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Deep Blue

List Price: $29.99 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by Scott Weinberg | posted April 17, 2006 | E-mail the Author
The Movie

As much as I enjoyed the natural beauty and stunning cinematography of March of the Penguins, I grew more than a little weary of the goofy narration that, for some strange reason, wants you to believe that penguins possess a whole lot of "humanistic" emotions. As if the fascinating creatures, within their natural habitat and behaving as instinct designates, aren't attention-worthy enough, the silly screenwriters decided to anthropomorphize the little beasties -- an approach that pretty much sank the movie for me.

Which is why I think Deep Blue is a whole lot better than March of the Penguins. Oh sure, this one gets a little new-age-y in a few spots here and there, but for the most part the narration (smoothly delivered by Pierce Brosnan) sticks firmly to the facts, locations, and creatures. And we get to see a lot of creatures.

We begin with dolphins and albatrosses before visiting with sharks, whales, polar bears, jellyfish, seahorses, octopi, stingrays, sea lions, turtles, squid, a giant troop of crabs, and some of most microscopic creatures who live only in the deepest trenches of the world's oceans. Stuff you'll only find here includes a stunning sequence in which a killer whale snags a seal, a hilarious throng of crabs rolling some dinner, and a breathtaking feeding frenzy in which a school of tuna are attacked by five different predators at once.

While I'm certainly not an expert when it comes to nature documentaries, I've seen more than my share, and Deep Blue has some of the most impressive undersea footage I've ever seen. Cobbled down to a feature-length release from the UK mini-series The Blue Planet, Deep Blue is a testament to the arduous art of nature documentary. As you watch the best moments of the film, you'll be as dazzled by the onscreen biology as you are mystified by how the footage was captured.

Honestly: In how many movies can you see a polar bear attacking a bunch of whales?

Very impressive stuff across the board, Deep Blue earns a spot on the shelf of any nature enthusiast under the sun ... unless of course you already own the full mini-series, in which case this mini-version (which, I'm told, does contain some material not found in The Blue Planet) might seem a bit redundant.

The DVD

Video: Anamorphic widescreen (1.85:1) -- and amazing! Seriously, this is a reference quality digital aquarium. Pop it on your TV during your next swanky dinner party!

Audio: Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround. Good stuff.

Extras

The only extra is a pretty cool one: At 51 minutes, The Making of Deep Blue is a slick and thorough behind-the-scenes doco in which several of the crew members provide interview segments -- in between their numerous trips to the deep.

Final Thoughts

Deep Blue has five or six sequences that are simply astonishing, and these moments alone make the flick worthy of some attention. Happily, the rest of the material is pretty damn amazing too. Highly Recommended, especially if you're a Discovery Channel junkie.

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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

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