu-ray high because the images are that rich.  The anamorphically enhanced DVD is shockingly poor and even faded-looking by comparison, for whatever reason.  Of course, this was a 3-D IMAX film, but is not in either format that way.


The DTS-HD MA (Master Audio) 5.1 mix on the Blu-ray has a good soundfield, though Carrey’s voice is in the center channel, it is never as boxy or weak as it is on the DVD’s Dolby Digital 5.1 mix, which cannot cut the reproduction of the mix.  This was released in IMAX houses in the superior Sonics-DDP format and has much of that impact here.


Extras in both formats include the featurette Filming IMAX: Under The Sea, while the Blu-ray adds five featurettes of specific location expeditions to Papua New GuineaNew Britain, Papua New GuineaMilne Bay, South Australia, The Great Barrier Reef and Indonesia.  Needless to say the Blu-ray is the better edition all around.



For more ocean-based IMAX films on Blu-ray, try these links:


Coral Reef Adventures/Dolphins/The Living Sea



Volcanoes Of The Deep/Wild Ocean




-   Nicholas Sheffo


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