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IMAX: Humpback Whales - 4K Ultra HD

Shout Factory // Unrated // August 2, 2016 // Region 0
List Price: $39.93 [Buy now and save at Amazon]

Review by John Sinnott | posted August 3, 2016 | E-mail the Author
The Movie:



Shout! Factory continues their release of IMAX films on 4K Blu-ray
discs with Humpback Whales and fascinating look at the
gentle giants of the sea. More than just footage of these
creatures swimming through the water, this documentary presents a
lot of information on the whales and relates it in a fun and
entertaining manner.



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This documentary starts out giving a brief history of humpback
whales, how absolutely enormous they are and how they were heavily
hunted until relatively recently. Narrator Ewan McGregor then
goes on to explain how these whales have made a comeback in recent
years and how scientists are continuing to learn a lot about these
aquatic mammals.



That's when the documentary really shifts into high gear. The
amount of information that is known (as well as what is not
understood… such as their mating habits, no one has ever seen the
whales mate) is incredible and engrossing. I was fascinated to
learn, for example, that humpback whales hunt in packs. A
group of whales will search for a school of herring, and when they
find one, they work as a team to maximize the number of fish each
whale can consume. One whale circles the school blowing air
out of his blow hole creating a "bubble net" that keeps the herring
together. The other whales will dive deep and get under the
school while making noise to disorient the fish. Finally they
will all swim up through the school with their mouths open, until
they break the water and swallow their meal. This last moment is an amazing
sight and looks absolutely stupendous in 4K.



The documentary also discusses what is known about the whales
mating habits and gestation, as well as how the young are cared for
and conservation efforts. While the information is all very
interesting, what really sell this film are the stunning
visuals. Whales leaping out of the water, groups swimming
through the sea near the surface, and as well as some close-up looks
at these impressive beasts will keep the attention of even the most
jaded viewer. There are some gorgeous shots accompanied by
very remarkable information.



The Ultra HD Disc:





Shout! Factory has done a great job with this combo set, it has
all: 4K, 3D Blu-ray, and Blu-ray on two discs (the 3D and 2D
versions of the film share the same disc).



Video:



The 1.78:1 image is quite impressive across all three formats.
It's not surprising that the 4K disc looks the best, but an added
bonus is that Shout allows viewers the option of either HDR or SDR
while watching the UDH disc. This is great for early adopters
of 4K sets, as some of those do not have HDR capabilities. The
4K disc was quite impressive, with an astonishing amount of detail
and exceptional colors. Everything from the wispy clouds to
the scales on a butterfly's wing was clear and sharp. It's a
very nice looking disc. The 3D version was also top-notch,
with a good amount of depth. I preferred the 4K version of the
film, but with this set viewers have their choice.



Audio:



This documentary arrives with a Dolby Atmos (core Dolby TrueHD 7.1)
soundtrack and it works well. There's a fair amount of *umph* when
the whales jump out of the water and crash to the surface and the
rest of the time the time the narration and scientists who speak
come through loud and clear.



Extras:



In addition to the documentary itself, there is a making-of
featurette that is interesting and a series of trailers for other 4K
IMAX releases.



Final Thoughts:



This is a gorgeous and fascinating documentary. It's more than
just a recitation of facts about whales, though there is that too,
but a look at what is known about these giants that were almost
hunted to extinction. If you're at all interested in these
amazing creatures, but sure to check this documentary out. Highly
Recommended
.
Buy from Amazon.com

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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