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Deep Sea 3D(2006)
'Deep Sea" - Dive in! A sea full of wonders awaits. Famed oceanic filmmaker Howard Hall (Into the Deep) guides this immersive adventure that lets you swim alongside some of the most exotic creatures of the planet. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet provide the narration. And an unusual array of finned and scaled stars are ready to steal every scene. Among them: Green Sea Turtles who gather off Kona so that Surgeonfish can strip harmful algae from their shells...an ominous, predatory Humboldt Squid that changes color four times per second like a flashing strobe light...an underdog Mantis Shrimp, whose claws have the speed of a 22-caliber bullet, in battle against a hungry octopus (the shrimp wins!). So many creatures. So many amazing stories. Sea them all.
'Into the Deep' - Filmed off the coast of Southern California, this fascinating film journeys to an enchanting underwater world of swaying kelp forests and glowing corals. Swim nose to nose with colorful garibaldi, starfish and sharks, play tag with sea lions, and observe the rarely-seen behavior of the creatures of the eternal undersea night.
For more about Deep Sea 3D and the Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray release, see Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray Review published by Martin Liebman on December 3, 2010 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.5 out of 5.
Director: Howard Hall
» See full cast & crew
Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray Review
Dive deep into this visually stunning 3D documentary masterpiece.
Reviewed by Martin Liebman, December 3, 2010
It's clear that our own destiny is linked to theirs.
Why gaze to the stars in hopes of finding exotic life when man need only look below him, into the vastness of the oceans of his own planet Earth, to find some of the universe's most fascinatingly diverse, extraordinarily beautiful, terrifyingly frightening, and altogether majestic creatures? The world's oceans are populated with creatures of all shapes and sizes, of every color in the rainbow, all living day-by-day in hopes of surviving the beautiful but deadly watery frontier they call home and man may see as nature's melting pot of natural diversity. Examining the balance of the ecosystem, the critical symbiosis that exists between species, the feeding habits of various creatures, and the daily activities that will lead to a wholesome meal or terrifying death for the many underwater dwellers, Deep Sea offers an educational but also entertaining look into Earth's last frontier where man's knowledge has only room to grow. Hosted by Actors Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet and featuring a score by longtime Tim Burton collaborator Danny Elfman, Deep Sea is the current king of the ever-growing collection of underwater 3D IMAX Documentaries.
Director Howard Hall's (Under the Sea 3D) Deep Sea 3D is an immensely fascinating journey into the Earth's most diverse ecosystem: her oceans. More a broad overview than a focused Documentary, Hall's master work delivers an engaging and imminently fascinating glimpse into the lives of several underwater dwellers, including tiny Minnows, Crown of Thorns Sea Stars and the undersea snails that are immune to their poisonous stickers, Mola-Mola, California Mantis Shrimp with claws that snatch out from its body at the speed of a .22-caliber bullet, the Wolf Eel, plankton that swarms in the moonlight, giant Manta Rays, the Chameleon-like Humboldt Squid, and even sharks and whales. The documentary also looks at the vast amount of time and resources necessary in the creation of the half-mile high coral reefs that spring from the floor of the Caribbean Sea, the critical importance of symbiosis to underwater life, and the role of sea currents in maintaining a natural balance under the surface of the Earth's oceans.
At a glance or simply judging it by its content alone (ANOTHER underwater 3D documentary??!!), Deep Sea might not seem like anything special, but everyone is encouraged to don the 3D glasses and give this one a try. Not only is the narration and music superior to most every other film of its kind, but Deep Sea yields some breathtaking underwater photography that's as clear, clean, and crisp any before it. The photography is nothing short of mesmerizing, and that each species appears to cooperate in full with the camera seems almost uncanny. Of course, there was no doubt hours upon hours of footage excised from the final film, but what's here is an extraordinary and almost seamlessly realistic glimpse into a slice of life man rarely, if ever, has the chance to see in the flesh. The 3D footage is as close as most will ever come to this dazzling world, and every square inch of the movie does its job of transporting the audience into the diverse, colorful, dangerous, and exhilarating world that lies beneath the ocean's surface.
Not only does Deep Sea look fantastic, it plays fantastically, too. This is an engrossing documentary, and its only real fault is that it lasts but a mere 41 minutes in length; it's over, it seems, almost as soon as it begins, but the filmmakers have fortunately managed to cram plenty of material into the movie, and nothing seems shortchanged or underdeveloped. Every creature, its ecosystem, and its way of life is seen in great detail through the lenses of almost magical cameras that capture every little nuance of their bodies and the world around them. Even better, Deep Sea seems content to simply play out its story of underwater life without overwhelming the audience with a message or an agenda; such pleas to save the ecosystem from overfishing are smartly saved until the end and, even then, seem mentioned almost in passing rather than in a panic-stricken and/or overly forceful manner which can and have ruined similar and otherwise good films. The practically exclusive focus on the underwater world makes Deep Sea the ideal tool for the classroom as the piece spans the globe and examines various species that are sure to entertain and educate audiences of all ages.
