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Case Number 16888: Small Claims Court

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Big Blue

Smithsonian Channel // 2009 // 93 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge David Johnson // July 25th, 2009

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All Rise...

Judge David Johnson named his hamster Big Blue. And his hamster named him Awesome Universe Champion.

The Charge

The world's biggest creature.

The Case

Got a hankering for 45 minutes worth of giant whale watching? Smithsonian has you covered with this documentary, a look at the behavior and lifestyle of the mother of all humongous ocean mammals, the Blue Whale. Thanks to the handy synopsis on the back of the case, I'm told these bastards measure 90 feet in length, 180 tons in weight, and have a heart the size of a Volkswagen (the model was not specified, but I'm going to go with a Passat). Also, its tongue weighs more than an elephant.

Colossal and amazing for sure, but that kind of girth illustrates the one complaint I had about the film: it's tough to grasp a sense of the animal's size through aerial photography. I'm not sure how you do try to encapsulate the grandeur of these beasts, but it is what it is. Blue whales simply don't look that intimidating, when photographed from high above in the sky.

Small criticism, though, and one that should not impede your retrieval of this disc, if you enjoy this sort of nature tomfoolery. Smithsonian does the sea mammal proud, its filmmakers tailing a dedicated detachment of whale watchers, as they fart around the coast of Australia getting their observation and data collecting on. Interviews with experts are supplemented with some gorgeous photography of not just the whales, but their ecosystem and prey.

The picture quality is clear and beautiful, but the fake widescreen is strictly amateur hour and certainly not deserving of a label like "Smithsonian HD." The 2.0 stereo mix catches the lapping of the waves on the boat hulls wonderfully. One extra, but it's a biggie: a full-length bonus episode called Footprints on the Water, a look at conservationist/activist Nan Hauser

The Verdict

Not Guilty. Thar she blows!

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 80

Perp Profile

Studio: Smithsonian Channel
Video Formats:
• 1.85:1 Non-Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo (English)
• English (CC)
Running Time: 93 Minutes
Release Year: 2009
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Documentary
• Television

Distinguishing Marks

• Bonus Episode


• None

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