Image Entertainment // 2010 // 46 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 30th, 2011
Travel to an exotic and extraordinary land.
From the "they-showed-this-on-the-big-ass-IMAX-screen" collection, a 45-minute guided tour of Arabia. Directed by Greg MacGillivray and narrated by Helen Mirren (Doubt), Arabia takes the viewer on a robust jaunt through the deserts, antiquities, and modern day urban sprawl of the Middle East.
As an information-conveying documentary, this production is merely so-so. The historical trivia is nice and it's always great to check out Petra (if only to remind me, achingly, of the last decent Indiana Jones movie). But the bread and butter of this release -- as in all IMAX Blu-ray releases -- is the visual experience.
In this regard, Arabia delivers in a big way. Yes, there might be a lot of sand and camel hair, but this region -- without a doubt -- can be simply breathtaking in its vistas. MacGillivray strikes gold with his camera-work, capturing the towering edifices of Dubai, the startling architecture of Mecca, and more traditional Middle Eastern complexes. Even when the action shifts to the desert and the smaller enclaves housed within, the eye candy is still plentiful. Even better: you have the option to soak in this sand-blasted goodness in 3D.
Things get wishy-washy at the end, as the filmmakers attempt to weave in some social commentary relating to the...er...political and religious turmoil that has engulfed the region. What say we set aside the attempts to hold hands for brotherly peace and just stick to what has served you well thus far: generating fantastic imagery.
The specs: a high-quality 1.78:1/1080p high definition transfer that renders the varied elements of the geography perfectly; the sand, city, and even aquatic visuals pop. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio is suitable, but to be fair, there's not a whole lot for it to do besides transmit Helen Mirren's vocals. Extras: a 2D version of the film, a pair of making-of featurettes, and trailers.
Not Guilty. Arabia: It's a whole new world!
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Image Entertainment
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (French)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Spanish)
Running Time: 46 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* 2D Version