Inception Media Group // 1992 // 38 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 10th, 2011
Go hug a tree.
The year is 1992, and the rain forests are going down the toilet. In steps The Science Museum of Minnesota with their IMAX video cameras and their enterprising directors of photography. Now the world can now experience the wonder of the jungle, its leafy greens, impenetrable canopy, and teeming hordes of colorful and occasionally deadly wildlife.
Tropical Rainforest is another twenty-year-old IMAX film (yikes, I'm old) given new life with the onset of Blu-ray. If anything was made to take advantage of the shiny new high-definition format, it's this type of production.
As is usually the case with these IMAX features, Tropical Rainforest mixes straightforward subject matter with the bread and butter of its productions: stunning visuals.
The subject matter is two-fold: 1) Deliver facts, figures, and knowledge of the rainforests in Australia, Costa Rica, French Guiana, and Malaysia and the ecosystems they encompass, and 2) Guilt the living crap out of you.
Success on both fronts!
In its relatively brief 38-minute runtime, Tropical Rainforest packs in sizable number of facts. You'll get an eye-full of the variety of creatures that slither, hop, swing, and burrow within your urethra. Plus, rainforest experts will breakdown how the ecology and biology developed over time.
The filmmakers also take a solid whack at homo sapiens, harpooning our species for the myriad of ways we've screwed over the rainforests and their inhabitants: deforestation, cluster development, man-made global warming, and all the nastiness that entails. So, if you've been feeling good about yourself recently, remedy that immediately and take this disc for a spin. You'll be thinking yourself a steaming pile of yak dung in no time.
Video quality is fine, but not staggering, which to be honest is a small disappointment when you consider how important the visuals are to IMAX. This a 1.78:1 1080p widescreen presentation and while the resolution is noticeably improved over rival standard-def fair, the wow factor just isn't there. Colors are solid, but not blazing and the clarity comes across as soft. Not a bad transfer, but I expected more. Sound: DTS-HD 5.1 Master Audio (English, French, Spanish). Extras: zip.
Not Guilty. Now excuse me while I go recycle my shoes.
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Scales of Justice
Studio: Inception Media Group
* 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: 38 Minutes
Release Year: 1992
MPAA Rating: Not Rated