Under the Sea 3D (2009) Poster

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Under the Sea 3D: Movie Review from The Massie Twins
GoneWithTheTwins12 February 2009
Anymore, specialty IMAX features seem to be about nature or dinosaurs. It's repetitious to be watching another underwater creature 3D film, but it's hard to deny the entertainment value of seeing rare monstrosities and beautiful mysteries jumping out of the screen and scurrying about at what feels like an arm-length away. No matter how limited the subject matter, the effects of IMAX are always outstanding. Clocking in at less than one hour, Under the Sea doesn't outstay its welcome and gives us a tidy look at some of the coral reef's most impressive wildlife. Jim Carrey narrates and manages to only rarely inflect his recognizable comedically exaggerated voice.

Starting in New Guinea and working around the southern coral reefs of Australia, Under the Sea investigates the lives of many fascinating fishes. From the stonefish, the most venomous fish in the sea, to sea snakes, the most poisonous animal in the ocean, the audience is subjected to a myriad of stunning sea life. The coral triangle where the film starts is home to more marine species than anywhere else on Earth, including the alien presence of cuttlefish, symbiotic shrimp and gobies, squid, jellyfish and more. Australia's 12,000-year-old Great Barrier Reef houses schools of convict fish (the food of the adults is still completely unknown; some scientists speculate that the babies feed them slime, while others predict they consume their own young), rare sea dragons, great white sharks, whales, sea lions and more.

As if meeting a requirement, Under the Sea also delivers a public service announcement insisting that humans need to start caring about the environment; harmful carbon dioxide is rapidly destroying the reef and making it impossible for the various sea life to survive. The final moments show the leisurely, playful sea lions adorably snuggling up to the camera – had they shown the hideous stonefish instead, the effects would be completely different, even though they are just as wondrous.

While all of the IMAX films deliver an engaging 3-D experience, Under the Sea takes the adventure one step further (or closer) by bringing its fascinating subject so near to the viewer one can't help but reach out just to make sure they're still in a theater. Every underwater being appears literally within touching distance, giving the audience the impression that they are the divers filming these wonders of nature. Jim Carrey's narration may contain interesting facts about the seldom seen proceedings, but it's hard to pay attention to his voice when you're dodging looming sea snakes and schools of catfish.

  • The Massie Twins
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Scuba Diving from the Edge of Your Seat!
Mary McGrath21 February 2009
I rarely go to the movies anymore. We have a plasma TV at home, so it's only on special occasions that I'll fork out my meager pennies to see a flick at the theater. This movie was a real treat. Not only are you plunked right into the oceans of Indonesia, and other tropical locations, but you witness the marvels of nature that are rarely viewed by the human eye. Seals seem inches away. Great White sharks are within biting distance. The dance of sea life is an underwater ballet.

I'm a big snorkeling fan, and with all this cold weather, I've been dying to visit someplace tropical so I can indulge my passion. Until I do, this 40 minute gem will satiate my thirst, without having to endure a 13 hour plane ride.
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"UNDER THE SEA 3-D" -- An Octopus' Garden of Delight =
jimchudnow-112 February 2009
Warning: Spoilers
(Based on an advance preview): This new IMAX documentary (calmly narrated by Jim Carrey) is a WONDERFULLY done and enjoyable film. While I'd expected to see mainly just the "usual suspects" in sea-based films, this one has loads of fabulous footage of many SELDOM-seen species such as (color- and texture-changing) cuttlefish, sea dragons, squid, jellyfish, Australian sea lions and others. The natural camouflage and actions of some of these creatures is often mind-boggling, and the 3-D feature just ADDS to the depth and appreciation for what has been achieved. Besides being fascinating and beautiful, the film also points out the ever-increasing DANGERS to the sea environment caused by rising temperatures and increased pollution. Overall, a really impressive and pleasurable effort, highly recommended & so good I wish it had been much LONGER in length!
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Saw it on DVD. OK, but probably a lot better in 3D IMAX.
TxMike12 June 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I got this DVD as a Netflix rental. While it is good, it isn't fantastic. The colors are brilliant, perhaps enhanced, and the picture is very sharp. But overall it is not a very exciting 37 minutes.

Yes, only 37 minutes. The running time is listed as 41 minutes, but the first 2 minutes are just production logos and things like that. The last minute or so contains the credits. So the actual "program" is closer to 37 minutes.

Jim Carrey seems like an odd choice for narrator, but he in fact has a very good voice for this. Kind of quiet, like underwater would be.

There wasn't a blatant "conservation and impending doom" message, but it was mentioned that as mankind puts more CO2 in the atmosphere and the oceans warm, things like Coral reefs will begin to disappear more.

But every film of this type does something neat, it introduces us to some undersea species that we have never seen before. It is impossible to imagine the diversity of marine life under the sea.
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Good for what it is but...
chip7114 November 2009
Well to start off, for being a documentary basing the majority of its appeal off of nice narration by a very talented actor and 3D cinematography, this is as fun to watch as you would expect. It was definitely a nice thing to do on an afternoon with the family, and it really gives you a feel for underwater landscapes and the unique motions and routines of some random deep sea creatures. It is filled with entertaining moments, and you will really feel immersed.

