The Living Sea, IMAX Feature, Blu-ray (1995/2008)

by | Dec 8, 2008 | DVD & Blu-ray Video Reviews | 0 comments

The Living Sea, IMAX Feature, Blu-ray (1995/2008)

Documentary by MacGillivray Freeman Films
Narration: Meryl Streep
Music: Sting

Studio: Image Entertainment
Video: IMAX format cropped to 16:9 color 1080p HD [
Audio: English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, Spanish/French DD 5.1
Extras: The Making of The Living Sea
Length: 77 minutes
Rating: *****

The undersea world is a frequent IMAX subject. With the huge multistory theatrical screen one really feels enveloped in whatever you are watching, and the distortions caused by the domed variety of IMAX theaters aren’t disturbing as they are with subjects on land. Even when reduced to the 16:9 TV screen, IMAX features still look better and more involving than standard material, and the added resolution and enhanced sound of Blu-ray make it even more of a special experience.

The Living Sea is one of the classic undersea IMAX films, exploring the mysteries of the ocean depths with visits to Hawaii, California, Oregon, Alaska, Nova Scotia, the Red Sea and Palou in the South Pacific.  The viewer comes face to face with giant clams, thousands of migrating jellyfish, humpback whales, and the wild colors and strange creatures undersea. MacGillivray was himself a surfer and includes some amazing IMAX surfing footage. A couple of the individuals at some of the locations are focused on to provide a more personal slant, including a native of Palou and his children.  The Coast Guard sequence, with a rescue boat braving gigantic waves, is a spectacular experience – especially if you have a good subwoofer and perhaps a butt-shaker transducer.   The Making Of featurette is more interesting than most, and shows again the challenges of shooting IMAX films (film’s largest format) with the huge and unwieldy camera – especially underwater!

 – John Sunier

Related Reviews