Universal // 2011 // 53 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Patrick Naugle // February 2nd, 2013
Dive into a sea of color and delight!
Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater is a perfect film to watch if you want to fall asleep within, oh, say ten minutes.s The entire movie consists of watching fish swim around a reef while the narrator calmly describes the action -- and believe me, I'm using the word "action" so lightly it could float away at a moment's notice. And it's not even narration you'll care about! None of the information is of great interest. Fo example, "reefs make great hiding places and there's food here, too." Absolutely riveting educational material.
Essentially, this 3D Blu-ray is the equivalent of staring at a really big aquarium. There are seemingly endless stretches of turtles swimming, angel fish darting about, undulating coral reefs and sea urchins. Nothing actually happens in this film! At one point, moray eels show up, but all they do is poke their heads out of their homes and then head back inside. A puffer appears, but all he does is swim around. There's a reason everyone looks forward to Discovery Channel's annual Shark Week -- we get to actually see something exciting! So, if Shark Week is the Led Zeppelin of nature shows, Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater is Barry Manilow in muzak form.
This is gonna be a pretty big bore for anyone over the age of ten. Yes, the coral reefs look pretty and the fish are all cute and colorful, but after a while it all becomes insanely monotonous. If watching various sea creatures swim around for an hour sounds like a riveting way to spend an evening, by all means pick up this disc as quickly as possible. Otherwise, I suggest something with a little more bite, like Jaws...or even Jaws: The Revenge.
Presented in 1.78:1/1080p high definition widescreen, Universal gives us both 3D and 2D options. I was really expecting this transfer to pop, but it fizzled with an image is not very good. Colors are acceptable but the detail is often murky, which may be due in part to the photography. Either way, this is barely a step above DVD. The DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio tracks (in multiple languages) are passable at best. There are some minor surround sounds to be found here -- mostly bubbles and swooshing sounds of fish -- but it's hardly an exciting home theater experience. If you need subtitles, get ready because there's a lot of them: English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, Italian, Arabic, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Icelandic, Korean, Latvian, Lithuanian, Mandarin (Traditional), Norwegian, Swedish, Thai, and Turkish. Finally, there are no bonus features, but you'll be sound asleep anyways, so it won't matter.
Fascination Coral Reef 3D: Mysterious Worlds Underwater 3D (Blu-ray) is only a few ticks up from a virtual fireplace.
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Scales of Justice
* 1.78:1 Non-Anamorphic (1080p)
* TrueHD Master Audio (English)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (French)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Italian)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Japanese)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Portuguese)
* DTS HD 5.1 Master Audio (Spanish)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Czech)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (French)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Hungarian)
* Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Turkish)
Running Time: 53 Minutes
Release Year: 2011
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
* 2D Version