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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    ‘Oceans’ no splashier than Sea World

    Pierce Brosnan

    Oceans

    Disneynature

    Released April 22, 2010

    Score: C+

    In honor of Earth Day, Disneynature takes audiences under the sea with “”Oceans,”” the aquatic follow-up to last year’s “”Earth.”” This time there are no mermaids and no tentacled sea-witch. Instead, audiences get an introduction to the watery communities that make up approximately 72 percent of the planet’s surface.

    Unfortunately, the 90-minute film hardly makes more than the most superficial of introductions. I’m no marine biologist, but I was already familiar with most of the flora and fauna discussed in the film. Sure, everybody loves dolphins and sea otters are pretty cute, but they’re also visible at Sea World.

    That’s not to say that the footage included isn’t worthwhile; it absolutely is. The cinematography is absolutely breathtaking, and the angles and motion the videographers capture are unbelievable. They managed to capture swarms of sardines forming wildly spinning hurricanes and spheres. The camera nuzzles in for an intimate portrait of a mother whale with her baby calf before zooming back out to catch throngs of crabs squaring off for an underwater battle royale.

    One of the most impressive scenes was a short, simple segment following the rippling, curling, silky movement of the unfamiliar blanket octopus. Adults and children alike would have benefitted from a slightly more representative slice of the biodiversity of the ocean.

    The images playing across the theater screen are stunning. So it’s a shame that Pierce Brosnan’s benign and oft-redundant narration actually manages to detract from the visuals. The voice of the man who made women swoon in “”Mamma Mia!”” and various Bond flicks acts as a sedative over the awkward classical soundtrack of “”Oceans.”” While the brief eco-friendly “”help the ocean!”” message toward the end of the film isn’t as heavy-handed as might be expected, it is still so broad and sweeping that it winds up falling as flat as the feigned storyline within the film.

    People who knew nothing of the ocean would come away from the film with the impression that

    1) nearly all sea creatures are mammals, 2) the ocean isn’t actually much deeper than a sandy bottom or a coral reef and 3) they need to stop pollution and general oceanic abuse singlehandedly. That’s a lot to digest in a single matinee.

    “”Oceans”” looks pretty and unusual enough to inspire some “”oohs”” and “”ahhs,”” but the average viewer would find it much more enjoyable from their own couch in high definition. On mute.

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