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*** This review may contain spoilers ***
I don't normally go out of my way to write up reviews on this site - but wow, even my kids were bored! This movie could have easily been called "40 Minutes of Small Fish Getting Eaten Over and Over again!" Admittedly I did not look to hard at the show description - but with a name like "Wild Ocean" you expect to get some amazing underwater photography. You got none of that from this film. All it was was pictures of a school of sardines getting eaten by birds and dolphins (and a few sharks). That in and of itself isn't very exciting and to have to sit through 40 minutes of it (seriously the shots DON'T change) is pure torture. The best they manage to do is change the shots to slow motion near the end of the film. It really is lame for an IMAX film.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This film is a poorly edited, disjointed mishmash of repetitive incomplete ideas involving sea life off the eastern South African coast. The film contains beautiful scene and action shots of a limited nature... something like five or six basic locations whose film is interspersed to suggest a semi-plot involving the seasonal sardine run. There's a mere suggestion about environmental issues but that's not linked in any distinct way to the actions at hand. I liken this film to a music video that should have been limited to 6 minutes max rather than the 40 alloted...it dragged on and on in repetitive waves washing on my visual shores. The drum beat / rhythmic music's interesting, but doesn't evoke an appropriate emotional response of the web of life (though in parts it did sound like a rip-off of the Lion King). Probably the most boring it-felt-like-4-hours of my life.
I saw this today on an IMAX screen, it was a pretty cool piece, it had nice visuals that worked well. There were some nice shots flying over coast line which were very exciting, and lots of footage of schoals of sardines and their predators, it was nice to see dolphins, penguins and other animals on a huge screen in 3D. The documentary was about the natural food chain of the ocean and how it has been disrupted in many places by human fishing. This focused on the sea around South Africa where the food chain is still intact like it used to be elsewhere. It also showed a fair bit of fisherman and other people of the area which was much less interesting than the amazing land/sea shots. It spoke about how we need to protect the delicate balance of the food chain. It also had quite nice accompanying music.
If you are a sardine, this must be a pretty interesting movie. No so
for a jaded human such as myself. The film has some well shot scenes of
the battle between sardines and its predators, comparable to some
really battle scenes in intensity. But when you think about it, it's
just some birds and dolphins attacking and eating sardines. Do you
The scenes by themselves would get a 8/10 for visuals and 2/10 for meaning (because it's sardines). The accompanying episodes of some black fisherman doing random stuff, apparently fishing for the sardines too are pointless and boring. The narration about cold and warm current is totally boring. The argument that we must protect the oceans and probably fish less is common sense, but it isn't presented here with any particular persuasiveness.
"This is the wild ocean, this is where Africa meets the sea." sounds great for the tag-line, but in reality there is nothing particularly wild or interesting about the coast (coast is where land meets the sea).
So I suggest skipping this.
This documentary tells the stunning story of shoals of sardines
swimming in the seas of Africa, moving beautifully as they are chased
by dolphins and birds.
"Wild Ocean" has visually stunning footage of large shoals of sardines swimming in wild oceans, trying to avoid the dolphins and birds that prey on them. They move gracefully in formation, and yet when predator comes they sharply turn in packs while still staying in formation. How the fish manage to communicate with each other about which way to swim to is quite amazing, but unfortunately the scientific knowledge is not covered by this documentary. In fact, this documentary is all about visuals, and not much content is in it. It's not educational enough. I would have liked some education on scientific theories on sardines, as it would have been more intellectually challenging for viewers.
Probably the most disappointing of the nature movies available on
Netflix. The ocean is deep but this movie isn't, almost immediately you
realize that this more polemic than documentary and there is nothing to
be learned except that the ocean is full of tasty sardines and humanity
is destroying everything.
The underwater footage was over edited and repetitive, the narration was condescending and predictable. Just a few minutes of eye candy played over and over.
Got a big screen TV? Then fast forward to the visually interesting parts and turn the volume down. You will be done in a few minutes.
Go see any of the David Attenborough nature documentaries if you want to actually learn about nature. Any old school Mutual of Omaha Wild Kingdom episode out classes this "documentary"
A claustrophobic view of one phenomena off the African coast: sardine shoals. Due to the turbid water and poor visibility, all camera work was close and near the frenzy. The music score was all synthesized monotony....four chords repeated forty minutes long. Staged native African people doing what is stereotypically expected of them. Heavily accented narrator reading a formulaic script....heard it all before. Blame the humans and brand them ultimate predators who have no rights among the wild oceans. IMAX was all wrong for this movie and caused headaches in everyone in my party. Two thumbs and two big toes down. A complete waste of time.
I've seen a lot of IMAX movies and never really felt compelled to write a review before but I just saw Wild Ocean last weekend which gave me whole new faith in IMAX! So many IMAX movies are based on the same boring template even though the photography is always great. But Wild Ocean not only had some of the most stunning shots I've seen, it also features a timely message on the environment, great African culture, awesome music, and packs a genuine emotional punch (another thing rare in IMAX)! My kids wanted to go for the dolphins and sharks. Wild Ocean delivers on all fronts for everyone. Try to see this in IMAX because this film just raised the bar.
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