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The producers of large-format films Everest and The Living Sea present another chapter in the IMAX documentation of the natural world. Journey to the warm waters and shining white sands of the Bahamas, where the swimmy smiling dolphins play and communicate with each other and with humans. From there, travel to the colder shores of Argentina, where the endlessly acrobatic dusky dolphins choreograph a massive effort to hunt for food.
For more about Dolphins and the Dolphins Blu-ray release, see Dolphins Blu-ray Review published by Sir Terrence on December 19, 2008 where this Blu-ray release scored 4.0 out of 5.
Starring: Pierce Brosnan
Narrator: Pierce Brosnan
Director: Greg MacGillivray
» See full cast & crew
Dolphins Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Sir Terrence, December 19, 2008
Greg MacGillivray and his film company MacGivillvray/Freeman Company have produced 10 IMAX features since their initial offering To Fly was released. Some of these terrific documentaries have received critical Academy Award nominations, and Dolphins is one of them. Nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject, Dolphins not only teaches us things we already know about these intelligent creatures, but teaches us some new things as well. MacGillivray has stated in several of his IMAX films that he wants to teach the world about the sea, and the more we learn, the more he hopes we as humans will think about what we are doing to it in our everyday lives. Narrated by Pierce Brosnan and accompanied by the music of Sting, we learn about several species of Dolphins, the bottlenose, the dusky, and the Atlantic spotted Dolphins. Featuring the impassionate scientists Kathleen Dudzinski, Dean Bernal, and Alejandro Acevedo-Gutierrez, we are taken on an adventure to learn about dolphin communication, intelligence, feeding habits, and human interaction.
Through underwater adventures, exploration, and through the experiences of scientist we learn about the most intriguing creatures in the sea, the Dolphin. Not all dolphins are of the same species. There are almost forty species of dolphin in seventeen genera. While found worldwide, they are mostly located in the shallower seas of the continental shelves, and are said to have evolved about ten million years ago. Considered to be amongst the most intelligent of the animals, they seem to be able to display emotion just like humans do. In this film we follow the dusky dolphin, the Atlantic spotted dolphin, and the most beloved, the bottlenose dolphin. The dusky dolphin is a highly acrobatic dolphin, doing flips and twists when they breach the water. They are mostly found in the coastal water of the Southern Hemisphere. The Atlantic spotted dolphin is a more tropically oriented dolphin found in the tropical areas of the Atlantic Ocean. Some spotted dolphins, particularly those found in the waters around the Bahamas have become used to human contact. Here you can find cruises to watch, and on occasion swim with the dolphins. Just like most sea creatures, humans are a real problem for dolphins. The often find themselves in fishermen's nets, and are killed by the hundreds every year. And last but not least, we have the most common and well known dolphin, the bottlenose dolphin. They are found in warm and temperate seas all over the world. They use squeaks and whistles as a means of communication, and echolocation (similar to sonar) to find prey. A series of clicks emitted in patterns determine shape and location of nearby items such as prey, and food.
Dolphins Blu-ray, Video Quality
Image Entertainment brings Dolphins to the Bluray format in a terrific 1080p/AVC encoding, framed in a screen filling 1:78:1 aspect ratio. The terrific looking DVD version pales next to this presentation, as the Bluray disc is an improvement in every way. The source looks very clean, with only minor instances of specks and film related pops showing up. Colors are stunning, vivid, bold and well saturated without any hint of chroma noise or bleeding. The hues of blue are particularly well rendered. I could find no examples of edge enhancement or any other compression artifacts to mar this otherwise excellent presentation.
Dolphins Blu-ray, Audio Quality
The featured audio on this mix is a very clean sounding Dts-HD Master Audio 5.1 encoding, which supports the visuals particularly well in this film. Featuring the music of Sting, the mix sports an extremely deep and wide frontal soundstage, with a nice bleeding of the music into the surrounds. This is essentially a 4.1 mix in terms of music and additional sound effects, as the only thing found in the center channel is the dialog. This give dialog a crisp, dry, and ultra clear sound. So clear you can hear the different textures of voices, their individual equalization, and their superior integration with the rest of the mix. The corner speakers seem to just disappear into the room, filling it with sweet musical textures that sound sweet to the ear. The overall this is a very balanced visual and audio presentation that is a treat to the eyes and ears.
Dolphins Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The extras on this disc are pretty common to IMAX features presented on disc.
The Making of takes us from day one on the planning and implementation of the shooting schedule, getting the equipment together, and planning underwater shots for the movie. There documentaries on the making of for IMAX are always of high quality, and on occasion more interesting than the movie itself.
Trailers for 11 other IMAX movies in HD
Marine Science: MacGillivray/Freeman Company (11 minutes) is a featurette on Marine Science, there is a brief blurb on the production company, and a producer's bio.
Dolphins Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
Like all MacGillivray/Freeman production, Dolphins is a first rate educational and entertainment film. Kept up to the companies usually high standards, Dolphins looks great, sounds great, and manages to educate us about not only the sea, but of the sea creatures that live in it. For those of you who are big IMAX movie lovers like myself, this is a must buy. For those who are just interested in teaching their children, or learning about the sea itself, at least rent this. The way human interact with the environment these days, most everything in the sea could be gone before we know it.
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