Rounding out Deep Sea and morphing it into a "great" and not merely "good" documentary is both the film's fantastic narration and its wonderful instrumental score. Johnny Depp and Kate Winslet are superb in their narration of this story of deep-sea aquatic life. Rather than merely reading the script, they inject the narration with not only a heart and soul, but also a kindhearted tenor that gives the impression that they're telling with purpose and meaning a bedtime story to a captive young audience. Supporting this unusually strong narration is a wonderful score courtesy of the Oscar-nominated composer Danny Elfman (Big Fish). His music is playful and buoyant, giving the movie an added fun factor that seems to perfectly support the look and movement of every major species covered in the film. It's a wonderful little assortment of instrumental greatness that's, perhaps, the biggest surprise in a little film that's full of wonderful gifts for the Documentary and undersea film fan.
Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray, Video Quality
Warner Brothers submerses audiences into the depths of Earth's oceans with a nearly faultless 1080p Blu-ray 3D transfer of Deep Sea 3D. This is a stunning presentation that lacks in no area and only presents the slightest of problems in a handful of scenes. The image sports incredible and oftentimes almost tangible details; viewers will want to reach out into the 3D goodness and feel the rough texture of a snail's shell, the slimy body of an octopus, or the grittiness of the sea floor. All of these and plenty of other niceties are delivered with a breathtaking amount of detailing that's rarely seen even on the best Blu-ray releases. Even better is the amazing array of perfectly-resolved colors; Deep Sea 3D isn't content to simply show the various fish in murky blue waters with their colors somewhat obscured by the haze and monochromatic backdrop afforded by the physical nature of the ocean. Instead, the lighting and the quality of the cameras showcase the dazzling array of hues -- oranges, reds, blues, greens, yellows -- that make up the bodies of various underwater creatures, each color a sparkling reminder not only of the beauty of God's creatures, but of the capabilities of the Blu-ray format. Even better, black levels remain honest and never overwhelming, even in the darkest nighttime shots that show the "Fried Egg Jellyfish" offset against a black backdrop or giant Manta Rays snacking on various smaller fish that dare venture out at night. With this level of detail and color -- marred only by ever-so-slight banding in a few scenes -- one can't help but be excited at the prospects of the 3D elements matching frame-for-frame the transfer's general attributes, and indeed, Warner's transfer isn't a letdown in that regard.
Even the IMAX intro piece is a stunning achievement of 3D visuals. Various text and numbers hurtle towards the audience in a most realistic and almost frightening manner and speed, giving a big-screen and undeniably cool opening salvo for what will prove to be a barrage of incessant 3D goodness. The opening titles roll towards the audience and dissolve into puddles of water that further push into the reaches of the living room, followed by a real wave that crashes straight through the television and pulls the audience underneath for the main event. Most every frame of Deep Sea 3D is packed with goodness from the third dimension; while a few shots give off the sensation that the viewer is gazing into the watery depths from behind the safety of an oversized layer of glass at the aquarium, most of the scenes will leave the viewer all but wet from the sensation that they're swimming amongst the various predators and prey that dwell within the ocean's watery habitat. Depth is simply stunning in every scene, and any shot where there are layers of fish or vegetation gives off a wonderful sensation that the cameras are capturing a real, living environment and not merely showing a flat, lifeless picture. Fish have wonderful shape and volume and seem to extend into the living room and back into the depths of the television; every creature seems as if it's right there inside the television and not merely projected onto it. The dreaded "ghosting" effect is rarely seen when the disc is replayed on Panasonic's first-generation 3D hardware, and even then not until the final minutes. Frankly, this is almost as good as Avatar 3D; different types of material, yes, but Deep Sea 3D is nearly its match in delivering a picture-perfect 3D presentation. Well done, Warner Brothers.
Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray, Audio Quality
Alas, Deep Sea 3D's stunning Blu-ray 3D transfer is not accompanied by a lossless soundtrack. Fortunately, Warner's Dolby Digital 5.1 offering is smooth and quite good for a lossy presentation, offering a capable and suitably crisp and satisfying listen. The bulk of the track is made up of Depp's and Winslet's narration, which remains focused straight up the middle and is never accompanied by any audible problems in delivery or clarity. Elfman's quality score enjoys a satisfying presence across the front with a subtle surround support element. The back channels carry a bit of heft when the track plays around with a deep-sea sensation that surrounds the listener with a 360-degree wall of water; though bass is minimal, the sheer pressure and volume of the water is nicely relayed from a sonic perspective. Additionally, various sound effects added after the fact for effect are handled quite well. Minus a point-and-a-half on principal for the absence of a lossless soundtrack at this stage of the Blu-ray format's life, but listeners should rest assured that this is about as good as they get for a lossy Documentary soundtrack.
Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
Deep Sea 3D contains no special features.
Deep Sea 3D Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Deep Sea 3D is a captivating journey that takes audiences into the homes of some of the Earth's most amazing sea-dwelling creatures. The piece moves along quickly, showcases plenty of unique and visually stimulating species, and is supported by a fantastic score and even better narration from two of Hollywood's top actors. Best of all, the 3D photography is nothing short of beautiful, instantly transporting viewers to a far away land that's but underneath the surface of the world's oceans. Warner Brothers' fantastic Deep Sea 3D release boasts one of the finest Blu-ray 3D transfers yet. The Dolby Digital 5.1 soundtrack is fine, but fans might balk at the absence of extras and the current asking price that's far too high. Deep Sea 3D comes recommended once the disc settles into the $20 range.
Deep Sea: Other Editions
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