The big negative for me was being somewhat ambushed by the global warming message several times when there was no indication to expect this (other than the seemingly true assumption that movie makers are propagating liberal political positions in titles that aim to draw children or families). I get that it is a theorized dilemma that means something to a portion of our culture, but I would also argue that it is widely dismissed among another portion with some sound, scientific reasons to form opposition. The point is- it has not been proved factual yet and has no relevance in a movie that touts a "fun" look at sea life. Plus, it is stated as fact several times during the film and implements the appeal of some heart-warming sea lions to sell the message.

Outside of this and the brief fish sex, it is a good movie worth watching. However, if you don't agree that CO2 is polluting and corrupting our wildlife, maybe give your kids a quick heads up before they watch something they may take to heart, as this film appears to have been made with that in mind.
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Mediocre without the 3D
pineau10 May 2010
WARNING!!! This movie is being tagged in some stores as a 3D movie...and it isn't. It was 3D in IMAX, but not on DVD or BluRay. Once the 3D is removed, it is just another underwater travelogue. Jim Carrey's narration is totally underwhelming as well.

But finally I get to the real complaint. It is little more than a plug for the global warming theory this time aimed at children.

I'm glad that I only rented it. I would have been really upset had I paid the over-inflated "3D" price for it. Maybe it was better in the theater, but it's a loser on disk, especially when compared to the numerous other fine IMAX endeavors out there.
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Way down below the ocean where I wanna be Warning: Spoilers
And with this fascinating underwater world, you won't even need the town of Atlantis to be amazed by all the things you see. Actor Jim Carrey narrates this journey written and directed by Howard Hall. The only bad thing about it is really that it only runs for no longer than 40 minutes and can even be considered a short film. Maybe, if you are a bit like myself, you will also wonder if this documentary will appeal to you as it has obviously no cute, fluffy, furry, little creatures. But that is perfectly fine. The underwater recordings of the various animals (fish, snakes, turtles, pinnipeds...) are absolutely amazing and definitely worth a watch, no matter if in 3D or just on your computer screen. This IMAX movie basically gives you all you would expect and hope for when you hear the title "Under the Sea". easily one of the best documentaries from 2009. I very much recommend it. Nice version of the Beatles' song "Octopus' Garden" as well at the end. Watch it.
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Visually amazing documentary
Gordon-111 March 2014
This documentary film is about the rich and diverse marine wildlife in the Great Barrier Reef.

Though it is just under 40 minutes long, "Under The Sea" transports us to an unearthly world where wildlife is exotic, colourful and vibrant. The scenery is beautiful, and is quite unlike anything on land. I was particularly amazed by the sea eels sticking out from ocean beds. They are eerie, and the accompanying background music is very fitting! The scene where catfish cascade on the ocean bed is extraordinary too. If there was another angle from behind so we see how long a fish stay in position then move to the front, it would have satisfied my eagerness to learn more about their peculiar movement pattern.

"Under The Sea" is visually amazing, and I enjoyed watching it.
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A Nutshell Review: Under the Sea 3D
DICK STEEL18 May 2011
Under the Sea is a documentary that brings us to the depths of the oceans to be introduced to the various sea creatures that we hardly see, unless you're an avid diver and being knowledgeable enough to know your undersea flora and fauna. To the uninitiated and non- divers like myself, this is one thrill ride that reminds us we're not alone in this world, and there are countless other species living in 70% of our world that we hardly ever see.

Narrated by Jim Carrey, yes, that Jim Carrey, the visuals are spectacular, showcasing the vibrancy of colours underwater, and very strange fishes and creatures both predator and prey, stretching from the waters of Papua New Guinea to Australia's Gold Coast. I've lost count on the number of species on display, but for fans of the ocean you will get to see them in their natural habitat engaging in various activities from camouflaging, mating to pure survival in keeping themselves fed. Given the presentation in IMAX it's really in your face stuff, especially when it boils down to snapping at its own food chain, and what I really felt uncomfortable with, were the wriggly, venomous sea snakes swimming toward the screen. Yikes!

Perhaps the primary weak point in the film is Jim Carrey's narration, as his voice was somehow drowned out by the soundtrack and ambient underwater sounds. Granted he's no James Earl Jones or Morgan Freeman whose voices inherently have a certain booming, commanding gravitas, Carrey's came across as somewhat smart-alecky at some points, though of course fingers can be pointed to the writer of his lines, and as they say, don't shoot the messenger.

Then there's not much of a weaving narrative attempted to tell a story here, other than to launch you into the visuals direct and describing what's going on, and if it's something a lot more educational you're expecting, then you'll be a tad disappointed. It skims the surface of the various species introduced, and of course the legwork of research and investigations into more detail lie with you the audience in digging up more information after the screening, and that is if you're bothered to.

One can almost feel that this slightly under an hour film served its purpose as a presentation preview for audiences to the new IMAX 3D format, and would have certainly piqued the interest of many to make this presentation format the format of choice in films slated in its lineup, starting with this summer's blockbusters.
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