on November 12, 2011
Grab a puke bucket as you'll be sick from buying this.
Here is what you get: Sardines swimming in circles for half, yes - half!, the movie. I understand that the little stinky things were the "highlight" but they are the entire movie!
Sardines swimming here. Sardines there. Oh look, other birds, fish and stuff are hungry. Cue the Sardines! They must know the producer or something.
Really? Nothing wild about their featured Ocean.
3D: Horrible for the underwater shots. Great for above water shots. But, don't we want to see great underwater shots - AFTER ALL the movie is WILD OCEAN.
I really wish there were more sardines swimming in circles. Couldn't get enough.
on January 30, 2010
This Wild Ocean 3D bluray movie is absolutely superb and stunning!!! I am so glad I purchased it. I watched it twice at an IMAX theatre and now I have already watched it twice on my computer-and I just received it yesterday!! The music conveys a feeling of teamwork-individual efforts toward a common greater good. I also want to buy the Soundtrack for it. This movie scores a 15 on a chart of 10!!! Again, absolutely superb and stunning!!!!!!!!! One of the best purchases I ever made!!!!!
Up until this point I had looked at IMAX as being the gold
standard for what 3D content should achieve -- that is, until
I had the opportunity to spend some time with Wild Ocean.
This is actually my second attempt to review this title.
Truth be, about 8 minutes into watching this documentary
I turned off the television and threw my notes in the garbage.
There were better things to do with my time, I thought.
Over the past day, however, I have been slowly posting
in threads warning people not to buy this title and I felt that
if I was going to make such warnings that I should take the
time to explain why I feel this way. So, into the trash can
I went and with crumpled paper in hand this morning I revisited
Wild Ocean in order to give it the chance it deserved.
Wild Ocean brings us to eastern coast of Africa and takes
us beneath the waves into the circle of life. The problem
right off the bat is that the material mostly concentrates on
sardines and the predators that threaten their life which
include dolphins, copperhead sharks, humpback whales
and of course, MAN.
It doesn't take long until you begin to tire of the material.
I can't begin to recall how many times I watched schools
of sardines and swimming dolphins. Above the water we
get some stunning coastal shots intertwined with lots of
fisherman and dancing natives.
So, here are the major problems with Wild Ocean...
First is the material. If this were the first Imax film I had
ever watched it might be passable. However, you immediately
notice how inferior this is to other titles. Second problem
concerns the narration. The narrator talks in a thick accent
that is often very difficult to comprehend. So many times I
had to stop, scan footage backwards, and re-listen to the
commentary in order to understand the names of fish and
wildlife that were being spoken.
The documentary opens with a badly produced 3D commercial,
of all things, for Nokia which gives us a preachy message about
how we can save energy.
Finally, and most importantly, is the quality of the 3D. For
the first 8 minutes I was suffering from eye strain. The material
had an abundance of ghosting and was downright blurry. Upon
second viewing I was pleased to see that the imagery got better
though I stand by my past comments that underwater footage
tends to get blurry and out of focus -- especially when there are
debris and water bubbles that constantly divert your eyes from
the main focal point.
The amount of depth and separation is just "okay" after seeing
other stuff that is so much better. The best 3D here usually comes
in the form of the coastal flyovers. There's a beautiful shot of a
waterfall that is seemingly suspended in mid air.
There really isn't any "In Yo' Face" 3D here. The best you get
is the beaks of bottleneck dolphins slightly protruding the screen
along with a few water bubbles.
The audio is perhaps the best feature of the presentation. It's
a highly punchy, surround-active soundtrack that continually
envelopes the viewer with screeching birds, music and water
effects. At the conclusion of the documentary there is a water
battle between the sardines and predators with lots of thunderous
clapping music and effect noise that barrage the listener from
The biggest factors one should consider in what they purchase
is whether the content will be entertaining and whether it is well produced
for 3D viewing. Wild Ocean is neither. The 3D is lackluster compared to
the other exceptional IMAX titles that are available and quite frankly, it's
b-o-r-i-n-g to watch.
You could do much better.
on November 7, 2010
They should have called this movie "African Sardines". What a stupid movie and a waste of money. If you pay more than $10.00 for this you got ripped off.(I did) The 3-D is good and had allot of depth throughout the movie but unfortunately it had several spots where there is moderate "ghosting" which ruined it. Like the previous review, I couldn't understand most of what was said due to the heavy accent of the narrator. The movie was about the plight of the sardine population in Africa or something like that.
on February 25, 2016
WILD OCEAN 3D Review: First and foremost, if you have a 3D Home Theater with a nice quality sound system, preferably with 3D projection and a good sub, stop reading this now, order this film, put it on, turn the sound up to reference level, and prepare to be stunned! Of all the Steven Low 3D 'Imaxers' that I own and watch (Rescue, Legends of Flight, Mummies etc.) none, and I mean none, create the tense awe that WILD OCEAN leads up to in its third act!
It's best not to think of WILD OCEAN as a typical nature documentary, the ones that in a seemingly arbitrary way show you various animals and their habitats and whatnot. No. If anything, WILD OCEAN is a very brief narrative which primarily focuses on one single event: how the migration of millions of sardines into this particular spot on the African coast ignites an incredible battle between a small handful of hungry predators! Yes, one of the underlying themes here is, surprisingly, the nature of war and the awesome experience of an active battleground!
As such, the film sets itself up accordingly. It starts out by presenting us with the setting, in this case the coast of southern Africa. We're introduced to the indigenous people who in their own way also participate in the impending battle. Then, one by one we meet the main combatants: dolphins, seals, sharks, and sea-diving birds, each with their own section where we learn why they're entering this war.
All the while excellent music thunders throughout. From local chants and drums to choir aah's and haunting melodies. The shark sequence in particular gets a little crazy with rhythmic cymbals and tense basstones. It is therefore not surprising to learn the artists also formed STOMP.
And then it begins.. The sardines arrive to the battleground, and then things get WILD. Beautiful underwater 3D footage captures the stunning 'battle' as the predators all try to get their share! We see natural enemies ignoring each other (sharks/dolphins/seals/birds) as they aggressively go after the shoals of sardines! The soundstage is alive and pulsing: birds crashing into the water, dolphins squealing across the screen, and incredible pounding music highlighting the sheer chaos. It is actually quite intense! And then the music stops as the battle continues.. and you are left with just the underwater sounds which at this point are emphasized to the point where it does sound like an actual warzone! The effect is truly amazing, and by this point you may be completely spellbound by this powerful display of nature at its most furious, accented by amazing crisp 3D visuals and powerful audio!
The entire film is not without its flaws, however. We do see some shots get reused from time to time. As others have pointed out, the narrator speaks with a local accent and can be difficult to understand at times. The film does get a tiny bit preachy to us evil humans by the end. Finally the 3D, while great for the most part (bottlenose dolphins seem to poke right into your room, excellent foreground particles and bubbles feel like they're brushing across your nose, thick walls of sardine shoals seem to float on the screen, and that battle scene....) there are, however, a few minor shots where the 3D images are clearly marred. Particularly during scenes on the craggy shores where we see people fishing, you can tell that one of the 3D camera lenses had some sort of an issue that blocked some detail on the rocks, resulting in an unstable 3D image. This also occurs in an underwater shot wherein larger bubbles are floating up across the screen, and yo can see that the issue is particularly flagrant. It's sad that these issues weren't caught and corrected during post production. Still, in my opinion, these issues aren't even remotely enough to mar the entire experience. At all. Just enough to remove one star from my rating.
Otherwise this is a superb title to show off the full power of your bigscreen 3D Home theater system! Watching this on anything less should not even be attempted...