PLOT: Disneynature continues to offer us the world, for only the cost of a movie ticket. OCEANS present the mystery and the sheer force of one of the most fascinating subjects that our earth offers. What hides miles below on the ocean floor? What can we learn about this challenging world? With Oceans, we are given a fish-eye view of the magic and the danger that surrounds our land. And we get to witness some pretty astonishing moments between fish and man.
Ever since Disneynature formed with hopes of bringing the world closer to us, there was one particular tale that had me excited. EARTH was certainly beautiful, but there was one quick glimpse of the future that intrigued me more than anything else. It was a simple image from the second feature, OCEANS that seemed at once terrifying, yet intensely compelling. The shot of a diver swimming next to a massive great white shark had me thinking, holy crap, that dude is gonna get eaten by that shark. But things that exist in nature are sometimes not quite what they seem. And isnt that what Disneynature is trying to do, open our eyes to the world right outside our door? Isnt it simply a way to show as that what we know about nature is simply not enough? From the opening sequence of Oceans, it is clear that the filmmakers wanted to illuminate this mysterious world to our eyes. In many ways, I felt like the young boy in the beginning of the film, who stands, looking out at the deep blue sea wondering what is out there.
Oceans is not unlike something youd see on The Discovery Channel, at least when it comes to subject and theme. We are taught that this profound source that inhabits most of our planet Earth needs care and caution. We are told about how much of the water is affected by dumping into our drains and of course, how we must preserve the natural way of things. But directors Jacques Perrin and Jacques Cluzaud turn Oceans into a stirring and beautiful experience. Their cameras go to places deep and dark and explore some of the strangest and sometimes, most terrifying creatures that have ever lived. It is a true adventure that casts so many different species into one massive tale. Kind of like VALENTINES DAY, except instead of major movie stars, this film features a bunch of sea life and a much better story. Although, the US release has one star, and that would be the films narrator, Pierce Brosnan who seems to be a nice fit for this particular experience.
They call this film a drama/documentary, and that is absolutely a great description. It truly is amazing how close these people came to their subjects. One sequence explores the wonderful world of jelly fish and it is simply stunning. These colorful and almost alien-like creatures are eerily beautiful as they fill the screen. I was also thrilled by the images of the great and majestic humpback whale. We see this monstrously huge animal as it moves throughout the sea, and it is most definitely a visual feast. But as I mentioned earlier, it is the great white shark that really had me. My first impression of this man eating fish was of course seeing JAWS at a very young age. Yet after watching Oceans, I wonder how many times one of these impressive monsters of the sea swam right below, without even taking the time to chow down on the swimmers above. Not to say that I am suddenly feeling like I want to go searching for one of these guys and take a moonlight swim, but it sure seems that their bad reputation is slightly undeserving.
As beautiful as Oceans is, I did find that there are moments where the momentum slows down a bit too much. Early on, we see waves crashing against rock with such a brutal force. As the water roars and rages and it pounds its fists against the cliff, there is a true sense of danger. This is such a thrilling moment. But directly after that, we settle down to some of the not so exciting sea life, I wondered if there might have been a way to quicken the pace. Not that you wont find anything else as powerful as the film continues. In fact, the last half of the film really builds to some pretty intense situations. The fishing boats desperately trying to keep above water during massive storms is also very intense. And in the end, you cant help but be moved by this exploration of the deep.
This is fine use of technology to bring us closer than weve ever been before to the many mysteries the ocean has to offer. We see the smallest of creatures to the most majestic, and all the equipment used to capture these images is beyond impressive. In many ways, this feels like familiar territory. The Discovery Channel has countless documentaries on this subject and more, and sometimes they are also pretty terrific. But Oceans is certainly elevated by the use of this advanced filmmaking equipment to bring this secret world to life, on a giant screen no less. While the film opens on Earth Day, and it is clearly meant to give thought to preserving our environment, Oceans is something that will excite most audiences. Both young and old will give out the occasional sigh or wow, possibly even those who have the whole global warming is overrated stance. My rating 8.5/10 -- JimmyO