Case Number 23030: Small Claims Court


Image Entertainment // 2010 // 46 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // December 30th, 2011

The Charge

Travel to an exotic and extraordinary land.

The Case

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 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.

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Arabia: It's a whole new world!

Review content copyright © 2011 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2016 HipClick Designs LLC

Scales of Justice
Judgment: 85

Perp Profile
Studio: Image Entertainment
Video Formats:
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)

Audio Formats:
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (French)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Spanish)

* None

Running Time: 46 Minutes
Release Year: 2010
MPAA Rating: Not Rated

Distinguishing Marks
* 2D Version
* Featurettes

* IMDb