Universal // 2012 // 55 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // February 23rd, 2013
A fantastic journey through the magic of the deep blue sea!
Welcome to the open ocean, a vast and expansive habitat filled with some of God's greatest creatures! Thrill to the majesty of a sea turtle. Revel in colors of coral reefs and angel fish as they get up close and personal with your television set. It's a virtual tour of an underwater kingdom that will leave you breathless with awe and reverence!
A few weeks ago, I reviewed Fascination Coral Reef: Mysterious Worlds Underwater 3D, a documentary about as exciting as licking a block of salt. That film was sluggishly paced with simplistic and pandering narration, featuring exciting footage of fish swimming and...more fish swimming. The whole endeavor was one of the least exciting nature documentaries I've ever had the displeasure of sitting through.
I had higher hopes for Amazing Ocean 3D, released by the same company. I thought, "Hey, maybe this will show me some underwater footage that truly awes and inspires!" Unfortunately, it's more of the same. The hour-long runtime feel likes an eternity, as we listen to soothing narration telling us things we already know about the ocean and its inhabitants. For instance, did you know that water covers almost seven-tenths of our planet? Or that the parrotfish was named after...wait for it...the bird of the same name? Yes, these are the absolutely riveting tidbits you'll discover in Amazing Ocean 3D.
Much like its predecessor, Amazing Ocean 3D is filled with footage of various sea creatures swimming and scurrying about. There are endless stretches of coral reef, sea anemones, clownfish, dolphins, sea lion, sea turtles, and...what? You're bored by my reading off a list of the creatures featured in this film? This is only a taste of how thrilling this disc is to watch. The most exciting moment arrives when a sea turtle eats a jellyfish, which I would assume to be a painful endeavor, but no, he's fine. Whoopie!
Presented in both 2D and 3D in 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen, the good news is the image quality is better than the previous release. The bad news is picture still still isn't all that great. There are moments where the image looks clear as a bell, and others where it's sort of murky (with edge enhancement and haloing a-plenty). Not at all up to snuff for the Blu-ray format. The soundtrack is presented in DTS-HD Master Audio 2.0 Surround in English. It's a bit surprising that Universal didn't include a 5.1 mix, though it doesn't really matter; I didn't need three extra channels of cheesy elevator music playing in the background. Also included are a dozen different language tracks and two dozen different subtitle options. There are no bonus features.
Look, I don't begrudge anyone who wants to sit through nature films like this. If nothing else, the footage is rather tranquil and the scenery certainly colorful. But viewers cannot live on colorful tranquility alone. After fifteen minutes something -- anything -- needs to happen to keep our attention. Truth be told, Amazing Ocean 3D is anything but.
Content that could put even Jacques Cousteau to sleep.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Czech)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (French)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (German)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Hungarian)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Italian)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Japanese)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Portuguese)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Portuguese)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Russian)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Spanish)
* DTS HD 2.0 Master Audio (Thai)
* English (SDH)
Running Time: 55 Minutes
Release Year: 2012
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* 2D Version