Image Entertainment // 2006 // 45 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // January 14th, 2012
The magic of ancient Greek civilization comes to life.
IMAX golden boy director Greg MacGillivray fires up another 45-minute documentary/travelogue, this time pointing his camera into the lush world of Greece. The majestic ruins, the gorgeous waterfronts, the varied topography -- that's the "travelogue" aspect of the presentation.
The "documentary" bit is a guided archaeological tour -- narrated by Nia Vardolos (My Big Fat Greek Wedding) -- through the history of the "cradle of Western civilization." MacGillivray follows researchers around as they delve into the buried history of Greece, unearthing artifacts and other assorted leftovers from a bygone era. Most of the treasures are submerged under volcanic ash, which means, you know, awesome shots of volcanoes erupting!
Isn't that all it comes down to with these IMAX high-def releases? The documentary side of things is interesting, but with only 45 minutes to work with, MacGillivray can't get too in-depth with his exploration. As such, he splits time with the scenic elements. I appreciate a succinct presentation as much as anyone, but there just isn't enough time 0to blow out the full-scale Ancient Greece experience.
No matter. Greece: Secrets of the Past's sweeping vistas are fantastic. There's no better country suited to IMAX cinematography than Greece -- aside from New Zealand, of course -- and MacGillivray makes sure to get as much crammed into his lens as possible. It's a beautiful aerial tour.
The scenery is well-served by the video quality, a 1.78:1/1080p AVC-encoded (21 MBPS) transfer that delivers the detail and color of the geography. It may not trump what you'll see on a four-story IMAX screen, but your HDTV will enjoy it. The 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio track is clean, but has little to do with the subdue audio. Extras: a 22-minute making-of documentary, and a featurette on MacGillivray.
Greece is good. Not Guilty.
Review content copyright © 2012 David Johnson; Site layout and review format copyright © 1998 - 2014 HipClick Designs LLC
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)
Running Time: 45 Minutes
Release Year: 2006
MPAA Rating: Not Rated