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Reviews » DVD Video Reviews » Atlantis
Atlantis
Columbia/Tri-Star // Unrated // April 29, 2003
List Price: $24.95 [Buy now and save at Amazon]
Review by David Blair | posted February 13, 2003 | E-mail the Author
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C O N T E N T
V I D E O
A U D I O
E X T R A S
R E P L A Y
A D V I C E
Highly Recommended
E - M A I L
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P R I N T
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The Movie

"Forget one by one the everyday sounds. All these noises, all these symbols of a life that has become modern, urban. Forget the memories of our numerous generations. Forget everything you know. Dive. Dive a few million years earlier, when life, this wonderful idea…was about to become a reality. Welcome to the world of Atlantis."

With opening remarks as spiritually calming as these, I thought to myself, this movie better deliver some kind of otherworldly experience, or else I'm going to be seriously let down. Well, thankfully the ingenious French director Luc Besson, (The Fifth Element) didn't disappoint. For, Atlantis is without a doubt, the most hypnotic, calming, and humbling movie I've ever seen. And at runtime of 78 minutes, the only thing I wished for after the movie, was for it to have been longer.

Besson takes the viewer on an underwater adventure to experience life inside the great blue sea. There is no narration in this movie. The only thing accompanying Besson's breathtaking visuals is Eric Serra's marvelously haunting score. I think this movie could hold its own without music, but after experiencing Serra's magnificent score, I wouldn't have wanted it any other way. Serra pairs his music to the featured animals so perfectly, that your mind starts to let go of its daily stresses, and ultimately succumbs to the exquisite beauty that lays beneath our ocean's surface.

Atlantis is divided into chapters, each with its own title, such as The Light, The Spirit, The Game, The Faith, The Love, and The Hatred. The name of the chapter dictates the personalities of which sea life you'll see. Besson shows a little bit of everything in this spiritually liberating film. You'll get to see, religious-like beams of light shining through the oceans surface. You'll see dolphins playfully going about their daily business. You'll see reef snakes, manta rays, crabs, sea plants, killer whales, manatees, heavenly city-like corral reefs, and even man-eating sharks.

In the midst of watching this movie, I kept thinking of all the occasions that could warrant watching this film again. Perhaps, after a long, hard day at work, Atlantis would be the perfect remedy to sooth my stresses away. If I had a particularly deep moment of depression, Atlantis could help put my life back into perspective. If the eerie silence in my home becomes unbearable, Atlantis could help fill the background with calming music, and striking organic visuals. If my children get too riled up before bedtime, possibly Atlantis could help lull them back into a sleepy mood. There are an endless amount of scenarios that this film could be perfect for, which makes it all the more useful. Not just for viewing enjoyment, but for inner enlightenment as well. This is a deep movie, with a profound subconscious message.


The DVD

Video: Atlantis is presented in 2.35:1 anamorphic widescreen. The picture is breathtaking, and I'm thankful because a poor video transfer could have easily ruined this movie. I'm happy to see the video is anamophic, because it provides a stunning medium to look at these beautiful underwater scenes. Naturally the picture has a greenish/blue haze to it from all the underwater shots, but this is very soothing to the eye, and doesn't strain your vision at all. One amazing thing I noticed was that Atlantis has the deepest blacks I've ever come across on any DVD. Many of the night scenes are so pitch black that the widescreen black boxes above and below the picture appear almost as a light gray. Overall this is a very nice video transfer.

Audio: Atlantis offers a Dolby Digital 2.0 audio track. Now, I was kind of hoping for a 5.1 audio track to compliment Eric Serra's hypnotizing score, but unfortunately it was not to be. However the 2.0 track does a wonderful job on its own, and only reasserts my opinion that Serra is probably the most under appreciated composer in the business. This is definitely a fine sounding DVD.

Extras: There are two movie trailers. One for Atlantis, and the other for The Messenger: The Joan of Arc Story.


Final Thoughts

This movie will get a lot of play in my household. I simply fell in love with its poetic visuals and mesmerizing musical score. It's a beautiful movie that almost puts the viewer in a trance. It's calm, peaceful, and probably lowers your blood pressure at least 20 points after each viewing. If you're looking for something to throw on your TV whenever you're stressed out, or panicked, this just may be what the doctor ordered. Highly Recommended

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