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By Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Under the Sea
Directed by Howard Hall
IMAX 02/09 DVD/VHS Documentary
Wonders abound in this visually stunning IMAX adventure which increases our appreciation for the diversity of life. Less than 10 percent of the ocean has been explored by humans to date. Award-winning documentary filmmaker Howard Hall and his production team serve as scouts to undersea locations in New Guinea, Australia, and Indonesia. A region called the Coral Triangle contains 40 percent of the world's reef wildlife population, including more than 75 percent of documented coral species and some 3,000 species of fish. Director Hall has a knack for catching dramatic sequences in these undersea locations. We watch two male Flamboyant Cuttlefish courting a female, a new species of Lionfish feeding on smaller fish, a large Crown Jellyfish moving slowly through the water, and in a rare encounter, an Epaulette Shark walking on the ocean floor with its fins.
In the Great Barrier Reef, home to some 2,800 species of sea life and 400 kinds of coral, the filmmakers depict the swift movements of Great Whites, venomous Sea Snakes, Giant Stingrays, The Leafy Sea Dragon, and the Chambered Nautilus. Narrator Jim Carey points out that climate change and the increase in carbon dioxide is having an adverse effect on coral reefs which for undersea life provide a refuge, a hunting ground, and a place to spawn.
Besides providing an entertaining look into strange and exotic worlds, this IMAX feature makes us want to support global efforts to save coral reefs. It also offers us the privilege of pondering the diversity of creation and being introduced to creatures we consider "others." The film ends with a delightful close encounter with a group of curious and playful sea lions.
Special features on the DVD include filming IMAX: Under the Sea.
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by Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
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Learn more about efforts to save coral reefs from the Coral Reef Alliance.