After two years of whiney politically biased
documentaries, it was refreshing to see the Oscar go
to “March of the Penguins,” one of the few life
affirming movies released in 2005. Produced by Warner
Brothers and narrated by Morgan Freeman, this
90-minute nature documentary lacked one vital element;
it was not released for the IMAX screen.
Warner Brothers may have corrected this oversight with
the release of “Deep Sea 3-D,” the studio’s new
documentary released on the IMAX screen. Directed by
Howard Hall, the underwater cinematographer featured
in “MacGillivray’s Coral Reef Adventure,” “Deep Sea
3 D” presents the visual poetry of coral reef
ecosystem rarely seen by humanity. The opening scene
features an army of jellyfish that lazily approach the
viewer wearing their 3 D glasses. This is an
effective opening worthy of the animated imagery
created by Tim (“Edward Scissorhands” “Beetle juice”)
Narrated by Kate Winslett and Johnny Deep, “Deep Sea 3
D” echoes a Tim Burton movie, complete with a Danny
Elfman musical score. Elfman’s score becomes a musical
companion to the real stars of the movie, the cast of
characters who inhabit a coral reef.
The most monstrous creature of “Deep Seas 3 D” has to
the Humboldt Squid, a vicious character. With
tentacles that can extend up to six feet, this
carnivore has superior underwater vision and can rip
its prey to shreds with its beak. Like the jellyfish
sequence, the Humboldt Squid sequence can disorient a
viewer with its IMAX 60 foot screen imagery and
pounding Danny Elfman score. Heavy metal hang bangers
will love this sequence.
My favorite character had to be the Mantis Shrimp.
This scrappy fighter defends his turf from an
overreaching octopus. While the octopus has the
advantage of eight tentacles and a slimy disposition,
the Mantis Shrimp manages to out box his predator with
his attitude, front claws and speed. In fact, the
is faster than a speeding 22-caliber bullet. Given
his crustacean countenance, the Mantis Shrimp manages
to exhibit the behavior of a sports champion.
The main theme of “Deep Sea 3 D” features the
symbiotic relationships between predator and prey on a
coral reef. The film was shot in nine different
locations around the world between the years
2004-2005. While the hurricanes are not mentioned,
the production notes reveal that production drew
barely missed a hurricane after filming in Mexico.
Unlike the dry television documentaries of my youth,
“Deep Sea 3 D” is lively both visually and aurally.
The Museum of Discovery IMAX Theatre created a
positive atmosphere enchanced by calypso music. For
the 3 D effect, I deliberately wore the big 3 D
glasses over my regular glasses with no visual
hindrance. For more information, contact the Museum
of Discovery at http:// www.mods.org for tickets and