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Amazing Ocean 3D(2013)
No synopsis for Amazing Ocean 3D.
For more about Amazing Ocean 3D and the Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray release, see Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray Review published by Kenneth Brown on January 29, 2013 where this Blu-ray release scored 2.5 out of 5.
Directors: Timo Joh. Mayer, Benjamin Eicher
» See full cast & crew
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray Review
A forgettable doc is made even more forgettable by a poor video presentation and 3D experience...
Reviewed by Kenneth Brown, January 29, 2013
In 2011, Universal dipped its toe into 3D nature documentary waters with a trio of poorly received June releases: Ocean Wonderland 3D, Dolphins and Whales 3D and Sharks 3D. Underwhelming and overpriced, with rickety video transfers and hit or miss 3D presentations, the wayward docs can still be spotted in the wild, huddled together on the shelves of Best Buys everywhere. Fast forward to 2013. Universal is pulling a repeat performance with three more generic and wholly uninspiring undersea 3D bores; not in June but in January, when fewer titles are flooding the market and ravenous shoppers are more desperate than usual. Which brings us to Amazing Ocean 3D, Fascination Coral Reef 3D, and the cumbersomely titled Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater, budget documentaries sans those pesky budget prices. And it gets worse. Rather than bundle all three together at a reasonable cost, the studio is releasing each one individually, problematic 3D video presentations and all, at a premium price. So beware: rough waters ahead...
The ocean is everything. It covers seven-tenths of the Earth. Its breath is pure and healthy. There is an immense desert where a man is never alone, where he can feel how the lives of all tremble inside of him. The sea is just a container for all the tremendous, supernatural things that exist in it. Anyone who has ever looked down on a great ocean has probably been impressed by the sheer size of it. A size which seems to stretch on almost forever. Whether it is the smooth, blue surface of the water or the rough, towering waves as they break and crash, the sea is always breathtaking. But then, if you look below the surface, you will discover a totally new and fascinating world...
Amazing Ocean 3D would benefit from something new or fascinating. Instead, it barely skims the surface, diving headlong into a shallow oceanic pool that's been tirelessly explored at far greater length in far more absorbing undersea documentaries dozens of times before. Schools of fish, sea turtles, schools of fish, dolphins, schools of fish, jellyfish, schools of fish, squid, schools of fish, manta rays, schools of... you get the idea. As a classroom tool for elementary school teachers or as an easily digested, entry-level kids' doc, Amazing Ocean will find a receptive, fully engaged audience. As anything more, its sluggish pace, poetic waxing and lack of depth amounts to feigned awe and grossly simplified marine biology, which all but eliminates the possibility of it being a rich or rewarding experience for the adults in the room. Finding Nemo is mentioned as early as the 3:45 mark, and done so with all the Pre-K question and response playfulness of an episode of Dora the Explorer. "Take these little guys for example! Do they seem familiar? Of course! These are the stars of the wonderful animated film, Finding Nemo!"
I might have been in a more forgiving mood if the 3D presentation were better, or if it were more tailored to children, since they're its target demographic. Or if the repetitive new-age synth score weren't so dull and derivative, or if the camerawork were more involving (despite the fact that it's more accomplished than its Fascination Coral Reef and Mysterious Worlds Underwater), or if the children's-show-host narration weren't so eager to pat me on the head and hand me a cup of hot chocolate before informing me sea turtles have flippers. Or, or, or. The list goes on. Is Amazing Ocean 3D unwatchable? Not at all. Re-watchable? This one is destined for a dusty shelf life. I was relieved when my son answered my obvious question with "eh, it was alright." Turns out he felt like he had seen this sort of thing a hundred times before too, and he's only eight. Too harsh? Perhaps. BBC Earth documentaries, select IMAX features and their ilk have set the bar incredibly high, though, and this one doesn't compete, much less measure up.
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Amazing Ocean 3D's greatest asset is its photography, which is a touch crisper than anything that appears in either of the Fascination Coral Reef releases. Unfortunately, though, the minuscule uptick in visuals only take the documentary so far. Universal's 1080p/MVC-encoded video transfer and subsequent 2D and 3D presentations are riddled with debilitating issues, chief among them relentless aliasing, intermittent macroblocking and banding, and instances of everything from color bleeding to unsightly noise, edge halos and other eyesores. Some of the anomalies trace back to the source, no doubt. But the entire experience looks, at best, like a first or second generation 1080i BD, and, at its worst, like a poor DVD-era upconvert. The 3D presentation has shortcomings of its own -- general flatness, limited pop, more abundant aliasing and a lack of standout moments -- and is quite prone to ghosting, even though it should be said that crosstalk is almost always a product of the 3D display or glasses rather than the encode. All in all, Amazing Ocean 3D shouldn't wow or even satisfy anyone, and takes a devastating toll on an already teetering release.
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Universal's DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 mix doesn't make matters much better and doesn't stack up against the 5.1 lossless audio tracks on Fascination Coral Reef or Mysterious Worlds Underwater. Narration is clean and clear, although not particularly bright or bouyant, as are the few effects that bubble up to the surface. A bit too much priority is given to the music, but it's lively and full, at least for a stereo presentation. Both the score and the underwater oceanscapes would be more memorable and immersive if given access to the rear speakers, of course, but Amazing Ocean's mix remains serviceable.
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Amazing Ocean 3D doesn't include any special features.
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Amazing Ocean 3D features more rewarding photography but is better suited to young children, Fascination Coral Reef 3D is more interesting but awfully dry and uneventful, and Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater strikes a better balance but struggles with dull visuals and much too routine ocean sights and sounds. All three, though, flounder with mediocre video transfers and disappointing 3D presentations, and arrive barebones, without any special features whatsoever. And all three are overpriced, when a budget-priced, three-film bundle would have been far more appealing (although nearly as underwhelming). I'd recommend skipping all three, unless a 3D sale lands the trio in the bargain bin.
Amazing Ocean 3D Blu-ray, News and Updates
• Universal Announces Three 3D Nature Documentaries - November 16, 2012
This January, Universal Studios Home Entertainment is bringing three undersea nature documentaries to Blu-ray: Amazing Ocean, Fascination Coral Reef and Fascination Coral Reef: Mysterious Worlds Underwater. All three 3D/2D Blu-ray Combo Packs arrive on January ...
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