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Review: Under the Sea 3D

The latest IMAX deep-sea-dive exploration is expectedly rudimentary but a splendor to watch.

Under the Sea 3D
Photo: Warner Bros.

Strictly fodder for the preteen set, Under the Sea 3D, the latest IMAX deep-sea-dive exploration (brought to you by the fisheye’s point of view), is expectedly rudimentary but a splendor to watch. Scouring the dark, plunging waters of Indonesia, Australia, and several other endangered oceanic worlds, documentary filmmaker Howard Hull and his loyal production crew (the team behind past-underwater-IMAX fare like Deep Sea 3D) weave in and out of the ever-glowing, swirling waters of the coral reef, armed with a heavy-duty IMAX-3D camera. Hull’s presence, however, is rightly relegated to behind the scenes, as the fish are the true stars of this show. No matter how odd-looking, from the leafy sea-dragon to the stonefish’s rough exterior, Hull opens a wondrous window into the daily habits and routines of these captivatingly unordinary sea creatures. Employing the occasionally irritating Jim Carrey for voiceover duties as well as numerous foley and orchestral instruments, Under the Sea animates rarely-seen sea stock with amusing resilience, and is full of nicely-honed observations about the mating rituals of cuttlefish. These mercurial, chameleon-like swimmers become the narrative backbone, as we follow them through several stages and skin changes (cuttlefish ably shift the color and texture of their skin cells in relation to stimuli) in their brief, two-year lives. The epic vistas and shorelines of the surrounding terrain are a vision to behold as well. Beaming pulsating colors and incredible sea-life onto the silver screen, this union of 3D and IMAX technologies brings these alien territories and species to our fingertips, if somewhat overwhelms the senses in the process. There might not be anything as provocative or disarming as ruminations on gay and deranged penguins in these undulating waters (a la Werner Herzog’s Encounters at the End of the World), but this by-the-book caveat on the ever-changing global marine climate is swimmingly adequate.

Cast: Jim Carrey Director: Howard Hull Screenwriter: Howard Hull, Toni Myers, Graeme Ferguson Distributor: Warner Bros. Running Time: 40 min Rating: G Year: 2009 Buy: Video

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