Monday, Nov. 1, 2010

Deep Oceans

By David Luhrssen
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In his elegantly modulated tone, Pierce Brosnan tells us at the onset of Oceans that to know the sea, you must see it, hear it, feel its power. The high definition documentary he narratives, a Euro-Disney co-production, brings the vastness of the oceans to the comfort of our living rooms. Oceans is out in a Blu-ray/DVD package.

Breathtakingly photographed, Oceans offers a visual and sonic immersion in the depths. We’ve seen herds of dolphins bounding across the surface before, but seldom have cameras captured birds diving into the water to feast on an enormous school of sardines. Many images of the oceans’ stranger creatures would challenge the imagination of the greatest filmmaker and animators. They appear as alien denizens of another world. Oceans also shows the human-like compassion of the seagoing mammals in their family and communal lives.

The documentary accumulates more and more minor key notes as it proceeds to it conclusion. “In the space of a single human lifetime,” Brosnan begins ruefully, many species have been threatened by industrial-scale fishing. Satellite images reveal the dark stain of pollution on the surface of the deep. And global warming threatens to evaporate the habitat of many creatures. It’s not too late to arrest those changes, but the sand keeps pouring down the hourglass. The place where life on this world began is under threat.

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