Planet Ocean dives onto Blu-ray with a beautiful transfer that presents lovely images both over and under the surface. Narrated by Josh Duhamel, the movie is a 90 minute illustrated discussion about the natural order of the ocean, and man’s impact upon it. Some of the material is breathtaking, some of it is extremely disturbing. The Blu-ray also contains three short featurettes about the making of the movie. It’s hard to make a recommendation for a piece like this, as it’s openly political. I think it’s safe to say that people who are concerned with environmental matters in the ocean will already have heard of the movie. If they haven’t, they’ll likely appreciate it.
Distributed By: N/A
Video Resolution and Encode: 1080P/AVC
Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
Audio: English 5.1 DTS-HDMA, Spanish 5.1 DTS, French 5.1 DTS, Other
Subtitles: English SDH, Spanish, Dutch, Portuguese, Other
Rating: Not Rated
Run Time: 1 Hr 33 Mins
Package Includes: Blu-rayBlu-ray Case in Sleeve
Disc Type: BD50 (dual layer)
Release Date: 04/09/2013
Planet Ocean may look like a beautiful travelogue on the world’s oceans, but that’s not what the movie is really doing. Made as a presentation piece for the Rio+20 Conference in 2012, the movie is actually a cautionary discussion about the effects of pollution and over-fishing on the health of the oceans and the planet itself. Watching the movie is a breathtaking experience, bringing the viewer on a journey through various marvels of the sea, from giant coral reefs to the sights of tiny undersea life forms that date back millions of years. Narrated in English by Josh Duhamel, the movie presents plenty of clear examples of environmental hazards being created by man, all the way from global warming melting the polar caps to the disruption of various undersea eco systems. If you’re already pre-disposed to be concerned about these issues in this way, the movie will be a strong reminder of what’s at stake. But if you don’t necessarily agree with all of the conclusions the filmmakers are presenting, you may quickly find yourself at odds with what you’re seeing. So it’s hard to make a recommendation here. I still think this is a beautiful collection of photography of the ocean, both over and under the surface. I just think the discussion may not be to everyone’s taste.
The Production Rating: 3/5
Planet Ocean was released simultaneously on Blu-ray and standard definition, on April 9th. The Blu-ray holds the movie in lovely high definition picture and sound, along with three short standard definition featurettes about its production.
Planet Ocean is presented in a 1080p AVC 1.78:1 transfer (at an average 25 mbps) that is truly breathtaking, in terms of the depth of the colors and the variety of textures and environments on display.
Video Rating: 4.5/5 3D Rating: NA
Planet Ocean is presented in an English DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 mix in English (at an average 3.6 mbps), as well as standard DTS mixes in Italian, two variations of Spanish, Brazilian Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, and Czech. This isn’t a major mix, which is understandable as the sound is primarily narration mixed with the score. (I should note that Josh Duhamel’s narration is only on the English mix – the other languages all feature non-credited voices.) There’s a little more atmospheric sound in the above-the-surface shots, but this is primarily a front based mix.
Audio Rating: 3/5
The Blu-ray presentation of Planet Ocean comes with three short standard definition featurettes about the making of the movie.
Special Features Rating: 2/5
In the Skies Above Rio (6:16, 480p, Anamorphic) – This short featurette shows footage of the filmmakers getting helicopter footage around and above Rio de Janiero, with the actual shots from the movie thrown in at the right points.
Underwater (2:22, 480p, Anamorphic) – This very short featurette covers the underwater photography, once again with a few examples of the shots at hand.
Shanghai (5:37, 480p, Anamorphic) – The final featurette covers the aerial photography around and above Shanghai, once again including the inset shots as seen in the movie itself.
Subtitles are available for the film and the special features, in English, Italian, two varieties of Spanish, Japanese, Brazilian Portuguese, Russian, Czech and Dutch.
A full chapter menu is available for the film.
Planet Ocean is beautiful to watch, but also quite upsetting, particularly as it gets near its conclusion. For viewers who are concerned about the life of the planet’s oceans, this will be an interesting and moving evening. For viewers who disagree with the positions taken by the filmmakers, the movie may be a bit more difficult to get through. One way or another, this is not just a lovely travelogue, and viewers should at least be aware of that before purchasing or renting.
Overall Rating: 3/5
Reviewed By: Kevin EK
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